The cycling world is always evolving, and these days we’re having an impressive development in the cycling products, such as accessories and gadgets; with a growing number of people riding bikes there are going to be more of them facing different issues, and therefore more people working on solutions. The products that we will discover in this article tackle some of the most common issues with innovative ideas, these might solve a problem that you have or even spark the idea for facing other problems; either way let’s get to it!
Anybody who rides they’re bike at night in the city knows how important is to be visible to the other users of the road, most cyclists use a posterior and frontal light, which are necessary to be seen from incoming vehicles; nevertheless, at some point you’re going to make a turn, and that requires to make a signal with your hands, unfortunately putting up your arm won’t be very effective if for example in poor visibility or lighting conditions.
Aiming to help with this issue are the CYCL Winglights; these are a pair of bright yellow lights that you can easily mount on the sides of the handlebars, by simply tapping either of them they’ll start blinking, thus signals to the vehicles on the road in which direction you’re going to turn, effectively making your movements more visible and therefore increasing your safety level.
Unfortunately these won’t replace an old school hand signal, which is still the best way to make your intentions clear; they should instead be considered as an addition to traditional signals. So maybe they won’t revolutionize the way you cycle at night, but for sure they’ll help you make you feel safer and the other users more aware of you. Maybe in the future we’ll see a more effective product that will overcome the drawbacks of this one.
- still requires hand signals
weight: 58g grams
Protecting your head while riding is fundamental to road safety; however many people take the risk of not wearing a helmet, mostly because of the hassle of carrying one around when they’re not using it. Luckily in the recent years various companies brought to the market Folding Helmets, these have all the safety features of regular helmets but can be collapsed to a flat shape when needed.
One of the best products in this field is the “Morpher flat folding helmet“, winner of several innovation awards. Its foam construction makes it lightweight and strong at the same time ( just 1 pound/454 grams), as a matter of fact it passed all the safety tests, it has CPSC certification which covers the USA and Canada and CE EN1078 certification which covers the rest of the World, except Australia; the 14 small vents on it reportedly aren’t the best for ventilation but their size keep the helmet solid.
The folding system is quite clever, when folded 4 magnets keep it flat, at an approximate size of 36cm x 22cm x 6cm, suitable to be stored even in a small purse; to open it just pull out the sides until they click into place. The chin strap on this helmet has a magnetic locking system, making adjustments on the go possible and easy.
The morpher fits most adults and teens, with a circumference between 52 cm and 58 cm, note that it’s not suitable for very large heads or kids.
The flaws of this helmet are minimal; the ventilation is not optimal, especially in hot climates, tough for most situations it won’t feel that different from other helmets. The main drawback is the price, at $125 is not cheap at all, so this product might be worth it for those that really value the folding capability and are willing to pay for it.
- innovative design
- easy to store
weight: 454 grams
Phone holders these days come in all shapes and sizes and have been on the market for a while, but apparently there are still some products that bring innovation to the game, and that’s the case with the Formmount. The advantages of using a phone holder on your bike are obvious, it’s annoying to stop just to pull out your phone; in addition, the big screen smartphones of today are not comfortable to pedal with in normal pockets.
What makes the Formmount special is the way the phone is held, this is done by four strong Neodymium magnets; it’s composed by the stand, mounted on the stem in a central position, and a compatible plate to stick on your phone cover; the plate features four small bumps that fit into four small recesses on the stand, in order to make the pair even more secure and easy to use.
Some people maybe feel uncomfortable about having their expensive smartphone on a magnetic phone stand, but surprisingly this system works very well; when the phone is put on the stand it won’t go anywhere, any impact that might shake it off would surely throw you out of the bike as well. At the same time taking the phone off the stand just requires to twist and pull, remarkably with no effort.
The phone can be placed in either portrait or landscape mode, and by changing the tilt of the stand it can even be used as a makeshift action camera, giving this holder a useful extra feature. On the downside the design of the plate features a lanyard hole, which by sticking out will make the phone shaky when on a table or a flat surface, and unfortunately this fault is not compensated by the function of the hole. Moreover, the price is another factor to consider, at almost $60, there are many other phone holders that function as well as the FormMount and cost much less, for example the Quad Lock universal mount at about $37.
In conclusion, this is a great product, well-designed and built to last; but its price make it less suitable for people that just want a secure mount and mind the budget, on the other hand if you want to impress your fellow riders with a sleek phone holder, this one will definitely do the job.
- innovative design
- secure fit
- usable in landscape or portrait mode
- lanyard hole
weight: 91 grams
The products listed here are just a few of the many inventions of the recent years, and we’ll explore new and exciting cycling technology in numerous upcoming posts. Hopefully you’ve found something that you actually needed or that stimulates your imagination for other innovative products.
Have a great ride!