Posts in the category Gadgets

Updated Shimano STePS – Fully Automated Di2 Shifting with E-bike Power Assist

Shimano_STePS_automatic_shifting_computer-head_shifter_SC-E6010_SW-E6000_installed

Last year Shimano introduced an E-bike system on the European markets called STePS, as direct competition to the similar Bosch crank-based motor. Now a year later Shimano is taking it a step further and integrating the STePS drive motor with its Di2 internally geared hubs to offer a system with full automatic shifting. Shimano has rated the updated E-bike systems for “Light Off Road” use, which generally means trekking on gravel and forest roads but not actual mounting biking. But it is interesting that the bike they featured in the press release looks to have a true MTB tire and a low-riser bar. The system has apparently been beefed up for better shock absorption and has been updated to an 11-speed chain and chainring to add “compatibility for its 11-speed mountain bike rear derailleurs.” That sounds like something that could have more potential then Shimano is letting on to now.

Read on past the break for more info, and where we think it could lead…

READ MORE ->

Reviewed: BKool Trainer Pro + Simulator

BKool out of the box

Most of us have a real love-hate relationship with our trainers. They are an exercise in futility: who wants to pedal his hardest for an hour just to go nowhere, alone, dripping in sweat, with this annoying droning in your ears? Yet they make us so strong.

Fortunately, more and more brands are finding ways of making it more entertaining, and BKool’s latest attempt at keeping you motivated is a definite upgrade from the first generation we tried. Here’s where they succeeded and where they’re still improving.

The BKool Pro Trainer retails around $700 and comes with the trainer, power adapter, riser block and compact ANT+ USB adapter.  You can add ANT+ cadence and heart rate monitors as well. You then download their indoor riding simulator, pick your workout, add ghosts or bots to ride against and you’re off… READ MORE ->

The Future is Looking Up with Sony’s Concept HUD Module

Sony's Single-lens Display-module HUD unit

In today’s high-tech times, our world feels a little more like that of Star-Trek each day. One of the most advanced technologies finding its way into the cycling scene is that of Heads-Up-Display (HUD) units. These devices aren’t new, but recently they`ve shrunk to the point of becoming wearable technology.

A HUD unit attached to your sunglasses allows riders to display key information within their field of vision, eliminating the need to look down at your cycling computer or fumble around in a pocket for your smartphone. Sony has jumped into the HUD market with a Single-lens Display Module which is yet unnamed, as it’s still in the prototype phase. Could your next cycling computer be part of your sunglasses?

Head past the jump for a glimpse into the future…
READ MORE ->

Problem Solvers Adds New MisMatch Adapters, Bar Plugs, Top Caps, and a few Surprises

problem solvers i spec bar plug top cap sketch book dorque test (4)

You can always count on the Problem Solvers booth at Frostbike for two things: clever new products, and feats of skill. Or in this case torque. You know there is always that battle between mechanics of the use of a torque wrench vs. the calibrated arm? Thanks to the Problem Solvers dorque test, the potential for mechanics to tighten a bolt to a specified torque was finally put to the test. PS had confident mechanics choose their weapon (3 way, multi tool, or L wrench) and then try to tighten a bolt to 5.6 Nm. Me personally? I was a bit under on the first go, then nailed it on number two. I suppose that’s better than going over?

While the dorque test was an easy distraction for the mechanically focused among us, in typical Problem Solvers’ fashion there were a few new products that are definitely worth a look…

READ MORE ->

Lindarets X Wolf Tooth Components GoatLink Improves Wide Range 1x Shifting for Shimano Derailleurs

SONY DSC

The simplest solution is always the best, right? Well, as it applies to modifying 10 speed derailleurs to work with wide range 10 speed cassettes that might just be the case. Just before Frostbike we caught wind of a new product from Lindarets that had nothing to do with high performance socks or apparel. Listed only as a collaboration with Wolf Tooth Components thus sticking to the Lindarets ethos of American made, American sourced products, the teaser was a good one. We had no idea what to expect.

