Mavic’s New Ebike Motor Patents

Mavic's new ebike motor patents are what the company is looking to for regaining its footing, after a tumultuous few years. The iconic French brand  recently opened and staffed a new US office in Vermont – and of course, they’re looking to make inroads with the product they’re most known for: wheels.  Yet Mavic’s comeback [...]

January 4th, 2024|

New Wireless Shifting from SRAM

Technology for new wireless shifting from SRAM is in the works, according to patent applications on file. Existing electronic bicycle shifting from SRAM is configured with a switch and transmitter in both right and left levers. There are various programing options possible, such as the right lever controlling rear derailleur upshifts, and the left lever [...]

October 27th, 2023|

Campagnolo Wireless Shifting Revealed

  Campagnolo wireless shifting was revealed by Alan Cote well before the official product introduction. Read on to see how I found out the details via published patent applications. No one from Vicenza is talking, but the rumors have been flying: is Campagnolo finally introducing wireless shifting? In 2021, Shimano went semi-wireless (no shift lever [...]

September 7th, 2023|

New Bicycle Derailleur Patents

Published applications for new bicycle derailleur patents to the major component companies suggest that rear derailleurs could be headed the way of bottom brackets in terms of bike-specific compatibility. Rear derailleurs have mounted to frames with near-universal fit since they first evolved into the basic swinging parallelogram design in the 1950s. The days of universal-fit [...]

July 24th, 2023|

2022 Bicycle Industry Patents

Herein, I review 2022 bicycle industry patents. If you want a sneak peek at the future of where bicycle technology is headed, consider patent applications. Applications for utility patents publish (with some exceptions) 18 months after their filing date* – often before news of a related product is publically released . Patent filings also may [...]

April 13th, 2023|

Campagnolo Wireless Shifting – Coming Soon?

A flurry of recent patent applications sheds more light on the long-burning question: is Campagnolo wireless shifting coming soon? In February of 2021, I took a deep dive into Campy’s patent filings to-date, looking at what they’ve disclosed and are trying to protect for wireless derailleurs and shift levers. That spanned about 10 patent filings, [...]

February 14th, 2023|

Helmet Companies Patent MIPS Alternatives

    In the last decade, helmet companies patent MIPS alternatives, which has has seen a surge in new technology for bicycle helmets. Much of the development has focused on systems that address rotational-type forces, which may be a factor with head injuries in some bicycle crashes. Those who work showroom floors in bike shops [...]

October 20th, 2022|

Bicycle Patents: a Love-Hate Relationship

With bicycle patents, there may be a love-hate relationship. Common bicycle industry chatter:  “That product is a rip-off, a total copycat”. Yet also heard frequently: “Patents stifle new ideas  – only the lawyers win.” Which of these opposing points hits the mark? Granting exclusive rights to inventors for their work is nothing new: patents date [...]

September 1st, 2022|

Smart Bike and Virtual Cycling Patents

Smart bike and virtual cycling patents surround the electronics and internet connectivity that have become woven into indoor trainers and stationary bicycles over the last decade. Performance metrics like power measurement are now standard-issue for cycling enthusiasts who ride indoors (and outdoors), while virtual cycling platforms like Zwift, BKool, and others have greatly reduced the [...]

July 13th, 2022|

Electronic Bicycle Shifting From Tektro

Recently published US patent applications show electronic bicycle shifting from Tektro – a brand known mainly for its bicycle brakes. The Taiwan-based company has submitted over 65 US patent applications in the last 10 years, and least two dozen of the most recent filings relate to derailleurs and shifting. Could Tektro be poised to become [...]

June 2nd, 2022|

Bike Box Patents from Trek and Canyon

Bike box patents from Trek and Canyon show the industry's interest in a designs that get little attention. Yet bike boxes might only be outdone by empty coffee cups as the most common clutter in the work areas of shops. While the enormous cartons don’t get much attention – particularly compared to what’s inside them [...]

April 13th, 2022|

Bicycle Industry Patents In 2021

Bicycle industry patents in 2021 were issued to major manufacturers doing business in the US.  Component companies – rather than those who sell complete bicycles – led the way, with parts suppliers having the greatest incentive to stake intellectual property claims. Shifting, braking, suspension, electric assist, etc. are where the big changes in bicycle technology [...]

February 28th, 2022|

Are Cleat-Based Bicycle Powermeters Coming?

A billion dollar a year fitness company that you haven’t heard of. A massive wave of interest in indoor virtual cycling, fueled by the pandemic. An ever-increasing appetite for on-the-road power measurement. Could all of the above converge to finally bring about cleat-based bicycle powermeters? Icon Health and Fitness hopes so, aiming to succeed where [...]

