What's new and exciting

What’s new and exciting

 

I’ve been a bit low on product lately, so today I’ve rounded up a smattering of bits and pieces that have caught my attention for one reason or another. Lets get right to it: the new and exciting.

Locks

First up, locks. If you use your bike for transportation or running errands, you’ll likely be in need of a lock. Locks can often be bulky, heavy, and a downright challenge to carry sometimes, and the more secure you want it to be, the worse that gets.

Over the past few years there have been a number of fresh takes on the humble bike lock. Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter is the Vivid Bike Lock, which comes to you from a couple of folks from Melbourne.

Here’s the basics: it’s wearable, and it’s bright, so more likely than this somewhat… interesting concept… it’s going to kill two birds with one stone. That’s the idea anyway.

Worlds first with LED’s… That other wearable lock has been around for a while now and looks a tad more secure, but it’s sans LED’s, so…

My take? 6mm cables don’t sound all that convincing to me (the video of the would-be “thief” is a bit lackluster), but then, if your bike is locked at all, that’s most of the battle won. Plus, it’s probably not all that heavy, even if it looks a bit cumbersome to wear. I’ve employed this method of transporting locks around for years (either a cable lock around my waist or an ‘effin huge motorcycle chain worn like the Vivid lock for the odd time I’m taking the good bike somewhere), and it works. It’s not really any worse than wearing a backpack, but it’s not exactly comfortable either, though that is dependent on how heavy the lock is.

It certainly does look bright, though, and that’s good. It also looks long enough to be useful for locking frame and wheel(s?) to various objects.

Next up, the already funded and awaiting production, the Litelok. This leaves aside the lights, and instead focuses on being lightweight. No chains, no steel cables. This future-stuff, using new materials that are super strong and flexible, making it easy to transport, use, and actually looks pretty stylish.

One of the designs is bright and reflective, so you can link up two Liteloks (and still only need one key) and wear it like the Vivid lock, and use it to lock up both wheels or multiple bikes with the one key.

My take? From the video, anyway, I like it. It looks really well designed and finished, and if it works as well as it is supposed to, I think they will be selling a fair number of these.

Shoes

This is just a concept, but it’s interesting enough for a quick look.

The Urbanized Cycling Shoe combines SPD practicality with a casual, urban style, throws some LED lights in them, and then makes it weatherproof. That’s one capable shoe.

(but what’s with the music?!?)

My take: obviously it’s not a real shoe (yet), but I see two issues with it. The first is that although the waterproof cover retracts when not needed, it is still bunched up around the ankle, which is going to make for some pretty sweaty and uncomfortable wearing. The second also has to do with the waterproof cover, insofar as it will get chewed up and torn to shreds either immediately, or in reasonably short order. Unlike regular over-shoes, these are part of the shoe proper, so you’ll have a bunch of useless waterproof material just hanging out around your ankles until the rest of the shoe gives up the ghost.

Anyway, I’ll care when it’s real…

Grips

SmrtGRiPs aren’t actually grips, but they allow your existing ones to communicate with you. Simply shove these little cylinders into your handlebars, download the app, and you now have a bike that gives you turn by turn directions via haptic feedback, points itself out when you forget where you parked it, can tell you where it is if stolen, and tells you when you’ve been separated from your riding buddy.

My take: quite a smart little device for something so incredibly easy to adapt to your existing bike. I can’t say I’d need it in my day-to-day endeavors, but for the odd time I need to go somewhere unfamiliar, this could work. Besides, it’s not in the way when not in use anyway.

The downside? I’m sure that the vibrating grips would freak me out a little. Even if you know it’s coming, you’re concentrating more on not being run over or walked into and I can just imagine that I’d get a bit of a start nearly every time it sends me a message.

Bike Storage

The Flipcrown is another small item, but can make a reasonable difference. Simply put, it’s a device that can allow your quill-stem into easily rotate 90 degrees so that your handlebars are out of the way for storage.

More than that, it’s actually a complete storage system, coming, as it does, with a wall-mount and the quick-release pedal, making your bike as unobtrusive as possible.

My take: Downsides? No threaded steerer = no luck. Otherwise, a pretty cool product.

Cheap bikes

Momentum is a brand new company that gives you the freedom to “move happy”. Yes, these bikes are determined “to help you move through your life with happiness and ease”. What new wonder-cycle is this?

Actually, it’s just a marketing exercise from Giant, re-branding a couple of inexpensive bikes, with cheap parts, but selling it as the answer to all your stagnant misfortune.

Chain guards, upright riding positions, and rear-racks? Am I dead, or is this a dream? What kind of utopian miracle is this?!?

My take: nothing new to see here.

So, your fill of new and exciting things for the week. I’ll try to get on top of bringing your new product more often, and more importantly, new and exciting things that I have had the chance to review for your enlightenment and edification.

 

Header image: source