Posts in the category Gadgets

Long Term Review: Stages Cycling crank arm power meter

Stages Power long term power meter review with actual weights

For the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve been testing the Stages power meter on and off, letting a few friends try it out between my own testing.

It’s a seemingly simple device, just stuck on the inside of your non-drive crank arm to measure left leg power by way of the crank’s deformation. Each model is calibrated to the specific crank arm it’s being attached to, and it’s all done in their own Colorado facility. While several lower priced options have been announced that allow for user installation, Stages’ says they’re not terribly concerned about things that aren’t even shipping yet. And they say they’re now among the largest cycling power meter brands by unit volume, especially when you include their indoor stationary cycles. That, along with pro team endorsements and usage, should say something about their quality.

My own experiences have spanned a couple years worth of firmware development that’s seen some marked upgrades and improvements, all with very few issues. For any piece of electronics on a bike to last that long without failure or problem is very good, and I’d recommend it highly with just a couple caveats…

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Father’s Day Roundup: Perfect Gifts for your Pedaling Papa

ORp smart horn fathers day

Perhaps your dad is still killing it on the bike. Maybe you’re looking for ideas to pass on to your family for yourself (hint hint). Whatever the situation, if there is a father in your life that is into bikes there are a number of cycling related promotions that should leave him happy.

Always one to have fun with their promotions, ORP is putting an ORPstache on their smarthorn for Father’s Day. The combination dual decibel horn and multi-mode beacon light is available in fun colors that you can dress up with one of the entertaining ORPstache stickers. As an added bonus for Father’s Day, ORP is including the new Remorp remote control with every ORP purchase through their ORPland webstore.
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Let your Thumbs do the Riding with Pro Cycling Video Games for Xbox One or PS4/PS3

Coach says you need a rest day but still can’t get enough of road racing? Thanks to the latest crop of cycling inspired video games from Focus Home Interactive you can make your way through the peloton without ever leaving the couch. While companies like Zwift are introducing video game inspired training software, the games from Focus are more traditional in that your thumbs replace your legs to race along some of the most famous roads in cycling.

Offered in two different versions, the Le Tour De France 2015 will be available for PS4, PS3, and Xbox one while Pro Cycling Manager will be PC only. Le Tour De France 2015 is exactly what you would expect from a title like that with a virtual tour through the 21 official stages of the tour along with the Criterium International and Criterium du Dauphine. We’re not exactly sure how pro cycling will translate to a video game but we’re at least curious enough to want to find out…

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The Cydekick Frictionless Bicycle Generator Powers Lights and Mobile Devices

Cydekick bicycle generator, full bike shot

When Nicolas Zamora’s friend left a bike at his house for safe keeping, they probably didn’t realize it was going to become a rolling science experiment. Thankfully this experiment didn’t involve any chopping or reshaping, instead Zamora’s friend will get their bike back fully intact with a frictionless, on-board generator installed.

Zamora and Bethany Hamm, the creators of Spinetics Inc., wish to promote healthy and green bicycle transportation by making it more convenient. The Cydekick was created to provide eco-friendly electric power for your mobile devices as you ride, without producing any drag for your legs to contend with.

The pair have completed all sub-assembly level testing, and should have a fully functional prototype within the next few weeks. Their Kickstarter campaign will begin raising money to put the Cydekick into production on July 30th…
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Sigma makes cycling computers simple & fun w/ new MySpeedy

Sigma_MySpeedy_Aloha_basic-cycling-computerKids, commuters and cruisers sometimes like to know their speed, distance and ride time, too, but most cycling computers on the market are total overkill. Or, if they do provide just the basics, they’re encumbered by wired sensors and generally pretty ugly.

The new Sigma MySpeedy combines the basic metrics casual cyclists want in a wireless system that looks good and adds a bit of fun to the system. Available in Herbie, Dots, Camouflage, Sweety, Evil Eye, Stars & Stripes, Aloha, Skull, and Pow exterior designs, the screen can be customized with a number of faces (smily, skull, etc.) that welcome you to your bike as soon as your motion wakes it up.

