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Tag Archives: cycling

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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Fairdale Dograck: Because Your Dog Could Be Lazier Than You

You could probably argue that if you’re out of the house and cycling, you’re technically not all that lazy. But it’s entirely possible your dog is, and that all that exercise you’ve been giving it has been seen as a chore by the little pooch. Unlikely because let’s face it, dogs are awesome, but it’s possible. So give them a little rest with the Dograck by Fairdale. They’ve modified their successful Skaterack and turned it into what you see above, a nice resting place for Rover which attaches to mounting points usually reserved for panniers. It’s also supposedly been designed to give maximum clearance so that you don’t end up kicking your pet in the snout.

We… suppose the canines they’ve tested this on are fairly well trained, because we’re pretty sure any dog that belongs to us would get off in a heartbeat. But you know what, this looks fake. Paws in spokes anyone? Also, not comfortable at all with no belly support. We don’t know how much it is, but if it’s similar in price to their Skaterack, you’re looking at about $40. However we have a feeling the product is just not going to be made. Heck, this could all just be some kind of joke. The article we’re linking to is from November 2011, and the item still doesn’t appear in their store. Fishy.

[ Fairldale Dograck ] VIA [Incredible Things ]

Simple Handle Makes Carrying Your Bicycle Easier

By David Ponce

Simple inventions are the best. The above leather handle attaches to the down and seat tube of your bike’s frame and gives you a convenient way to carry the whole thing. Since you no longer have to hoist the bike up on your shoulder or awkwardly lift it by the central tube, there’s less strain on your muscles and the whole thing becomes much more comfortable. It’s brilliant.

You can get yours for as little as $30.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ GearHungry ]

Bicycle Rearview Camera Seems Like It Could Come In Handy

By David Ponce

Life is already pretty miserable for cyclists everywhere. Latte sipping motorists in needlessly large cars are way too busy texting to pay any attention to anything on the road. So any piece of technology that makes a cyclists’ life easier is fine by us. The above Bicycle Rearview Camera sends a live feed of whatever is behind you so that you can keep focused on what’s in front and to the sides. The camera connects to the TFT screen via a 78 3/4″ zip-tied cable that accommodates any frame geometry and the battery in the monitor should last 10 hours on a 2 hour charge. There’s a quick-release mechanism so you don’t have to fiddle around when it’s time to take it in with you and a circular pattern of red LEDs flash when the camera’s built-in sensor detects low-light conditions for visibility to traffic. Finally, yes, it’s weatherproof so you can even take it out in the rain.

It’s $179.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

The Chalktrail Bike Attachment For Kids Is Sure To Pretty Up The Neighbourhood

By David Ponce

Depending on which side of the child love/hate fence you fall on, the above will either be seen as a brilliant idea or a nuisance to be avoided at all costs. The Chalktrail is a simple attachment for bicycles of all sizes (wheels from 12” up to 29”) that holds onto a street chalk at one end and the bike on the other, and lets kids draw on the street just by pedalling around. Its simple wishbone construction means that it can be fitted to pretty much any bike with no tools, so kids can use them without the help of parents.

It’s smart and simple, although we imagine the process of generating anything more than a bunch of illegible squibbles is a far more daunting task. Should you see this in your neighbourhood, there’s a decent likelihood your eyes will be sore a lot, unless you have yourself a little biking artist next door.

Which, let’s face it, is unlikely.

Anyway, it started out as a Kickstarter project, and got fully funded five days ago. Demand was high and it’s apparently sold out for now. But there are talks of distribution with a major toy chain, so you might see these in stores in time for the Holidays.

[ Product Page (warning: auto-playing video)] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Magnic Bike Light Makes Power Without Touching Your Wheel

By David Ponce

Having a bike light is always a good idea, lest you meet a much larger vehicle at night for a decidedly unpleasant collision. Now, there are those lights that require batteries to operate. And there are those that use contact dynamos to power the light. But the Magnic Light, currently on Kickstarter, does away with contact altogether. And it doesn’t require you to install magnets along the rim (which produces inconsistent light):

Magnic Light works with all kinds of metallic rims (normally aluminum, steel or magnesium). While aluminium and magnesium are not magnetic (but paramagnetic) they are conductive. Relative movements of magnets and neighboured conductive material induce eddy currents in the conductive material – in our case the metallic rim. These eddy currents have their own magnetic fields (see Wikipedia) which are absorbed by the Magnic Light generator kernel and by this way produce electric energy. Although there is no friction the absorption of magnetic fields has a minimal braking effect, so we don’t get energy for free. Magnic Light contains the most efficient LEDs currently available (CREE XM-L T6) to get maximal light from minimal energy.

So, it looks pretty nice, doesn’t touch your bike and lights up your path. What’s not to like? Well, the price for one. The back light is $85 while the front is $130. And… well that’s it really. Maybe if the little bit of innovation were seeing here is your thing, hit the link and pledge away.

[ Product Page ]

Gotham Bike Light Is Nearly Impossible To Steal, Looks Like A Gun Barrel Revolver’s Cylinder

By David Ponce

Cycling in an urban environment, it’s not a bad idea to see where you’re going. Lights help but these tend to get stolen quite a bit. That’s why we like the The Defender bike light by Gotham Bicycle Defense. Not only does it look somewhat badass shaped like a gun’s barrel revolver’s cylinder (the reason for the design? “As you know, city biking can be a battle. We captured the struggle of the urban cyclist in our design” says the company) but it’s also pretty darn hard to take off your bike. It’s secured in place with a “security screwdriver”, which you can’t find in a hardware store. It’s the sort of tool an opportunistic thief is unlikely to have on them, making them much more likely to move on to the next target.

The solid aluminum Defender light is also water resistant and waterproof up to 1ft.: heavy downpours will not damage it. Even removing the 3 required AAA batteries requires a small Allen key. The 6 bright LEDs will sip these batteries at a rate that should give you 100 hours before needing a change.

$50 will get you one (down from the expected $70 retail price) and in usual Kickstarter fashion you get more perks with more money down.

[ Product Page ]