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slippyfish
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Just got my new shiny Innovation magazine, with coverage of the Dyson Eye For Why competition winners. They gave out prize money for these entries?

"SplitStream handlebars solve a major challenge for triathletes, who during the cycling portion of the a race, must seamlessly and safely transition between a "control" position during the navigation of tight turns and steep terrain to an "aero" position during long, flat stretches of a course. Current triathalon bicycles are equipped with two separate sets of handlebars to accomodate this need, despite their creating unnecessary aerodynamic drag and endangering the cyclist and others in crowded areas. Allowing simultaneous use of breaks and gear shifters, with a hinge mechanism at its center SplitStream collapses the design of two triathalon handlebars into one, allowing an athlete to be more competitive while improving course safety conditions for all."

http://www.designawards.dyson.com/

This is so full of it, I don't know where to start. (I'll let the typos slide.)

I thought design these days was supposed to start with the experience, and user inquiry, and identifying unmet needs?

Granted its a nice problem to start with, as frontal area is the most important concern for going fast on a bicycle. On nice bikes, this is all one nice piece of molded carbon.

However, cyclists usually solve the "major challenge of transitioning" between the "two sets" of bars by....uh.... BALANCE. And the fact that it takes about half-a-second to move your hands. There's nothing dangerous there. Braking usually happens when your hands are outboard, coming into a corner. Shifting happens when you are in the tuck, changing gears to keep a pedal cadence consistent. Braking from the tuck would be stupid.

With this concept, the swinging forearm rests will destabilize an already unsteady bike and triathlete, throwing balance from side to side, everything ending up on the ground. How do you steer the bike, while the handlebars are moving?

You can't make an argument that these bars are for beginner triathletes, because the swinging movement would be even scarier: triathletes have notoriously bad bike handling skills since lots of them come from the swimming pool or running track.

Are you supposed to 1. stop 2. unlock or reconfigure 3. get pedaling again? Or just hit some little button that moves the bars automatically?

And this is getting way down in the weeds.... but a bike rider is going to feel better knowing their bars are the stable, rigid, solid components. Putting multiple pivot points where your hands and arms and body weight goes is simply dangerous. You can't tell me that "oh, well, we could engineer it to be stiff and rigid" because that to me sounds like "heavy".

I think this project creates more problems than it proposes to solve. That its rewarded with a prize and publication is shocking.

Who's more responsible for this project getting an award: the student with the naive ideas, or the jurors who thought "oh what a great idea!" The list of jurors is also in the article. The project probably gets the benefit of the doubt since its not likely any of them have used TT bars before on a nimble-handling tri bike. (Pardon me, I generalize.) If someone designed a fork that had a knife on the handle, everyone would laugh at it since they all know it wouldn't work.


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slippyfish wrote:Just got my new shiny Innovation magazine, with coverage of the Dyson Eye For Why competition winners. They gave out prize money for these entries?

"SplitStream handlebars solve a major challenge for triathletes, who during the cycling portion of the a race, must seamlessly and safely transition between a "control" position during the navigation of tight turns and steep terrain to an "aero" position during long, flat stretches of a course. Current triathalon bicycles are equipped with two separate sets of handlebars to accomodate this need, despite their creating unnecessary aerodynamic drag and endangering the cyclist and others in crowded areas. Allowing simultaneous use of breaks and gear shifters, with a hinge mechanism at its center SplitStream collapses the design of two triathalon handlebars into one, allowing an athlete to be more competitive while improving course safety conditions for all."

http://www.designawards.dyson.com/

This is so full of it, I don't know where to start. (I'll let the typos slide.)

I thought design these days was supposed to start with the experience, and user inquiry, and identifying unmet needs?

Granted its a nice problem to start with, as frontal area is the most important concern for going fast on a bicycle. On nice bikes, this is all one nice piece of molded carbon.

However, cyclists usually solve the "major challenge of transitioning" between the "two sets" of bars by....uh.... BALANCE. And the fact that it takes about half-a-second to move your hands. There's nothing dangerous there. Braking usually happens when your hands are outboard, coming into a corner. Shifting happens when you are in the tuck, changing gears to keep a pedal cadence consistent. Braking from the tuck would be stupid.

With this concept, the swinging forearm rests will destabilize an already unsteady bike and triathlete, throwing balance from side to side, everything ending up on the ground. How do you steer the bike, while the handlebars are moving?

You can't make an argument that these bars are for beginner triathletes, because the swinging movement would be even scarier: triathletes have notoriously bad bike handling skills since lots of them come from the swimming pool or running track.

Are you supposed to 1. stop 2. unlock or reconfigure 3. get pedaling again? Or just hit some little button that moves the bars automatically?

And this is getting way down in the weeds.... but a bike rider is going to feel better knowing their bars are the stable, rigid, solid components. Putting multiple pivot points where your hands and arms and body weight goes is simply dangerous. You can't tell me that "oh, well, we could engineer it to be stiff and rigid" because that to me sounds like "heavy".

I think this project creates more problems than it proposes to solve. That its rewarded with a prize and publication is shocking.

Who's more responsible for this project getting an award: the student with the naive ideas, or the jurors who thought "oh what a great idea!" The list of jurors is also in the article. The project probably gets the benefit of the doubt since its not likely any of them have used TT bars before on a nimble-handling tri bike. (Pardon me, I generalize.) If someone designed a fork that had a knife on the handle, everyone would laugh at it since they all know it wouldn't work.
SOP...the panel knew nothing about the product, or its use....sure way to win

Postby NURB » July 8th, 2008, 10:03 pm

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BWWAHAHAHA!!! Thats got to be one of the worst, most unnecessary products I've ever seen for the cycling industry. These Dyson design awards rank right up there in relevance as the Red Dot awards.

