Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby il padrone » Sun May 03, 2009 11:46 pm

wombatK wrote:When I tried a zefal spy mirror in my roadie bar-ends, I got a great view of my skinny legs, and not much of what was behind them.

That's odd? I use one of these mirrors in my drop-bar ends:

Image

and have no problems seeing past my legs. My handlebars are old ones from the 80s, not very wide (~40cm wide). The Zefal Spy mounts on the outside of the drops too, giving greater width :? . I am a skinny guy though. Are you being TIC about your legs?
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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by BNA » Mon May 04, 2009 6:21 pm

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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby Morty » Mon May 04, 2009 6:21 pm

Wow some great replies there, all of which are really useful, some more practical than others but plenty of potential, keep them coming! Dare I say “bang sticks” really seem like a potential solution would definitely get the cars back!

Hartlymartin – some really good ideas there and I completely agree that society and culture really need to change and perhaps there are ways that perhaps systems could be designed to achieve this with the implementation of new infrastructure, but unfortunalty that’s a while off and at this stage I’m going to try focus on something that can bridge the gap until these larger government initiatives get underway if they eventually do.

Christopher – thanks for all those insights it’s great to have some feedback from someone who has been down the same path as me of industrial design.
Concerning the predictability I was thinking more along the lines of making the rider more predictable for the sake of the cars. So possibly incorporating what some have mentioned on here like indication and braking all of which don’t rely on the rider operating, so the car knows what your movements as a rider are. This could hopefully take the guess work out of the equation with the driver potentially making them more accepting to bikes.

Everyone else thank you very much there are some great ideas and links. All these minds coming together make things a lot easier for me and really open up my world to possible ways to approach this.
Please keep the responses coming, the more opinions the better!

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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby sharktamin » Mon May 04, 2009 7:16 pm

Its time someone came up with regenerative breaking for bikes.
All it needs is a dynamo/generator that operates with rim-brake calipers, allowing recharging of batteries our growing array of electrical products. This would allow smaller batteries to offset weight increases.
One day there will be commuter bikes with all the goodies built in - and I dont mean added on as options, but fixed into the frame to reduce theft.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby colhil » Tue May 05, 2009 4:20 am

trailgumby wrote:Similar issue with the horns. Horn unit needs to be smaller and more attractive. Air Zound is great loudness-wise, but ugly, big, and impossible to get to when you most need it: when you're hard on hte brakes. Wireless will let you put horn unit in behind the steerer tube where it's not hanging out creating mucho drag, and the button where it's easily reachable by thumb when you're throwing out the anchors. Horns're not much good if you have to choose between braking or making your presence known. One that can let you do both is a big step forward.
<Edited for brevity>

I am considering buying a Shimano Flight Deck and have often wondered why a horn that uses the same "sound/alarm" as a home smoke detector, or similar, can't be built into a bicycle computer. Smoke detectors run on a 9volt battery and the alarm is loud enough to wake the dead (would love to try it on the pedestrians on the "Shared" path). Even if the computer housing is somewhat larger to accomodate the battery it would still be smaller than an Air Zound and easy to reach if you mounted a seperate horn switch. Incorporating it into the Flight Deck controls would be even sweeter, and easier to reach.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby drubie » Tue May 05, 2009 9:06 am

One thing that's occurred to me with the advent of the super bright LED lights is I reckon worth a try:

Mounting one of the lights on your top tube, pointing directly downwards. To try to create a pool of light under the bike, effectively making it "bigger". One thing I noticed after buying a good, proper battery powered headlight is that cars notice not just the light, but the pool of moving light in front of the bike.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby Kalgrm » Tue May 05, 2009 9:21 am

drubie wrote:One thing that's occurred to me with the advent of the super bright LED lights is I reckon worth a try:

Mounting one of the lights on your top tube, pointing directly downwards. To try to create a pool of light under the bike, effectively making it "bigger". One thing I noticed after buying a good, proper battery powered headlight is that cars notice not just the light, but the pool of moving light in front of the bike.

Dinotte make these lights.

Cheers,
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby Kalgrm » Tue May 05, 2009 9:23 am

colhil wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Similar issue with the horns. Horn unit needs to be smaller and more attractive. Air Zound is great loudness-wise, but ugly, big, and impossible to get to when you most need it: when you're hard on hte brakes. Wireless will let you put horn unit in behind the steerer tube where it's not hanging out creating mucho drag, and the button where it's easily reachable by thumb when you're throwing out the anchors. Horns're not much good if you have to choose between braking or making your presence known. One that can let you do both is a big step forward.
<Edited for brevity>

I am considering buying a Shimano Flight Deck and have often wondered why a horn that uses the same "sound/alarm" as a home smoke detector, or similar, can't be built into a bicycle computer.

