Connected Objects Cycling

SmartPedal adds smartphone-controlled turn signals, GPS tracking to your bike

One of the most hazardous parts of riding a bicycle on the same roads as car traffic is that vehicles can’t usually tell when the cyclist is planning to make a turn.

SmartPedal is a pedal featuring smartphone-controlled turn signaling that can be added to most bicycles. The pedals are connected to Android and iOS phones via Bluetooth. Once installed, users can inform surrounding traffic of their intent to make a turn via voice command or touch gesture that activates a blinking light sequence. A pair of SmartPedals cost 178 euros (~$200) and will ship in March-June 2016, with retail distribution expected to follow in July. Its maker is hoping to raise 260,000 euros (~$291,800) by July 4.

There are other smart pedals for bikes, including Connected Cycle Pedals. But SmartPedals’ safety focus sets it apart. Despite the focus on safety while riding in urban traffic, it has GPS tracking inside the application, which will allow users to track their positions/routes via smartphones. Its maker is also expecting to add a GPS sensor inside the SmartPedal itself to allow the user to track the position of the bike while the SmartPedals are on it, which would enable it to also function as an anti-theft device.


Connected Objects Cycling

Connected Cycle Pedals let you track bike rides, track down bike thieves

There are devices on the market that consumers can use to prevent the theft of their bicycle. There are also devices available that can track pedaling data for health and fitness reasons.

patent-claimedConnected Cycle Pedals, however, were designed to be used for both of those applications. Once connected to any bike, the device will instantly transform it into a smart bicycle. Although the pedals work in conjunction with an app for Android (4.0 and higher) and iOS (7 and higher) devices, users don’t need to have a smartphone with them while biking because the pedals have their own Internet connection. The pedals automatically record statistics and send them through the cloud to the app.

In addition, the pedals will send users an alert on their mobile device if somebody moves the bike because the product is equipped with a motion detection system. If the bike is taken, the pedals have built-in GPS that will help users track their bike down. Connected Cycle Pedals cost $220 and will ship in December. The campaign deal has been sweetened as the company is offering a SIM card with free lifetime data to its backers. Its maker set an Indiegogo campaign goal of reaching $50,000 by May 27.

To appeal to a wide array of cyclists, the pedals are available in five colors: black, blue, green, red and “tangerine” Particularly given how unobtrusively they blend into the bike and their easy installation, Connected Cycle Pedals should appeal to almost any cyclist who wants to track performance or their bike should it fall into the wrong feet.

Personal Transportation

Virtue Pedalist combine car and motorcycle, makes Smart cars feel fat

Cars are a costly necessity for many consumers who need a way to travel to and from work each day where there are no public transportation options. In addition to the upfront cost to buy a car, there’s the frequent need to buy fuel that’s bad for the environment and the, hopefully less frequent, need to repair the vehicle.

Virtue Pedalist, the latest vehicle from company Virtue Cycles, combines elements of an electric bicycle, cargo bike, velomobile (bicycle/car combination) and a tadpole tricycle (a recumbent tricycle with two front wheels). It has two front wheels, one rear wheel, and an outer shell that shields the driver from sun, wind and rain. There are three modes of riding it: pure pedaling, pedal assist in which its electric motor multiplies the user’s pedaling power, and electric-only throttle mode.

Although riders can cycle as fast as they want with the first two modes, the throttle-only speed is limited to 20 miles per hour so that it can be legally classified as a tricycle, rather than a moped or scooter, under regulations in California and most other U.S. states, according to its Kickstarter campaign. The Pedalist will cost $4,499 and ship in November. The company is hoping to raise $100,000 by May 21.


Bionic Runner blends safe running training with great outdoors

One of the best things about running is being able to enjoy the outdoors and still do something healthy for one’s body. But training outside can mean an increased chance of injury from awkward foot strides, over-extension or impact fatigue. So Bionic Runner was specifically made for runners who prefer being outdoors. This bike has an eight speed gear hub that allows runners to perform advanced training techniques such as resistance, intervals, and threshold. While it duplicates the motion of running and is a great cardiovascular workout, it significantly reduces the chance of getting injured. In addition, it’s foldable for maximum convenience and portability.

Since the high risk training techniques running usually presents are transferred to the bike, runners can spend more time focusing on their gate when they do actually run. Interested backers may also want to check out the Hamtoner, Go Kin, Spyder 360, and Most Fit campaigns. This campaign seeks to raise $40,000 AUD (~$33,300 USD). For $965 AUD (~$800 USD) backers can have their very own Bionic Runner with an expected delivery of April 2015.


Indigo Uni Mount takes cyclists’ smartphones for a ride

Where to put the smartphone when riding a bike so that it is safe and still easily accessible can be a conundrum. Indigo Uni Mount lets cyclists have the benefit of their phone in the center of their handlebars, which means that the GPS function is also easily usable. The 1/4 Garmin mount allows for the phone to swivel so that it can be used in either standard or landscape mode. The phone mount is made of UV grade acetal thermoplastic, and uses 3M VBH tape for attachment, so no tools are needed.

At the present, it is not compatible with rubber, silicon, textured and porous surfaces, but efforts are being made to change that. It’s also not recommended for use with mobiles that have a screen that’s over 5 inches, another inconvenience. Backers in search of a phone mount might also want to check out the Linkmount and Squido campaigns. This campaign seeks to raise $4,000 AUD (~$3,300 USD). Backers can get one Indigo Uni Mount for $16 AUD (~$13 USD) with an expected delivery of February 2015.


Urbanshell surrounds backpacks to keep them dry, reflective

Riding a bike, scooter, or anything else for that matter in the rain is no fun at all. What’s worse is when you have a book bag on and must endure the psychological torture of knowing your precious cargo is getting completely soaked. Enter the Urbanshell, a waterproof book bag cover to keep your goodies dry that is also reflective to keep you visible at all times.

Urbanshell is extremely portable because it can fold in on itself for easy transportation. When unwrapped and in protecting mode, an ‘essentials’ pocket gives users easy access to necessary objects. It’s also durable, something that is appreciated when dealing with cyclists. It comes in three colors: fluorescent orange, pink, or lightning blue. The original orange color goes for £10 (~$16), while the newer colors go for £20 (~$32). Urbanshell is seeking £6,000 (~$9,600) to get the product in backer’s hands by March 2015.

Cycling Maker/Development

Bamboobee lets you build your own bike from bamboo

There’s a certain satisfaction from building things on your own that is unfortunately absent from an economy that wants us to buy everything pre-made and brand new. That experience doesn’t do much for us, so instead of going to your local bike shop and riding one out the door, why not make your own? The Bamboobee lets you do just that with a package that includes all the parts necessary to build your own bike frame from bamboo. Termed a BIY (build it yourself) bike, the Bamboobee makes it easy to assemble your own cross-country frame in just three days by giving you the instructions to do so along with a platform to do it on.

At this point in the campaign, the inventor is also offering a kit with everything but the wheels for an additional $139 so that you can be 99% at the end of the third day. The combination of beautiful materials and the excitement of riding a bike of your own making will have many interested in such an unique product. They’ll just need to be careful their assembly is up to snuff as it could lead to potential accidents. All in all, the Bamboobee’s customization options sure attract as does its $179 price tag. Backers can expect delivery of the bamboo bike in Februrary 2015. The campaign is hoping to raise $15,000.