Bikes have been around for a long time, and the basic structure of the bicycle has improved but it’s still basically the same. The field in which we are having the biggest development are bike gadgets and accessories. The growing number of people who choose to cycle to commute or general enthusiasts are always looking for solutions to their problems, such as safety, navigation or improvement of functions.
In this article we will discover bike products that bring innovation with their design, useful for both the city and the trail; these accessories will help you make your cycling experience more efficient and fun.
When it comes to safety on the road, visibility is fundamental; thus choosing the right bike light is important to make sure you’re well lit and the users of the road are aware of you during day or night, rain or sunshine.
The Beryl Laserlight is a front projector, combining a strong white light with a special green laser; this laser is what makes the Beryl stand out, it casts a bright green beam (certified safe) several feet wide and bike shaped 6 meters in front of the bicycle, in order to warn the drivers and pedestrians that a cyclist is approaching or is in their blind spot. The lights can also be used in flashing or power saving mode, prolonging the battery life.
Moreover, the Beryl has good specifications:
- 13 hours on a single charge (depending on the mode used)
- 300 lumens white led
- Fully waterproof ( not just water resistant)
- One hand quick release
- 182 grams
- Aircraft grade aluminum body
This is surely a top shelf bike light, so the price tag is justified by the quality of the product and original design. Considering that there’s no price on safety it’s definitely a good investment.
( from $159 )
We’ve all been there, riding in the city maze, having to stop every minute to check the maps on your phone; for this problem a phone stand might help, but that screen full of notifications takes the attention away from the road, creating potentially dangerous situations.
This won’t happen with SmartHalo, a futuristic bike computer with an essential design that doubles as front light (195g). The device displays information to a bright circular screen, offering information about directions, notifications on your phone (calls and messages) and rider performance. It connects via Bluetooth to any smartphone and it has a dedicated app, through which the user interacts with the device.
SmartHalo provides directions in a very intuitive and simple way, through the use of lights ; either by “turn by turn” showing a light in the direction of the upcoming turn that turns from yellow to green while getting closer, or by “compass” in which the general direction of the destination is displayed. Battery life is quite enough, with a 3 weeks estimated duration ( 1h of use per day), charging is not going to be a concern.
It also has a security feature, if you’re not sensed close by through your phone, and the bike is shaken, it will emit an alarm signal that increases in volume and becomes awfully loud and will certainly discourage anyone trying to disturb your bike; in addition the device is securely locked on your handlebars by a special mounting key, so you don’t have to worry about taking it off.
In the past SmartHalo had some problems with the navigation through the app, but they recently switched to Google Maps, taking away the concern of going the wrong way, and the SmartHalo 2 is in the funding process, so we expect an even better product to come soon, in the meantime this model offers all you need to make your ride smarter.
( from $130 )
If you thought that bike bells can’t be innovative, think again. The Knog Oi is a carefully designed product, made from long-lasting anodized aluminum and its its sleek modern look, it’s one of the most beautiful bike bells around.
It’s composed by a curved aluminum metal piece, an actuator and an inner nylon ring that locks on the handlebars, it generates the sound with a high tensile spring and the actuator that hits the metal when pressed, producing a unique sound. This simple mechanism ensures that it will work for a long time, and require little to no maintenance.
Considering the small price, the ingenious construction and the beautiful design, the Knog Oi is a go-to if you need a bike bell or you want to give your bike a better look.
( from $15 )
Courtesy of topeak.com
A growing number of people are using their bike run errands, such as grocery shopping. It’s easy to forget yo bring reusable bags or a backpack, which should be used instead of the normal plastic bags.
The TrolleyTote from Topeak solves this problem; it’s a sturdy bike basket that comes with a handle and trolley wheels, so you can use it inside the shops and then just mount it on the bike. The basket is compatible with all MTX QuickTrack™ racks (another Topeak product)
Here are the specs:
- Capacity 25 L / 1525 ci
- Material Engineering Grade Plastic Frame
- Aluminum Handle
- Expanding 1 Main Compartment
- Added Features Foldable Frame
- Telescopic Grip
- Trolley wheels
- Clip for tail light
- Optional Cargo Net
- Size (L x W x H): 13.4″ x 14.1″x 5.6″ (Folded) 13.4″ x 17.4″ x 10.1″ (Open)
- Weight: 1800 grams / 4 lbs
This company has brought excellent products to the market over and over, so quality in construction is sure and the performance is great; with the TrolleyTote the hassle of shopping with your bike is gone.
