• This topic has 34 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by poly.
Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • Would the C5 succeed today?
  • Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Seeing this article made me think about it.

    c5 on bbc

    My gut reaction is that with the growth in cycle commuting & the popularity of the ebike increasing a 2015 C5, albeit with modernised electrical engineering, would find a place in modern day Britian. Having been involved in the school greenpower project and a recumbent owner I’m probably biased though.

    My 90 year old neighbour had one when they were launched – a retired engineering of some repute, it reemerged from his garage with a top speed well over 30mph (and vastly reduced range). A rather terrifying sight blasting down the streets! With a full sized snooker table and a ride on mower I could go around and use and being the oldest licensed short wave radio user in the UK, he was about the coolest neighbour a geeky young lad could have.

    gwaelod
    Member

    No. The road environment is now even more hostile than it was in early 80s.

    soma_rich
    Member

    I was thinking the same thing, they would need a better build quality and a lower price I think. I would love one. £600-700 for an original…

    Premier Icon falkirk-mark
    Subscriber

    The same as my thoughts 30 years ago have not changed, would you like to sit at the front of a traffic queue with an artic behind you.
    If i was that way inclined I would get an electric bike

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    Flawed for me by its driving position ie very low down…would like a go on one but can’t personally see any practical use for one on a day to day basis

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    In it’s original configuration I think it would have suffered the same fate today. Too low and slow. Not enough weather protection. No suspension and small wheels. In the event of a collision you were going to come off worse.

    I’d feel much safer on this.

    5thElefant
    Member

    The same as my thoughts 30 years ago have not changed, would you like to sit at the front of a traffic queue with an artic behind you.

    No, but I wouldn’t on a bicycle either.

    I don’t know why but recumbant bicycles or motorbikes just don’t appeal to people. I don’t think anything has changed.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    C5, nah

    electric bike / trike though – yes

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    The same as my thoughts 30 years ago have not changed, would you like to sit at the front of a traffic queue with an artic behind you.

    As a user of a recumbent (admittedly only recently) this is something I do, kind of. You know what, it’s just like being on a bike! I was of the same opinion as you until I tried it though so I agree perception is probably a bigger deciding factor than reality.

    I don’t think the market is strapping Young bucks like yourselves ( 😉 ) though, probably a more mature or sedate audience.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    If I sold 17,000 of something that cost that much I’d be quite happy.

    As HTS will remember, we had the injection molded body shell of the C5 in our design studio when we went to Big School. That was tooled as a publicity stunt, the largest one piece tooling ever made at the time. Much like the Kirk Precision being the largest one piece mag casting of its time. In that situation you aren’t paying zillions for tooling as the factory are backing you to do it.

    17,000 sales is pretty good. I could tool and make a healthy profit on selling something similar in carbon if I hit 1000pc I reckon.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    As HTS will remember, we had the injection molded body shell of the C5 in our design studio when we went to Big School.

    I remember you wearing the front wheel cover like a hat.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    would you like to sit at the front of a traffic queue with an artic behind you.

    Same as on a bike but with a faster pick up? No problem.

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Subscriber

    Electric bikes or Segway type stuff these days I reckon.

    I was pretty young when the C5 came out but remember thinking they looked too low to be safe on the roads.

    We used to go on holidays to Brean in Somerset and I saw one on one of the narrow country roads down there. Seemed like a recipe for disaster on the narrow roads with high hedges (even though they all seemed to be fitted with those long aerial flag things..

    No. The road environment is now even more hostile than it was in early 80s.

    ^^^ This +1

    About personal transport in the UK. Way back then, we saw a tonne of steel on wheels. And that is what we gladly signed up for. And that is what we have. We can all be Toad of Toad Hall and get out of my way. We can look sexy and wealthy getting from home to the shops/school/office/campsite. Seal the deal by shutting down most of the smaller railways.

    This is now stamped into the national identity. It will take hundreds of years for us to peel off that costume. Longer still to build an integrated transport system that caters for the ‘weirdies’ who ride HPVs or Pedelecs, or*gasp* bicycles. There is no getting around the fact that cars are the lovely bubbles that shield us from the weather, the rest of humanity, and of course physical exertion – while also identifying us as wealthy/sexy and stylish…and more importantly ‘normal’. Allowing us to be keeping up with/above the Joneses, the car can also carry a bicycle a long distance in order to ride a bicycle somewhere away from roads. Why on earth would anyone give that up?

    For the weirdies who want to travel in laughable non-car stylee – it is hell out there. Making them even weirder.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    As HTS will remember, we had the injection molded body shell of the C5 in our design studio when we went to Big School.

