No Spoking: 11 Closed & Abandoned Bicycle Shops

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned bicycle shops
Bicycle shops should be doing great in this era of energy conservation but the cold equations of business economics are, for many bike shops, all two wheel.

Nelson Schmelsson

abandoned closed Nelson's Bicycle Shop Brooklyn NY(image via: notsodigital)

Nelson’s Bicycle Shop at 251 Bushwick Ave in Brooklyn, NY was a neighborhood icon for over thirty years. Nelson, the eponymous owner, was a store fixture as was his huge-headed cat who sadly passed away in 2001. Perhaps the loss of his kitty-cat companion was the last straw for Nelson, as he closed his shop sometime in 2012. A tip of the bike helmet to Diego of notsodigital for the vaguely disturbing image above.

The Discontinuing Story Of Bicycle Bill

Bicycle Bill's Allston closed bike shop(images via: Bicyclebillboston.com and Yelp)

After 35-odd years at the corner of North Harvard and Bayard in Allston, MA, Bicycle Bill’s has shut the shop and gone digital.. or virtual. They’ve abandoned bricks & mortar and embraced the online retail revolution, is what we’re trying to say. In any case, buying bikes online should prove challenging, not to mention servicing them. Then again, if dozens of highly critical reviews on Yelp are any indication, dealing with Bicycle Bill’s might be more satisfying if it’s not done in person.

Spokes, Spares & Misses

abandoned bike shop Oxford(image via: Wiki/OpenStreetMap)

We could say this derelict bicycle sales, repair and rental shop is the poster child for abandoned retail stores and we would be right: the image above was chosen by OpenStreetMap Wiki to illustrate the keyword “abandoned”. The shop is located in Oxford, presumably England – where else would bikes be offered for “hire”?

Cascade Of Misfortune

Cascade Cycling closed bike shop Portland(images via: BikePortland.org and BikePortland.org)

Portland, Oregon is a cycling mecca with a plethora of bike shops… make that a plethora minus one. Cascade Cycling in north Portland found a comfortable market niche serving the city and surrounding area’s older market demographic after opening their doors in 2006 but a break-in in 2010 and the owner’s chronic health problems forced the shop to slam on the brakes in October of 2013.

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Need a Lift? Road Elevator Boosts Cyclists up Hills

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[ By Steph in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Bicycle Elevator 1

If there’s a particularly daunting hill on your cycling or stroller-pushing route, you may have already thought to yourself, “I wish there were some kind of magical contraption that could haul me to the top.” Like… a bicycle escalator, or something. Well, that thing actually exists: it’s called the Trampe CycloCable. This motorized aid was built into the street in Tronheim, Norway to give a little help to anyone trying to get up an 18% grade hill on wheels.

Bicycle Elevator 2

The prototype was built in 1993, and the Trampe has pushed over 200,000 cyclists up the hill since then. The design was upgraded in 2013 to meet new safety regulations, and a new industrialized version will be introduced to the international market.

Bicycle Elevator 3

Using it is pretty simple: you position your bicycle 10 centimeters away from and parallel to the lift rail, with your left pedal in a lower position. While standing astride your bike, put your left foot on the left bike pedal, and your right foot in the start slot of the lift. Push the green ‘start’ button and it’ll gently haul you up the hill.

Bicycle Elevator 4

People riding scooters or pushing strollers use the lift, as well. It moves about five feet per second and can extend up to 1,640 feet. Maybe we won’t see these installed on every hill in town anytime soon, but for the steepest of the steep, it would probably be a pretty welcome addition.


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HalfBike: Compact Standing Cycle Design Goes Anywhere

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[ By Steph in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Halfbike Compact Bicycle 1

How compact can a bicycle get, enabling it to go anywhere in the city that you do? The Halfbike is an intriguing step forward for ultra-packable bikes ideally suited for the urban environment, eschewing a seat in favor of upright positioning for the rider. As a result, it fits into spaces too small for most other bicycles, including city buses and elevators.

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 2

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 4

Lightweight enough to be carried up flights of stairs, the Halfbike works by a combination of cycling and smooth assisted running for a quick, fun means of getting around the city. The three-wheeled design gives it a lot of agility over a regular bicycle, cutting tight corners and sailing up stairs.

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 3

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 5

It’s easy to walk with the Halfbike one-handed, and the aluminum frame and plywood handle take up very little space. While the lack of a seat might make it less comfortable for long commutes, standing offers greater visibility.


