Softtop offers a new take on keeping cyclists dry
Dedicated bicycle commuters may not let a little rain stop them, but that still doesn't mean they like getting rained on when they ride. The Softtop, from German manufacturer RainRider, is one of the latest gadgets that's designed to help keep them dry … or at least, drier.
Made of coated polyester fabric and transparent UV-resistant polyurethane, the Softtop is attached to the user's bicycle via a quick-release mount on the handlebars, along with two hooks on either leg of the fork. It holds its tensioned bowed shape via a set of flexible aluminum and carbon fiber rods, not unlike a tent. Mesh vents in front help keep it from fogging up.
When the cyclist is riding, the Softtop shields them from rain coming from above, in front, and somewhat from the sides. If they're making a brief stop, the top half of the device can simply be folded down and back, getting hooked into place against the bike's rear rack. That way it won't get blown around (at least, not as much), plus it will help keep the parked bike dry.
Should the rider be making a longer stop, the whole thing can be completely removed, folded up, then stuffed into an included yoga-mat-style shoulder bag.
According to RainRider, the Softtop weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) and is 215 cm tall by 40 cm wide (84.6 by 15.7 in). It's available now for €129.95 (about US$153) via the company website. You can see it in use, in the video below.