Bicycle Industry Innovation
I’ve heard it said there are more patents for bicycle related inventions than for any other industry. Is that true? If it is, then what drives bicycle industry innovation? Please put your thoughts in the comments below.
Head Tilting Innovation
Most innovations are subtle and sometimes hard to see. Others, like this bike recently spotted at the Colorado Springs Velo garage sale, are head turners. Most people walked right by without noticing, but if you happened to glance down and see the mega-length crank arms, it caused a double take. What?
This is a cool bike from several years ago. It’s the child of breeding a stair-stepper with a bike, and though it’s a bit weird, it serves those that have limited mobility in their legs. (At least that’s one explanation.) Others, like Weird Bike Stuff has some different comments, but it’s all history now.
The cool thing about innovation is seeing the light go on as people wrap their heads around something different. In this case, the result is exactly the same — riding 2 wheels, human powered, down the road — but the feet go up and down instead of around. It’s fascinating to watch as people look and think and finally start to see the picture. (That’s not a judgement, just an observation because we all do it to some extent.)
Does it work? Yes, it does, but would you want it? Let’s go with the historical perspective and note that these bikes are only collectors items at this point.
That said, the concept of hub drive in this generalized way is not dead. The String Bike of this post is new and similar – but different.
I love seeing bicycle industry innovation in all its forms. And, I also enjoy innovating with you in the bike industry, because invention breaks out of “the box”.
From the kooky to the genius, it all has a place. Some ideas are entertaining, others are thought provoking, and we wonder what brought on that creativity? In our society we expect the new and improved, and that’s so true of bicycle industry innovation too. Websites and YouTube are full of new tech. I love seeing creativity, and I love meeting creative people.
Perhaps most fascinating for me is how some inventors succinctly see areas for invention, but fail to see reasons others won’t embrace their innovation. NIH is one reason, and money is another. Yet, looking at bikes like Alenax and knowing the effort that goes into producing them, it gives room for pause.
Bicycle Industry Innovation
What cool or crazy bicycle industry innovation have you seen? Send a picture if you have one. More importantly, what inventions have you seen that you thought should have come to market, but didn’t for some reason? I’ve seen a few at shows like Interbike (when that existed) and Outdoor Industry Markets, among others. Too bad I don’t have photos. If you’ve seen some, or can describe some, please share. Have a wonderful day!