Photochromic glasses are great for things like heading out on evening bike rides, as their tint gradually lightens while the sun goes down. If you're bursting in and out of shadowy forests or zipping through dark tunnels, however, the slow reaction time of such glasses just can't keep up. That's where Uvex's Variotronic glasses come in, which use electrochromic tech to change tint in just a tenth of a second. I recently got to try a pair out, and there's nothing shady about them.
Bike computers are certainly practical for more serious cyclists who are looking to gain an edge wherever they can. But most of us don't need fancy fitness or altitude data to get from A to B. French startup Asphalt Labs has developed a gesture-controlled ride assistant that brings some basic but useful functions, like navigation and call alerts, to the handlebars of commuters.
The Interbike trade show has drawn to a close for another year, and once
again it proved to be a treasure trove of cycling-related innovation.
Join us, as we take a quick look at some of the gadgets, gizmos and
complete bikes that caught our eye in Las Vegas.
We've seen cycling gloves and jackets
with built-in turn indicators before, although the former still
requires you to take your hands off the bars to signal, while the latter
requires you to wear a jacket even when it's warm out. The Elecwear
cycling vest, however, attempts to address both of those issues – plus
it lets you listen to music, earphones-free.
Scooters and folding bikes are both becoming popular forms of
"last-mile" transportation – riders can carry them aboard buses or
trains, then ride them the last few blocks between transit stops and
home or work. It's important that they be compact, however ... and
Seattle Cycles' all-titanium Burke 8 is definitely on the small side.
Even if motorized bicycles turn you off, perhaps you still appreciate
some of the electronic bells and whistles that are included on many
e-bikes. If that's the case, then a "smart bike"
might be more to your liking. One of the latest to catch our eye is the
Cotlo Corvus, which features a car-detecting rear radar system and a
built-in OLED display. We came across a prototype at Interbike 2015, and
got the goods.
Aboard an enclosed recumbent bicycle in Nevada today, Canadian Todd Reichart has claimed the world record for human powered speed. The annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge draws cyclists from around the world seeking to push the limits of pedal-powered motion, but it was the 33-year-old who left the competition in his wake to clock a top speed of 85.71 mph (137.9 km/h).
Smarter smartphones, bike computers and fitness trackers have come to offer a wealth of information to cyclists on their performance, but they still invariably draw focus away from the road. At Interbike 2015, electronics company Kopin was showing eyewear aimed at placing ride data in a more convenient place, directly in the cyclist's field of vision. The Solos smart glasses pull metrics such as heart rate and average speed from connected devices to offer real-time feedback on cycling performance.
Some people find it a hassle to ride around with a bicycle lock, which is why firms like Interlock offer products such as a seatpost that doubles up as a bike lock. Its latest offering, the Denny Handlebar Lock, is a handlebar that pulls apart to function as a U-lock.
If you’re at all familiar with e-bikes, then you’ve probably at least heard of the Mando Footloose. Besides simply looking unique, it distinguishes itself by having neither a chain nor a belt drive. Until now, however, all the models featured relatively small 20-inch wheels – not the greatest thing for surviving potholes, or maintaining speed. That’s about to change, as Mando has unveiled its soon-to-be-released 26-inch-wheeled Footloose.