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CONTACTS NEEDED: Design Project

Old 09-14-20, 02:56 PM
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JoeyCasamassima
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CONTACTS NEEDED: Design Project

Hi!
My name is Joey Casamassima and I am a senior at the University of Notre Dame studying industrial design. I am currently working on a project aimed at designing a product to make bicycle commuting more feasible during poor weather conditions (rain/snow/cold).

I'm looking to talk to some avid bike commuters about what issues they have encountered when commuting in bad weather. I'd appreciate anyone that can give me any insights!

Thanks,
Joey
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Old 09-14-20, 03:11 PM
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dabac
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Keeping feet warm.
Keeping hands warm while riding was an issue until I discovered Bar Mitts/Pogies.
Keeping myself warm if a mechanical issue would force a stop.
Keeping hands warm if a mechanical issue would need to be fixed mid-ride.
Occasionally, the rear Derailer would freeze up.
Keeping the bike in working order despite being liberally doused with sand and salt daily.
A lamp with poor charge indicator.
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Old 09-14-20, 04:52 PM
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My current biggest beefs and wants with winter commuting gear:
  • Beef: heavy, slow studded tires. Wanted: a lightweight studded tire that corners on ice.
  • Beef: face masks that make my sunglasses fog up. Wanted: a face mask that covers, insulates and breaks the cold wind, but quickly vents moisture away from glasses
  • Beef: heavy, clunky winter cycling boots. Wanted: lightweight, insulated, breathable, clip-in cycling boots that are comfortable to walk in.
  • Beef: helmet either being sealed and hot in summer, or wide open and butt-cold in winter. Wanted: helmet with large slider vents to adjust from season to season (and an adjustable rear view mirror assembly and built-in USB lights would be nice too)
Layered weather gear adopted from back-country skiing has resolved most of my other winter commuting gear issues.
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Old 09-14-20, 09:25 PM
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already done ... Velo mobiles.. but the street infrastructure on Holland Denmark Germany is more conducive, Not The US

Transfer to a Civil Engineering and Urban Planning major to begin to unscrew screwed up things,,
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Old 09-15-20, 10:50 AM
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My solution to old/winter commuting is a velomobile. I'm lucky that the local county is very good about plowing the snow quickly and salting roads.

The infrastructure is ....ok... better than average, but it could be improved in a lot of areas.


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Old 09-15-20, 01:27 PM
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Some peeves for me:

1. Road salt and rust
2. A way to carry the layers that come on and off during the ride, especially since morning and evening conditions are often different
3. A shift lever that's accessible while wearing heavy mittens
4. Operating my lock when it's below zero

I appreciate it's a student assignment, and it's typical for students to do a "marketing study" as part of a design program, but this is one where you have to experience it in order to really appreciate it. And then you'll combine it with your design knowledge and come up with a solution.

I went to grad school at Notre Dame, but that was almost 3 decades ago.
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Old 09-15-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Some peeves for me:

1. Road salt and rust
2. A way to carry the layers that come on and off during the ride, especially since morning and evening conditions are often different
3. A shift lever that's accessible while wearing heavy mittens
4. Operating my lock when it's below zero

I appreciate it's a student assignment, and it's typical for students to do a "marketing study" as part of a design program, but this is one where you have to experience it in order to really appreciate it. And then you'll combine it with your design knowledge and come up with a solution.

I went to grad school at Notre Dame, but that was almost 3 decades ago.
The thing is that bikes have been around long enough that most of these already have some solution or another. Barr mitts allow you to wear light gloves to still stay warm and effectively operate your bike's controls. There are racks and bags for clothing. The lock? Well, if you have bar mitts, that might solve that problem as well.
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Old 09-24-20, 12:34 AM
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I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but I'm in SE Florida. So I don't have significant cold issues, but electrical rain storms are a factor for me. I always say there are two things that prevent me from riding (either for exercise or commuting): lightening and wind greater than 25 mph. I'll ride in the rain all day, but I'll duck for cover the minute there are lightening strikes within 10 or 15 seconds (2-3 miles).
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Old 09-24-20, 07:31 AM
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I have always relished the challenges Mother Nature provides. In my many years of all weather commuting, I can count on one hand the times I was uncomfortable because of the weather. To be sure, accurate weather forecasts, especially Doppler Radar, are a real advantage. Dressing properly, being prepared for any change, and having lights and mudguards on my bike are all that I found necessary. Also, since rain and sleet hurt when they hit your eyes, a visor really helps. Glasses or goggles tend to fog up so YMMV.