    Did you go to Bingley or Beckfoot? (or BBGS)

    Free the Segway!

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Did you go to Bingley or Beckfoot? (or BBGS)

    Huddersfield Poly/University School of Engineering. We’ve got letters after our names and everyfink.

    Free the Segway!

    There is a Segway in these parts. Or used to be until recently. Always saw it travelling the same short level run. I always thought ‘why not walk’? And then I thought it must be fun in a sci-fi way.

    Sci-fi scenarios always imagined some kind of walk-negating travelator with fit sexy people ambulating stylishly from perspex space-bubble to perspex space-bubble. They never (to my knowledge) foresaw bubble-shaped people traveling in big metal bubbles from mock-Georgian box to mock-Georgian box.

    poly
    Member

    In it’s original configuration I think it would have suffered the same fate today. Too low and slow. Not enough weather protection. No suspension and small wheels.

    I think it would probably fair a little better – cost of fuel (even with recent price drops) and congestion etc mean some people do see the downside of motoring. I’m not convinced suspension and small wheels is the issue, plenty of Brompton (and cheap folder) users around. Reasonable volume of air in the tyres and its probably more comfortable than a road bike.

    Visibility was a concern. Actually what we know is sadly it is for fully upright bikes too. If visibility was a primary consideration in the design (rather than an after thought) I think it could be OK. I can imagine how the blaze approach (https://www.blaze.cc/home-test-v1) together with a bike height ‘roll bar’ with lights on it could help.

    I don’t believe it is too slow. The target wouldn’t be racing cyclists – who wound just use their mammoth guns and have no need for electric assist. Average tootling around town speed for normal folks on a bike is less than 15 mph. Higher speeds move it into a totally different regulatory world so any new equivalent will have the same restriction.

    nuke – Member …would like a go on one but can’t personally see any practical use for one on a day to day basis

    To me the practical issue it the lack of weather protection. In the UK this is essential, but if that can be achieved it suddenly becomes very interesting. How many people are using cars for relatively short one person journeys? Basically the sort of thing many people here would consider obvious bike commuting territory – now what if all the “non-athletic” people could do those trips in their ordinary clothes and turn up without getting sweaty?

    The other issues to think about are storage – a lot of people who are potential users live in flats, or small houses without garages. Charging is obviously an issue for people who don’t have storage. I think security would also be an issue.

    Now Brant – if you can design one that is dry, is road legal (as E. assist peddle bike), and has thought through the visibility issues etc – then I’ll pay £1k for it. Do e-bikes qualify for cycle to work? I suspect if they did their might be a lot of interest!

    ninfan
    Member

    the C5 is already hugely successful today

    They just made it a bit more upright and called it a mobility scooter!

    I don’t know why but recumbant bicycles or motorbikes just don’t appeal to people. I don’t think anything has changed.

    They really appeal to me. Mrs MR has a recumbent trike, but the irony is we have to use a car to transport it to safe trails as the roads are much too risky. It feels like giving up, but cashing all our chips in for martyr/roadkill status is hardly effective. Prefer to use the (hopefully) years we have left to campaign for cycle safety and infrastructure.

    HPV and EPVs today are the very definition of Catch 22. If we had level, dedicated cycle paths all over the UK (see the 5000 miles of Beeching-axed branch lines for example) and a few thousand forward thinkers zipping to work on 10p per 100km pedelecs then we would see quicker changes, and a leap in technology, along with lower pricing. At which point many would also see the fitness benefits and realise that electric motors are not wholly necessary, and that commute-cycling 20-30 miles on the level is easily achievable.

    Unfortunately we are hundreds of years behind such sensible option. The car carved out today’s landscape, it is tattooed into our culture and identity.

    poly
    Member

    At which point many would also see the fitness benefits and realise that electric motors are not wholly necessary, and that commute-cycling 20-30 miles on the level is easily achievable.

    I think you are wrong! Even if I could wave a magic wand and give you the infrastructure, very few people would use it for commutes > 1hr, especially if you arrive at the other end sweaty, tired and needing to get changed.

    The real difference is for the sub 5 mile distances where people DO use their cars for pure convenience. Helmets, gloves, water proofs, hi vis, having to pack “kit” in panniers (or similar), etc is a huge PITA. For some that is the trip to a train station, for others to the office, or the shops, or to visit a friend / relative, or go to the gym, or pick up a pizza, etc. Those are real life things, real people do, because cars are convenient and comfortable. People like comfort and convenience.

