back to article Audi proposes PC-packing stunt bikes

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 …

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  1. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    saddle...

    and, apparently, nowhere to put your bum...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: saddle...

      You misunderstand the function of Audi in the modern culture:

      http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/audis-still-britains-favourite-car-to-have-driving-right-up-your-arse-201204245156

      Here is some material to enlighten you.;

      1. Steve Ives
        Happy

        Re: saddle...

        Since buying my first Audi, I like to pull the seat forward from my preferred driving position so I can get a bit closer to the car in front.

  2. Chris Gregory
    FAIL

    Nutcracker

    Lots of clearance on that cross bar then!?

    Might drop the birth rate a bit if lots of blokes started riding one (assuming they provide a saddle in the first place!)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh for a bike with built in security

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh for a bike with built in security

      carbon fibre on a mountain bike can laminate on stone chips

  4. Giles Jones Gold badge

    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.

    No thanks.

    1. Lloyd

      Car Companies?

      Nah, the bike component companies have been doing it to each for ages, try getting a Shimano hub, dérailleur and chain to work with gears shifts from any other company.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Car Companies?

        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).

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Audi have made mountain bikes before...

      ...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?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    PSHAW

    MY SCHWINN STING RAY HAD ALL OF THAT CRAP ON IT PLUS BASEBALL CARDS ATTACHED TO THE SPOOKES THAT MADE IT SOUND LIKE A MOTORCYCLE

    1. ukgnome
      Trollface

      Re: PSHAW

      and stabilisers?

      1. Mr Young
        Go

        Re: PSHAW

        and maybe he still cycles to school each day with his gloves on a string as well? I maybe think so

  6. QuinnDexter
    FAIL

    Secure

    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...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Secure

      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.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Secure

        "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"......

        1. LomaxFC

          Re: Secure

          Sorry, I didn't understand a word of that.

  7. AF
    Thumb Up

    The Raleigh Vektar rides again!

    That's a 21st century version of the Raleigh Vektar - my best mate had one when we were kids. I was totally jealous.

    http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/raleigh/38402

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Raleigh Vektar rides again!

      I remember them, one of my friends had a black one, always thought it was like street hawk.

    2. stucs201

      Re: The Raleigh Vektar rides again!

      Thats twice in two days I've seen a picture of one of those, and I too always thought there was a Streethawk resemblence.

      Definately does look like an 80s bike of the future design.

      1. Dan 10
        Thumb Up

        Re: The Raleigh Vektar rides again!

        I forgot about the Vektar! +1 the Streethawk comment.

        I had the road bike version - the Raleigh Sensor:

        http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/files/raleigh_sensor_2_162.jpg

    3. Jon B

      Re: The Raleigh Vektar rides again!

      I had one of those, but my parents were too tight to buy the FM radio add-on.

  8. Tanuki
    Stop

    Vorsprung Durch...

    "Vorsprung Durch Technik" as they say in Germany (just before doing a spectacular flip into the path of an oncoming truck)

  9. Steve Evans

    "can produce speeds of up to 50mph."

    Looks like fun, but at 50mph it will instantly become classed as a motorcycle in the UK, then fail the type testing on brakes, lamps, horn, indicators, mudguards...

    1. Desk Jockey

      Re: "can produce speeds of up to 50mph."

      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...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "can produce speeds of up to 50mph."

      You must try harder.....I have hit over 50mph on my bike great fun!

      1. Desk Jockey

        Re: "can produce speeds of up to 50mph."

        I only hit that speed 'cos I was going down a steep gradient, with about 15kg on the back pannier and the brakes had failed! I am still alive because I don't keep doing it!

    3. petur
      Boffin

      Re: "can produce speeds of up to 50mph."

      Here in Belgium the electric assist must lower itself (or stop) when you go faster than 20kmph....

  10. Dom 3

    Saddle.

    Clearly, you are meant to fit one of these:

    http://postimage.org/image/51rif0v31/

    as spotted in Cambridge this morning.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huh

    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.

  12. sabroni Silver badge

    handbars?

    shouldn't that be handlebars?

  13. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Computerised bikes from Audi.

    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........

    1. Dan 10

      Re: Computerised bikes from Audi.

      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.

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Computerised bikes from Audi.

        @Dan 10

        " I may be wrong, but ISTR that it had more to do with cocky magazine journalists thinking it was so kitted out that... "

        AKA "You're holding it wrong" and "Unlimited broadband"....

  14. Wombling_Free
    FAIL

    Marketing fail.

    Hipsters don't usually have an idle $50,000 sitting around.

  15. Matthew 3

    Wörthersee?

    I'm glad to see they're diversifying from sweets aimed at the grandfather market. Not sure why Audi wanted in on that act.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As if we don't have enough problems...

    ...with distracted drivers now we need deal with distracted cyclists? I expect the law of Big will eliminate much of this problem over a few years time but the carnage will be high. Invest in coffins and tombstones.

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