Light-up wheels turn your bike into a 'Tron Cycle'

UniqueThis 9 Jan 13

Revolights are a set of wheel-mounted LED
Revolights are a set of wheel-mounted LED's that increase cycle visibility, making it safer to ride at night.
A ring of white and red LEDs are installed around the entire rim of the front and back wheels, acting as headlights and taillights
A ring of white and red LEDs are installed around the entire rim of the front and back wheels, acting as headlights and taillights
Only the forward facing lights (or backward on the rear wheel) illuminate when the wheel is spinning, creating beautiful arcs of light that make the rider visible from all angles.
Only the forward facing lights (or backward on the rear wheel) illuminate when the wheel is spinning, creating beautiful arcs of light that make the rider visible from all angles.
The blinking of the lights is timed in order to prevent them from shining into riders
The blinking of the lights is timed in order to prevent them from shining into riders' eyes. At low speeds this is achieved through an accelerometer, which determines the position of the lights through the pull of gravity.
When the bike is going at high speed, the blinking pattern is calculated based on the wheels
When the bike is going at high speed, the blinking pattern is calculated based on the wheels' period of rotation.
The Revolights project was funded on Kickstarter in 2011 when it raised over $215,000 - more than five times its target. The team have recently launched Revolights City, a second generation product that can fit additional types of 700C rims.
The Revolights project was funded on Kickstarter in 2011 when it raised over $215,000 - more than five times its target. The team have recently launched Revolights City, a second generation product that can fit additional types of 700C rims.
Instead, the team also have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to create custom wheels with built-in LEDs for those who want to avoid challenges of adapting their existing bikes.
Instead, the team also have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to create custom wheels with built-in LEDs for those who want to avoid challenges of adapting their existing bikes.
The creators say that new system will be more lightweight and simple than the original bolt-on design, making it more user friendly.
The creators say that new system will be more lightweight and simple than the original bolt-on design, making it more user friendly.

Revolights are a set of wheel-mounted LEDs which increase cycle visibility

The project raised five times the goal funding on Kickstarter in 2011

Now the team is looking to Kickstarter again to develop wheels with in-built lights

The lights are timed to blink depending on the speed the bike goes, preventing them from blinding riders

(CNN) —  

Anyone that bikes dreams of riding a Tron Light Cycle. Revolights, a set of wheel-mounted LEDs, now makes that dream a little closer to reality, and a new built-in version is helping that system become even more lightweight and simple than the original bolt-on setup.

The white-and-red lighting comprises a ring of LEDs that you install around the entire edge of each of your bike rims. Using a pair of clever devices, only the forward-facing lights (or backwards, in the case of the rear wheel) illuminate when the wheel spins. The result is beautiful arcs of light that make you visible from all angles, an effect that Revolights’ co-founder and CFO Adam Pettler says came by accident.

Revolights inventor Kent Frankovich didn’t set out to produce the arcs, instead he was looking for a better headlight design, one that would make obstacles stand out more clearly though low angle lighting. The timed blinking of the lights was to prevent them from shining in a rider’s eyes. “It wasn’t until after he had created the first prototype that we realized the huge increase in rider visibility that came with it,” Pettler says, “He then quickly made a red taillight to match.”

Read: Ex-cop builds robot from household goods

The lights use two mechanisms to tell the LEDs when to turn on and off. At low speeds, an accelerometer determines the position of the lights by reading the pull of gravity. At higher velocities, the lights switch over to calculating speed based on the wheel’s period of rotation. That allows the system to synchronize a cascading LED pattern.

This is Revolights’ second Kickstarter campaign. The first one was completed in 2011, raising five times its initial goal. Pettler says this second Kickstarter is being done to celebrate the release of a v2 version of the product. Interestingly, the revamped Revolights City v2.0 kits aren’t one of the Kickstarter rewards.

“The City represents our second product, designed with the goal of making Revolights more accessible,” says Pettler. “And while it is a new product we now offer, Revolights City is an aftermarket kit you install on your own wheels, and we felt putting it on Kickstarter would be too similar to our last campaign.”

Read: Introducing the world’s tiniest fisheye camera

So they went bigger. The current Kickstarter is for custom wheels with the lights built right in. It’s a project created in partnership with Mission Bicycle Company (also a Kickstarter alum).

“We designed Revolights Wheels to address our largest design challenges: installation and compatibility,” says Pettler. “While many cyclists enjoy their existing wheels and want to put Revolights on them, there’s a whole other group of riders out there that don’t want to install their own lights.”

It’s a smart way of using Kickstarter. For simple product updates, there’s no need (and indeed some discouragement) for using Kickstarter. But by putting together an ambitious product for the crowd funding site and timing that to coincide with an update of your more stable product, you get the best of both worlds as a creator.


Around the World

6479 news found.
Grid View
List View
  • 01/20: Red and Blue
  • Inauguration Live Updates: Biden takes office, moving quickly to implement agenda
  • Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving returns, scores 37 points in double-overtime loss to Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Larry Scott's 11-year run as Pac-12 commissioner to end in June
  • Henry To'o To'o among 4 Tennessee players to enter portal after Jeremy Pruitt firing
  • NBA postpones sixth consecutive game for the Washington Wizards
  • NBA to enforce rules forbidding hugs, handshakes with midcourt security
  • Alex Ovechkin, 3 others on COVID-19 absence list as NHL fines Washington Capitals $100K for violations of protocols
  • Biden plans temporary halt of oil activity in Arctic refuge
  • Sources -- J.A. Happ, Minnesota Twins agree to deal
  • Answering the biggest injury questions for NFL conference championship playoff teams