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.
For the savvy cyclist, "smart bikes" tend to offer useful elements that enhance rides for fun, commuting, or sport. Unfortunately, not everyone can justify the steep costs involved, especially when there may be a perfectly good "normal" bicycle at home. Thankfully, upgrades exist to help turn standard bicycles into smart ones. One of the latest, the SmartHalo, provides smart and safe directions in what is described as a durable, minimalist design.
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.
A different take on the cargo bike and child carrier, the Scandinavian Sidecar pulls human and inanimate cargo out from the rear of the bicycle and puts it on the side. This gives the bicycle a vintage look and the child a more engaging POV. The composite sidecar can also drop its wheel and go sledding in winter.
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.
Riding a bike while looking down at a smartphone isn’t the safest or smartest thing to do. While you could just pull over to use the phone, Chinese tech manufacturer Insenth is offering an alternative – augmented reality glasses designed specifically for cyclists. Called Senth IN1, they not only let riders place and receive phone calls, but they also let them select music, take photos, navigate, and more.
We've covered plenty of folding electric bikes and a few electric fat bikes. What we haven't previously seen is a folding electric bike with fat tires. The Fat Bad from Italy's Bad Bike launches with claims of being the world's first. Its thick, knobby tires are secured to a folding frame and powered by up to 500 watts of pedal assist.
As any dedicated bicycle commuter will tell you, it’s important to let motorists know when and in which direction you’re turning. At night, however, drivers might not always see your hand signals. Using illuminated gloves is one solution, but British startup Cycl is now offering another: LED turn indicators that attach magnetically to the ends of your handlebars. They’re called WingLights, and we recently had the chance to try them out for ourselves.
When you compare it to the wreckage a drunk driver can cause, an inebriated cyclist mightn't seem all that great a threat. But in reality any road user with impaired judgement can wreak havoc through an ignored stop sign or traffic light, whatever their choice of ride. The Alcoho-Lock is aimed at preventing cyclists from hopping in the saddle when they've had one too many, working in much the same way as breath-test locks for drunk drivers.