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Tag Archives: cycling

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

Accordion-Like Helmet Could Fit Odd Sized Heads

Getting people to wear their helmets is hard enough to start with, let alone when they have to struggle to find a size that fits their heads just right. Yes, we know there are adjustable straps within most cycling helmets so the point is kind of moot, but what else are we supposed to talk about to make an introduction to this particular item? It’s a folding helmet, made by Carrera, that stretches out to fit heads of any size without compromising on safety with an accordion-like design. Maybe we should focus instead on the fact that once it’s folded, it becomes a lot easier to stuff into a backpack, eh? Come to think of it, that’s probably the main feature here: its portability, not its adjustability. Oh well, whatever the case we don’t know the price or when it’ll be available, but it is a real product that should hit the shelves at some point.

Hit the jump for a few more pictures and links.

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Oh, You Hipster You And Your Wooden Handlebar

We feel that riding the hipster hate train is getting a little old. Not because we like them any more, but just because we get it already. So it’s with a little bit of nonchalance that we bring you news of what we would normally consider outrageous: £245 oak handlebars. Yeah, that’s about $387 for a wooden stick. Granted, it’s a very pretty stick, shaped properly and made to fit an over-sized (31.8mm) stem. Made by London-based Deer Runner, it is “crafted from 4mm plied oak oil treated for weather protection.” And the brakes? Hipsters don’t need no brakes, guys. They ride fixies, remember? That’s those bikes with just one gear and where deceleration is accomplished by pushing your feet in the opposite direction, in case you’re not familiar.

So yeah, $400 wooden handlebars. Hit the jump for more pictures and links.

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The Swedes Design An Invisible Helmet. No, Really.

Some will tell you that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle isn’t cool. It’s like turning your head into a giant mushroom, they’ll say. And it’s true. It’s also true that wearing your brain on your outside is bad: this kills the human. What if we told you that you could have your cake and eat it too? Well, two Swedish ladies have spent the last 7 years, and gone through several million dollars in funding developing Hövding, an invisible helmet. Ok, invisible is a bit of a stretch. What it really is, is an airbag that you wear in a collar around your neck. Carefully calibrated sensors detect when you’re in the middle of a crash, and in under 0.1 seconds a canister of Helium pierces and inflates a strong nylon hood that completely wraps around your noggin. This should keep the brains on the inside. What’s best is that when this happens, sensor data is stored in the device’s memory for the 10 seconds before and after impact, providing you with a “ride data recorder” of sorts. This could help authorities figure out what happened in case the helmet isn’t enough to keep you alive.

Sounds wonderful, but of course there are drawbacks. The same fold who think regular helmets are uncomfortable will likely balk at a thick collar around their necks. And then, there’s cost: $600 or so for this admittedly cool tech is a lot of dollars to spend when you can just buy a regular helmet for $30. Still, early adopters with lots of disposable income could dig it.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

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