Although often viewed as a lean, green, Luddite alternative to the car commute, your bike's going to be almost as smart your vehicle in no time.
As North America catches up with the rest of the world and ditches the daily car commute, cycling tech, too, has been moving forward. From lights to helmets to navigation tools, here are some of the neatest new toys and accessories.
Front- and rear-lights equipped with sensors that monitor motion, orientation, and light levels, then bump up or tone down your visibility accordingly. Are you approaching an intersection, or are headlights barrelling toward you? See Sense Lights know all that, and adjusts to the conditions. They've got 12 hours of run-time per charge, and no switches: the lights use motion gestures to turn on and off, which means you don't even need to take off your gloves.
Rumors and prototype photos of this strikingly subtle, innovative non-helmet have been circulating since 2005. Now, it's finally on the UK market. A stylish, normal-looking zip-on collar is actually a USB-chargeable, cold-inflation powered airbag for cyclists. Sensors detect when you're involved in a crash and inflate the airbag, stabilizing your neck and providing shock absorption. Here's some video of Hövding in action:
One commenter described this rugged security solution as "beauty meets the beast." The main selling point: it's light, incredibly rugged, and guaranteed not to rattle or rust. The signature foldy design makes it effortless to carry in your backpack or in a mounting case on any bike frame.
Put Hammerhead on your bike, then use the app to find the best bike route. No distracting text, small graphics or headphones required: Hammerhead uses cues and signals like those used by race car drivers or pilots (cool!). You can even customize the light array to suit your preferences. The app uses data from other biking apps like MapMyRide or Strava to give you turn-by-turn navigation from the routes you want to ride.
Roughly the size and shape of the other industry-leading designs, with a rugged exterior shell, the Elemnt GPS Bike Computer functions a bit differently. Setup and data are all controlled through your phone, and LEDs on the top and sides of the device (instead of numbers on a screen) display zones for heart rate, power, and speed.