( from $65 )
Also bike riders love treats, and this little kit offers a range of products to make your cycling life a little better; packed together in a beautiful metal box with a classic design.
The Bike Rider Essentials kit includes:
- Chafing cream (will save you from annoying pains)
- Reflective trouser clips (to keep your stylish pants away from the chain)
- Rain poncho (because bad weather doesn’t stop you)
- Muscle rub (to soothe those sore muscles)
Differently from most cycling kits, this one is focused on the rider rather than the bike; either for you or as a gift for cyclists, this kit will bring a smile and give comfort to anyone using it.
( from $32 )
Those cyclists that ride the streets know that it’s often a dangerous environment, with possible treat coming from all directions it’s not easy to be aware of everything around you; looking over your shoulder to see what’s coming from behind can be potentially dangerous, since you’re taking the attention away to what’s in front of you.
The Garmin Varia aims to help with the rider’s awareness, it’s the first ever bike radar and it’s composed by tail light (the radar) and a small head unit, where the information is displayed. The radar can sense incoming vehicles from 140 m/153 yards away; capable of tracking the approaching speed of multiple vehicles, providing life saving information to the rider in a very intuitive way, through the use of a line of lights on the display. Moreover, the tail light brightens up and flashes when the radar senses the vehicle coming towards you.
- Dimensions: Radar display unit: 2.4” x 1.3” x 0.7” (60.0 x 34.0 x 19.0 mm); Tail light: 2.9” x 1.7” x 0.9″ (73.0 x 44.0 x 23.0 mm)
- Weight: Radar display unit: 1.0 oz (28.5 g); Tail light: 2.2 oz (63.5 g)
- Modes: solid, flashing
- Lux (headlight use only): N/A
- Lumens: 16
- Battery life (high power mode): 5 hours
- ANT+®: Yes (connection type)
- Water rating: IPX7
At $299 for the complete bundle this is not a cheap product at all, with a tail light only option at $199 (the radar is compatible with Edge® cycling computers) in case you already have a Garmin device. It’s definitely a significant investment for an accessory, but the improvements that it brings to your general safety are priceless, considering that getting hit from behind is a major cause of fatalities, so it’s really worth it if you’re often on the streets and want to feel more secure.
( Complete bundle from $299 )
Keeping yourself hydrated during a bike ride is fundamental, and Camelbak has a long history of hydration products
The Podium Ice Bottle is the ultimate solution for keeping your beverage extra cold or extra hot, thanks to the double walls and the Aerogel insulation technology, which promises to maintain the temperature up to 4x times as long as a normal water bottle.
The use of the bottle is made simple by a squeezable construction and the so called Jet Valve™ , which is a cap that locks or opens with a 90 degree turn and keeping the liquid from spilling even when it’s open. Cleaning the bottle is easy with all the components coming apart.
Some users have reported that it doesn’t fit their bottle cage; but in its latest version they updated the shape, so it should now fit most bottle cages.
- 620ml/21 oz capacity
- Leak-Proof closure
- 7.3 x 7.3 x 23.8 cm / 2.9 x 2.9 x 9.4 in
- BPA-Free TruTaste™ Polypropylene material
- The Jet Valve™ is made from medical grade, self-sealing silicone
- weighs 99 g / 3.5 oz
Overall it’s a great bottle for a reasonable price, and the company is well-known for the durability of its products; so thumbs up for the Camelbak.
( from $25 )
Keep your bike protected from the elements with the “BikeParka”, a specific made cover for bicycles off all kinds; made from a strong polyester material, it will protect your bike against rain, sun or dust, while keeping it neatly stashed.
The BikeParka is adjustable to most bicycles, featuring an elastic bottom for a close fit around the wheels and various eyelets for securing in to the bike with ties in case of extreme conditions or to lock it; furthermore it comes with a useful and tough “Stuff Sac” where you can stash the cover when you don’t need it.
- Polyester Ripstop.
- Fully Seam Sealed.
- PU Coated.
- 220cm x 140cm (L x H) and will fit handlebars up to 65cm
- Stuff Sac (20cm x 12cm).
- Toggle Adjustable.
- Eyelets For A Lock.
- Light & Breathable.
For those that don’t have the opportunity to keep their bike indoors, this is the ideal product, for a reasonable price .
( from $38 )
So here are 8 cool cycling gadgets, solving problems and meeting the needs of the modern cycling community.
Hopefully you’ve found a product that can help you; and, if you have any suggestions for the next post, leave it in the comments and it will be taken into consideration.
Have a great ride!