Thanks to continuing advances in LED and lithium battery technology,
it's now not uncommon to see mountain bike headlights putting out 3,000
lumens or more. Most of these high-intensity lights incorporate two or
three bulbs, however, requiring a separate battery pack to power them.
With this in mind, we were intrigued when we heard that Light &
Motion had declared its self-contained new Urban 850 Trail FC to be "the
most powerful single-LED bike light that exists." We gave it a try and
liked what it has to offer ... even if its claim may be a little hard to
The faster you're going, the farther ahead you should be looking. With
that in mind, Garmin has designed its new Varia bicycle headlight to
automatically focus its beam farther up the road when you're at speed,
while broadening it to give wider but less intense illumination as you
When cycling at night, it's important not just to be seen from the front
and back but also from the sides. In order to make that happen, bicycle
lighting systems typically either add dedicated side lights or they divert
part of the main headlight beam. The Ding headlight, however, puts out
one beam that shines forward, along with a second one that lights up the
road directly to either side of the bike.
There are already bicycle "running lights" that plug into the ends of
the handlebars, providing side visibility when cycling at night. HueRay
takes that same idea but makes it sturdier and more self-contained, with
silicone bar grips that incorporate their own high-intensity LEDs.
between cyclists and motorists can be a tense, frankly unpleasant
aspect of the morning commute, but a new invention by Seattle-based
company Artefact (or more specifically its incubation program,
Startefact) is aiming to patch things up and hopefully save some
lives in the process. BrakePack is an LED-fitted smart backpack
designed to make cyclists more visible to motorists,
while signalling their intentions.
If there are a lot of good ol' boys where you live, then you're likely
familiar with Truck Nuts – rubber testicles that are hung from a
pickup truck's trailer hitch. Well, a couple of Toronto-based designers
have come up with something similar for bicycles. Known as Bike Balls,
they actually serve as a tail light that catches motorists' attention by
swinging merrily back and forth.
Bicycle commuters who regularly ride at night would no doubt appreciate
having lights that could be left on their bike all the time, with little
chance of them getting stolen. That's why Fortified Bicycle Alliance
first introduced its Defender
headlight, which can only be removed using a specialized tool. Putting
out just 50 lumens, though, it's certainly more of a "be seen" than a
"see the road" light. That's why Fortified more recently introduced its
considerably brighter Aviator headlight and Afterburner tail light. We gave them a try, to see how they stand up to real-world use.