Lumen is the world's first commercially available retro-reflective bicycle, offering greater safety at night through a coating that lights up in car headlights.
Cycling in the city can be a dangerous business, regardless of the experience levels of the rider. We recently wrote about Fly6, which has turned rear bike lights into cameras to deter motorists from making bad judgments, and now Lumen is the world’s first commercially available retro-reflective bicycle, offering greater safety at night through a coating that lights up in car headlights.
Currently seeking funding through Kickstarter, the model was created by San Francisco’s Mission Bikes in conjunction with Halo Coatings. In the daytime, the bike is charcoal gray with a slight iridescent sheen, but at nighttime the retro-reflective coating acts like a cat’s eye — sending any light that hits it back in the direction of its source. As well as the entire frame, the wheel trim is also coated in the solution, which wraps the bike in hundreds and thousands of tiny transparent spheres that can reflect light from up to 1,000 feet. The video below shows the bike in action:
The Lumen comes in five sizes and both geared and single-speed versions, enabling even hipsters to stay safe on their fixies. Although the funding campaign has already reached its USD 15,000 target, backers can get their hands on a Lumen frame by pledging as little as USD 499 until 17 April. Although not the first bike to work with Halo Coatings — Josh Zisson’s non-commercial Safest Bike on the Road also experimented with retro-reflective paint — Lumen is the first to be made available to consumers. Are there other ways to ensure cyclists are better illuminated at night?