Interbike 2015 was different than past events in that there wasn’t a trend dominating the show (fat bikes! 650B mountain bikes! 29ers!). But if you looked a little deeper, there was one smaller trend: visibility for pedalers. Because in this age of distracted driving, where even serious accidents often have close to zero financial or legal ramifications for drivers hashtagging their Instagram photos, pedalers need all the help they can get.
Lack of a dominating trend isn’t a bad thing. We saw plenty of cool products that got us stoked to ride, will help us ride more safely and will make it easier to just use bikes more.
Kryptonite Gravity Line ($31 to $55)Why: Because urban riders who don’t lock their wheels lose ’em
Most urban riders know that if you don’t lock both wheels, in addition to your bike, your hoops might be stolen. To prevent this, most travel with two or more locks. Kryptonite’s new Gravity Line (available beginning next month) is a cool new selection of locking bolts/skewers (depending on what type of wheels you have, quick release or bolt on) that only allows the wheel to be removed when the bike is inverted, thanks to a locking pin.
Voila! You can leave the house with just one lock. And there’s no need for special tools or keys to remove the wheel once inverted.
Cycliq Fly12 ($279 pre-order)Why: A light/camera combo for capturing bad behavior by motorists
We loved the Fly6, a combo blinkie light we wrote about at length that includes a high-definition camera to help riders who are hit by motorists. The new Fly12 is for the front of the bike and lets you shoot in 1080p or 720p. There’s also an internal trim function, so you can share bits of your ride or footie of friends riding ahead of you to Facebook, Instagram or the social platform of your choice.
Thanks to a collaboration with Strava, you can also see real-time ride data. Available for pre-order now, this unit is slated to start shipping in early 2016. Off-label use? Snow fun: Thanks to a GoPro mount, we’re going to use our early-release tester for snowboarding.
SFC Clothing (from $28)Why: Casual and semi-tech cycling clothing that’s as affordable as it is rad
There are a bazillion offerings for cycling clothing. A lot of it is god-awful ugly and much of the nice stuff is ridiculously spendy (but it often includes a side cup of pretension for FREE!).
That’s why we love San FranCycle. Their gear is fashionable, fun and reasonably priced: a cotton/poly tee featuring a cool-looking skull printed with reflective ink is $28. Other designs are just as rad, and to sweeten the deal, the founder, Tommy Pham, is full of stoke.
Vintage Electric Bikes ($4,495 to $4,995)Why: Equal parts future and retro
At best, eBikes look like semi-sexy European sedans, like a Volvo from the early aughts. At worst, they look like the bastard love-child of an old Puch moped and a perfectly reliable but hella boring Toyota Camry.
Not Vintage. A two-wheeler that looks like a hot rod, it's available in two models: the boardwalk-shredding Cruz and the e-Tracker, which is reminiscent of the WWI-era rigs that raced on velodromes. Both have a 30-mile range, can hit 36 mph and recharge in two hours.
Uvex Variotronic sunnies ($329)Why: Sunglasses that change tint electronically
When you’re mountain biking, you often go from shaded areas (thanks, trees) to bright areas (where the trees at?) on the regular. The shade can make it tough to see if you’re set up for bright sun, and, vice versa, a low-tint lens can make bright light similarly difficult. That’s why Uvex Variotronic tech is so rad: It changes with a click of a button or automatically, depending on what setting you're in.
A laminate of liquid crystals with electro-chromatic activation by a photocell light sensor is capable of two modes: knocking down 64 percent of light or 16 percent. Although we haven’t tried the sunnies, we have used the Snowstrike VT goggles with the tech and were impressed. The Uvex will be available in two versions: full frame (FF model) and shield (S model). They should hit American shores next month.
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