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Cervellum Hindsight 35 – first impressions

Commuter, Review, Road Bike 39 4018

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  1. Ἀντισθένης June 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    As cool as this is, maybe they should come out with a camera that links to smartphones: phone, GPS and camera in one.

  2. Astro June 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    That point about in a race being able to see a face as you put on some speed could become the next must have for crits. Still a very cool idea as we all know cars are not always friendly.

    • art June 27, 2012 at 9:44 am -  Reply

      And then, when you cause a massive pileup by looking behind you instead of where you’re going, you’ll have some great video of it.

  3. Bryan Willman June 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    When the battery died at 4.5 hours, did that take down the whole unit, or just the recorder? Put another way, if you don’t care about recording, but really want the “rear view mirror that works” function, how long will that last?

    How long does it take to turn on and off? (Meaning, would it be practical to turn it off on trails and then back on for roads with cars?)

    How good is the picture at night? (May be awkward to get that data for a few months..)

    • James Thomas June 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm -  Reply

      The whole unit went off when the battery ran out. If I had not been recording the entire time, I am sure it would have lasted longer. I’ll experiment with that when I am back home.

      The start-up time is pretty quick, so I don’t think it would be an issue turning it on and off if you wished.

      I’ll check on the visibility of the screen at night.

  4. Murali June 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    It still feels like a large complicated Rube Goldberg contraption to me in comparison to the simplest solution to rear-view, which is a mirror. Sure, it adds video recording to the package, but you could add that with just a camera which would have an enormously better battery life since it would not have a display.

    Sometime 3 separate, simple tools work better than a big Swiss Army knife.

    • Peter June 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

      I could not agree more. Even as complicated as cars and motorcycles have become, they still rely on mirrors to see behind. Some RVs, SUVs and luxury cars have rear view cameras, but for the most part they are for backing up, and because of the blind spots that they have. Cyclists don’t back up and have no blind spot. Cool invention, but I’d sooner mount a kickstand on my bike than one of these.

    • Ordinary Bob June 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm -  Reply

      Mirrors are indispensable, and don’t require batteries or calibration.

  5. CJ Reinish June 26, 2012 at 6:16 am -  Reply

    When will the Hindsight 35 be available to purchase?

  6. Mike June 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm -  Reply

    No offense, but there is no way people should be allowed to race with one of these, and if anyone tried to and the officials allowed it you might get through the second mile before someone next to you reached under your seat and unplugged it.

    • art June 27, 2012 at 9:42 am -  Reply

      This is going to be almost as bad as riding next to the bozo with his eyes glued to his power meter.

  7. Bubba Nicholson June 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    “Smart” rearview cameras will become standard equipment on all new bicycles by 2050. By smart I mean able to identify and warn of traffic risks from behind and from all other directions, to signal away vehicles on collision course automatically and to apply brakes preventing accidents. Meanwhile we have cerevello 1 to gather most of our data into one place for us.

    Mirror view will be best, agreed.
    Will the unit accept supplemental battery charging, save from a generator or another battery?
    Will the unit have “auto on” feature in addition to the light-compensated screen?

    • James Thomas June 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

      I would assume it could accept supplemental battery charging as long as you have a USB connection from the source. I’ll check on that though…and the auto on/off feature as well.

  8. J.L.Garrett June 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm -  Reply


    • James Thomas June 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

      It is $299.50. More info here.

  9. mzungu54 July 2, 2012 at 1:04 am -  Reply

    I’ll never buy one. battery life is an issue. It can use a easy access(on break/shift lever) button to turn it on when needed. and this company will be out of biz as soon as smome one comes up with an Android/iPhone camera plug in for their smart phone that includes GPS.

    • JaFO July 2, 2012 at 8:18 am -  Reply

      You mean like the android/iOS app for the Contour camera ?
      I really wonder if a wireless connection can deliver the video as reliable as a wired connection.

      Plus there would be additional battery life to worry about (both camera and phone),
      And you wouldn’t have the combination of heart rate and cadence, unless you add extra gadgets to your ride.

      Besides, the first generation of a product is always more than a little iffy.

  10. Lee July 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Even with mirrors you’ll experience some blind spot. It may be your head, your body or leg, or maybe you’ll get a distorted fish eye view or distortion by vibrations. With the Hindsight you’ll have full visual access to what’s going on behind you. I look at it this way: not only will I have the functions of a bike computer, but I’ll have the additional function of a rear view camera, which some car makers are just coming out with, AND in the event of a rear end collision I’ll have a video that will aid my legal representation should the event carry into court.

  11. dan fitch July 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Is the recorded video downloadable to my laptop?

    • James Thomas July 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

      Yes, the last recorded loop of video, or the saved section if it is stopped manually, can be downloaded as an .avi file.

  12. Matt July 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm -  Reply

    I have been riding with my hindsight 35 for about a week. I definitely would need to ride with it for a lot longer to form a better opinion, but my general assessment is that you can only clearly see what is behind you about half the time. The biggest issue is glare on the screen, particularly when you move in and out of shade and sun. That combined with a relatively small screen that is moving, bumping that is all part of normal riding. When conditions are good (overcast) it is actually quite useful (eg. It would be great for Brits!) I particularly like it when a row of cars is overtaking on a narrow road. I can always hear the first car, but i’m never sure how many more cars are going to pass. This eliminates the problem. What would make this product much more useful/cool would be a way to detect a closing vehicle from the rear and a computer enhanced represenatational grahics of the road and cars (like gps units). With a monitor this size and with the glare/brightness issues, there just aren’t enough pixels and contrast to make out what is what till it is pretty close

  13. JoeKing July 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm -  Reply

    I admire the effort of seeing a project thru from conception to market..but I don’t see the purpose, or more accurately, the value a camera (or mirror) has to protect a cyclist from being runover.

