In the crowdfunding age it’s never been easier to turn bike ideas into reality. We wandered the aisles of Kickstarter looking for cool, quirky and clever.
The mountain biking world has never been afraid of innovation. Actually, in many ways it’s the lifeblood of the industry and will continue to be so for as long as people ride bikes.
In the quest for suspension perfection, World Cup DH teams have been increasingly turning to data logging and telemetry to optimise set up. Until now it’s been a wincingly expensive business, not to mention the fact that you have to be very skilled in data interpretation in order to improve a bike’s performance.
To add to the Quarq Shockwiz and SussMyBike units currently on the market (both coming from successful Kickstarter campaigns), BYB offers a sophisticated system comprising a fork sensor, a shock sensor and an acquisition unit attached to the bars. BYB claims to be able to record the data from a single track, or a whole ride, and then give you suggestions for improving suspension performance. This can be done via software on a laptop, or through a smartphone app. Having reached its funding goal, BYB is taking pre-orders on its website. Pledging €1,199 will get you a telemetry kit.
Fortunately Banger by Mr Wolf has nothing to do with the adult industry and everything to do with tyre inserts. The market has exploded with tyre inserts recently, much like a sidewall in a rock garden, all claiming in some way to reduce punctures and improve grip. Just by looking at it, we’re fairly convinced the Banger will put an end to flat tyres, simply because it virtually fills the entire space. It uses a ‘low density technopolymer’, or, in layman’s terms, a squishy ring of rubbery material. It looks simple to install, and once fitted you simply add around 14-25psi, or approximately 5% air volume. The claims are lofty — 75% reduction in vertical impact forces, 83% reduction in lateral vibrations, 67% reduction in longitudinal vibrations — but then so are the funding results, with 268 backers funding the project to the tune of €60,000. It’s now on commercial sale for €139.
This sophisticated bit of kit is just about the smartest looking cycle computer you’ll ever see, and while it was conceived for roadies it looks like it could work even better for mountain bikers. Upload your GPX files, just as you do to a conventional GPS unit, and the slick display screen will point you in the right direction using turn-by-turn signals — ideal for trails where a quick glance is all you can really afford. It’s more than just GPS though, there’s an anti-theft alarm, a light for rides where dusk catches you out, it works as a compass and it’ll even show you where your bike is via a phone app, and so much more. Most interestingly though, it’ll track your ride metrics and feed speed, distance, calories burnt and elevation into your chosen fitness tracker or social service like Strava, for example. SmartHalo 2 smashed through its funding target a while back, but you can still get one for around £104.