Connected Objects Cycling

The BluBel connected bike bell gives routes a familiar ring

Cycling is one of life’s great joys, especially because it’s free to do and offers cyclists who do it often a wide-range of health benefits. However, getting from A to B hasn’t always been the easiest part of it all, forcing those on the move to stop to consult a map or a smartphone for directions, ultimately ruining the fun.

Blubel is a satellite navigation system built within a bike bell. Riders input their destination into Blubel’s companion iOS/Android app and leads riders to their destination using a set of LEDs. On the way, a set of lights indicates a right turn and another indicates a left turn, both of which are prefaced by an audible ping to indicate one is coming up. When close to a destination, a steady LED lights up and acts as a compass. What sets Bluebel apart, though, is its crowdsourced mapping.

Personal Transportation

Innovation is reduced to a Single Foot Skate

It seems like every day in the crowdfunding world brings yet another way to shave down the commute or simply get around in a new and novel way. And while there are many respectable alternatives (FIT and the Freedom Trike both come to mind), some aim to create a completely new experience — sometimes pushing the boundaries a little too far.

The Single Foot Skate (SFS) is exactly what it says it is: a skate designed to be used with one foot. Although it is admittedly light, easy to carry, and potentially somewhat easier to use, it certainly looks as awkward as it sounds. It also incredibly DIY-looking and is far from any sort of a finished product. The SFS is going for $180 and is expected by June 2016. The campaign is looking for $3,150 by January 18th, 2016 to begin the process of injection molding the product.

The product seems half-baked. Subtracting a skate from the pair does not a good idea make. On the plus side, it’s made from completely recycled materials, so kudos to the eco-friendly nature of the product. The equally silly Walk Wings are a better idea as at least they offer retractable wheels on a entire set of skates, but at the point you might as well risk catching fire on a hoverboard

Connected Objects Cycling

LIVALL connected bike helmet blings out your ride

For far too long, bike helmets have been left in the closets and basements of homes all across the United States despite how effective they are stopping at preventing all types of injuries. The reason? Most would mention how bike helmets much besides make them look silly, a sorry excuse now that the LIVALL Bling Helmet is here.

The LIVALL Bling Helmet is a bicycle helmet that features Bluetooth connectivity alongside a two sets of LEDs and a three-axis gyroscope, all in an effort to improve communication and safety for cyclists everywhere. Bluetooth connectivity in conjunction with a built-in mic gives riders the option to to walkie-talkie other members of the group, take calls from others, or just ride along to music from the smartphones.

A dual set of LEDs, up top and on the back, ensure other members of the riding group, pedestrians, and motorists all have a good idea of where the cyclist is, while the three-axis gyroscope sets off an SOS alert and contacts help when the cyclist is thrown off due to an accident. All of these features are facilitated with the Bling Jet handlebar controller working in tandem with the LIVALL app on iOS or Android.


CTRL ONE sunglasses see the light, tint or lighten instantly

The hassle involved in dealing with harsh sun is the fastest way to take someone out of the zone, whether it be while running, biking, or simply relaxing. Sunglasses help but can easily prove unwieldy since they need to be put on and taken off multiple times, and sometimes very quickly at that.

Initially developed for the U.S. Special Forces, the CTRL ONE is a hands-off solution to managing comfortable levels of light exposure. The glasses use e-Tint technology to automatically change between two tint stages in .1 second depending on the illumination threshold set by the user. True to their origins, the ballistic lens are bulletproof for maximum impact resistance.


RideAir portable tire inflater will pump you up on the go

It’s pretty amazing what the single press of a button can do for people nowadays. Controlling music, brewing coffees, opening garage doors — the applications for connected technology are effectively endless. However, there’s been no button to press to deal with the inconvenience of flat tires.

RideAir extends that one button utility to flat tires, using an 22 oz. aluminum canister holding 300 psi of compressed air to rapidly inflate both Presta and Shrader tires, or anything else for that matter with a suitable needle adapter.  This gets about 1.5 full tires for a standard 700mm x 25mm road bike tire, and more or less based on size and use.

Cycling Music Technology

BikeMic keeps cyclists in tune with their playlist and environment

Riding a bike through any environment is already somewhat dangerous depending on the amount of pedestrian traffic and cars present. What makes it even more dangerous is the use of headphones while riding, something many people do that significantly increases the risk of serious, or even fatal, injury.

People love their music, though, and aren’t so easily persuaded away from it. BikeMic makes the choice easy by providing a mic that connects headphones with its music device to funnel in ambient noises. This way, those noises are mixed in with the music to give riders the best of both worlds. With BikeMic, riders can still hear the cars, people, and conversations around them, all without having to take their headphones off.