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SkyCycle: London Concept Takes Biking to New Heights

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

SkyCycle London Bike Route 1

London could become much more bike-friendly with SkyCycle, an elevated route for bicycles only that runs along the existing rail network and would enable commuters to see the city in a new way. Never mind sitting in your vehicle inhaling exhaust while you’re stuck in traffic, or battling the perpetual jam of vehicles on your bike, which has proven to be a dangerous proposition. 14 cyclists died in traffic accidents in London in 2013 alone.

SkyCycle London Bike Route 4

Designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Exterior Architecture and Space Syntax, SkyCycle is a 136-mile route with over 200 entrance points that can accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour. The fact that the route follows the train system is actually ideal, since the railway lines were built for steam trains and follow contours that avoid steep ups and downs.

SkyCycle London Bike Route 3

The route could speed up treks across the city by up to half an hour by avoiding traffic and taking more direct lines from one busy area to another. If approved, the routes could be in place within 20 years or so.

SkyCycle London Bike Route 2

The High Line in New York City, an elevated pedestrian route built along disused railroad tracks, is a great example of what can happen when a project like this is integrated into a busy city. Not only is the High Line a popular route for foot traffic, it also helped revitalize large swaths of industrial land that wasn’t living up to its potential.


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Wheely Great Ideas: 10 Bodacious Bike Technology Concepts

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The bicycle has been a favorite form of transportation for around two centuries, and every generation adds its own advances and accessories to the time-tested design. Living in the technology age as we do today, bike-related advances abound. These 10 concepts use high technology, advanced design skills, and plain old common sense to create some truly useful and beautiful bikes and bike-related accessories.

Samurai Sword Folding Bike

(images via: Nick Domanski)

Folding bikes are perfect for people who ride to work or school and then need to stash the bike somewhere during the day. They fold up into very small sizes, but they aren’t always easy to carry around or to fit under a desk or into a coat closet. The Odachi Folding Bike concept from design student Nick Domanski makes it a bit easier – and a lot more attractive – to carry around a folded bike. When in its smallest form, the Odachi bike can be either pulled along behind the rider or strapped onto the back like a samurai sword. Although the chain and brakes do not appear in the rendered images, the Odachi bike would work just like any other bike.

Twist Tandem Bike

(images via: Jose Hurtado)

The Twist bike doesn’t strive to break down into the smallest package possible; instead, it wants to expand. The concept from designer Jose Hurtado features a symmetrical frame and hubless wheels, one of which can connect to another frame to form a tandem bike. The freedom to ride single or double on this modern bike makes it an unusual but stylish choice for biking enthusiasts.

Revolutionary Roundtail Bike

(images via: Roundtail)

The Roundtail is a truly world-changing modification to the typical bike frame. Rather than the familiar triangular frame configuration which is full of straight lines, the Roundtail features a frame with a circle in the center. This circular frame acts as a sort of shock absorber, making riding a bike far less painful for cycling enthusiasts.

Swiss Army Knife-Inspired Folding Electric Scooter

(images via: Voltitude Switzerland)

The Voltitude V1 was invented by a Swiss father and son design team who took their inspiration from Swiss Army knives and from scooters. The folding electric bike features wide wheels to get it over the urban terrain, electric assisted pedaling and a silent, zero-emission ride. But the most notable feature of the Voltitude V1 is its ability to fold up like the famous Swiss Army knife into a small package – small enough to be stowed in a trunk or closet.

The Greencycle

(images via: Paulus Maringka)

Can a bike really change the world? The Greencycle may do just that. The lightweight but tough bicycle is built of sustainable, affordable bamboo and metal joining brackets. The bike is modular and all parts of it can be easily replaced in the event of breakage. Meant for third-world countries where bikes are the most efficient and sensible means of transportation for vendors and farmers, the Greencycle also features built-in attachment points and platforms for heavy cargo.

Expanding Wheel City Bike

(images via: Yanko Design)

The Smart City Cycle from designer Yo-Hwan Kim takes a novel approach to the concept of the cargo bike. Rather than adding a shelf or hook to the bike’s frame, the designer simply integrated a cargo compartment into the rear wheel. A regular hubless wheel takes the rider to and from work or school every day, but on those days when a stop at the grocery store is necessary a cargo wheel can be fitted to the back of the bike. The cargo wheel holds a load securely in place while increasing the bike’s wheel base to create a stable ride.

