Helios Bars are definitely a "light" set of handlebars


May 21, 2013

Helios Bars feature integrated lighting, along with several other high-tech features

Helios Bars feature integrated lighting, along with several other high-tech features

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While there are plenty of important components and accessories that are mounted on a bike’s handlebars, the bars themselves are just empty hollow tubes that don’t really do anything ... right? Well, that isn’t the case with Helios Bars. Created by California-based inventor Kenny Gibbs (who previously brought us The Slug), they feature an integrated headlight, signal lights, tracking system, and several other clever features.

In the middle of the weather-proof aluminum bars, housed in a forward-protruding extension of the integrated stem, is a 500-lumen Cree LED headlight. Two lower-intensity RGB LEDs, integrated into the rear-facing bar-end plugs, serve as tail lights. When activated by one of two switches located on either side of the stem, either of these lights can be made to blink on and off for five seconds, serving as a turn signals – whether or not the rider might block motorists’ view of those lights remains to be seen.

Using an accompanying Bluetooth 4.0-enabled iOS app, the user can set those two bar-end lights to a color of their choice. Alternatively, they can choose to activate the bars’ Visual Speedometer mode, in which those lights change color to convey the approximate speed at which the bike is moving.

The app also has a proximity feature, which automatically turns on all three lights as the user (and their phone) approaches the bike, then turns them off again as the user parks it and walks away. Additionally, using the navigation feature, either of the turn signals will automatically come on to let the rider know when a required left- or right-hand turn is coming up.

Should the bike be stolen, the bars’ included GPS module will allow the user to see its location (or at least, the location of the bars) on Google Maps, simply by sending it a text message.

Helios Bars are powered by a lithium-ion battery, that should provide approximately seven hours of use per charge. Plans call for them to be made in drop and bullhorn styles, which should both accept their respective standard brake levers. There’s currently no word on weight.

Gibbs is currently raising production funds for the bars, on Kickstarter. At the time of this posting, an early bird pledge of US$150 will get you a pair of either style in black or white – when and if they reach production. The bars can be seen in use in the pitch video below.

Sources: Helios, Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

A handlebar with integrated light is not new but this is taking it to another level (not sure it is an improvement).


Turn signals on a pushie ?

Martin Hone

finally an electronic device for a bike that is useful and promotes safety, not someone showing off how clever they are! well done. how about an integrated seat stem/light system?


Nice and clean. The front light appears to be adjusted almost horizontally so it does not seem to light up much of the the road in front, does it? Else, I just might support it on Kickstarter.

@flibb: Integrated stem lights are already available for some time. I have one on my fixie.


I saw this at the Maker Faire last weekend and it was one of the notables that stick with you. Unfortunately it seems to follow the practice of most new bicycle lights in being so bright as to blind oncoming drivers. Another of the reasons, and a classic example, of why drivers hate arrogant cyclists.


After watching the short video, I gotta ask, "Where is the helmet Mr. Safety?"


Don, the lighthead appears to be an adjustable gimbal mount.

Kevin Frothngham

how about handlebars made of clear lucite tubing..could be lit up many ways

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