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.


Lightweight kit makes e-bike conversions quick and easy

Every day, more and more people choose to use bikes instead of cars to get around. This is an eco-friendly attitude anyone can get behind — unless, of course, where they’re going is too far. At that point, a little help is warranted. Unfortunately, most conventional e-bikes are bulky and expensive, and conversion kits add too much weight for a bicycle to still feel agile.

The add-e conversion kit is designed to alleviate the problems common to most conversion kits through its pared down, intelligent design. add-e consists of just two main parts adding about five pounds to the bike: a drive unit installed into the frame underneath the pedals, and a battery pack installed where the water bottle usually goes.


Halfbike offers full fun wth sequel combining jogging and biking

The original, foldable Halfbike introduced a standing tricycle design with pedals back in March 2014. Now, Kolelinia is back with the Halfbike II, a update to the the original Kickstarter success.

The Halfbike II’s design is largely the same, with Kolelinia opting to upgrade the original’s prototype-esque components to increase its aesthetic and functional appeal. A combination of laser-cut aluminium and impregnated plywood ups the Halfbike II’s durability, resulting in a 18 lb. frame that can support people with a height up to 6’4″ and weight of up to 200 lbs. As a result, its combination of jogging and riding make for a novel form of exercise that will no doubt turn heads. A Halfbike II will run $399, with an expected ship date of October 2015 should its campaign reach the $50,000 funding mark.

The bicycle is a design that will no doubt stand the test of time due to both its simplicity and versatility. As timeless as it is, it stil doesn’t mean it can’t be iterated upon. The Halfbike II makes a valiant effort and succeeds, adding a new dimension to a design that would otherwise be similar to the Me-Mover. A severe reduction in cost from the original Halfbike will ensure this version’s success.

Cycling Virtual Reality

WideRun VR lets you bike through any world while staying put

There’s nothing like a long, challenging bike ride on a crisp day surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life or the lush landscapes of nature. Granted, this is only true so long as there’s no rain, sleet, snow or extremely cold temperatures. Put simply, inclement weather is a cyclist’s biggest enemy, often leading to missed opportunities for both pleasure and fitness.

WideRun’s marriage of both cycling and virtual reality eliminates the tedium of stationary biking, offering eager cyclists a chance to ride in diverse environments when they’re forced to stay indoors. Of course, the biggest challenge with all VR experiences is achieving a suitable level of immersion. WideRun’s system accomplishes this by employing a bike trainer engineered to apply pedal resistance and let cyclists turn their handlebars; these two variables are essential in convincing riders that they’re riding the Great Wall of China or through an abandoned, zombie-infested city.

While WideRun is compatible with any bike, it is currently only compatible with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and smart TVs (for those who don’t have access to a VR headset). No matter which route a cyclist chooses to take, WideRun must be connected to a smartphone or PC. In exchange, the software lets users check their performance, ride with community members, and challenge other riders as a means to keep things interesting.

The full system can be had for $446 with an expected ship date of April 2016. The campaign is looking for $44,475 in funding by May 2, 2015.

While WideRun claims its pedal resistance can successfully mirror the feeling of riding uphill, it may not do enough. Because the system lacks the means to transmit other types of feedback — like bumps in the road or uneven paths — the fullness of the experience might be compromised. Still, the product is very well thought out, sporting similarities to the VirtuixOmni.

Connected Objects Cycling Safety

Augur Wolf bike light shift modes to avoid rider distraction

Avid cyclists need the best with regards to lighting in order to ensure they are seen on the road, no matter what the conditions. As such, most cyclists make sure they have the best lighting systems but don’t stop to think how it affects the rest of their team. Bright lights that hamper visibility is a huge problem when riding in a peloton, or a group of cyclists. In response, Augur created the Wolf lighting system.

The Wolf’s claim to fame is its communication protocol Collective Safety which senses other Wolf lights in the vicinity and dims appropriately, ensuring teammates can still enjoy full visibility of what’s ahead. In addition, Augur’s Wolf is is a robust lighting system that offers four different lighting modes. Need to grab attention? There’s the High Intensity Strobe mode. In complete darkness? The Full Power Beam mode will cut through it. Conserve battery with the Low Intensity Blink mode, and turn on a Low Intensity Beam for twilight riding. And don’t fret when the battery is low as a Low Power Mode pumps enough juice to get you home safely.

This fantastic idea can only sense other Wolf lights, which is a slight bummer. Each system costs $140 AUD (~$120 USD). Augur is looking for $60,000 AUD (~$51,600 USD) to have the product in backer’s hands by March 2015.