Photokina 2014 highlights

Bicycles

A mock-up of what the finished Intelligent Blinker may look like

As any serious bicycle commuter will tell you, it's important to let drivers know what you're doing by signaling your intention to turn. Needless to say, the more visible your hand signals are, the safer you should be. That's why a group of doctoral students at Switzerland's EPFL research institute created the Intelligent Blinker. It's a wrist bracelet that automatically starts flashing when the wearer raises their arm to signal.  Read More

The Barak kit allows pretty much any bicycle to be made electric

While electric bicycles are certainly becoming a popular new form of transportation, they're still generally much more expensive than their human-powered counterparts. Some people attempt to cut costs by converting existing bikes to electrics themselves, although doing so usually involves a fair bit of technical know-how. Mechanical engineer Micah Toll now hopes to open up that conversion process to everyone, with his Barak Electric Bicycle Kit.  Read More

Bicyclick allows bikes to be temporarily clicked together at the handlebars

Whether they ride road bikes or mountain bikes, many cyclists don't like having the weight and clutter of a kickstand on their trusty steed. This generally doesn't pose a problem, although there are certainly times when it would be nice to be able to stand the bike up instead of leaning it against something. That's why Bicyclick was invented.  Read More

Tallac Design's Vier lock

There's little doubt that bicycle thieves are deterred more by U-locks than by cable locks. The form factor of U-locks, however, can make them awkward to transport. That's why California cyclists Allen and Paige Young have created the Vier lock. It's designed to offer the security of a U, but it disassembles into a package "the size of a burrito" when not in use.  Read More

Pensa/Horse Cycle's Merge is designed for the mean streets of New York City

Although many people may think of commuter bicycles as being the boring frumpy cousins to fancier road and mountain bikes, lately we've been seeing more and more models featuring all sorts of intriguing innovations for life on the streets. Recently, non-profit group Oregon Manifest invited five design firm/bike-builder teams representing five US cities to create prototypes of the ultimate such bike. Members of the public are being invited to vote for their favorite, with the winning bike getting produced commercially by Fuji Bicycles. Here's a look at the contenders.  Read More

The Backtracker handlebar unit indicates the position of the cyclist (green LED at top) an...

Earlier this month, we first heard about a radar system for cyclists, known as the Backtracker. In a nutshell, it emits radar pulses to the rear of the bike, then warns the rider when it detects vehicles approaching from behind. Although it's not yet commercially available, I recently had the chance to try out a pre-production review unit. It definitely shows promise, but could perhaps use one tweak.  Read More

The Rollout Trailer helps motivated cyclists to ditch the car … even when they have heavy ...

The Brouhaha Bike Trailer from Wisconsin-based Rollout Self-Propelled Trailers puts a bit of horsepower behind your two-wheeler. Unlike on some other electric-powered bike trailers, that horsepower doesn't make pedaling any easier; it simply adjusts for the weight of the load so that the cyclist can pedal like normal while carrying everything from a full tailgating set-up to a stand-up paddleboard.  Read More

The Stique Multilever ML123

Cycling multi-tools are sort of like smartphone cases, in that there seems to be no end to the innovations that are possible. One that recently caught our eye was the Nutter, which consists of a tire lever that does double duty as ... well, as a bunch of things. Many people prefer to use a couple of smaller levers as opposed to one big one, however. Those people might be interested in the Stique Multilever ML123.  Read More

The FitRider lets cyclists propel themselves using both leg and arm power

Much as cycling is a good source of exercise for the lower body and the core, it admittedly doesn't do much for the upper body. We've seen a number of attempts to address this shortcoming, mostly in the form of bikes that are pedaled with both the legs and the arms. The FitRider takes a somewhat different approach, looking somewhat like a cross between a regular bicycle and a NordicTrack.  Read More

The Big Wheel Drift trike is proportioned to make an adult rider feel like a kid again

Attaching motors to drift trikes has seen the sport's popularity flourish over the last 12 months. Traditionally a recreation for residents of hilly areas, both companies and DIYers have begun integrating gas and electric motors in a bid to extend the experience to flatter terrain. Auto parts manufacturer SFD Industries is at the forefront of this rise in motorized three-wheeled drifting, and is staking its claim in the form the Big Wheel Drift Trike that boasts a whopping 26-inch front wheel.  Read More

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