by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
awesome stuff, bike lights

Awesome Stuff: Bike Lights

from the illuminate-your-ride dept

Since this was a short week and we took a bit of a break for the holidays, there won't be any "favorites of the week" post today, so enjoy this as your Saturday post.

It's getting to be that time of year when people are making their New Years' resolutions -- and getting in shape is always a popular one. Biking is a great way to do that, but for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it gets dark early, so having a good light is always key. For our latest awesome stuff post, we'll highlight a few crowdfunding projects that may be interesting for your bike riding experience.
  • First up, we've got the Xlerad, which is described as a "smart bike light." It tracks when you're moving, automatically lighting up, and then automatically adjusting the lighting as needed. It also shuts off when you're done, so you don't even have to worry about powering it on and off.
    The light is a bit pricey, either $170 or $190 depending on if you get the early bird (as I type this, there's one left). At that price it seems a little difficult for some to support. The project is only at about $12,000 of it's $18,300 target, with just a few days left. There's a decent chance this project ends up unfunded.
  • For a different bike light idea, there's the Magnic Light iC -- a contactless bicycle dynamo. The concept is pretty awesome. You attach it around the bicycle wheel (without touching the wheel), and the moving wheel spins the magnets inside the generator, creating the energy to power the lights. So you never need to charge the thing, it's self-powered. This is the second version of the light, and the first one was also funded via Kickstarter.
    The single lights (either front or rear) run $70, with a package of two front lights and one rear light running $180. It seems like a better deal than the one above, and backers seem to think so as well. While this one hasn't yet reached its target, it's already raised about $25,000 easily on its way to the $40,000 target, with over a month to go.
  • The next one is a bit different. It's Zackees turn signal gloves. They're basic bike gloves... but with blinking turn signals built into the back of the glove, so you when you hold up your hand to signal a turn, drivers on the road don't just see the hand, but the "blinker." Pretty creative idea that could definitely help keep cyclists safer.
    This project has already shot past its target of $35,000 and is sitting near $50,000 with a week and a half to go. A pair of the gloves runs between $59 and $99, depending on the options and style.
That's all for this week's awesome stuff post. Ride safe.

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  • icon
    radarmonkey (profile), 28 Dec 2013 @ 9:38am

    When did bike safety lessons change?

    As far back as kindergarten (in the '70s) police came to our school to teach us bike safety, including hand signals when riding on roads.

    1. Don't ride on sidewalk. (It has 'walk' right in the name!)
    2. Always ride on the right, with the flow of traffic.
    3. Always ride single file.
    4. Always use your left hand (ONLY!) to signal.
    ---- right turn = left arm out, 90-deg elbow bend, hand up, palm forward
    ---- left turn = left arm straight out, palm forward
    ---- stop/brake = left arm out, 90-deg elbow bend, hand down, palm backward.

    It's pretty idiotic to use the lights to signal a left turn, when the arm movement signals a right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ben, 28 Dec 2013 @ 12:55pm

      Re: When did bike safety lessons change?

      Even worse than making gloves that signal a left turn when your arm is signaling right turn according to basic signaling rules that everyone learns: quitting your job at Google to make those gloves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zach, 28 Dec 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Signaling with cycle gloves

    Just to clear up confusion, the left hand will signal a left hand turn with the arm extended fully out and the right hand will signal a right hand turn in a similar fashion.

    The improved version of the glove has the arrow pointing toward the pinky knuckle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PopeRatzo (profile), 29 Dec 2013 @ 7:58am

      Re: Signaling with cycle gloves

      It's still just a horrible idea to create a product that violates standards that have long been the norm in bicycling.

      You wanna do something, but arrows left and right BOTH on the left glove. Now, you use the standard arm signals for turning and the device senses the position of the arm and produces the correctly directioned arrow. And when you make the universal signal for STOP, which is the left arm extended 90 degrees elbow bend DOWN, palm backward, a light on the palm glows red.

      There may be a useful novelty product in here somewhere, but this ain't it. It's like creating a newe kind of calculator, but the button with the plus sign actually subtracts and the button with the division symbol actually gives you a square root.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Christopher (profile), 29 Dec 2013 @ 7:47am


    No kickstarter needed, available for years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tom, 29 Dec 2013 @ 8:16am

    Point where you want to go.

    Some states have laws allowing cyclists to signal with either hand. The idea is simply point where you want to go. Left hand points left to go left, right hand points right to go right. This is unmistakable. This is how I signal. I assume that a good portion of drivers don't know the universal signals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Kent, 29 Dec 2013 @ 12:58pm

      Re: Point where you want to go.

      The problem is that having your arm up signals a reverse turn (left arm up is a right turn, right arm up is a left turn). The gloves require you to make a left signal in order to display the right turn arrow, and vice versa.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2013 @ 6:10am

    Dynamo's have existed for years

    Dynamo's have existed for years.

    They give power when you move...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mattburrows (profile), 31 Dec 2013 @ 11:23am

    Side Lights

    Thanks for posting. Two more ideas: (1) a break light that gets bright (or otherwise does something different) when stopping; and (2) side lights - have seen one product so far for this, but there could be more. Reflective tape on the side posts is another approach.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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