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bicycle indicators



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 28th 03, 08:42 PM
Adrian
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Default bicycle indicators

I am an A-level product design student, for my my major project i have
decided to design and make indicators to put on a bicycle. My initial
idea is to put a device with indicators and a brake light on the back
of the bicycle connected to the seat post so people travvelling behind
the cyclist can see what the cyclist intends to do and then put a tube
with a amber light on the end fixed onto either end of the handlebars
so people aproaching from the front can see if the cyclist intends to
turn. If anyone has any ideas on this please post a reply .... it can
be possitive ... negative ... doesnt matter all replys will be useful
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  #2  
Old December 28th 03, 09:59 PM
Mike Schwab
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Default bicycle indicators

Since your hands need to be ready to activate the brakes at all times,
my thought was to have such lights activated by squeezing the brake
handle in the direction you are going to turn. There is a small gap
where you cam move the brake handle without activating the brake. The
handle bar end would not be a good place for dropped handlebars or sweep
back handlebars (because the end points backward). (There are red
blinking lights you can buy and put in these holes). Perhaps something
on the head tube? Perhaps a good lighting material wouod be the
http://www.polybrite.com material. A sliver of soft, pliable, light
diffusing plastic strip. LEDs at the end emit light into the strip and
it is released along the length of the strip.

Adrian wrote:

I am an A-level product design student, for my my major project i have
decided to design and make indicators to put on a bicycle. My initial
idea is to put a device with indicators and a brake light on the back
of the bicycle connected to the seat post so people travvelling behind
the cyclist can see what the cyclist intends to do and then put a tube
with a amber light on the end fixed onto either end of the handlebars
so people aproaching from the front can see if the cyclist intends to
turn. If anyone has any ideas on this please post a reply .... it can
be possitive ... negative ... doesnt matter all replys will be useful

  #4  
Old December 29th 03, 01:24 AM
Q.
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Default bicycle indicators

"Adrian" wrote in message
om...
I am an A-level product design student, for my my major project i have
decided to design and make indicators to put on a bicycle. My initial
idea is to put a device with indicators and a brake light on the back
of the bicycle connected to the seat post so people travvelling behind
the cyclist can see what the cyclist intends to do and then put a tube
with a amber light on the end fixed onto either end of the handlebars
so people aproaching from the front can see if the cyclist intends to
turn. If anyone has any ideas on this please post a reply .... it can
be possitive ... negative ... doesnt matter all replys will be useful


Brake lights have been done already. Nashbar has one:
http://tinyurl.com/3aft7 There are also brake pads with brake lights built
into them: http://tinyurl.com/uo7m

Turn signals have been done as well, I had them on a bike as a child.
They're quite common on mopeds and if I was going to put some onto a bicycle
I would just use the same system as a moped or scooter. It would be just as
important to have turn signals that are visible from the front as well as
the back. I don't know about where you live, but around here people in cars
do not use their turn signals, so I doubt signals on a bicycle would do
anything ... people don't even use lights on their bikes at night.

C.Q.C.


  #5  
Old December 29th 03, 04:56 AM
Rick
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Default bicycle indicators


"Q." LostVideos-AT-hotmail.com wrote in message
...
"Adrian" wrote in message
om...
I am an A-level product design student, for my my major project i have
decided to design and make indicators to put on a bicycle. My initial
idea is to put a device with indicators and a brake light on the back
of the bicycle connected to the seat post so people travvelling behind
the cyclist can see what the cyclist intends to do and then put a tube
with a amber light on the end fixed onto either end of the handlebars
so people aproaching from the front can see if the cyclist intends to
turn. If anyone has any ideas on this please post a reply .... it can
be possitive ... negative ... doesnt matter all replys will be useful


Brake lights have been done already. Nashbar has one:
http://tinyurl.com/3aft7 There are also brake pads with brake lights

built
into them: http://tinyurl.com/uo7m

Turn signals have been done as well, I had them on a bike as a child.
They're quite common on mopeds and if I was going to put some onto a

bicycle
I would just use the same system as a moped or scooter. It would be just

as
important to have turn signals that are visible from the front as well as
the back. I don't know about where you live, but around here people in

cars
do not use their turn signals, so I doubt signals on a bicycle would do
anything ... people don't even use lights on their bikes at night.


