When you’re shopping for accessories, it’s good to keep your options open. Kickstarter’s motto is “Fund & Follow Creativity” and the projects on their site speak for themselves, among which are that necessary staple of every biker, the bike light. What you learn when you go through all these videos, however, are two things:
That said, I’ve come up with a compilation of 10 of the most interesting and fairly practical projects out there in the Kickstarter world. Some are anti-theft and others are just downright curious. I chose based on several things: illumination factor, cool factor, device practicality and video editing. You may say to yourself, “why discriminate based on video length?” You will agree, however, that if a person can’t get their point across in the first minute, the next 16 won’t really tell you much more.
Kind of like a pick-up line.
So with that in mind, let’s dive right in, shall we?
Key sales points to this light is that it’s bright (according to the page, the light can be seen a quarter of a mile away), it's waterproof and uses a USB to recharge. It has three beams in the head so you can control how much light you want to put out. It has no wiring so it's compact. It is also one of two projects on the list that didn’t get funded. It didn't say if the backers actually got anything and the links on Facebook and the actual web page on the listing don't actually work.
Second of two projects on the list that didn’t get funded, it is a rim-attachment that makes you quasi-Tron-like. The description says that it takes 30 seconds to remove with a Velcro attachment, is powered by a fully rechargeable Lithium 12-volt, is waterproof and can be seen at any angle. At the beginning of their listing, they specify that if they do not reach the goal amount, they would not charge the backers any money. If you are still interested, you can find them at their website.
One of the more aesthetic lights on the list, this is a thin tablet that is only a tail light. You slide it onto your seat post, it screws into place with an Allen wrench. Depending on which side of the device you have up, it will either blink or have a steady beam of light and it turns on once it senses you are in motion. For the backers, actual lights, prototypes and even invites to the Brooklyn store were available. If you're interested in one of these, check them out at their site.
With the barrel shape reminiscent of a .44 Magnum, the Theft-Resistant Bike Light is theft-resistant due to a special security screwdriver provided with the actual light. No hardware store carries this particular sized tool, making it a clever device for protecting your nighttime rides. It’s waterproof and runs on 3 AA batteries. Backers got a series of goodies like t-shirts, water bottles, personalized lights and even a multi-pack. If you want to feel a little Dirty Harry, find these lights here.
Using rechargeable lithium batteries, this is a light that, instead of shooting a beam right at the middle of the road, this goes shoulder to shoulder, providing an even amount of light across, without the glare for the oncoming driver. Another perk is that the light actually illuminates your frame so that you can see your bottle cage. Word to the wise: if you do watch this video, start drizzling your popcorn with buttery gunk NOW. I started multi-tasking and playing online games at minute 3. Caps, spare batteries and lights were what Barry dished out to his backers. If you want one of his lights (without all the talk), get one here at this site.
Now this is not strictly a light for seeing the road in front of you but the LED set-up allows for hearts, aliens or geometric designs to blink on your wheelset as you ride. It’s waterproof and attaches with stainless steel anti-theft zip-ties. The battery source attaches to the hub of your wheel which means potential loose wires, so tuck them in. Hugs, t-shirts and lights were what the makers of Mini Monkey gave to their backers. If you want a hug--err, light, get them at their site.
This is a rather innovative idea, using the light to shoot a green-colored image of a cyclist onto the road in front so that vehicles turning into a road can see that someone is coming. This alerts the driver that one of us is in their blind spot. It also has a bright white light and can alternate with the green cyclist for more protection. For the backers of this product, there was good karma, bike bottles, t-shirts, battery chargers, lights as well as a special premium of your own personalized projection from the light. Pre-order at this site.
This wheel-mounted light is an innovative piece of work. The back wheel light is red while the front light is white and has a timing mechanism so that when the wheel is in motion, it only directs white light to the front and red light to the back. It can be seen from the side though the range to the front seems slightly limited. Backers received packages with names of jersey colors from the Tour de France. The White Jersey, Polkdot, Green and Yellow got you thank you cards, t-shirts, lights and a mention on their website. Pre-order here.
Sleek, classy and looks like a futuristic Pez dispenser, these lights can mount on a seat post, tube or rounded metal surface with a super magnet. It’s waterproof and will hold on through rough and jarring rides. It turns on when you attach it to your frame and turns off when you remove it. An arduous thank you, reduced shipping, deep discounts and multi-packs of lights were backers' prizes. If you're looking for a set, pre-order them here.
This is a bike light and horn in one. It started out as a device so that motorists would hear the person before trying to pancake them. Then seeing the practicality of putting in lights as well, the ORP was born. At 96 dB, the horn can be heard over traffic and is comparable to the volume of the horn on a Vespa Scooter. Sure as hell beats the aluminum bell on your old skool Huffy. Product updates, stickers, t-shirts and lights that come in fabulous colors like snot green are what backers can expect this month. Looking to get "Orp-ified" (or "Smorned")? Anticipated ship date is September 2013. Pre-order here.