We are regularly surprised by clever gadgets and gear that leave us thinking, “why didn’t I think of that?” KickStarter and other crowdfunding sites have allowed those with an idea to pitch it to market, where previously it would have remained nothing more than a sketch on a napkin. Sometimes these innovations are brilliant and lead to success, other times they simply result in a facepalm.
We've already rounded up the cycling industry's best efforts to pull the wool over our eyes this year. Here are six real products from the past 12 months that could just as easily have been April Fools' jokes.
Clif 'Organic' Energy Food
Pizza and sweet potato flavoured gel = face palm
Eating on the move means we often fill our stomachs with teeth melting amounts of sugary food, containing about as many natural ingredients as a Twinkie. So when we heard Clif was making organic gels with an ingredients list a child could understand, we were excited – until we saw the flavours. Banana, Mango Coconut, fine; Banana, Beet and Ginger, a little weird but okay; Sweet Potato and Sea salt and Pizza Margherita, hold the phone.
When was the last time you were craving a salty sweet potato, or a margherita pizza at the bottom of a climb? We're fans of exploring options for riding food, because sweet, sweet and more sweet can get pretty tired, but the thought of a mid-ride potato flavoured snack makes us want to barf.
Ceramic Speed $1000 jockey wheels
3D printed titanium jockey wheels? Cool! US$1000 for jockey wheels?Not so cool!
Ceramic Speed is well-known for offering high-priced upgrades aimed at the most elite of velocity seekers, but US$1,000 for jockey wheels takes things to a whole new level. As our own Angry Asian wisely pointed out: “at least you get two.”
Before we go any further, Ceramic Speed does realise this is a ludicrous price for these pulley wheels. This was more of an experiment to see what could be achieved with 3D printing – which is why only 10 pairs of the hollow titanium cogs were made.
Joking aside, we are actually excited to see what comes out of the lessons learned here.
'Peter's Flowers' limited edition polo shirt
Would you wear this?
Peter Sagan is known for his wicked style on the bike, but his recently released shirts show he may be lacking it off the bike. Come on Pete, even you look embarrassed to be wearing this shirt.
While the shirt pictured was the initial style release, things have thankfully improved since.
Bike Lift & Carry
If only there was a way to easily shoulder and carry a bike
“Bike Lift&Carry allows you to easily lift and comfortably carry your bicycle or e-bike as if it was a shoulder bag.”
Cyclists are not known for their upper body strength, so it’s good thing bikes aren’t that heavy. Even so, if you can’t lift the bike and carry it up a few stairs, do you really want it swinging from your shoulder?
It's like an umbrella, but for your bike
Riding in the rain sucks. It’s wet, it’s miserable, your shoes stay soggy for days, and you find little bits of dirt stuck in your ears. (Just us?)
But attaching a plastic sail to your handlebars is not the solution to staying dry on the bike.
Not only would this product take you for a ride when the wind picked up, but it’s hard enough to see through your sunnies when its raining – imagine a huge plastic windshield. At least your ears will stay dirt free.
Gold plated Giant Defy
"I love gooooooold" – Goldmember, 2002
This illustrious gold plated machine is from UK outfit Goldgenie, which has released this Gold Plated Giant Defy 5 with a Shimano Claris drivetrain. Yes this £499 bike is coated in a layer of 24 carat gold – “from the tip of the drop handlebars to the wheel stays, and every other part in between, including every ridge of the gear chain.”
Despite the cool factor, even your favourite Bond villain would struggle to foot the £250,000 bill. The least they could do is throw in some 3D-printed titanium pulley wheels!