cycling

Wild world of bicycling options

The past week friends seem to be sharing new bikes and bike ideas on my Facebook wall at a feverish pace. I thought I’d share some of them with you:

1. Trefecta DRT: The $25K high-tech, military-grade electric super bike

Much like the auto market saw the rise of the supercar, the electric bicycle market is seeing the rise of the super e-bike. The super e-bike is far removed from the average electric bicycle and is essentially a motorcycle hiding inside a lighter, simpler bicycle body. The new Trefecta DRT bike doesn’t even hide it that well as its military-spec aluminum frame is as much motorcycle as bicycle. That’s okay, because this folding super e-bike aims to “create the game, not change it.”

The Trefecta DRT is a high-tech e-bike built for military and civilian riding

 

2. Want to ride your bike at night and be super visible? Volvo’s reflective bike paint helps cars spot you at night

Car giant Volvo is turning in a slightly different direction for its next project, it’s called Life Paint. It’s a highly reflective spray you can apply to your bicycle and your clothes. Drivers can’t miss it. It shines a bright white color whenever light hits it. The spray is invisible and washes off. Volvo created the product and is now testing it in England, where 19,000 bikers were killed or injured in 2013. If it does well there, Volvo plans to sell it in America and throughout the world

Now not all of my friends were fans of this. One serious cycling advocate wrote, “It looks to me like another case of drivers and their supporters offloading their responsibility on to more vulnerable road users. How about building infrastructure and enforcing the laws designed to protect us? If someone in a more cycle-friendly country, let’s say the Netherlands or Denmark saw this they would fall over laughing. This is not how you encourage cycling while reducing collisions. There’s a point where my outfit and bicycle hardware doesn’t excuse someone else’s negligence – and to me, this is beyond that.point. ”

Largely I agree. I’m even unsure about ghost bikes and while I wear a helmet, I think mandating helmets hurts us in the long run. Making cycling look more dangerous than it is decreases ridership and makes it more dangerous for all of us. Safety in numbers is important, and those numbers go down when people feel that a construction vest and fully reflective bike are the baseline for safety, wrote my friend, and I agree. It also fails this little test, Is your bike safety idea any good? Still I like Nat‘s suggestion that it  could make for great body paint and nighttime streaking.

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The Volvo paint even prompted an April Fool’s day version for drivers. Spray them to make them slow down, pass safely, stop texting, and pay attention.

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3. But I love this! Toronto designed bike calls home when stolen

What might be the world’s smartest bike just got a little smarter. The locally designed Vanhawk’s Valour made waves last year as one of the most advanced smart bikes in existence, with built-in features like a gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS receiver, and blindspot detection sensors.

Now as the bike nears its delivery date, the company has announced a new feature that will be especially attractive in this city: a theft detection program that alerts the owner of its whereabouts. That’s a pretty useful feature in a city where 3,400 bikes were reportedly stolen last year.

More than that, it might offer some crucial piece of mind when shelling out for a $1,500 smart bike. Truth be told, that’s not even very expensive in the grand scheme of retail bike sales, but if you’re going to get a tech-bike, it better be able to do some things your traditional ride can’t do.

4. And for travelling there’s this cutie! This Hubless Bicycle Folds to the Size of an Umbrella

Folding bicycles are wonderful, but by and large they have to strike a compromise: large wheels and limited portability, or small pack-size but with tiny little wheels. This slightly strange hubless bike promises a solution to that problem.

The Sada Bike promises standard bicycles dimensions—it uses 26-inch wheels—but its hubless design means that, as the frame folds away, it comes apart from the wheels to maximize portability.Gianluca Sada, it’s designer, explains:

The wheels have no spokes, the system folds with a single movement, the packaging container can also be used as a backpack… It uses a system anchoring the wheels using smaller wheels held by a small frame and a specific quick clamping device. They allow you to fold the bike quickly and easily, using its special package like a trendy backpack.

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