January 13th, 2022|

Gravel Riding Brings Back Suspension Stems

  Gravel riding brings back suspension stems, as it is often said that many current developments in the rapidly growing field of gravel bikes mirror mountain bike technology from the 1980s. That includes things like tire widths, frame geometry, as well the gradual acceptance of suspension – including suspension handlebar stems. Sprung stems tasted some [...]

November 15th, 2021|

Pedal Powermeters

The industry is currently buzzing with product news and speculation on the powermeter front – pedals in particular. Much of the talk stems from recent mergers and acquisitions, including those already selling wattage measurement but are looking to expand offerings. Power measuring pedals are burdened with plenty of challenging constraints. Both pedals need to house [...]

September 10th, 2021|

Campagnolo Wireless Shifting Patents

Do Campagnolo wireless shifting patents answer the burning question from the tech tifosi: Will Campagnolo soon have wireless derailleurs? Patent applications can give a sneak peak of what’s in the development pipeline, and a perusal of what Campy has on file with patent offices worldwide shows plenty of wireless technology. It’s certainly no surprise that [...]

June 22nd, 2021|

Fox Racing Patents: Crank Sensor & Live Valve

New Mountain Bike Technology Recently published Fox Racing patents show that the company may be adding crankarm sensors to its super-techy Live Valve suspension system. With cranks in the Fox portfolio under the Race Face brand, this suggests the company is angling to bolster its presence as a wide-ranging OE supplier through component bundling. Current [...]

May 6th, 2021|

Is This Shimano’s Dura Ace Wireless Shifting System?

Patent Filings May Show New Dura Ace Wireless Speculation is running wild that the next generation of Shimano’s vaunted Dura Ace component group is coming soon – likely sometime this year, to align with both the usual four year product cycle length for Dura Ace  (bumped to five years due to COVID19), and Shimano's 100th [...]

March 16th, 2021|

Bicycle Shifters: Wearable Technology

Blending Clothing and Bicycle Componentry Wearable technology is nothing new to cycling apparel – from heart rate and fitness trackers to jackets illuminated by LEDS. But lurking in R&D departments of bicycle component manufacturers is something altogether different. Bicycle shifters: wearable technology -- designs that meld clothing with shifters. Namely, gloves and other handwear that [...]

March 2nd, 2021|

Shimano Wireless Shifting Patents

Shimano Wireless Shifting   One of the biggest questions on the minds of cycling’s technology-minded types: will the next generation of Dura Ace include Shimano wireless electronic shifting? Shimano was of course the first major player to market with electronic shifting (aside from Mavic’s early short-lived attempts), when they introduced Di2 in 2009, using wires [...]

January 29th, 2021|

SRAM eBike Shifting Patent

  SRAM's eBike Shifting Patent  shows that bikes and batteries are becoming deeply intertwined. With ebikes surging in popularity both in the US and globally, manufacturers have been considering what else a large-capacity ebike battery could power in addition to propelling a bike. Headlights and taillights are obvious accessories  to draw juice from an ebike [...]

November 24th, 2020|

Bicycle Derailleur Patent from SRAM

Patent filing shows rotating front derailleurs integrated with the crankset   Is bicycle shifting about to get some entirely fresh technology? A recently patent application shows that SRAM has been hard at work designing a wireless front derailleur system unlike anything seen before – with three separate gear-changing mechanisms that rotate with the crankset. Made [...]

August 7th, 2020|

Dropper Stem From Shimano

New patent application shows movable stem as part of an array of sensored components that can communicate and control each other   Dropper seatposts have become standard equipment for performance-level mountain bikes. Could the same concept … altering the position of a bike-fit component while riding … also work for a handlebar stem? A fresh [...]

July 9th, 2020|

Shimano Monitors Component Wear with AI

Could a “Check Engine” light be coming to bikes? Shimano is thinking that way, and has filed a patent application for using artificial intelligence processing paired with sensors to monitor wear and maintenance of bicycle components. US Patent Application 20200010138, published on Jan 9, 2020, gives glimpse of a system for bicycles analogous to the [...]

June 3rd, 2020|

Historical Bicycle Patents: Powermeter from 1896

Inventions invariably build on what came before – “Prior Art” in the patent world. A great example is the bicycle powermeter. About 15 to 20 years ago, power output (in Watts) became the gold standard metric for quantifying cycling performance.  Longtime insiders know that the SRM crankset emerged in the early 1990s, with Greg LeMond [...]

April 24th, 2020|

Trek Bicycles Rim Shape Software

  Patent Application from Trek Bicycle Finds Optimum Rim Shapes Trek is getting highly analytical when it comes to how bicycle rims slice through the air. Not long ago, advances in bicycle technology were often seat-of-the -pants efforts – use of the term “engineering” would be generous. But in the ceaseless pursuit of faster bicycles [...]

April 10th, 2020|
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