Connected Objects Cycling

CycloShield passive security system helps avoid road dangers

While cycling is a more engaging, more environmentally-friendly and healthier alternative to driving everywhere, the unfortunate truth is that cyclists are a vulnerable lot. With nothing to protect them from accidents, they’re at a much higher rate of injury or death, a huge, underserved issue the CycloShield addresses.

For cyclists who either commute or engage in the sport, the CycloShield passive security system is the way for a drastically safer experience. By attaching it to a bicycle’s seat bar, a set of sensors autonomously detect the approach or threat of a vehicle and audibly alarms riders of the impending danger. In the event of an accident, it not only sends an SOS message to both an emergency contact and to emergency services but also films offenders with a 5 MP camera — extremely useful in dealing with resulting legal battles more swiftly.

Connected Objects Cycling

It turns out the BEST e-bike conversion kit really is the best

patent-claimedA lot of standard e-bikes on the market operate at the 250W configuration, even in places where it’s legal to have a more powerful motor. And in those other places, more powerful configurations mean more speed, but without the torque to truly make it powerful enough to climb steep hills, for instance.

Inventor Matteo and his brother Luca Spaggiari were challenged to create a motor that could push the limit in terms of the hills it could climb and loads it could tow. Together, they created the BEST e-bike conversion kit. The name isn’t just for show: their design has been recognized by companies like Ford and Edison for being an extremely small yet generating the kind of torque it does. The secret lies within how its brushless motor sports a 10:1 ratio, allowing for a constant, high-level of torque across a wide range of speeds. This means that no matter if backers choose the BEST’s 250W, 500W, 749W, or 999W option, the type of power it generates will be the same.


Personal Transportation

The Nimble Urban Scooter carries you and your burden

Every day, people put way too much weight on their shoulders and backs without realizing it, leading to discomfort and possible pain later on in life. Outside of some sort of clunky trolley, there isn’t much that can be done about it. At least, that was the case until the Nimble Urban Scooter came along.

The follow-up to the Nimble Scooter Classic, the Nimble Urban Scooter is a slimmed down version of its predecessor that focuses on a more agile ride while retaining the versatility of carrying a wide array of stuff. Its front loading cargo rack features custom made bungee straps to secure all sorts of boxes — even fitting bike accessories — while its linked steering system lets riders perform sharp turns safely.


ME n’ E makes e-bike conversions more affordable

While products like the bimoz, add-e, and Dillenger dangle the tantalizing prospect of retrofitting our precious bicycles with lightweight packages of electric mobility for a more powerful ride, they do so at a less-than-lightweight price point. In the crowdfunding world, these price points are to be expected but do nothing to make it possible for more people to actually back confidently.

ME n’ E is offering an alternative, more accessibly priced e-bike conversion kit on Indiegogo that works similarly to previous kits. It takes just two minutes to install the lightweight, two-pound kit, giving users about 10-15 miles per charge at a top speed of 32mph.

Personal Transportation

Ginzvelo pedal/electric hybrid vehicle gets you around town

Crowdfunding sites have seen plenty of bikes and bike accessories, e-bikes and even folding bikes. But while two-wheelers are often great for navigating the urban jungle, their open air nature can make using them in poor weather impractical, dangerous or — at the very least — messy.

Ginzvelo (rhymes with “Pins fellow”) is an enclosed recumbent three-wheeler that can be powered via pedals or electric motor under which it can achieve speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. The vehicle provides a transparent bubble-like roof/windshield and the whole exterior lifts up on a rear hinge to allow entry and exit.  Peter Ginzburg, for whom the vehicle is presumably named, seeks $50,000 by September 24th. Still in the early stages, Ginzvelo is offering a few early birds the chance to pick up early units for $3,000 without the motor or $6,000 with it. The vehicles should arrive by November.

Ginzvelo is certainly a bit chunkier than a regular bike, but the one-person vehicle, which has a little bit of storage space, is much smaller than a car and can be parked in a wide array of settings. Its enclosure, which adds to its bulk, makes it a far more versatile vehicle than most e-bikes — faster and better-protected. Still, until mass production ramps up, it’s tough to say whether it will be more successful than the Segway or other electric bike alternatives.


Personal Transportation

Portable A-Bike Electric folds small enough for a backpack

While most people are far more comfortable on a bicycle than on anything else, it doesn’t mean most bicycles are suitable for the demands a busy city commute places on someone. Even the lightest bicycles can be ungainly to carry around and a pain to lock up everywhere, making them less than stellar options for getting around quickly.

