Crowdfunding has exploded this year, not a week goes by without one of our friends sharing the latest bicycle project looking for funding.
Jewel in the crown of crowdfunding platforms is Kickstarter. Founded in 2009, the company's model is to help people raise money for projects by getting the backing of lots of parties who make financial contributions, be it big or small.
It can seem like quite a cut throat strategy. If a project hits the financial target it's set for itself, then it's a success and the funding is received. On the flip side, if the project doesn't hit it's target - even by £1 - then the campaign fails and no money can be taken from investors.
With more and more of these websites popping up, such as Kickstarter, indiegogo, and Moola-Hoop, would-be creators are able to fuel their desire to invent, and we're finding lots of wonderful ideas focused on the cycling community.
So, if you don't want any of these wonderfully innovative projects to go unfunded, why not raid your piggy bank and support one. You never know, you could be involved in the next cycling craze. Don't forget to share with your friends - they may want to be an online backer too.
[part title="Morpher: Folding Helmet Technology"]
The Morpher is pitched as the world's first foldable helmet, with the ability to literally fold in half when not in use, small enough to fit into a work bag or typical laptop carrier, taking the pain out of lugging a bulky lid around.
Morpher creator, Jeff Woolf OBE, who has twice been awarded 'British Inventor of the year' shared his reasons for creating the lightweight portable helmet:
"Some years ago, I survived a horrific cycling accident. My helmet saved my life. 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."
For more information = indiegogo, Morpher: Folding Helmet Technology
Goal = $35,000
Currently on = $19,915
Days left to pledge = 28 days
[part title="FlyKly Smart Wheel"]
An instant hit with the UKs media, FlyKly's Smart Wheel aims to fit on to any bike, helping cyclists ride their bikes "effortlessly". It's a motorised bike wheel, that essentially turns a bicycle into an e-bike at a fraction of the cost.
FlyKly's Niko Klansek shared his vision, "we wanted to make cities more liveable, and make them more people -- not car -- friendly."
The design comprises of a wheel hub that has a self-contained, battery-powered motor than can propel a bike at speeds as high as 20-miles per hour for as far as 30 miles on one charge. The wheel even recharges itself when coasting downhill.
The FlyKly may already have hit it's $100,000 goal, but there's still time to invest to help them reach their stretch goals.
For more information = Kickstarter, FlyKly Smart Wheel
Goal = $100,000
Currently on = $558,519
Days left to pledge = 5 days
[part title="LOCK8 - Smart Bike Lock"]
The bike thief is the arch nemesis of cyclists, so it's great to see that bike lock technology is developing, utilising the spread of smartphone use.
Lock8's new security device is a smartphone-controlled lock that includes GPS tracking. It also includes sensors that trigger alarms and notifications for just about any kind of theft attempt. A smart cable warns if someone tries a bolt cutter; an accelerometer can detect drills and saws, and there's even a temperature sensor to fend off blowtorches.
For more information = Kickstarter, LOCK8 - Smart Bike Lock
Goal = $50,000
Currently on = $48,143
Days left to pledge = 12 days
[part title="The Cricket - A new silent bike alarm"]
A similar device to the LOCK8 to combat the war on bike theft, The Cricket is a promising bike alarm that doesn't just alert a cyclist when his or her property has been stolen, but helps to track it down in as efficient a way as possible.
Essentially, users of The Cricket form a community that connects when someone needs help. Since the device that is attached onto the bike can only send out signals within a 150 feet radius, people rely on other users around it to be notified where it could be.
For more information = indiegogo, The Cricket
Goal = $30,000
Currently on = $29,883
Days left to pledge = 7 days
[part title="Infinity Seat"]
Admittedly, the Infinity Seat has already reached its target, but we wanted to share this amazing concept.
The inventors of the Infinity Seat say that the saddle has no break-in period, fits everyone and is lighter than most seats on the market.
Moving away from the classic design where the majority of the rider's weight is concentrated on the rider's sit bones and pubic bones, causing pinching and discomfort, the Infinity Seat has a central cut away that means weight is borne by the bottom muscles!
We're intrigued to find out whether it really works - we must get one into test.
For more information = Kickstarter, Infinity Seat
Goal = $25,000
Received = $188,340
Days left to pledge = 0 days