Wireless Brakes...?

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#3
“Wireless networks are never a fail-safe method. That’s a fact that’s based on a technological background.
"Brake by wireless" doesn't sound like a solution to any apparent design challenge. :rolleyes:
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
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103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#5
I was just discussing this with my biz partner after my experience w/Di2. On the plus side - having a reliable wireless system would be great as you could drop in any compatible component and have immediately part of your infrastructure. And swapping between bikes would be easier, too. The fact that they have such high reliability in a critical system as brakes is great! I look forward to seeing more R&D like this as it will definitely advance the concept of 'smart bikes'.

On the downside - powering the individual sensors and servos takes some doing - and typically you don't want to use multiple batteries - so a single battery source is best - which automatically provides a cable. Therefore - not much gain - at least in cabling is gained by going full wireless - yet - until perhaps the grid is built into the frame itself and you could 'plug in' wherever you want.
 
Jun 9, 2011
241
1
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tokyo
#7
yeah I have never had a brake cable suddenly snap or something.
I have. more than once. it's pretty common. from personal and other anecdotal evidence I'd say that brake cable is the most likely mechanical component to fail on a bike.

that said, I don't think I'd want battery powered brakes unless the battery was constantly kept topped up by an in hub dynamo or something.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#8
yeah I have never had a brake cable suddenly snap or something.
And you never had your wireless device go funny due to power lines, railway crossings or base stations?

I would rather have cable pull brakes any day of the week and if you've ever had a cable snap then thats just poor maintainace practices.
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#9
I have. more than once. it's pretty common. from personal and other anecdotal evidence I'd say that brake cable is the most likely mechanical component to fail on a bike.
more than the drivetrain? Where do these cables all snap? Couldn't imagine a multistrand cable snapping unless it was totally corroded away.
 

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
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48
Tokyo
#13
On the downside - powering the individual sensors and servos takes some doing - and typically you don't want to use multiple batteries - so a single battery source is best - which automatically provides a cable. Therefore - not much gain - at least in cabling is gained by going full wireless - yet - until perhaps the grid is built into the frame itself and you could 'plug in' wherever you want.
I read that Shimano had build some wireless/battery-less prototype when developing the DI2.
At one point the team studied using wireless technology and a wheel hub that used friction instead of a battery to generate power but later tossed out those ideas.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#14
Build them so that you can lock the brakes "on" while parked (and add a tamper alarm), and they might deter some theft.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#15
My shifter cables wear out after about a year (14,000km). They don't snap right away, but shifting becomes more imprecise. Eventually they snap. It's always inside the (Shimano) shifter, because this is where they get bent most.

I've replaced brake cables "just in case" after more mileage than that, but there was no visible damage anywhere. They are thicker than the shifter cables and get less bent, so they are bound to last much longer, which is reassuring.
 
Aug 17, 2007
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Yotsuya, Tokyo
#16
...and the punchline was...

...unless they break!

Or something like that. I've never been very good at jokes, but I have to say, really, what is the point of going high tech on something that already works so beautifully and simply? Shift systems might be fun to play about with as there are few if any catastrophic consequences to failure other than a lost sprint, a few f-bombs, and maybe a gouged shin. But brakes? Too many what ifs!

Luddites of the cycling world unite! Back to wooden rims, hard rubber tires and friction-shoe brakes (you know, the kind you find on horse carriages)...

Tally-ho! :bike:
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#17
My shifter cables wear out after about a year (14,000km). They don't snap right away, but shifting becomes more imprecise. Eventually they snap. It's always inside the (Shimano) shifter, because this is where they get bent most.

I've replaced brake cables "just in case" after more mileage than that, but there was no visible damage anywhere. They are thicker than the shifter cables and get less bent, so they are bound to last much longer, which is reassuring.
Exactly the same thing happened to me yesterday!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#18
And notice they tossed out the idea. If you are deriving power elsewhere - dynamo, for example, that costs weight and wattage. A Li battery is just so much more efficient for powering the servos. And with it comes a network (cabling) for free.

They key point to using wireless will be in ability to interconnect other smart devices to form a homogenous cycling management system. ANT is probably a good starting point - but as the researchers found out - they could use CDMA as well. Whatever the choice, as long as it has high reliability and durability it should be fine. There will be more failures due to the nut behind the wheel, so to speak.

As I have tested the new Di2 stuff (courtesy of Eric) pretty intensively I can say on one hand it's great. But, on another hand, it provides absolutely zero bio-feedback except for the gear change itself. Thus, you lose the 'feel' of shift. I found myself shifting more just to make sure I was actually shifting. Sounds funny, but with only 1 step between my lowest cogs, I oftentimes didn't know exactly - and with the wind noise, etc ...

I read that Shimano had build some wireless/battery-less prototype when developing the DI2.