Author Topic: Seeking Feedback on new gear system  (Read 8847 times)

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Offline vectrgear

Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« on: November 20, 2014, 08:38:02 pm »
I am conducting market research on a new product I have developed, and would welcome honest feedback from serious cyclists. The VECTr is a light-weight, efficiently simple, interchangeable expanding gear system for bicycles. To learn more, please visit www.vectr-gear.com and take the survey ("Tell Us What You Think").

Thank you for participating!

Offline DaveB

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 08:52:09 am »
I don't know if you have had any responses at your web site but I'm very reluctant to click on a link from someone I don't know and who has no history or former presence here.

Offline vectrgear

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 09:05:00 am »
Yes, that is reasonable to be cautious.  The site is not malicious, I assure you.  I am not sure what else I can do to reassure you.

FWIW here is a pic of the device to show it's real:



I would appreciate you taking a further look and offering feedback.

Thanks for you honesty.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 01:12:28 am »
I am sorry yo say, but your product will not have commercial success for 2 main reasons:

1. The wear on the driveline will be 10x bigger than normal due to only 4 sliding members.
2. Due to the 4 sliding members, there will be a large torque variation 4 times for each revolution which will be annoying to the user. Remember, gearing is not determined by the radial distance of the 4 teeth sets, but by the radial, instant distance of the chain in the vertical top position. This position bounces up and down 4 times for each revolution.

However, I do find the automatic changing system interesting.

Lucas

Offline DaveB

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 09:21:54 am »
I saw the report on your product on Bike Rumors today so it seems you are really not a troll.  I agree that the rotational feel is going to be very lumpy and, indeed, the video clip shows the pedaling action to be almost a ratchet.  I also wonder about keeping the chain on the "chainwheel" teeth since it is unsupported so many places in the rotation.   I think a lot of real world testing will have to be done to show the concept is viable or to conclude it was just another of the many "new and improved" bicycle transmission ideas that didn't work.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 10:30:08 am »
There's a lot of potential with this kind of a idea, but this implementation has just 2 teeth engaged at any one time. Instead of spreading the force across 10 or more teeth, the force is focused, which might be tough on the chain and the teeth. It will be interesting to follow the product as it begins to get real-world testing.

I wasn't overly concerned about visiting the web site. My computer patches and updates are all in place. Just visiting a site is not generally a problem. However, once on a site, I am cautions about what I click after that. You might consider putting more information on the home page, to help visitors decide whether they are interested in looking at this in more detail.

Offline vectrgear

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 02:55:26 pm »
I am sorry yo say, but your product will not have commercial success for 2 main reasons:

1. The wear on the driveline will be 10x bigger than normal due to only 4 sliding members.
2. Due to the 4 sliding members, there will be a large torque variation 4 times for each revolution which will be annoying to the user. Remember, gearing is not determined by the radial distance of the 4 teeth sets, but by the radial, instant distance of the chain in the vertical top position. This position bounces up and down 4 times for each revolution.

However, I do find the automatic changing system interesting.

Lucas
Lucas

Thank you for your feedback, but I respectfully disagree about the potential of its commercial success.

The main advantage of the VECTr system is to prevent chain drops by keeping the chainline constant, while also allowing more gearing choices that 3 chainrings.  It will do this at the same or less weight as traditional 3 chainring setups, and much less cost than internally geared hubs (or planetary systems).

Reduced chain wear is not VECTr’s main advantage, but I think it will actually reduce chain wear. It is true that only the five teeth on each gear segment engage the chain, and this will increase wear on those links because of heavier load.  But you should note that at the same time there are six or eight links suffering no wear. The extra-wear on some links will pass around the chain, so overall there is not increased wear, or it is minimal.

Overall, there will be less chain wear than there would be on a three chainring set up. Think of it this way: VECTr only has 20 teeth which engage the chain, so chain wear will be the same as always running on a 20t ring.  The rider, however, will have the advantage of 24 to 44 tooth equavalent gears, but without the added chain wear.
 
There will be variations when VECTr is in the expanded position. Some have seen a similarity to oblong or irregular chainrings, and both as and advantage and a disadvantage. It does seem, though, that the square-ness of the chain path when VECTr is in expanded position (lumpiness) will not be as noticeable since larger gears are used on downhill or level roads when the pedal momentum is at play, and crank loads are not heavy.

In more contracted settings, the squareness would be less pronounces, and in the smallest position, non-existent.

I hope you still are interested, but you should know it is not an automatic system.  Gear changes are under the riders control and not an automatic response to torque or whatever.

Joe

Offline vectrgear

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 03:02:13 pm »
I saw the report on your product on Bike Rumors today so it seems you are really not a troll. 

I am honored.

