horse 'bicycle'

Why? Adding mechanics just provides more that can go wrong.
Excuse me? Look again.
That's very obvious.
Good idea. Do build a small model.
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I've been shopping this on horse and bike groups. I think it would be
cool to put a horse-sized treadmill on wheels and see how far and fast
a horse could propel it.
There has been a lot of skepticism from the horse and bike groups.
Horses powered stationary machines and ferry boats via treadmill prior
to the invention of the steam engine. Then technology took a different
The physics/engineering question:
I would think technology has advanced far enough in nearly 200 years
that a device could be built which would give a horse and driver a
large advantage over a horse on hoof or a human bicyclist.
Basic facts: a horse weighs around 1000 pounds and can produce several
horsepower, I don't know for how long. I would envision the horse
walking or trotting on the treadmill and gears upping the speed of the
wheels. Let's not worry about turning or braking just yet, or safety.
I would imagine 500 pounds or so for the device, and another 200 or so
for the driver. The horse could be harnessed to the device frame to
provide it something to pull against to generate more force on the
I don't own any horses. The first prototype I make may be dog- or
human- powered but even that is in the vaporware stage. Please feel
free to steal this idea. If you build it and can get Lance Armstrong
or Smarty Jones to race you for 10 or 100 miles, you will become rich
and famous (especially if you win).
Reply to
Dennis Farr
think about the word for a minute, and how it might have come into use--over a sustained period, a nominal horse produces exactly ONE horsepower.
Reply to
True; but measurements have been done which show that the "nominal" horse is only a poor approximation, and that real horses are actually much more powerful. Lots of old measures turn out to be wrong, when considered in terms of more modern and precise methods. My foot isn't 12 inches long, for example.
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
About a hundred years ago there was a rail car that ran from the Southern Calfornia city of Chino up the hill (a few thousand feet up) to San Antonio Heights.
It was pulled up the hill by a mule. At the top of the hill the mule climbed on a platform on the front of the car and coasted back down.
A simple, yet elegant, low maintenance solution to the transportation problem.
The story goes that when the system was retired the mule was sold to a farmer and the mule would pull the plow one was across the field but insist on being transported back.
Reply to
Which groups of horses are skeptical? All the horses that I've talked to are enthusiastic about the prospect.
Paul Cardinale
Reply to
Paul Cardinale
As a completely useless bit of idle curiosity, maybe. But the reason nobody has done it is that it's useless. Consider the price of a horse. Consider the price of an engine that produces a similar amount of power. Consider what it costs to feed, house, care for, etc., the horse or the engine. Consider the amount of fuel you would need to go for, say, 10 hours with a horse or a motorcycle. Consider the care and attention such a monstrosity would require. Useless to the point of danger. Socks
Reply to
"Michael" wrote in message news:hJACc.385594$
Somewhat more, actually. It is said that the horses which were originally used to determine the mechanical equivalent of the horse were rather weak horses.
Reply to
Franz Heymann
Horses get bored. When they do, the devise games for themselves. If you insist on putting them on a treadmill, you had better include an entertainment center and watch for kickbacks.
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In message , writes
Don't forget it's a _moving_ treadmill. They get a constantly-changing view.
Reply to
Richard Herring
Bah! I did forget.
That only means that they'll be wearing blinders so they don't spook thinking a wildcat is attacking.
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Reply to
puppet wrote in message
That's harsh.
Engines don't reproduce themselves or help produce their own fuel on a renewable, local, low-tech basis, which is why peasants often have mules or oxen rather than those cheap engines which they would rationally use if they wer smarter.
Somebody invented a way to keep food fresh in the desert for 2-3 days rather than one by using a wet-sand-evaporation scheme to cool it a bit. This has been a boon to people by cutting down the number of trips to market they must make.
If something easy and cheap can be made that allows a peasant's animal power to be used more efficiently (and that's another step from just seeing if it could be done), then they and the animals would be better off.
So far, no animals have been harmed by this idea.
Dennis Farr
Reply to
Dennis Farr
Dear Franz Heymann:
I'd rather believe more in poor mechanism design, that established 550 ft * lb-f / sec. Lots of rope, block and tackle, wooden pulleys, animal fat for a lubricant, a packed dirt surface (allowing little traction). You can set up apparatus to get nearly anything out of an experiment you want, within reason. Disallowing, or neglecting friction is another way to reduce output.
David A. Smith
Reply to
N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)
And, given the newsgroups involved, how would you define 'exactly' exactly?
Just because it is called a horsepower doesn't mean it has any definitive connection with horses.
Greg Locock
Reply to
Greg Locock
Whoa. Quibble city here.
You want to quibble? He said _can_ produce several horsepower. That's probably true also. What is the power output of a sprinting race horse?
Also, while your "nominal horse produces ... ONE horsepower" is undefeatable, nothing in the coinage tells us how long this is supposed to be sustainable.
Since humans are or can be impressive long distance runners, yet no running human can catch a trained human on a bike, I see no reason why similar gains in effeciency might not result from harnessing a horse to a mechanism. It sounds like a circus trick, but it should work.
Reply to
Edward Green
Oh ... so you're semi-serious?
I would point out one thing then: the efficiency gains of a bicyle depend on paved roads. A peasant may be better off with a sure-footed quadraped -- the natural all-terrain vehicle.
Reply to
Edward Green
Since when is curiosity useless?
The fastest humans run about 22 mph for a very short distance, about 13 mph for 2 hours. The fastest bicyclists (on a regular bike) go about 45 mph for a short distance, about 30 mph for 2 hours. A horse runs 35-40(?) mph for a short distance, I have no idea for longer distance.
If a horse's power was put into frictionless (relative to feet hitting ground)wheels, how fast could it go? Is there any way to reasonably estimate?
thanks, Chet
Reply to
Hmmm... there have been replication experiments. For a short period, a good horse can work at a rate greater than one HP. But an attempt was made to run a team at one HP each for a full shift. At least one died.
James Watt wanted no quibbling about the size of the horses in his condensing engines. He apparently set the value about 50% high compared with a team running a water pump.
Brian W.
Reply to
Brian Whatcott

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