Top 5 Technology Gifts for Cyclists
With Christmas mere weeks away, now’s the time to start thinking about your cycling-obsessed husband, wife, friend or relative.
Every cyclist needs more kit. Whether it’s more bikes or clothing, this post features our top 5 cycling gadgets for and tech-savvy rider.
1. Garmin Edge 810
Garmin have been key players in route planning and cycling navigation, and their 810 is probably their finest creation.
This touchscreen GPS has everything that a cyclist could ever need on the bike to supply them information. They have on-screen mapping showing your route, that connects to Ordnance Survey maps, making it easy to find your way home if you ever get lost.
The 810 records load of data, including ANT+ data from power meters, cadence sensors, speed/elevation metrics and more. You do need to add more products to supplement it if you are data-obsessed and want more data, but the standard package is more than enough for any regular cyclist.
It also tracks live rides for you and your riding pals if it’s connected to a smartphone, so you can see if they are riding and where they are. If you connect it to a smartphone, it can wirelessly transfer the data to Garmin Connect, which can be automatically uploaded to Strava.
It’s waterproof and tough, so you don’t need to worry about it being affected by adverse weather conditions. It retails at around £220.00 but you can usually find offers somewhere.
See more information about the Garmin Edge 810 GPS Bike Computer.
2. Virtual Reality Turbo Trainer
This is the future of indoor cycling training. Companies like Tacx offer training software that can sync up to your turbo trainer to create virtual reality games, allowing you to compete in races, sprints or climbing challenges with your friends all in virtual reality.
You have to have a specific kind of turbo trainer – either a smart trainer, a power meter or a zPower supported trainer and ANT+ speed sensor; but they are worth the investment purely for Zwift alone.
The Zwift programme combines good graphics and accurate data transfer to power an on-screen cyclist, allowing you to race your friends or online against others in real-time. The appeal for Zwift is that they are designing the platform for all turbo trainers, although the higher end ones will have more accurate data to transfer to the player.
Visit Zwift online to see more information – compatible trainers include the CycleOps Classic Power Sync Virtual Trainer – Black, Elite Turbo Muin Smart B+ and Tacx Genius Smart Trainer.
What bike? No, Wattbike. A Wattbike is a training bike that is designed to measure data, icluding power, pedal stroke efficiency and heart rate.
A Wattbike is a tool that would be beneficial to anyone who takes their training super-seriously, having to attache themselves to a variety of cables and gadgets before even considering getting on a bike.
It feeds the data live to you as well as recording it for later analysis. Wattbikes are extremely popular amongst professional cyclists including Chris Froome and Joanna Rowsell due to their ability to provide this data.
The performance computer used to feed the data records 39 parameters up to 100 times per second, and you can view the most important data to you by choosing your data screen, allowing you to focus on different areas of training to monitor your improvement.
An expensive gadget with the lowest end Wattbike Freeride retailing at £1,695, but one any serious cyclist should consider adding to your training arsenal. If nothing else, it will reduce all the wires around the bike.
Visit the Wattbike store for more information.
4. Switch Aero System
Does your cyclist fancy themselves as a Time Trialling machine, but they don’t have a TT bike? The Switch Aero system is the perfect solution.
This was a kickstarter that proved extremely popular with cyclists, with a set of clip-on TT bars and a dual-position seatpost that can turn any road bike into a TT bike.
The TT bars clip onto your handlebars easily and without the need for tools, and the seatpost is able to lock into two positions: one regular and one aero.
The technology allows the seat to move forward into a TT position which, used in conjunction with your TT bars, will allow you to achieve an aero position. Simply unclip the bars and switch the seat back into a regular road position.
This is really popular for triathletes too, as they will allow you to achieve an edge over the competition with your aero position.
For more info on Switch Aero systems visit the Redshift Sports site.
5. Fly6 Camera
Is your cyclist a commuter? Do they love to film their rides?
If the answer to both is yes, then the Fly6 bike cam is perfect. The camera doubles as a light as well as an HD camera, allowing you to stay safe as well as filming your rides.
It is USB charged and can film up to 6 hours of footage, suitable for even the longest commutes or adventures. A key feature of the Fly6 light and camera is the incident capture feature.
When it detects an impact, Fly6 saves the previous hour of footage and then records and saves for another hour afterwards to record all pre and post accident details.
This is the perfect gift for a regular commuter, to help them stay seen and stay safe on the bike in the long winter nights.