Smart bikelights are still novel to us, and Xlerad kicks the concept up a few notches. With no buttons or switches in sight, Xlerad turns on upon detecting movement, automatically and constantly adjusting brightness between 200 and 1000 lumens to accommodate your riding conditions. Other features include IPX-6 waterproofing to resist adverse weather, tap to switch between flash, fixed, and smart modes, and a quick release handlebar mount that fits all handlebar sizes.
Find it at Kickstarter – $190
Bike carriers need not be bulky and conspicuous – take, for instance, Whipbar’s WB200 Fork Mount Bicycle Carrier. This sleek silver bar attaches to your existing Whispbar T-slot bars or Yakima round or square bars in a few seconds using the QuickDock system, and sits idly until it’s called upon for transporting your bike. Thanks to SmartMount technology, the WB200 holds either road or mountain bikes by their front fork, the integrated lock securing both bar and bike to the rail, while a padded rear wheel strap coddles even delicate carbon wheels.
Find it here – $250
Overcoming even the best bike locks doesn’t usually take much more than some big tools and a few uninterrupted minutes. Unlike traditional fixtures that fight back with thicker metal, Lock8 retaliates with smarts, equipped with a plethora of sensors that detect when your bike is being tampered with, including a motion sensor, thermometer, and wired cable to detect attempts at freezing, melting, or cutting through your cables. Should somebody try to boost your bike, Lock8 does something about it, letting you know what’s up via push notifications while triggering a painful 120 decibel alarm. Else, it charges while you ride, is keyless, locking and unlocking via encrypted Bluetooth to your smartphone, and has a GPS for tracking your ride should the unlikely occur.
Read more at Kickstarter – roughly $140
We’ve long avoided spending much on bike accessories since they’re often just too easy to steal, and we’d rather not spend our lunch or coffee breaks constantly looking out the window in paranoia. Sparse solves this problem, at least for bike lights, offering two lighting solutions that are stolen with extreme difficulty. Their front-facing spacer light lies beneath your stem in the stack of spacers, meaning it’s not coming off (unless your thief is planning to leave with your handlebars, too). Similar deal with their taillight, which slips onto your seat post. They’re also bright (220 lumens front, 40 lumens back), cast from metal, not plastic, are water resistant, and run for up to 4 hours per charge of their built-in lithium-polymer batteries.
Find them at Sparse – $140 for a front/tail light set, or $65+ individually
High-end bicycles don’t have kickstands (or even a place to mount one if we tried), and yet we’ve grown tired of precariously balancing ours on walls or laying them flat on the ground. Evidently, Garrett Blake felt the same way, and invented a fix: Upstand. This clever stand is made up of two parts: one metal tab that installs through the skewer of your bike’s rear axle, and a separate stand that slips on and stays put thanks to strong axial magnets, just when your bike needs a break. While it’s not quite as convenient as a traditional fold-down stands – albeit close – it’s much lighter, comes in three lengths to accommodate wheels of different sizes, and snaps into its included clip that fits right below a water bottle cage for storage while riding.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $40
Unsurprisingly, after scoring a flat roughly an hour before an important meeting (fortunately within walking distance), we’ve become advocates of carrying a spare tube, pump, and the tools necessary to switch it out. Lever+ is a pretty good place to start: this kit includes a reinforced nylon tire lever, two nesting 4mm and 5mm hex keys with a Philips and T-25 Torx on their back sides, plus a die cut Velcro strap to hold it all (tube and pump, too) together. It’s sleek, simple and minimal, just like your bike.
Find it at Kickstarter – $15
We’re constantly trying to prune down the number of keys we carry, and this often starts with less essential keys, like those for our bike lock. Truth be told, however, we’d rather not have to rely on a 3-digit combination for keeping our two-wheeler safe in its entirely (as opposed to combo locks for our components). BitLock tackles this problem by subbing out keys for a Bluetooth Low Energy module, forging an encrypted connection with your smartphone to lock and unlock when you’re within range, i.e. about 3 feet. No need to worry about dead batteries, either, since the included user-replaceable Li-SOCl2 cell lasts for roughly 5 years of intense use – charging not necessary. The heat-treated, cut-resistant steel lock is also waterproof, dustproof, shrugs off extreme temperatures, and even enables bike sharing through the included app, which lets the owner grant and revoke unlocking privileges at will.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $100
SeeSense isn’t your run-of-the-mill bike light. For one, it’s got an accelerometer, a light sensor, plus voltage and temperature sensors that keep tabs on a bunch of stuff, including approaching headlights, illumination levels, acceleration, braking, cornering, and so on, feeding this data through a decision matrix for interpretation. With this data, SeeSense adjusts its brightness levels and strobe frequency to operate efficiently while maximizing visibility by commanding the attention of nearby drivers. Else, these lights are incredibly bright, come in three flavors – regular (150 lumens front/90 lumens rear) and INTENSE (200 lumens front/120 lumens rear), and run for upwards of 12 hours per charge.
Find it at Kickstarter – $55 to $120
Electrifying your bike gets easier with each passing Kickstarter project, but we don’t foresee any topping the FlyKly Smart Wheel in simplicity, ever. Installing FlyKly is as straightforward as changing your rear wheel since everything is packed right into the narrow, robust plastic housing, including an ultrathin 250W electric motor, 36V Lithium battery, plus a GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 module for smartphone connectivity, tracking your bike if ever stolen, and remotely locking the motor.. Otherwise, these wheels assist your pedalling to a top speed of 20mph, a range of 30 miles, weigh only 9 pounds, and comes in both 26″ and 29″ rim versions in a variety of colors.
Read more at Kickstarter – $590+
In our experience, there are two kinds of smartphone bike mounts on the market. The first type accommodates one particular phone model in a fixed-size case, the second, phones of varying sizes, albeit with disadvantages such as screen obstruction or having to place the phone in a large, sloppy pouch. Quad Lock is a pure example of the former, giving us – at least on paper – everything we’d wanted in a bike mount, at the cost of slightly reduced versatility (more on that later). Naturally, we ran one through the ringer to see how it performed in real life, so read on for our full analysis.