Cycling has taken on a new lease of life as the world turns to greener forms of transport and the need to get everyone fitter and healthier. Although it has never really been out of fashion as a means of transport, or as a sport, the impetus given by the British team’s success at the Beijing Olympics has breathed new life. Additionally, the cost of keeping a car on the road, the recession and even the cost and difficulty of finding good parking has all had an effect. As the profile of cycle riding has risen again, it appears that the gadgets available for the cycle rider have become more up to date and relevant and thankfully increasingly based on safety. People are encouraged to wear protective clothing such as helmets and perhaps even knee and elbow pads, but now there is further emphasis on being seen particularly by motorists and perhaps more importantly, at night.
Pedalite produce a fantastic range of innovative products which are based on increased safety for the modern cyclist. Pedalite 360 degree pedals are battery free pedals which have a flashing light in them which can be seen from every angle. The pedals cleverly use energy from the cycle and continue flashing even when the bike is at rest or free wheeling. The small windows in the three outer pedal edges mean that whatever angle you are approaching the cycle from, you will easily be able to see the cyclist, and provide a wider berth. In addition to this there are toe clips which can be fitted to these pedals. This has the advantage of improving pedalling efficiency. There is little chance of your feet slipping off the pedals, as the toe clips give better support for your feet. Another advantage is that because of the open design of the clip, there is little chance of getting your toes caught in the clips if you come off the bike suddenly, or you need to dismount in a hurry. The clips are easily fitted using two screws with the fitting kit.
Another innovative product is the Baglite, which is especially good for children. The Baglite fits over the shoulders, and any rucksack, and attaches to the straps. The unique design provides a red floodlight at the back and two white lights at the front. The lights can be set to shine continually rather than flashing, or can be set to the off mode in good visibility. Such is the design of the Baglite that it can be seen day or night from up to one kilometre away, and it can be seen from any angle, therefore giving maximum visibility to any approaching driver. Even when not riding, the bike is useful for children walking to school and even hikers can use this product. The product charges in both artificial and natural sunlight and gives six hours supply of light, so it can be charging whilst you are at the office or school.
In a similar vein is the Anklelite. This flashing light system attaches to the ankle and is useful for cycle riders and horse riders too. The light can either be worn over trousers or boots and is self charging via natural or artificial light. It has extra visible strips as well as the light itself for extra visibility, and is small enough to fit into the pocket when not being used. The Anklelite is visible through three hundred and sixty degrees. It is durable and comfortable to wear.
Another device worth considering is the Bicygnal light. This can be attached to the front and rear of your bike. It is a wireless system which allows the rider to set the beams to flashing or full beam. Fully operated by a switch on the front unit, the lights are magnetic and detachable for storing when not in use.
With the incredible popularity of satellite navigation products it was not going to be too long before the cycling world had it’s own useful destination finding products. One example is the Garmin Edge 705. This is basically an on-board cycling computer which attaches to the bike frame. It combines a GPS receiver, heart rate monitor and a power metre unit. It supplies an enormous amount of information and can help you plan and record your journey. A joystick and two well placed, and well designed buttons, which can easily be used even when wearing gloves provide information which can be seen on a number of split screens. The different mode and zoom functions are easily accessed as are the stop/start recording modes.