Spring Is Here! - 8 Weird and Wonderful Biking Ideas
Winter has hopefully come to an end, and warmer weather is perfect for shedding those holiday pounds and enjoying some fresh air on a bike. However, cycling has changed over the years, and whether you want to stand out, show your style, or just be safe, these are some of the coolest ideas that will take your biking life to the next level.
Bike Idea #1 - Muscle Skin Suit
Before you even leave the house for your first invigorating ride of spring, make sure you stand out from the rest of the pedal-pushers out on the streets. This innovative and eye-catching skin suit is anatomically correct from head to toe and will certainly turn heads when you're riding through town. Due to its' accurate illustration of the body's muscle systems, the Skin Suit seems to accentuate even the smallest muscles underneath.
Traditional body suits and skin suits for cyclists tend to be vibrant in color, but simple and boring in design. The Muscle Skin Suit gives you the high visibility cyclists need, but also that special kick of style that other cyclists want. The Skin Suit comes in a number of variations; full length, short, X-Ray version, or just leg warmers. Check out all the see-through styles of Muscle Skin Suits, and show off your guns to the world, whether you've got them or not!
Bike Idea #2 - Nutcase Helmets
After you're dressed for your ride, safety gear is typically the next step. In this age of digital distraction while driving, bike rider safety has never been more important, so the use of helmets is a must. For decades, bike safety experts have urged any bike riders to protect their heads, even at the expense of fashion sense or sex appeal. With Nutcase Helmets, bikers don't have to sacrifice personal style for safety.
Their retro-style blend of pop culture designs and eye-popping colors will definitely get noticed, in a good way. For kids who constantly complain that their helmets look dorky, this might just be the perfect solution for safety-conscious parents.
Not only are the Nutcase Helmets creative and fun, they are well-designed with 9 vents to keep your head cool, reflective patches on all 4 sides, and Anti-Pinch magnetic chin straps for one-handed operation. Nutcase primarily makes helmets for cyclists, but also has gear for water, snow, and extreme sports as well. Keep your head in one piece and check out the whole line of Nutcase Helmets on Amazon.
Bike Idea #3 - SpyBike System
For avid bikers, there is nothing worse than returning to the rack or lamppost where you last left your wheels only to find them gone. As lock technology has improved over the years, so too has the determination and creative techniques of thieves. In the past, if thieves did break the lock, there was typically nothing that could be done. However, the age of GPS is upon us, and the Spybike System is a way to covertly track your bike if it is ever stolen.
Spybike works as a second line of defense, in conjunction with your other choice of bike lock. It is a small tracker that fits in the steering tube of most standard bikes, and is designed to look just like a normal headset cap to avoid any suspicion by the would-be thief.
It is activated by a vibrational alarm which you can arm after you lock up your bike with the special keyring that comes with the system. If the bike begins to move, the alarm will send a message to your phone and the online tracking system will begin to follow where the bike goes. If the GPS is obscured by going into a building, there is even a fallback system of GSM positioning that will pinpoint the bike's location to within 200 yards.
Read more about all the details of the undercover SpyBike System and have it shipped to you anywhere in the world.
Bike Idea #4 - iKASE - Handlebar Case For Your iPad
For those bikers who can't even spare a few minutes away from e-mails, work, or Angry Birds, the bike innovations company BiKASE has come up with a solution for you. With their product called iKASE, you can now safely secure your iPad to the front of your handlebars for easy viewing and convenient access. This product can be used on both stationary bikes for at-home use, or for traditional outdoor bikes. The strong velcro fasteners and the "mild weather-resistant" case will allow you to use every extra second while waiting for the lights to change on your morning commute.
As for safety, I can't imagine that a distracting box of flashing lights and social media access is a wise choice, but for people who can't ever get "off the grid", they might be willing to take the risk. For those dedicated digital denizens, I recommend looking at #2 on this list one more time. The iKASE can rotate between landscape and portrait viewing while attached, and will fit iPad as well as other similar products. So, if you need an in-commute office tool, pick up the reasonably priced iKASE on Amazon!
