Editor’s note: For a newer, updated version of this post, check it out here.
There’s no doubt about it: cycling is in! Whether for commuting, recreation or sport, it seems that just about everyone is riding some sort of bicycle these days. But in this technology-dominated day and age, there’s so much more you can have on your bicycle than just a bell and some simple lights.
If you’re a cyclist, or know someone who is, here’s a list of 10 bicycle gadgets you should check out. Some gadgets help make cycling safer, others help you find your way and there is even one that lets you charge your devices from the power of cycling.
To complete the list, we’ve added two more gadgets made for competitive cycling near the end of the post. State your favorite in the comment box below.
Recommended Reading: More Gadgets For Cyclist
This under-seat turn signal unit is battery-powered, has ultra-bright LEDs and will emit loud beeping when you make a turn. The signals are activated wirelessly using a push-button controller attached to your bicycle’s handlebar. The unit also has a hazard mode on top of left and right signals. [$68]
Hammerhead is a device that attaches to your bicycle’s bars and provides turn-by-turn navigation guided by a GPS app installed on your smartphone. Hammerhead also integrates with cycling apps such as Strava and MapMyRide. It is currently available for preorder, and is scheduled to ship in June 2014. [$85]
Turn some of the kinetic power from your cycling to power your devices with Siva Cycle’s Atom. This portable generator attaches to your bicycle axle and can charge any device via USB port. Don’t want to bring your devices with you when you cycle? Just charge the detachable 1300mAh battery pack that comes with every order. Orders before Feb 15 2014 will start shipping in April 2014. [$99]
BikeSpike helps secure your bike with a combination of GPS and cellular technology. You can track your bike in real-time, set up safe zones and alert notifications when you ride beyond zone limits. It can also alert you if there is a possibility of someone tampering with your bicycle. BikeSpike currently only works in the US, EU, Australia and Japan. Shipping is scheduled for Winter 2013. [$129; $4.99 or $6.99 for data plan]
The Scosche boomBOTTLE is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that’s geared towards outdoor activity. It fits perfectly in a bicycle water bottle cage, and is IPX4 splash proof. The boomBOTTLE also has a built-in microphone, so it can work as a speakerphone. The rechargable lithum battery offers 10 hours of use. The boomBOTTLE comes in pink, grey, blue, yellow and green. [$139]
The ICEdot Crash Sensor, attached to your helmet, sends alerts to your contacts when you are in an accident. A countdown on the Crash Sensor app is triggered during the accident; if the countdown is not disabled, your GPS coordinates and alerts are sent to listed emergency contacts. Available for iPhone 4S and above, an Android 4.3 version is currently in development. [$149; ICEdot membership $10 per year]
The Helios Bars incorporate features such as GPS tracking and built-in front- and rear-facing LED lights. The rear-facing lights change color according to your speed, function as turn signals and indicators for the turn-by-turn navigation feature. Helios Bars come in straight, bullhorn and drop bar styles, and the first batch is scheduled to ship this December. [$199]
Revolights are rings of LEDs mounted onto your wheels. The built-in accelerometers ensure that the LEDs only light up when facing the front or rear of your bicycle. As a result, you get 360 degree illumination, increasing visibility from the side. While they currently only fit road and hybrid bikes with 27″ wheels, Revolights plans to move to mountain bikes and 26″ wheels soon. [$139 per wheel, $229 for complete set]
Hövding is an inflable helmet, worn around your neck. It uses sensors and algorithms to detect when a crash occurs, and immediately inflates itself to protect your head. The catch? It’s a one-use wonder. Upon inflation, you have to buy another one. It does however have an external shell that can be changed to match your outfit but it’s currently only available in the EU. [$550]
The Rubbee Drive is an electric bicycle conversion kit (a friction drive) that is easy to attach and detach for a quick boost. A small rubber wheel drives your bicycle’s rear wheel. The Rubbee is good for about 15 miles of travel at 15 miles per hour, and is currently available for pre-order. Expect shipping to start in Feb-Mar 2014. [$1190]
More: For The Competitive Cyclist
Competitive cyclists probably won’t be interested in electric motors and lights for nighttime commuting, preferring instead gadgets that help them train.
Read Also: 10 Cool Fitness Gadgets For Health Junkies
The Suunto Ambit2 S is a watch that tracks vital statistics such as ride distance, ride length and speed. It also comes with a GPS and barometer, and will measure and display stats (cadence, power) when paired with any ANT+ compatible power meter. You can download apps for the Ambit2 S from the Suunto’s Movescount website. [$450]
The Garmin Vector is a pedal-mounted power meter system topping crank-based power meters when it comes to portability and easy installation. The Vector records cadence and a variety of metrics such as kilojoules, average power and power zones. It can also read power separately for the pedals, so compatible bike computers can display the power output for each leg. [$1699]