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.
Visibility is a crucial part of cyclist safety, but it's also important that their turning intentions are relayed to other road users. Hand signals were the only option in this area for a long time, but in recent years we've seen technology, such as the Zackees cycling gloves, designed to improve the visibility of turn signals at night. The Lumenus jacket on display at Interbike takes a similar approach, but goes a step further by letting cyclists be guided by the light.
It wasn't long ago that we tried out the FlyKly Smart Wheel,
a motorized rear bicycle wheel that instantly turns a regular bike into
an e-bike. Given that it goes in the back, however, it's a little
tricky to put on and take off, plus it leaves you stuck with just one
gear. Belon Engineering's new Electron Wheel avoids those problems, by
replacing the bike's existing front wheel. We recently got to try out an advance demo unit, and it works just as advertised ... although it's a bit of a monster.
Cyclists who ride in the rain typically stay dry by wearing
waterproof-yet-breathable jackets and pants. According to Vancouver,
Washington-based engineer Jay Small, however, waterproof cycling gloves
have a harder time keeping out the rain while also letting the sweat
escape. His solution? Use regular dry-weather gloves, and his DriBarz
SRAM has joined the peleton of bicycle manufacturers offering up electronic shifting for high-end roadbikes. The SRAM Red eTap is a wireless shifting system that promises precise, simple shifting like that offered by electric systems from Shimano and Campagnolo.
There's a trick campers use, where they shine a flashlight down into a
water bottle to create a lantern. Well, Italian cycling goods
manufacturer Elite uses that same principle in its new Candea bottle –
LEDs in the bottom illuminate the bottle above,
making night-time cyclists a bit more visible.
Self-driving technology isn't solely the domain of cars and trucks – bikes are getting in on the act too. We spied the latest example at Eurobike in Germany, where CoModule showed a smartphone-controlled, three-wheeled e-bike prototype. The concept is designed to stimulate a conversation about the sorts of practical applications this technology could find in the real-world.
When most of us think of a cycling multi-tool, we picture something that
goes in a jersey pocket or saddle pack. Seoul-based company Leeman,
however, is looking at things a little differently. Its Kickstand Pump
mounts on the bike, and serves not only as a kickstand and pump, but
also a tire lever and tail light.
We've already seen a few bicycles – such as the Varibike and Raxibo Hand-Tret-Velo – that are intended to provide riders with more exercise and more power output by having them pedal with their legs and arms. Germany's Ruder-Rad, however, believes that a two-wheeler is too unstable a platform for that kind of four-limbed locomotion. That's why it's introducing the recumbent Ruder Trike.