Cycling gets short shrift under the tree, probably because few cyclists are properly equipped to head out into ankle deep slush on a neighborhood jaunt. But if you’d like to give a gift to some enterprising entrepreneur, there are lots of Kickstarter campaigns with some exceptional cycling ideas. If they’re timed right (and fully funded), you just might get a gift of gear just as the daffodils and derailleurs bloom next spring.
Lumenus is an app-optimized clothing line. Specifically, it’s rechargeable LED-enhanced bikewear that signals turns, flashes brake lights, indicates pace, and lights you up like a Macy’s holiday window as you approach dangerous intersections — all using your phone's mapping, GPS, and accelerometer.
The Mandy Fender is a custom fender made of endlessly renewable bamboo veneer (It’s grass, people!). Layered between the bamboo is a “memory film,” which enables you to simply strap the Mandy to any size tire, heat it with a hair dryer for a few minutes, and then remove a perfectly fitting bentwood fender like all the cool kids have. Stainless steel and chrome parts mount it to the bike.
Bike light batteries die. Rechargeable lights are never charged when they need to be. And old friction-powered lights added enough drag that a trip to the grocer feels like an hour of SoulCycle. But soon, there will be NEO, lights that mount on front and rear forks and captures Eddy Currents created by your spinning aluminum wheels. Magnets in the NEO spin in the current to power a dynamo which powers LEDs to light you up. At least, that’s how we understand it.
You’re used to unlocking your phone with your thumb. Now you can unlock your bike the same way. The Grasp bicycle lock is a caliper-shaped lock that simply snaps around frame and rack in a fraction of a second — so long as your thumb (or another approved digit, yours or other’s) is on the biometric sensor. It looks to be the easiest bike lock ever created, and is clamed to be unpickable and virtually unbreakable.
Biking in a skirt can be challenging, embarrassing, and (when hem meets chain) downright dangerous. The Bicycle Wrap Skirt solves all of those problems and a few more. It’s a cotton skirt with hidden fasteners to prevent fly-up, deep pockets for valuables, and straps that keep the edges of the skirt out of the back tire. It’s not just a cleverly disguised pair of shorts, so biking is still beautifully breezy.
That’s a lovely racing bike you’ve got there; too bad you’re going to have to lean it against a brick corner during your coffee stop because a kickstand and mount would have added a full pound (and poor aerodynamics). Fret not! The Upstand is a kickstand without the kick, a collapsible carbon-fiber rod that snaps onto a tab on the rear axle to stand, and stows under the seat or next to your water bottle for travel. Do you need it? No. But you also don’t need to hear the crunch of your $11K Orbea hitting the sidewalk.
BONUS: You don’t expect to find a new bike in your stocking, but it’s almost possible with the Alpini minivelo. It’s a small bicycle solution that avoids all the folding and collapsing by actually being small. An adult-sized frame is proportioned to handle 20-inch wheels, making it maneuverable carried up a tight staircase as well as in traffic. It’s under 20 pounds, but it’s heavy on style.