The Smart Bike unveiled
Millions of recreational cyclists around the world will benefit from the innovations cleverly integrated into the UCI compliant Smart Bike designed by researchers at Deakin University’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI).
“No bike manufacturer in the world can build their markets around a small number of professional riders in the peloton, many of whom get their bikes for free anyway,” said Dr Paul Collins, manager of the Smart Bike project.
“So there’s a particular market out there of recreational riders for whom having a less costly, stronger, faster, more long-lasting and ultimately smarter bike is the most important thing and those are the people we’re really pitching our Smart Bike at.
“This project was about taking the research in which ITRI is a world leader and bringing it into the creation of a 21st Century bike.
“At ITRI we quickly identified five areas where we had a special expertise.”
- Out-of-autoclave composites: Used in carbon tubing and carbon bonding joints.
- The use of magnesium: Faster extruding makes it five to six times cheaper to manufacture components on the bike.
- Surface coating of titanium components: Produced superior wear surfaces and less friction on moving components.
- Sensors in carbon laminate: These help the rider to make smart decisions on how to improve performance by measuring strain in relation to power.
- Deakin's ability to work closely with industry partners from concept to commercialisation of a new product.
“I guess the sensors in the carbon laminate will excite most riders,” Dr Collins said.
“As well as being able to tell them how efficiently they are riding their bike it can identify parts that might need maintenance or determine when its useful life is over.
“With the Smart Bike, we expect that to be a lot longer than the life-span of existing bikes.
“For titanium components we have produced superior wearing surfaces, and less friction on moving components means they will last longer and perform better.
“The use of out-of-autoclave composites and the faster extruding of magnesium, something else that ITRI is in the forefront of globally, will help reduce the costs of bikes.
“All of this technology has been brought together by a hard working team of researchers and collaborative partners.
“Building and developing partnerships is a truly effective way of bringing innovation and technology forward.
“We are really excited that we have achieved the goal we set ourselves earlier this year to coincide with the UCI World Road Championships here in Geelong – the creation of a Smart Bike for the 21st Century.
Dr Collins said a number of sports related companies are already in discussion with Deakin about turning the innovations in the Smart Bike into commercially viable products.
Additionally the Australian Institute of Sport is also looking to incorporate the Smart Bike concepts into his programs.