Helios bars - transform your bike into a smart bike
Built in light + GPS and Bluetooth connectivity, all from your cockpit
These are interesting. In fact, there's always something interesting on Kickstarter. Helios bars integrate a fistful of features into your bike's handlebars and sync up with your smartphone too.
They do all sorts of stuff, these bars. For a start there's a built-in 500-lumen headlight smack bang in the middle of them, that runs off the internal batteries (looks like a pair of 18650 cells from the exploded pic) and gives you an ever-present and difficult to steal light source.
As well as the light there's a GPS unit built in, which sits inside the stem. On the one hand you can feed that GPS data to an app on your smartphone to track your rides, but because the GPS is part of the bike you can also locate your bike whenever the Helios bars are switched on, which could be very handy if your pride and joy ever gets nicked. You can text your bike (the bars take a standard SIM) and receive the location back within 30 seconds. Turn-by-turn navigation via Google Maps is also available.
The GPS also links up with the rear-facing LEDs (at the bottom of the drops or on the back end of the bullhorns) to give you a sort of visual speedo, the LEDs cycling through a range of colours as your speed increases. On top of that you can use the rear-facing lights as left and right indicators by pressing a button on either side of the stem. The Helios smartphone app allows you to choose a colour for the LEDs too, if that's your thing, and the bars also have a proximity lighting feature: your bike will light up as you approach. Assuming you didn't leave your phone in the pub.
The bars are more than halfway to their $70,000 funding target with over $40,000 raised so far from 240 backers. If you fancy a pair of the first run then there's still 71 sets available at $199, plus $55 shipping outside the US. That doesn't seem too salty to us.Obviously they're not designed to go on your Sunday-best racer, but they might be an interesting addition to your posh city bike. What do you think?