To be entirely honest, it will probably be awhile before products like the LEAFXPRO catch on in the U.S. Far more likely to succeed in countries where infrastructure is built around cycling as a true form of transportation, not just an afterthought, LEAFXPRO is the next evolutionary step in protection from the elements. Almost certain to draw some stares, a bicycle umbrella is as it sounds – a protective barrier from the wind and rain. Only, this umbrella is attached to the bike so you don’t have to ride with one hand and fight with an umbrella at the same time.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like the LEAFXPRO either as you couldn’t step foot outside Eurobike without running into similar contraptions. Where the LEAFXPRO stands out though, is in the aerodynamic design and modular construction. It may look funny, but the bicycle umbrella should keep you dry if you choose to use it…
Starting with the Classic kit, the LEAFXPRO gets progressively more protective until you reach the Family model, complete with a bubble for your baby. The Storm and the Family models also have side skirt protection to keep the rain from blowing in sideways. Weighing in at 2-3 lbs depending on the model, each LEAFXPRO attaches to the bike in about a minute’s time and stores in a carry bag that can be worn as a sling or attached to the bike.
Developed to fit on nearly every type of bicycle, LEAFXPRO states that creating an aerodynamic profile was key to the design. Rainy conditions typically include at least a bit of wind, so creating a structure that still made it easy to ride was extremely important. The same goes for making the umbrella durable enough to hold up to daily use. Production models will be adjustable for different rider heights, and all models leave room for they rider’s arms to signal.
Following in the footsteps of other cycling products before them, LEAFXPRO has taken to Kickstarter to launch their company. A pledge of £99 (about $150) is the starting point for the Kickstarter which will get you a Classic model, though shipping is an extra £20, 30, or 50 depending on the location. The Kickstarter will run until Thursday, March 5, 2015.