Daily Archives: January 12, 2009

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bicycle

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I came across this interesting idea this morning.  Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies has made a Hydrogen powered bicycle capable of doing 25km/h and more than 300 kilometers on a single fuel run.

Hydrogen fuel cell bicycle

Hydrogen fuel cell bicycle

From the company’s website:

“The fuel cell systems in these light electric vehicle applications are much smaller than for automobiles or motorcycles, requiring less hydrogen, with readily available hydrogen storage technologies – making the proposition easy and attractive. The fuel cell bicycles have a top speed of 25 km/h, and can travel 300 km on a hydrogen refill. With many more fuel cell vehicles on the road, visibility is increased, meaning that the investment in public outreach and education is more efficient. Also, while providing mobility, the systems on the bicycles are also small portable power systems able to run radios, computers, lights, power tools, medical equipment, even generate heat. The possibilities are endless and the start of a critical mass can spark wider deployment of higher power applications including fuel cell powered automobiles.”

This got me thinking that as great of an idea as getting more people on bicycles is, isn’t it such a great idea because they aren’t using any energy but their own?  Hydrogen doesn’t pollute, so that’s a plus.  But I don’t see what benefits consumers really get from this bike.  25km/h, that is 15 miles and hour, and I can do that on my touring bike fully loaded to the gills with gear with a headwind.  I’d say that 90% of people don’t ride with that much gear anyway and could go faster than this bike. The website says it will be useful for police officers, couriers, and the like, but I just don’t see it.  Hydrogen cars are a good solution, but just because a hydrogen bike is cheaper doesn’t mean millions of people in developing countries or elsewhere are going to buy these up.

There are more companies producing hydrogen bicycles and they talk about the same things.  Hydrogen bicycles claim to be energy savers, when compared to people driving cars, but not when compared to people riding bikes.  They are also being touted as having much faster refueling times than electric bikes because they lessen the time from 3 hours to about 30 minutes.  Who wants to wait at a gas station for 30 minutes?  I’m sure they got to have faster options, or at least I’d hope so.

You can find the whole story on http://www.horizonfuelcell.com/mobility.htm

A real solution is the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Powered Motorcycle from a company called Intelligent Energy.  This thing looks really cool and useful.  If you’ve ever been to a developing country you really can feel the impact of motorcycles and scooters on the environment.  Imagine rolling this out to millions of people.

Intelligent Energy Fuel Cell Motocycle

Intelligent Energy Fuel Cell Motocycle

Performance Data

  • Acceleration 0 – 20 mph in 4.3s (32kph)
  • 0 – 30 mph in 7.3s (48 kph)
  • 0 – 50 mph in 12.1s (80kph)
  • Top speed 50 mph (80kph)
  • (note: ENV has been tested to 50mph – however, with further refinements and redevelopments, this top speed is expected to be exceeded)
  • Range At least 100 miles (160km)
  • Physical
    Bike mass 80 kg (Total mass including CORE)

Fuel

  • Hydrogen 99.9% purity
  • Oxygen Taken from air
  • Hydrogen refuel time less than 5 minutes

Check this out http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-news/fuel-cell-motorcycle/

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Bikeblogs.com

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I spent a lot of the last month or two looking for good bicycling blogs on the net. Since I live in South Korea, don’t really have reliable access to bicycling magazines. Bikeblogs.com is an interesting blog because it links to a lot of other blogs and also offers some insight on cycling products in the market. Check ’em out if you’ve got time, find the blog at http://www.bikeblogs.com

Bianchi Valle Review for 2009

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I was searching around for some new touring bike models, looking for upgraded 2009 bicycles, and generally anything else I could get my hands on, and I stumbled across the Bianchi Valle.  Bianchi also offers their ‘specialized’ touring bike the Volpe, a pretty nice touring bike with good features and a mid-range price tag.  But when I looked through the specs for the two bikes, I found the Valle to be a decent option for shorter-range tours.  It offers the same frame as the Volpe, CroMo steel frame and fork, and also has braze-ons to mount fenders and racks.  Actually, the Valle comes with front and rear fenders.  Another interesting difference between the two bikes is the Valle’s power-generating front dynamo hub.  Both bikes have 32 spoke rims which aren’t going to be too reliable with extremely heavy loads, which is why this bike is a decent possibility for shorter tours or commuters.

Bianchi Valle

I don’t like the flat handlebars on the Valle, the drop bars on the Volpe are much more my style.  I prefer the drop bars with the bar-end shifters.  The short chainstay length of 425mm might cause a bit of a problem when loading racks and panniers on the rear of the bike, if you’ve had any experience with doing that on this bike let us know.  I know the Surly Nice Rack offers enough clearance for this frame size with a properly adjusted rear Ortlieb pannier, I checked the pannier/rack combo on a lot of different bikes before I bought my racks.

I think this bike is worth checking out if you are in the market for a commuter or a short haul bike.  It’s another bike to add to your comparison list before making the big purchase.

Don’t forget to visit http://www.theultimatetrek.com to learn more about the upcoming Long Haul for Hunger Bicycling Trek.  Over 8,500 miles across 2 continents.  We’re recruiting riders and would love to have you join for all or part of the ride.

Cycling Nutrition on a bicycle tour

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We haven’t spent any of the last couple of months posting about cycling nutrition and it’s finally time to start.  While we’ve been researching and testing different products and methods of staying energized on a tour, we’ve kept quiet on the blog, but we are just about ready to release some of our findings.  As you know it’s winter here in South Korea, so we’ve been freezing our boots off training for the upcoming Long Haul for Hunger, an 8,500 mile bicycle tour for charity.  I’ll never forget the first week of training and nutrition testing when we set our base levels for the test, refueling on water alone before, during, and after our rides.  Those 75-mile rides with four loaded panniers were more than painful and the last miles of each day were excruciating.

Over the next week or two we’ll be featuring a series of articles on cycling nutrition.  We encourage all of you to comment back on your own experiences with nutrition supplements, recipes, and anything else that might be helpful to our readers.  Remember to check out our 8,500 mile trek at www.theultimatetrek.com.  We are accepting entrants if you can ride all or part of the trek, drop us an email or comment.

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