"Bicycle Umbrella" Is a Deceitful Name for a Removable Windshield

Leafxpro bicycle Umbrella 3 photos
Photo: Leafxpro
Leafxpro Bicycle UmbrellaLeafxpro Bicycle Umbrella
One brief look at this cycling accessory proposed by a British company called Leafxpro and it immediately becomes clear: this is a bicycle sail that will carry you forward if there's a tailwind, but also make you more aerodynamic if the gusts are coming from the front.

It isn't, but we can't see why it couldn't work like that as well. Its raison d'être is indeed connected with things you might hear of in the weather bulletin, but it's not the wind. It's that thing that scares most bicycle users into leaving their two-wheeled vehicles at home and use one with four or their own two legs: rain. As much as one enjoys riding a bicycle, arriving to work or school looking like the winner of a wet t-shirt contest is nowhere near as fun.

Rain equipment has been around for cyclists for quite a while, but no matter how well you protect your clothes from the water, seeing where you're going with your eyes half closed makes it difficult to navigate. Mounting a canopy over the bike would be ideal, but that adds weight, plus it's cumbersome to carry around with you all the time.

The Leafxpro solution takes care of most of those problems, offering a foldable windshield that can be set up or taken down in just a few minutes. It is said to provide weather protection and also help boost the bike's aerodynamics, as stated earlier. It's also cheap, especially if you pledge to the Indiegogo campaign right now: you'll be able to take yours for $49 instead of its estimated retail price of double that.

Since there's very little protecting you from the raindrops coming straight down, much like driving a top-down convertible in a downpour, it forces you to go fast so that all the raindrops are met on a horizontal trajectory, and therefore bounce off the windshield. The company offers two add-ons in the form of side panels (the Storm Accessory) for better protection or an extension for the eventual rear child seat (Baby Accessory).

The crowdfunding campaign has a very low target of just $8,500, but even so, it doesn't seem to be doing too great, and we think we know why. It's because people who cycle for fun, won't do it in the rain no matter how many layers of plastic separate them from the weather outside. On the other hand, those who make more than a hobby out of pedaling don't need a windshield they can't see anything out of (notice any wipers?) that also adds extra weight to keep them safe from a few drops of water. It's a nice idea, but it's kind of useless. Besides, if you want weather protection, then you're better off buying this thing.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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