Since the s only incremental mechanical advances have taken place for the majority of the world's utility bicycles. In fact many bicycles in Asia still employ rod brakes. One exception to this was the continued development of substitute propulsion systems for utility bicycles in the form of add-on gasoline engines and transmissions. Developed shortly after in Europe and the United States, motorized utility bicycles surged in popularity in Western Europe after the Second World War. Typically, a small one or two-horsepower, two-cycle engine was fitted with a tire roller-drive mechanism that would convert any standard utility roadster into a motorised bicycle.
As they could still be propelled by human power, they were considered as bicycles under most national registration schemes. The motorised utility bicycle or cyclemotor offered greater range, faster commutes, and increased versatility to a large sector of the postwar European consumer market that could not afford expensive automobiles or motorcycles. Inthe advent of the Moulton bicycle brought a fresh outlook to the traditional utility concept. Utilizing small, easily transportable frames and wheels as well as suspension, the Moulton was designed to accommodate the increasing public usage of bicycles in concert with other forms of mass transportation.
During the s, several bicycle designs were introduced in an attempts to improve on the traditional utility bike. Most of these centered on the use of lightweight frame alloys, new brake and gearing systems, and electronic navigation and monitoring assistance. Utility bicycles are principally used for short-distance commuting, running errands, shopping, leisure or for transporting goods or merchandise. Utility bicycles may also be seen in postal servicein warand for employee No Fronts (Clean Greene Edit) inside large workplaces factories, warehouses, airports, movie studio lots, etc.
In some countries, entire fleets of utility bicycles may be operated or administered by local or national government agencies as part of a public bike sharing programme. The utility bicycle is the most widely used form of bicycle in many undeveloped parts of the world. While motor vehicles have displaced bicycles for personal transportation in many industrialized and post-industrial nations, rising fuel costs and concerns over the environment have led many people to once again turn to utility bicycles for a variety of daily tasks.
In countries where purpose-built utility bikes are unavailable or unsuited to local conditions, many cyclists have acquired hybrid bicyclesroad bicyclesmountain bikesor touring bicycles for commuting and general utility use, often refurbishing older or secondhand models. A few countries, notably ChinaIndiaNetherlandsDenmark and the Flemish Region of Belgiumcontinue to produce versions of the utility bike. In addition, the Deutsche Post uses a version of a utility bike in most German cities for delivering mail.
Utility bicycles often feature a step-through frame so they can be easily mounted, single speedor with internal hub gearingand drum brakes to reduce the need for maintenance, mudguards to keep the rider's clothing clean, a chain guard to prevent skirts or loose trousers from being caught in the chain, a skirt guard to prevent a long coat or skirt catching in the rear wheel or brakes, a center stand kickstand so it can be parked easily, and a basket or pannier rack to carry personal possessions or shopping bags.
Additionally, utility bikes tend to incorporate fewer technological advances in material design and engineering in comparison to sport bicycles, though there are exceptions. In particular, the small-tired Moulton portable utility cycles incorporate advanced engineering with relatively light weight. Most utility bikes feature an upright riding position. The handlebars are almost always curved back and positioned higher than the saddle so that the rider can operate controls without changing his or her riding posture.
Some people add a child seat or a trailer. The utility bike's combination of parts, design, and features provide functionality and comfort at the expense of weight, an adequate compromise when used as originally intended local commuting and short rides. The Dutch term Stadsfiets is a useful starting point for defining the nature of the design, as it has the full set of features commonly incorporated into a utility bicycle.
The Dutch words fiets and stadsfiets mean bicycle and city bicyclerespectively. A stadsfiets is considered to be a fully outfitted European city bike, distinguished by the following typical features: upright riding position, fully enclosed chaincaseskirtguardO-lockhub gearing, dynamo hubmanually operated small warning bell, and built-in lights.
German and Dutch versions of the European city bike are similar, though there are differences. The English roadster is similar in design, appearance, and intended use. The primary differences are that the continental bicycles tend to have a higher handlebar position for a more upright riding posture, and are more likely to have rod-actuated drum brakes. Because of Great Britain's cultural and trading influence in its former colonies, the roadster can still be seen in local production and use in many countries of the world.
A traditional-styled European city bike includes a frame made of low-carbon high-tensile steel, black paint with chromed accessories, an opaque skirtguard, bottle dynamo, simple dynamo-powered lights, and either a single-speed or 3-speed internally geared hub. Contemporary city bikes are increasingly found in many European cities, including Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
Dutch and Danish-made city bikes often include such features as a clear skirt guardcolors other than black, aluminum alloy or chromoly steel frame, front suspension fork, suspension seatpost, Hub dynamodynamo lighting with motion-and-darkness detection, magnetic lights, a 7- or 8-speed hub, adjustable kickstandchild seats, and a headlight integrated into the front fork, No Fronts (Clean Greene Edit). Newer German models, on the other hand, tend to incorporate a less is more philosophy.
