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
Fixing a flat tire isn’t a huge deal in itself, but the possibility of it happening while out on the road means you always need to lug around a spare tube, a pump, and a pair of tire levers. Slap on a pair of Nexo Flat Free Tires though and that won’t be a worry. Unlike the traditional tube tire that’s filled with air each Nexo is made of a hard-wearing solid polymer blend that’s comparable in weight to the former and gets a range of over 3,000 miles. Rigid T-bolts are spaced throughout the tire to give rigidity for better handling. Also available is their Ever tires, an option for more casual riders that’s even longer lasting and available to fit over a larger variety of rims — and that’s intriguingly filled with holes crossing through the tire for bounce and weight reduction.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $76+
Dubbed the safest commuter pack, we have little reason to doubt that the Lumos Aster Cycling Backpack is just that. It’s not obvious at first glance that this bag boasts integrated white front (mounted on the straps) plus side and red rear lights, turn signal indicators controlled by a Bluetooth handlebar remote, and automatic brake lights that illuminate upon sensing deceleration. A large 4,000 mAh battery keeps this plethora of lights going for roughly 10 to 15 hours so you won’t need to ground it often. And if you forgot to recharge, the grid-patterned reflective lining shines bright when shone on by headlights. Aster’s also equipped with a variety of cycling-centric features including an external helmet holder, a rain cover, an ICE information slot with emergency contact info (that will hopefully never serve its purpose), plus holders and compartments for a bottle, bike pump, and U-lock. It’s even got room for a 15-inch laptop plus clothes and shoes.
Find it at Indiegogo – $110
Following up their first successful crowdfunding campaign for Flectr comes Flectr 2.0, the latest version of what’s probably the only wheel reflector you won’t want to immediately strip off your bike. These high-grade metalized prism reflectors shine brilliantly when hit by light yet weigh only 0.7 grams each and leave aerodynamic efficiently unaffected, even at speeds way above what’s realistically attainable on your two wheeler. They now come in yellow as well as silver and still install in seconds thanks to adhesive backing — just fold them together over your spokes. Another advantage: they literally fit any spoke, including round and flat.
Find it at Kickstarter – roughly $21
Excuses for not carrying around a helmet for commuting, even if you use a bicycle sharing program, are growing thin. The Fend Collapsible Bicycle Helmet folds down to about half its original size yet remains both safe and highly breathable, meeting and exceeding US CPSC and European EN 1078 safety standards. Hard shell ABS construction meets a multi-impact expanded polypropylene foam lined with a plush interior lining. Six lateral ribs — three per side — articulate inwards to slim the helmet down for stashing in a pack, though they click into place when opened to prevent closing when worn.
Find it at Kickstarter in black and white – $90