Best List: Magic Flute bike pump by Portland Design Works
The magic of the Magic Flute is its ability to do two things with equal aplomb.
On the one hand, it is a solidly built hand pump that lets you fill your bike tire the old-fashioned way. On the other, it is a handy CO2 cartridge adapter that lets you fill your tire quickly without the need for elbow grease.
It seems silly to call something with so much technology packed into it “simple,” but this is the word I keep coming back to when describing Lezyne’s new bicycle computers.
They are simple. They are also powerful and sleek — and they just might be the perfect option for cyclists who like to have their data, but don’t need it blasted at them the entire time they are on their bikes.
LAS VEGAS — If you need proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the bike industry, look no further than Interbike. The massive bike show here is an undeniable indication that innovators are still plugging away in their garages, trying to build the next big thing and prep it for Kickstarter.
Independent innovators are making cargo bikes one at a time, marketing lightweight welding masks to protect riders from the rain, and dreaming up helmet inserts for the world’s great sweaters. Cult of Mac takes one more lap around the convention center hall …
LAS VEGAS — If you noticed a substantial drop in leg-shaved and Lycra-clad bicyclists on the roads in your part of the world it is because they are all taking a spin in Sin City.
They didn’t come for the penny slots, forced air and big-ass beers, though. They made the pilgrimage to Vegas to attend the annual mega-bike show known as Interbike. It brings out industry giants like Giro and Shimano, but the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well too, with small builders and garage tinkerers showing off their latest big ideas.
Cult of Mac walked the show floor on day one look at it all. Here is some of the coolest new stuff we found.
SAN FRANCISCO — Sometimes even a great idea falls flat at first. Take Pump-Hub, a self-inflating bike tire gizmo. It was rolling along at trade shows and getting lots of good press before the financial crisis of 2008 sidelined the project.
Now its creator, engineer Kevin Manning, is getting back on track with a new team behind him and plans to expand his original idea — an automatic, adjustable, tire-inflation system housed in the hub of a bike wheel.
For cyclists, the Pump-Hub means no remembering to check the tire pressure or pack a pump, no fiddling around with the valve and then racing to put the cap back on before the air wheezes out and your aching arms have to start all over again. It inflates the tires to the proper pressure while you ride, making a gentle clickety-clack sound reminiscent of spoke cards from childhood days. When the tire hits the designated pressure, the fluttering sounds stop. If you get a flat, just upend your bike and spin the wheel until pressure is restored.
“It’s like how using a Macintosh is easier than using a command-line interface,” Manning says, turning his Gunnar bike upside down on the Embarcadero to show me how the Pump-Hub works. If you really boil down all the technology behind his invention, he adds, the main advantage basically ends up being “it’s easier.”