Bike innovation has gone way beyond the bells on your handlebars. With progress in tech, there are more ways than ever to stay safe on two wheels, so you don’t have to fear the people who are driving with four. Admittedly, it can be scary riding in the city, but it’s one of the best ways to commute and get your workout in. To make your ride a safer one, in this week of Upgrade Your Life, we’re giving you convenient gadgets and tech to light you up and expand your senses while biking around town.
1. Bike Lane Safety Light ($40): The number of bike lanes (especially in the US) is definitely lacking, but with this multi-tasking bike light you can make one for yourself. Just clip this onto your bike and two lasers project your own bike lane onto the ground surrounding you. Using bright LEDs, this safety light will increase the distance between you and zooming cars as well as amp your visibility. It’s visible — even under headlights — for over a mile, and you can charge it via USB.
2. Backtracker Light ($200): This light uses micro radars to track what’s going on behind you so you don’t have to. You can pick up and track cars for up to 450 feet, even through rain and fog. As cars get closer, the light flickers more rapidly. Without even having to turn around, you can receive signals from the unit on the back of your bike with a radar that clips onto your front handlebars, giving you simple signals indicating the speed and distance of an upcoming car. Save your spot to pre-order now. We have a feelings this one’s gonna sell out quick.
3. Vega Edge Light: But what if your safety light isn’t on your bike at all? This nifty LED clip was built to blend seamlessly into your outfit and hold tightly onto the edge of your bag, lapel or pocket. Simply clip it on and you have a little extra boost of visibility. The light isn’t as strong as some that you would clip onto your bike, but it’s a great supplement or backup. In addition to cyclists, it also comes in handy for pedestrians. The Vega Light will be available to order soon and you can keep up with their progress via Kickstarter updates.
4. Closca Collapsible Helmet ($70): This ever-classic, newsboy-style cap is one that you can not only wear to protect your head, but you can take it with you anywhere. With its collapsible design, the rounded part at the top of the cap goes down, making the helmet flatter and easier to slip into a backpack or purse. Given that it has to have enough padding to protect your head, it won’t fit in your clutch or anything, but it is making riding safely and stylishly all the more convenient.
5. The Bike Shield App (Free): Say what? How can an app make your bike ride safer? Well, this one communicates between you and drivers. Using the accelerometer, drivers using the app get a notification 5-10 seconds before they see you on your bike. Besides communicating with drivers, cyclists can become part of a network, making it easy to scout out safer routes. Until everyone on the road is using this app (on bikes and in cars), it won’t completely change your ride, but it sure is a good place to start. And if you do download, start the movement and share it with your friends.
6. Rearviz Wrist Rearview Mirror ($30): If you’ve ever shared the road with cars, you know that as a cyclist you’re constantly worried about what’s going on behind you. Rearviz brings safety into your own hands…err, arms. With the band on your forearm, you can just flip open the mirror and see what’s going on behind you with a glance. Since it’s not attached your bike, it’s easier to adjust it as you ride. Better yet, you don’t have to worry about someone stealing it off your bike, because wherever you go, it goes with you.
7. Lumen Bike ($500 starting price): If you’re in the market for a new bike altogether, why not ditch the ones with little reflectors for one that reflects all over? Funded last year on Kickstarter, Lumen is a bike covered in a reflective coating to make your bike glow white. From the frame to the rims, your entire bike will shine under light. These urban bikes are handmade in San Francisco specifically for the city rider. The best part? There’s no need for charging or batteries.
8. Hövding Head Airbag ($342): We know that this kind of looks like a conceptual art piece, but believe it or not, this thing is the real deal. While riding, you simply wear the Hövding as a collar around your neck. On impact, it will inflate, completely surrounding and protecting your head. You can see it in action here. It’s really kind of amazing. And it even comes in different styles and colors, so it can blend in with your ensemble. Talk about discreet safety.
Do you have any gadgets that you use to keep you safe while biking? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!
(Feature image via Hövding)