Bike Seat Tire Pump

(images via: BioLogic)

Minimizing the stuff you carry – and thus the weight of your cargo – is important for making the most of your bike ride. But there are some essentials that you need to have for longer rides, including a pump to reinflate tires. BioLogic’s clever PostPump 2.0 Seatpost is a bike pump built into a bicycle seatpost. When you need to inflate a tire, the pump easily detaches from the bike’s frame and the seat acts as a handle.

Airless Bike Tires

(images via: Energy Return Wheel)

Of course, a bike tire pump would not be necessary if the cycling world adopts the incredible Energy Return Wheel (ERW). This airless tire features a honeycomb layer of rubber where the air would normally be in a standard tire. As the ERW rides over obstacles and rough terrain in the road, the energy from those little impacts is turned into forward propulsion. This helps the rider move along with less effort – and as an added bonus, there is no need to ever worry about flat tires.

LED Handlebars

(images via: Mitchell Silva)

There are plenty of products meant to keep cyclists safe in the dark, but the Globars are a smart twist on the subject. The handlebars are lit up brightly with LEDs and function as safety lights, headlights and turn signals all in one. Because the turn signal buttons can be activated while the rider’s hands are still on the handlebars, these safety devices are truly safe.

Bike Pedal Lock

(images via: Cheng-Tsung Feng)

Keeping your bike safe while you aren’t on it is an important concern for any bike owner. The Pedal Lock is a neat concept product that would use the bike’s own pedals as security devices. You don’t have to carry a heavy lock around because it’s built right into your pedals, and thieves who try to simply take off the tire to steal your bike from the rack wouldn’t be able to ride it away thanks to the missing pedals.


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The Charge Cycle: Bike-Powered Public Phone Charging Station

[ By Steph in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

Soon, you’ll be able to charge your iPhone at strategic locations around New York City – but you’ll have to put in a little leg work. The Charge Cycle is a stationary bike equipped with an iPhone dock, so users can charge their phones with the power of their own muscles, without plugging into the grid.

The Kickstarter-based project by David Krawczyk and Navjot Kaur aims to get at least 30 of these bikes out into the city where anyone can use them by early May 2013. Prototypes have already been placed around New York in locations like Washington Square Park, Zuccotti Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The bike is equipped with micro-USB, 30-pin and 8-pin adapters, so virtually anyone can charge their phones. It takes about the same amount of time cycling as it does plugging into a wall charger to charge up a phone, since most phones have built-in charge limiting functions to prevent overheating. The Charge Cycle will be free for public use.

To use it, you attach your phone to an adapter ad secure it to the bike with a silicone band. A 10-segment LED display bar tells you how much charge you’ve accumulated as you pedal. The basket in the front holds your belongings as you ‘ride’. Watch the video above to see it in action.

Want to support this project? Check out the Charge Cycle Kickstarter page.


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Bike Campers: 12 Mini Mobile Homes for Nomadic Cyclists

[ By Steph in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Choosing to ride a bike instead of driving a car doesn’t mean you have to forego the convenience of a camper trailer – if you’ve got the leg muscles to pull it off. From prototypes by a major German RV manufacturer to impressively innovative DIY creations, these 12 miniature mobile homes for bicycles pack lots of function into small (and not-so-small) trailers that don’t require gas or electricity to transport.

Mini Mobile Home for Bikes by Kevin Cyr

(images via: kevin cyr)

This amazing bike camper by Kevin Cyr looks exactly like a standard car camper, down to the smallest details like faux wood siding, reflectors and power inlets. For Cyr the camper is more sculptural art piece than functional recreational item, but he has definitely proven its viability by cruising it all over various cities.

Midget BushTrekka by Kamp-Rite

(images via: kamprite)

Available at Kamp-Rite, the Midget BUSHTREKKA is a lightweight bike trailer built for uneven terrain. It features three main storage compartments with over 41 gallons of storage space and fully adjustable leveling jacks. The trailer pairs with the ‘TentCot‘ to create the camper setup pictured.

Room Room Camper for Bikes & Burros</>

(images via: design boom)

The adaptable ‘Room Room’ by Encore Heureux + G Studio for ‘Crossing: Dialogues for Emergency Architecture’ Exhibition in China can be pulled by bicycle, motorcycle, donkey or on foot. Conceived as a mobile shelter for post-disaster recovery, the shelter can be picked up and hauled on its wheels, set back for sleeping or turned on its head and extended with a tent for longer-term use.

