Kickstarter roundup: Clug, D-Key and Upper Wheel Fairings

Indoor bicycle storage, Allen keys shaped like normal keys, and aero wheel fairings are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter

by David Arthur   May 22, 2014  

Our latest rummage around Kickstarter turns up some indoor bicycle storage, aero wheel fairings and key shaped Allen keys.

Clug indoor bicycle storage

Kickstarter is awash with indoor bicycle racks and the latest is Clug, which the inventors describe as “cycle storage that’s like a hug for your bike.”

Clug is simplicity defined, a small bracket that the bicycle wheel clicks into. It’s compatible with tyre sizes between 23mm and 28mm. They’re aiming to produce a wider range of Clugs to fit mountain biking and hybrid bicycles if they get enough funding.

The Clug comprises just two parts. The clipper is attached to the wall, and the gripper snaps into the bracket. If you can’t or don’t want to drill a hole in the wall, the back of the Clug can be stuck to a wall with a 3M sticky pad. Because the force is transmitted through the wheels to the floor, they appear confident this small stick patch will hold it securely.

The inventors have already reached their $32,000 target but there are 24 days to go so you can still back them if you like the look of the product. It’ll cost just $9 to get your hands on your very own Clug [that just sounds wrong - Ed].

More info at www.kickstarter.com/projects/834664305/clug-cycle-storage-thats-like-a-h...

D-Key, key shaped Allen keys

Ever wondered why Allen keys aren't shaped like normal keys? No, neither did we but Daniel Neale did, and so he set out to develop just such a product. Neale’s solution is a key-shaped Allen key that he reckons is more comfortable to hold than the usual design and a more convenient size.

If you’re always using, and losing, a certain size Allen key (probably a 4mm or 5mm, those are the most common on a road bike, right?) and like the idea of having an Allen key attached to your bundle of house keys, this is the product for you. If it’s with your house keys you’re probably never going to lose it.

He’s now on Kickstarter aiming for £9,554 funding and with 15 days to go there’s still time to get involved. It’ll cost £24 to pledge your support in return for three sizes.  

More at www.kickstarter.com/projects/d-key/d-key-think-outside-the-tool-box

Upper Wheel Fairings

You get some strange stuff on Kickstarter, and then you get products like the Upper Wheel Fairings, which boldly claims to “reinvent the bicycle wheel to minimize overall vehicle drag, increasing headwind penetration speeds.” Yes, right.

The invention hails from the US and is designed to shield the upper wheel surface from headwinds. The fairings are made from ‘aircraft’ aluminium which fixes to the fork and seat stays with bolt-on brackets. A ‘stiffener bar’ is fastened to the inside surface of the fairing to curve it gently. Apparently, it only takes several hours to install.

Is there a market for such a product? It’s obviously not race legal, but there’s nothing to stop you using them for the ride to work or in a sportive.

“We are confident that our product will eventually find widespread use in the cycling world, simply because it works,” says its creators.

Do they offer any aero claims?  Why, yes they do. They claim “riders have achieved speed gains ranging between three to over 20 percent,” which sounds promising. In a way these wheel fairings are just a crude attempt to do a similiar task to that of deep section rims and disc wheels do, but the weight isn't rotational.

Ambitiously, they’re seeking $120,000 funding but with 23 days to go they only have 9 backers to the tune of $1,013. If you want to find out more it’s worth checking out the very detailed Kickstarter page.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/777589323/upper-wheel-fairings-rein...

14 user comments

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The guys behind the fairing are about to learn a lesson the car industry has dealt with for a long time. There are all kinds of things you can do to make something more efficient, if only the customer didn't want the things they own to be pretty.

posted by bikebot [499 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 10:13

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Those nullwinds are a bit odd - presumably they have no side-winds over there. Obviously, I have never ridden with them, but the fork seems to have most of the faring in front of the fork. I fancy that a good gust from the side would create a lot of turning force.

posted by domofarmfrites [19 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 10:17

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Nullwinds No thank you I'm out Silly

Wesselwookie's picture

posted by Wesselwookie [132 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 10:30

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I'm pretty sure those "aero-fairings" used to be called skirt or dress guards.

posted by farrell [1404 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 10:32

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The guys with the hex key must not have seen the micro multi tools that....as it happens, fit nicely on a key ring all for about £10

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 10:36

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Clug - Great idea and sensibly priced

Allen Key - Solution to a problem that doesn't matter to most

Fairings - You are having a laugh....right??

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:00

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Agreed about the nullwinds being ugly, they also seem like an odd design only covering the upper part of the wheel, if it was more of a complete wheel cover with perhaps some kind of venting design to reduce side wind effects it would work a little more. as it would always be facing the same way into the wind the vents could be angled in a more extreme way than on something that has to rotate, and would maybe relieve pressure from the inside of it too.

Former Fat Lad on a Bike

posted by RobD [99 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:03

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The principle of covering only the upper part of the wheel is sound since the upper most point of the wheel is in effect travelling at twice the velocity of the bike whilst the tyre contact patch is effectively at zero.

The execution could use some work though.

posted by Mike_Hall [14 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 12:51

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Please tell me Nullwinds is a spoof. Not even the Yanks can be that stupid....Oh! They really can be! Sorry, my mistake. Big Grin

The Allen Key thingy (I can't be bothered to scroll up to check its real name) is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. At Wits End

The Clug? Now that is interesting. Particularly like the fact that it can be 3D printed. Small, neat and unobtrusive. A very competitive market but I think this will go well. Certainly until the copies start flooding the market. Applause Devil

posted by levermonkey [362 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 17:57

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I am one of the 1800 or so backers for the CLUG. It is innovatie, unobtrusive and incredibly simple. I paid $37 and will get 4 CLUG's in September as the initial funding has now reached the $32,000 target.
I'm here in the UK and am looking forward to being one of the first to own these. I have 3 road bikes and my wife has hybrid road bike. Never will our garage look much tidier until September this year. No more ceiling hooks for us. Simple, stylish, effective. I was sold on this immediately. Hey I'm Scottish and don't part with cash unless I believe in something that is going to give value for money and the CLUG does just that.

mitchy210's picture

posted by mitchy210 [2 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 20:44

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Forget about the Clug, I want a cushion with "merde" written on it.

posted by Lolo [15 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 21:00

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Clug are also providing the 3d data file so you print it yourself if you a access to a 3d printer.

posted by riddoch [22 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 0:06

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The Clug looks nice and is unobtrusive, I can see that doing well. I'm not convinced that it would be all that easy to use though.

I like the D-Key. It's not revolutionary but as a convenient way to carry a 4mm key at all times it works and it's a bit different. It's a bit of an Etsy product though.

The fairing, yeah... I'm out.

posted by racingcondor [109 posts]
24th May 2014 - 9:00

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Just to chip in on the D-Key, it was designed as a BMX product and it does make a lot more sense in this context. I'm still not totally sold on it but having an allen key in a handy size in your pocket along with your keys could be handy and the design allows you to apply more force than is possible with a multi-tool which is necesary for wheel removal etc.

If I'm honest I'm more taken with the socket seatposts and seats with built in storage that have started to appear in the BMX world.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
27th May 2014 - 11:50

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