Bike frames are simple on the surface, but can quickly become complicated if you want to fabricate one yourself. Brazing and welding tend to be less common skills than knowing how to bolt things together, so [Arquimaña] has brought us the OpenBike to make the process accessible to more people.
An open-source set of files designed for CNCs and 3D printers, the OpenBike uses readily available materials like sheet plywood to make a sturdy, if unconventional-looking, bicycle. Like many other consumer goods, most bike frames are currently built in Asia. This allows for economies of scale, but removes locals from the design process. By using simpler tools, OpenBike allows for more local direction of what features might be needed for a particular region.
Shifting even a small portion of trips to more active forms of transport is an important part of lowering carbon emissions, so making bikes a more attractive means of transportation is always welcome. What might be important in one region might be superfluous and expensive in another (multiple gears in a hilly region, for example). OpenBike could be especially useful as a way to rapid-prototype different feature sets for a particular region before committing to a more traditional frame-building technique for larger batches of bikes.
If you want to see some other bike hacks, why not check out this extending bicycle, this steampunk recumbent trike, or these bike hacks from around the world?
via Yanko Design
Several years ago [dan] saw some plastic frame bikes designed by MIT students. Ever since he saw those bikes he thought it would be cool to make an edge-lit plastic framed bike.
The frame is made from 1/8″ and 3/8″ thick polycarbonate sheet. The parts were designed with tongue and grooves so they fit together nicely. The joints were glued to hold everything together. Holes were drilled in the edge of the plastic large enough to fit an LED. Once the LED was inserted in the hole, it was wired up and secured with hot glue. There are about 200 LEDs on the bike, powered by a constant current LED driver circuit that [dan] designed specifically for this project.
The build process was certainly not flawless. For example, the plastic holding the bottom bracket (where the crank and pedals attach) broke. This can be avoided by increasing the amount of material in that area prior to cutting out the pieces. [dan] was able to fiberglass his broken parts back together.
[dan] admits that the bike is heavy and a little wobbly, but is definitely ride-able. He did us a favor and made all his CAD files available to anyone that wants to make one themselves. If polycarbonate is too expensive for your blood, check out this bike make from cardboard.
A team of Chilean engineering students have designed a bike that comes complete with detachable parts that can be re-positioned to lock the vehicle in place. They are calling it the Yerka Project and have marketed it as the world’s first unstealable bike.
The genius of it is the frame itself literally acts as the locking mechanism. This means that if a thief wanted to break the lock, they would have to break the actual bike, leaving little to be desired. This also eliminates the need to go out and purchase a standalone bicycle lock, which can be opened up relatively easily anyway.
The Yerka works by splitting the bike’s down tube in half and extending it outwards around a nearby object like a tree, a light post, or a designated bicycle rack. The saddle and seatpost is then removed and inserted into a hole that was drilled into the down tube. After that, a lock at the end is secured and the rider can walk away knowing that their bike is safe.
However, clever hackers will probably still find a way to unlock this bike. No matter how unstealable it might be, someone will figure it out. In the meantime though, it gives a nice sense of security for those hoping to deter your average bike thief from attempting to jack the bicycle.
For a good look at the design, watch the videos posted below:
Continue reading “The “Unstealable” Transformer Bike”