When it comes to cycling in the rain, probably the best way of staying dry is to simply wear a full-body rain suit. Putting it on and taking it off can be a hassle, though, plus you can get pretty hot underneath it. Using a poncho is one alternative, but German inventor Thomas Schmidt has come up with another … it's a bicycle-mounted umbrella that you stick your head through.
Known as the Under Cover, it mounts on the bike's down tube, meaning that it doesn't turn back and forth with the handlebars. It extends out over the bars in front, and back over the cyclist – or most of their upper body, at least – in the rear. Their head goes up through a collar tube built into the umbrella, and into an integrated waterproof hood.
When not in use, the whole thing folds/telescopes down into an included nylon bag, which can be Velcro-strapped to the bike's frame.
So, what's the point? Well, because it isn't a garment that's worn against the body (except for the head), users shouldn't get as hot and sweaty as they would in a rain jacket and pants. That said, the arrangement does look like it could be a little awkward in certain situations, and Schmidt himself doesn't advise using it in strong winds that could catch the umbrella.
It's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of €39 (about US$46) is required to get one. When and if it reaches production, the planned retail price will be about twice as much. It can be seen in use, in the pitch video below.
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