Burning Man Bike Camper

(images via: dvice)

Built for Burning Man, this camper weighs 100 pounds and is packed with a solar oven and a solar water heating system, and has a wind turbine and solar lights on the exterior.

DIY Bike Camper Inspired by Moon Rovers

(images via: bikeportland)

Spotted in Portland, this DIY bike camper was inspired by moon rovers and the moon landing vehicle.

Minimalist Wood Camper by Sakari Holma

(images via: saholm)

Finish designer Sakari Holma built this minimalist wood bike camper trailer, which is just wide enough to lay down in to ensure that the design is streamlined enough to pull without too much effort.

Little Tag Along by Kevin Cyr

(images via: kevin cyr)

The ‘Little Tag Along’ camper is another design by Kevin Cyr, with the look of a conventional camper shrunk down to bike-size. Pulled by a vintage 3-speed bicycle, Little Tag Along contains the minimum that you’d need to hunker down for the night on a regular basis – just a bed and a little bit of storage space.

Ultralight DIY Teardrop Bike Camper

(images via: tiny house design)

Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design envisions a lightweight teardrop trailer for bikes in this concept illustration, pointing out that a company called Human Powered Machines makes bike trailers that can carry up to 500 pounds. Of course, whether the person riding the bicycle can tow that much is another question.

The Caravan

(image via: eta.co.uk)

This tiny lightweight bike caravan is fancier inside than you’d expect: it fits a twin bed, a 19″ flat-screen television, an electric kettle for tea and a ‘drinks cabinet’. Optional extras include solar roof panels, a satellite dish, a gaming console, central heating and an external luggage rack.

Dethleffs Bike Camper Prototype

(image via: xhyperactive)

German RV maker Dethleffs experimented with a concept bike camper, producing a prototype that included a bed and a small kitchen.

Supertramp Fabric Bike Caravan

(image via: lehmanb)

Made largely of fabric, Lehman B’s ‘Supertramp’ is relatively roomy and even contains a wood stove. The designer took the bike around London in summer 2010, setting up near bars, restaurants, companies and galleries to inspire curiosity about living in tiny mobile spaces.

Custom Electric Bike Camper

(image via: jay nelson)

Of course, the addition of an electric motor to pull a bike camper makes this particular creation a whole different beast, but it’s still impressive. The Golden Gate by Jay Nelson has an unusual geometric exterior made of fiberglass, plywood, glass and epoxy and incorporates bicycle wheels and other bike parts. It’s got a bed,a miniature kitchen with sink, stove and cooler, a toilet and storage space, but it won’t go more than 20 miles per hour, and only gets about 10 miles per charge. Nelson uses it for trips to the beach.


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Bizarre Bicycle! Fliz Fits Like a Harness to Help You Run

There are no pedals on this bicycle – and you don’t sit on a seat. Cycling enthusiasts, prepare to challenge yourself in a whole new way with the Fliz, a bike that fits like a harness to help riders ‘scoot’ along on their feet.

Made with a glass and carbon fiber frame, the Fliz fits on top of the rider with straps that secure over the shoulders, rib cage and waist. This harness is custom-built for each rider to ensure a proper fit, and includes a five-point fastener.

So what happens when you’re going downhill? Once riders gain momentum, there’s no fear of dragging your feet painfully along the pavement; there are special treads on the rear wheels to place your feet when the wheels are doing the work.

The designers say, “The prior aim of developing FLIZ was to bring a completely new driving experience to everyone. Based on the very first bike – the ‘Laufrad’ – we created a velocipede concept of healthy, ecological mobility in overcrowded urban space. Its laminated, innovative frame with 5 point belt system provides a comfortable, ergonomic ride between running and biking.”


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Bizarre Bicycle! Fliz Fits Like a Harness to Help You Run

There are no pedals on this bicycle – and you don’t sit on a seat. Cycling enthusiasts, prepare to challenge yourself in a whole new way with the Fliz, a bike that fits like a harness to help riders ‘scoot’ along on their feet.

Made with a glass and carbon fiber frame, the Fliz fits on top of the rider with straps that secure over the shoulders, rib cage and waist. This harness is custom-built for each rider to ensure a proper fit, and includes a five-point fastener.

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The designers say, “The prior aim of developing FLIZ was to bring a completely new driving experience to everyone. Based on the very first bike – the ‘Laufrad’ – we created a velocipede concept of healthy, ecological mobility in overcrowded urban space. Its laminated, innovative frame with 5 point belt system provides a comfortable, ergonomic ride between running and biking.”


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