Cycling and crowdfunding: a match made in heaven?

Cycling and crowdfunding: a match made in heaven?

When it comes to Kickstarter, cycling is King.  Search for ‘running’ or ‘walking’ and you get a mish-mash of random projects, from smartphones to computer games to monkey bars, with a few wearable devices and phone holders as workout aids.  Discover ‘cycling’ or ‘ride with it’ and you’re served with a smorgasbord of useful designs, from electric city bikes to connected dashboards, smart helmets, lights with extras and clever navigation aids. 

What is it about cycling that connects it so closely with your typical Kickstarter browser? Is it down to the fact that while 2/3rds of cycling trips are for practical purposes (NTS 0409), the majority of the products that you find in a typical cycling store are aimed at weekend lycra warriors? Is it because cyclists face a disproportionate number of challenges compared to other modes of transport, be that personal safety; bike theft; navigating cycle friendly routes; or getting to a destination without being sweaty, dishevelled or soaked in rain? Or is it simply that cyclists are more likely to be university educated, above average earners and broadsheet newspaper readers (Mintel: Bicycles UK (2010) so are more likely to be curious and affluent enough to put their money into a crowdfunded idea?

Whatever the reason, Kickstarter is a hotbed of cycling design.

If you're reading this, chances are you are either a) a cyclist, and therefore interested in cycling related products, or b) interested in crowdfunding. Since we've spent a fair bit of time checking out the latest cycling projects on Kickstarter, we thought we would give you a quick rundown of our favurites so far in 2016. If you're interested in crowd funding and considering running your own campaign, each of these projects have very well constructed pages with a unique and interesting story - a good starting point if you're in need of some inspiration. 

Our favourite Kickstarter cycling projects in 2016

Coros LINX Smart Cycling Helmet: Safely tune in to your ride

What is it? Coros claim to be the world's first bike helmet with open-ear precision audio so cyclists can safely hear traffic along with music, calls, nav, & ride data. There's more to this helmet than the bone condutcing audio, though. The LINX helmet comes with a wind resistant microphone so you can communicate clearly with other riders and it also has a Smart Remote which allows for volume control, forward tracks, pause/play, and take calls. Perhaps the most useful tech is the app to connect your LINX helmet, Smart Remote and smartphone. You can receive navigation and essential ride statistics through voice - speed, distance, duration, pace, calories, time - all without taking your eyes off the road. Track your rides and ride history to include distance, time, average speed, max speed, calories burned, elevations and more. 

Why do we like it? As well as being a safer way to listen to music and navigation on the bike, the Coros LINX helmet allows the rider to stay connected with their phone without taking their eyes off the road. 

Kickstarter price: $120

Status: live (ends October 24th 2016)

Visit the page here

Lumos - a next generation cycling helmet

What is it? When this project popped up on Kickstarter a few months back, we were sat up and took notice (not least because we share a very similar name!). Lumos was founded by Eu-wen Ding in 2015 because he often felt invisible on his bike at night. So he created a helmet that would make him more visible to everyone on the road. Featuring integrated brake and turn signal lights, Lumos helps you more effectively communicate your intentions to drivers and people around you.

Why do we like it? SafetyWe've seen the Lumos helmet in action and can vouch for its brightness from both the front and back. The turn signals built into the helmet are neat too, activated via a wireless remote on the handlebars. 

Status: Kickstarter closed, now taking pre-orders.

Pre-order price: $149

Visit the page here

The Blaze burner

What is it? Emily Brooke was one of the first entrepreneurs in the UK who used Kickstarter to crowd fund her original product, the Blaze Laserlight back in 2012. Since then Emily and team Blaze have gone from strength to strength and the Laserlight is now built into Santander Cycle hire bikes across London (now you know where those little green cyclists projected onto the road come from). So when Blaze went back to Kickstarter and launched their second product, the Burner backlight, hundreds of their community were chomping at the bit to get in early - us included. 

Why do we like it? It's a bloody decent back light. As well as having 100 lumens of light emitted from 24 LEDs, the Burner has the same sleek style and smart touches as the Lazerlight, including an intelligent light sensor to make sure you never worry about being seen, whenever and wherever you ride (similar to car headlights that come on automatically) and a magnetic snap bracket that snaps the light firmly into place either horizontally or vertically without you having to fiddle around awkwardly unable to see what you are doing. A masterstroke. 

Status: Kickstarter closed, now taking pre-orders.

Pre-order price: £45

Visit the page here

MODUAL | The Last Bicycle Multi-Tool You Will Ever Need

What is it? Altum Designs launched their first product recently on Kickstarter, called MODUAL. MODUAL seeks to offer a portable yet powerful alternative to conventional folding tools. The MODUAL range consists of MTS, an innovative 14 function multi-tool and MTR, an accompanying tool roll that provides an effective means of transporting a cyclist's essential items. Each are comprehensive enough for use at home but compact enough for the road. 

Why do we like it? Sometimes, a new solution comes along to an age old problem and leaves you scratching your head and saying 'why didn't I think of that?' Say goodbye to pivoting individual Allen Keys, tyre snaps and screwdrivers. This handy tool has them all built into one simplistic device, then wrapped up in the MTR - a modern twist on a traditional tool roll that fits neatly inside your jersey pocket. 

Status: Kickstarter closed, now taking pre-orders on Indiegogo on Demand

Pre-order price: from £25

Visit the page here

AIRLOK: High Security Bike Storage Hanger | Store + Lock

What is it? Already renowned for making some of the strongest bike locks on the market, the team at Hiplok have taken bike secruity a step further with their latest invention, The AIRLOK. It's the first wall-mounted bicycle storage hanger with integrated hardened steel lock. With a combination of maximum gold level security, effortless practicality and design elegance the wall-mounted AIRLOK is the ultimate secure storage solution for apartment, work place or outside. 

Why do we like it?  What happens if someone breaks into your house or apartment while you’re away and sees your bike on the wall? You know that a bike is going to be one of the first things on their shopping list…AIRLOK allows you to display your bike conveniently AND keep it safe, giving you total piece of mind. Whether that's in the home, garage, or outside. 

Status: Kickstarter closed, taking pre-orders

Pre-order price: from £129.99

Visit the page here


What is it? LUMO caters for the urban cyclist who wants to be visible to traffic and comfortable on a bike, without compromising on their personal style off a bike. We have launched our latest range on Kickstarter which we believe is the world's finest city cycling apparel. Each of the three new products comes with inbuilt LED lights, is visible 400 metres away and is packed full of cleverly hidden cycling-specific features. Head to our page now to check them out.

Status: Kickstarter live, closes October 13th. 

Pre-order price: from £99

Visit the page here