Despite its short history, it’s hard to deny that crowdfunding has produced quite a few cool products for cyclists. It seems commuters are the biggest target for online entrepreneurs, and in this article we’ll check out two new products designed to keep riders safe on the roads.

The FLECTR 360 reflectors provide a simple yet effective way to increase your visibility without adding weight or unsightly bolt-on components to your bike. The Rayo tail light packs some high-tech internals to offer clever safety features and uses special lenses to throw lots of light behind and beside you. Both products have already won over the crowdfunders, so let’s take a closer look at each…

FLECTR 360

FLECTR 360 reflectors, rider

Last year Bikerumor covered the FLECTR ZEROs, which are essentially small reflective stickers that attach to your spokes in lieu of clunky plastic reflectors. After a successful Kickstarter campaign FLECTR moved on their next concept, the FLECTR 360.

The new FLECTR 360’s stick to your rims, and much like the last version, the creators tout their light weight and aerodynamic efficiency. They also create a minimal aesthetic interruption, so they won’t compromise the curb appeal of your flashy ride.

FLECTR 360 reflectors, on rim

Since many modern rims have a deep profile or rounded shape the FLECTR decals can catch light from many angles and reflect it around you. There are different sizes available for road or MTB rims, plus versions that work for rim-brake setups as well. The only rims that won’t work with the FLECTR 360s are models that flatten out right above the brake surfaces.

FLECTR 360 reflectors, reflection pattern
*Photos and video c. FLECTR

The FLECTR 360’s big claim is that they make you visible from 360 degrees, but you’re probably wondering how you can be seen from in front or behind with rim decals… The answer is that the reflectors use microprismatic technology to throw reflected light in all directions, surrounding you with illumination.

The decals are made from a conformable film so they will wrap nicely around different rim shapes. The creators say they stick reliably and won’t crinkle, and they even have a dirt-repellent surface to keep them shining.

The FLECTR 360’s Kickstarter campaign has exceeded its funding goal, and it’s still live until Dec. 30th. A set of FLECTR 360 decals (two for each wheel) can currently be pre-ordered for approx. $20 USD, or you can grab two sets for $34. Kickstarter supporters should receive their product in Feb. 2018, and you can view the campaign here.

Rayo Light

Rayo tail light, five colors

The Rayo (pronounced rye-oh) is a new tail light that’s also catching people’s eyes on Kickstarter. With integrated Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-axis motion sensor, the Rayo provides brake light and theft alert functions, plus a few other nifty features.

Rayo tail light, light beam pattern

The Rayo uses three LED’s and two optically engineered lenses that focus light in three different ways- The lenses project narrow, long distance and wide beams to keep you visible from the rear and sides. The LED’s can blink, surge, glow, or burst, and through the configurator you can customize different combinations for each bulb. The Rayo’s maximum output is 90 lumens.

Based on algorithms used by drones, the Rayo’s automatic brake light feature brightens the light whenever you slow down. The Bluetooth also comes in handy if you like to ride with friends; the light’s group LED synchronization automatically pairs your unit with nearby Rayos. With your light patterns matched, the creators say you’ll be more easily seen as a group. Watch it in action in the video below, pretty cool.

Rayo tail light, app screens
*Photos and video c. Hauteworks

Of course there’s an app where you can control the light, customize its settings, monitor battery life, and utilize the theft alert function. When enabled, your phone will alert you if your bike is moved. The unit itself is operated by a single button that switches the Rayo on/off and cycles through light modes.

The Rayo’s waterproof body measures 72mm long, 35mm wide and 40mm deep, and it weighs 50g. A simple rubber strap fits seat posts up to 32mm in diameter. The battery charges via USB in 3-4 hours. It can run for up to 20 hours in Low Power mode, but no other run times are given.

The Rayo is currently selling for $44 USD, and shipping is expected for April 2018. Color options include In The Pink, Royal Blue, Feather White, Carbon Black and Lemon Yellow. Check out the campaign page here.

7 COMMENTS

  1. The reflective tape for rims is nothing new – but it is a great thing to do if you want to be seen. I’ve been doing it for decades on not only my bicycle, but also motorcycles. And don’t discount the tape on the surface of a box-section rim… From the front or rear (directions you are usually being approached from by a motor vehicle) a few pieces of tape, grouped together on one section of the rim, creates a flashing effect as you roll along. Not seen from the side but you should be able to see a vehicle approaching from the side and be proactive. Another spot that shows up well is a piece of tape on the back of the left crank arm (for USA style driving) when it is in the “up” position. This makes for a ‘flash’ as your cranks turn, and doing it on the backside of the ‘up’ position makes sure your leg (or clothing) won’t obscure it. That Rayo light looks great. Adding the theft protection is a good idea, now if you can add rear-facing radar to notify you on your phone mounted to your bars that something is approaching fast, you have a good rear-bike-protection assembly.

      • There is a big difference between cheap reflective tape and good tape though. Look at the specs for Coefficient of Retroreflection (brightness and angle it has brightness from). Also need to be careful for how flexible the tape is.

        • That’s pretty much it. Better reflective tape (or reflectors in general) have large angles of acceptance (as measured from a line perpendicular to the tape surface). I have some reflective tape form Performance Bike that was pretty cheap, but that cheapness shows in that the tape’s reflectivity falls off sharply the farther off axis the incident light is.

        • Yep – you are totally correct there! One great source for tapes, if you can get it, is to find out who your state road/highway department gets their tapes from. I had a buddy who had worked for CalTrans years back, and he told me who they got their reflective materials from – I contacted them and was able to get some smaller sheets (not much in rolls from this supplier). It wasn’t cheap, but not that expensive at the time, and I was able to get a few cool ‘colors’ too. Black reflective tape that is nearly invisible in daylight, but lights up brightly at night went onto the back of my sport-tourers’ luggage bags and rear fender. Also works great on a black anodized crank arm. Yellows, reds, you name it, they have it. Also, make sure the surface you are adhering the tape to is really clean (alcohol…) before you put it on. Some of these tape materials have an etching adhesive that ‘eats’ its’ way into the surface of the paint, aluminum, etc… so don’t put it on anything you want to remove it from later and have it looking pretty…

    • The Garmin Varia rear light has the approaching car warning. Not sure whether it’s using radar or some other technology.

      The reflective tape in the photos has the same triangular imprinting pattern as the microprism stuff I’ve bought. I prefer it over the retroreflective micro beads because I think it’s more reflective. I’ve folded little flags over spokes, and used it on rims. Like with the FLECTR design, I patterned the cut off the flags so there’s a short folded edge since the tape is relatively stiff and doesn’t take a fold too well.

  2. How does the reflectivity compared to 3M SOLAS tape. At least with the spoke tags I was paying for something. This seems like very expensive tape unless they can show its significantly better.

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