San Francisco has become the unofficial Bicycling Capital of The United States. Not only are there more people on bikes in the city than in nearly any other metropolitan area in the country, the cycling culture in San Francisco is strong and vibrant. It sprouts new ventures and interesting startups every year. In fact, there are so many cycling startups in San Francisco that it might be difficult to keep track of them.
And while some Bay Area startups for cyclists come and go (like Iladora’s cycling clothes for professional women) some are here to stay. Below you’ll find four of the most interesting (and potentially most enduring). Is your favorite on the list?
Founded in 2012, Spurcycle makes a handful of exceptionally well-crafted cycling accessories but their bell is what everyone is talking about. When you’re on the back of a bicycle on city streets, safety is a priority concern and being heard is almost as important as being seen. A bicycle bell can let people know you’re coming before they ever catch sight of you. As a bike accident lawyer in San Francisco, I see a ton of car vs. bicycle “dooring” cases. So, this bell would have really come in handy for my clients in those cases.
Spurcycle’s bell is unique. Yes it’s made of stainless steel and brass (and designed to be sleek and unobtrusive) but it’s also designed to ring 3X longer than traditional cycle bells. The bell is available in silver or black, 100% built in the USA, and adapts to attach to any handlebar.
Spurcycle sells their revolutionary bicycle bell at City and County Bicycle Co., Huckleberry Bicycles, Freewheel, Fresh Air Bicycles, Faraday Bicycles, San Francyclo and more in San Francisco but the company also offers free shipping on all domestic online orders.
Offering electric bicycles built to meet higher expectations Faraday Bicycles doesn’t sell the Frankenstein’s Monsters you’ve come to expect an electric bicycle to be. In fact, most of the company’s models have classic, elegant lines that hark back to roadsters your grandparents might have ridden through the suburbs.
Their flagship machine is the Porteur. It uses a 250 watt motor to achieve a sustained cruising speed of 20MPH. The 8-speed internal gearing makes transitioning between terrains (a.k.a. San Francisco’s notorious hills) easy. Top it off with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive and Bamboo fenders and you have a classic look with the get-up-and-go you need. What’s more, their lithium battery is designed with a lifespan of 10,000 miles!
The bikes come in classic white or British racing green and start at 39 pounds. You can find Faraday Bicycles in San Francisco at Huckleberry Bicycles and The New Wheel Bikes. Or you can order online. They don’t offer free shipping but the bicycles do come 100% assembled.
David Delacourt and Aaron Latzke founded Siva Cycle to provide a portable energy source for individuals on the go. Their Siva Atom is a lightweight bicycle-mounted generator that can be used to recharge mobile devices anywhere. Essentially the generator recharges a portable 1650mAh battery pack that’s compatible with all USB-charged devices. Everything is contained in one neat little waterproof unit that attaches to the rear hub of your bike and uses pedal power to create electricity. A few caveats: the Siva Cycle as it currently exists will not work with disc brakes or charge laptops.
As a San Francisco bicycle accident attorney I’ve seen far too many cyclists struck by cars simply because the driver “didn’t see” the bike. Lights go a long way toward making sure you standout and while there are a variety of lighting options available to you, Revolights offers an exceptionally cool system. Their bright white “headlight” and smart rear brake light shine with a whopping 360 degrees of visibility. This award-winning design is comprised of an array of programmable LED lights and has been called “The Best Bike Lighting System in the World.” Simply attach to the interior of your wheels and you’re ready to go!
When Innovation Meets Motivation Ordinary Becomes Exceptional
All of the best Bay Area startups for cyclists have one thing in common: their founders saw a need and approached solving it from an unconventional direction. This innovation is truly a sign that the cycling community in San Francisco embraces cutting-edge technology, forward-thinking, and adaptability. As a bicycle accident lawyer in San Francisco, I’m happy to see all of this advancement because a safer bicycle means safer cyclists. I’m also excited to see what new bicycle startups next year will bring. Are you?