I've seen signals on mopeds, but if your bikeframe is like mine, it has
panniers, an underseat bag (tools), and, at times, a front bag. All of this
would make it difficult to find space on the frame for locating such devices
so that they would be visible. Also, I think they'd need to be fairly high
up, perhaps integrated into the seat (or vertically from it, in some manner)
to be visible enough for use. It might also be possible to design something
into clothing that might work, though this might take some kinky tinkering
to find materials that would work. I've taken to mounting lights on the
headset, seat post (when I'm not using the seat bag), back of the pannier
rack, and even my helmet, so I think it is possible to do something pretty
creative with lights. The lights aren't the issue, making a mounting system
and human interface that works universally is.

Good luck,

Rick


  #6  
Old December 29th 03, 06:21 AM
Claire Petersky
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Default bicycle indicators

"Adrian" wrote in message
om...
I am an A-level product design student,


Not sure what that means...

for my my major project i have
decided to design and make indicators to put on a bicycle. My initial
idea is to put a device with indicators and a brake light on the back
of the bicycle connected to the seat post so people travelling behind
the cyclist can see what the cyclist intends to do and then put a tube
with a amber light on the end fixed onto either end of the handlebars
so people aproaching from the front can see if the cyclist intends to
turn.


So, you mean, turn signals and brake lights.

Drivers of motor vehicles have a variety of responses to bicycles, to wit:
A. fear, ie, the bicyclist is likely to do something weird or dumb, and I,
motorist, might accidentally run him/her over and have to do a lot of
paperwork, have my insurance payment go up, and feel guilty. B. Anger, ie,
this moron bicyclist is in front of me, impeding my ability to drive as fast
and as recklessly as I otherwise might, and therefore, it is my right, nay,
my duty, to intimidate the bicyclist into never riding again, or at least,
never riding in front of me. C. Obliviousness, ie, I am consumed with what
my boss said to me before I left work, or the size of my coworker's tits, or
the fight I had with my teenager, or the cool song playing on the radio
right now, that the bicyclist riding along in front of me does not impinge
on my consciousness.

So, you have fancy turn signals and a brake light. The best part of these
might be that people in the C. category might notice you. Downside, they
then might catapult into the B. category. Most likely, they would go into
the A. category.

So, now the people who are noticing your signals are fearful because of your
potential unpredictability. What you need to do is reassure them that you
are going to behave in a comprehensible, predictable manner, such that their
risk of hurting you is relatively low. The question is, do these proposed
signals produce that desired effect?

Adrian, I dk what country you are writing from, but here, in Washington
State (USA), everybody who has a Washington State Driver's License, at one
point, had to learn the basic hand turn signals. One of the things I think I
do to be helpful to the rest of traffic in general, when I'm on my bike, I
signal my turns with my hands. When it's dark, I have reflective material on
my gloves and a reflective armband on my forearm to enhance the motor
vehicle operator's view of those signals. I hope that everyone remembers
that hand signal portion from their license exam, even if it was fifty years
ago, such that when people actually do notice me, they notice the signal and
feel I am being predictable.

If I had some sort of amber light blinking, they'd go, oh, amber light, and
then they'd think, what the hell does that mean? And they wouldn't know.
They'd still be fearful. I would not have communicated effectively. And I'd
probably still use the hand signals, anyway.

--
Warm Regards,


Claire Petersky
Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato and .net for .com

Home of the meditative cyclist:
http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm

Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
My bookshelf: http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/Cpetersky

"To forgive is to set the prisoner free and then discover the prisoner
was you."


  #7  
Old December 29th 03, 07:46 AM
Q.
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Posts: n/a
Default bicycle indicators


"Claire Petersky" wrote

snip
If I had some sort of amber light blinking, they'd go, oh, amber light,

and
then they'd think, what the hell does that mean? And they wouldn't know.
They'd still be fearful. I would not have communicated effectively. And

I'd
probably still use the hand signals, anyway.


