Designed and built by a group of mechanical engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania, the aptly named “Alpha” bike has been called “possibly the most high-tech bicycle ever” and “the ultimate concept bike.”
High on the long list of heretofore inconceivable innovations is an electronic clutch that allows the rider to switch between fixed-gear and freewheel settings. It also boasts internal electronics powered by the bike itself. Pedaling charges two 120 Farad super capacitors (and you thought only Marty McFly knew what that was) that power two rear LEDs and an LCD screen built into the handlebars, that displays real-time data like RPMs, distance and speed. There’s also an SD card under the handlebars that stores more specific information about the bike dynamics that you can analyze post-ride.
If you want to see some rotating 3D renderings of the bike (aka bike porn) and read all the in-depth information too difficult for non-mechanical engineers to decipher, check out the UPenn team’s dedicated website. No word yet on whether they’re fabricating more for sale, but if they are my birthday is right around the corner (wink wink).
[ bike website ]