Smart cycling glasses may sound outlandish to you but this wearable could be the very instrument to catapult your performance to the next level and put your name on the map. In a world plagued by the deadly coronavirus and stymied by all the restrictions in place to thwart its advance, cycling is a breath of fresh air. The two-wheel sports enjoyed by millions of Americans can give you the stamina and endurance needed to stay fit.
Nevertheless, you need not be competing with the world’s best in a Tour de France to know you need to focus on the ‘here and now’ to win a race. And free yourself from the torments of unsafe distractions. Indeed, a wrong turn can cost you the prized trophy. On the same token, millions of Americans fighting heart disease and a host of other degenerative diseases year in year out can’t afford to be blindsided when it comes to staying fit. In this department, cycling can be the answer. And Solos smart cycling glasses are spot on. Getting you the results you need while letting the best version of you out.
Cycling USA and the Prospects of Winning by a Mile
Without an inkling of a doubt, cycling is one of the most enjoyable sports. With all the outdoors you can take and all the greens waiting for you to explore, a bike run is as exhilarating as can be - breaking you free from all the drudgery and boredom of the daily grind (even more pronounced in a pandemic).
But make no mistake about it, cycling is a brutal sport.
Case in point: Tour de France.
Organized since 1903, the 21-day race on French soil, one that has made American Lance Armstrong a legend (he won it 7 times in a row), consists of 2,091 miles (3,365.8 km) of some of the world’s toughest, most rugged terrain. Ending in the much-ballyhooed Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Small wonder why Le Tour is dubbed the “most prestigious and the most difficult” cycling race on the planet.
But as nerve-wracking as all that miles of racing is, the results can make your head spin even more.
- In 2019, Egan Bernal of Colombia won the race clocking 82 hours 57 minutes 0 seconds.
- Geraint Thomas of Great Britain, the next rider to reach the finish line missed the trophy by just over a minute - clocking a total of 82 hours 58 minutes and 11 seconds.
Obviously, performance matters in a race. However, performance may matter more in life. Most especially true for Americans.
- CDC (Center for Disease Control) stipulates that on average 647,000 Americans die of heart disease each year. That’s one person dead every 37 seconds. Or 1 in every 4 deaths. Making the disease the #1 killer on U.S. soil.
At the front, left and center of heart disease is obesity, long linked by research as a major factor in heart disease not to mention a host of other life-threatening degenerative diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes). OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation) pointed out in 2017 that America, the birthplace of the Cronut and hamburger, is the most obese nation in the world with its obesity rate of 38.2 %. Second only to Mexico.
To top all these health benefits, cycling is low-impact and far less weight-bearing than running, making it a suitable sport for all ages. From young children to senior adults. It’s no accident 12.4 % of Americans bike regularly in 2016. Overall, the number of bike riders in the U.S. looks growing, pegged at 47.5 million in 2017.
What’s disconcerting is the majority of America’s bikers are far from becoming regular riders hitting the saddle once or twice a month only. As for those who choose to cycle on a more regular basis, many are missing out on key parameters on the road to improve their performance and bring their health the turnaround it needs. One prime example: heart rate.
The Urgency of Real-time Data in Cycling
Today, it’s possible to make the most of a car without having to drive it - thanks to Waymo and its relentless pursuit for a commercially available driverless car (also known as AV or autonomous vehicle); but to think of making the most of cycling without having to go through the motion of pedaling the crank arm to arrive is absurd. Certainly, that would defeat the purpose of the ride.
Every day, about 1 billion people ride bicycles. For its part, America has about 45 million cyclists/bike riders. Finding the two-wheel ride the most efficient way to reach point A to point B. And all the way back.
Indeed, as elementary as the bicycle compared to the luxury of a car, the appeals of cycling cannot be underestimated. Not only is cycling fun and is able to cut through traffic much more efficiently, it:
- Strengthens your muscle
- Reduces blood fat levels
- Lowers resting pulse
- Facilitate better lung function
And that’s just for starters. Research shows people who regularly cycle reduce their risk of such degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (specifically the much dreaded type-2 diabetes).
Thus, if you’re serious about getting results and making the most out of cycling, real-time data should be a huge lift.