Cassette adapters like Wolf Tooth Component’s GC are great since they greatly expand the range of the drivetrain without having to invest in all new parts. However, the added B-tension needed for Shimano derailleurs needed to clear the large cogs results in reduced chain wrap which leads to poor shifting. Focusing on the chain wrap issue, Lindarets paired up with Wolf Tooth Components to produce the new GoatLink – a replacement intermediate link for Shimano derailleurs. Claimed to greatly improve the chain wrap on modified drivetrains, the GoatLink is a simple, affordable solution to the wide range question…

READ MORE ->

New Kuat Transfer Tray Style Hitch Rack Carries Bikes for Less

kuat transfer hitch rack (4)

Ultimately if you want to carry your bikes safely, a quality tray style hitch rack is hard to beat. The no frame contact designs rely on your tires and wheels to keep the bike in place, and the staggered trays keep the bikes from banging into each other.

While racks like the Kuat NV are generally considered superior, they’re also quite expensive. That’s where the motivation for Kuat’s latest rack came from – the desire to offer an affordable hitch rack that still made bicycle transportation as simple as possible. Unlike most “entry level” tray style racks, the new Transfer from Kuat still offers secure hold without touching the frame. It also fits an impressive range of bikes all for less than $300 for a 2 bike rack…

READ MORE ->

Hands on new Sony 4K & AS200V Action Cams – Video, Stills & Tech Details

Sony 4K FDR-X1000V Action Cam tech details and AS200V comparison

After launching their new 4K Action Cam at CES earlier this year, Sony invited us out for a quick trip to get acquainted with it and the new second-in-command AS200V. The full tech specs and features of each are outlined in our launch coverage, this story focuses more on the user experience and includes video and photo examples from the cameras.

While 4K is just starting to make inroads, there’s little doubt it’ll dominate flat screen television sales by the time Friday’s turn black this November. But even if you have no plans on upgrading, there are some compelling reasons to consider the bigger 4K model over the quite capable 200 or even the super impressive Mini AZ1 Action Cam. Here’s what you need to know…

READ MORE ->

Flipcrown Helps Slim Your Bike for Easy Storage

Flipcrown bike hanging on wall

As more of us take to two wheels for our commute, Belgian cyclists-slash-designers Patrick Jacquet and Rob De Schutter developed the Flipcrown to make bike storage easier, especially for riders living in cramped urban areas.

Intended for commuter, vintage or cruiser bikes with either a 1” or 1-1/8” threaded headset, the Flipcrown replaces the headset’s top crown nut and enables the rider to rotate the handlebars 90º for storage and easily snap them back into position for riding. This makes it easier to store bikes in narrow hallways, hang them on walls, carry bikes down stairways, jam them into stuffed bike racks, and fit multiple bikes on car-mounted racks.

Flip past the break to see how it works…
READ MORE ->

Cycliq Fly12 Packs a POV Camera and 400 Lumen Headlight into One Compact Body

The Fly12 is a compact pov camera/headlight combo

The Fly12 squeezes an HD pov camera and 400 lumen headlight into this compact package.

In recent years, dashboard cameras have become a common tool for motorists seeking to protect themselves from liability in the event of an accident. Cars aren’t the only ones using the road however, so Leedville, Australia’s Cycliq decided similar devices would be ideal for commuters and road cyclists too. Last year Bike Rumor covered the release of Cycliq’s Fly6, a rear-facing light with a built-in camera, through their successful Kickstarter campaign.

Upon the insistence of many Fly6 owners, Cycliq has just announced another Kickstarter campaign for their new product, the Fly12. In short, it’s a front-facing adaptation of the Fly6 that combines a high-definition POV camera with a 400 lumen head light. The name is supposed to insinuate a ‘fly on the wall’ that’s watching out for you, either at 6 o’clock or 12 o’clock.

With a host of features designed to collect video evidence, the Fly12 is probably most useful for commuters who are concerned about vehicular collisions…

READ MORE ->