Cycling Kids/Babies

ZumZum balance bike teaches tykes to zoom along in safety

Balance bikes for young children have remained generally unchanged since their inception in the mid 1800’s: they employ seats that gradually rise up until it the child is too big for it, at which point they can move on to an actual bike with ease. Just because they work as well as they do doesn’t mean they aren’t due for an upgrade, which is exactly what the ZumZum does.

Made from durable birch plywood, the ZumZum is the balance bike for the age. Made from three main components, the handlebar, frame, and wheels, the ZumZum is one of the lightest on the market at only 7.5lbs. The birch plywood and the product’s overall design facilitate natural suspension disconnected from the ground, so that children can avoid potentially damaging shock to their still developing lower backs.

ZumZum is as much a toy as it is a bike, so indoor and outdoor use is encouraged with its non-marking rubber tires. An interesting addition is the NFC tag built into the frame that, when tagged, displays information about the owner and the warranty of the bike. Useless for the most part, but a nice touch. Early birds can grab the ZumZum for $149, while everyone else will pay $199. The $50,000 campaign is looking to get this product shipped by March and April of 2015.

NextGen Bikes, LLC have created something that is fairly unique. Smart, sleek design come together to streamline a tried and true design. As tried and true as it may be, kids have proven to not have become any easier to deal with, so prospective backer/parents giving this the look over may want to also consider the Follow Me Bicycle Handle as well.


Tiny N’ Mighty lights the way for cyclists, recharges in no time

Cycling is a great way to get around a city. It’s inexpensive, environmentally friendly and provides that always much-needed exercise. However, it’s dangerous to be on the road with cars and important to take all safety precautions necessary.

For light at night, there’s the Tiny N’ Mighty. What sets this bike lighting system apart from the rest is its rechargeable battery. Most lights use fussy lithium batteries, so a rechargeable battery is a good way to go. The lights are water-resistant and provide tons of bright light for both the front and back of the bike. Each light can be recharged in a matter of three hours. In addition, the lights will automatically shut off if the bike has been stationary for five minutes—a useful feature to have.

As far as bike lights go, the Tiny N’ Mighty has great potential. Most typical bike batteries do last for a long time, but for avid cyclists it’s a good idea to invest in a rechargeable system. Cyclists may also want to check out the Revolights, which illuminate a bike’s rims instead. Tiny N’ Mighty is going for a donation of $175 for delivery in April 2015. That is, if the lighting system can reach its $10,000 Kickstarter goal.

Cell Phone Accessories

SLNGR keeps your mobile mounted around your neck

It seems like life stops when a mobile phone is forgotten or the charge dies. On the other hand, these phones can be inconvenient to carry around all the time, too. This is really more of an issue for men than women since women often carry their mobile phone in their purses.

So guys, SLNGR offers a hands-free way to tote a mobile phone. The safety breakaway neck strap is made of woven nylon, and the case itself is made of a rigid molded polyester canvas structure. SLNGR is adjustable and works with phones up to 3.5 inches wide. The pouch in front can hold a charger, earbuds, keys or other small items, which may make it a convenient item for cyclists and hikers.

While the product may make toting a mobile phone a little more convenient, it doesn’t seem any better than something like Victorinox or Naztech. Interested backers may also want to check out ReelKlip and Flip Clip. This campaign seeks to raise $35,000 by. Backers get one product for $25 with an expected delivery of May 2015.


Loopy multitools clips to belt loops, give them a job beyond belt guiding

Multitool gadgets are convenient items to have when cycling or hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. There are quite a few of these around these days. Loopy is one of the newest to try to push its way into a crowded marketplace. One thing that makes this product a little different is that it attaches to a belt loop. Loopy is 1.5 inches in height and claims to provide 12 tools in one, including a bottle opener, wrench, bike tools and more. Because it’s made of stainless steel and titanium, it is washing machine safe and doesn’t have to be removed from one’s jeans belt loop – as long as one can remember to which pair of jeans one attached it last.

Loopy is one of the more minimalist of these types of tools, honing the discretion of the Swiss Army knife. It’ll definitely find its place on the belt loops of the types of guys who still carry their cellphones around on belt holders. Other interesting multitool options that backers might want to check out include My Task and TrackBelt360. This campaign seeks to raise $27,000. Early bird backers can get one Loopy for $7, with an expected delivery of May 2015.


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.

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.