That's a great idea Colhil. I think I'll go and buy a smoke detector and make my own version. I don't need a computer, but a loud electronic horn would be great.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby John Lewis » Tue May 05, 2009 3:13 pm

Kalgrm wrote:
colhil wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Similar issue with the horns. Horn unit needs to be smaller and more attractive. Air Zound is great loudness-wise, but ugly, big, and impossible to get to when you most need it: when you're hard on hte brakes. Wireless will let you put horn unit in behind the steerer tube where it's not hanging out creating mucho drag, and the button where it's easily reachable by thumb when you're throwing out the anchors. Horns're not much good if you have to choose between braking or making your presence known. One that can let you do both is a big step forward.
<Edited for brevity>

I am considering buying a Shimano Flight Deck and have often wondered why a horn that uses the same "sound/alarm" as a home smoke detector, or similar, can't be built into a bicycle computer.

That's a great idea Colhil. I think I'll go and buy a smoke detector and make my own version. I don't need a computer, but a loud electronic horn would be great.

Cheers,
Graeme


Smoke detectors seem to all have a high pitched sound. It is outside my hearing range so I don't hear them at all. Don't know how widespread that problem is but it exists for older people especially.

I think the alarm part is a sonalert. you used to be able to get them in different pitches from the likes of Dick Smith. Perhaps a Google search?

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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby sharktamin » Tue May 05, 2009 3:26 pm

Kalgrm wrote:
colhil wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Similar issue with the horns. Horn unit needs to be smaller and more attractive. Air Zound is great loudness-wise, but ugly, big, and impossible to get to when you most need it: when you're hard on hte brakes. Wireless will let you put horn unit in behind the steerer tube where it's not hanging out creating mucho drag, and the button where it's easily reachable by thumb when you're throwing out the anchors. Horns're not much good if you have to choose between braking or making your presence known. One that can let you do both is a big step forward.
<Edited for brevity>

I am considering buying a Shimano Flight Deck and have often wondered why a horn that uses the same "sound/alarm" as a home smoke detector, or similar, can't be built into a bicycle computer.

That's a great idea Colhil. I think I'll go and buy a smoke detector and make my own version. I don't need a computer, but a loud electronic horn would be great.

Cheers,
Graeme


Install the whole smoke detector Graeme and you will know if your brakes are getting hot!
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby wombatK » Tue May 05, 2009 3:27 pm

Kalgrm wrote:
colhil wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Similar issue with the horns. Horn unit needs to be smaller and more attractive. Air Zound is great loudness-wise, but ugly, big, and impossible to get to when you most need it: when you're hard on hte brakes. Wireless will let you put horn unit in behind the steerer tube where it's not hanging out creating mucho drag, and the button where it's easily reachable by thumb when you're throwing out the anchors. Horns're not much good if you have to choose between braking or making your presence known. One that can let you do both is a big step forward.
<Edited for brevity>

I am considering buying a Shimano Flight Deck and have often wondered why a horn that uses the same "sound/alarm" as a home smoke detector, or similar, can't be built into a bicycle computer.

That's a great idea Colhil. I think I'll go and buy a smoke detector and make my own version. I don't need a computer, but a loud electronic horn would be great.

Cheers,
Graeme

Or you might want to consider this jaycar product: piezo buzzer

Probably could work off a 9V battery or less. Main trouble would be mounting with weatherproof housing. This thread on sydneycyclist has links to other commercial electric horns. IIRC, there are Hong Kong websites (ebay ???) flogging similar electric horns at fairly low prices.

Perhaps an all-in-one piezo-horn + led blinkers, mounted off the front stem tube, together with a LED broad-beam downlight for night time big-ness, might have some market appeal (although not sure whether downlight might run foul of police who think ADR design rules applicable to cars also apply to push bikes).

As John Lewis suggests, the pitch/sound of these might not be something that motorists will recognise and react to like a real horn. That's why I'm sticking with the Air Zound - its sounds like a 40 tonne truck horn.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby sharktamin » Tue May 05, 2009 3:42 pm

Image

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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby m@ » Tue May 05, 2009 4:02 pm

TBH I think the focus on indicators may be a bit of a red herring. Hand signals are widely understood and generally practical and IME most cyclists riding in traffic are either highly aware of what's going on around them and unlikely to ride unpredictably or erratically; or the complete oposite (lycra lunatics ;)). This is largely a behavioral issue rather than a technological one - people who ride unpredictably probably won't change just because you attach something to their bike, and those who currently don't use hand signals are unlikely to buy and use indicators. Similarly, while brake lights may occasionally be useful in an emergency stop, by and large it doesn't really matter to a driver doing 60Km/h whether a bike is cruising at 25Km/h or braking to 15Km/h; the differential between speeds is basically the same from the driver's POV. IMO the answer to drivers being able to predict cyclists' actions comes down to both parties understanding and obeying the road rules and showing common sense and courtesy (I'm not holding my breath ;))

