In Wednesday’s Park Tool School, one of the things we learned was how to do maintenance and repairs on the bike’s chain. We discussed chain sizing, installation, link repair, tension adjustment, cleaning and lubrication. Just think how cool it would be to have a bike without a chain to deal with (and without the greasy mess). Meet the Stringbike: a Hungarian product manufactured and sold by Schwinn-Csepel Zrt. Rather than a traditional chain, the Stringbike uses a pulley system with very strong polyethylene cords which require no lubrication. A friend at work sent me this video today (thanks, Carla!). As described on their Web site:
“The STRINGBIKE® has two identical but oppositely directed driving units at either side of the frame. The rotation of the pedals forces a swinging arm to swing forward and backward around its shaft. The forward segment of this motion pulls a rope wound around a drum on the rear shaft that makes the wheel to rotate. As the two sides move in mirror symmetry, there is always one arm that moves forward, thus the rear wheel is always driven. In this way the task of actual driving is taken unnoticeably from the right to the left side and vice versa.”
Here’s another video from YouTube:
Gears can be changed even with the bike is stationary because the pivoted shafts at both driving units can move easily up or down. Since no lube is required, the Stringbike won’t get you dirty and allows you to store or transport the bike without worrying about making a mess. (Here’s another article from Wired magazine.) I can’t seem to find anything about the cost, but it looks like a great idea. Engineers are pretty smart people! (Isn’t that right, Dad?) 🙂
In other news, I’m looking forward to going for some nice long bike rides with Carrick this weekend. Hopefully the pedals, bottom bracket, cassette or anything else I’ve tinkered with in the Park Tool classes this week won’t fall off.
I did horrible on the diet today. Didn’t even track all the crap I ate. It was one of those days. But I’m back on track tomorrow.
Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!
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