Helmetor lets your bike hold your helmet when you’re not using your head

What the heck do we do with our helmets when we aren’t on our bikes anymore? This is an issue many cyclists have faced, only to avoid even taking the helmet at all to avoid making the decision. While usually we applaud pragmatism here at Backerjack, pragmatism that puts you in danger is out of the question. This is why the Helmetor is answering the question themselves with their bike or wall-mounted helmet holder.

When attached to a wall, it’s a place to store to easily store your helmet, but the product shines when attached to the handlebars of your ride. The Helmetor is lightweight, resistant to weather, extremely durable, and most importantly out of the way while riding. Riders can even lock the helmet in place, making the option of leaving outside along with your bike a more attractive one. As much as the Helmetor promotes helmet use, this still won’t be the elixir to convince the majority of riders who don’t use a helmet now otherwise, unfortunately. In any case, the Helmetor is just £12 (~$19), and is estimated to be delivered by February 2015. The campaign is looking for £17,250 (~$27,200) for production costs.


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.

Connected Objects Cycling

COBI connected bike system stylishly declutters handlebar gadgets

Most riders who take their biking seriously pony up the cash for all sorts of mounts and lights to make their trips more manageable, but their handlebars end up being anything but. To put it simply, handlebars are extremely cluttered and the more functionality a rider wants, the worse it becomes.

iCradle, Inc.’s COBI connected biking system is taking what cyclists want in their ride and combining it all into an unobtrusive, wireless system. On its own, COBI gives riders an automatic flashlight, turn signal, and a proximity start-up that senses a cyclist’s iPhone or Android device and reacts accordingly. The COBI’s main draw is its handlebar dock. When a smartphone is inserted, COBI instantly adds over 100 intelligent features to any standard or electronic bike, all controlled with a handy thumb controller that allows focus to stay on the road ahead. A lot of these features, like intelligent navigation, the ability to call friends, a fitness tracker, Spotify integration, and a smart theft alarm, all make use of their large, colorful screens, and their high-powered internals all while being charged with a 6000mAh battery pack for standard bikes or an e-bike’s hub.

COBI is extremely modular, allowing riders the freedom to pick and choose which components they’d like to add or remove from their systems, handy when more are created in the future. The company has created four separate types of designs to accommodate different types of riders: racer, city, urban, and mountain. They mainly differ in aesthetic, though. A complete kit for standard bikes goes for $255, while an e-bike gets a small discount being that they come with compatible controllers at $199. iCradle, Inc. is looking to ship the product in June 2015 provided they reach their $100,000 goal.

The COBI connected system is extremely polished and full-featured, traits sure to attract a large number of supporters and adopters. With add-ons to protect from tough terrain and inclement weather, the thought behind the design and implementation of the product is obvious. Combine with the Helmetor to get maximum efficiency out of any bike.

Personal Transportation

Impossible folding e-bike perfects the art of origami transportation

For the most part, electric bikes look like something out of Mad Max. In some cases, you’ll come across something that is a bit sleeker than others, but at the end of the day it’ll still weigh a ton. These characteristics don’t really make e-bikes the best solution for last mile transportation, especially because fitting a bike onto a train during rush hour simply can’t happen.

With their Impossible folding electric bike, Impossible Technology is offering an answer to those who truly want a portable solution to their transportation needs. The bike’s extreme minimalism allows it to fold up into its own 17 inch seat, allowing users to easily transport it in a duffel or book bag and making it the first bike to be so extremely portable. Don’t let its flexibility fool you: the bike can carry up to 180 pounds and since it’s electric, it can be charged anywhere there is an outlet. Its ten 2900mAh batteries can be charged in one and a half hours, and supports a top speed of 12.4mph for 45 minutes. Despite its name, it isn’t so hard to get one of your own. An Impossible bike is going for $530 CAD (~$467 USD) with an estimated delivery date of August 2015. The campaign’s funding goal is $55,000 CAD (~$44,060 USD).

The Impossible is a marvel. Its level of portability is unlike anything really done before, and marks a true shift in what is possible with transportation. This advance comes with a caveat in that there are no pedals to manually move around if the battery were to die, so be ready to tack on some more battery anxiety along with our other devices. Indeed, there are obvious trade-offs to an invention like this, but ultimately they’re necessary. If manufacturing goes as smoothly as Impossible Technology hopes, you’ll no doubt see a lot of these in many big cities.