Biking to and from work or school is one of the best ways to save money, keep fit, reduce traffic congestion, and lower your carbon footprint. On the other hand, especially during winter, this often means cycling in the dark.
Even where dedicated bike lanes have been implemented, motorists often treat those white lines as no more than suggestions. Street lighting is often inadequate and may even be non-existent for the last mile or so if you live out of town. The danger this brings about is certainly real; if a car crashes into a cyclist at any rate of speed, serious injury is almost a certainty.
Anyone who sees a bike as something to commute with, rather than a toy or a piece of sporting equipment, probably knows that their safety mostly lies in being visible; headlights, reflectors, and suitable clothing all fall into this category. You can do a little more, though.
Although it may be a little ostentatious for some, LED lights for your wheels will certainly make you hard to miss. This gadget lights up your wheels as you pedal, cycling between 42 mandala-like theme patterns.
Physically, it’s a little bar or strip with 32 high-powered LED lights, which will fit any rim of 50 cm (20″) diameter or larger (so you will probably have trouble sticking this on a kid’s bike). Once fitted and on your way, you can choose it to display just about any pattern you like, in any color, and at any moment. Here’s a good video to see how it looks:
The rate at which the LEDs turn on and off isn’t related to your speed, so you’ll need to go fairly fast for onlookers to get the full effect. It also requires batteries: 3 AAA should give you 10-20 hours of safe cycling, but it does add to the cost and ecological impact unless you use rechargeables.
Still, this is a well-built, waterproof device that costs significantly less than many similar products. On this basis if nothing else, we give it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.