I couldn’t think outside the box.

Everybody else left who thought outside the box. But the box remains.

The walls of math and mechanics (physics) cannot be dismissed, and they are the walls that define this ideal concept but impossible to achieve drivetrain.

To be left alone inside the box can be a bit odd, but I was determined to explore, examine and understand why this impossible to achieve drivetrain could not be… achieved.

If I may expand on this metaphor a little bit more, I was not only inside this box of math and mechanical constraints, but I was sitting on a chair with my head in my hands, and my elbows on my knee, so that I only gazed at the bottom of the box. This focus seemed to help. It is this 2 dimensional playing field that I was looking at, this 2d CAD program I was working with, the problem became a jigsaw puzzle to solve. I was able to build and test proof of concepts with my basic machining skills, and common mechanical sense. This testing of proof of concepts and the many failures along the way, paved the way for a solution that obeys mathematical and mechanical laws. Not all parts of this drivetrain were made, since some are known mechanical assemblies, they would be just be modified suit. The final assembly I came to realize was a step too far me to do in a reasonable period of time, the skill needed, and machinery required are beyond my reach at this time.

unknown artist

LongShot is the bicycle project these blogs and other web pages are about. To bring this remarkable drivetrain to market is the goal. It will be a disruptive technology, and is at the core of what makes a bicycle a bicycle.

The bicycle has been fundamentally unchanged since inception. This new type of drivetrain that LongShot is introducing is not thought doable, and has never been done before, although many attempts have been tried. Mech. Engineers and other people you should trust will be skeptical. But I don’t think any of them would spent the time or has the time to spent on such a foolish errand for such along time as I did.

The solutions (IPs) will be open for licensing for the global market, after the first limited run of bicycles are sold.

Many first will be presented on these soon to be historical bicycles. The new drivetrain is obviously the standout feature. It may be hard to imagine but significant upgrades will happen to other parts of the bike where you may think needs no upgrades, or you may ask yourself, how can that be upgraded?

Flowers Vintage Watercolor Abstract Bicycle Art

LongShot the impossible bicycle project. That will make every bicycle ever made obsolete.

LongShot

A limited run of first edition bicycles that will define what bicycles will be, will soon be available for purchase. The simple beauty of the bicycle is now maintained with a new type of drivetrain design that permits the rider to have qualities not possible before.

  • An inherently aerodynamic design.
  • Sequential gearing that’s a natural function of the design.
  • You may choose your own cadence at any speed, any time.
  • A gear range greater than any offered before.
  • Maintenance will be significantly reduced, and if you are a Sunday afternoon rider, no maintenance needed for decades.
  • No internal parts of the drivetrain are exposed, your bike will always be ready for a clean ride.
  • The bicycle chain is still used but cannot derail or skip.
  • Your ride will be easier and so much more intuitive than any ride you had before.
  • Manufactures will not be limited by current industry standards, they can now offer us riders improvements both mechanically and intuitively in a lightweight aerodynamic package.

This LongShot bicycle project, will offer a new way of interacting with your bicycle, with the use of hydraulics in this profoundly radical design. How you change gears will become intuitive, smooth and complete. Your relationship with your ride will become much more intimate, you now will be able to feel your bike respond to your every touch.

Advancing the state of the art to Sci-fi territory

This drivetrain permits an uninterrupted flow of torque from rotational (pedalling) to linear(chain) to rotational again(wheel) in a two dimensional plane. The concepts of “uninterrupted”, and “two dimensions” are key to the incredible efficiency of this new type of drivetrain. The flow of torque from your consciousness, through your spine, legs and through the bicycle is continuous throughout to the very road you’re on. A response a direct connection, a feel for the ride like never before. The elite among us will now be free to speed like never before. The rest of us will now have just an incredibly comfortable ride.

LongShot advancing the state of the art to Sci-fi territory.

The Milling Machine

The Mill with a rotary table with a fixture plate on top

The picture above shows a 6 axis build. Each axis is a movement, such the milling machine by itself has 3 axis, 1st axis allows the machine table to move left or right, the 2nd axis has the table move in or out, and finally the third has the quill move up or down. The quill holds the cutting tool, while the table with clamps hold the part to be milled.

When a rotary table is place on the mill table, you add the 4th axis. Place a compound slide, (XY) table on this rotating table and now 2 more axis are added. These axis are combined to create sophisticated milling maneuvers on your work piece. The final build I used a total of 7 axis.


