Ever thought about bike commuting? It’s the perfect way to squeeze exercise into your busy trading day without taking time out (you have to spend time getting to work one way or another, after all). Plus, it’s free, environmentally friendly and a way to take your mind off the charts when it’s time to leave the office.
We’ve picked out 10 essential gadgets that will make your commute easier, safer, cooler and more fun – from cup holders so you can take your coffee with you to the pannier that doubles up as a smart office bag. We want them all…
The foldable cycle helmet
They call it: The Morpher
What it does: The Morpher is a cycle helmet that folds flat for easy portability – so you can’t skip your helmet on your commute with the excuse that you don’t want to lug your helmet around all day. Folded down, it’ll easily fit into your bag or desk drawer, then simply unfold it when it’s time to hit the roads again. Why has no-one thought of this before?!
We love: The name – did it make anyone else think of the Power Rangers?!
Pre-order it from: indiegogo.com (you’ll be one of the first to receive your Morpher in approx. June 2016, and you can get 24% off with introductory discounts!)
Will set you back: $114 USD if you catch the special introductory price!
The connected pedal
They call it: Connected Cycle
What it does: What doesn’t it do?! Launched at CES 2015, this smart pedal stops theft by sending you an alert if the bike is moved and tracking where it goes so you can locate it at any time (comes in handy when you’ve forgotten where you parked it, too). It also records your speed, route, incline and calories burnt and sends the data to your smartphone so you can check your progress. And it powers itself and has a built-in Internet connection, so no charging cables or lost signals to worry about.
We love: The fact it’s all built in to an essential part of the bike, because we don’t like having to lug extra gadgets and gizmos around when we’re cycling.
Find out more: At connectedcycle.com – sales of the clever pedals will start later in 2016, but you can sign up for email alerts so you’ll be the first to know.
The eyes in the back of your head
They call it: The Fly6
What it does: Keeps an eye on those pesky drivers behind you. Cycling in rush hour can be a dangerous game at times, but it’s been proven that drivers are more considerate of cyclists when they think they’re being filmed, so this rear light with a built-in HD camera will let you ride on worry-free. The people behind the Fly6 reckon that if most cyclists had the gadget on their bikes, motorists would be a lot more careful around bikes, knowing there’s a good chance they’re being filmed.
We love: That it makes us feel that little bit safer on busy roads – and it’s fun for recording your cycle rides, too.
Get it from: cycliq.com (you can also pre-order the Fly6’s little brother the Fly12: a front light with a built-in camera).
Will set you back: £99.
See it in action…
The safer sat-nav
They call it: The Hammerhead
What it does: Shows you the way – without distracting you from what’s going on around you. You could mount your smartphone on to your handlebars and use a navigation app – but it can be tricky to keep your eyes on the road and keep track of the map. The Hammerhead uses intuitive light signals instead, so there’s no figuring out which road you’re on or where the turn is – just follow the lights.
We love: The sound of the upcoming Hammerhead app, which chooses the safest and most enjoyable cycle routes based on your preferences.
Pre-order it from: hammerhead.io – you can also get your hands on Hammerhead cycling apparel and brackets for your new device.
Will set you back: $99 – or get two for $185.
The super fast tyre repair kit
They call it: Patchnride
What it does: Mends punctures – fast. Got a flat tyre on the way to work? Patchnride will repair the hole in less than one minute, and you don’t even need to take the wheel off your bike. It’s easy to use and will fix any tyre, and the repair is permanent – it’s not just a quick fix.
We love: That we won’t arrive to the office late after standing at the side of the road in the pouring rain trying to change our inner tube – never a good way to start the day.
Pre-order it from: patchnride.com – there’s a limited 50% discount if you order now.
Will set you back: $35 including shipping in the US if you’re quick enough to catch the introductory price – international shipping is extra.
The bike-friendly cup holder
They call it: The Bookman cup holder
What it does: Holds your coffee! If your morning commute just isn’t the same without your first caffeine fix of the day, you need a cup holder that’ll ensure you don’t turn up to work covered in cappuccino. Enter the Bookman cup holder – a clip-on handlebar holder that will keep your coffee (or tea) safe throughout your journey, even over bumps and potholes (though we can’t promise it won’t spill if you start doing wheelies – but it’s probably about time you gave those up anyway. Sorry.)
We love: Coffee. But you know that by now.
Get it from: bookman.se
Will set you back: €29.
The cool bike bag
They call it: The Linus office bag
What it does: Keeps all your office essentials safe on your cycle to work – it fits a 13″ laptop and attaches to the rear rack with leather straps and brass buckles. And it looks good – in fact, once you’ve parked up your bike, no-one will ever guess your office bag was designed for a cyclist. (Linus also do gym bags, shoppers and laptop cases designed to attach to your bike – all in waxed canvas to keep your office gadgets safe from the elements).
We love: That we don’t have to cycle with a rucksack anymore – turning up to the office looking like you’re off on a camping trip with the Scouts is a look few can pull off.
Will set you back: $79.
The best bike lights we’ve ever seen
They call it: Revolights
What it does: Lights the way on those dark nights (and even darker mornings). But these are not your ordinary bike lights – Revolights are fitted into your wheels for 360 degree visibility from other road users, and they look really cool. They fully illuminate your path instead of focusing light in one direction, making you much more aware of what’s going on around you. They’re rechargeable, water resistant, theft resistant, light – oh, and did we mention they look really cool?
We love: Anything that makes bike commuting safer. High five, Revolights.
Get it from: revolights.com – taillights, headlights and a 360 degree version are all available.
Will set you back: $109 for the taillights or headlights, and $190 for the 360 degree visibility version.
See them in action…
The foldable bike lock
They call it: FoldyLock
What it does: Well, there’s no point in having a snazzy foldable helmet and then having to figure out how to juggle a cumbersome lock on your cycle to work. FoldyLock solves the problem – it’s an extremely high security lock that folds up when you’re not using it so you can easily put it in your bag while you cycle and quickly fold it out when it’s time to secure your bike. Problem solved.
We love: That it fits in our bag, so we can just leave it in there and we’ll never forget to take a lock with us when we set off.
Get it from: foldylock.com.
Will set you back: $95.
The cycling trackers
They call them: Wahoo Fitness sensors
What they do: Wahoo Fitness sensors clip on to your bike to track your speed and cadence without getting in your way. Hey, if you’re going to be putting in all these hours of cycling, you might as well track your data and keep an eye on your progress. Link the sensors up to your favourite cycling app to turn your bike into a powerful cycling computer.
We love: That they give us bragging rights in the office.
Get it from: wahoofitness.com.
Will set you back: £49.99.