The Duckmeister wrote:It's actually not that new an idea. For years Shimano have been building self-powered (i.e. dynamo) hub systems incorporating cadence-sensing automatic gear shifting.
I had a try on a Shimano 5-speed hub-geared auto-shifting bike in about 1998. It was an upright-style stepthru "mum bike" kind of thing, and Lygon Cycles had it on the shop floor. He said he was looking at trying the auto hub on one of his sponsored DH racer's bikes... so it would just shift itself up and down depending on his speed.
It wasn't even as complex as cadence sensing... it just measured wheel speed. Based on that, it was programmed to pick the gear that would give you an appropriate cadence if/when you pedalled. After all, the people who set the bike up knew what gearing was on it, and people who buy that kind of bike aren't really known for swapping components around. I daresay it would be technically possible to re-flash the chip with different shift points should the need arise (if you had the special Shimano diagnostic box, of course).
Not my kind of bike (at the time, at least
), but it seemed to work as advertised on my little ride around the block.
I guess it wasn't a big success on the DH bike