To a large degree, that is where the rubber meets the road. Without real-time input, a cyclist is like driving a car that doesn't have all the gauges factored in the dashboard. When you want your ride to count, it sure looks more like a hit and miss scenario.
For a competitive cyclist, not having ample data when on the saddle can mean wrong turns. Failed approaches and misplaced energies. For bike enthusiasts and commuters, a lack of real-time information can mean wasted effort. Or worse, untimely accidents.
- NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports over 45,000 bicycle-related accidents in the U.S. in 2015. With 818 fatalities.
While many of these accidents are attributed to reckless car drivers bumping into cyclists, studies show some can be traced to poor decision making on the part of the biker (e.g., driver inattention). A natural result of tired muscles, lack of discipline, and poor training. If at all.
That one cyclist has not reached his planned destination is disturbing. But all these road mishaps bring to the fore the importance of proper training. For one, to make the most of cycling, you got to monitor the dynamo behind the handlebars: yourself. And as the core of that is the heart.
Monitoring your heart when riding a bike allows you to improve your performance and manage your energy better. Helping you arrive at your destination with much lesser effort.
That’s what heart rate monitors are for. The spot-on contraption is a great guide to show you your body’s level of exercise intensity. Those E3 and VO2 max zones reveal how much you should exert to arrive at needed results, to sculpt a better form, or come out with a sturdier performance.
One things’ certain, proper training is essential when you compete. Or for that matter, when you want to seriously lose those extra flab and bloated love handles.
Over time, key real-time cycling metrics have helped countless riders get closer to their performance goals day by day.
Luckily, all these are part and parcel of Solos smart cycling glasses functionalities.
How Solos Smart Cycling Glasses let Your Best Version Out
When it comes to cycling performance, Solos smart cycling glasses can be the most formidable ally you can have on the road. And all that comes from cyclists who have had the experience to boot. The smart glasses and its ability to give you needed real-time data right when you need it most is largely unparalleled.
And all that has something to do with the right placement. The right information at the right place. In your field of view.
As you are wont to find, cycle computers ( a.k.a. cycling computers ) have bannered with some success the convenience of real-time data when on a bike. However, you might want to think twice when getting your bike handlebars the mini-computer. Not only does cycle computers fail to protect your eyes from all the bugs, debris and the onslaught of nature, but you would also have to take your eyes off the road just to get the metrics you need. Imagine doing that while you’re navigating through a hairpin road registering 25mph.
To get you the peace of mind you long for, here are 5 reasons why getting a Solos smart cycling glasses may turn out to be the soundest decision you can make in your biking life:
- GUIDE YOU.
Remember the time when you’re but an upstart rider and you don’t know where to go. Until someone comes along, an old friend or an exercise buddy shows you the way. And get your bike to places of interest. All that Solos smart glass can get you: lead the way.
Arguably, navigation is the best service you can max on when donning Solos. The 65-gram wonder glasses will guide you to your destination, prompting you when to make a turn. Much like Waze would (without too many graphics). Even better, you will get the street names as you go along. Right from the onset, this is one awesome feature you won’t want to leave in your living room.
The best part’s you won’t even have to take your eyes off the road to get the directions you need with Solos. To have the feature activated, just choose 3 options to navigate from the Solos app (downloadable in both iOS and Android smartphones). These options are:
- Via a saved route
- Via a previously saved ride
- Or by specifying the destination address
- MONITOR YOU.
More often than not, a cyclist will stop pushing himself feeling the fatigue setting in. But workout metrics can lay it on the table. When you see how you’ve been doing in terms of heart rate, pace, and power you’ll know how much progress you’ve made. Or if you slack, how rusty you’ve become.
However, monitoring all these metrics can also get in the way. Having to look down front at your cycling computer nested in those bars can certainly be an issue as it takes your eyes off the road. Solos eyewear does a fine job of letting you know how you’re doing.
When donning a mighty pair of Solos, you can adjust the HUD (heads-up display) so the 5-inch display gets projected just right pasted on your right-hand lens. What’s important is you get data that’s not only readable and crisp but also doesn’t interfere with your view of the road ahead.
