Dear Sara, and all,
You might want to add this to ‘Strida news’
Momentum Magazine is a great bicycle magazine, based in Vancouver, Canada, with a world-wide readership - it is not so sport focused as most cycling magazines. It is intelligently written for regular people who like and use bikes. Dahon, Brompton, Trek and many others advertise in it - would this be a good place to advertise Strida ?
- Whole Magazine (PDF #37) see page 38 (or 40/52)
momentumplanet.com/folding-bike- … abio-penza
This was written by Richard Masoner who writes on many Bike blogs under the name ‘Fritz’ eg cyclelicio.us/
FWIW below is the full email interview, with links …
Thanks for your email, I regularly check out your Journal - keep up the good work, it all helps in the great push towards bicycles regaining their status as the no. 1 transport devices - perfect human amplifiers !!
I feel cycling is at a ‘tipping point’ in the west where it is becoming more acceptable for everyone (ie not just for enthusiasts, racers and people who cannot afford a car !!). I am passionate about anything that moves the bicycle industry (and humanity) towards that great big ‘blue ocean’. I am just a lone bike designer, and feel a little bit of an outsider - not working for the likes of Trek, etc. So all I can do is design bikes that may help, even if only to show there are product alternatives, and that bicycles themselves can be ‘cool devices’ for everyone, like ipods are. Infrastructures and attitudes to cycling also need to change, but I have less experience / qualifications in those areas - that’s where blogs and journals, such as cyclelicio.us, and Momentum are making a huge difference - making bike use attractive and 'cool to use, for all !’
Sorry - let me climb down from the soap box and actually try and answer your question …
Yes, in the late '70’s my 1st Job was as an engineering trainee at an industrial division of Rolls Royce. I was fascinated by how timing belts were being introduced instead of chains in small engines (eg Auto engines) … replacing the ubiquitous chain (oily, and made of 1000’s of small parts), with toothed belts, which are made in one piece on a drum, and sliced off like pasta ! I thought toothed belts were amazing; one piece, light, flexible, quiet, clean, dry, efficient and being kevlar reinforced, are amazingly strong* ! This fascination continued throughout my career - eg in my next Job designing ‘Klix’ vending machines for Mars timing (toothed) belts were perfect (oily chains and food dont mix !!).
Then when I went back to college to re-train as a designer, I used a timing belt as the core gripping element for a Jar Opener that was later made and sold by Prestige (funny in-store advert !). It was later on the same course that I designed the Strida bike (as described HERE) and I felt the benefits* of a belt drive would be obvious for a bicycle - so used it. Strida was originally seen as an oddity, when it was 1st introduced in the late 1980’s - this was before mountain bikes in a time when bicycles were for people who couldn’t afford a car, or for racing enthusiasts. The latter group (and their press/followers in the UK) were particularly nasty about both the bike and its belt drive. Missing the point that even if they were not ‘perfect for racing and speed’, they do have place as ‘transport alternatives for the rest of us’: folding bikes, and especially those without oily chains, are ideal for ordinary folk, and especially for multi-modal travel - where oil on your office clothes (and those of other passengers) is not very helpful (to say the least !!).
I am so pleased that now, 20+ years later the benefits of belts* are also being recognised by mainstream brands such as Trek , and others . Even if the typically bicycle industry focus is ‘sport’ rather than benefits for everybody. There are now approaching 20,000 Strida’s sold a year, and it is the top folding bike in many countries in the far east, I can see belts (and folding bikes), as a big help in pushing bicycle use into the mainstream as ‘clean personal transport for anyone’.
I hope this is the sort of thing you wanted, there are more publicly available pictures and videos HERE If I went OTT with too much please feel free to quote in your journal and elsewhere - as you may gather, I feel quite passionate and want to spread the message !
At 23:06 01/12/2008 -0800, you wrote:
I hope things are going well for you.
I’m writing a short review on the Strida 5.0 for Momentum Magazine. A quick question: I think you first started tinkering with belt drive folding bikes in the mid 80s sometime – is that correct? Can you give me just a very quick rundown on the early development of the Strida?
Thanks so much for your help!
cyclelicio.us/ is yummy!