A single CR3032 battery provides more than four years of speed, ride time, ride distance and total distance on a large, easy to read screen. Only one function is shown at a time, too, so a quick glance is all you need…a nice safety features as kids get used to the idea of looking down while riding.

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Kuai Multisport Biometric Headset puts a personal trainer in your ear

Kuai biometric multisport headset

Even with tech devices getting smaller and smaller, it requires a collection of them for athletes to take multiple biometric measurements while training. The creative minds behind the Kuai headset are an athletic bunch of tech-sector businessmen who wanted to make it simpler and less cumbersome to collect a wide range of biometric data, so they invented the Kuai. The headset allows athletes to train smarter, safer and achieve performance goals more efficiently with real time coaching by combining the heart rate, foot strike (for running) and other biometric sensors into a lightweight, wireless headset.

The designers are calling the Kuai the world’s first biometric headset designed for all sports. Earlier this year we covered The Dash earbuds from Bragi which offers many of the same features, but are apparently quite far behind schedule with production. The Kuai headset is very close to fruition, with the research and development phase complete.

The team at Kuaiwear has working prototypes, and live demos will be held at Ironman 70.3 Boulder on June 13th. All that’s needed now is the funding to go into production, so their Kickstarter campaign goes live today with a great discount for early supporters…
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ANT+ FE-C update brings two-way communication, lets your display control your device

trainerroad-tacx-kinomap-use-ant+fe-c-wireless-protocol

With products like the Wahoo KICKR taking advantage of Bluetooth’s ability to send and receive data, it’s had a bit of a headstart in terms of integrating cycling (or desktop) computers and smartphones into an overall system. For example, when we reviewed the KICKR and TrainerRoad, the training software or iPhone app could control the trainer to make for some automatic and furiously effective workouts.

Now, ANT+ is in on the game, letting multiple devices have real, two way conversations with each other. It’s geared toward indoor cycles and trainers, and TacX, Kinomap and TrainerRoad have already integrated it into their products alongside other major updates…

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Light Up More than the Road with the The Unique Ding Bike Light

Ding bike light- bottom view

While cycling lights have become much brighter in the past few years, urban riders are looking in a whole different direction when it comes to light innovation- sideways. Recently Bikerumor previewed the Hueray light-up grips which follow this principle, but the Ding goes a step further and projects a large beam of light on the ground around you. The idea was hatched after the Ding’s creator Des Burns was almost hit by a motorist, who said they didn’t see him even though his front and rear lights were on.

The Ding light has typical forward lighting for the cyclists visibility, but a separate light also projects downwards in a rectangular shaped beam that covers both sides of the rider to make you much more visible to drivers. The Ding’s Kickstarter campaign is already in full swing, but still needs some funding to go into production. Check out the details of the Ding below the break…
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New Polar M450 GPS cycling computer pushes all the right buttons, V650 gets maps!

hands on with all new Polar M450 gps cycling computer

To hear Polar’s tech folks tell it, their focus is and has always been accurate measurement of your heart rate as the foundation for a proper training device. Over the years, power measurement was added, too. But when Garmin came on the scene with GPS, it took a chunk out of their sales. So, for the past three years they’ve been integrating location tracking into their sports watches and the flagship V650 cycling computer introduced last fall and it’s breathed new life into the brand.

Now, they’re adding a second GPS cycling computer at an exciting price point – the M450. And it’s exciting for far more than its ability to track your ride’s whereabouts. It’s loaded to the gills with features and tricks that put many cycling computers costing twice as much to shame.

Full details and first ride impressions below, but let’s stick with GPS for a moment. The V650 will be adding mapping capability via a free software update in August. The mapping will use the built in GPS to show where you are thanks to Open Street Maps, which means free maps for anywhere in the world…

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