    Seriously, how can you possibly look at EVERY car behind you & judge its trajectory? If you did, you’d spend as much or more time looking behind than in front; which is even more dangerous.

    Sadly, the car that is going to kill you will probably be driven by an idiot texting swerving 50 feet before they hit you..& even if you saw it coming, what could you do about it..accelerate to 50mph?

  14. Matt July 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    Having used it, I can definitely say it has value. I wouldn’t say it’s a must have device, however. It’s great for left hand turns where you need to cross over traffic,and a look over shoulder takes your attention away from what really matters- what is in front of you.. I don’t think the value is so much as saving my life, but it allows me to be a more considerate bike rider, letting me be more aware of overtaking vehicles and pulling right. I can afford it, so for me, it’s just a fun experiment.

    • JaFO July 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm -  Reply

      it might make you more aware, but it also one of the indicators that other people have that you are going to do something other than ride in a straight line.
      It might make signalling your intent even more important than it already is.

      • Matt July 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm -  Reply

        I don’t think it’s a matter of if I’m riding in a straight line. A lot of my miles are on very lightly traveled mountain roads. At high speed (40mph+) it’s nice to ride out of the crap in the berm. Having a little advance notice of what is coming up behind me gives me a (little) better chance to plan my line through the corners.

    • Matt July 30, 2012 at 11:14 am -  Reply

      Yeah, that’s a great review.

    • James Thomas July 30, 2012 at 11:20 am -  Reply

      Interesting, but that is a different product. I haven’t heard of this Owl unit. I wonder if it records like the Cerevellum or just provides a real time view.

      • Jeffery Stewart August 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm -  Reply

        James, thanks for your great review of Hindsite 35
        I am a Senior who just loves riding my `Electric Assist, bike and I am looking for a product like this that can give an indication as to who is behind me. More problems can occur with people like Seniors who just can not turn around and keep the bike steady at the same time. I ride mainly on Cycleways and just like to see who is behind.
        I am looking for something that could utilise the Smartphone and maybe incorporate the App BikeBrain (brilliant), with a rear view camera. More e-bikes are being sold each day. I think the fact their is a battery for the e-bike could also solve the the problem of battery rundown?
        Your review is great and so are the comments. This products really has a great potential with social riders e.g. Seniors and I hope they improve it more and maybe bring down the price a little, There is a big audience out there .
        Finally is it available in Australia?

    • JaFO July 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

      *ouch* … then again it’s true that this is basically a useless product if you only use it as a rear-view mirror.
      As an outdoor camera for bikes it probably works a bit better and it has the advantage of at least having immediate feedback of the recording …

      • Matt July 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm -  Reply

        I was being a bit facetious. That link isn’t a review and it isn’t even about this product, but I understand the skepticism about the concept of the product. My bottom line on most products is “Would I replace it if it got stolen or broken?” is yet to be answered in my mind.
        It’s still fun and it works fine as a cyclocomputer. If it doesn’t work as a rear view, I’ll point it my water bottles to keep track of my water.

  15. David Bernstein July 30, 2012 at 11:09 am -  Reply

    I’ve been riding with a Hindsight 35 for about two weeks now and my experience just doesn’t match yours. Like you, I love being able to see the proximity of riders behind me in a paceline, but seeing their facial expressions? I don’t think so. Even in optimal lighting conditions (overcast), there’s no way you can see the facial expressions of the riders behind you. The camera and screen resolutions just aren’t that good.

    • James Thomas July 30, 2012 at 11:36 am -  Reply

      David, I actually thought the display resolution was pretty good. It is certainly not comparable to an iPhone’s retina display (or the display of most other smartphones), but I could see the face of a person drafting directly behind. I should clarify that a close-up “face view” required pointing the camera up a bit though. Pointing the camera level to the ground (as shown in the photos of the screen accompanying the post) worked well for traffic, but I could only see the chest and torso of a rider drafting a few inches from my wheel. For one of the group rides I did, I tipped the camera up and could make out faces, but that wouldn’t have been an ideal set-up for viewing traffic. Give it a shot with someone right behind you. I know that is not really the intended use of the rearview, but I am curious to hear if you can make out facial expressions of a rider directly on your wheel if you adjust the camera angle a bit.

      PS: Looking forward to your review on the Fredcast and/or the Spokesmen.

  16. Jeffery Stewart August 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    with reference to my comments regarding Seniors and e-bikes.
    The App `BikeBrain’ are also tied to a company that sells a unit that attaches to the handlebar of the bike which makes the iPhone waterproof and accessible. Also has a recharge unit if needed.

  17. Dick Fredin December 7, 2012 at 4:31 am -  Reply

    Too bad it can not be bought in Sweden “Europe, I have sent letters to five times Cervellum no response, I will not pay 100 euros in shipping the

  18. Ervin April 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi. Can you tell me some actual details about this, especially how much degree is the view angle of the camera? Because we would like to use it at shell eco marathon competition, so its a very important detail for our, how exactly we can see the other cars behind our car on the road. Thank you for your answer!

  19. Tomeu September 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

    Hello, where you can buy in Spain I could not find it.
    Thank you

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