2014-08-29

Co.Labs

Hack Your Bike With These Smart Upgrades

Seven ways to bring your ride into the future.



Earlier this week we covered a bicycle that can't be stolen because the lock is part of the frame. But what if you want to hack the bike you already have?

In the spirit of technology upgraders everywhere, we've whipped up a list of ways to enhance your ride with products and concepts that are available now or currently raising money via crowdfunding.

Helios Smart Handlebar

The Helios is a handlebar replacement that comes in Straight, Bullhorn, or Drop Bar style flavors. Equipped with front- and rear-facing LEDs that serve as forward illumination and rear turn signals. The handlebars are equipped with Bluetooth and GPS that enable you to track your position, distance traveled, and more with the accompanying app.

Hammerhead Navigation

The Hammerhead is named for its appearance: it's a small T-shaped accessory that locks on to your existing handlebars and helps you navigate. LEDs on the face of the Hammerhead give you turn-by-turn directions that correspond with a route you've chosen or created using the paired iOS or Android app. Hammerhead also syncs data with popular cycling app Strava, so you can send routes to friends and compete for bragging rights.

Skylock

Bike theft is clearly a serious concern for cyclists. Skylock protects the bike you already own and features cool upgrades like "keyless entry" and bike sharing via smartphone app. An accelerometer notifies you when someone is manhandling your bike and knows if you've taken a spill, offering to call for help. Power comes from a solar panel on the side of the unit, so you don't have to worry about getting locked out because of a dead battery. Its price is as hefty as its protection, though; this Indiegogo-backed product will retail for $249 when it goes into mass production.

Double O Bike Light

This circular light serves multiple purposes. A front- and rear-facing light ensures maximum visibility in low light situations. The LEDs are spaced farther apart than on traditional lights so you don't blind oncoming traffic, whether pedestrian or vehicular. It can be fixed to various positions on the bike itself as well as to your body or bag and the circular design allows you to leave it dangling on your U-lock when you want to leave it behind.

Patchnride Flat Tire Repair

Preventing bike theft and staying visible at night have been covered. What about getting a ride-ruining flat? The patchnride is a small handheld device that can be inserted into a tube tire of any kind to permanently patch the hole. All you need is a handheld pump to refill the air and you're back on the road in no time. The Indiegogo project has blown its goal fund out of the water with almost 1000% funded with plenty of time to go.

Klamp Camera Mount

For more adventurous cyclists, this high-grade mount allows you to capture your ride in ways not possible before. The patented design lets you strap your preferred recording device to various sections of your bike for epic angles. The mount also supports Wi-Fi and GPS devices and includes a high-quality light for nighttime action riding.

LifeBEAM Helmet

Smart bike upgrades can enhance your ride but you still need to take precaution against accidents. This smart helmet protects your noggin while tracking heart rate, distance, and calories without requiring you to wear an uncomfortable chest strap or other restrictive device. It pairs with most fitness apps to sync data effortlessly to your smartphone, sport watch, or cycling computer.

[Photo: Flickr user Beverly Goodwin]



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