Custom bike love.
Alfine 11 Di2 Gates belt drive
Howdy folks! I thought that the Alfine and belt drive fans would appreciate a build that we recently completed. We are known to tackle some unique requests here at the bike shop. A customer asked if we could build his Ventana with the new Alfine 11 Di2 system and the new Gates CenterTrack belt drive. Both Shimano and Gates said that they have yet to see it successfully executed. The components simply did not exist to mate the IGH and belt drive interfaces. Long story short, we figured it out after some heavy mods were made to both the Alfine/Di2 assembly and the Gates cog.
Check out the writeup on our site for a few more details and photos.
Custom bike love.
First of all, what an awesome winter project. You guys did a great job.
Can you go in to a little more detail on the mods, so we have an idea of what it was that you actually did?
Now, my other reason for posting here... I know this is a little off topic, but regarding your customer's comments:
There are bluetooth enabled microcontroller programmable boards, and bluetooth connectors for non-bluetooth programmable boards, which will allow a phone to be connected to the microcontroller. From there, it's a matter of programming the boards to do what you want.
“Got my first ride on the Di2 set up today… I love technology! No issues at all, except that it still won’t send Tweets or pick up live satellite feeds…
It's time to talk about Precious, the Specialized TriCross that crossed the USA. This was not my personal project, however I did talk to the rider* about how things worked, and given I have a degree in Communications Engineering I can definitely say you don't have to be an engineer to make this work. In the video below, the bike's brain (the microcontroller) connected via bluetooth to a cell phone and sent lots of data to a centralized server, which then did the heavy lifting from there (location data was gleaned from a SPOT device RSS feed; this is more battery friendly on the phone than using the on-phone GPS). There were triggered tweets with what's affectionately known as "geofencing", as well as conventional triggers (e.g. cracking 100 miles would result in a tweet) and manual tweets that could be sent by pushing a button on the handlebars.
That also means the reverse process, picking up live satellite feeds, is also possible to do on the bike, provided an application had the know-how to send it to bluetooth. Now, I don't know what your customer wants to do with said feeds, but it IS possible.
The downside to all of this is that you have to do the processing somewhere, and that's where you can start having issues. Central server + Text messaging = more reliable, more expensive. Phone App = Can control everything on the phone (what I'd do) but you start running in to issues with publication (e.g. putting it on the iPhone app store). Doing everything on the microcontroller is limited by the processing power of the board; depending on the intended application, e.g. displaying weather, incoming tweets, etc. this may be the best option, but it does somewhat limit the ability to do on-the-fly custom actions.
I know you guys are bike guys, not software developers, but since Winter is not over, if you're up to suggesting a little something extra when they come in for the battery upgrade, it has been done before and I'd love to see someone do it again.
Yes I am Precious - A Bike with a Brain - YouTube
* Janeen, the rider, now works at Specialized in Morgan Hill, CA. Sadly, Specialized has no intention of making smartass bikes in the future.
awesome project. will be watching this closely. Understand the limitations you were faced with at this time but the wiring/battery is a deal breaker.