Sometimes it’s the little things that make the ride go from good to great, or just start a conversation with new friends.

These doodads from students at Lausanne, Switzerland’s ECAL were shown at Milan Design Week 2013. Some are more likely to gather rider use, but all are fairly clever. And yes, we know, hanging a bag from the handlebars screws up the handling. Photo gallery after the break…


  1. The wire-brush mudguard looks effective but you’re left with the issue of carrying it around. Unless you dare not be seen with mudguards, why not just use mudguards that stay on the bike?

    There’s some alright concepts there but they still have so many flaws, seems like the output from a brainstorming session rather than developing items with some marketable potential.

    Handlebar brake, great for 1 brake only.
    Brake lever bell, this would be great down a cobbled street. Kids will think Santa is coming.
    Snow chains, I like this.
    Tethered dust cap, yes, just needs a little less tether to stay in line with the rim.
    Zip tie bell, not really any practical advantage over a normal bell but yellow, woo!
    Zip tie lights, the zip tail covers the led from the side and some effort for weatherproofing is needed, we can see the battery even.
    Hangers for the shopping, yeah, we learned to hang it over our bars already, this adds nothing.
    Wire-brush spray deflector, as previously mentioned.

    I don’t want to sound counter-creative (sorry!) but I fear not many daily commuters have been involved in the thought process. More safety related devices/gadgets would be welcomed. (Rant over!)

  2. That road spray tire thingee… why didn’t I think of that. I don’t want to believe that I’m that dumb. 😉

  3. Sooooo, zip ties and a valve cover for a valve that already has a built-in cap?

    None of these are things I’d ever use, much less pay money for.

  4. The tire scrubber/fender thing was the only idea that was decent. The rest were pointless or not completely thought out.

  5. This shows typical student project thinking, looks cool, seems innovative but has real life issues. On the plus side nobody tried to fob off a hubless wheel like a lot of student designed bikes. On specifics, the tire scrubber seems pointless as a fender but OK as a modern take on a glass catcher. The tethered valve cap is answering a question nobody asked, the zip tie stuff looks cool but probably does not work as well as current plastic clamp or silicone/rubber strap designs. Tire chains are a cool idea but the devil is in the details. The handlebar hooks and the funny brake lever are just flat out bad ideas, and the bell in the brake lever has been done better by Tektro who make a city bike lever with a small bell in the lever perch.

  6. Yes, they are all flawed in some way, but I think they are perfectly fine as student projects – they are there to learn after all, and I still cringe when I come across the things I’ve written when I was at school. Besides it’s nice they are directing creativity at the smaller, practical things in a cyclist’s life, I’d die a happy man as long as I don’t have to see another hubless “city” bike with a TT riding position and no mudguards.

  7. @shanghaied agree. I think all of these are actually pretty cool and have merit, whether they’re re-hashing old ideas or not. Some obviously aren’t “production ready” but are actually pretty well-executed for a design project. Except for that brake lever bell….I feel like even a non-cyclist could determine the conflicting actions going on with that.

  8. Very clever items… First it looks simple and useless but when looking attentively there is some brain storm in each element.

  9. yeah some will never be seen again but other have potential especially that tyre scrubber.
    excellent production on the video too. I think they’ve done an excellent job.

  10. go figure, all you bike nerds are so poo-poo when it comes to something just for fun. just because contemporary design cant be measured in grams or reduce your chain slap means its flawed.

    seriously some of the best design work (for bicycles and non-bicycles) ive seen in a while.

  11. Literally student concepts. It’s not like they’re planning to make a living off this stuff, although I could imagine some company willing to work with them since there are people who get sucked into buying smaller short-term things.

    It was clever stuff, albeit far cry from perfect.

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