An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
As the movies have shown us, space travel is an intimidating prospect, what with the possibilities of running out of air, the rocket engines conking out, or the shipboard computer deciding to bump off the crew. Another danger is fast-flying orbital debris piercing the hull. Scientists may be on their way to a solution to that one, however, in the form of a new self-healing material.
We’ve seen electric full-suspension mountain bikes before, and we’ve also seen electric trekking bikes. Flyer’s new TX-Series, however, is something you don’t come across too often – an electric full-suspension trekking bike. Gizmag checked it out at Eurobike.
Dropper seat posts are becoming increasingly common on mountain bikes – among other things, they allow the rider to drop the saddle down out of the way when they’re adjusting their riding position on steep descents, but then pop it back up again afterwards. They do, however, require yet one more cable to strung along (or inside of) the frame. At this year’s Eurobike show in Germany, Magura has presented an alternative – the Vyron eLECT, which is the world’s first commercially-available wireless dropper seat post.
Algae is proving to be pretty darn useful – in recent years, it’s been used to produce oxygen, purify wastewater, provide light and serve as a source of biofuel. Now, bioplastics firm Algix and clean tech company Effekt are making flexible foam out of the stuff, too.
Hand numbness is a very common complaint among cyclists, and one of its major causes is road vibrations being carried up into the handlebars. Over the years, various companies have attempted to address the problem via suspension handlebar stems that incorporate coil springs, air-sprung shocks, or elastomers – and they’ve all looked a little "unusual." The ShockStop is the latest take on an elastomer-based suspension stem, but it looks completely normal.
There’s a unique appeal to playing Battleship, with its two-sided vertical board hiding the face-to-face players’ fleets from one another. Now, Swedish retro tech designer Love Hultén has taken that same layout, and applied it to a new two-player gaming system. It’s time to check out the Battlecade.
Here’s how lubing your bicycle chain works: you lube the whole thing all at once, then you don’t lube it again until it dries out or needs to be cleaned … right? Well, the designers at Glasgow-based Scottoiler have what they think is a better idea. Their Cycle S1 is a device that continually dispenses lube onto the chain at regular intervals, as you’re riding.
While not everyone is wild about adding motors to all-terrain bikes, if there’s one sub-type of ATB that could sometimes benefit from an electric boost, it’s the snow- and sand-slogging fatbike. We’ve certainly seen some electric fatties before, but the Xterrain500 adds what is quite a unique feature – the ability to run a custom 10-inch-wide front tire.
Although purpose-built electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular, we’re also seeing more products that are designed to give regular bikes an electric boost. Some of these take the form of a motorized wheel, while others are motors that engage the bike’s existing rear wheel. One of the most recent examples of the latter group is go-e’s ONwheel, which hangs beneath the bike.
Although most people with multiple sexual partners know that being checked for STDs is the responsible thing to do, many don’t do so because of the stigma associated with going to the clinic. That’s why a Silicon Valley-based startup has developed the Hoope ring. It’s worn on the thumb, and can reportedly diagnose diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis in less than a minute.