The Japanese are great at inventing, and even better at inventing humorous slightly useless, non-commercial items. Since researching cycling accessories i thought there might be some cycling accessories along a similar vain. Humorous cycling accessories that are more about humour and lifestyle than pure functionality. This is also our philosophy with Goodordering.
The rules for Chindogu 😄 by Kenji Kawakami
1. CHINDOGU MUST BE (ALMOST) COMPLETELY USELESS
This is the utmost tenet. If your invention is a real help and you use it all the time, it's not chindogu. Try selling it to the public because it could be worth millions. Too bad it has no soul.
2. CHINDOGU MUST EXIST
Chindogu have to be made. If you design the invention on paper and don't make it, it doesn't qualify. It's a piece of paper with a bad invention on it. Bring the invention into the physical world so humankind can experience how truly almost useless it is.
3. CHINDOGU REPRESENT FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND ACTION
Chindogu are free to be what they need to be. Normal devices are designed for efficiency, ease of use, and utility.
4. CHINDOGU'S USELESSNESS MUST BE UNDERSTOOD BY ALL
If you create a device that is only recognized as useless by people with certain knowledge sets (doctors, mechanics, biologists, etc.) then it is not chindogu.
For example, if you make a useless invention intended to help with space shuttle operations, it would take a rocket scientist to distinguish it from useful space tools. Normal people must be able to recognize the uselessness immediately.
5. CHINDOGU ARE NOT FOR SALE
If you accept money for your invention, it ceases to be chindogu. You have violated its spirit.
6. HUMOR MUST NOT BE THE SOLE REASON FOR MAKING CHINDOGU
Any humor derived from chindogu is a side effect. The invention must earnestly try and solve a problem. The roundabout and unconventional way it solves the problem is the source of the humor.
7. CHINDOGU ARE NOT PROPAGANDA
They are made to be used, even though they are (almost) useless. They are not, in and of themselves, a statement for any cause or philosophy.
8. CHINDOGU ARE NEVER TABOO
Chindogu inventions cannot be made to enact or represent cheap sexual innuendo, vulgar humor, or sick jokes that disrespect living things.
9. CHINDOGU CANNOT BE PATENTED
The invention must remain in the public domain. It must be free to use, re-create, and distribute. It cannot be copyrighted or owned.
10. CHINDOGU ARE WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Chindogu view all human beings as equal. Therefore, they can't favor a race, religion, age group, gender, or class.
Read more about Chindogu HERE
Bicycle banana holder
This kooky product by Biken really brings a smile to the face. Its strangely useful and particularly luxurious in its construction. Why not elevate the humble banana? The US brand make other nice leather bicycle accessories but this item is definitely their hero product!
Wrist rear view mirror
There are a few different brands making these rear view mirrors for bicycles. This one here is only £14. I don't think these are useless by any means, a mirror may help you to locate your position within traffic and when changing lanes or turning corners, a quick glance in a cycling mirror and you can make sure the coast is clear and then make your move. The inexpensive mirror can keep you out of harm's way. The wrist mounted ones make it really easy to adjust.
Bicycle wine holder
This one is a luxury wine sling made from vegetable tanned leather. It can be attached to the bicycle, its by Canadian brand Oopsmark. It is a likely situation that you may be going somewhere by bicycle that requires wine. It would be nice to also have a matching wine glass holder so you can drink whilst rambling along a canal in france. This is probably not a very safe suggestion but the idea of it makes me happy. Nevertheless, this piece of kit takes cycling from a purely functional endeavour to a quirky, romantic place that i like very much.
Bicycle bagette holder
An essential item for any french or (french Canadian) person or bagette eating cyclist. Obviously this sling can carry all manner of long skinny items such as potentially an umbrella, a rolled up newspaper, a poster, a roll of wrapping paper or even a small blanket. Use your imagination.
Rear lights are important, the more lights on your bike the better and for those alpha males or anyone who wants to show off their bicycle prowess, they can buy some bike balls by Hornit. For £12.99 its definitely a little bit of fun, and seeing them swing along as you ride also provides entertainment for those behind you. And if it was really dark, it would look like ghost balls floating in the air, definitely worth £12.99
Bicycle miniature planter
This quirky piece available on etsy caught my eye as a cute bicycle accessory for the urban cyclist. Why not carry some plants around with you whilst riding around in the sunshine. I'm not sure why there are not more little accessories around like this one. The construction consists of a little pot and an elastic band which wraps around the tube. It attaches to the bicycle in a similar way that the silicone bicycle lights attach to the handlebars.
Bicycle Coffee cup holder
There are a range of a cup holders that can attach onto your bicycle frame or handlebars. When we think about urban cyclists we think about coffee, coffee and cycling seem to go hand in hand. There is a very slick metal design by Swedish cycling accessories company Bookman.
Bicycle Hand warmers
Often seen on motorbikes, these hand covers are a great alternative to wearing gloves. This makes sense especially now when people are using their phones one and off during a journey. You can find them on the internet widely such as here.
This nifty little contraption seems pretty basic but the job it does it important, it can stop the skirt from flying up for modesty reasons as well as stop your skirt from getting stuck in any of the moving parts of your bicycle. This one is by polish company Happy Bicycle, but there are others on the market that are similar that you can find on etsy. I really like the simple construction of this one and the retro clip that attaches to the skirt. This particular product was selling for £7.50 but is no longer available, Happy bicycle seemed to have replaced it with a magnetic version which i think is way less cute and also less functional but i haven't tried them so i can't really say for sure.
Life is too short to always be too serious. Inspired by the Kenji Kawakama's un-useless japanese inventions, i have put together a list of quirky cycling accessories that i have found on the market. Here is the list,
- Bicycle banana holder
- Wrist rear view mirror
- Leather bicycle wine harness
- Bicycle bagette holder
- Bike balls (lights)
- Bicycle miniature planter
- Bicycle mounted coffee cup holder
- Bicycle hand warmers
- Cycling skirt garter
Cycling needs to be fun not just functional, so accessories that make cycling safe but also are a pleasure to use and bring a smile to your face are needed now more than ever. If you have a favourite bike accessory please mention it in the comments below we would love to hear from you.