Cycling Nutrition/Hydration

BackBottle cuts you some slack, keeps hydration in reach

Quick and easy access to water or a sports drink is a must for any serious cyclist or triathlete. Understandably, hydration packs are extremely popular for this very reason. But because hydration packs can only hold so much liquid, riders are often forced to carry another bottle or two with them. This can be quite burdensome. And for serious riders who race competitively, awkwardly reaching for a bottle mid-ride may even result in a disqualification

The BackBottle addresses  all of these problems by offering 18oz of easy-to-reach hydration specially designed to neatly fit inside of a riding jersey’s back pocket. The BackBottle form factor is just big enough as to remain steadily in place no matter what kind of terrain a cyclist is riding over. This helps give riders who might otherwise worry about hydration packs flying off their bodies some much needed piece of mind. Between a hydration pack and the BackBottle, athletes can breath easy knowing that they wont need to make frustrating pit stops for water at nearby gas or support stations.

Unfortunately, most bike cages won’t support the BackBottle’s odd shape so some riders might opt for two bottles instead of one. A single BackBottle goes for $10, while four can be had for $30. The product’s estimated ship date is September 2015, provided the $7,777 campaign goal is met by April 3.


EasyTurn turning signal eliminates doubt while cycling

Both novice and experienced cyclists alike face dangers when riding on roads filled with other cyclists, cars, and trucks — a simple collision always carries the risk of injury or even death. As a result, a cyclist is always responsible for signaling their intentions on the road, especially when turning. However, who’s to say that those on the road can understand such signals, or perhaps even see them in the first place?

The EasyTurn is a brake signal designed to be more visible to others on the road. It accomplishes this via a slanted design that can be seen at wider angles. It sports both left and a right turn signals, as well as an red emergency light that flashes when the product senses that the cyclist is braking abruptly. Cyclists can control the left and right turn signals with a wireless button that can be attached to the handlebar so as to be always within reach. Early birds can grab an EasyTurn for $59, while everyone else can get theirs for $79. An estimated delivery date of July 2015 is listed provided the campaign’s $25,000 goal is funded by April 20.

EasyTurn is compact, easy-to-install, and simple to use piece of safety equipment. Just as important, it’s not terribly expensive. Products similar to EasyTurn include WingLights and 8rlicht, the former of which features minimally designed handlebar-mounted turn signals than can be controlled with simple taps while the latter offers a programmable LED board that hangs off the back of a bike. While WingLights might prove to be worthy competition, 8rlicht may be too complex relative to what EasyTurn provides.


Night Shift bike lights are simplicity wrapped in attitude

No matter the terrain, a well-lit bike ride is a safe one. But with a plethora of options that are functionally suitable for the job, picking one is less about what it can do and more about how it looks.

As such, the rally-styled Night Shift bike light by GRIT makes the choice easy. The product is a combination of a high-powered tactical flashlight wrapped in a bomber-style silicone holder, making it both rugged enough to withstand all sorts of abuse, while being modular enough to always have choice in what lights to use. Because of this, riders can switch out batteries or entire lights on the fly, and aren’t limited to one charge as with other products like Double O. The 200 lumen Fire Road model goes for $28, and the 700 lumen model goes for $58, although it’s possible to only buy the silicone housing for $14.

The product’s modularity, simple styling, and color selection instantly make this something to look out for, and marks a break from increasingly smart bike lights like the Augur Wolf. It’s simplicity affords it a lot of versatility, something that will appeal to many.

The $8,000 campaign is ready for mass production, with an expected delivery date of April of this year, but only if it raises the money by the time the campaign ends on March 8.


Leafxpro shields cyclists from the rain, keeps commuters dry

Riding a bike to work—or anywhere, for that matter—is a great and environmentally-friendly way to get around and stay in shape. The only problem is that cycling can be near impossible when it’s raining.

patent-claimedTo protect from getting wet, the LEAFXPRO was created. This product attaches to all different kinds of bicycles. A clear flap acts as a windshield to protect the rider from rain, but still gives them a proper field of vision when riding. Similarly, another flap rests against the rider’s back to protect from the dirt and grime that the back tire usually kicks up. To make matters even better, the LEAFXPRO was designed in such a way that it won’t slow the rider down.

The LEAFXPRO looks a little bit ridiculous, however. There’s no type of windshield-wiper system in place to wipe water away from the front flap, either. It seems likely that in windy conditions the product might act as a sail. Still, it’s at least some protection against the elements for cyclists. Backers can donate £99 (~$151) for their own, with estimated delivery in September of this year. LEAFXPRO hopes to raise £20,000 (~$30,500) in funding.