It's been a busy year for Kickstarter cycling projects, and before 2016 gets underway, here is a look back at some of the best, and successfully funded, products we've reported on.
The 100 lumen Blaze Lumen rear light launched on Kickstarter in early November and swiftly surpassed a modest £35,000 funding target, achieving an impressive d £153,636 from a total of 2,208 backers.
The Burner houses 24 LEDs in a machined aluminium case, which is claimed to be waterproof and highly durable. A light sensor allows the light to automatically power up when it detects low levels of light (a bit like the See.Sense). Blaze says it has developed the light to provide an 180-degree viewing range to increase your visi1080bility on the road. -
Transport for London has since signed up the company to supply lights for the Santander Bikes.
Following on from the success of the Fly6, Australian company Cycliq launched the Fly12, a 400 Lumen front light with an integrated HD video camera. It sailed past its Kickstarter goal, hitting $668,721 AUD with 1,720 backers. The new Fly12 light boasts both a 400 lumen front light and an HD video camera capable of filming 1080p video at 45 frames per second, all housed in a smart and slim waterproof case.
It’s easy to run out of space in your pockets for all the food and spares you need in a long ride. The Behold cargo bag goes right under the water bottle cage and is large enough to store a spare tube, puncture repair kit, tyre lever, CO2 canister and tyre levers. How much you get in there obviously depends on the size of the bits you’re trying to pack.
Never worry about forgetting your bicycle lock again, that is the promise of the Pedal Lock. A 33in cable retracts from the pedal body and a combination lock secures it in place, and for added security, an alarm is then activated. The cable is made from 2.4mm galvanised steel with a rubberised cut and kink resistant coating.
The BackBottle was created by cyclist Brian Davis, who wanted to carry more water on longer rides, but didn’t want to fit a third bottle cage and definitely didn’t want to resort to a hydration backpack. So he created the BackBottle, a water bottle shaped to fit in a jersey pocket.
Bicycle locks are very popular Kickstarter projects. The Litelock is designed to be lightweight, sub-1kg, and is made from a flexible composite strap called Boaflexicore, which has multiple layers of different materials to provide additional security.
The titanium Helix folding bike got a lot of interest when we published the story, with the creators claiming it’s the world’s smallest and lightest folding bike. So interested were people, that 1,069 backers pledged an incredible $2,262,621 CAD of funding.
The Helix features a one-piece frame with side-by-side folding, so there are no hinges in the frame, as is usually the case with a folding bike. Instead, Helix has developed patent pending helical hinges that fold the two wheels either side of the frame, with no need for folding pedals.
Handmade in Toronto, Canada, the Helix is said to ride like a normal bike. It has 24in wheels, bigger than the wheels used on most folding bikes. It's these larger wheels that the company claims gives the Helix better handling and performance than any of its rivals.
The Rideair, a refillable compressed air canister that makes inflating a flat tyre as easy as pressing a button, achieved over $50,000 of funding. The Rideair fits in a bottle cage and extractable inflation tube with a presta and schrader compatible head attaches to the valve and it's simply a matter of pressing the button to inflate the tyre. Rideair reckons it takes just two seconds to inflate a flat tyre. There's a pressure gauge on the unit as well.
Hitting £63,055 of funding, the Haize is a small navigation device that attaches to the handlebar and acts like a compass. But instead of pointing north, the device points to your final destination, which you download from a compatible smartphone.
You wait ages for a bicycle compass, and two come along at the same time. The BeeLine was helped by over 3,000 backers to reach £150,185 funding.
Rather than turn-by-turn directions like regular GPS devices, it works very much like a normal compass, pointing in the direction you need to be travelling. The small screen displays an arrow showing which direction you need to be heading in, along with the distance remaining. The BeeLine features an e-paper screen providing crisp and clear information in all light conditions, with a backlight for night riding. It uses Bluetooth to communicate with the partner app on a compatible smartphone.
Turn-by-turn navigation, automatic tracking, an alarm and a front light are the features packed into the SmartHalo. It was popular, being supported to the tune of $538,723 CAD.
SmartHalo is intended to be a permanent feature of a bike and is installed where the stem meets the handlebar via a ‘military-grade locking system’. Its navigation system shows you the quickest, safest routes to your destination; automatic tracking saves data about all of your rides; a built-in front light kicks out 250 lumens; while an alarm is triggered if thieves try and take the bike.
In October, the Gi FlyBike launched on Kickstarter, an electric bike that folds in one second. It has 26in wheels and is maintenance-free, with solid anti-puncture tyres and a belt drive system, with a 40-mile range from its battery. The integrated LED lights can be operated from the company’s smartphone app
It’s not all products and gizmos on Kickstarter, some have used it to crowdfund books. Rouleur photographer Camille McMillan achieved £21,736 to put a book of his reportage style documenting of the sport over the past two decades into production.
2015 will be remembered as the year that some tried to bring back the suspension stem, after a mostly unsuccessful debut on mountain bikes during the 90s. The ShockStop is designed for road bikes, though, and is a pivoting suspension stem that provides 1-2cm (6°) of movement. ShockStop reckons the stem reduces impact forces by up to 70%.
Concerned about your safety and visibility when cycling on the roads? The Lumos helmet might be for you. It has built-in indicator lights, operated by a handlebar-mounted button, and a brake light that automatically comes on when you decelerate.
A Copenhagen-based start-up used Kickstarter to launch an Uber-style cycle hire business that allows bike owners to rent out their (spare) bike in the simplest way possible and allows renters to find and rent a bike by the click of a button.
Most bicycle front lights illuminate the path in front of you, but the DING was designed to also illuminate a space 3m wide by 1.5m deep, around the rider. The idea was to provide more visibility to other road users approaching from side junctions.
The Ding light shines a rectangle of light of 150 lumens down at the road either side of the rider, with 400 lumens of forward power. The light weighs 110 grams.
Danish company Reelight launched the battery-free Reelight, which pumps out up to 118 lumens and is totally frictionless.
Reelight says it has developed a patent pending technology that “takes advantage of Eddy currents (link is external) ( loops of electric current induced within conductors by a changing magnetic field in the conductor) generated by the rotation of the bike’s aluminium rim,” so there’s no speed-robbing friction.
We’ll end on a funny note. Would you believe it, the Bike Balls, a novel rear bicycle light, actually hit its Kickstarter funding goal.
“Bike Balls are more visible and noticeable than your average bike light, making you more safe and confident as you ride through the city streets at night,” says the Bike Balls team. “It takes grit, wit, and huge balls to ride in the city so show 'em what you got!
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.