Every day, around the world cyclists, engineers and designers dream and bring to reality innovative products, these can either be improved accessories and tools, or creative new inventions; sometimes they’re great sometimes they need more development. In this article we’ll discover and review three products that catch the attention, and hopefully bring a useful improvement for our beloved bicycles.
Zackees Hand Turn Signals
Nobody should underestimate the importance of standing out when cycling on the street, and making your intention to turn clear to drivers is part of basic road safety; thus the Zackees were born, a pair of futuristic bike gloves with built in LEDs in the shape of arrow that can light up to signal a turn.
The Gloves light up by clicking together the thumb and the forefingers, where two metal plates make contact; just as you would signal normally, you can put your hand out in the direction of the turn or keep your hands on the handlebars. The 32 LED lights on each of these gloves are bright enough to be clearly seen, even from a distance. Furthermore, there is a small ambient light sensor which makes them extra bright during the day, and a little dimmer at night.
Regarding the construction, the gloves are made from strong materials and the seams are quite durable; in their latest version the company claims that they can be cleaned in a washing machine without worrying, meaning they’ll have some level of water resistance. They come in a full finger style for winter and cold places, or a classic half finger design for mild weather and improved breathability; as for sizes there are various to choose from depending on your hand size.
These gloves have been out since 2014 and went through different improvements, one of which are the batteries, now the gloves can be recharged with a common micro USB cable, instead of the button cell batteries of the previous models; making them a bit more environmentally friendly. They’re supposed to last a couple of weeks of moderate use, before they run out of juice and need to be recharged.
One improvement for the next generation? the contact between the metal plates doesn’t work perfectly, requiring you to make a fist to be sure to activate the lights. Besides this little inconvenience the Zackees are a very cool product, well thought and neatly designed, opening the way for more smart wearables that will make our commutes smarter and safer.
- bright lights
- various sizes available
- sometimes the contact doesn’t work
price range: $79 max
rating: 7.5/10Get it HERE
Linka Smart Bike Lock
Many bicycle companies have tried to improve the level of security of bike locks in the recent years, mostly by adding some smart to features to the locks, rather than making them stronger or less easy to be picked.
The Linka Smart Lock was born as a Kickstarter project, and they have brought various useful features together in one lock; the main function of the Linka is to recognize the owner approaching or leaving the bike, this unlocking or locking accordingly, this is done through a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone and the proprietary Linka application ( available for IOS or Android phones), in case of malfunction or absence of the phone you can still unlock by inputting a combination on a side button.
Because the lock mounts directly on the frame, you can check if it’s compatible with your bike on their website before buying it, but it should fit almost all city bikes and most mountain bikes. Moreover, there is an active anti-theft feature, a gyroscope inside the lock will sense suspicious movements in case someone messes with your bike, consequently emitting a strong alarm sound which should scare of any thief, and at the same time it will send a notification to your phone so you can check on it. The battery is supposed to last for one year before it needs to be charged, meaning you won’t have to worry about it.
This lock is indeed a smart one with many features, nevertheless it would be better to use it in combination with a traditional chain, in order to secure the bike to an immovable object, making the Linka an extra level of security rather than a replacement for the classic bike lock, so it’s suitable for all those people that are looking to upgrade their security and not as the first measure against theft.
- anti-theft function
- long battery life
- requires a classic chain in most cases
price range: $129 max
rating: 7.0/10Get it HERE
Ass Savers Mud Guards
This company proves that you don’t have to make something with fancy features to make a valuable product, the Ass savers are exactly what they’re advertised as, a lineup of various mud guards to mount on your bike, meant to get you home a bit dryer and cleaner, these might not stop every drop of water and all the mud spraying on your bike, but they surely make the situation a lot better.
The Ass Savers mudguards come in a few sizes and many color designs, they also vary in how they’re attached to the bike depending on the type of bicycle, for example the front mudguard for bikes without a front suspension fork attach with Velcro straps and the one for mountain bikes is mounted with big zip ties. The rear mudguards can either be attached to the seat post close to the saddle or lower on the frame closer to the tire; just consider that the closer the mudguards are to the tires, the more they’ll block mud and debris. All these products are neatly designed in the way they fold, to fit snugly on your bike and to be stored easily when not in use, but they’re so light that most people will just leave them on and forget about them.
It’s great when a company is focused in the quality of their products and to make the users happy, therefore this attention has been recognized by the people who bought them and by many professional cyclists who use the ass savers during competitions. With less than $40 you can get a complete set of mudguards meaning that they’re also cheap, and making them a truly awesome product from all points of view.
- easy to mount and to store
- doesn’t block all the mud and debris
price range: $15(average)-$40 (for a full set)
To sum up
Hopefully you’ve discovered something you need for your bicycle that can help you, and maybe inspire you to solve the next problem with something that helps you in the small things like making your ride on a bike that much better to put a smile on your face.
Have a GREAT ride.