The benefits of using textiles in a bike lock are obvious, namely flexibility and low weight. And so is its drawback in being easy to cut, or so you’d think. Yet besides getting frayed the Tex-Lock Textile Bike Lock doesn’t give in to bolt cutters nearly as fast as chains or traditional metal wire bike locks. Four of the lock’s five layers (all but the decorative outside) protect it from attacks, with a water shield, a fireproof shield under that, then a cut resistant layer over the saw resistant core. Three sizes include small and medium versions and an XL variant that’s got a big eyelet through which to slip the rope and make creative use of its full 70-inch length. It also won’t ever scratch your bike’s frame, includes a magnetic saddle mount for small and medium sizes, and comes in four colors — grey/black, black/gold, neon salmon, plus a more traditional all-black — that are a welcome departure from the stark looks of every other bike lock you’ve owned.
Find it at Kickstarter – roughly $97
Multitools save space when compared to their individual single-tool counterparts, but despite this most are rather bulky. Not the Cha-O-Ha Cyclist Card Multitool which is theoretically small enough to fit into a wallet (we say it like this because it’s heavy-duty thick-cut metal isn’t the thinnest) and definitely compact enough to slip away incognito in your saddle bag, jersey pocket, or small messenger bag. The two-part card is made of the same hard-wearing, edge-retaining CPM S35VN Blade Steel as their EDC Card and includes a total of 43 functions if you count each individual wrench, including a tire pry, three spoke wrenches, a truing fork (for straightening disc brakes), a measure, a bottle opener, a few screwdrivers, a bit driver, plus a ton of hex wrenches. And since a card itself won’t give much leverage, a second piece — which holds two 1/4-inch bits — pins onto the Cyclist card to double as a handle.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $35+
The All In Bike Multitool is built for cyclists, but it won’t take up any space in your bike bag. Nor can you forget it at home because it slips into the [otherwise completely useless] hollow space in your bike’s crankshaft (that is, in the axle between the pedals), locking in place thanks to seven powerful neodymium magnets. If you need a hand, yank it out; the Italian-made tool comes equipped with four Allen keys, a T25 torx, and a Phillips bit — though you can swap out any of these with any standard bit. It’s also got a few slots for extra chain links but doesn’t come with a chain breaker tool, so pack one of those alongside a spare tube and tire levers.
Learn more at All In Multitool – roughly $70
It’s affordable, clean-looking, and comes in a flat-packed box. If you’re thinking Ikea you’re on the right path, but it’s not furniture. Instead the Ikea Sladda Bicycle is the Swedish furniture giant’s first foray outside the home, though you’ll still need to build it before riding as you probably expected. The Sladda is powered by you through a belt drive that’s rustproof, maintenance free, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty specifically covering the powertrain. An even better 25 year warranty backs up the aluminum frame, which sports a double coating of lacquer that should stave off everyday scratches. Both the front handlebar’s angle and height are adjustable, and you’ll notice just a single brake and cable leaving the handle that leads to the front wheel’s disc brake; the rear wheel stops with a coaster brake and there are no gearshifts to click through since an automatic two-gear system in the rear hub takes care of shifting. They’ll also sell you a slew of accessories including front and rear racks, a trailer (big enough to transport some flat-packed furniture), helmets, bike bags, and more to deck out the cruiser to your requirements.
Find it at Ikea – $500
The smarts of a bike lock is inversely proportional to its susceptibility to thieves. Metal can only get so thick without weighing down your ride, though, so the Lattis Ellipse Smart Bike Lock tries to be more clever when it comes to securing your two wheeler. Its shackle is made of 17mm-thick steel and has a locking mechanism on both ends, meaning it takes two cuts to get through the lock. But unlike traditional locks it’ll notice tampering thanks to an integrated 3-axis accelerometer and send over a wireless alert at up to 800 feet away, no extra cellular plan needed. It also lets you ditch the key thanks to keyless unlocking from your smartphone, charges all by itself in daylight with a solar panel, and boasts bank-level encryption to render non-physical hacking attempts futile. Despite (or because of) its smarts you won’t need to walk home if your smartphone battery dies, either, since a programmable touchpad unlocks it with the right combination and even goes dark when not in use so passerbys won’t even notice its existence.
Find it at Lattis – $200
Without adequate open-ear headphones listening to music while riding is highly dangerous, to say the least. The Coros Linx Bone-Conducting Helmet lets you enjoy your music, albeit without headphones of any sort nor cables. Link your smartphone to the helmet via Bluetooth 4.0 and start shuffling through your playlist; bone-conduction technology gets the music to your ears without blocking them or impeding ambient noise, letting engines, horns, pedestrians, and all other road noises come through loud and clear to stay alert. Should you need to take a call the helmet also sports a wind-resistant microphone, and answering calls — as well as skipping tracks, pausing/playing, and volume controls — are all handled equally safely by a handlebar mounted Smart Remote. Weather (read: water) resistance, extreme ventilation, and high adjustability add up to make this high tech helmet just as practical as it is feature-packed.
Learn more at Coros – $200
The Mission Workshop Helmsman Duffle is one bag whose contents you won’t worry much about in the rain, even if that includes your work computer. This heavy-duty 31-litre duffle is made of a durable HT500 outer fabric that’s backed up on the inside by a urethane-coated nylon ripstop liner to block out water, slush, and whatever else the weather throws at you. Hold it by its hide-away grab handles, a removable and adjustable shoulder strap, or even by an optional harness to wear it like a backpack. Or if you’re on a bike strap it to your front-mounted porteur-style bike rack and take a load off.
Find it at Mission Workshop – $255
Bike lights devoid of special, rare screws are quickly stolen. But that’s an unlikely event with Lemurlock. Merging both front and rear bike lights with a cable lock that’s got a 9mm coiled steel cable as its core, securing your bicycle with Lemurlock is also securing your lights. The lights themselves output 200 lumens via the headlight’s Cree LED and 30 lumens from the taillight and run for 7 hours on steady or 14 hours when blinking. They’re both IPX6 waterproof and mount to your bike using two distinct and included mounting brackets to attach to your handlebars and seatpost like normal lights, the stark difference being the cable in between (see second image).
Find it at Kickstarter – $50