I agree that the rotational feel is going to be very lumpy and, indeed, the video clip shows the pedaling action to be almost a ratchet.  I also wonder about keeping the chain on the "chainwheel" teeth since it is unsupported so many places in the rotation.   I think a lot of real world testing will have to be done to show the concept is viable or to conclude it was just another of the many "new and improved" bicycle transmission ideas that didn't work.
Reallize, this is a working model so it is not as smooth and polished as a prototype. Some of the unevenness of the video is due to video quality -- which I will work on improving.

Initial real-world testing shows lumpiness is less than people expect for reasons I describe in the reply to Lucas.

I actually expected most of the resistance to be from those who know other expanding chainring devices have not succeeded.  I think the advantages of mine over predecessors is its simplicity, which leads to it being lightweight and inexpensive to produce, and that I have designed it to be interchangable with (or as easily installed as) other components.

Offline DaveB

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2014, 09:07:23 am »
I actually expected most of the resistance to be from those who know other expanding chainring devices have not succeeded.  I think the advantages of mine over predecessors is its simplicity, which leads to it being lightweight and inexpensive to produce, and that I have designed it to be interchangable with (or as easily installed as) other components.
I will warn you to have the initial trial and production products made by a company that really knows what it is doing.   Even if the concept is practical, nothing will kill a product faster than a series of breakages and early mechanical failures from manufacturing defects. 

Offline vectrgear

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2014, 11:57:06 am »
I will warn you to have the initial trial and production products made by a company that really knows what it is doing.   Even if the concept is practical, nothing will kill a product faster than a series of breakages and early mechanical failures from manufacturing defects. 
Thanks for the advice.  Someone suggested that I focus on the commuter bike market, and I think it might have the most promise.

Thanks to all who took a look and commented.

Offline vectrgear

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2014, 02:12:15 pm »
FWIW here are the results from the poll.  Thanks to all who participated.

"1. Have you ever seen a device like VECTr before? (If so, tell us where in 'other'?)" 103 Votes
Answer Votes Percent               
No   79   77%               
Other:     16   16%               
Yes     8    8%               

Other Answers
Seen some similar concepts and protos
Inside my own head.
"never actually seen, but basic idea has been floating around"
"A book while researching bike drivetrains in college, 1997."
Browning Transmission
The 80s.
In my mind
Deal Drive (never seen one ... just read)
old rear gearing system video on park tool website
CVT
"Bicycle Magazine, 1980s"
I think I saw a system similar to this developed by a car manufacturer
Truvativ hammerschmidt; not popular though
http://www.google.com/patents/US4740190
http://www.multibody.net/teaching/msms/students-projects-2013/edyson-cvt/
"radial gear, google it."

2. Would you be interested in purchasing VECTr? 101 Votes
Answer            Votes Percent
Yes                    27    27%               
Yes (conditional)  8     8%               
Not Sure/Maybe  10    10%               
No                     56    55%               

"3. How much would you pay for a reliable, easily installed component based on the VECTr design?" 87 votes
Answer             Votes Percent               
$0 (would not buy)  9     10%               
No more than $50   14     16%               
$50 - $100             13     15%               
$100 - $200           34     39%            
$300 - $500            9     10%               
$500 or more          3      3%               
Depends on Quality  5      6%               
                     
                     
"4. Do you know of any bicycle component manufacturers who make innovative or unconventional gearing systems? (If so, tell us who in 'other'?)" 88 votes
Answer Votes Percent               
Yes     18    20%               
No      47    53%               
Other:  23    26%               

Other Answer/Votes                     
Osymetrics/1               
FSA Patterson/3               
NuVinci/6               
Pinion/6               
Re Above/1               
Rohloff/5               
Rotor/2               
Sturmey Archer/2
Truvativ Hammerschmidt/6
VYRO TECHNOLOGY/1

Offline dminden1

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 09:27:55 am »
Key for road riders is smooth spinning. You are incorrect about low load on flats and downhills. Road riders often 'jump on' the gears with sprints and hard pushes at these places (sure the load is less than grinding uphill, but probably not that much). For weight and simplicity the device has promise.

Offline DaveB

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 12:11:44 pm »
The simplest answer is to build a few tool-room models and let a bunch of rider try them out.  That will tell you far more about the practicality and desirability then the opinions of a bunch of Internet posters who have never seen or used it.  The video tells us nearly nothing.

Offline TCS

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 01:49:23 pm »
I'm interested in what might be new and patentable about this particular expanding chainwheel gearing system.

Such systems date back to at least 1894, and I'm sitting here looking at a drawing and description of one from 1905 that's neater, more robust and with a wider range than this 'Vectrgear'.   They've appeared from time to time since, but for whatever reasons, they've never caught on.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline zzzz

Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2014, 06:53:32 pm »
I realize this reply is a little late and I'm unlikely to be in your target market but....

I think you should film a new video with pedals attached to the crank and a rider on the bike. If it was hooked up to a trainer it would be still enough to film it and show the mechanical action. As was previously commented on, the cadence looks really lumpy on your current video but you're turning the cranks by hand. With the leverage and strength of a rider on board I would think it would have to look smoother.

pm