Revolights – now available built right into the wheel
By Ben Coxworth
April 8, 2013
Revolights are an innovative form of bicycle lighting, in which rings of LEDs are clipped onto a bike’s existing rims, essentially turning the wheels into head- and tail-lights. Now that the Kickstarter-funded system has reached production, its creators have decided to offer something else – wheels with built-in Revolights.
In both the clip-on and built-in versions of the system, the lights in the wheels are powered by hub-mounted lithium-ion battery packs – one for each wheel. A fork-mounted magnet works with an integrated accelerometer, to determine when the lights should be illuminated. The result is that the front half of the front rim shines a brilliant white – regardless of speed – while the back half of the rear rim gives off a bright red glow.
There are several advantages to integrating the lights directly into the rims. There’s no fiddly installation required, users won’t be bothered by the rings possibly rattling around, plus they won’t have to worry about them falling off or being stolen. Additionally, there are presumably some weight savings and added durability involved.
The Revolights Wheels are based around existing 700C-sized Weinmann DP18 wheelsets, with 12 pairs of LEDs riveted onto each rim. The designers are currently raising productions funds, once again on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$217 will get you a front wheel, a rear wheel will cost you $229, or you can get one of each for $399 – assuming the funding goal is met.
People with deeper pockets can also pledge $1,363 or $1,850, for either of two models of Revolights Wheels-equipped commuter bikes, built by San Francisco’s Mission Bicycle Company.
The wheels can be seen in use in the pitch video below.