This is it, people — this is the year your New Year’s resolution to get fit really takes hold. This year, you’re going to stick it, and we’re going to show you how.
Timbuk2 says its new “aerodynamic” (their words, not mine) Mission Cycling Wallet was inspired by the gearheads over at San Francisco-based Mission Cycling Club — one imagines its inception resulting from a cacophony of complaints about sweaty iPhones and the absence of holes to stash a credit card for that post-ride latte.
If you’ve got a bicycle and an iPhone/iPt, here’s a pretty interesting development: iBike, who earlier this year introduced a $200-plus kit that turned the iPhone into a sensor-linked cycling computer, has just released a $70 iPhone cycling package for riders who aren’t Gu-fueled cycling nuts; and it includes what looks like a stellar — and free — cycling app.
Lets’ face it — cycling is geeky enough with Lycra, weird cycling shoes and helmets so dorky they look like they were designed by population-control advocates — it doesn’t need the added panache of a Bluetooth speaker bungied to the handlebars.
We haven’t seen too many manufacturers come out with a weather-resistant iPhone bicycle mount (what, no iPhone users ride bicycles in Seattle? C’mon, people). Luckily, Bracketron just announced their All-Weather Soft Case Bike Mount. In this case, the name literally says it all.
Seems practically everyone has cottoned on to the idea that the iPhone makes for a stellar cycling computer — because hardware that turns the iPhone into a feature-packed riding companion keeps popping up. The latest is Velocomp’s iBike Dash series of app-enhanced hardware stashed inside their waterproof Phone Booth case that work with its free iBike app.
The unit starts out at $200 for the waterproof case with built-in ANT+ receiver and a speed sensor for your bike; $329 will bag you the Deluxe kit that adds a heart-rate strap, cadence sensor and supplemental battery for the iPhone. Velocomp also sells the Phone Booth case only — without the ANT+ electronics in it — for $50.
The waterproof case looks pretty rugged, but pricing strikes us as a tad steep compared with other kits out there from Wahoo, Digifit and New Potato Technologies (even though we were less-than-enthusiastic about the latter).
In fact, the system seems to be evolving very closely along the lines of Wahoo’s Fisica system — so closely that their new $50 Digifit Connect 2 dongle (that’s it pictured below) looks the spitting image of Wahoo’s version. No surprise then that the $15 Digifit app is now also compatible with the Wahoo dongle. In addition, there’s a new $120, water-resistant, iPhone 3/4-compatible Digifit Connect Case for mounting on bicycle handlebars.
Need a last-minute stocking stuffer, or wondering how to keep that New Year’s resolution? Digifit is giving away its $80 ANT+ Digifit Connect — just download their free Digifit app, then pop for the $15 in-app upgrade (which allows the app to connect with the dongle).
The idea is pretty much the same as with the Wahoo Fisica dongle (also $80): Attach the Digifit Connect to an iPhone (or iPad or iPod) and it’ll communicate with any ANT+ heart-rate monitor, footpod, bicycle cadence or speed sensor; then workout data can be tracked and analyzed through the Digifit app, or download the data to one of several websites, like New Leaf Fitness.
With the CultofMac so chock full of bike geeks, it’s no wonder we pretty excited to see the arrival a few months back of one of the first gadgets that fall into the app-enhanced category — a gadget/app mashup that manufacturer New Potato Tech cleverly calls an “appcessory.” In this case, the $99 LiveRider combo of an iPhone bicycle mount and sensor/receiver package with its own dedicated app turns the iPhone into a flexible, jumbo-screened bike computer.
It’s not the only sensor/app combo on the market; Enki Sports offers a more complete and expensive solution, and newcomer Wahoo Fitness recently arrived with a flexible, modular approach (with sensors that look remarkably similar to Enki’s). But we figured New Potato’s kit would provide a simple, relatively inexpensive setup for intermediate-ish cyclists wanting their data fix. We were mistaken.
One expects great things from an app costing double its nearest competitor (which happens to be the excellent $5 Cyclemeter). And for the most part, BiCycle — a $10 cycling app that uses the iPhone’s GPS receiver to log data — delivers. But while the app is well-designed and contains features not found elsewhere, there’re a few gaping holes that should make potential purchasers pause before taking the plunge.