    PS I use the word ‘tattooed’ rather than ‘evolved’ quite deliberately, in that car-culture (although ubiquitous and all-pervasive) is nonetheless only skin-deep. We humans evolved as living, moving lifeforms. ‘We are still those lifeforms. Designed’ to move our limbs, to use our muscles and organs. To get from A to B via physical exertion. When both the journey and the destination become blurred into bubble-bound boredom, enlivened only with yet more piped media – then surely we really need to have a word with ourselves?

    Even if I could wave a magic wand and give you the infrastructure, very few people would use it for commutes

    You’re right, and there is no magic wand. That’s not the way change happens. Go back in time and hand a smart-phone to a Neanderthal he’d most likely use it to light his shelter at night until the battery died. As I stated further up, it would take hundreds of years if it ever happens, and, furthermore, will more likely come from necessity and scarcity than by choice. Unless you live in Holland! I remain optimistic, my most treasured personality flaw 😉

    I wonder, is idleness, total comfort and boredom so attractive to humans that we would all be happier travelling via personal hydraulic tubes (at 1000mph) to our destinations?

    5thElefant
    Member

    electric motors are not wholly necessary, and that commute-cycling 20-30 miles on the level is easily achievable.

    I can just about cooe with a two hour commute by car, but a two hour commute by bicycle is lunatic territory. With an electric motor helping speed things up then what you say is appealing.

    Premier Icon dudeofdoom
    Subscriber

    Nah….it was too low……but was a clever piece of engineering though..

    I think the Twizy Has nailed it tbh anything slightly different than the norm really seems to struggle to gain a market.

    The problem is that the most convenient method of transport has already been invented and the infrastructure put in place and strangely enough it’s the car 🙂

    The real difference is for the sub 5 mile distances where people DO use their cars for pure convenience. Helmets, gloves, water proofs, hi vis, having to pack “kit” in panniers (or similar), etc is a huge PITA.

    I just did the usual 8 miles circuit to the supermarket and back, on a Dutch bike (gear ratios changed for the hills). Admittedly it took me two seconds to put my helmet on, yet I wore the clothes I already had on. The panniers bag and locks are already on the bike (integrated locks with a key that only comes out once you’ve locked the bike, so no looking for keys before the off)

    If four miles of the journey wasn’t by cycle path it would be more arduous on account of car traffic (the eternal bugbear even worse than rain) and if it was raining I’d probably not bother and save the journey for a clear evening. The car park was full when I got there. It felt more convenient for me to be on my bike. And a lot more fun, but that’s just me. I even cycle to the takeaway, and have an insulated bag for the purpose, which I use for car journeys also, so it really is not less convenient for short local journeys, but it is more work to pedal a bike than it is to press the pedals in a car. There lies a lot of the ‘convenience’ if people are honest.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I just did the usual 8 miles circuit to the supermarket and back, on a Dutch bike (gear ratios changed for the hills). Admittedly it took me two seconds to put my helmet on. The panniers bag and locks are already on the bike (integrated locks with a key that only comes out once you’ve locked the bike, so no looking for keys before the off)

    This being my challenge, and many other peoples – do we all have a dry garage that a bike can be stood in corner, with helmet and waterproofs hung next to it?
    I have a couple of sheds (one at end of garden) and a storage cupboard. Despite best efforts, getting up and out if it was all the family can take a good few mins…

    Premier Icon piemonster
    Subscriber

    They’re good for skids on iced up car parks btw

    This being my challenge, and many other peoples – do we all have a dry garage that a bike can be stood

    I know what you mean, but you must admit, thinking laterally – it is quite unusual to think that a tonne of steel is somehow more convenient to store than 40lbs of steel. Catch 22 again, less properties these days have garages because of overpopulation and car growth (currently double the rate of population growth?) – properties converted to flats etc…

    I use an inconvenient amount of space indoors to store bikes and wish I had a garage, it would save me a hernia going up and down stairs, and some living space. If I had a young family with kids still at home we would have to have garage or some kind of cave. Or folders.

    Where would one store a C5 for that matter? Another thumbs down for Sinclair’s idea?

    bencooper
    Member

    The C5 was a typical Clive Sinclair product – a good idea made as cheaply as possible to shift units, therefore utter junk. He does it again and again – the C5, the Zeta, the Zike, the A-bike – all interesting ideas but made really badly and sold off to people in the Sunday glossies who don’t know any better, so they got used once then put in the shed.

    I do recumbents, and a few velomobiles – the practical problem with a velomobile (which the C5 was) is what you do with the thing when you’re not using it. It really needs a big shed or garage, which rules out a lot of the urban situations where it would be most useful. A recumbent trike with a fairing gets you 90% of the weather protection of a velomobile for a lot less cost and hassle.

    poly
    Member

    I know what you mean, but you must admit, thinking laterally – it is quite unusual to think that a tonne of steel is somehow more convenient to store than 40lbs of steel.

    not really, they are remarkably easily stored simply by leaving them on the street, pretty secure, and with the contents dry etc. I did point out the issue with storing C5’s earlier though. Probably no worse than a scooter though?

