Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Bicycles

The Rubbee 2.0 has a longer range and is 'smarter' than the original model

While there are plenty of add-on electric bicycle motors out there, the Rubbee takes a particularly interesting approach. The product of a successful Kickstarter campaign, it incorporates a powered polyurethane roller that rubs against the bike's rear tire (hence the name), helping to augment the rider's pedaling power by driving the wheel forward. The second version of the device is now available and it's reportedly easier to use, plus it'll take you farther.  Read More

When folded up, the Impossible bike measures 17 in (43 cm) tall

Folding and electric bikes have proven fertile ground for innovation recently, but what about bikes that are both electric and folding? Three years in the making, the Impossible bike from a team of China-based engineers folds up to fit in a backpack and is capable of reaching 12 mph (20 km/h) on the road courtesy of a brushless electric motor.  Read More

Circa Cycles' aluminum frames incorporate time- and labor-saving MABEL lugs

Like a lot of other American products, most US-brand bicycle frames are made overseas, in countries where manufacturing costs are lower. Portland, Oregon's Circa Cycles, however, wants to build its higher-end bikes stateside, yet still sell them at reasonable prices. It plans on doing so using a unique frame-construction process, known as MABEL.  Read More

Francois Gissy's rocket bicycle that took him to 333 km/h (207 mph) (Photo: Gerard Toutin ...

Last November, Frenchman Francois Gissy hit 285 km/h (177 mph) on a rocket-powered bicycle. Now, at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France, he's knocked his own world record out of the park. Dialing in a massive 4.5 kN of thrust, which generates roughly the equivalent of 560 horsepower (418 kW), Gissy took his rickety-looking rocket bike up to a monstrous 333 km/h (207 mph), hitting top speed in just 4.8 seconds and generating about 1.96 Gs worth of acceleration. We had a quick chat with Gissy, who tells us he's hoping his next run will put him over 400 km/h (249 mph) in less than two seconds on a machine he's calling the "Spine Crusher."  Read More

The Fuoriserie's walnut wood-veneered top tube

Over its 84-year history, Pininfarina has designed breath-taking cars for the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo. Starting in the 1980s, however, the Italian design firm began branching out into other types of products. Now, it's offering its own house-brand e-bike – the Pininfarina Fuoriserie.  Read More

The Velov's four panels can be put on or taken off, depending on how cold it is outside

Although fair-weather cyclists may consistently appreciate the ventilation openings in most bike helmets, riders who brave the cold aren't always so keen on them. One solution is to cover those holes using a shower cap-like helmet cover, but Italy's Limar offers an alternative. Its Velov helmet has air flow-blocking panels that can be installed or removed as needed.  Read More

The Breaker, with its bits and pouch

Last year we heard about the Nutter, a stainless steel device that combines a multi-bit cycling multitool with a tire lever. Since then, inventor Mark Windsor decided to take that design and make it even more useful. The result is the Breaker, which is essentially a Nutter with an added chain-break tool.  Read More

The LittleBig Bike, in its larger-frame-but-still-no-pedals configuration

It's one of those "givens" of raising a child – as they get older, you have to get them bigger and more advanced bicycles. That can get a bit costly, so Irish entrepreneur Simon Evans designed an alternative. His LittleBig Bike can be converted from a small balance bike to a larger one, and then to a pedal bike.  Read More

Orfos' Flare lights are made to be seen

When it comes to bike lights for commuting, there's one thing you have to remember ... they're needed more for being seen than for seeing the road. With that in mind, many head- and tail lights are designed not just to cast beams in front of and behind the bike, but to be seen from all directions. Seattle-based Orfos' Flare lights appear to do a particularly good job in that department, plus they feature a unique mounting system.  Read More

The Rogue C6 carbon fiber bicycle integrates GPS systems and is designed for commuters

Many cities around the world are experiencing a massive upswing in commuter cycling. But often the vehicles of choice for these motivated nine-to-fivers is either a mountain bike converted for the road, or a road bike converted for shorter trips. At least that's the way Washington-based engineer David Lupafya sees it, whose sleek Rogue C6 bicycle is aimed at walking the line between comfort and durability.  Read More

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