However, I believe that statistically a cyclist is most at risk of being hit from behind by a motorist who simply didn't see them, or didn't leave sufficient room when passing - this is a situation I do think could be addressed with technology.The automatic reaction is a device mounted on bicycles to make them more visible - and there are plenty of these out there - but this isn't necessarily the only (or best) option - I'm thinking of a sensor that could be fitted to a car that detects moving objects in its path and displays a warning to the driver - on a HUD perhaps - with an auditory alarm or even automatic braking if the car is on a collision course.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby drubie » Tue May 05, 2009 4:06 pm

m@ wrote: I'm thinking of a sensor that could be fitted to a car that detects moving objects in its path and displays a warning to the driver - on a HUD perhaps - with an auditory alarm or even automatic braking if the car is on a collision course.


It'd never work in Armidale. Since the drivers here are almost permanently on a collision course with *something*, they'd become immune to the warnings :twisted:
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby il padrone » Tue May 05, 2009 7:46 pm

sharktamin wrote:Its time someone came up with regenerative breaking for bikes.
All it needs is a dynamo/generator that operates with rim-brake calipers, allowing recharging of batteries our growing array of electrical products. This would allow smaller batteries to offset weight increases.

Done! Pedal Power shown last year on the New Inventors :P
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby sharktamin » Tue May 05, 2009 8:23 pm

Interesting Il Padrone, but it uses a hub dynamo, probably turning all the time, not regenerative braking. I recon something which assists my feeble brakes would be a better idea, and if resistance is an advantage rather than to be avoided a bigger generator can be used.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed May 06, 2009 10:20 pm

Damn these ineffective google skills :(

Regarding horns/sirens etc. I remember but can't find a flatbar handgrip incorporating a piezo sounding chirper, activated by squeezing the end.

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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby trailgumby » Thu May 07, 2009 12:39 pm

sharktamin wrote:"There is no bad weather, just inapropriate clothing" - Billy Connelly

Does the same apply to spelling? :wink:
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby trailgumby » Thu May 07, 2009 12:45 pm

Tried to build a piezo "horn" fr the bike a couple of years ago, to run off the 14V power supply I had for my light, using a reversing alarm kit from DSE.

Wasn't anywhere near loud enough to get folks attenton, it just deafened me. :x :lol:
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby Thoglette » Fri May 08, 2009 11:56 pm

trailgumby wrote:Tried to build a piezo "horn" fr the bike a couple of years ago, to run off the 14V power supply I had for my light, using a reversing alarm kit from DSE.

Wasn't anywhere near loud enough to get folks attenton, it just deafened me. :x :lol:


Air horns get attention. Many (many) years a go I had some that ran off a can of compressed air - about two foot long but sounded just like a semi trailer.

I had always meant to fit a set to my late lamented X1/9 - another vehicle that suffered the "gosh, I didn't see you!" syndrome.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby Dial » Sun May 10, 2009 8:55 pm

Hi Morty,

A pedestrian walks out in Sydney CBD traffic and all hell breaks loose, horns are beeped, drivers swear and the overriding consensus is that the driver should have run them over!

That’s just the way society is. Until we run out of oil, I can’t see it changing.

This guy who catches the same bus, rode past me one day. Never said g’day on the bus, suddenly says g’day on the road! The next time I see him, is on the bus. We get off the bus and I ask him how the riding is going. He got taken out by a car door, 6 weeks previous… and still recovering.

If you want to improve riding safety, offer free rider safety courses. Don’t get me wrong, I feel sorry for the guy but getting taken out by a car door is Commuting 101. Most commuters don’t know the basics for surviving on the road.

You will never change motorist behaviour, the secret is teaching riders how to survive.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby tier » Fri May 15, 2009 11:37 am

The things that's missing are brightly, coloured bike lanes and hefty fines (or better yet, demerit points) for cars that encroach on them. Australian drivers, on a whole, are idiots and driver education is lacking and doesn't work anyway. The threat of taking their cars away from them is a good approach, but even that doesn't stop them from drink driving etc. It's not up to us to protect ourselves, the government and councils, need to take firm action to protect riders.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby hartleymartin » Fri May 15, 2009 6:55 pm

Have designated streets where there is no parking and that space is a bicycle lane - not a silly half-width lane, a full car-width lane - and make the speed limit a universal 30 kph on those streets. The lower speed limit will discourage drivers from using them, but would also be good for younger beginner drivers who need to build up their confidence under the guidance of a competent instructor.
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby hartleymartin » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:59 pm

Image

Build the infrastructure and they shall use it! (They've been using that approach with cars for years!)
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Re: Improving safety, what’s missing for commuters?

Postby trailgumby » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:34 pm

What's missing?

Signs.

I reckon we need more signs. Gotta make sure everybody's paying attention. Especially to the fine print.

Image
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