If there’s one thing that cyclists love more than their bike, it’s their kit. And specifically new and exciting kit. (Ok so some day’s it’s coffee and Strava but mainly it’s kit). Sometimes you don’t even need it but you see it and you have to have it, there and then. That’s the thing with cyclists; we’re an impulsive breed.
Luckily then there’s no shortage of innovative designers and brands out there that are seriously pushing the envelope in what two wheels and a handle bar can really be. Here are five of the best:
This is simply an über-product that takes your humble frame and pedals and turns it into something pretty special. In a nutshell an ergonomically designed device fits on to your bike (any bike according to the makers) and turns it into a ‘smart bike’.
It has a built in GPS satnav that guides you around your route by gentle light direction indicators. It tracks all of your metrics from distance to elevation to calories (sorry Strava). It has a smart night-light that turns itself on and off. It syncs to your smartphone to alert you to calls and messages. It even has it’s own built in alarm system. And it looks pretty dam cool as well. Only available on Kickstarter at the moment, so pop on ever there and get in soon.
See.Sense Bike lights
Bike lights have come a long way from what were essentially mounted bulbs. Recent years have seen new technologies introduced and design boundaries pushed - the BLAZE Laserlight even projected a bike stencil on the floor!
Well the See.Sense light is the latest in that innovative pack and takes things a bit further. It’s sensitive to light so adjusts accordingly and even provides daytime visibility, it can sense oncoming vehicles or traffic problems to flash faster and it can be controlled by a series of motion gestures. Invaluable for city cyclists.
The name probably gives it away a bit, but essentially this is a bike seat that turns into a lock. The inoffensive looking saddle folds out into a metre long, stainless steel lock, which is over cased with tough black plastic, it then wraps around the entire bike and onto any fixed object or locking point.
Granted there will be a few purists who shudder at the thought of replacing their super-saddle with something functional like this (even we did a little). But, we still think it's a great idea - you could just use it for those, 'for a laugh' rides where you don’t want to carry kit around but need safety on those all-important coffee/pub stops...
The benefit of having info served directly in front of you, without having to take your eyes off the road, is why 'smart glasses' look set to be huge in the cycling world.
Recon Jet are arguably the front runners in this space as along with having built-in GPS, a camera and motion tracking, there is also the promise of many more apps getting involved. These look like something to keep an eye on. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Ever felt like you’ve got too many bikes? No us neither, you can never have too many! Although the other half may not entirely agree with that and at some point having 6 bikes you use once a year makes you look a bit odd. Enter then the FABike, a bike frame that can morph from mountain to single speed to road simply by adjusting parts and tweaking settings. Its sleek lightweight frame is available in five sizes and colours with everything thereafter from the dropout to the cabling fully adjustable. So you can MTB with the family, road it with friends and single speed it for the commute; the Swiss army knife of bikes.
There are literally hundreds more we could’ve listed but this should be enough to get you thinking/spending. As ever we’ll keep our eyes out for any more innovative pieces of kit and let you know here. Watch this space...