New new kit for cyclists
Let’s face it. Plenty of us cyclists love a new piece of kit. It seems half the people I ride with start most sentences with “have you see the new …”.
So I shouldn’t be surprised when my post last week about Cycling Innovation got quite a few responses talking about other favourite improvements on bike accessories. So here’s an update on some more cool stuff to spend your money on:
The Blaze bike light, from Britain, featured in my last post. Well cool new bike lights are clearly hot to work on at the moment. Revolights, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, have come up with a brilliant idea – two narrow rings of 12 LEDs clipped directly onto each side of the wheel, white LEDs on the front wheel and red at the back (picture above). A small, fork-mounted magnet and an integrated accelerometer provide speed and orientation data to the rings. So only LEDs on the part of the ring facing forward (at the front) or backwards (at the back) actually light up.
This gives the lights the appearance of a pair of brackets that stay in the same position even as the bike moves forwards. The idea is both to ensure 360deg visibility of the bike, but also for the front light to cast a better light onto the road ahead by being closer to the road itself than handlebar-mounted lights.
Like many good innovations, simplicity underpins the idea behind the Koala Bottle, also from the USA. Simply by putting a magnetic ring around a cycling water bottle. it does away with the need to get the bottle in and out of a normal cage. You don’t have to take your eyes off the road to put the bottle back in – it firmly attaches using a magnet.
My final favourite (for today) is from Graham Hill, founder of TreeHugger.com. Graham has , teamed up with bike manufacturer Schindelhauer bikes, to develop the ThinBike as a solution for those who need to leave their bike in the hall at home or in a corridor at the office. The width required to store the full-sized urban bike goes down from 21 inches to 6 inches as the handlebars fold in line with the frame, and the pedals fold up.