By STANLEY BARTON
Krunch. . . NOOOOO! Yes, that was your bike getting ripped clean off of your roof rack and utterly destroyed as you drove into your garage. Dang, double-dang, and a whole lot worse! It’s happened to me, it’s happened to friends. Don’t let it happen to you!
Since that dreaded day when my Specialized cracked under pressure between my car and the garage I have methodically put my garage door opener out of sight every time I leave the house with gear on my roof rack. Well, this draconian routine is now over as I have installed the HeadsUp Systems in order to protect my gear from being smashed again.
Essentially, HeadsUp’s Wireless Gear Alert System product is a foolproof audio/visual alarm made to keep your gear safe. After opening the box, I found installation instructions to be straightforward enough that my 9-year-old son helped me in the light assembly that was required to get started.
The $169 kit contains two sensors to be mounted on your gear (bikes, boats, roof-top boxes), a small audio alert devise that is akin to a garage door opener (that conveniently clips onto your car’s sun visor), and a wall-mounted lighted display that gives the driver a visual clue when approaching with gear atop a car.
I found that between the two alerts — beeping audio in the car, light signal ahead in the garage — you will get the idea to STOP!
One warning: You need to be conscious where the sensor is placed on your gear. My first test had the sensor facing backward on the seat post of my mountain bike. I learned quickly that the audio/video alerts were delayed until the absolute last minute, nearly causing me to again run my bike into my garage. However, when I simply turned the sensor forward, the alert came in plenty of time to mitigate additional bicycle carnage.
One of my initial concerns: What happens when the battery dies in the sensor? Well, the folks at HeadsUp have taken this exact matter into consideration and there is a light on the wall-mounted unit that illuminates once the battery is low or expired. Brilliant.
In sum, we were impressed with this product. You have a garage and you have expensive gear that you transport on your roof rack. If you are like me and interested in keeping your fun-inducing gear free from the junk pile and want a relatively inexpensive “insurance policy,” the HeadsUp System may just be your solution.
—Stanley Barton is a cyclist and adventure racer based in Minnesota.