I'm not a hardcore biker—heck, I'm not even a softcore biker. Wait, I'm not sure that came out right. I don't do a lot of biking—how about that? But I am intrigued by these new Shimano coasting bikes which boast the first automatic transmissions for bicycles.
Admittedly, I think most people who have reached adulthood have probably learned to cope with manual shifting, so it's not as though this is a desperately needed function. But for those who find themselves put off by the buttons and levers, this might just make life easier all around. I wouldn't expect automatic transmissions to appear in the Tour de France any more than I'd expect them to appear in Indy car racing, but for a leisurely bike around the lake, why not?
Shimano is partnering with Trek to bring automatic transmission bikes to the masses; the models appear to be in prototype at the moment, but you could be seeing them soon.
[via OhGizmo! ]