Kickstarters We Dig

Cold hands aren’t just a nuisance or an absence of comfort. Cold hands can be a serious threat to our future good looks. One does not need to experience the alarm that comes with an inability to pull brake levers to imagine how scary it is, but I can confirm that it is scary indeed.

Which brings me to this:

Polar Plug Heated Grips
Again, this is one of those ideas that requires no sales pitch, like kissing or toilet paper.

The insert that does the heating is removable and charged with a USB cable, and while ease of recharge is significant, honestly, the fact that what you’re buying is an insert and not something integrated into the grip is the bigger deal. This means that as you wear out grips and replace them, the heating element doesn’t get tossed as well. Charging takes only two hours.

How it is that this idea hasn’t been already brought to market by Lizard Skins or someone else, defies comprehension.

A set of Polar Plugs goes for $115 and the

The project is fully funded and has 31 days left to go.

TorchONE Lighted Helmet
I’ve seen helmets with a variety of doodads and connectors that will allow a rider to attach a blinky to increase their visibility. And while all manner of mounts exist to put a camera on the front of a helmet, putting a light meant to aid visibility (rather than vision) has been near nonexistent. I’ve wondered why.

TorchONE takes a different approach. It’s a helmet with integrated electronics that power rather sizable lights on the helmet that are removable for daytime and hot weather riding.

This isn’t the first effort by TorchONE; the produced their original T1 helmet with the aid of a 2012 Kickstarter, so they have a successful track record.

My one concern about the project is that TorchONE is produced in a single size intended to accommodate heads from 52 to 61cm in circumference. Using thick sizing pads to make a large helmet fit a person with a small head often results in a questionable-fitting helmet.

Based on the photos and video produced for the campaign, I have never seen a helmet that will do more for a rider’s visibility.

The project is roughly half funded with 17 days to go.

Magma Custom Downhill Bike
There is something quintessentially French about naming a mountain bike Magma and then producing it in custom sizing. That’s not a knock; rather it’s an acknowledgment (and maybe celebration) of French style and cycling obsessiveness.

Vulcain Cycles, the brain child of Julien Verbicaro, will be producing the steel downhill bikes in the Auvergne. Buyers will be able to choose sizing, geometry, component selection and color scheme for the paint and decals. That second item gives me some pause. Allowing people to choose their own geometry has been, historically, an occasion where a builder has often needed to save the client from themselves.

The frameset is going for $3272 and includes some extras like Vulcain clothing. Travel for the frame is 200mm. And while the frame itself is steel, the rocker and some other parts are machined from aluminum. Wheel size is 27.5 inches, which isn’t surprising, given the 200mm of travel.

The project has a bit more than $1000 funded, with 27 days left to go.

Join the conversation
  1. khal spencer says

    I’ve got heated grips on the motorcycle. Greatest thing since sliced bread.

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