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Tag Archives: bicycles

Concept: Saddle Lock Bike Needs No More Securing

The sad thing about concepts is that they often remain just concepts. We suspect the above Saddle Lock Bike by designers Lee Sang Hwa, Kim Jin Ho and Yeo Min Gu will receive the same fate. On the one had, this is sad, because we think it’s a cool concept: you can lock your rear wheel by simply pivoting the saddle downwards and pressing a button. Then, you’d enter the combination to unlock. It’s smart! On the other hand, there’s somewhat of a glaring problem: what’s to stop anyone from just grabbing the entire bike and taking off to some safe spot for a more leisurely lock-cutting session? It’s not like this is a much-heavier motorcycle, where you can get away with simply immobilizing a wheel… We figure that there might be times when the Saddle Lock Bike will be safe enough, but we can’t think of any.

Still, bottoms up for nice ideas, even if they’re somewhat impractical. Hit the jump for a few more pictures and links.

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Donky Bike Is Made For Ferrying Cargo

When you saunter over to the field of human-powered two-wheeled locomotion, you realize that the options are plentiful. From the efficient speed machines of the road bike, to the spongy spring masters of the mountain bike, and everything in between. The Donky bike falls somewhere along this spectrum, becoming the urban dweller’s best friends. If you’ve eschewed the pleasures of an automobile for the more environmentally friendly bicycle, you’ll still need to ferry some loads form time to time. The Donky bike features a strong beam that bisects the frame and distributes weight evenly. None of that weight is carried on the handlebars like regular baskets, which means you’re free to transport relatively heavy loads without impairing ride dynamics too much. This, along with a tight turning radius, make it an obvious option for anyone wishing to live a greener, more efficient city life. It comes at a price however, as the Donky will set you back a hefty $800.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

HIOD One Cycling Communicator

HIOD One Cycling Communicator (Image courtesy Free2move)
By Andrew Liszewski

Remember the communicators worn by those serving on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation? Well you can think of the HIOD One as kind of the same thing. Except that instead of being used on a Galaxy-class starship, it’s used by bikers. And instead of being able to communicate to the entire crew, even when off-ship, the HIOD One lets you talk to 5 other riders at a distance of up to 1,300+ feet.

The HIOD One system appears to be composed of three components. A handlebar mounted control unit that features a high-contrast OLED display. A voice unit that is worn on the rider’s arm, and a wireless microphone that attaches to the chin strap of their helmet. They all speak to each other over Bluetooth, allowing you to easily communicate with other riders while still paying attention to the road. And because the system does rely on BT, it’s also able to place and receive calls from your mobile phone, or stream music without you ever having to manually operate it.

Now I realize the whole TNG analogy I made was maybe a little ambitious. So perhaps comparing the HIOD One to a modern equivalent of the CB radio is a bit more accurate. And as for pricing and availability? It looks like the company behind the HIOD One is still looking for distributors and dealers to sell it. So it could be a while before you can get your hands on it.

[ HIOD One ] VIA [ Shiny Shiny ]

Owl 360 Rear View Bicycle Camera

Owl 360 Rear View Bicycle Camera (Images courtesy The Owl 360)
By Andrew Liszewski

Just because I’m a gadget blogger and have an affinity towards all things high-tech, doesn’t necessarily mean I think everything needs to be upgraded. I still happily use a manual toothbrush, the fan in my bedroom still has blades, and I find it hard to believe that a $180 bike-mounted camera system could outperform a simple mirror.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this Owl 360 setup doesn’t work as advertised. It consists of a small CMOS camera you mount below your bike seat — pointing backwards of course — which feeds a live video signal to a 3.5-inch LCD display mounted to your handlebars. A 3.7V lithium polymer battery provides about 5 hours of use on a single charge (probably less when it’s cold outside) and also powers a ring of ten LEDs around the camera lens, making the rider more visible at night. Since the LCD display would probably be stolen faster than it takes for you to lock your bike up, it easily detaches from the handlebar via a hotshoe mount, allowing you to leave the cabling in place.

But, again, while certainly ‘high-tech’, I can’t see how this would outperform a simple rear-view mirror, which doesn’t need to be charged I might add. Perhaps if the camera had a generous wide-angle lens so you could take in everything behind you it would be worthy of consideration, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case here.

[ Owl 360 Bike Camera ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

PowerWheel Bike Wheel Ironically Designed To Make Your Ride Slower

PowerWheel Bike Wheel (Images courtesy SlowWheel)
By Andrew Liszewski

With a device called a PowerWheel attached to my bike I’d expect to be easily pedalling my way up steep mountain courses, or even towing cars out of ditches. But instead of making your ride easy, the PowerWheel is designed to do just the opposite. It’s a complete wheel designed to replace the standard one on your bike while you train. And thanks to a specially engineered hub, pedalling, even at slower speeds on a level road, becomes far more strenuous.

