Cycling is growing rapidly in South Africa, and many people argue that it has overtaken golf as the sport of choice for corporate employees.
Thousands of people take part in cycling events every weekend, and races like the Cape Town Cycle Tour and the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge attract tens of thousands of entries.
MoreCycle CEO Stephen Reardon told Business Day towards the end of 2014 that there has been a 15% year-on-year growth in cycling sales.
He estimated that the cycling economy in South Africa is worth between R1.2 and R1.5 billion a year, where between R600 million and R750 million is spent in specialist cycling shops.
Most hobbyist cyclists are in higher-income brackets, and can easily spend in excess of R100,000 on their bicycle equipment.
Cycling equipment goes far beyond a bicycle and some Lycra shorts – here are some of the best new gadgets and cycling technologies to enhance your time on the road.
smrtGRiPS – connected bike grips
SmrtGRiPS describes itself as the “world’s first connected bike grips”, which offer cyclists location and navigation information without them taking their hands off the handlebars.
With the smrtGRiPS app for iPhone and Android, you can also locate your bike using the distance indicator.
smrtGRiPS is currently available on an early bird Indiegogo special for $59.
GoPro Hero4 Black
The GoPro Hero4 is the company’s most advanced action camera, offering great image quality and powerful new features.
The Hero4 Black offers high-resolution 4K30 and 2.7K60 video, and high frame rate 1080p120 video.
The Hero4 Black is available at around R8,000 in South Africa.
Smith Optics developed a new cycling helmet which the company said provides maximum ventilation, superior aerodynamics, and improved protection.
The Overtake racing helmet integrates proprietary technologies with best-in-class protection options.
The Smith Optics overtake helmet is available for $250.
Backtracker bike radar
Backtracker is a low-energy bike radar – a device that provides situational awareness by giving the cyclist the speed and distance of vehicles which are approaching from behind.
The road is scanned by a rear-facing radar module that also doubles as a flashing caution light, and the information is sent wirelessly to a handlebar-mounted head unit.
The Backtracker is not commercially available yet.
CamelBak Podium Ice bike bottle
With its lightweight insulation, the Camelbak Podium Ice bike bottle keeps your drinking water ice-cold, even during rides in hot weather.
Zero-Loft aerogel insulation keeps water cool four-times longer than standard bike bottles, and it keeps the bottle lightweight.
The Camelbak Podium Ice bike bottle is priced at R299.
Orp horn and light
The Orp is a super-loud and super-small bike horn, which is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The Orb also has two bright LED lights to make a cyclist more visible at night.
The Orb is available for $65.
VIS 180 back light
The VIS 180 provides rider safety with a high-powered tail light delivering 180 degrees of lighting.
Powerful red LEDs are used with high-intensity amber side lighting to give cyclists peace of mind while they focus on the road ahead.
The VIS 180 is available for $100.
Felt Aero AR FRD Bicycle
The Felt Aero AR FRD Bicycle is one of the best road bikes available. It is built from Felt Aero Road UHC Ultimate + TeXtreme carbon fibre using MMC with InsideOut construction.
Designed and developed using CFD software and a wind tunnel, this Aero road bike is up to 31% faster than typical round tube road frames.
It is available in the United States for $12,999.
The Fabric ALM Saddle is an ultra-lightweight saddle with a distinctly organic form.
It uses a carbon base, and by moving the rear mounting points of the rails to the edge of the base it opens up the centre part of the saddle – creating more flexibility.
The Fabric ALM Saddle is available for $250.
Tonino Lamborghini Ciclotte stationary bike
The Ciclotte is a stationary bike with a carbon dress and a “unique character”. The rider’s posture, the minimalist design, and the appeal of the materials used “evoke the sensations of a road race”.
The Tonino Lamborghini Ciclotte is the exclusive edition dedicated to the famous brand of luxury items.
The Tonino Lamborghini Ciclotte is priced at €10,490.