What you want this Christmas, and the worst ways to spend your money.
The Huez* team takes a lot of convincing when it comes to cycling tech, and we’ve received enough presents from well-meaning friends and family to start a store. This year we’ve taken a discerning look at what gear, gadgets, and apps (new and old) are worth putting on your Christmas wish list, and which useless gimmicks and stocking fillers ‘that’ ride buddy will have.
Bluetooth Bike Speaker by SleekSpeak
Impractical and quite unpleasant looking, this handlebar-mounted speaker now allows you to blast out your spin-class-playlist not just to your ride-group, but also unfortunate passers-by. This is the perfect accessory for the cyclist who still thinks that a tinny rendition of Saviour’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’ before the final climb will inspire his buddies to push through and reach the peak, rather than push him off his bike.
Our advice: Don’t waste your money, or ride near us for that matter.
Long considered to be the best in GPS tracking and recording services for cyclists, competition from rival apps and tech has put Garmin under pressure of late. As the Apple Watch loomed and threatened to upset Garmin from its leading position, the cycling behemoth created the Connect software to modernise Garmin’s products in an attempt to keep hold of its huge customer base.
While Garmin remains the go-to tech for a large number of cyclists, the tech powering the Connect is now a few years old - which shows in the often glitchy performance. As phone mounts have become (kind of) socially acceptable, the handlebar positioning is becoming less of draw, and who needs two expensive gadgets to lose?
Our advice: Try the Cyclemeter app below before turning to Garmin - and pound for pound we think you’ll be impressed.
Sold as an attempt to replace a $300 bike computer with a $5 app, Cyclemeter does not disappoint. With impressive functionality and no hassle installation, this bike tracking app works for both novice riders who just want to know distance covered, and serious cyclists who want to link up a data tracker with other tools including power and heart-rate monitors. And, of course, if you need to impress your colleagues with that big weekend ride, there’s the now-necessary option to tweet or Facebook your achievements.
Our advice: By putting the ‘social’ into day-to-day riding and delivering everything one would expect of traditional mounts like the Garmin - Cyclometer has come up trumps.
Quad Lock Bike Mount PRO
This is a clever locking system built into a custom iPhone cover that secures handlebar mounted smartphones. With the right cycling app this piece of kit will become as important for your weekend rides as for your daily commute. But while this does mean you can start checking emails on-the-go, please don’t. You should probably be looking at the road and its much better served for navigation and monitoring, we promise.
Our advice: If you’re switching mounted bike computers for app-laden mobile, a great phone mount is a must.
Now we’ve worked out that this isn’t an elaborate April Fools, the Uberhood is an umbrella for your bike. Surprisingly subtle and unobtrusive, the hood packs away when not in use…as neatly as having a huge, packed-up umbrella sticking out your handle bars ever could.
Our advice: If you’re thinking of getting this, you might as well get a tricycle with a polythene covering instead. You’ll look just the right amount of weird.
Fill That Hole
Fill That Hole is quickly becoming the must-have community change app for all road cyclists, especially regular commuters. It’s free, built by the cycling charity CTC and helps you to help yourself and all your fellow cyclists. When you hit a bump or hole in the road, simply note the location down on this clean, user-friendly app, and it will report it automatically to the local authorities. If one of the road-craters really gets you going, you can even add a captioned picture to express quite how ‘ticked’ off you are. If the app is successful in its aim the clear roads that will result will be a smooth tarmacked gift for everyone - well isn’t that in the Christmas spirit!
Hovding Airbag for Cyclists
When we first heard of it, we thought the Hovding was as much of a joke as the Uberhood. But the longer we looked at it the more we began to think, well…maybe?
With some impressive science behind it, this neck mounted airbag really does work, boasting up to 3x the shock absorption of run-of-the-mill cycling helmets. It also provides a greater all round cushion than any other helmet, and keeps the entire neck stabilised during nasty falls.
The overly fashion conscious cyclist might find it hard to justify the aesthetics that come with wearing a tube around your neck or the embarrassment of emerging post-crash looking like an astronaut. But then what justification is better than protecting your neck.More stories