The suitability and availability of fully outfitted city bikes depends on multiple factors, including local terrain, city density, car traffic, weather, and bicycle infrastructure. Traditional European city bikes are optimized for short-distance, frequent transportation over flat terrain in urban settings. For easier carrying and storage, makers of European city bikes provide features similar to city bikes on folding bicycles. In the Netherlands, many modern city bikes are also available with an aluminum alloy frame, significantly reducing weight to partly overcome the practical difficulties with a heavier bike.
For all-weather use, U. The latter frequently employ lightweight frames and wide gear ranges for use on higher-speed roadways as well as steep terrain. To save weight, some hybrid city or commuter bikes do not usually possess many accessories, adding only fenders, a rack, and perhaps a partial chainguard, as well as front and rear lights.
Most European city bikes are designed to withstand year-round outdoor storage, even in frigid Scandinavia where daily bike usage remains high year-round. Thus, European city bikes need not always be brought indoors and can be left outside, properly locked. To deter theft and vandalism, the European city bike has a tougher frame, non-quick-release seat and wheels, and a rear-wheel lock.
To prevent theft or vandalism, it is ideal to bring the bike indoors, but this isn't always possible in dense cities with compact living quarters.
Much like the English sports roadster a lighter-weight variant of the contemporary utility bicycle adheres to the same general approach to bike design and use, but saves weight and increases efficiency by using:.
The lightweight European city bike is a popular model for Dutch brands such as Batavus and Gazellewhere high levels of bicycle use result in demand for higher performance city bicycles, which is otherwise similar to the fully outfitted typical European city bike. This is sometimes marketed as a "sports" variant of the latter. A hub gear is an important feature of a European city bike.
A hub gear system provides greater ease-of-use than a derailleur system due to the ability to change gear stationary, smooth changes,  the ability to provide a wide range of ratios, and the requirement of little maintenance. A geared hub requires only one shifter rather than two, thus is easier to use than the pair of derailleurs which provide a greater number of speeds to sporting bicycles that need them.
A European city bike or roadster typically has 3, 5, 7, 8 or 11 speeds. In a few high-end models, a Rohloff speed geared hub is available. Batavus makes several models of full-featured city bikes that have a NuVinci hub with continuously variable drive ratio. Hub gearing permits the use of a fully enclosed chaincasewhich minimizes the need for maintenance.
A hub gear has lower efficiency than a clean, properly adjusted derailleur system, but retains its efficiency without conscientious cleaning and adjustment. A hub gear system is heavier than a derailleur system. In a hub gear system, the main moving parts are enclosed, making repair more difficult than with a derailleur system.
If a geared hub fails, it is sometimes more economical to replace the hub than attempt to repair it. A European city bike has angled-back handlebars and an upright riding position. The handlebars, similar to the North Road style handlebars, have a moderate rise and are swept back toward the body, enabling a fully upright posture similar to a person walking.
The rider is easily visible to other traffic and can easily see traffic and hazards. The handlebar's shape allows shopping bags, locks, and other items to be hung from the bars without slipping off. This reduces steering control, but that is compensated by the more stable geometry of the frame and forks. A curved fork and angled vertical tubing provides stable, non-twitchy steering, enabling the rider to ride with one hand, while freeing the other hand for signalling or to secure a load on the rear rack.
They are generally low in price  and characterized by relaxed road geometry, as opposed to the steep geometry of track bicycles. Fixed-gear bicycles are also used in cycle ballbike polo and artistic cycling. A fixed-gear bicycle is particularly well suited for track standsa maneuver in which the bicycle can be held stationary, balanced upright with the rider's feet on the pedals. One of the perceived main attractions of a fixed gear bicycle is low weight.
Without the added parts required for a fully geared drive train—derailleurs, shifters, cables, cable carriers, multiple chain rings, freewheel hub, brazed-on mounting lugs—a fixed gear bicycle weighs less than its geared equivalent. The chain itself is subject to less sideways force and will not wear out as fast as on a derailleur system.
Thus, a fixed gear requires less energy in any given gear to move than a geared bike in the same gear. In slippery conditions some riders prefer to ride fixed because they believe the transmission provides increased feedback on back tire grip. However, there is also an increased risk of loss of control in such conditions. This is especially so when taking into account the large number of riders who ride brakeless. These riders must brake entirely through the drivetrain. Ideally this is done by resisting the forward motion of the pedals, shedding speed while the bike is still moving.
