What would happen if you took a Garmin bike computer, combined it with a GoPro, and added a splash of Strava? You may get something like the Bycle, a new iPhone accessory that is designed for cyclist and commuters.
At first glance, you may think the Bycle is simply an iPhone case that can be attached to the handlebars of your bike. While that's true, it's only half the story. The device, which is designed to fit the iPhone 6/S and iPhone 6/S Plus, features a unique prism design that allows you to use your phone's camera to capture forward-facing videos and photos of your ride.
The hardware, however, would be nothing without the software. The Bycle app utilizes the GPS and barometer of the iPhone to track distance, speed, route, ascent, descent and travel time. This is similar to what other services like Strava and MapMyRide already do.
What makes the app unique is its ability to combine the photos and videos you capture to create a shareable time-lapse video of your ride. You can even go back and revisit segments of your ride through the video capture feature.
The Bycle will be available in two models, the S-Mount and E-Mount. The two models are nearly identical, although the E-Mount features a built-in 3,000mAh battery pack to recharge your phone, which is a nice feature considering the battery drain that is to be expected from continuous usage of the video camera and GPS.
I had a chance to meet with the company founders and check out an early prototype of the Bycle. The device is intriguing. Whether I am commuting to the office or out on a scenic ride, I love the idea of being able to capture my ride and share it with friends.
The case is water- and shock-resistant to protect your phone in poor weather conditions. It also doesn't cover the screen or the home button. You can still use the fingerprint scanner and interact with the display.
The S-Mount and E-Mount will begin shipping in September for $70 and $100, respectively. The company is currently accepting preorders through a Kickstarter campaign and for a limited time has the S-Mount for $45 and the E-Mount for $70.
As always, contributing to a crowdfunded project comes with risk. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies, such as those for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.