and, apparently, nowhere to put your bum...
Audi has revealed what it believes to be the future of e-bikes: the Wörthersee, a electric bicycle that features smartphone connectivity and a built-in computer system. Audi Wörthersee The Wörthersee is built for the sporty types, encouraging punters to record trick sequences through the bike's computer system and then share …
Aah carbon fibre - reassuring light and expensive (thus nickable)
Why no bikes with built in locking points? Steering and transmission immobilised till you unlock it.? Can't remove wheels, saddle, handlebars without the key?
Oh yeah and this - safe, affordable city-wide bike parking.
A bicycle is one of the simplest forms of transport around, you can very easily build and maintain it yourself with a bit of knowledge of mechanicals. There are plenty of standards so you can often move parts around between frames.
Then come the car companies wanting to cash in on the growing number of people on bikes by making it all complex, expensive, proprietary and hard to maintain.
You obviously do not know what you are doing. Looking at the house "commuter vehicle fleet", I have:
Two cycles with SRAM grips working with Shimano dérailleurs, cranks and freewheels; one cycle with a MTB frame, shimano MTB derailleurs working with a 52t road crankset (also supposedly impossible) and one cycle with FSA crankset and Shimano derailleurs and shifts. All of that using SRAM chains (with none of the cranksets and freewheels being SRAM).
The supposed "incompatibility of parts across bicycle manufacturers" is vastly overrated. If we exclude the extortionate range of 100£+ per spare part and look at the sanely price bits you can make nearly anything work with anything. Worst case scenario - do not force it, use a larger hammer (cutter and a file help too).
The only thing I can think of which is really incompatible across bikes is bearings. Most other stuff can be swapped and moved around if you know what you are doing (which is exactly why a bike like this Audi will never get in my house - it is non-standard by design).
...as have Porsche. They are never great, and never chosen for competition AFIK.
However, bike companies have making some of their product ranges complex, expensive, proprietary and hard to maintain all by themselves. Sometimes it results in a better cheap product after several years. And in many ways it describes the history of mountain bikes, especially if you look at early suspension models - there were so many different (if often comprised) solutions it was crazy. Only the first-adopters paid for the evolutionary dead-ends, so the rest of us weren't put out.
In the early nineties, Mercdedes had a better approach- take somebody else's mountain bike (a Foes Fab Weasel with AMP forks) and make a nice case for it that goes on the boot of the cars you sell.
This Audi doesn't appeal, though. If you have to drape digital tech over it, a chorded-keyboard on the handlebars would be nice... where better to have good thoughts worth jotting down than on a pootle across the hills?
And who needs bike locks when you could just use your smartphone to immobilise the darn thing?
Right.... but it's light enough to carry away, and I don't think any App is going to magically increase the weight by a few tons (or tonnes) to stop it being robbed.
...with the combination of manual pedalling, can produce speeds of up to 50mph.
IIRC, that means it needs a licence, as a powered vehicles that can go over 15mph, but I expect to be corrected by someone swiftly...
What was that William Gibson novel about bike couriers? Their pushbikes had a capacitor-based security system that electrocuted thieves...
But yeah, security is one of the main barriers to bicycle adoption. I've seen it written that in the States employers have to either provide a secure area for bikes or else allow you to carry them into the building. That would get more people on bikes than f%^£ing idiotic token-effort cycle lanes.
"Virtual Light". Folded paper frame in carbon tubing too ISTR.
Best bit of that for me was the SAB (Seperated At Birth) application used by law enforcement. Makes so much sense that I'm suprised it hasn't been done. Also, I think he beat the s'kiddies to the punch with what's since become known as "swatting"......
Having taken a normal pedal bike up to 45 mph myself I can confirm it is sh*t scary. Of course, Audi could put bigger tyres, more weight etc to make it more stable, but the actual pedalling performance goes downhill pretty rapidly. You are now in motorbike territory and might as well get a legal e-motorbike and forget the pedals!
If you actually want to go past 30mph, I suggest you do not use a bicycle (e or traditional) unless you are into proper racing and have found a nice quiet road somewhere without large potholes...
Seeing as the EU (i.e. France) and UK what to legislate powered two wheel vehicles off the road, I can't see this going anywhere. France already has laws mandating hi-vis, reflective stickers on lid, full spare bulb/fuse kits, breathalysers, warning triangles etc to be carried/worn on m'bikes at all times.
The UK destroyed the testing facilities for motorcycle licenses.
Power limits, mandatory ABS etc are all on the cards.
So yeah, Audi; put it straight in the design museum because there is no way in hell it will be permitted for private transport by your betters in London, Brussels and Paris.
This would be the same Audi responsible for the TT, right?
ISTR that early versions of that car had a problem with a shortage of CPU horsepower. So, when hammering the car at the bleedin' edge through a corner, the needs of the Electronic Stability Program, the Traction Control, electronically controlled diffs, electronic variable damping, etc ad nauseum would overload the thing and it would drop into Safe Mode, right when the driver needed it all most. This invariably resulted in a rather swift trip into the weeds.
Now think about that little cockup on something lacking belts, bags, a rigid safety cell........
I may be wrong, but ISTR that it had more to do with cocky magazine journalists thinking it was so kitted out that they could hoon around with impunity in the knowledge that it wouldn't let them do anything stupid. Hence the early models 'flipping' when the lateral forces were strong enough.
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