Of course, you’ll have to make sure you got the right sensors factored in (e.g., power, heart rate, cadence). The good news is you can pair all needed sensors via the Solos app using Bluetooth or Garmin’s ANT+. Just choose the metrics which best suits you, a long list of choices that can even include your body calories spent.
- GIVE YOU VOICE CONTROL.
Certainly, when you’re out on the road or out training, there are times when you would need certain workout metrics displayed to you. Solos allows you to display three data-bearing screens rotating every few seconds. But wouldn’t it be nice if you can pull out data when you need it just by mentioning it while riding?
The good news is Solos smart cycling glasses do exactly that for you. The first consumer product of Kopin (a company that has gained worldwide recognition as a leading provider of microdisplays and headset solutions for the military and big enterprise for 30 years now) Solos is more than ready to take your voice command. The powerful eyeglasses are equipped with Whisper Voice - a trademark Kopin tech - which can filter out background noise allowing your voice to be heard.
To activate voice command, head to the Quick Settings menu from within the Solos app. Make sure your glasses are powered and have already been paired to the app when you toggle the feature. Once you’ve got it running, you can max on the voice command by saying the following words:
- ‘Start ride’ (signals Solos you’re ready to take the helm)
- ‘Show [metric]’ (allows you to specify the metric you need to see)
In general, you can also use three buttons on the glasses arm to control your display. Then again, who would want to do that with the dual built-in microphones in the device all set to take your voice command?
- TRAIN YOU.
To be the best, you need to train with the best. As you may certainly know by now, you are the club/company you keep in cycling. Fortunately, you can’t get any better than the US Cycling team.
Solos smart cycling glasses have been tested and used by the US cycling team and come with the elite athletes’ approval. That certainly puts your cycling standards to as high as you want them to be. What’s more exciting is you can up your training a notch higher when you need to with Solos.
When you need training that really counts, Solos can get you one. It can tell you how much power/cadence/heart rate you should be to get the results you need when you workout. This all depends on your goals, of course. The only catch is such a service has to be athlete-specific and therefore must be tailored to your needs, for you to enjoy the right push per workout courtesy of the wearable you need to sync your glasses with TrainingPeaks, a paid-for service for serious result-oriented training.
- KEEP YOU SAFE & SOUND.
It’s easy to draw comparisons between Solos and Google Glass. Yet, wearing the Kopin tech is a lot like wearing any hip, aesthetically-pleasing sunglasses of today. You barely see the difference. Unless you check the glasses arm which is loaded with all the tech you need.
But right from the get-go, the Solos experience is one unforgettable smooth ride you deserve. The data on the screen is right where you need it, sitting unobtrusively in that upper-right corner of your eye. That way you can get your focus right where you need it on the road ahead.
Also, having the cycling glass means you’re ready for sunny weather. Not only do you get UV protection, but Solos dimmed glasses help stop you from squinting. And taking your eyes off the road needlessly. Plus, that glass cover protects you from nature’s wrath as you travel, reducing unwanted irritation. For one, excessive airflow and drastic changes in temperature.
But there are a lot more comforts that Solos eye wearable can spell out for you. As it’s built-in with speakers, you can listen to your favorite music as you run along and enjoy the ride. And that also means you can hear voice notifications telling you your workout progress. For that matter, you can even take a voice call while you’re at it.
It gets even more interesting socially. You need not worry you will lose communication with your riding buddies once you’re on the saddle. Solos allows you to connect and have one group chat with the crew. Just like having a voice group meeting via Zoom. That way, you can get live updates on what’s happening on the road. Or get cheered on when you’re slowing down.
Lest we forget, Solos is also useful without a bike. For instance, you can use a foot pod for running sensors to make your running all worth it. That tells you this wearable is perfectly poised to be the go-to piece for just about every athlete on the planet. From cyclists to duathletes to triathletes.
And that’s just at the onset. With all the functionality it has in store, the promise of this wearable from Kopin is a steal. From this vantage point, it sure looks like letting the best version of you out isn’t an uphill climb after all, with Solos smart cycling glasses resting comfortably in your face.
For more information about Solos Wearable Smart Glasses, click here.