Biker’s Blinkers! Good heavens, affordable bike indicator lights are now available from Velohub in Switzerland!
Swiss startup Velohub, who have been developing smart technology for cyclists since 2016, took their Blinkers smart cycling lights on to Kickstarter in 2016 and were backed by more than 500 cyclists who were keen to get their bike indicator lights, which raised more than €50,000 in the process and put the company into production.
They have partnered with a company called Zühlke Engineering in Switzerland who carries out the manufacturing and provides them with a top quality product in terms of functionality, durability, user-friendliness and design. The product is then assembled in Spain, so inside the European Union, which means zero duty payable coming into the UK – for the time being at least!
Javier Bilbao of Velohub told us their bike indicator lights make the urban cyclist visible, but also more predictable for other road users, and helps them gain more respect on the road: “Cyclists are the most vulnerable users of the road: two wheels to balance, no chassis to protect us and no devices to communicate with other vehicles. As cyclists, we find ourselves in many risky situations while riding in the city: other vehicles don’t respect our space or don’t understand our intentions, and we feel it’s unfair that cyclists are not seen as a natural part of the road. We want to improve safety on bikes, by building the next generation of bike lights. It’s not about making them more powerful, but about adding a set of extra safety functionalities, including turning indicators, a brake light and a laser projection.”The rear bike indicator light also has a brake light
The Bike Indicator lights indicate the direction of the turn the cyclist is taking, by blinking to the right or to the left. The rear Blinker also has a red light that becomes more intense when the cyclist is braking. As well as a laser that projects half a circle on the ground, which will increase visibility during the night and give cars a better understanding of what is their space and what is the cyclist’s space. All of this is controlled by a wireless remote control on the handlebar of the bike. Blinkers are available in the 4 different packages going from 99€ for just the rear light without laser, to 199€ for the rear and front light with laser, shipping included.
The lights can be charged with USB and are designed to be used for +/- 20 hours. They can be put on any bike with universal attachments on the handlebar, the saddle and the rack. Blinkers can be easily removed from the bike due to a magnetic system, so you can take them whenever the bike is locked. The system works with radiofrequency and a light on the remote control indicates when the Blinkers should be charged.
The laser light projection is reminiscent of the Blaze Laserlight that was adopted by Santander as tests had shown this provided enhanced safety.
A full set of Bike Indicator Lights including the laser projection €199 which is competitive with the Revolights approach, which uses spoke-mounted LED lights, which were also crowd-funded, this time on Indiegogo; the latter has the disadvantage of about 4-hour use before charging is required, with Velohub’s “Blinkers” lasting for around 20 hours.
Another approach to providing bike indicator lights – this time with built-in cameras – was from Beakor, however, this did not succeed in its Indiegogo funding.
Velohub’s “Blinkers” bike indicator lights are available online.