Staying safe on a road or commuter bike is mostly about making good decisions. But a few choice pieces of gear can help, too. Here are our eight favorite new products for the fall commuting season.
Loud Bicycle Bike Horn ($95)
If you can’t be seen, be heard. The Loud Bicycle is designed to sound like a car horn, with dual high and low notes and 125 decibels, although at 1.5 pounds, we found the frame-mounted horn clunky. But hey, if you want to make noise, this thing is for you. You can honk for up to two minutes straight, then recharge via USB.
Fly6 and Fly12 LED Light and Camera ($169 and $349)
The Fly6 and Fly12 replace standard low-lumen tail- and headlights with powerful, eye-watering LEDs. If road rage were to happen, both lights could capture the incident thanks to built-in HD cameras (720p in the back, 1080p up front).
Blaze Laserlight ($195)
Enlarge your footprint in a vehicle’s blind spot with the Blaze, which projects an easy-to-spot green laser image of a bike onto the road 20 feet in front of you. The waterproof light also simultaneously beams up to 300 lumens straight ahead in high, low, and flashing modes.
Closca Fuga Foldable Helmet ($130)
Storing your lid just got easier with the packable Fuga. Three rings (which double as vents) let this foldable helmet collapse down to half its volume. Assembled, it’s rigid enough to protect you in a crash. The Fuga is also the only lid we know of with a built-in NFC chip that sends a message to your smartphone after an impact, prompting a call to emergency services. We like the cool add-ons (think visors and beanies), too.
MagLock Magnetic Pedals ($140)
Clipless pedals can be intimidating for the uninitiated. The wide-platformed MagLocks reduce that barrier to entry thanks to their easy-to-use magnetic-locking mechanism, which engages with any steel cleat. Dial in the strength of that connection by adding up to ten removable magnets, which yield up to 30 pounds of attractive force.
Fiks:Reflective Wheel Stripes (From $19)
Standard headlights and taillights tend to be visible only from the front or back, not the side. These reflective wheel stripes can fix that problem. Fiks:Reflective sticks ultra-reflective tape embedded with glass beads to the surface of a wheel: when it’s hit by a car’s headlamp, the stuff lights up like the shell of a disco ball. Available in eight colors.
Volvo LifePaint (From $66)
Spray bikes, helmets, bags, or a kit with Volvo’s LifePaint to stay visible on dark roads. LifePaint’s particles bind to bike gear with a special adhesive that’s invisible during the day but highly reflective in a beam at night. No need to worry about ruining your kit either: the application lasts about a week and can be washed from clothing.
Zackees Turn-Signal Glove ($60)
Augment standard hand signals with Zackees’ turn-signal glove, which has a built-in, flashing orange arrow that indicates turns to drivers. A switch between the thumb and forefinger activates the arrow, while an ambient light sensor boosts brightness during the day and dims it at night to save battery (which will last for up to two months with daily use).