Twice on this site we’ve taken inspiration from the Kickstarter site; and both times the articles we’ve published have proven to be extremely popular. We’re always interested to see exciting new cycling innovations – particularly those that look to improve cycling safety on the roads.
For those who aren’t aware, Kickstarter provide a platform for product designers and entrepreneurs to access public funding that can enable them to launch a new, innovative product. Those who choose to back an idea are rewarded for their loyalty by the owner of the project.
The reward can be anything from a mention in the product credits if the project makes it to completion; to exclusive access to the first of the products that are made – often at a significantly discounted price.
Continuing the series we’ve come up with a list of 5 more great cycling themed projects from the Kickstarter website, some of those which have already been fully funded – and some which are still in the earlier stages.
Vanhawks Valour – First Ever Connected Carbon Fibre Bicycle – Ali Zahid
An exciting project that was successfully funded back in May; Vanhawks Valour received more than 8x the required funding of $100,000. Billed on its Kickstarter page as ‘the first connected bike featuring performance tracking, security sensors and interactive feedback to radically change the way you ride,’ the product was designed around the concept of the bicycle commute.
The idea of Vanhawks Valour was to create a bicycle that seamlessly interacted with its surroundings through the use of the most up-to-date technology. Cycling safety is a key theme of the project, with LED indicators, turn-by-turn navigation and low energy Bluetooth connection to enable directional instructions.
Even more interestingly, the integrated haptic feedback system in the handlebar grips alerts you through vibration of any object that approaches you in your blind spot. Very handy for those narrow country roads where overtaking cars ensure you have to be right on your game to stay safe. The accompanying app also helps to measure everything from calories to speed; ensuring that Vanhawks Valour is an extremely well-rounded project.
Here’s a few more safety-themed articles from us:
Monkey Light Pro – Bicycle Wheel Display System – MonkeyLectric
Displaying images and animations on your bike wheel, this is a product that will not only make sure that you get seen on your bike; it will also be successful for mass production thanks to its aesthetic appeal. Practically, it is a product that has the potential to reach a wide audience; and it is easy to see why it achieved $40,000 over its funding goal of $180,000 last summer.
Staying visible on the roads at night is a vital part of cycling safety; and by introducing an element of appeal to the idea this can be achieved successfully on a mass scale. The Monkey Light Pro works thanks to 4 bars of LEDs which are attached together inside your wheel. As you begin cycling, the system rotates; and using Persistence Of Vision an image is created thanks to the 256 full colour LEDs.
The system can create stable, full-wheel images from 10 to 40mph. It fits to many common bike wheels; with 26”, 27”, 28”, 29” and 700c sizes. At night the product seriously improves visibility; and cyclists become beacons of light on the road that are simply impossible to ignore. Brilliant.
Orp Smart Horn – Tony Orzeck
Orp was another cycling safety project which was funded back in 2013; with designer Tony Orzeck receiving $110,000 of Kickstarter-induced funding for his Smart Horn product – $20,000 more than required. Designed to be a ‘combination dual tone, high-decibel bike horn and front beacon light designed to make you more visible and hearable,’ the product has been a real success.
By improving cyclist’s awareness on roads by targeting the key senses of other road users, the Orp Smart Horn is a product that can make a real difference to reducing the amount of cycling accidents on roads. Orzeck felt that bike bells were simply not loud enough to alert motorists of the presence of a cyclist.
The 96dB sound of Orp works in tandem with a strobe light visual alert system to significantly improve the visibility of cyclists to motor vehicles. A car turning into a road across the path of a cyclist is just one of many road incidents that need to be eradicated to reduce the number of cycling deaths and injuries and Orp can significantly help towards achieving this.
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The Handleband – Phones, Bikes and Open Bottles – Daniel Haarburger
Sometimes the simplest concepts are the ones that are the best and the Handleband provides a multi-functional tool that goes significantly towards improving cycling safety. Billed as ‘a simple tool that uses the untapped power of our smartphones,’ the Handleband ‘is an elegant and universal means of uniting your smartphone with your bicycle.’
The product works with any bike, phone and case and is designed to be extremely robust. It is designed so that it doesn’t cover the light or camera of your phone; enabling you to use your phone to record footage that could prove vital; or shine a light for you at night when you really need one.
The wrap-around tail of the Handleband is reinforced with 40% more material in at the points where it hooks to the aluminum spine. Its silicone flexibility helps it to work with an entirety of products; and it is easy to see why it received more than 10x its initial funding goal of $12,000 last year.
Vier – Compact High Security Bike Lock – Allen and Paige
Ensuring cycling safety in an entirely different way is Vier – a cleverly designed, durable and adaptable bike lock. Bike theft is a constant problem for cyclists; and there are always new products that are being designed to help bike owners tackle the epidemic and prevent their bike equipment being stolen.
Vier very recently reached its $25,000 required funding, ensuring that it’s a product that is here to stay. Vier was designed to be the ‘world’s first high security lock that disassembles into 4 pieces so it can fit into a burrito size bag.’ The idea is that the product will provide ‘an advanced tighter compact form’ of bike lock.
Researching in detail what cyclists most wanted from a bike lock, the Vier was designed with a svelte vinyl cover; with the offer of varying shackle lengths once the product is further down the production line.
A Word About Our Sponsor
It is important to stay safe whilst you are out cycling and at Wheelie Good Guys we are champions of cycling safety. None of the work we do however; would be possible without the help if Ian Brown. Ian is the UK Cycling Speedway Commissioner; as well as a personal injury solicitor for Wosskow Brown. Get in touch with Wosskow Brown via our forum here.