The National Bike Challenge is well under way. I have logged almost 300 mile in two months. Not to shabby considering those are just commuting rides. Haven’t done any recreational riding in this summer.
Okay on with today’s post. Today, I came across a few interesting new bike products that will be available in the near future. The development stage is complete and both products are are in the “kick-starter” early production phase.
The first is the Backtracker. Basically it is two pieces of equipment. The first mounts to the seat post and uses micro-radar to detect approaching vehicles. It detects approaching cars and flashes a red warning light as they approach the cyclist. The fast the car is traveling the faster the red light flashes to help alert the driver to the cyclist presence. The second part attached to the handle bars to alert the rider of approaching cars. The device flashes a white light that slowly moves up the device’s screen towards a yellow light for slow-moving cars. For fast approaching cars the white light travels faster and towards a red light.
The device seems a little pricey to me. It will have an early adopter price of $149 and a full retail price of $199. The concept is definitely an innovative idea, but I wonder how many people will plunk down that much cash for a device that I imagine will cost much less in its second iteration. I am going to speculate that a future model will have a smaller seat post mounted device that will work with an app on a smart phone.
The Useeme turn signal for cyclist seems like a very promising product. It is an innovative idea using motion sensors inside two wristbands (available in 3 different sizes) which detect the riders movements. The sensor is attached to a micro-controller that continuously evaluates sensor data and recognizes the patterns of hand signals. The micro-controller switches flashing LEDs on and off when the appropriate patterns are detected.I see this as a great product for night-time riding. I have reflective wrists band that I wear to draw attention to my intention to turn, which does a good job. However, I have honestly found myself thinking that having some sort of bike turn signal on my hands would be awesome.
The Useeme is an entirely different product than the Backtracker. However, I see it as a much more useful product in the quest to increase rider visibility. I see it as more financially practice product too. Early adopters can pick one up for
€34 or about $46. If you wait until the Useeme goes on the market it will run €49 or $67. In fact, you could pick up enough for a family of 4 for just under 20 dollars more than the price of one Backtracker.