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A Kickstarter looking to bring the world’s first bike saddles with integrated lighting is underway, with $5000 already raised of the $45,000 target.

Developed in Madrid, BLINK! Saddles provide the rider with brake lights, turn signals and position lighting. The inventors claim the turn signals make indicating easier to see for drivers and other cyclists, and safer for the rider themselves as they don’t have to risk losing balance by giving an arm signal when turning.

Garmin Varia UT800  automically adjusts to adapt to light conditions

The video shows that the saddle has a main light in the middle, and two lights either side for signalling.

 

The indicating signals are performed via a wireless remote system controlled from buttons on your handlebars. An SBS ‘Smart Brake System' also senses when the rider is slowing down, beaming out flashing warning lights to notify traffic behind. The lights have a claimed 270 degrees of visibility, so traffic can see the rider from all angles as well as straight in front.

Charging is a simple affair via USB, and the whole unit is completely weatherproof. With $5000 already raised on Kickstarter, BLINK! Have 25 days left to reach their $45,000 target, with the first shipping and delivery dates scheduled for November 2017. With a 30% discount offered if a backer pledges 115 euros, this suggests the RRP will be 165 euros when the saddle goes on general sale. More info can be found on the BLINK! website or on their Kickstarter page. 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

27 comments

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danthomascyclist [339 posts] 4 months ago
13 likes

More over-engineered pointless shit that puts the burden on cyclists to not be killed. Hopefully this fails alongside most other similar integrated indicator crap.

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Team EPO [102 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Wonder if anyone has ever come across any analysis of how late kickstarter projects are as all the ones I have backed have always been late and very poor at keeping customers updated.

 

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FatBoyW [231 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

What does this fix? Saddle and light - why on earth would I want them combined!  

Not getting my vote on that basis as well as fully sympathising with the sentiment of danthomas.

Love to see it in Dragon's Den though!!! 

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steviemarco [236 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Can you fit a saddle bag on it?

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Darren C [116 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

" An SBS ‘Smart Break System also senses when the rider is slowing down" Does this mean that the saddle falls apart if the bike is stolen?

Also why does the sentence begin with the word 'an' I thought that was only used when two vowels sounds from two words were inplace together, as in 'an error' for example?

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burtthebike [1036 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Slightly less useless than the helmet with the turn indicators and lights, but similarly a solution looking for a problem.

I'm beginning to wonder if my incredibly effective fitness-enhancing, money-saving, pollution-preventing idea of a machine with two wheels, frame and pedals might be good to get crowd funded.  Silly me, of course not; it works.

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Jack Sexty [21 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

danthomascyclist wrote:

More over-engineered pointless shit that puts the burden on cyclists to not be killed. Hopefully this fails alongside most other similar integrated indicator crap.

Not a fan then Dan? Each to their own  1 

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vonhelmet [844 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Darren C wrote:

" An SBS ‘Smart Break System also senses when the rider is slowing down" Does this mean that the saddle falls apart if the bike is stolen?

Also why does the sentence begin with the word 'an' I thought that was only used when two vowels sounds from two words were inplace together, as in 'an error' for example?

SBS begins with the letter e.

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GavinT [82 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Darren C wrote:

" An SBS ‘Smart Break System also senses when the rider is slowing down" Does this mean that the saddle falls apart if the bike is stolen?

Also why does the sentence begin with the word 'an' I thought that was only used when two vowels sounds from two words were inplace together, as in 'an error' for example?

 

Yes 'break' is an embarrassing error!

But 'an SBS' is perfectly correct, trust the sound of the letter.

 

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Jack Sexty [21 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Darren C wrote:

" An SBS ‘Smart Break System also senses when the rider is slowing down" Does this mean that the saddle falls apart if the bike is stolen?

Also why does the sentence begin with the word 'an' I thought that was only used when two vowels sounds from two words were inplace together, as in 'an error' for example?

Hi Darren - this means that the lights detect breaking or sharp slowing down... i.e. the lights start flashing more frequently to give a warning signal to traffic behind. 

Re: 'SBS' - 'SBS' phonetically starts with a vowel sound, and my understanding is that phonetics always trumps the technical grammatical rule when deciding which to use. 'A SBS' doesn't sound right to me if you pronounce the initials, although 'An Smart Breaking System' does indeed sound wrong. I propose a social media poll, q+a or live TV debate to settle the matter once and for all if we don't reach an agreement! 

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GavinT [82 posts] 4 months ago
7 likes

@Jack - Braking! The lights detect braking!  1

 

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Jack Sexty [21 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

GavinT wrote:

Darren C wrote:

" An SBS ‘Smart Break System also senses when the rider is slowing down" Does this mean that the saddle falls apart if the bike is stolen?

