As a kid, the very idea of a bike helmet just sounded ludicrous. Times have changed, and I’ve always got one on my head when I’m on the bike – as much to protect my own noggin as to be an example for my kids. Sure, it’s not the speeds I was at on my motorcycle, but still – safety is safety. One of the latest creations brings some clever lighting to the mix and is going by the name of the Lumos Ultra.
As you can see by the image in the header – and that gif above – the Lumos Ultra brings lighting to the mix. On my own bike, I’ve got some lights on it – a reflective brake light that I can make solid or blink, and a headlight that can also be solid or blink. If you’re a daytime rider, and mostly on trails, those may not be as important to you. For riding at dawn, dusk, night, or in the streets? Lights are good – not only can you see, everyone else can see you.
The first thing I really like about the Lumos Ultra is the light right up front. It’s basically like a headlamp, and that means you’re lighting up right where you’re looking. One mounted on the front of your bike is generally on the handlebars, so is mostly pointed forward. And even if you’re looking forward, two sets of lights means more visibility.
The second thing that I think is cool are the lights on the back of the Lumos Ultra. To start with, they’re rear-facing red lights just like you probably put on the back of the bike so another bike or car can see you. These, of course, are much higher than one mounted under your seat, and increases the chances of being seen. This seems a little trickier if you’re looking around, so I don’t know I’d trust it to completely replace a solid-mounted light on the bike, but it definitely supplements things quite nicely.
Those rear-facing lights on the Lumos Ultra have another trick up their sleeve – they’re turn signals! You can activate it with a button on your handlebar (pictured above), or via an app on your Apple Watch that triggers things when you use the normal hand signal for a turn. This is a clever bit of technology that road riders would find helpful. I talked with one buddy who does, and he was concerned about remembering it and actually activating it. I say, if I could remember how to do it on a motorcycle, pedal bikers can do so too.
The last thing I found intriguing about the Lumos Ultra is the fact that they have a MIPS option. When it comes to helmets, there are always innovations, and bike helmets are no exception. With MIPS, you get extra protection from the rotational forces that can be exerted in a crash, and it is the option I’d definitely go for, myself, if I were to get one.
Fortunately, Ultra has been making helmets for a while, so they should have a track record of making a safe product, along with all the tech embedded in it. I think I’d use them as additional lights to the ones I’ve got mounted on my bike already, but extra lighting (and redundancy, because batteries can discharge with use) is never a bad thing. Check out the campaign before it wraps up on July 19th. And yeah, it’s fully funded, so odds of you getting your standard ($79) or MIPS ($109) helmet look really good. campaign page