I love this quote: "Although the technology won't be in bike shops for a while yet, we can see cyclists eager to eke out extra an extra second or two at competition level tempted by the idea" Yeah... right... can see your average fit and competitve racer relying on this sort of system to gain two seconds over full race distance. More waffley journalism to attempt to justify their jobs as per usual.
Also, and not sure about anyone else, but while I'm sure there's an optimium gear mechanically speaking, by which I mean keeping your legs spinning at a particular rate, this won't take in to account either what's going on in your head or what's either a mile up or down the road - both of which are important factors in what you're spinning. As an example, if I know there's a short steep climb coming up I tend to change in to a bigger gear and push for some speed out of the saddle - just to crest it quicker. Last thing I'd want at that point would be my automatic gears to suddenly drop a few, the moment I hit the hill and start slowing down a bit, and leave my legs spinning free.
In MTB terms I have mental imagine of the thing flicking up and down the block as you're spinning up the rear on a paritcularly boggy section and getting slightly confused at the, sometimes, slightly less than flawless gear changes you can get sometimes.
But other than that 100% on my christmas list
50's Phillips Trike (child's) || 94 Saracan MaxTrax
|| 96 GT Zaskar LE
|| 98 Diamond Back Viper Pro BMX
Wanted: lots of things. But my money has all gone... for now...