We use Slack as our workplace communication tool at Pinkbike and we have a #randoms channel which we use to share an assortment of videos and stories from all corners of the cycling world and beyond... We thought a couple of the moments from the past week were too good not to share with a wider audience, so here are some of the highlights.
Plant Based Bikes
Designed by Guilherme Pella and Nicolas Rutzen, the Astan Bike is made from natural fibers glued together with plant resin making this potentially a very environmentally friendly bike. The designers also have boldly claimed that with their manufacturing technique, the plant-based bike could be both lighter and stronger than an equivalent aluminum frame.
The natural fibers used to build the Astan bike are created with laser cutters for an exact fit and to achieve the strength require, the designers developed a now patented frame with a unique lattice pattern. The lattice uses the natural grain of the wood to allow an increase in the resistance of the frame and can absorb impacts for increased comfort.
German bearings manufacturer Schaeffler and eBike drivetrain manufacturer Heinzmann have partnered to create a chainless electric drive system.
The Free Drive works by converting your pedaling power into electrical energy to run a rear hub motor without the need for a chain. It achieves this by housing a small generator in the bottom bracket area with the generated power travel through a cable to a motorised rear hub. The current prototype has a claimed continuous output of 250w although the creators claim more power than this is created so any additional energy is stored in the battery for later use. The battery system is also said to be charged by regenerative braking.
The only downside revealed by the creators is a loss of efficiency of around 5% when compared to a standard drivetrain using a chain.
On this episode of the podcast is sit down with a good friend of mine Connor Fearon a few days after he was able to claim his first elite men’s national downhill title. Connor and I have been racing a ride together for over 15 years now, we’ve pushed each other not only as competitors but also as teammates for a brief time on Kona back in 2011-2012.
Connor has always been at the top of Aussie Downhill, even back at the age of 14 he was already at the pointy end of the elite field. Battling with Troy Brosnan from the age of 11 they have both lifted each other to become two of the best mountain bikers in the world.
We go in-depth into what it’s been like battling with someone for so many years and how it's grown the both of them as riders and people.
He also goes into some simple tips to help you improve as a rider and racer.— Dean Lucas
Ken Block's 637hp Electric Audi RS
As you may know, Audi and I have partnered to create the first-ever all-electric Gymkhana car for Electrikhana! But our partnership doesn't stop there... A new year for me means new projects, so I'm very proud to introduce my brand-new Audi RS e-tron GT daily driver! At the snap of a finger (or of my right foot) the e-tron GT produces 637 horsepower and 612 foot-pounds of torque instantly, making it the fastest RS badged production car on earth.— Ken Block
Virtual Reality Free Solo Climbing with Alex Honnold
Virtual reality offers professional climber Alex Honnold a new and innovative way to share his incredible free solo climbing thanks to VR's immersive authenticity, and you can now experience exactly what it looks like to be with Alex on huge rock walls in the mountains in the documentary film 'Alex Honnold: The Soloist VR'. Under the guidance of director Jon Griffith and with the help of an elite team of climbers, the unique film for Meta Quest took 2 years to film on locations across Europe and North America and showcases the some of the toughest solo climbs in the world in an enthralling new way.
Watch the full VR experience on Oculus TV on Meta Quest VR Headsets https://thesoloist-vr.com/ See more of how this unique film was made https://win.gs/makingthesoloist— Red Bull