Friday, January 07, 2011

9 Best Tech Innovations of 2010?

The Cycling News Reader Poll has pedal based powermeters topping the list of best tech innovations of 2010, among 9 other items. Pedal based power meters, like the one introduced by Metrigear, will tell you how much workload each leg applies into cycling motion. Positive tangential, negative tangential and net tangential pedal forces are the jargon in the list of features it offers the user. Its a solid physics based tool and I reckon that most of you in the general public who rides and who have a natural perception for pedaling efforts anyway wouldn't require a gizmo to tell you what you probably already knew - that the dominant leg works 5-10% harder than the other.

Some of the other items in the list were :

Pedal-based power meters, 4521 votes (26.9%)
GPS-enabled computers, 4095 (24.4%)
Disc brakes on 'cross bikes, 2065 (12.3%)
Wide-profile road wheels, 1386 (8.3%)
Belt-drive drivetrains, 1122 (6.7%)
PressFit 30 bottom brackets, 970 (5.8%)
BBright multi-fit bottom bracket standard, 960 (5.7%)
Carbon fiber mountain bike wheels, 955 (5.7%)
E-bikes, 362 (2.2%)
142x12mm rear thru-axles, 351 (2.1%)

What innovation made most sense to you ?

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9 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:10 AM

    It's definitely teaching one what one already knows, especially if you're an established cyclist. If you're not then you're a prime market target for such a device in that you may not know better.

    At the end of the day, forget gizmos, just get on the bike and ride. Be free.

    Best innovation - the bicycle itself. It just cannot be bettered.

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  2. It seems that this vote is for the anticipation of new technology, rather than any usefulness. Brimbrothers (vaporware?), Metrigear (acquired by Garmin), and a non-ANT+ system by Polar. Correct me if I'm wrong, but one the former has been shown at a bike show, and none are currently on sale - what is innovation without evaluation ?

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  3. I've been watching Metrigear's R&D for a long time. Unfortunately, the time for the product to go retail was not going to happen in 2010. I ended-up buying a PowerTap SL+. What I like about the Vector was that it used Speedplay pedals,which I already like, that I could easily move my pedal/power meter to a TT frame. Easier than being slaved to a crank or a hub.

    From the quality control and product design perspective it's much less costly to design and build quality INTO the product before going into production; than it is to provide fixes and patches AFTER it has gone into production. The cost ratio is 10X greater IIRC.

    Obtaining a power meter has been the best decision I've ever made in reference to quantifying my training.

    I built-up that SL+ hub on a HED C2 Belgium "wide" rim...still a good decision in retrospect.

    Keep up the great articles Ron!
    -Eric

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  4. I'm going to go outside of the box and say social networks and blogs like this have made massive leaps last year (at least in my world).

    I think the social networks in general connected the cycling world a bit closer and made us a bit friendlier to each other (very little, but some)

    Also sites like this are very valuable to exchange information/ideas.

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  5. I voted for wide rims. Most people ride 23 or 25 mm tires and I feel that slightly wider rims are much better for those tires.

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  6. Hey Ron, so glad I came across your blog.
    I'll be back. I actually googled Liz Hatch!
    Cheerio, Australia!

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  7. Metrigear was initially optimistic about time to go from prototype to production, then needed to switch platforms, then redirected focus to selling the company, and now there's the technology transfer to Garmin which likely applied more rigorous standards to each phase of product design relative to the nimble few-guys-in-a-warehouse Metrigear crew. It's really, really hard bringing a new product to market. Vector will find its way, I'm quite confident. Hopefully back on Speedplay among other options.

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  8. For performance-oriented cyclists, better/lower cost power meters are going to be quite popular.

    For the much larger population of rider who do not consider themselves "cyclist", the new Gates carbon belt should be very attractive; no maintenance + zero mess = miles of smiles.

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  9. I would have to vote for the GPS-enabled computers
    as the top innovation. Use it every day.

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