By Don Jurries
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. New Zealand inventor, Peter Curruthers, has come up with a bike light system called Bike Alive that uses LEDs at the end of a flexible arm to encourage car traffic to give cyclists a wider berth. The combination makes your bike appear 50 cm (20 in) wider than normal.
Using super high brightness LEDS, the Bike Alive bike light system includes twin alternate flashing tail lights, one located at the saddle post mount and the other at the end of the arm. The end of the arm also includes a front headlight, as well as sidelight for 360 degree visibility.
All the electronics are sealed and operated by a water-proof switch and use a standard 9V battery. The bike light includes a unique flashing circuit that should allow a battery life of over 200 hours. The Bike Alive LED bike light system is designed with a number of other clever features to ensure its functionality and longevity.
The LED light casings are made from a high-strength Nylon 66 plastic to limit impact damage. The casings were strong enough, during a demo on New Zealand TV, that the Bike Alive unit broke a floor tile in the studio without any noticeable damage to the LED bike light system itself.
Springs, screws, nuts, and the quick-release clamp to mount the LED bike light system to your saddle post are all stainless steel. The arm contains a flexible spring to ensure stability in case you accidently hit somehting. The arm can also be positioned to the left or right without modification to accommodate use in multiple countries, or in a downward position when you are out on a group ride.
The Bike Alive LED bike light system is available globally through an online ordering system. Bike Alive retails in the US and Canada for $125, Europe for €99, Australia for A$135 and New Zealand for NZ$148. The prices include packing and postage.