Between cycling computers, cameras, speakers and GPS units, there's no shortage of cycling tech jostling for prime position on your handlebars. The smartphone you already carry everywhere can do all of that, but it comes with its own set of problems, mostly to do with multitasking. Bycle is a new mount that angles the smartphone camera to the path in front, but keeps the screen in a flat, accessible position and includes an app to record videos of a ride with a stat overlay.
Regular riders will know the tradeoff well: in other smartphone mounts, if you want to use the phone's screen for maps or as a cycling computer, the camera is useless, unless you want a video of the ground rushing by. But point the camera up and the screen is suddenly unviewable. Bycle's solution is a prism lens buried within the mount, which allows the phone to lay flat, granting easy access to the screen, while the camera's view is directed to the front of the bike, where it belongs.
While the camera records a ride, the screen is freed up to display data like live map tracking, distance covered, current speed, and fitness stats like calories burned. After the ride, the Bycle app combines the collected data and creates a sharable video overlaid with all that info, providing proof that you really did take that turn at 30 mph. Rather than the boring, left-to-right video timeline, it's possible to navigate through clips by tapping and dragging along the route displayed on screen, allowing you to jump to a specific turn or point in the journey.
The Bycle hardware comes in two flavours: the standard S-Mount, and the E-Mount, which is fitted with a second bracket to holds the device to the handlebars and an integrated, rechargeable 3,000-mAh battery pack for those longer, more remote rides.
Both models are shock- and water-resistant, but unfortunately, are initially only compatible with the iPhone 6 series. Anyone with an Android device will have to wait a few extra months, and you might miss out entirely if you have a Windows phone or an older iPhone.
Bycle is currently seeking funding for production of the mounts on Kickstarter, where an Early-Bird pledge of US$45 will net you an S-Mount, while the E-Mount will run you $70. Shipping is estimated for November, if all goes to plan.
You can see the device in action in the pitch video below.