As to how strenuous is up to you, since the PowerWheel can be adjusted between 7 different levels of resistance, or completely disengaged when you’ve had enough. It’s even clever enough to automatically disengage when you’re riding slower than 6mph so the bike is easier to handle at slower speeds. And the same happens above 30mph, to prevent the resistance mechanism from overheating. Pricing and availability are still TBA, though, a simpler version known as the SlowWheel will also be available. While it only has 3 resistance settings, it’s also designed to be more affordable for those not training for the next Ironman race.

[ PowerWheel ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

A’ME Heated Bike Grips

A’ME Heated Bike Grips (Images courtesy A’ME)
By Andrew Liszewski

For most casual riders, the arrival of Fall, and eventually Winter, means their bikes go into storage until the temperatures warm up again. But if you use your bike for commuting to work, or are used to dealing with the elements on a ride, freezing temps probably aren’t going to stop you. Particularly if you invest in a set of these heated grips from A’ME. They easily replace the standard handlebar grips on your bike (you just slide them on and tighten a screw) but are a vast improvement since they heat up to one of 6 different temperature settings.

Besides just comfort, the heated grips also improve bloodflow and dexterity in your hands when it’s freezing outside. So, you know, you can still operate your shifters and brakes. The various components to the system, including the grips, the battery pack and the charger are all sold separately. But you’re certainly better off just getting the whole setup as a kit for $199.

[ A’ME Heated Bike Grips ] VIA [ Urban Velo ]

Light Cycle Learning Bike Needs To Exist Before I Have Kids

Light Cycle Learning Bike (Image courtesy Ryan Callahan)
By Andrew Liszewski

Before they’re old enough to tackle a 2-wheel bicycle, most young’ns start off on either a tricycle or a push bike. Neither of them require much in the way of balance skills, but the latter tends to be a bit more stylish. Usually looking like a wooden jigsaw puzzle pulled from the pages of an IKEA catalog. But Ryan Callahan, an industrial designer at Trek, took a far different approach. Inspired by the sequel to TRON, the learning bike he created for the TrekWorld 2012 show looks like a miniature version of the light cycles seen on screen. Albeit with a raised set of handlebars to make it easier for kids to ride.

At this point it’s very regrettably still just a concept, and with the marketing push for the TRON sequel being over a long time ago, I have my doubts this will ever become a reality. Though with rumors that a third TRON movie could be a possibility, I’ll keep a small flame of hope alive that one day my kids will be tooling around the backyard on one, making impossibly tight 90-degree right and left hand turns.

Light Cycle Learning Bike (Image courtesy Ryan Callahan)

[ Bicycle Design - Learning bike concepts from TrekWorld 2012 ] VIA [ Wired Gadget Lab ]

VelEau Bicycle Hydration System (For The Rider, Not The Bike)

VelEau Hydration System (Images courtesy Showers Pass)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve never ridden in anything that can remotely be considered a bike race, but apparently things can get so intense that even reaching for one’s water bottle can cost the rider precious milliseconds on their time. At least according to a company called Showers Pass who’ve created a sort of bike mounted CamelBak system called the VelEau.

A canteen/tool pack mounted to the rear of the seat holds 42 ounces of water which is made accessible to the rider via a frame-routed tube system that ends in a tethered valve held securely to the handlebars with magnets. This allows the rider to grab a quick sip while not having to worry about reaching or properly replacing a bottle in a holder. And on a hot day it keeps a heavy pack full of water off their backs. Available sometime in July with an MSRP of $79.99.

[ VelEau 42 Bicycle Hydration System ] VIA [ Bike Snob NYC ]

Reflective Gloves And Socks For Cyclists

Reflective Gloves And Socks (Images courtesy SUCK UK)
By Andrew Liszewski

Riding a bike in a big city during the day is dangerous enough, but when the sun goes down at night you better make sure you’re as visible as possible to motorists who are already pretty annoyed at having to share the road with you. And while you probably shouldn’t exclusively rely on these to make yourself stand out while riding, SUCK UK’s reflective gloves and socks are a good start.

The socks feature a reflective patch on the pack that becomes visible once you’ve tucked your pant legs into them, while the gloves, which seem a bit more useful to me, feature a reflective arrow on the back making your hand signals extra visible to vehicular traffic behind you. Both are available in a one-size-fits-all unisex design, with each pair costing ~$24 (£15) which is a small price to pay for a bit of extra safety.

[ Reflective Biker Gloves And Socks ]