This mill proved to be problematic, as can be seen in the photo above it is reinforced with 1/2″ thick iron flat bar to help control vibration. I even had to modify the mill by machining the dam thing since the vibration was so bad right out of the factory. As can be seen in these photos the machine is bolted to a cast iron table top, and this table is secured to a heavy 3x3x1/4″ angle iron frame, that also carries a heavy load of scrap metal on the lower shelve, all in my quest to keep the vibrations down by adding mass. After all this work I still could not get a smooth enough finish that I wanted on the milled parts. This was a contributing factor in stopping my attempt to machine this invention into reality. The highest speed of this machine is just too slow being only 1800rpm max. the cutting tools prefer speeds 3x greater.

With this mill being lightweight, and stacking equipment on it to achieve 7 axis of movement, I may have asked too much of it.

A compound sliding table that I was using proved to be out of square. Working with a machine tool and have it so out of true, and this being so unexpected and along with my inexperience proved disastrous. To overcome this built in flaw, I plotted on a spreadsheet the XY coordinates and drilled thousand of individual holes to machine my work piece. This was an incredibly tedious task, but I had come so far I couldn’t stop. Once I had milled this piece hole by hole and put it to the test along with the other machined parts. I realized the part that I spend hours and hours making needed to be modified. Yes I did swear. A good part of a decade had passed by this time.

This journey has been incredibly rewarding. To search for a solution that has never been found before, and finding it is an incredible rush. Although I was not able to build and assemble this drivetrain to completion, the parts that were assembled for proof of concepts along the way, lead directly to a design that obeys all the laws of math and mechanics.

Now showing folks that it works is my next goal.

There has been endless failed attempts to achieve this kind or transmission. Drivetrain engineers I don’t think spend a minute thinking about a solution, simply because simple mechanics and math proves no solution could possibly exists. If you wish to do a patent search on your own, for this type of drivetrain, the term variator will help.

When I first started I didn’t know this, but further investigation showed why it couldn’t be done and this was the show stopper. For some reason I couldn’t stop, ideas kept coming and I had to just follow these. Many ideas failed or the path taken discarded, but solution always presented themselves. This pattern repeated itself throughout the bicycle drivetrain. It is at this point we find ourselves here.

The Beauty of a Simple Idea

This drivetrain can be considered the holy grail for powertrain engineers, a nearly 100% efficient infinitely variable ratio, two dimensional chain driven drivetrain. There is no magic, and no breaking any rules. Sometimes the simplest of solutions are right in front of us. In this case there wasn’t. The amount of work involved was years long, and intense.

It took time to understand how parts interacted with each other in unique assemblies, and in a way that at no time is contact interrupted in this transfer of power from assembly to assembly in a continuous flowing manner. This continuous flow of torque is the same principle of why the bicycle chain is so efficient, and is carried forward with this design.

The start

I retired early and I found that to be a difficult thing to do, after spending decades running my own business, you just don’t stop and start rocking in a rocking chair. I had to find a project to keep me busy.

I am a Sunday afternoon bicycle rider, and one day I had adjustment issues with the derailleur. It is at this point I realize now I jumped into a rabbit hole and didn’t realize how deep it was until it was to late.

For a better part of a decade I was in my garage/workshop/office and did nothing but work on this project of eliminating the derailleur. The success I had in the design stage could not have been possible without the failure I had in trying to machine this into existence. This attempt to machine this invention into reality gave insights into how to solve the many mechanical problems of deleting the derailleur while still using the bicycle chain and also being compatible with current bicycle standards.

This drivetrain has been engineered to fit into a open source BB30 bottom bracket. If you have an expensive ride already, the ability for this drivetrain to fit your bike is real.

I had purchased some modest machining equipment to equip me to do my task. Although I’m a tradesman, I had never done any machining before. To just start machining from a cold start is a near impossible task. But that was my choice, the learning curve is steep, expensive, and it never ends. Although my skills and knowledge grew as time rushed by, my machining progress was painfully slow.

As the build progressed ideas were tested, modified, or discarded along the way. This machining of parts to test real world conditions for this drivetrain was key in finding the many solutions required to make this machine work. The completed design I realize is beyond my reach to make a prototype. Now I’m setting off on a new course to raise awareness, and raise some capital to get this to market.

This rabbit hole I’m in I can’t seem to get out of, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

HardLiquid

A new ride from the future with hydraulic assist. Never before has a bicycle used hydraulics in the drivetrain. Hydraulics permits a level of refined movement not practical by other means. Clever use of this “HardLiquid” in this unique manner permits this bicycle transmission to function closer to being 100% efficient than what has come before.

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