Morpher: The World’s first fold flat cycle helmet

morpher-folding-helmet

The Morpher is a new innovation in portable cycling helmet technology. Would a bicycle helmet that you can fold flat persuade you to wear one? Inventor Jeff Woolf is hoping so: after having his life saved by his headgear after a hit and run accident 20 years ago, Jeff has developed a compact Morpher helmet that’s easy to carry around with you. With 9 out of 10 Londoners who hire Boris bikes choosing not to wear a helmet, the new innovation could prove to be a lifesaver.

The Morpher isn’t pocket-sized, but the flat-folding, portable design means it can be easily slipped inside a rucksack or handbag. Whether or not it makes it into production depends on the success of the project’s Indiegogo campaign, which kicks off at the start of November in the search for funding. However, the prototype has already won three innovation awards.

The helmet slips easily into a rucksack or laptop bag.
The helmet slips easily into a rucksack or laptop bag.

Jeffrey Woolf isn’t new to the invention game and has been named British Inventor of the Year twice. He has also been awarded an OBE for his services to innovation. Of the Morpher helmet, he says: “I have been aware of the increasingly large number of cyclists taking to the streets without helmets and, with my experience in inventing, I wanted to see if I could help to reverse this trend.”

“I am delighted to announce the launch of Morpher’s Indiegogo campaign, providing the opportunity for people to be involved in the creation of Morpher and to own one of the first folding helmets in the world. Morpher helmets will fold up small enough to fit into a work bag or typical laptop carrier. With more and more people riding every day, Morpher helmets will help to protect cyclists and save lives around the world.”

Inventor Jeff Woolf is looking to raise funds for production.
Inventor Jeff Woolf is looking to raise funds for production.

As on the similar crowd-funding site Kickstarter, you can commit different levels of cash to the project in return for different levels of reward. For a mere $20,000 you can get an all-expenses paid trip to China to see the helmet in production and get your hands on 25 of the helmets with your own custom-made graphics. Those with less money in their pockets can chip in for a far more reasonable $5.

The Morpher helmet is built from expanded polystyrene (EPS) with nylon hinges that help it to fold up. The headgear weighs in at 250g and has been developed with the cooperation of the British Standards Institution. For more news on the helmet, which is scheduled for a Spring 2014 release, visit the official website at or the @morpherhelmet Twitter account.

iBike Coach. More power to your pedals.

There’s one thing you can honestly say about pedal bikers, they’re a hardy lot. What with having to put up with dodging unobservant car drivers, dealing with bad weather, punctures, the odd tumble and a sore rear not to mention the expense of buying a bike in the first place. You have to ask yourself, is it all really worth it? Clearly it is, if you believe the ever increasing bike population stats, so its all down to fitness I suppose. There seemed precious little technology could do for them apart from making bikes lighter. That was until Velacomp developed the iBike Dash last year, a dedicated bike computer that logged your distance, time, heart rate and temperature and gave you GPS routings and everything.

iBike

Following on from this they’ve released the iBike Coach a software app upgrade for the iPhone 4 and 3 which works in conjunction with the IBike Dash offering enhanced tutorials, easier set up, more colourful screens and music control.

The iBike app update now includes an ‘always on’ feature which allows you to continue to monitor your data even when the IBike app is not running via the iBike Dash electronics. The two applications then simply synchronise when the Bike app powers up and your data gap harmony is restored.

John Hamann, CEO of Velocomp, says, “Cyclists naturally expect that their cycling computer information will always be correct and accurate. And iPhone and iPod touch users naturally expect to have full access to all of their apps, whenever they want. With our new ‘Always On’ technology, both of these critical expectations are met”.

iBike Coach includes a water and shock resistant case that works with any iPhone and a universal mount that securely attaches the case to any bike. It also includes 6 months free membership to www.strava.com and online social fitness site that lets cyclists all over the world log, share, compare and compete with each other’s personal
fitness data.

iBike Coach $69.95

Ultra Motor Fast4ward cycles

Ultra Motor, the makers of electric bikes, may be one of the biggest names in transport that you’ve never heard of. Producing over 250,000 electric motors a year, its creations have ended up in the hands of Leonardo Di Caprio, Johnny Vaughan and Jay Leno. And with its new Fast4ward range, electric bikes may just have got better than ever.

Fast4ward-Edge

The new Fast4ward cycles were designed to outrun the preconception that electric bikes are slow, heavy and ugly. As such, all three bikes in the range reach up to 15.5mph – 50% above the average cycling speed.