Bad weather seems to make motorists a bit unpredictable so there is that challenge to deal with. Perhaps you could design something to calm them down.

Have you looked at your project from the infrastructure viewpoint? When snow comes to town, my community's response is to plow everything from the car lanes into the bike lanes. These big mounds take a long time to melt and when they do, all of the messy debris they contain concentrates on the road surface. To me that's a much bigger issue than comfort.
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Old 09-24-20, 09:50 AM
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I'm looking through this thread and the only thing I'm seeing you can't already buy is clipless Uggs for @Archwhorides
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Old 09-24-20, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I'm looking through this thread and the only thing I'm seeing you can't already buy is clipless Uggs for @Archwhorides
DL, I've got an extra pair of of clipless Uggs to sell off for much less than I paid, what's your shoe size?
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Old 09-24-20, 11:51 AM
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My issue is was rain and wind; we rarely get snow here, it's a novelty rather than a barrier. So, rain gear that breathes (i.e. contravenes the laws of physics) and doesn't flap, and a visor to keep the rain off my glasses. Oh, and all of it needs to be fairly cheap, because invisible cyclists (those who bike commute due to necessity rather than choice) aren't exactly rolling in money.

Now, a question of my own. Why do manufacturers of all this stuff think that everyone going outside in bad weather want to be invisible? Take a look at the cold/wet weather gear when it comes in and you'll see that it's all navy, grey, or black. When it's raining and I have to walk to the store, or from the bus stop to anywhere, I want the car drivers to see and avoid me; I'm not a forking ninja. Is it me? Do people really prefer to pass unnoticed in the rain/wind/snow/dark?
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Old 09-24-20, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Why do manufacturers of all this stuff think that everyone going outside in bad weather want to be invisible?
The designers of bicycle wet gear are the same people who make surfing wet suits look like tasty sealskin.
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Old 09-24-20, 07:51 PM
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Joey, all of the products for cyclists who have money to buy a car and sense to bike anyways regardless of the weather exists already.

I live in salty, slushy, icy, Upstate NY and I’ve been biking 4-6 days a week for a few years. My main bike is all figured out. My apparel is all figured out. My safety gear is all figured out.

The only thing i ever ever yearn for is for people whose brains aren’t equipped to function as engineers, lawyers, accountants, or stock brokers to have jobs available to them which pay at least a living wage so they’re not all driving from one job to another in ratty twenty year old Pontiacs all P’d off about having an awful life and putting mine at risk because they’re not focused on driving.

This summer I finally bought a 350L taillight. You can see it from three miles away in the daylight. Stopped at a redlight with my taillight in full blast, a lady in a first gen Yaris comes up from behind me at ~20mph and gets T-boned by someone who had the green light. Yaris lady was half asleep after working a regular day shift the day before at Job A, going to Job B at night, and getting roped into working a double at Job B because the person who was to take over the morning shift at Job B called in sick, then went in late to Job A, worked a few hours before getting fired for coming in late, got stoned with friends to celebrate a potential countdown to homelessness, and was on her way back to Job B when she somehow missed me before getting herself T-boned.

Create decent paying jobs for those who’re considered “lazy” and/or “dumb” due to poor upbringing and/or unfortunate natural brain chemistry so they can afford to only have one job.
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Old 09-25-20, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Archwhorides View Post
The designers of bicycle wet gear are the same people who make surfing wet suits look like tasty sealskin.
It’s not just bike gear; all wet gear comes in those colors. I want to be visible when I’m walking too.
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