According to a study conducted by the UK's Transport Research Laboratory, 79 percent of bicycle-vs-car accidents occurred when drivers maneuvered into the path of cyclists travelling at speed. In order to help lower that number, University of Brighton product design student Emily Brooke created the Blaze Laserlight as a final-year project. The bicycle headlight is designed to let motorists know that a bike is approaching, by laser-projecting an image of a bicycle onto the road approximately six meters (20 ft) in front of the rider. Four years and one successful Kickstarter campaign later, the Laserlight is now available to buyers in North America. We recently had a chance to try it out for ourselves.
At last week's EICMA bike show in Milan, Italy's Piaggio Group unveiled a new range of technology-packed electric-assist pedal bikes designed to satisfy the needs to today's connected cyclist. The Wi-Bikes come in two classic styles, one designed for comfort and the other aimed at sporty types. All models feature a centrally-positioned motor and battery pack for user selectable assist up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and a range of up to 120 km (75 miles), the ability to pair with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running a companion app, and an always-connected satellite anti-theft system that lets owners know exactly where their ride is at all times.
While bicycles are good for maintaining all-out speed on the road, scooters can be pretty handy when it comes to navigating crowded sidewalks and paths. If you can't decide which one is more appropriate to your type of riding … well, you might want to get a Moox Bike. It's a bicycle/scooter combo, with a little bit of fatbike thrown into the mix for good measure.
London is making strides to improve its cycling infrastructure, but still has a lack of safe storage. Eco Cycle is seeking to remedy this. Its automatic machines whisk users bikes into a circular, vertical rack that is secure and dry. Bikes are returned to their owners with the swipe of a card.
One of the main reasons that many cyclists give for not wearing a helmet is the fact that helmets take up so much room when they're being carried in a bag. As a result, we've seen a number of companies developing folding helmets. One of the latest, UK-based Headkayse, claims that its helmet not only folds down small, but that it's also more comfortable and perhaps even safer than a regular helmet.
If you want to own "the world's lightest folding bike" right now, you're likely to end up choosing between the Allen Sports Ultra X (8.5 kg/18.75 lb) or the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Super Pro (7.5 kg/16.5 lb, depending on how it's set up). If a new Kickstarter campaign is successful, however, that will soon change. The carbon fiber Hummingbird is claimed to weigh just 6.5 kg (14 lb).
"Smart" bike locks may not quite be at the point where they're a dime a dozen, but there certainly are a number of them out there. That said, pretty much all of them require you to have your smartphone with you, and to make sure it's powered up when locking and unlocking. The Grasp Lock, however, is a little different. It utilizes a built-in fingerprint reader to recognize its user, so no phones, keys or combos are necessary.
Although fenders are definitely a necessity for all-weather bicycle commuters, it can be difficult to get an exact fit. Even if you do buy fenders for the right wheel size, they can still rub against the tire or just look a little sloppy. That's where Bamboo Bee's Mandy Fender comes in – it can be custom-molded to the specific shape and size of each wheel.
Even for people who have spacious, secure garages, stored bicycles can still get in the way. Putting them vertical against the wall is one option, but Italy's Codeima Srl is now offering another – the company's hinged flat-bike-lift rack allows users to store their rides flat against the ceiling, with a little pneumatic and hydraulic assistance.
For many people who own a mountain bike with a suspension fork, the settings on that fork are either left as they were in the store, or just set to the manufacturer's suggested parameters. Setting them more specifically does make for a better riding experience, but not everyone knows to do so. That's why Scottish cyclist Alan Mason teamed up with partners at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, Napier University and Edinburgh University to create SussMyBike. It analyzes your fork's performance, then tells you how it should be set up to better meet your needs.