Redefining Cycling

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Redefining Cycling

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:31 pm

Redefining Cycling

Why have 17.7 million Americans quit cycling in the last 10 years?

It's not that they are out of shape or too busy or too lazy. It's
because cycling has become intimidating -- an activity for hard-core
athletes and technology lovers.

So says Shimano.

"Everything had changed in bicycling," contends David Lawrence, senior
manager for product development and marketing at Shimano America Corp.
Bike riding "had gone from fun to being a sport, and no one had noticed."

(Sport isn't fun? Well, apparently not for the majority.)

Shimano did surveys to learn why so many people over age 7 in the U.S.
had stopped riding and why 161 million Americans never get on a bike.

The answers told Shimano that the way to get these people into cycling
is to redefine what bike riding is. And that begins with redefining
the bicycle.

Thus, "Coasting" was born -- an attempt not just to build a "better"
bike but to create a better biking experience.

Businessweek.com investigated this significant development and
published a well-written article at http://tinyurl.com/2qog4m It tells
about a new version of old-style bikes intended to make cycling more
attractive to everyone -- like people in our families we wish would
get into riding.

You'll also see a 10-photo slide show tracing the evolution of the
Coasting bike with its soft saddle, high handlebar and easy-to-mount
frame.

Trek and Giant are the first major companies to get on board. Their
Coasting bikes use Shimano's automatic shifting technology so riders
never need to change gears. A tiny computer on the seatpost or tucked
under the bottom bracket triggers gear changes at 7 and 11 mph (about
11 and 18 kph). The processor is powered by the rotation of the front
wheel.

Braking is done by back-pedaling, the way so many of today's
non-cycling adults learned as kids. Prices start at around $450, not
far above the amount that those surveyed said they'd spend on a
comfortable, simple, fun-to-ride bike.

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