On 3/7/00, 148 people visited this page to see
what a cheapie Bicycle Inclinometer looked like. This
page wasn't referenced anywhere else on our website; these people came,
looked, and scratched their collective heads based solely on a posting on
the rec.bicycles.tech newsgroup by someone asking if there were any
inclinometers available for bikes.
For those who doubted that a
semi-workable inclinometer exists for bicycles...here it is!
I spotted a few of these in a bin at a distributor, and just had
to snag them. Actually, it's a combination
inclinometer/accelerometer, since acceleration will cause the
bubble to move in the same way a changing grade will.
How accurate is it? Hard to say, but it definitely is
useful from a comparative standpoint. For example, I've
learned quite a bit about those parts of roads where you really
can't figure out how steep they really area because you don't have
good visual cues. Even on Kings Mountain Road, which I climb
twice a week, I've discovered that certain parts that seemed
tougher than they should be...actually are a bit
steeper than the surrounding areas. The primary argument
against accuracy is that it measures acceleration as well as
incline, and some feel that the sinusoidal forward motion of a
bike uphill (meaning that you don't pedal with the same force all
the way through the stroke, so you're actually speeding up/slowing
down/speeding up etc on a per- crank- revolution basis) renders
this thing useless. But in real life, it actually does seem
to work and one doesn't notice much of that effect, probably
because there's damping in the system due to the viscosity of the
fluid the bubble travels in.
Where do you buy one of these things? Someone told me
they were imported or made by a company named SideTrak, which I
believe is located in Washington somewhere. I'll try to find
a source for a bunch more in the event we suddenly get a lot of
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