Safety on the road is a big issue for any cyclist and recently a few videos of cyclists being hit by cars has prompted coverage from mainstream media. While no cyclist ever wants to be involved in a bike vs car accident, it’s a real possibility – especially for those who live and ride in a busy urban environment.
Here in Australia, the Amy Gillett Foundation is working to improve road safety, and the relationship between motorists and cyclists. Their ‘A Metre Matters’ and ‘It’s a Two Way Street’ campaigns have raised awareness and even inspired a trial minimum passing distance legislation in Queensland.
The AGF has fought tirelessly to improve the cycling environment in Australia, and things have gotten better, but accidents do happen. It is not always drivers that cause accidents – gravel, wet roads, and the ever terrifying painted white lines can make you come unstuck.
In light of this, here are a few of our favourite bike safety innovations that may be appealing and stylish to the road enthusiast and cafe racer.
ICEdot is a small yellow pod that offers peace of mind to loved ones, letting them know if something has happened when you may not be able to. Using an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a low energy Bluetooth connection to a smartphone; the ICEdot uses a proprietary algorithm to detect an impact. The USB rechargeable crash sensor easily mounts to the back of any helmet with just a few zip-ties, or included industrial strength double-side tape.
When the sensor detects an impact, it triggers an emergency countdown in the ICEdot app. If the countdown is not turned off before it reaches zero, the app promptly sends out a text message – to up to 10 predetermined emergency contacts – informing them there has been an incident, and its location, via a Google Maps link.
Read our review of the ICEdot here.
Fly6 rear camera
AU$175 (+ postage)
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Fly6 Rear Light is now in production and set for release in May. The brainchild of Andrew Hagen (CEO) and Kingsley Fiegert, Fly6 came to be after Fiegert was hit by something thrown from a passing car while riding in Perth. Combining a 15 lumen tail light and a rear facing camera into one unit, the Fly6 records 720p video onto the included microSD card. The 8GB class 10 card records about two-hours of video before the device automatically loops back to the beginning – so the Fly6 is always watching your back.
During the day the Sugoi Zap jacket looks like any other understated cycling jacket, but after dark it truly begins to shine: artificial light from car headlights causes the jacket to light up like a fluorescent light bulb. It's made from Sugoi’s pixel fabric, which contains highly reflective ground glass ‘pixels’ that glow evenly over the whole jacket when illuminated. The jacket itself does not light up, but it sure looks like it does.
Unfortunately this futuristic jacket won't be available in Australia until 2015.
POC AVIP range
Swedish company POC – best known for its snow and mountain bike helmets, armour, and goggles – is set to release its AVIP road cycling range in the next couple of months. While you have probably noticed Garmin Sharp sporting POC's sometimes Star Wars-esque lids (the Octal), there is also a range of clothing and accessories (warmers, sunglasses, and gloves). POC’s entire road cycling range is underpinned by the AVIP concept, which stands for Attention, Visibility, Interaction and Protection. The collection is based around reflective logos, light and dark contrasts, and fluorescent zinc orange – all designed to draw attention.
ICNY reflective socks
(Available through Wheelhaus)
According to a study conducted by the Queensland University of Technology, reflective strips are much more effective when located near moving joints. With many cycling shoes lacking substantial reflectivity, and the weather often being too warm for shoe covers, ICNY brings reflectivity to your feet. Utilising simple 3M reflective dots, the ICNY socks come in a variety of colours and patterns. For those worried about proper sock height, the ICNY socks are 'sockdoping' approved.