Revolights

Yes, these Revolights are certainly the coolest thing I’ve seen on Kickstarter: LED lights around the rim of your tire that light up the front half of the front tire/back half of the rear tire in white and red, respectively.

The look is totally Tron, 80s or 10s, and very cool. I saw one of these riding around Vancouver a couple of weeks ago and was instantly jealous.

Cleverly, the LEDs project forward/backward while also being very visibly for the side with the clear indication which direction you’re going.

The USB-rechargeable batteries sit on the hub and the website offers hints at a future development of dynamo-power.

So, with all my griping about lack of visibility in hipster, even moderately attractive, bike attire, why haven’t I bought these? Two main reasons: cost (US$250 for front/rear set) and lack of trust that they batter/cable set-up will survice the very wet and somewhat gritty Vancouver winter. But, I’m definitely going to keep an eye on further development of these lights to see whether my reasons for hesitating might not be addressed.

With this post, I’m off for Christmas break and will start posting again in January 2013.

BYOBL: Bring Your Own Bike Lane

Okay, so this is clearly a fabulous idea for people who ride in congested downtown conditions a lot (though perhaps so in Vancouver with the establishment of a good downtown bike lane network):

A bike light that projects a bike lane on the pavement behind the cyclist. Yes, a tad gimmicky, but also very cool!

There appears to be a very similar project that projects a bike lane symbol ahead of the bike. I’m a little less convinced by that as the projected symbol ahead of the rider is not going to be terribly visible to drivers around you.

Maybe a combination that projects the lane and the bike symbol behind the bike?

Swrve Deck Jacket

I do like getting email from Swrve about new products even when their delivery of actual products is somewhat frustrating.

Their newest item: the “deck jacket“. Can’t quite tell why the boating reference or is this a reference to a deck of cards?

Looks pretty stylish in the pictures, however, and has a number of bike features like a cut that’s high in front, low in back. The specs say that there are reflective details, but these are pretty hard to find in the photos. It appears that there’s a couple of vertical reflective stripes under the arms, but they only appear from the right side view, not otherwise.

The collar looks like it’s a nice solution to be able to button up if it’s a bit cooler and I do appreciate the pit zippers.

The fabric is “water and wind resistant 3-layer softshell, but can’t quite tell what this will feel like or the utility. Nice to see that there’s a choice of four colours, though they all (black, dark grey, navy, olive) are rather muted and don’t exactly promote visibility.

Hopefully, this will show up at on the Rivet eventually so that I can check it out for real.

Henty Wingman

My Ortlieb panniers are great in that they keep things clean and dry, but they’re not that great to pack for business and/or professional purposes. In my case that means, when I bike downtown for a meeting, it’s too far and thus sweaty to wear something like the Oratory jacket, but I don’t want that to keep me from biking to the meeting.

It seems like a really nice solution has popped up on my radar: Henty Wingman.

Basically, a suit bag that rolls up and has messenger bag-style straps, this looks perfect with extra room for shoes in a gym bag that forms the round core of the cylindrical bag.

Some nice colours, too.

A bit pricey at close to $200, but would also be usable as an overnight travel suit back…

New Vancouver-Based Helmets

There has been a lot of discussion about mandatory helmet laws in Vancouver in connection with the introduction of a bike sharing scheme in the city. Meanwhile, there seems to be a new entrant in the helmet market, Sahn Helmets, based in Vancouver. I haven’t seen one of these live yet, but the photographs of the “equestrian-inspired silhouette” look promising.

As with jackets, however, I would prefer to err on the side of visibility rather than looks, so I would probably stay away from a “muted colour palette”. On the other hand, these helmets would offer plenty of real estate to stick reflective patches. Maybe there will be a visibility-oriented model in the future with attachments for lights and in a more noticeable colour.

Great to see this kind of development right here in Vancouver though!