The A-Bike Electric takes the compact nature of Sir Clive Sinclair’s original idea and supercharges it with a dual chain drive and brushless motor, featuring a 24V battery providing up to 15 miles of assisted pedaling even up hills. Its 26-pound foldable frame uses telescopic design in order to fold up into an extremely portable, place-it-in-a-bookbag form in about 10 seconds, making the A-Bike a worthy alternative to most commute cutting options. An A-Bike can be had for $900 provided its $76,000 campaign sees success by August 13th, 2015. Backers will be able to hop on and ride in October 2015.

The A-Bike Electric is successful at being compact, cleverly designed, and light while still retaining the familiarity with bicycles most people are comfortable with. Being able to take it along on the train or into a coffee shop is a convenience would prefer versus leaving a bicycle unattended outside. The Impossible E-Bike attempted something similar but ultimately never materialized, leaving a huge gap for products like the A-Bike Electric to be successful.

Cycling Personal Transportation

Bikes gear up easy e-conversion with Fusion Sports Drive

editors-choiceThe Premise. Even if electric bicycles offer an ecologically friendly alternative to other means of transportation, inherent battery limitations and companies instituting closed systems have driven prices up. This relegates even the most forward thinking e-bike into ultimately being an expensive curiosity.

The Product. Falco seeks to rattle the electric bicycle market with its Fusion Sports Drive. The company has created a gearless electric drive capable of being installed on pretty much any vehicle with pedals, complimented by a fully open system that allows the user to replace the 50 lithium ion battery with any available on the market. The Fusion Sports Drive boasts an impressive array of features over competing products, with standouts including regenerative braking, smart phone integration, and cardio-controlled biometric training. 

The Pitch. Falco’s Kickstarter campaign is detailed, containing a five-minute video showing the drive and its companion app in rugged action. Diagrams illustrating the product’s features and high quality photos round out the rest, giving you a clear idea of everything the Fusion Sport Drive can do. Falco is looking for a hefty $100,000 infusion to ramp up production and stay ahead of competition. 

The Perks. There are many choices for backers considering their very own Fusion Sports Drive. Those interested can fork over $495 for just the 250W drive and control unit, $695 for the entire 250W road legal system, or up to $1,095 for the “limited edition” 350W model. These are all subject to specific country requirements and are slated for delivery in April 2015. 

The Potential. Compared to much of the competition, the Fusion Sports Drive is light-years ahead. Their feature set is very advanced for this type of product, with the cardio-controlled biometric interaction being the runaway star. Falco has created a product which has a very competitive price point, successfully utilizes our smartphones in an intelligent way, and pushes e-bike technology forward by being as open as it is. Still, the conversion price may not court many casual riders. Falco’s main challenge will be expanding the market for those wanting an easy, connected e-bike experience.

Personal Transportation

Folding Me-Mover vertical trike has powered option

The Premise. People choose to ride their bikes or longboards around instead of cars for a multitude of reasons: fresh air, exercise, environmental awareness and frugality to name a few. Those who live in cities are especially prone to seeking alternative forms of transportation more suited to their urban lifestyles.

The Product. Me-Mover is a personal transportation product. The stand-up tricycle has two wheels in the back and one in the front, this product is self-powered by pedals that the rider shifts their weight like an elliptical machine. The Me-Mover features hand brakes and even folds up for extra convenience. Currently, the Mover comes in either black, white, blue or red. This  device has fixed gearing with a variable output to make for a smooth ride.

The Pitch. The campaign begins with a short video of the Danish creator talking about his product, along with footage of young Danish folk zipping around Copenhagen on their Me-Movers. The rest discusses the physical benefits of this product and how joggers, cyclists and skiers will all enjoy riding it. Me-Mover hopes to raise $100,000 in its 32-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early backers can enjoy the black Me-Mover for only $899 or $999 with their choice of color. Reward tiers go all the way up to $6,000 with expected delivery dates of August and October 2014. For $25 backers can vote on different add-ons they’d like to see with this product. Different levels of stretch goals (which go up to $1.3 million) include developing the most popular voted add-on as well as a luggage rack, custom parts and an Android and IOS exercise app.

The Potential. Me-Mover’s sleekness and versatility will certainly make it a worthy alternative to the bicycle. Other products have tried to come match to the convenience of a bicycle, but rarely get close, much like the Halfbike. Me-Mover’s add-ons, portability and ease-of-use make it a strong contender in the eco-friendly transportation market.

