Video: the Dreamslide

Imagine if riding a bike were more like skiing, but without the snow. And the skis. And with more wheels.

by Dave Atkinson   September 16, 2010  

Dreamslide

Ah, Eurobike. Eurobike, Eurobike, Eurobike. One minute you're knocking us out with some Carbon lovely or a bit of hand-crafted Titanium art, the next you're making us question the very fabric of existence with some off-the-wall contraption. Like the Dreamslide.

Eurobike's full of bikes – and I use the word advisedly – like the Dreamslide. The essential mechanical and geometrical make-up of the bike has changed very little since the first one was made, and there's a good reason for that: it was pretty much spot on right away, and is unlikely to be significantly bettered. Despite that there's a small army of tinkerers from all over the globe who are convinced that we can develop new, better things. Things like bikes, but without a saddle. Or pedals. Or handlebars. Or whatever.

Eurobike's full of these odd relations to the humble bike. You see them generally at the backs of the halls; ostensibly because that means you can nip out to the car park for a go on one but really because that's where everyone's decided that's where they belong. You will see at least one of them winning a gong at the much-derided Eurobike awards every year as well, rather spoiling it for the people who have genuinely interesting and innovative stuff winning recognition.

So then, the Dreamslide. "The basic idea is that the user should view this machine as an extension of his or her body; a sort of amplifier of the person's own natural locomotion capabilities, without the cumbersome aspect of an ordinary bicycle", goes the back story. The Dreamslide has been in development for six years. If only riding a bike could be more like rollerblading or skiing, then that would be a good thing, right? Wrong. The main issues of urban cycling in this country seem to less about how unlike rollerblading and skiing it is, and more about getting left-hooked by a cement lorry, or abused by a road-tax-paying [sic] white van driver, or taken out by an iPed in a trance. Maybe, if the whole of our urban space consisted of flat, wide spaces connecting coffee shops. Maybe then. But probably not.

To be fair to the Dreamslide, it's not the worst offender. There's a stepper bike that's been consistently underwhelming the crowds at Eurobike for as long as we can remember going. And new to the party this year was the cross training tricycle which, if we recall correctly, really did win an award of some kind. Though that may be wishful thinking on our part.

Normal service – and bikes – will be resumed tomorrow. For more on Dreamslide, head to www.dreamslide.com

10 user comments

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Ah you're just sour because the nice Dreamslider man said I was a natural… not the natural ability I might have chosen to have been endowed with myself but beggars can't be choosers at least I've found my true talent… (sigh).

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4110 posts]
16th September 2010 - 23:35

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yeah i notice the video of *me* doing it didn't make it to the final cut Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7022 posts]
17th September 2010 - 8:07

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right, i did watch this with the sound down, so i may have missed a subtlety or two, but is it literally just a brompton without a saddle and with silly big-foot pedals?

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [338 posts]
17th September 2010 - 9:34

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A cross-training bicycle. Sweet Lord of underwhelming rubbish ... Let's make good use of scarce resources producing trash like that!

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [226 posts]
17th September 2010 - 9:40

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In appearance maybe jezzer - but there the similarity ends, it's much more like skating than riding a bike. It's appearance is probably against it in that respect cos for a cyclist, at least, it leads to preconceptions that don't help when you climb aboard.

I'm inclined to be less hard on it than Dave cos I did find it extremely manouverable - dare I say possibly more so than a bike - dodging traffic wouldn't be an issue - that's pretty much all I did on my test ride. Once I got going it was fun too, the issue I think would be when you have to dab a foot down, which you will in traffic and possibly then starting off again.

Hills? Well I don't see why with a decent hub gear you shouldn't be able to go up hill on it too + it has to be said that the topography of most major cities is generally flat.

Probably Eurobike wasn't the best showcase for it cos it isn't a bike, maybe Euroskate would have been more appropriate.

But hey, if it persuades some in-line skaters to get out of their cars more power to it.

Of course I would leap to the Dreamslide's defence - I've got a natural talent. Smile

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4110 posts]
17th September 2010 - 10:06

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my other main issue with it is that you have to swing the whole thing from side to side to ride it, which is fine in a car park or on the prom, but no use at all when you're getting cut up by taxis in a greasy London bus lane.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7022 posts]
17th September 2010 - 10:15

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Well, you did Smile

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4110 posts]
17th September 2010 - 10:40

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don't see much footage of you going in a straight line Smile

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7022 posts]
17th September 2010 - 10:44

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The Dreamslide man (belgian ?) managed to do it without swinging and he didn't look to be the athletic type - maybe he's just had a bit more practice. Thinking

posted by ChrisO [11 posts]
17th September 2010 - 12:02

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dave_atkinson wrote:
don't see much footage of you going in a straight line Smile

ah, that's because I was using the highly manoueverable Dreamslide to dodge the multiple white vans + the Beemer that were coming in to break down the show + once I got used to it it didn't really move from side to side any more than a bike would.

Be interesting to see whether it finds a nice, but I suspect that most people that want to amplify their locomotion have found other ways of doing it already that they are quite happy with.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4110 posts]
17th September 2010 - 13:07

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