Pedi-Scope: look down, see the road ahead

Bicycle periscope seeks crowdfunding – but is it safe?

Neck pain is a common occurrence for many cyclists, and while it’s generally an issue related to poor fit, lack of proper conditioning or previous injury, it can become a serious, chronic problem for some. Launching on Kickstarter earlier this month, the Pedi-Scope is essentially a handlebar mounted periscope to enable you to look ahead, while looking down.

The creator, Mike Lane, is a recreational cyclist himself. As a sufferer of neck pain, he says he got the idea from novel glasses designed to allow watching TV while flat on your back. The Pedi-Scope, like those glasses, uses a 3in wide acrylic prism to achieve the direction change in vision. 

It's a simple idea that could help those that suffer neck pain while riding on long backroads :
It's a simple idea that could help those that suffer neck pain while riding on long backroads :

The design is simple, but looks to take up plenty of handlebar space, likely leaving no room for lights, bells or other accessories

In the Kickstarter video, Lane refers to an ailment called ‘Shermer’s Neck’ as a reason for the Pedi-Scope. Originally discovered during the Race Across America, the onset of Shermer’s Neck sees extreme-endurance cyclists experience rapidly weakening muscles – to the point that they are unable to support the weight of their own head.

Carefully watching the Pedi-Scope video shows there is a clear blind spot for obstacles such as potholes and other road obstacles. With this, and the loss of peripheral vision, we can’t help but worry about the increased danger of using it in a crowded city environment.

But while it may not be ideal for the type of riding most cyclists living in urban area do, the Pedi-Scope may be something for riders who often ride on long, open back roads where other vehicles aren’t seen for hours.

Sticking to safety first, we can’t help feel that this design was best left at the TV. Regardless, if it’s something you’re interested in trying and don’t need other accessories on your handlebar, you can help crowdfund the Pedi-Scope from US$39.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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