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].
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.
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.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.