There’s an inner-city vehicle that gets infinite miles to the gallon, can be parked almost everywhere, zero insurance or licensing requirements, and gets you fitter the further your travel. For many young professionals bikes are the ultimate urban transport solution, and you can tell they’re yuppies because they use phrases like “transport solution.” Be they cycle couriers, computer coders, or account executives with a change of clothes in the satchel, you can see cyclists cruise past gridlocked traffic to arrive early and exercised. And if you’re smart enough to be one of them, we’ve found five ways to make your commute even better.
The ReeCharge Power Pack upgrades any bike hub dynamo to work on important things like smartphones, and other smartphones. (We’re sure there are other portable devices that need to be charged too but let’s be honest about our priorities.)
Biologic offers a range of power upgrades for your bike, including a bracket to mount an iPhone for easy-viewing on long trips and even a “BikeBrain” application for dedicated cyclists. The combination of mapping software, time records, and power generation are all you need to turn your bike into a pedal-powered KITT.
2. The 6 Pack Frame Cinch
This intelligent addition to a standard bike frame actually has hundreds of uses, but the Etsy seller WalnutStudiolo understands human nature. And how to enjoy it.
The adjustable frame cinch means you can easily attach any small bag or case to the inside of your bike frame, safely between your legs and leaving your hands free to steer. Originally designed for bike polo, it’s perfect for small bags, portfolios, and the perfect gift for the cyclist student who has to make a very important supply run between classes and “extracurricular activities.”
3. The Mako Bike Tool
The Mako bike tool is bar nothing the best gift for any cyclist, including yourself.
The titanium multi-tool has pared the usual swiss-army-knife style block into a few parts specifically tuned for cycle maintenance. Because the big “everything included” multi-tools are usually too big to carry, and end up “included” in a drawer and fixing absolutely nothing. The slimline tool can be toted on the end of a string, like a kitbag, and it still includes a bottle opener. Because a tool that can’t open bottles isn’t a tool at all.
4. The Bullitt Cargo Bike
A cargo-carrying bike might sound like a contradiction, but it’s real — and cool.
The Bullitt Bike adds a cargo platform between the handlebars and the front-wheel. This insane-looking alteration frees the owner from begging for a lift when they need to carry more than a backpack worth of material, while the forward location helps with stability and navigation. This specialist cycle would be ideal for the courier or small city business where frequent deliveries, still made with far greater ease than any automobile, outweigh the difficulty parking.
5. The Copenhagen Wheel
For upgrades which actually make sense, check out the Copenhagen Wheel. Designed by MIT and funded for development by James Dyson, it couldn’t be a smarter gadget if it was the HAL9000. The system upgrades your transport, hooking into your bike and your smartphone to create an auto-sensing electrobike. Generators in the hub charge motor when you pedal and brake, allowing you to boost up challenging slopes or over curbs while shouting “Yeaaah!”
Sensing units in the system map your route and its pollution levels, traffic density, even ambient noise and relative humidity. This allows you to map out the perfect route, as well as providing physical training records for yourself and crowdsourced city-mapping information for any projects you care to contribute to. The Wheel is expected on the market in June this year at a price of $600.
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