UPDATED March 2005 The evolution of the bicycle has never really stopped since a Parisian named Monsieur de Sirvac added a second wheel to a child's hobbyhorse in 1791 to create the "velocifere" - the pedal-less precursor to the modern bicycle. The innovative ROTOR pedal system continues this evolution by utilising independent cranks that are not aligned at a fixed 180' to eliminate the "dead point" that occurs when conventional pedals are vertically positioned.Anyone who has tackled a very steep hill on a bicycle will understand the concept of a dead point.
You always find that the moment at which you are forced to get off the bike and walk is when you are at the top of the pedal stroke - this is because at this dead point the rider has the least mechanical advantage with neither leg able to transmit any power. So if heading uphill, with no momentum to compensate, you find yourself getting out of the seat to increase leverage (or giving in altogether) at this dead point.
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The ROTOR system solves this problem by using cranks that never allow one pedal to coincide at 180 degrees to the other. The independent cranks that are synchronised by means of an exocentric axel and two rods, which vary the transmission ratio during the cycle and prolong the power stroke phase for a more efficient transfer.
What all this means in real terms is that by the time one crank is at the bottom of the stroke and in the six o'clock position, the opposite crank has been accelerated through to the one o'clock position and has already started the power stroke phaseIn addition to increasing efficiency, traction and maintaining a smoother cadence, the ROTOR system reduces the risk of knee injuries and tendonitis that are attributed to the leg pushing on the upper dead point.
According to the manufacturers, tests on the ROTOR have demonstrated a real increase in power of up to 16% (equivalent to an average advantage of 3 minutes in an hour), and a resultant reduction in lactic acid and cardiac effort.Rotor cranks are currently approved by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and are designed to fit all commercial frames and accessories on the market and road (double and triple discs) and mountain bike versions are available.View gallery - 8 images