    I use an inconvenient amount of space indoors to store bikes and wish I had a garage,

    I was amazed you didn’t – but I think few people have sufficient indoor space to devote to “vehicle” storage. Especially if they don’t live alone.

    Where would one store a C5 for that matter? Another thumbs down for Sinclair’s idea?

    I don’t think its a thumbs down – its an extra issue that needs thought about if someone was going to turn his idea into something prevalent – but addressing the ‘waterproofing’ would go a long way – then its just about where and what you can lock it to.

    Breaking the Catch 22 – when short journeys are more convenient by bike – and cycle storage at home and destination is part of the transport infrastructure and building regs…

    I was amazed you didn’t

    I have a neighbour’s double size shed to share use for the a couple of regularly used bikes – and the MTB and folder live in my office/studio – while the hybrid lives in the dining room and gets wheeled into the hall when we have guests. It’s not ideal. Would be better with a garage. Would be more sensible to go N-1! Lucky to have a very understanding wife 😉

    I don’t think its a thumbs down – its an extra issue that needs thought about if someone was going to turn his idea into something prevalent

    . Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? It is shown that the current (cars for every type of journey, parked on street, at least two per family) ‘norm’ is supposedly chosen and enjoys its primacy on account of convenience, not least for the existing car-centric infrastructure.

    So for anything to change (or to be ‘more convenient’) then different infrastructure would need to be there in order for such to be considered convenient.. Yet unless the demand for the infrastructure is present, then that infrastructure will not happen. Catch 22.

    ninfan
    Member

    It’s interesting to look at the building regs side, there was a clear move in the eighties ‘barrat house decade’ to garages being too small to actually park a car in (unless you climbed in via the sunroof) and more recently I’ve seen a lot of town houses with garages on the ground floor.

    perhaps the future lies in mandated small garages for bikes and personal mobility vehicles rather than cars? I could certainly live happily in a house with a half size garage, wet room and utility room on the ground floor

    Dutch building regs re Bicycle storage:

    From 2003 the regulations were lifted from the building regulations. Developers claimed they – and the market – could decide what was best and wanted. But immediately you saw developers cut costs by striking the bicycle parking facility from especially their apartment buildings. The Fietsersbond, the Dutch Cyclists’ Union, protested right away and politicians, especially those in the larger cities, agreed fairly quickly that this was an unwanted phenomenon that also contradicted the policies to stimulate cycling. Already in 2008 the minister agreed that the bicycle storage requirements had to get back in the regulations and they were indeed finally re-instated from early 2012.

    From a British perspective the Dutch infrastructure looks like very high pie in the sky. Cycling is normalised. People wear regular clothes as they pedal to work or the shops, or to visit. They maybe aren’t even called ‘cyclists’, rather ‘people’, ie they are considered as much a ‘person’ riding on a bike as they would be if they drove a car!

    Parking your bike at home (Netherlands)
    [video]http://youtu.be/6yDFp0msbMw[/video]

    poly
    Member

    . Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? It is shown that the current (cars for every type of journey, parked on street, at least two per family) ‘norm’ is supposedly chosen and enjoys its primacy on account of convenience, not least for the existing car-centric infrastructure.

    Not sure why you think that is cart before horse. The reality of the current situation is too intractable to change quickly. However I’m not looking to change the entire world and have everyone else adopt a different approach or lifestyle; I’m simply suggesting that I think IF a £1000 C5-like product was available that it would have a market (and as it happens that market would be another step towards the Dutch Idyll you are seeking). However I think the key is dealing with the weather – it makes the “bike” more pleasant to use “all” year AND helps with storage.

    So for anything to change (or to be ‘more convenient’) then different infrastructure would need to be there in order for such to be considered convenient..

    I don’t agree. I’d quite happily use one without any change in infrastructure – just as I use a bike. About 15 yrs ago I used to live in Malvern and would have used one (with electric assist – as I lived at the top of the hill!) there too.

    I seriously considered getting an old C5 and renovating/modernising it 4 yrs ago, but decided because of the weather, storage issues not to bother. I’m now wondering whether 3D printing would make a body possible (or even better a monococ)… …I really don’t need another project though… The velomobiles Ben sells are quite nice, and I am sure way better engineered than either the C5 or anything I might make – but you need to be a real enthusiast to spend that sort of money on one.

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

The topic ‘Would the C5 succeed today?’ is closed to new replies.