The exhibition hall of Interbike, the national cycling trade show in Las Vegas, is a sea of bright and shiny objects. Here, we’ve picked four new products that shine — or blink — brightly for cycling safety after dark.
Torch T-1 Bicycle Helmet, three colors, starting at $120, www.torchapparel.com
If the Torch helmet (above), with its integrated front and rear lighting, reminds you of car headlights, well, that may be because its creator, 32-year old Nathan Wills, has a background in design for automobile companies. Wills, an avid cyclist and industrial designer turned entrepreneur, launched his cycling safety company based on his own experiences of cross-town commuting in Los Angeles after dark.
The techy Torch provides a sleek and stylish look. Five front and five rear LEDs shielded by polycarbonate lenses are embedded in a 15-ounce, vented polycarbonate shell with a polystyreen body. The lights, which offer steady and blinking modes controlled by the wearer, are powered by button-cell batteries and rechargeable via a standard USB port. The array is partly wrapped around the front and rear to provide 360-degree visibility on poorly lit streets or in foul weather.
The T-1, which attracted more than $68,000 from an over-subscribed Kickstarter campaign, is scheduled to debut at retail in spring. The T-1 received an Outside Gear of Show Award.
Read more about bicycle lights in our post, 26 Ways to Stay Visible On Your Bike After Dark.
RydeSafe Reflective Bike Decals by Tonky, 7 colors, $5 to $16 per kit, www.rydesafe.com
It goes without saying that the RydeSafe booth was an eye-catcher with the highly decorated bikes on display. In addition to boosting night visibility, the decals offer limitless, yet economical possibilities for creatively customizing a basic city ride. Manufactured in Red Hook, Brooklyn, RydeSafe decals are cut from a durable plastic film embedded with fine glass beads that bounce light back to its source – the same material that lends visibility to emergency vehicles. The decals come in kits in a variety of colors and shapes, including butterflies and stars for children. Easily applied to frame, rims, helmets, accessories, even chain links (for the very diligent), they’re meant to be used in combination with standard front and rear bicycle lights.
Beacon Bike Lights, $30 pair, www.beaconbikelights.com
We posted about Beacon Bike Lights during the company’s Kickstarter campaign, so it was fun to see them on display at the show. The elegant little black disks, each containing two LEDS activated by a top-mounted button, are installed with zip ties to bars and seatposts to eliminate worries about stolen lights. It’s basically the “set it and forget it” principle. When the batteries run out of juice after 150 hours of flashing, users buy a replacement pack that includes four batteries and six zip ties of different colors.
Q-Lite Octopus Lights, 7 colors, $15, www.q-lite.com.tw
Finally, just in time for Halloween, how could we resist including these stopped-us-in-the-aisle Octopus bike lights. Just wrap the tentacles around handlebars, cables or seatposts for added after-dark visibility. Front and rear lights contain 2 LEDS that operate on 2 CR2032 batteries and offer steady and blinking modes.