As an avid cyclist, I think it's great that Lexus chose to use a carbon-fiber race bike as part of their brand imagery. Were their design choices cutting edge? I'd say mostly. For sure, the average car guy can relate to the bike as it's similar to others out on the road. I'd love to see Lexus now take it to the next step and sponsor some bike related events. And then do something really unique - perhaps collaborate with a Japanese university-led program to achieve the human powered land speed record. Then they could really exercise their innovation chops on that bike.
Just like the luxury sports cars that every manufacturer is struggling to make this bike is more of a publicity stunt from the said company. Nobody will buy this for the mere reason of biking! it will be bought as means of attention seeking. Don't be surprised when you see the buyers on the front pages of national newspapers.
Hydraulic disc brakes are for mountain bikes. I think the reason they don't have hydraulic rim brakes is because they used Shimano for the shifters. This means they have to use Shimano's braking system, as the shifting and braking systems are fully integrated. SRAM came up with the innovation for hydraulic rim brakes in their RED line this year. Mark Cavendish was the only rider in the Tour de France to use such a system. It is credited to have prevented him from involvement with a major crash on Stage 1.
What I didn't like was the term "liberal use of carbon fiber." The newest carbon fiber technology in the weaves and in the directional layering of the material, reduces the need for "liberal use." Also, with one look at this bike, I can tell you the geometry sucks. I wouldn't pay more than the components are worth ($2800) for this bike. The seat stay is too long, the front fork isn't airfoiled, the chain stay says I'm a climbing machine but the fork-angle says I can handle. I don't think any design went into making this bike a performance bike, so no one would buy this bike for use. Some people may say, "That's okay. It's a collector's item." To them I say, "Then Lexus wasted their money trying to prove that they are on the front of carbon fiber technology."
@far911 I speak as a cyclist for this one. You would never use use the converted mechanical enery to power the electronic shifters. That would take away from the power that goes into moving the vehicle. We, as cyclists, use every watt to move us forward, so we'd never waste it when we could use batteries to power our: GPS/computer, shifters, powermeter, lights(although lights aren't typical during racing). The Di2 shifting system in the Shimano Dura-Ace is a couple of years old now. They recently released it in their Ultegra model. Competitors: SRAM and Campagnolo have released electronic shifting as well. They all use a battery pack. If there was a way to convert and use the power reliably without it causing the bike to slow down, they would do it.
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