More and more bike-related projects are seeking financial support through Kickstarter these days, and here’s our pick of the most interesting ones looking for pledges at the moment.
If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding website. People with ideas for creative projects sling the details onto Kickstarter.com, and other people pledge financial support in return for rewards – often one of the products that will be made if the project reaches its funding target. If a project doesn’t reach its funding target in pledges, none of the money is ever taken.
First up, Fortified are offering bike lights that will last forever. Yep, forever. That’s what they say. There’s a front light called the Aviator, and a rear light called the Afterburner.
Each is made of aluminium, offers side-visibility, and comes in two different versions according to the amount of light emitted (150 or 300 lumens for the Aviator. 30 or 60 lumens for the Afterburner). They use USB rechargeable batteries and they’re backed by a lifetime warranty and, extraordinarily, a lifetime anti-theft guarantee; if the lights get nicked, Fortified will replace them. A custom security screw holds the lights on your bike, requiring a custom security Allen key to open it. Fortified are obviously very confident in the design.
Pledge from US$60 to the kitty and you’ll put yourself in line for an Aviator light, from US$45 will get you an Afterburner.
Ah yes, the Buca Boot: it’s a storage device that fits on a rack at the back of your bike. It measures 8in x 15in x 10in at the base (20cm x 38cm x 25cm) and it looks like you can get a hell of a lot of stuff in there.
It’s lockable and the makers claim that it’s weatherproof thanks to a moulded plastic shell, nylon canvas sides, and a gasketed lid.
Although the designer, Kathryn Carlson, is based in Massachusetts, USA, the Buca Boot was conceived while she was based in London.
Assuming you’re based in Europe, you need to pledge US$225 or more to secure yourself a Buca Boot and have it shipped over.
This is a shift lever that’s made from just six common parts – a bottle cap, a hose clamp, a base, a lever, and a nut and bolt.
The idea is really to offer an option for bikes provided around the world to people who need them for transport, moving goods, carrying their children and so on. Many bikes donated to these projects are not used because the levers don’t work, and replacing them levers would be expensive.
This design, on the other hand, is cheap to make. The only parts that have to be specifically manufactured, rather than bought off the shelf, are the base and the lever itself, both of which are made from scrap aluminium. The idea is that the money donated will make the necessary moulds.
Pledge US$50 to get a lever for yourself, and an additional US$15 top have it shipped outside the US.
The See.Sense light is the idea of Philip McAleese of Belfast, and the idea is that it flashes brighter and faster to improve your visibility when you most need to be noticed.
The See.Sense uses patent-pending sensors that can tell when you’re at a junction, filtering into traffic, on a roundabout, riding in low light, or being approached by a car with its headlights on. In those conditions, the See.Sense (geddit? Quite a clever name, that) will increase its brightness and flash rate.
Why not just have a light that flashes brightly and quickly all the time? The thought behind it is that this system will give you the additional safety at crucial times along with a longer runtime than you’d otherwise have – at least 12 hours. It can be recharged from any USB socket.
The See.Sense is lightweight (55g), waterproof, and it has a battery level indicator that tells you when you need to recharge.
The front light will come in two versions – 150 and 200 lumens – while the rear light will come in 90 and 120 lumen options. You need to pledge from £35 to £46 to secure a See.Sense light, with a front and rear set requiring a pledge of at least £60.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.