Urban bike commuters don’t always get the most cutting-edge technology, but there are plenty of ways to improve the bike-to-work beyond just building e-bikes to flatten the hills. Kask has two new city bike helmets – the Urban R & Moebius, each of which combines safety, style, and a bit of unique commuter tech. Then, you get the VentaPak, a simple but useful add-on that boosts ventilation of any backpack, so you get to work without a sweaty back. And lastly, the lockable egg-like Alpen Bike Capsule will keep your city bike safe either at home or outside your office…
Kask Urban R & Moebius city commuter bike helmets
Kask calls their two new city bike helmets a blending of Italian style, comfort & durability – targeting bike commuter, urban cyclists & e-bike riders. The Urban R is a simple hard half-shell helmet with adjustable vent ports over the top (controlled with a rear lever) and a full coverage visor that can drop-down or flip-up to keep the wind out of your face.
The 410g (without visor) Urban R has antibacterial inner padding and dial fit retention. It includes the Light Smoke visor that blocks 99% of UVA & UVB light, with four other visor tints available separately. The $250 / 210€ Kask Urban R helmet comes in three sizes (S/M 51-57cm, M/L 54-59cm & L/XL 60-63cm) and will be available in several muted color options this summer.
Like the Urban, Kask’s new Moebius is made tough & stylish for urban cyclists. The 420g Moebius gets a minimal front vent and larger rear exhaust port in its scuff-resistant ABS shell, plus a detachable peak for classic cycling cap looks and a bit of extra sun & light rain shielding.
Again with Kask’s dial Ergo-fit adjustment inside and removable, washable padding, the $150 / 100€ Kask Moebius comes in two sizes (M 52-58cm & L 59-62cm), plus a wider range of muted and brighter colors, each with subtle reflective accents. A premium-cost 150€ EU-only Moebius Elite version will swap in premium Reda merino wool padded liner and the same synthetic leather chinstrap as Urban R.
Both new urban commuter helmets are CE/CPSC-certified, also passing Kask’s own WG11 rotational impact testing protocols, and will be available from June 2021.
VentaPak commuter backpack spacer boosts ventilation
VentaPak isn’t only bike commuter or even cycling-specific, but by moving any backpack off your back, it will improve airflow and reduce the dreaded sweaty back after riding in warm weather or anytime pedaling uphill.
VentaPak is simply a neoprene padded metal-framed, breathable polyester mesh spacer that straps onto almost any regular backpack’s shoulder straps to position the bag away from your body for improved ventilation. For $39.50 you get an accessory that promises to make any bag a better backpack for bike commuting, while only ~12oz/340g to your bag setup.
Alpen Bike Capsule offers protected, secure parking for urban commuters
The giant plastic egg Alpen Bike Capsule isn’t all-together new, but new to a larger audience thanks to partnering with Tern‘s US distribution company Stile Products. Developed as a safe & secure place to store your urban commuter bike outside, much like a conventional shed, the Alpen Bike Capsule is a US-made, roto-molded, “nearly indestructible” LLDPE plastic bike locker designed to protect one bike. We got a first look at the pod as a crowdfunding project a few years ago, but now you can easily get ahold of one whether for in your driveway, backyard, or parking garage at the office.
The commercial-grade, medium-security lockable capsule is weather-protected, can be bolted to the ground for full security, with accessory storage inside and the ability to route power for e-bike charging. They aren’t cheap at $1800 (wow!) but promise no need for maintenance, and room inside to secure just about any regular bike (or usually even two bikes with the front wheel removed).