They also weigh between 19kg – 21kg, shaving a few kilos off of rival electric bike systems. And the look – well, look at the pictures and tell us. All of the bikes were designed by a German team of designers with over 16 years of experience.

• The Fast4ward range is also relatively affordable. Starting at £999 for the Edge (20″ wheels, 26v battery), the range increases to 26″ for the Ride (£1,099) and in size and battery (36v) for the Peak (£1,249). Once you’ve bought the bike, however, Ultra Motor assure us that it’s about 7p of electricity for 40 miles of motoring. Bargain.
• The Panasonic Lithium-Ion batteries take four hours to fully recharge, although you should get 80% power in 120 minutes. The smaller, 26v battery pumps out up to 25 miles of travelling, while the bigger version manages an impressive 40.
• If you’re curious, Ultra Motor is currently inviting people to give the new Fast4ward a free trial. Anyone interested in buying an e-bike can borrow one for a maximum of three days – and hand it back if they’re not interested.
• Testers will be encouraged to create a video diary of their e-biking experience and upload them to YouTube, with one lucky vlogger given a free bike at the end.

iBike Dash Cycling Computer

It seems there is no end to the versatility of your iPhone as entrepreneurial creatives continuously find more opportunities to harness its resources in ways its original designers never thought possible.

Now cyclists get the benefits with an app and hardware combo that provides personal fitness coaching as you pedal.

iBike-Dash-CC

Developed by Velocomp, a leader in cycling computers and power metres, the iBike Dash app provides real time speed, distance and ride time calculations in combination with the built in iPhone GPS, as well as monitoring your heart rate and calories burned using on board sensors. A ‘smart phone booth’ provides safe and snug housing for your iPhone and protects it from water and road shock, so you’re all set to pedal your way to health and fitness.

The app allows for full touch screen control even when you’re wearing cycling gloves and will provide odometer readings of your progress, whilst the calendar feature will keep track of your weekly performance so you’ll quickly be able to see how you’ve improved. There’s even a built in virtual coach who’ll help you pace yourself properly as you grind out those last few miles.

Handily, Velocomp has included a rechargeable quick swap battery in the phone booth to give you an extra seven hours talk time, just as well as the unit is fully compatible with any standard Bluetooth headset device.

If you’re not interested in fitness, but just looking for a robust way of safely fitting your iphone onto your bike instead, the iBike Phone Booth bicycle mount will tick that box for you. It uses the same materials you find in bike helmets so plenty of protection there, and provides the same water and shock protection as the iBike Dash.

The iBike Dash Cycling Computer is available now at £199 from Apple stores worldwide.

Move over World leaders: The Copenhagen Wheel

Whilst little may have been resolved at the climate change summit in Copenhagen last month, the unveiling of a bicycle, which moves by using the kinetic energy from its own wheels, could be described as the summit’s savior, marking a radical achievement in the global quest to slow down man’s self-inflicted destruction on the planet.

Humbly named The Copenhagen Wheel, this bicycle is like no other. Having the ability to recuperate kinetic energy by an electric motor which then stores the surplus power by batteries inside the wheel, the bike is an emblem of new urban mobility. Whilst the process of converting the kinetic energy of wheels into power may not be an entirely new phenomenon, as this technology has transformed Formula One racing during the last two years, the fact that The Copenhagen Wheel is also equipped with a Bluetooth connection and has the facility to connect an iPhone to the handlebars, turns the machine into a hybrid e-bike, and revolutionizes contemporary cycling.

It is perhaps the bike’s cybernetic qualities, which has led to some disagreement surrounding its name. As multiple information is available through an app, including personal fitness, travel data, speed, distances, pollution warnings and weather conditions, an iPhone can even be used to unlock the bike and change gear, some have chosen to call the creation, “Bike 2.0”, symbolizing a renaissance in biking and the design being the first prototype “e-bike”.

But its creators, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Senseable City Lab, chose to christen the bike The Copenhagen Wheel, and shrewdly introduced their mechanism when all eyes where looking, albeit at the world leaders in Copenhagen, who were desperately grappling for global harmonization to combat climate change.

The world’s leaders of course failed, but it hard to imagine that a design like The Copenhagen Wheel, using basic electronics and converting them into on-demand systems, and in doing so becoming a vanguard in tackling the perils of high-consumption lifestyles, could also fail.

Ritt Bjerrengaard, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, has announced that it is his aim is to have 50 percent of the city traveling to work on The Copenhagen Wheel, and with its lightweight frame, elegant but simple appearance, masking a medley of technologies at their most sophisticated, it is easy to envisage that The Copenhagen Wheel really will be the wheels of the future.