Or, as is common with drivers around my neck of the woods, the flashing
amber light is a signal which communicates to other drivers that you DARE to
invade the space in front of them ... and the response to that is to speed
up to keep the idiot (only a wimpy looser would use their turn signals) from
slowing you down. I can only see this being worse with bikes ... who would
want to let one of them in front?

Communication is key, however you have to adjust it to the lowest common
denominator ... the ape who spent 3 years in the 8th grade, is 43 years old,
on probation, unemployed, living with Mom, has 4 beers and a joint in him on
his way to buying some crack and has a taco bell wrapper covering a broken
brake light*. These people can't figure out the most basic driving skills
.... indeed, they can barely function as human beings ... the most you can
hope for is that they see you, and something in the nether regions of their
primitive brains kicks in as says "ugh, do not hit, hit not good, cop show
up, must keep stash". Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with one
of these people, say, about what side of the knife to use when slicing bread
(alls they know is bread is white, and comes pre-sliced)? It's freaking
scary knowing these people drive ... it takes them a whole minute to figure
out the door they're pushing says "pull".

Hopefully, the OP lives in a more sedate corner of the world. I like the
idea of a simple light bar that integrates brake and turn signal. Does
anyone remember the cool turn signals some old muscle cars had? I think the
1970 ish Mercury Cougar had them as an option ... they were "chase" lights.
When you hit the brakes, and put your turn signal on, one side would stay
solid, and the other side, instead of simply flashing, would "chase" from
the center to the outside. Take a look at this picture and you may get an
idea how they would work: http://tinyurl.com/2aqbf You could have a thin
row of LEDs which would mount on a bar horizontally under the seat in the
back, and perhaps something similar across the front handlebars (depending
on type of course). For the back, at least, it would be cool. It would be
simple since running lights, brake and turn signal would be handles by one
unit, and it functions in a way most people are intuitively familiar with.

C.Q.C.

*The guys name is Jeff, from Woonsocket RI. Luckily, they finally pulled
his license for life after the 4th time busted drunk driving. Wouldn't
matter anyways, he's in jail for buying crack in Providence (c:


  #8  
Old December 29th 03, 10:30 AM
[email protected]
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Default bicycle indicators

Ken wrote:

: are on cars and motorcycles. An arm signal is much more visible during the
: day and universally recognized.

But not as convenient for velomobiles. Maybe a turn signal system
for velomobiles would make more sense.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/

  #9  
Old December 29th 03, 10:56 PM
Adrian
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Default bicycle indicators

Thanks to the people who wrote a responce its all been very usefull,
there are a few things i would like to add:

Alot of you have pointed out that really the standard way of
indicating on a bicycle (using arm signals) is more than adequte
becasue it is universal whereever you go and the majority of other
road users are going to know what your telling them and this is a fair
point. However , have u ever tried signalling when you are going up a
steep hill.... if u havent it is next to impossible

imagine this: you are going up a steep hill youve got cars behind you
and there isnt really room to overtake... your getting slower becasue
its hard work getting up the hill and then you want to make a right
turn... you dont really want to be sticking your arm out when your
allready unbalanced.

Another thing is that you haver to consider is the road surface , i
live in a smallish farming town in devon (UK) and well have alot of
crappy roads, and we have huge bloudy tractors dropping lumps of mud
on the road ... not a problem in a car maybe but when your on a racing
bike with 1" thick wheels. There are more examples but basically what
im saying is sometimes its just not safe to take a hand off handle
bars when your cycling.

And by the way A-levels are what we in the UK do in year 13 in school

Anyway please feel free to argue with the points i made
  #10  
Old December 29th 03, 11:01 PM
Mike Baron
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Default bicycle indicators

Ken wrote:


are on cars and motorcycles. An arm signal is much more visible during the
day and universally recognized.


I'll agree that hand signals should be, but there have been several
times in Scranton where I've seen people stop opposite me in an
intersection, making the left turn, as I'm making a left turn. They
motion me onward, or sometimes wave their hands to get me to stop. And
at the end of it all, they give me a "Ohh, you're going THAT way?!"
 




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