Bicycles

Dreamslide takes a new stance on pedaling

Dreamslide takes a new stance ...
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
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The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
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The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
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The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
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The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
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The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
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The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
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Eleven years ago, French rollerblading and boardsports enthusiast Jean‐Marc Gobillard decided that the small wheels of rollerblades weren’t quite speedy enough. He experimented with a few different ideas, which ultimately led him to design the Dreamslide. This unique device combines the standing stance of things like skateboards and roller blades with the efficient locomotion and larger, faster wheels of a bicycle. It even has its own special pedaling system, designed for a standing rider.

The first question people might have is, “Why would you want to stand instead of sit?” Well, for one thing, Gobillard likes the idea of being able to bodily lean into corners like a downhill skier – he believes that by standing on it, the Dreamslide becomes more like a part of the rider’s body, and less like a separate contraption.

Secondly, as anyone who has climbed a hill on a bicycle knows, you can deliver more power to the pedals by standing on them. If you try to ride a bike very far in a standing position, however, you’ll get tired pretty quickly. This is because you have to pump your entire body weight up and down with every pedal stroke. To get around this limitation, Gobillard has invented what he calls the Adaptive Pedaling System, or APS.

The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling

On a bicycle, the pedal crank arms are connected by an axle, so they move directly in proportion to one another. With APS, the cranks move independently, adapting to the rider’s muscle power. In the neutral position, both of the rider’s feet are down, one forward and one back. When they start a pedal stroke, the back foot moves forward and lifts slightly, as in a jogging gait, while the front foot slides back.

Not only is this system said to minimize the body-weight-bobbing drawback of pedaling while standing, but it also reportedly eliminates the “dead zone” in the conventional pedaling set up – a point in the pedal revolution at which it has been claimed that neither leg is delivering optimum power to the bicycle. This zone was addressed in the 80s with Shimano’s oval Biopace chainring, the wisdom of which is still debated to this day.

The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling
The Dreamslide allows riders to stand while pedaling

Gobillard asserts that the standing position combined with APS will mean riders can generate more torque with less effort, will have less knee problems, and greater control. If any mechanical engineers out there have an opinion on these claims, we’d love to hear from you.

The Dreamslide is just hitting stores in Europe this year, and is also available through the company website for €1,250 (US$1,682).

Via Popular Science.

Dreamslide - English - April 2010

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16 comments
Eletruk
Sorry, but I need a seat. I hate stand up riding on my bike if I can avaoid it. However, I would like to try out the pedal action on this system.
davem2
I sure they offer that pedal system on standard bikes.
William Volk
Well, they\'ve solved the uncomfortable seat problem at least ...
michael.teter
This looks great, except for one thing: it looks like it would be _very_ easy to accidentally drag a pedal, especially the toe-end, since the ground clearance is so low.
If you drag that toe while going around a corner, you\'re almost certainly going to take a dive. Aside from that, I love it.
david.josh.power
so, you\'ve mad a really ugly bike with no seat? you cant put this into the category as being as fun as a board sport, your just rolling down a hill on your seat less bike ha
Paul Anthony
Can\'t they just put a seat on there?
Mark in MI
The pictures show rotating cranks and the description of \"sliding\" movement does not match the rotating movement of cranks, so I have no idea how this works. I doubt the rear foot can move forward and up slightly if the cranks rotate as they appear to be made to. Sliding would give up a lot of leverage too. The pictures and description are lacking if we are to understand how it works.
I don\'t see the point in eliminating the seat for anything other than a toy - which appears this is meant to be: \"combines the standing stance of things like skateboards and roller blades.\" For transportation conventional bikes have it all over this design. A lack of a seat is one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Segway for transportation over distances it would be better to just walk.
TogetherinParis
Imagine this drive on a Strida folding bike! Wow. The object is to get through traffic quickly and easily, right? Eliminating the seat means less junk to carry up and down stairs, less hardware to fold up, and it definitely looks like fun! This appears to be a remarkable advance. We need to further improve the human/bike energy interface anyway and this looks good enough to take a significant share of high end folding bikes for energetic, wealthy people. Generationz will thrill at this.
Akemai Olivia
This bike is so great, It provides maximum torque at the top dead centre, least at the bottomest. I don\'t know, let the experts explain.
Gadgeteer
There are so many things wrong with this that it\'s hard to know where to start. His \"independent\" cranks are nothing more than a phase advance mechanism, so the upper crank is past top dead center as the lower crank hits bottom dead center. It\'s been tried for bicycles, and it wasn\'t successful. It introduces more friction and more complexity, so it\'s more prone to failure. Standing is inefficient from a power standpoint. With the hip angle open to 180 degrees, there\'s almost no involvement of the gluteals, the largest and strongest muscles in the body. All that rocking of the handlebars isn\'t good from a control perspective. Sure, they got one guy who practiced enough so he can zoom among crowds, but the vast majority of people may find it hard to ride straight. Plus those wheels are definitely not as big as a bicycle\'s, no matter what the designer says.