Alternatively, though far less efficiently, one can brake by stopping the motion of the pedals in mid-rotation, causing the rear wheel to lock in place, allowing the bicycle to skid and slow down from kinetic friction see below. Descending any significant gradient is more difficult as the rider must spin the cranks at high speed sometimes at rpm or moreor use the brakes to slow down.
Some consider that the enforced fast spin when descending increases suppleness or flexibility, which is said to improve pedalling performance on any type of bicycle; however the performance boost is negligible compared to the benefits of riding a free wheel.
Riding fixed is considered by some to encourage a more effective pedaling style, which it is claimed translates into greater efficiency and power when used on a bicycle fitted with a freewheel. It allows for the rider to engage in and No Fronts (Clean Greene Edit) proper cadence, which is the balanced and rhythmic flow of pedaling, enhancing performance for both cyclist and bicycle. When first riding a fixed gear, a cyclist used to a freewheel may try to freewheel, or coast, particularly when approaching corners or obstacles.
Since coasting is not possible this can lead to a "kick" to the trailing leg, and even to loss of control of the bicycle. Riding at high speed around corners can be difficult on a road bike converted into a fixed-gear bicycle, as the pedals can strike the road, resulting in loss of control. Proper track bikes have a higher bottom bracket to compensate for the constantly spinning cranks and largely mitigate this problem.
Perhaps the most obvious disadvantage is the lack of multiple gears, and the flexibility in pedaling cadence and resistance made available through gear shifting. Hilly or uneven mountainous terrain with steep grades can be particularly challenging, as the rider cannot adjust the gearing to match the terrain. Many urban fixed-gear riders think brakes are not strictly necessary, and brakeless fixed riding has a cult status in some areas.
Other riders dismiss riding on roads without brakes as an affectation, based on image rather than practicality. It is possible to slow down or stop a fixed-gear bike in two ways. The first, most efficient, and least stressful on the rider's body is by resisting the turning cranks as they come up and around, shedding speed with each pedal rotation. The second way, less efficient but more showy, is to bump or skid the rear wheel along the pavement. Such a move is initiated by shifting the rider's weight slightly forward and pulling up on the pedals using clipless pedals or toe clips and straps.
The rider then stops turning the cranks, thus stopping the drivetrain and rear wheel, while applying body weight in opposition to the rotation of the cranks. This causes the rear wheel to skid, and slow the bike. The skid can be held until the bicycle stops or until the rider desires to continue pedaling again at a slower speed. The technique requires practice and is generally considered dangerous when used during cornering.
On any bike with only rear wheel braking, the maximum deceleration is significantly lower than on a bike equipped with a front brake. Austria — Brakeless bicycles are not legal to be driven on public roads. Every bike has to have two independent brakes, several reflectors and front and back lighting when conditions require it. A bike is required by law to have at least one functioning brake. Lights and reflectors are not required on race, mountain, and children's bikes when not used after dark.
Other normal bikes need reflectors and lights. These lights may be attached to the body and may blink. The laws are rarely enforced, however, and the sight of all kinds of non-officially-approved bikes is common. Front and rear lamps, reflectors and a bell are also required. Additionally, when it's dark outside they are required to have lights facing forward and back as well as reflectors facing forward, back and to the sides.
Many companies sell bicycle frames designed specifically for use with fixed-gear hubs. A fixed-gear or track-bike hub includes special threads for a lockring that tightens in the opposite counter-clockwise direction compared with the sprocket. This ensures that the sprocket cannot unscrew when the rider "backpedals" while braking.
For a variety of reasons, many cyclists choose to convert freewheel bicycles to fixed gear. Frames with horizontal dropouts are straightforward to convert, frames with vertical dropouts less so.
Another is to use a hub designed for use with a threaded multi-speed freewheel. The sprocket on a hub without a lockring may unscrew while back pedalling. Even if a bottom bracket lockring is threaded onto the hub, along with a track sprocket, because the bottom-bracket lockring is not reverse threaded, the possibility still exists that both the sprocket and locknut can unscrew. Therefore, it is recommended to have both front and rear brakes on a fixed-gear bicycle using a converted freewheel hub in case the sprocket unscrews while backpedaling.
It is also advisable to use a thread sealer for the sprocket and bottom bracket locking. The rotafix or "frame whipping" method may be helpful to securely install the sprocket. Bicycles with vertical dropouts and no derailleur require some way to adjust chain tension. Most bicycles with horizontal dropouts can be tensioned by moving the wheel forward or backward in the dropouts.
