Hard to Miss: Bike Lights Like You’ve Never Seen Before

As seen on Shark Tank on ABC, this was one of the first reviews of Revolights bike lights:

Urban bike lights are designed to get cyclists noticed at night. If a lighting system more “noticeable” than Revolights exists, I haven’t seen it. And judging by the overwhelming response I’ve received while riding with the wheel-mounted lights for the past two weeks, neither has anyone else.

Literally, within 15 seconds of leaving my house with the Revos for the first time, a passing cyclist hit the brakes to ask about the “badass wheel lights.”

The author taking Revolights for a spin; photo by T.C. Worley

Since then I’ve put in about 100 miles of night riding with the spinning LEDs slicing through the darkness and lighting my way. Reactions have ranged from pedestrian comments and inquiries like the aforementioned to a city bus matching my pace for several blocks so that passengers could take pictures of the lights with their smartphones. No, seriously. Without the lights, my bike’s not flashy enough to draw attention, and I’m not nearly good looking enough for it to have been for any other reason.

After two years of design and testing, Revolights are now on sale in the U.S. and Canada for $250 (sales will expand overseas in 2013).

Can you see me now? Good.

While $250 is steep for commuting lights, the Revos are something new and totally different. You can’t be missed riding at night with these blazers mounted on spinning wheels. Safety is their No. 1 theme, though the bling and pure coolness factor definitely isn’t lost on anyone either.

The concept for the design was born out of a practical dilemma. Fresh out of a mechanical engineering master’s program at Stanford, Kent Frankovich was frustrated by the helmet-mounted light that he had been commuting with at night.

“I thought it was silly that you would try to light the ground with something on your head,” said Frankovich. “The wheel was the closest thing to the ground. I just had to figure out how to make it work as a light source.”

Frankovich prototyped a wheel light shortly afterwards before joining entrepreneurial forces with business student Adam Pettler in October of 2010.

Side by side: Revolights’ ground–up system sets it apart

The San Francisco-based duo designed and produced several iterations of the lighting system before turning to the power of online crowdfunding to kickstart the operation last fall. The initial funding goal on Kickstarter of $43,500 was exceeded within a week, and after six weeks nearly 1,500 backers raised more than $215,000 for the bike light “REVOlution.”

continued on next page. . .

tagged: #crowdfunding

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Patrick is a writer based in Boston with a penchant for life on two wheels and sleeping outside.