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Tag Archives: cycling

New Sensor Constantly Monitors Bicycle Tire Pressure

Cars with TPMS sensors are pretty common these days. These are the ones that tell you when you’re getting a flat tire, by constantly monitoring the pressure within. It’s smart, and safe, and about time cyclists got the same treatment. The BTPS sensor aims to do just that, connecting to your smartphone and informing you of the pressure of your tires accurately, between 0 and 174psi. Admittedly, the device is more useful as a convenient indicator of tire pressure; it sure beats having to bend down every time. And since many road bikes need a regular air adjustment, the simple phone-glance convenience is appreciated.

“The BTPS unit itself consists of a pressure sensor, circuit board, and battery. When used with tubeless tires, it is mounted on the rim tape. If tubes are being used, it’s stuck right onto the tube, like a patch.” Currently weighing only seven grams (0.25 oz), it shouldn’t affect your ride in the least. It’s going through funding with Kickstarter though, and is quite far from its goal. Still, if you want one for yourself, a $140 pledge will get you a pair of tubeless-specific BTPS units.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Revolights Bring TRON-Like Safety To Your Bicycle

Sharing the road with cars, as a cyclist, is always a risky proposition. Especially at night. There are many products out there meant to increase your visibility, but none quite as cool as the Revolights. They’re a set of LED lights arranged around a hoop that attaches to the front and back wheels of your bike. Sensors detect the speed at which you’re traveling and the LEDs blink on only when they’re passing through a specific arc in the front and back. This creates a static “bar” of light that not only lights the path in front of you, but makes you extremely visible. There are 8 LEDs at 35 lumens, per wheel. That’s a lot, as can be seen in the video below.

The power for the Revolights come from a bracket-mounted Li-Ion battery pack that you attach to each wheel hub. You’re adding 12.3 oz. in heft per wheel, which could be seen as quite a bit by competitive cyclists, but isn’t really that much to the average person. Those batteries will keep the lights on for about 4 hours, which is more than your average bike ride.

The Revolights started out as a Kickstarter project a year ago, which was funded many times over. The company is now selling them at full retail price, which is $250. If you order now, you can still get yours before Christmas.

Revolights™. Now landed. from revolights on Vimeo.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ GearHungry ]

Give Your Bicycle A Galloping Horse Sound

There are those products you write about because you’re just thinking “wtf is this, and why does it exist, and crap it’s actually pretty cool although it’s rather useless.” The Trotify is one of those products. It’s a wooden device that sits on your front wheel and makes your bike clop like a horse. That… is it. It consists of a number of separate parts that come flat packed and are to be assembled at home. The clopping sound itself is generated by two halves of a coconut shell hitting one another. Yes, that’s apparently a Monty Python reference, and yes it appears as though the product’s entire raison d’etre is to add a bit of whimsy to your otherwise banal bike ride. It does look like a fun project to put together and have sitting on your front wheel, if only for ten minutes.

The company needs 1,000 pre-orders before they can hit production, and they’re sitting at 135 at the moment. It’s $32, which won’t break the bank. If you know only one hard core hipster with a sense of humor, there’s your Christmas present for him/her.

We’ve included a couple of videos of the device in action after the break. Well… two are of the device in action (the first two), the other is sort of a brain melting commercial that cannot be unseen. You’ve been warned. So hit the jump for that and links.

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Spectacam Records The Action In Front, And In The Back

It’s never a bad idea to have a camera running when you are moving, whether it’s a dashcam in a car, or a helmet-mounted camera when you’re cycling. Not only is it fun to watch what you’ve done, but if there’s ever an accident, that’s some potentially important footage. Except of course it’s always footage of stuff in front of you. The Spectacam cycling cam seeks to change that by featuring two 1080p cameras mounted 180 degrees from each other. The small device is streamlined and mounts to the top of a helmet with velcro, then connects to a smartphone through WiFi. An included handlebar mount allows you to secure your phone in front of you and control what’s happening at the touch of a button. Being able to immediately see out of the cameras lets you adjust the shooting angle at each end of the Spectacam, to make sure you’re recording exactly what you want. The footage is stored in an SD card, and not on your phone. Battery life is said to be around 3 hours.

Currently a far-from-funded project on Kickstarter, a $200 pledge will get you in line for a May 2013 delivery.