Postby Cyberdemon » July 8th, 2008, 10:45 pm

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Lets face it - we all know a lot of design press comes from an idea that the general public sees as a great idea and insiders know is terrible.

It's not the first time it happened. Heck - look at the "solar powered glider" on the front page of Core today. My uncle is actually one of the few people around to be building electric aircraft and I know INSTANTLY that the amount of energy needed to power any kind of engine is vastly greater then what any photo voltaic panels could provide.

BUT

If the concept is nicely illustrated, the designer makes a point to explain themselves, and its something the jury hasn't seen before, it'll gain press.

I remember the Gravia lamp that won the greener gadgets contest a few months ago as well that was torn apart on here, slashdot, and tons of other forums for simply being impossible.

These blue sky projects will always happen, and seldomly (this isn't the norm in design) they'll get recognition. The best you can do is enter your own designs and hope that they win out over the crazy contraptions that work on unobtanium.

Postby slippyfish » July 9th, 2008, 12:22 am

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C-demon, you're totally right. Taking that idea further, a lot of design gets press and sales when someone who really knows the subject could tear it up. Its the novelty factor and the power of an image.

The competition WAS sponsored by an engineer/designer though - a really rich one - and this submission was from a student at a college that I thought had a solid engineering basis - Stanford.

I'm probably just sour grapes, in the end. My mama raised me to not be full of it, and I'm envious of those who can win design competitions in that manner.

:roll:

Postby Greenman » July 9th, 2008, 8:35 am

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Can we have a forum specifically for calling out whack designs that win public accolades? The study of crap design can be equally as compelling.

Seriously, it would be so much fun...the Whack Forum, make it so!


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slippyfish wrote:Just got my new shiny Innovation magazine, with coverage of the Dyson Eye For Why competition winners. They gave out prize money for these entries?


This is so full of it, I don't know where to start. (I'll let the typos slide.)


A solution is search of a problem. Or a "why have 2 simple solutions when one perfectly complicated solution will do?" and we all know that perfectly complicated and over engineered doohickeys are superior in every way...

The transition between the two positions makes this thing not make sense because the body position riding in a tuck and the body position while braking/steering are pretty different. Due to the bizzarre geometry of a TT bike, you have to move more than your arms and upper torso during the transition.

Get caught or forget to open them up and brake from a Tuck? The image of Michael Rassmussen crashing in to a ditch, twice in the 2005 TDF TT comes to mind..
Occam's Razor makes the cutting clean

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I disagree...

I got the impression that this is about the aero and efficiency benefit of having one bar versus two, not the cyclists transition movement (which still occurs with this concept, just in a different way.)

I think this is a good concept with a clearly defined need and a reasonable solution (a transforming bar.) I can't judge the solution though--are there storyboard images?

Postby slippyfish » July 9th, 2008, 1:33 pm

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There's no aero efficiency if the bar setup doesn't work. You can say "take away more bars = more aero" but they are there for a reason. The transition movement was called out in the project description:

must seamlessly and safely transition between a "control" position during the navigation of tight turns and steep terrain to an "aero" position during long, flat stretches of a course


and do so safely and quickly. This does it more dangerously, and I doubt more quickly. There aren't any storyboards associated with the renderings but they wouldn't make any difference.

Its a terrible concept, nice illustration, and ZERO defined need. If I posted this to the Slowtwitch triathlon forum...well, it doesn't make designers seem like a useful part of the product process.

Yeah, a climbing specialist like Chicken Rasmussen wouldn't even finish the stage on these bars! For innovation in this area, the Oval Concepts dual-spoiler bars work well to channel air past the rider's body, even on the outboard handles.

Postby NURB » July 9th, 2008, 1:33 pm

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It would appear almost everyone panning this design, has some kind of familiarity with cycling and TT bikes in general.

CG, on the other hand, just made the point that we were all hoping to avoid... from an outside view, this does seem like a great execution of an idea, eliminate the need for 2 sets of bars.

This doesn't make me like the product at all, in fact I'd be very afraid to ride these bars, and yes my first thought was Rasmussen's TDF TT in 05 to lose the yellow jersey making way for Mellow Johnny's 6th tour victory of not getting caught doping.

Postby NURB » July 9th, 2008, 1:35 pm

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must seamlessly and safely transition between a "control" position during the navigation of tight turns and steep terrain to an "aero" position during long, flat stretches of a course


Some how I missed that reading the brief.

I would still contend that to an outsider who has no idea about riding a TT bike, this would seem like a very plausible design.


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cg wrote:I disagree...

I got the impression that this is about the aero and efficiency benefit of having one bar versus two, not the cyclists transition movement (which still occurs with this concept, just in a different way.)

I think this is a good concept with a clearly defined need and a reasonable solution (a transforming bar.) I can't judge the solution though--are there storyboard images?


Real tri bars are one piece

Image

Postby thenorth » July 9th, 2008, 2:11 pm


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lets face it this is a product that just isnt needed. for the small amount of time it would be beneficial,the same if not more amount of time is spent faffingwith different setting. bikes are simple for a reason less to go wrong and thats what counts in any kind of racing.

Postby Supernaut » July 9th, 2008, 4:23 pm


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slippyfish wrote:If I posted this to the Slowtwitch triathlon forum...


I say do it, and then watch the responses from a safe distance...you think we're critical :roll:

NURB wrote:my first thought was Rasmussen's TDF TT in 05 to lose the yellow jersey making way for Mellow Johnny's 6th tour victory of not getting caught doping.


are you Greg LeMond in disguise?
Occam's Razor makes the cutting clean

Postby slippyfish » July 9th, 2008, 5:18 pm

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Let's hope the $2000 second prize will be used for prototyping the idea in physical form. $1000 for prototype, $500 for used triathlon bike, $500 for medical insurance deductible.

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