Bike Idea #5 - Ultremo ZX - Tubeless Tire
It seems that no matter how careful cyclists ride or how choosy they are about their parking spots, tires end up getting punctured or going flat. This can be more than an inconvenience, and for professional or long-distance riders, it can be downright dangerous. Tubeless tires have been a controversial concept for many years in the biking world, but the gearheads at Schwalbe have perfected the technology in the form of the Ultremo ZX. By eliminating the tube inside the tire, they have reduced friction, wear, and puncture vulnerability. By using an airtight rim, sealant gel, and compatible wheel frame, sudden loss of pressure can be eliminated and punctures can be greatly decreased.
Tubeless tires have long been popular with mountain bikers, because the easy manipulation of air pressure gives better traction, but as a road or racing technique, they have not been popular. A much higher pressure is desirable for road/racing bikes, which the tubeless design couldn't quite achieve until now. The design of the new tubeless Ultremo ZX tire took years to perfect, and it is easy enough for amateurs to install, yet technologically precise enough for professional use.
Whether you are a big-time biker, or an ambitious amateur, you can read all the technical details and purchase your own set of Ultremo ZX Tires on Amazon!
Bike Idea #6 -Quick Stand and Lock
Bike junkies are always trying to think of the next clever combination of bike components, and a handful of designers have come up with a neat lock that also doubles as a kickstand. Bikers want their precious set of wheels to be safe, but the process of traditional locks is often annoying and multi-stepped. The Quick Stand and Lock allows the rider to lock the bike as they are getting off, the same way they would deploy a kick stand. The solid metal shaft is pushed down on an angle between the spokes of the back wheel, coming to rest on the opposite side of the tire.
The clever design snaps the lock into place with one simple step down, rather than the annoying web of lock chains wrapped around electric poles. It is a sleek and subtle accessory that can be added to the wheels of most standard bikes. Although some American bike thieves might choose to simply pick up the bike and carry it away, in most parts of the world, a deterrent is all that is necessary to prevent theft. This conceptual design may be appearing on shelves in the near future. Check out all the product details at Yanko Design.
Bike Idea #7 - Revolights
Warmer weather also encourages more nighttime bike riding, which presents new dangers and concerns for cyclists. The ability to be seen from a distance, as well as from the sides, is vital for the safety of nighttime riders. The Revolights system provides 360 degrees of visibility with its LED lighting system which illuminates the front and back half of the respective wheels as the tires spin.
Along with the visibility factor, the front wheel also throws light far in front of the rider, and not just at the ground. The position and strength of the front wheel light allows for a much clearer view of the road ahead, and any other obstacles (branches, signs, etc.) that may not be at street level, but are just as dangerous for cyclists. Read my full article on the brilliant Revolights system here. Check out the review and shop for your own size of Revolights on Amazon!
Bike Idea #8 - Bike Spikes
Although Spring 2013 has only just begun, it's never too early to start planning for next winter. Some commuters use their bikes no matter what the season or the weather, and people like that know how challenging and dangerous biking on icy or snowy streets can be. Cesar van Rongen, a Dutch designer, has a new concept called Bike Spikes which may solve the problems of slipping and sliding cyclists during those winter months.
This easy to install system is composed of six flexible parts which can be connected and tightened to the wheel with metal wiring. It can be easily removed when not in use and stored in a small bag. The metal teeth on the outside of the panels dig into ice and increase traction in snowy conditions, eliminating much of the danger of winter riding. Although it is only a concept at this point, van Rongens has hinted that it might be available for purchase sometime this fall. Scope out his site for more images and details of Bike Spikes.
Hopefully this list will help point you in the right direction, and the coming biking season can be a happy and healthy one. Enjoy these weird and wild ideas, and, as always, Cycle Safe!