Aviator and Afterburner bike lights are literally guaranteed to thwart thieves
By Ben Coxworth
September 12, 2013
Life would certainly be simpler for bicycle commuters if they could just leave their lights on their bikes all the time, but – in most cases – doing so could likely result in the lights being stolen while the bike was parked on the street. MIT grad Slava Menn addressed this problem last year, by helping to create the revolver-like Defender theft-resistant headlight. Now, he's working on a similarly street-proof headlight and tail light, that are sleeker than the Defender but just as hard to steal – or wreck.
The new headlight is known as the Aviator, while the tail light is called the Afterburner. Both lights feature water- and shockproof aluminum construction, and mount on the handlebar or seat post using a custom security screw and corresponding Allen key – this means that a thief won't be able to loosen that screw, unless they themselves also own one of the lights.
The lights are each powered by a proprietary lithium-ion battery, that can be recharged via a USB cable. One charge should be good for 40 hours of use with the Aviator, or 200 hours with the less-intense Afterburner.
Speaking of which, the stock models of the head and tail light put out 150 and 30 lumens, respectively. Plans call for more powerful Boost versions of each, however, that will put out 300 lumens (Aviator Boost) and 60 lumens (Afterburner Boost).
The weight of each of the lights, either model or either version, is 128 grams (4.5 oz).
Menn and his business partner Tivan Amour are apparently pretty confident of the theft-, water- and generally world-proofness of their lights, as they claim that their company (Fortified Bicycle Alliance) will replace any Aviator or Afterburner that is stolen or stops working, for as long as the buyer owns it.
Before you can destroy your light or get it stolen, however, you first have to buy it. To that end, Slava and Tivan are currently raising production funds on Kickstarter. Assuming the funding goal is met, a pledge of US$45 will get you an Afterburner, with $60 for an Afterburner Boost, $65 for an Aviator, or $90 for an Aviator Boost. Sets of both are also available, for higher pledge amounts.
More information is available in the pitch video below.