One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

So far in our SURG project, we have realized one thing: we don’t know anything. All our preconceptions of what could work were way off. Did we get money for a proposal we really didn’t even understand ourselves? It’s possible, but we have goal and a vision. That’s what counts.

Here’s what we’ve learned.

- Linear induction as a power source: not feasible, unless you want a magnet the size of a phonebook attached to your bike

- Using a 48 hole rim and only threading 36 of them: safety is an issue. would the rim be stable? We don’t really know.

- Type of LED: turns out that the LED’s we were looking at are outdated technology. And infact there are strip RGB LED’s that have everything we need in one convenient package.

-Don’t assume anything: we approached this project we preconceived notions based little on true knowledge. Start with rough models ad mockups and eventually work to the final design

Where we are now

After talking with Brian Kirby  we’ve reconsidered quite a bit.

- check out Sparkfun for supplies and potential answers to our questions (“there are things that other people have solved for you” - Brian Kirby, while shaking his head)

- reconsideration of hub generators (

- potential light source LED strips (

- 36 hole Chukker rims

- disc brake compatible hubs for slip “knots”

- slip rings to transfer power to a moving wheel

We just need to buy the components and see what we can do with them.

Where we want to end up

Light up wheels before the end of March. And maybe, perhaps, if we can, a responsive lighting system that responds to the biker’s actions (ie. turn signals, brake lights, etc). But we shall see, time will tell.

One step forward!