News: Eurobike 2009
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We visited the big European bike trade exhibition, Eurobike, in Germany about 10 days ago. There was no sign of the recession here – the exhibition was packed, with every corner and every bit of space occupied by exhibitors, and huge crowds attending every day. We were there for business, but 14 halls of shiny new bikes and equipment kept distracting us. It was all too easy to start thinking that if only I had that new Cervélo I’d start getting the race results I know I deserve. There were bikes of all shapes and sizes and with 1, 2, 3 or 4 wheels being ridden around the show, but the most striking thing was the large number of electric bikes. Apparently they’re the Next Big Thing for commuting. I particularly liked the one that fitted a hidden battery and electric motor inside the down tube of an otherwise normal road bike, driving the bottom bracket. Could be the solution to getting dropped on the Mullagh on the last lap…
As we talked to people at the show it became clear that there’s great interest in power measurement among equipment companies. One concept prototype of a pedal based system was on display, and rumours of other pedal based ones were circulating. Measuring in the pedal seems to be flavour of the month. The more we found out about these the more we became reassured that our cleat based system is better. All the pedal based ones will still require the cyclist to either move the pedals between bikes or buy a pair of the measurement pedals for each bike they own.
On the other hand, our system will have all the measurement in the cleat and on the shoe, so absolutely nothing will need to be moved between bikes (except you, wearing your shoes). You won’t even need a cadence detection magnet on the frame. Measuring in the cleat also avoids the problems of trying to completely seal rotating parts against moisture, and of falling accuracy as bearings wear, so we know that we won’t have those problems. We’re confident that our system will tick more boxes for you than any systems based on wheel hubs, cranksets, bottom brackets or pedals.
Another point that became apparent to us at Eurobike is that the growth of ANT+Sport as the preferred wireless standard will continue. ANT is the wireless system used by most power measurement systems, and will be used by our system. Many of the ‘conventional’ bike computer companies we talked to told us they have ANT power display devices in development, so over the next 12 months we can expect a number of new display devices capable of working with ANT compatible power measurement systems. That’s good news for you, because you’ll have more choice.
In the Brim Brothers labs things are progressing. We’ve been examining the performance of our prototype, testing and analysing its behaviour and accuracy under various conditions. We’re now designing the next prototype iteration, which we hope will be very close to the final design. This version will be used for limited road tests. By the way, we get a steady stream of offers to help with testing, but at this initial test phase we’ll just be using a very small number of local test riders. We appreciate the offers we get from all over the world to help with the testing, but we won’t be doing wider testing until we get closer to the final product.
One thing you can be sure of – we won’t be launching the product until it’s real and is ready for use. No marketing hype here.