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Commonwealth Champion Powerlifter – @DomCadden
Once you have a bike, there’s a never-ending range of options to “pimp your ride” to make you faster, safer or just plain cooler. Here are some of the hottest upcoming accessories to look out for.
For serious training rides, you’ll wear all the cycling gear and your standard cycling helmet. But how many times do you just want to ride your bike to a fancy event without having to worry about where to stick your helmet? This foldable helmet solves that issue, reducing to one-third of its volume so that it can fit into a handbag or even a jacket pocket. This gives it an advantage over other folding helmets such as the very funky-looking Carrera foldable helmet, which makes the helmet easier to store on the bike but doesn’t actually reduce its length. Our guess is that it will also be popular with the hipsters who get about town on their skateboards, rollerblades and kick scooters.
The French-designed helmet will be sold with a protective cover and a set of additional, thicker foam pads for increased comfort. Like most helmets, the external shell is made of ABS (a plastic polymer) and a polystyrene inner. The Overade folding helmet will meet the EN1078 safety standard and prices will start from €75-90.
This is smart – a horn for bikes that combines a flash of 87 lumens of light with an earsplitting blast that motorists may easily confuse with an oncoming truck. That’s the aggro mode. The SmartHorn also comes with a friendly greeting/warning mode (as all horns should!).
In beast mode, the SmartHorn hits 96 decibels (the human voice shouting tops out around 80dB), so motorists are sure to hear you over the traffic noise. It is powered through a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery with a built in micro USB port.
The SmartHorn is both weatherproof and shockproof, and it’s easy to control while riding. Just press a button on top of the unit to activate the strobe light and push the whale tail at the back of the unit either up or down for a friendly or loud blast of the horn.
The SmartHorn went on sale in the USA in February with prices starting at US$65
This is the ultimate bike light to see and be seen on roads and in the urban environment. The name is not subtle, it says it all – 200+ lumens of light blazing up front and 60 at the back, but it’s not all about the power. The Blinder Road 2 has two lenses, one that throws a wide beam (22°) to see immediately around you, and one that focuses a narrow beam (15° arc) for seeing down the road – up to 1000m, according to Knog. At the push of a button you have four different lighting modes – narrow beam only, wide beam only, both narrow beam and wide beam simultaneously, or narrow beam constant with wide beam flashing so you can both see where you’re going and alert oncoming motorists – just the thing for commuter traffic.
The rear light has five different modes with some combo of steady and flashing lights, including a Peloton mode that only uses the two middle LEDs so you don’t blind your friends when riding in a group.
This is how the real playas roll on two wheels – with a stunning, personalised light display of images or animations funkifying your wheels and blowing minds on both sides of the bike.
Monkey Light is the first and only full colour, full wheel, double-sided display capable of showing images and video on a bike wheel. It’s waterproof and durable enough for city streets.
Each unit has 256 full-colour LEDs and a sensor-stabilised display that can fill the wheel between speeds of 15-65 km/h (10-40 mph). The display will run for 3-8 hours at full brightness and up to 48 hours at reduced brightness.
The Monkey Light Pro comes pre-loaded with custom artwork or you can use the web-based software to create a playlist with your own graphics, which can then be downloaded and controlled via Bluetooth wireless. The durable solid rubber construction comes with a stainless steel anti-theft strap.
For high visibility or just big fun, this is one bike accessory that’s got my head spinning (and lighting up!).
Look for your local supplier here
The Garmin Edge 810 combines great navigation with advanced training capabilities, plus the ability to boast about how fantastic your ride was or let people find you when you drop off the side of a road.
If you pair the Edge 810 with your phone (iPhone or Android™) you can get a suite of connected features through the Garmin Connect™ Mobile app. Use the app with 810 to track your data (including speed/cadence, heart rate and power) and sends it to your phone via Bluetooth so you can share all your ride details in real time. The app also allows you to get real-time weather conditions, forecasts and directly on the 810 so that your smartphone stays safe and dry. All this counts for little without the practical touch, but The Edge is a tough but sensitive little bugger that will go up to 17 hours on battery, while its touchscreen is easy to operate even with a gloved finger and when wet.
Another cool feature is that you can set up different activity profiles so you can have customized data fields and device settings based on cycling activity, such as road, mountain or touring. Switch profiles with a quick swipe of the touchscreen and the 810 will be set up to show the data for that ride.