May 12, 2011
The pictured Alpha concept bike was created by five engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania and incorporates a electronic brain of sorts that controls a bottom bracket mounted fixed/free clutch mechanism and the usual cyclocomputer functions with all of the data downloadable via SD card.
Carbon tubes and machined aluminum lugs call back to the old days of carbon bike construction, but allowed the students to keep it lightweight with the electronics and clutch integrated into the frame in-house. The bike otherwise uses commonly available componentry, like a front drum brake and a rear Sturmey Archer S3X three speed fixed rear hub. Like most concept bikes it may not be the most practical or marketable, but think out side of the square is what helps the bicycle industry move forward.
Is this the future? I will let you decide…..