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http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bike27.html

This is a hilarous read... my favorite quote: ""Chains represent 90 percent of a bike's repair and maintenance cost," Perugini said. I love how the mainstream press doesn't quite get it when it comes to bikes... kind of like the maniac bike commuter articles in the US.

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About twice a year, the chain on Jeff Hathaway's bicycle falls off its sprocket.

It's an occurrence Hathaway is tired of seeing repeated, so Sunday, he drove four hours from his Muncie, Ind., home to Chicago's Navy Pier to do something about it.

Hathaway, 46, who works in applications development and bikes to his job, made the trip to check out chainless bikes on display at the Chicago Bike Show and Family Fitness Expo.

"It's a worry-free bike. That's the goal," said Patrick Perugini, president of Dynamic Bicycles, the company, based near Boston, that manufactures the chainless bikes.

Targeted to commuters and recreational riders, Dynamic's bikes feature a steel shaft drive, similar to that in a BMW motorcycle, instead of a chain, Perugini said. The gear mechanism is contained in a unit, called a planetary hub, in the center of the rear wheel.

'There's no limit' to price

"Chains represent 90 percent of a bike's repair and maintenance cost," Perugini said. "We eliminate all of that, in addition to all of the greasy mess."

Chainless bikes -- which retail between $599 and $799 -- were among the latest trends being showcased by more than 100 exhibitors at the two-day show, now in its 15th year.

The use of high-end alloys such as carbon and titanium is making for lighter, stronger and faster racing and mountain bikes that can weigh as little as 15 pounds, many of which were on display Sunday for the serious bike enthusiasts roving the show floor.

But regular people who ride to work have become an increasingly important market for bicycle manufacturers these days.

"Nothing's been tailored to them, and what's there is kind of cheesy," said Ryan Cate, a sales representative for Schwinn. "It's either a mountain bike or a racing bike, neither of which addresses the urban rider."

Schwinn's newest bike, the Super Sport DBX, is designed specifically for commuters. Its frame is set so that the rider is more upright, "to see traffic," Cate said. And it has dual-sided pedals -- a flat side for street shoes, a grooved side for cycling shoes.

While this Schwinn retails for a hefty $1,200, that wasn't the priciest bike at the show.

That distinction goes to the $9,000 Aero by Roark, an Indianapolis maker of custom titanium bikes.

"There's no limit to how much you can spend on a bike,'' said Roark designer Jim Zoellner.

The bike, which weighs 18 pounds, is aerodynamically designed with triathletes in mind, with slight curves in the frame. The bike won't rust, and titanium won't break, said Zoellner.

A bonus for the traveling triathlete: the bike's front and rear ends can be separated and packed into a case that doesn't require the typical airline surcharge.
 

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It's in the game!
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LOL @ 90% of the costs.

Last 12 months breakdown on expenses: Upgrades not included..

Chain: Ultegra/XTR $29


The Rest:
Bottom Bracket: $60
Rebuild Hubs: $65
New headset: $145
New cables: $45
Bar tape: $34
Chain oil: $14
Misc labor $180
Tires: $120
Tubes: $45
Spokes $18

TOTAL $629

Chain expense 4.6%. Someone should do their research before publishing.
 

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Chainless bikes would be great for slow, fat, old, dumb people.....There are lots of those.
 

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It's not TOO Cold!
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I guess that you wouldn't have to worry about putting a dirty chain back on the sprocket, BUT, talk about ineffiecient transfer of power. You can get away with that on a motorcycle by upsizing the engine. Comfort bikes, (BWMs and Gold Wings) use a drive shaftas it is cleaner and safer, no exposed moving parts. But if you get to a race bike they all have chains. I guess that you need a gimick to make money on the reatil level. The problem with something like this, is it is more apt to turn someone off cycling, as the bike becomes harder to ride.
 

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"The use of high-end alloys such as carbon and titanium"

I didnt realize carbon and ti were alloys. last time i looked Ti was on the periodic table.(yeah i know ti is usually alloyed but thats not the way it is written in the article)
 

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wut?
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I would buy one.

A few weeks ago I was 25 miles from home when my chain fell off. That was a hell of a walk. :mad:
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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they make it sound like it is some kind of a new innovation. Major Taylor was setting speed records in the early 1900's on a chainless bike... never took then, likely wont now... unless they help me put out 16.5 jigowatts of power.
 

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My response was a joke as well. Ricochet . . . goes all over the place . . . get it? Lame, I admit. I grew up in northern Germany and Holland. Clever humor just isn't part of that culture hard on the shore of the North Sea. :D
 

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there is already a chainless bike on the market (using direct drive). I can't recal the name. It is from Denmark and it is marketed as a city bike with an internal rear hub gear.
It is actually really nice to look at and there are no parts to rust, catch your pants in ,etc.
My local bike shop was selling them last year but at about $1500 Cdn they weren't moving well.
My only gripe was that even though they were beautifully constructed they were a bit heavy...alhtough not bad compared to other city bikes. Certainly a much nicer bike than those Swedish Kroners.

Don't laugh fellows. All you guys love carbon (I cerrtainly do) but then scoff if an innovation that touches what you think is the 'essence' of biking comes along.
I suppose you like the UCI's insistence on the double triangle frame?

I say let's see what technology can do...as long as it is person powered.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Nothing new in Japan

It is not uncommon to see chainless bikes in Japan. Here are a couple photos of a chainless foldable bike I saw in Tokyo.
 

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iopturbo said:
"The use of high-end alloys such as carbon and titanium"

I didnt realize carbon and ti were alloys. last time i looked Ti was on the periodic table.(yeah i know ti is usually alloyed but thats not the way it is written in the article)
I hate to be a pedant but all metals used in bicycle construction are technically alloys, including titanium. And of course, carbon is a key ingredient of the high-end alloy we all know and love as "steel." But you are right, I don't think that's what they meant ;)

I find this kind of funny though. The whole "chain vs. shaft" debate is a holy war on most motorcycle forums :rolleyes:
 

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wut?
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Are there not way more parts for your legs to move with the chainless setup? I'd think that would be less efficient than a regular chain.
 

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Are there not way more parts for your legs to move with the chainless setup? I'd think that would be less efficient than a regular chain.
Yes, bevel gear shaft drives are less efficient than chain drives, primarily because of the large amount of friction at the tooth faces where the beveled gears mesh. Bicycle shaft drive systems also weigh about twice as much as chain drive systems. And unless the purveyors of the newer shaft-drive bikes have figured a way around it, getting a rear wheel out of and back into a shaft-drive frame for a flat repair is best left to a bike shop.
 

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twice a year?!?

The article says he commutes to work and his chain falls off twice a year. Assuming he rides to work five days a week, 50 weeks a year, his chain falls off less than 1% of the time. That really isn't that big of a deal.
 

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mtpisgah said:
The article says he commutes to work and his chain falls off twice a year. Assuming he rides to work five days a week, 50 weeks a year, his chain falls off less than 1% of the time. That really isn't that big of a deal.
Sounds to me like the perfect excuse to go shopping for a new bike. Think the wife will buy it? :p
 

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covenant said:
Approx. 32 lb

YIKES!
Well, certainly it's no carbon-framed road racer. But 32 lbs. is not too terribly out of line compared to a lot of hybrids and commuter-style bikes. If it's a pound or two heavier, well, most Americans are a pound or two overweight too.

I'm not so concerned about the weight as the reduced mechanical efficiency. I'd like to reserve judgement before actually riding one. I can certainly appreciate the appeal of this system. Surely I'm not the only commuter who has stained a pant leg after accidentally bumping against an oily chain ring.
 
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