Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Spring powered bike

Excercise in private - ride it outside
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A motorbike lookalike, powered by a spring hidden in its innards. You wind it up by pedalling away in the privacy of your house and then, after you have sweated away your quota for the day, shower, dress for work, and get on it and drive away to the railway station. It will have hidden speakers to simulate the sound of the engine.

Why not just ride a normal bike? Well, in my part of the country it is considered to be below 'status' to be seen pedalling a bike. So, I ride a motorbike to work - and excercise on a stationary bike. So - combine the two.

The size of the spring and the amount of energy stored might limit the range of the bike to a few kilometers, ie, the nearest railway station.

neelandan, Jul 12 2002

Wind up Car http://www.halfbake.../idea/Wind-Up_20Car
Similiar idea. [neelandan, Jul 12 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       It would have to be a pretty big spring .... how about charging a battery ? Then you have power on board to run the motorbike sound simulator as well, and you don't have to carry extra batteries or a generator. And you could use regenrative braking going down hills. With this system, the range might well be more than a couple of kilometers.
8th of 7, Jul 12 2002

       In my day, you fastened playing cards on the fender supports with clothespins for motor sound. And if you mounted cowlings on the sides of your bike (outside the pedals) with images of resting legs, then you could pedal 'away' and no one would be the wiser.
FarmerJohn, Jul 12 2002

       Just pull it backwards until it clicks, and away you go!
Mr Burns, Jul 12 2002

       Aww, I thought this idea was original to me. Oh well. I decided a spring, probably down around the bottom bracket area somewhere was the best choice. I don't think a battery system would be efficient enough, or light enough. Alternately, stash the spring inside the freewheel, so that coasting etc. could be ratcheted into the system.   

       I don't think you could ride far on it, but the bike is as efficient as it's going to get regarding steady speed, it's the loss of energy stopping and starting again that's the killer, and this should help with that.   

       You could probably burn rubber on a takeoff.
gzuckier, Oct 01 2003

       Like I said in the other bicycle power posts.   

       Dude...just peddle it man. You've got to use the energy sometime and it is much more effecient to use it immediatly than trying to store it. I do like the idea of poster board with a picture of not moving legs so no one would know. good luck
clafever, Jan 21 2004

       I found this on a search after reading [django]'s post about a third world car. The spring could allow steady pedalling at the most comfortable sustained rate (as is the ideal with the gears), but allow bursts of inhuman power by deploying the spring. [neelandan] winds it up at home, but this would be good for a city bike messenger who could keep pedalling and winding the spring when stopped for whatever reason (in traffic, waiting for package etc).
bungston, Aug 26 2006

       Bikes are coasting most of the time. If it's a commuter cycle, you just measure the altitude difference and combine that with the mileage drag and presto, that's how big a spring you need (based on regenerative braking as well)
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2009


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