Revolights was a big hit when it launched in 2011. The unique-looking wheel-mounted bike light system raised more than $215,000 on Kickstarter, and more success followed last year with a second version.
What makes the Revolights different is, first, that the wheel-mounts create a single beam when you spin them fast enough (which is a nice effect). And second, that the beam is close to the road, which offers better visibility than some handlebar-mounted lights. The trouble is, the product is quite expensive. A clip-on version costs $229, while a permanently installed iteration comes in at $499. That’s more than a lot of bikers want to pay.
That’s why the Palo Alto company is launching a third, cheaper, product. It’s called the Arc, and instead of fixing it to the wheel, you mount it to the back fender. It doesn’t have quite the wow-factor of the other products, but it might keep you from being rear-ended in the dark.
See a video pitch here:
“It’s meant to maximize distinctive bicycle visibility, while adding an integrated brake lighting system akin to a car’s,” says co-founder Adam Pettler. “Our goal is to make cyclists feel safer on the road, while focusing on design criteria we feel are critical for Revolights.”
The lights change state automatically when you slow down, alerting drivers of possible danger. There are two modes. In the first, the beam shifts from a solid red beam to a brighter solid beam. In the second, a blinking light starts blinking faster. A sensor in the Arc, which tracks a magnet fitted between the tube and tire of the back-wheel, initiates the change when the bike loses about 10% of its speed.
As part of the new campaign, the product costs $69. Pettler says the team still has to finalize the mounting mechanism: it will either be something you screw directly into the fender, or something you attach using zip-ties or bands.
Either way, it should allow Revo to target a less affluent set of customers. “We created the Arc in response to give customers access to Revolights’ technology and visibility at an entry-level price,” Pettler says.