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bike lights

The relationship 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.

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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.

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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.

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Headlights, tail lights and even turn indicators certainly make cycling safer, but reaching around to operate all those devices at once could be a bit awkward. That's why Bontrager has announced its new Transmitr system. It allows multiple lights to be controlled from one handlebar-mounted remote, via the ANT+ wireless protocol. Read More

Having a rear-facing video camera on your bike could certainly prove handy if you needed to provide legal proof that a motorist had done you wrong. Nobody wants to mount and use a GoPro on every ride, though, which is why Australian startup Cycliq developed the Fly6 – it's a tail light with a built-in mini HD camera. However, what if you need a visual record of what happened on the road in front of you? Well, you'd need the new Fly12, which is a combination headlight and camera. Read More
There are all sorts of high-tech locks designed to make your bike harder to steal, but what happens if it gets taken anyway? If it's equipped with a BTrack Safe Light, you'll know when it's been nabbed, and you'll then be able to track its location via GPS. And because it's a tail light, it'll also make you more visible to motorists. Read More
There are already non-electric bicycles and motor-assisted e-bikes, although lately we've also been seeing the emergence of a third category – "smart bikes." These are (usually) human-powered bikes with built-in electronic systems that perform functions such as navigation, theft deterrence and directional lighting. While there are purpose-built models such as the Valour and Rogue C6, German start-up iCradle is taking another approach. Its COBI system is designed to convert a traditional bike into a smart bike. Read More
Today's LED bicycle tail lights are brighter than ever, which is great when it comes to being seen by motorists. If you're riding right behind another cyclist using such a device, however, its high-intensity output can be blinding. That's why Australian cycling tech firm Augur created Wolf lights. They communicate with one another, and dim to avoid dazzling their users. Read More
When it comes to bike lights for commuting, there's one thing you have to remember ... they're needed more for being seen than for seeing the road. With that in mind, many head- and tail lights are designed not just to cast beams in front of and behind the bike, but to be seen from all directions. Seattle-based Orfos' Flare lights appear to do a particularly good job in that department, plus they feature a unique mounting system. Read More
As bicycle headlights continue to get brighter, a certain problem is starting to occur – they can actually be too bright, blinding oncoming drivers and cyclists. Lessening their output isn't a particularly appealing solution, so British designer Paul Cocksedge came up with an alternative. His Double O lights distribute the individual LEDs out around a ring, instead of concentrating them in a searing cluster. The lights also offer a few other handy features. Read More
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