Cycling Personal Transportation Travel

ShareRoller turns clunky sharebikes into speedy e-cruisers

The Premise. In major cities around the world, bike-sharing programs are popping up allowing residents or tourists to borrow a bike and get where they’re going more quickly, but what if making use of this program involved less physical exertion and more fun?

The Product. The ShareRoller is a smaller motor that attaches to any bike or scooter whether it’s borrowed or not and allows riders to enjoy a smoother ride with motored assistance or no pedaling at all. The motor is designed to allow for 12 miles of range and offers 1 HP to get some speed going. The motor includes LED headlights to add visibility while riding in the dark, and also has a USB port to charge phones or tablets while commuting.

The Pitch. Inventor Jeff Guida shows off his love for sharebikes in his native New York City and demonstrates how a ShareRoller can speed up the heavier shared bikes. The product supports New York’s Citibike program, but also similar products in many other cities. With plenty of example photos on how to attach the motor and a convincing video, it’s easy to tell how much passion has gone into the development of this device. Guida and his team need $100,000 for injection moulding and to set up assembly facilities for the ShareRoller.

The Perks. Kickstarter supporters can get a ShareRoller for a pledge of $995, saving a whole $350 off the retail launch price, and should be riding in style by June of this year. An extended range battery which will add an extra eight miles of powered riding is available at the $1,295 tier, and New York City residents can get a beta ShareRoller in April for $1,995, which will be swapped out for the production model when it becomes available.

The Potential. The ShareRoller is a cleverly designed fantastic idea for urbanites who have access to bike shares or can commute using bikes or scooters easily, but there are some hurdles to overcome. First, the price point is steep for what it offers, meaning that making owning a ShareRoller economical involves a lot of two-wheeled commuting. Second, the weight of the device at between 6-7 pounds, plus an additional half pound for the extended range battery, is a little heavy unless there’s no walking to be done from the bike to the destination. There’s also the question of whether using the ShareRoller will be legal in the cities that offer the bikes it suports. This could be used by cities themselves to offer bike shares for people who are unable to propel themselves on a bicycle, but for the average consumer the ShareRoller still has a ways to go before becoming a crucial accessory.

Personal Transportation

URB-E personal transporter gets you around, won’t weigh you down

The Premise. That last leg of the commuter’s long journey is the distance between the train station or bus stop and the front door…the dreaded last mile. With no room on public transport for a bike, and no room in a grown adult’s life for a freakin’ scooter! (dopey razor kind, not retiree’s mobility kind)… however will one traverse it? Walk? Pashaw!

The Product. The URB-E is a folding electric mini-bike which collapses down to roughly the size of a rolling oxygen tank. This funky little take on the commuter vehicle comes in Carbon Grey, Cloud White, or “GoGo Green,” main colors (with Polished Gold and MRDR Black premium options), with accent choices of black, blue, white, hot pink, or orange. The rear-wheel assembly is modular, allowing users to switch between three-wheeled URB-E Commuter and two-wheeled URB-E GP versions, which provide optimal performance in slow populated conditions or faster open conditions, respectively (alternate wheel assembly sold as optional accessory).

The Pitch. Five, that’s right, FIVE videos outline everything from the URB-E’s marketing campaign and development to its adventures in the orient and rivalry with a gorilla. Clear and numerous pictures depict URB-E’s color options and smartphone-aware charging station (which will soon include an app to track range, battery life, speed, and even lighting). A three hour charge, a 36V battery and a 250W motor achieve URB-E’s 15mph top speed (max for electric mobility vehicles), 20-mile range, and a 250lb load capacity — pretty impressive for something that weighs less than your kids’ BMX bikes. Finally, URB-E’s development team’s references include the likes of Vans, Nike, Porsche, Samsung, and Disney, to name a few.

The Perks. Available in August 2014, the traditional options include: $1599 extra early backer with exclusive color, $1699 early backer, $1799 purchaser, and even a $250 down payment/reserve option, which locks in promotional price. Awesome options include: $999 race the gorilla option (to secure a chance to race the aforementioned gorilla. Seriously.), and a $20K “first model off the line,” option.

The Potential. With other compact products out there like the Yikebike Fusion, and the boxy Kickstarter alum Zeit-Eco (which is comparable in range and price, and includes built-in sound), commuters have emerging alternatives including many electric bike. However, with a 20-mile range and a design that can go basically anywhere, the URB-E is definitely worth a serious commuter’s second look.