Bike safety is something everyone gets pretty worked up about, from the cyclists risking their lives on terrifying London junctions to the drivers who have flashbacks of nearly hitting one.
London-based entrepreneur Dominic Walters has been both, so he's crowdfunding BrightSpark, a set of clip-on handlebars for bikes that add headlights, laser projections, vibration alerts and car-style indicators.
It seems like a no-brainer to add a bit more functionality to the classic pushbike if it makes everyone safer, and while the ideas in BrightSpark aren't new, it's a useful all-in-one package for adding tech to your analogue bike.
The weatherproof handlebars include:
- Twin headlamps with settings up to 600 lumens
- Vibration alerts (if you've left your turn signal on, for instance)
- Laser projections on the road on either side of you, like the ones on Boris Bikes
- Flashing orange indicators at the ends of the bars to "amplify your hand signals in a way drivers are conditioned to spot"
- Thumb-tip controls so your hands stay on the bars
The system charges by micro USB, so you'll need to take the handlebars off to recharge them. However, knowing how keen people are to steal bits of bikes, you'd probably want to take them off when you dismount the bike anyway - the system folds up to keep in a bag while you're not cycling.
BrightSpark is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, and has made 35% of its £85,000 goal at the time of writing with a month still to go. If you get on it early, you can get a set of BrightSparks for £125 plus shipping, but as ever with crowdfunding, the cost goes up as more people back the project. The retail price for a pair will be around the £200 mark if they're fully funded. Well, you can't put a price on safety.