Bicycles with vertical dropouts can also be converted with some additional hardware. Possibilities include:. Separate chain tensioning devices, such as the type that attaches to the dropout commonly used on single speed mountain bikes cannot be used because they are damaged as soon as the lower part of the chain becomes tight. Additional adjustments or modification may be needed to ensure a good chainline.
The chain should run straight from the chainring to the sprocket, therefore both must be the same distance away from the bicycle's centerline. Some hubs, such as White Industries' ENO, or the British Goldtec track hub, are better suited to this task as they have a chainline greater than standard.
Failure to achieve good chainline, at best, leads to a noisy chain and increased wear, and at worst can throw the chain off the sprocket. This can result in rear wheel lockup and a wrecked frame if the chain falls between the rear sprocket and the spokes. Chainline can be adjusted in a number of ways, which may be used in combination with each other:. Usually, the rear hub is the best component on which to perform chainline adjustments, especially on threaded hubs.
If a track hub is used, it is better to operate on the bottom bracket or - for minor shifts - on the crankset. The same occurs if a flip-flop hub is used, because the chainline should be the same in both sides freewheel and fixed gear. A commonly used gear ratio that works well in most situations is 2. There are many forms No Fronts (Clean Greene Edit) competition using a fixed gear bike, most of the competitions being track races. Formal track races most often take place in a velodromea circular track that is constructed of concrete or wood and can be indoor or outdoor.
Race types such as common scratch races or more complex omnium races take place in these arenas. Keirin is a form of motor-paced cycle racing on a track with fixed-gear bicycle that meet a strict system of standards. Moreover, bike messengers and other urban riders may ride fixed gear bicycles in alleycat raceswhich are normally held in city streets, including New York City's famous fixed-gear-only race Monstertrack alleycat.
Similarly, Wolfpack Hustle began in simply as ride bringing together fast-paced bicycle riders with the common love for riding and has expanded to an internationally known race series that takes place in Los Angeles, California.
There are also events based on messenger racing, such as Mixpression, which has been held nine times [ needs update ] in Tokyo. Trick demonstrations have been held since the late s in the US and Europe;  while they continued into a competitive form in Europe artistic cyclingsubsequent to the recent [ needs update ] widespread popularity and advancement of fixed gear bikes, trick competitions have also now established themselves at venues in the US and Asia.
Other competitions include games of "foot down" and bike polo. InAdventures for the Cure made a documentary film on riding across the United States on fixed gears; they repeated this feat as a 4-man team at the Race Across America. Shortages of personal protective equipment for staff and residents also contributed to the spread of the virus. But a separate daily coronavirus report generated by the state that same day lists 4, nursing home deaths — a difference of more than 1, people.
The discrepancy, Mumma said, is because the different reports rely on different sources for data. The weekly report, though it previously included data from NEDSS, was changed in June to rely only on data reported directly by the nursing facilities. Barnabas Nursing Home in Richland is one such facility.
State reports last included data from the bed facility June 10 and indicated that those figures were pulled from NEDSS. That report showed 62 resident cases — 14 staff cases and 31 resident deaths — which was more deaths than at any other facility in Allegheny County, both at the time of that report and according to the most recent data.
But those figures are likely not accurate, said J. Turco, senior vice president and chief financial officer for St. Barnabas Health System. Facilities are required to report data to several agencies in addition to the state health department.
Definitions across agencies often differ for what qualifies as a covid death or case. That leads to disputes over how many individuals were residents of a facility when they were sick, Turco said. Since June 10, St. Barnabas has added one staff member case and one resident case, Turco said. There have been no additional deaths, he said. That increase was caused by a problem No Fronts (Clean Greene Edit) the software used to collect data from facilities, health department spokeswoman April Hutcheson said at the time.
Mumma on Wednesday added that the department is no longer relying on NEDSS to fill gaps in the self-reported, facility-level data.
Officials from Pinecrest Manor in St. Marys, the Elk County facility incorrectly reporting more than 76, deaths, did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment. They confirmed that the facility has had no cases or deaths to date. But members have reported confusion over definitions of what data must be submitted, log-in issues and technical problems such as not receiving a receipt to confirm that data was successfully submitted, he said.
In No Fronts (Clean Greene Edit) June 18 letter, the health department threatened nursing home administrators with daily fines or prison time if they did not comply with reporting requirements. All of these reporting issues are playing out as facilities work to fulfill a health department directive requiring facilities to test all residents and staff by July Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer.
You can contact Jamie atjmartines triblive.
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