Also why does the sentence begin with the word 'an' I thought that was only used when two vowels sounds from two words were inplace together, as in 'an error' for example?

 

Yes 'break' is an embarrassing error!

But 'an SBS' is perfectly correct, trust the sound of the letter.

 

Thanks Gavin that is a bad one, my apologies it's now corrected - I'm new so need breaking in before my work is error-free! 

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GavinT [82 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

 

Quote:

Thanks Gavin that is a bad one, my apologies it's now corrected - I'm new so need breaking in before my work is error-free! 

 

No worries, pedantry is my speciality!  3

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Jack Sexty [21 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

GavinT wrote:

@Jack - Braking! The lights detect braking!  1

 

I've just sacked myself Gavin, back to school for Jack! 

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Darren C [116 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Thank you all for clearing that up, I never though about the SBS sounding like 'esss', we all learn something every day!cheeky

 

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kil0ran [458 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

Well that's utterly pointless. Also for many riders likely to be obscured by clothing or, erm, their physique. And obvs everyone has USB charging available in their shed/garage /facepalm

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LastBoyScout [265 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I've surprised myself by actually quite liking the concept - my best bike has an aero seat post that makes it tricky to fit a light bracket to (yes, I know about rail mounts - in fact, I've just got the Fizik Cateye mount for that bike).

I'd be more keen to see a version that can be retro-fitted to existing saddles, either on the back of the rails or using the Fizik mount, so you can use any saddle you like and it's easy to swap it between bikes. It would also make it a lot easier to charge/theft proof it if you can take it indoors.

Even then, it still looks like it needs a bit more work to get me to buy one - the main light looks too tucked away and not very big and more of the sides needs to flash orange for the indicators.

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LastBoyScout [265 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
kil0ran wrote:

Well that's utterly pointless. Also for many riders likely to be obscured by clothing or, erm, their physique. And obvs everyone has USB charging available in their shed/garage /facepalm

I've seen lights mounted on seatposts that were obscured by the bag on a pannier rack, so putting it up there might be a solution for some people, if they can't mount it to the rack.

I'm sure most people have a mobile phone power bank of some sort that could be used for charging it, so that's not, in itself, a complete fail and probably avoids loads of coin cell batteries ending up in landfill.

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Al__S [1246 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

I saw one of the "built into a helmet" ones recently. Wasn't until after he'd turned the indicator off that I realised what it was, the orange was so close to red that it looked like a blinking rear light and it wasn't that  obvious that it was only one side flashing.

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Grizzerly [365 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Didn't the Raleigh Chopper or one of its copies or derivatives have rear lights built into the saddle? 

In about 1970?

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McVittees [65 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

The light doesn't look very bright.

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Pub bike [236 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

They might as well go the whole hog and add ANT+ light control so that this can be controlled from your cycle computer, wearable etc...but for all above reasons and these

  • other road users are not expecting to look for little lights blinking on the saddle to indicate a cyclist turning obscured by clothing
  •  every rider prefers a different saddle

...this probably won't get very far.

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Rapha Nadal [574 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

LastBoyScout wrote:

I've surprised myself by actually quite liking the concept - my best bike has an aero seat post that makes it tricky to fit a light bracket to (yes, I know about rail mounts - in fact, I've just got the Fizik Cateye mount for that bike).

I'd be more keen to see a version that can be retro-fitted to existing saddles, either on the back of the rails or using the Fizik mount, so you can use any saddle you like and it's easy to swap it between bikes. It would also make it a lot easier to charge/theft proof it if you can take it indoors.

Even then, it still looks like it needs a bit more work to get me to buy one - the main light looks too tucked away and not very big and more of the sides needs to flash orange for the indicators.

I think that you can mount an Exposure Tracer rear light to the underneath of the saddle.  There's a mount which attaches to the rails.

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PaulBox [669 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
McVittees wrote:

The light doesn't look very bright.

Try adjusting your monitor...kiss

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The _Kaner [1133 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Maybe they could also install a small phone vibrator motor to the saddle, giving the rider the impression that they've got ABS on the bike and the LEDS could blink accordingly... to warn those very observant cars (or mates) that might plow into the back of you (causing untold disk rotor damage to one's calf/calves)...ho hum

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cyclisto [259 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
FatBoyW wrote:

What does this fix? Saddle and light - why on earth would I want them combined!  

Not getting my vote on that basis as well as fully sympathising with the sentiment of danthomas.

Love to see it in Dragon's Den though!!! 

The fix is thst the light is much higher, so a drunk low seated Ferrari driver, will see you earlier if there is a high crest ahead. But I had to try around 10 saddles before finding ball free comfort at my Romin, so what you will you do if you simply don't feel comfortable? So my cheapo 1w led has little to fear.

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barbarus [466 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Indicators? On a bike? Why has no one thought of this before?