[ Project Page ]

Automatic Transmission System Developed For Bicycles

For a few years now, serious cyclists have been able to purchase electronic derailleurs. These shift gears at the press of a button, but that command is not relayed to the derailleur through a cable, rather through an electronic signal. It’s fast and precise. UK-based Cambridge Consultants have taken this approach a step further and developed a system that shifts gears automatically. The idea is that the rider dials in a preferred cadence (the number of pedal revolutions per minute) and the smartphone-based system shifts gears to maintain that cadence. It connects to an electronic derailleur through Bluetooth, and is in complete control of the bicycle’s gear combination. If the wind is suddenly at your back, for example, and you can go faster, the system will downshift automatically to keep your pedalling pace even.

Further down the road, developments to the system could use GPS and map data to preemptively upshift when the rider is approaching a known hill or vice versa. While not currently available commercially, Cambridge Consultants is looking for partners to bring the product to market where it’s expected to cost around $2,300 with an Ultegra version of the regular Shimano Di2 derailleur system.

VIA [ Gizmag ]

The Bicymple Seeks To Reinvent The Bicycle

The current design for the bicycle has held pretty steady for the last little bit: two wheels, a frame, a chain, gears and a pedal. It’s stayed that way because it’s a good design; why mess with it? For fun, that’s why. A few weeks ago we looked at the Fliz, a two-wheeled contraption that made you feel like you were flying, strapped into a harness. And today we bring news of the Bicymple, or as Josh Bechtel of Scalyfish Designs wants you to think of it: the bicycle, simplified. It features a direct drive system, which means that the pedals are on the back wheel, and you turn it directly. It’s a little bit like a unicycle, only there’s a second wheel and handlebars. The second wheel is in front and is joined to the propelling wheel by a simple metal arm that allows them to run in different tracks from each other. This means you can go forward, but place your directional wheel offset from where you’re sitting, making you look like you’re traveling sideways, even when you’re not. Crab-ridin’. It’s… a little convoluted to explain and better understood in video form. The point is that it looks kind of fun, if only a little dangerous. Still, that never stopped anyone before.

The Bicymple is just a working prototype at the moment and there’s no pricing or availability information. But there’s a considerable amount of interest, so you never know when this could turn into a reality.

Hit the jump for more pictures and that video.

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The XFire Safety Light Lets You Take Your Bike Lane With You

Sharing the road is important, not only with other motorists but with cyclists as well. Not every street has a dedicated bike path and it can sometimes be hard to know just how much space to give the two-wheeled commuters when passing beside them. The XFire taillight has lasers that project two parallel lines on the ground, clearly marking out the space needed to remain safe and comfortable. There’s also 5 strong LEDs at the back so that not only your portable bike path is visible, but the bike itself in the middle of it. At $37, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to add a layer of safety to any after-dark bike ride.

[ Product Page ] VIA [GearHungry ]

The Monocle Helps Bicycle Riders Keep Their Organs On The Inside

I’ve become obsessed with riding my bike and have been keeping an eye out for anything related to that. So when I saw the Monocle application/accessory that turns your iPhone into a blinking safety light, I was intrigued. You just pop your phone in a specially made holster that relocates it to the back of you, and the LED strobes at a frequency you determine. There’s a timer, so it won’t keep going even if you forget to turn it off and you get audible and vibrating alerts when the battery is getting low. The makers of the Monocle estimate that a 15 minute ride set at 3Hz will impact your battery by about 7%. You also get a case to protect the iPhone, by the way.

It’s a smart way to put a ubiquitous device to extra use, and could just make the difference between being turned into human spaghetti and making it home in one piece. It’s $18 for the app and the case, on pre-order now with delivery slated for December if they reach their funding goal.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gear Patrol ]

The Tufrack, For When The Rack Has To Be As Tough As The Bikes It Carries

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with regular bike racks, but some people are really into appearances. Driving a Hummer? That’s you. That’s alright though, we don’t judge, we’re just recognizing some realities of life. And if you enjoy interspersing your driving around in a giant hulk of metal with occasional rides on self-propelled vehicles, like a bicycle, you might want to match your accessories. The Tufrack is made from MIG welded, laser cut, powder coated 16-gauge steel, and is yet 25% lighter than the competition’s tray style racks. It’s also modular, meaning you can add numerous racks inline as needed. Tufrack guarantees it to be indestructible, but indestructible is not cheap: $199 per rack.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd