Backtracker Radar Light Detects Cars and Flashes to Protect Cyclists

DashRiprock

Active Member
This cool light from iKubu uses a radar sensor to let you know when there might be dangerous traffic speeding from behind and it has a little LED light display on your handle bars that changes to show how close they are. If a car is coming up from behind too fast it also flashes with a rear light to help alert them of your presence as a cyclist. Full story here and you can buy the thing for ~$200 here on Dragon (sort of like Kickstarter).

radar-sensing-light-bicycles.png

Radar sensor for cyclists keeps tabs on dangerous traffic from behind South Africa’s Backtracker is a device that aims to save cyclists’ lives by letting them know of dangerous traffic coming from behind...According to the company, some 40 percent of all cycling fatalities are the result of being hit from behind by a car, and Backtracker helps both riders and drivers stay more aware of their proximity.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 

James

Well-Known Member
Thats a pretty cool device. I like the increase in light flashing to catch the drivers eye.... very clever
 

Charly Banana

Active Member
Looks like a good idea however, after watching the video I would say that the rear LEDs look pretty weak and most drivers probably wouldn't even see them in the daylight.

I ride with a mirror that I glance at all the time, so I'm always aware what is behind me. I also ride with a super bright flashing tail light that drivers can't miss even in bright sunlight. So, for me this device wouldn't be an improvement. That said, it's great that smart people keep coming up with new ideas to increase bicycle safety.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I agree, an improvement would be that the flashing light increases in volume, speed and intensity as the car gets closer. That would be for the rear light. For the front indicator perhaps an option to turn on a beeping sound or chirping sound that increases in frequency as the car gets closer would be a nice option. This way I would not have to look down at it to notice.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
IMHO if someone goes through this trouble to purchase and install I think the rear facing camera option makes more sense. it is the difference between idiot lights and gauges in a car , again to me


Mark
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
For the front indicator perhaps an option to turn on a beeping sound or chirping sound that increases in frequency as the car gets closer would be a nice option.
My first thoughts when reading this article were about how distracting it might be for the bicycle rider? What percentage of accidents are caused by the cyclist and not by a car... If lights are flashing all over the place and sounds are being made it could cause the rider to hit something themselves or have a frontal impact which (according to iKubu's own statistics in the article and what I've heard from other in the industry) is more common. I just bought some lights and the guys at REI were like "get a good headlight because that's where most accidents happen".

@DashRiprock I edited your original post to include some more content vs. just a link and an informative title so people can find this more easily. Thanks for sharing :)
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
I also ride with a super bright flashing tail light that drivers can't miss even in bright sunlight.

Can you share what flashing taillight you use? I had a $5 blinker that fell off, and I would like to replace it with something more effective. The Pedego Commuter has a built-in taillight and I ride with a reflective yellow vest, but more is better when it comes to making sure you're noticeable! :)
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
Can you share what flashing taillight you use? I had a $5 blinker that fell off, and I would like to replace it with something more effective. The Pedego Commuter has a built-in taillight and I ride with a reflective yellow vest, but more is better when it comes to making sure you're noticeable! :)
I'm guessing that there are better lights for the price...yet I'm in the market to 'flash' something other than this one as well. It's an alternating flash pattern w/tailight only option. I used to use these for backup taillights on our trailers should we lose them for some reason.
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Blinky-Superflash-Turbo/dp/B004U5PV5A
 
I'm guessing that there are better lights for the price...yet I'm in the market to 'flash' something other than this one as well. It's an alternating flash pattern w/tailight only option. I used to use these for backup taillights on our trailers should we lose them for some reason.
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Blinky-Superflash-Turbo/dp/B004U5PV5A

The one you have looks like a good value to me..thanks! ;)

I also saw this review that compares…and combines it with another.

"Comparison between the RADBOT 1000 and the new Planet Bike Superflash TURBO. When I was trying to figure out how these two compare I could not find any review about this! So... now I am writing one.

The Radbot used to be basically the only mainstream 1 watt tail light at this time, which proofed to be extraordinarily bright. Now the Superflash Turbo comes into the 1 watt league as well, and I just bought one because I am a blinking stuff addict ;) .

The Superflash turbo is really bright, a direct comparison of both lights on steady on in my dark basement revealed NO difference. The beam is basically exactly the same, same width, same shades, same brightness. I was surprised by that, but I guess they have the same LED supplier. Positive about the Superflash here: the whole case gets illuminated in a nice red, so the visibility from the side is higher than with the Radbot 1000. So, if you wanna run the lights on steady on, it does not really make a difference which one you get.

The flashing mode on the Superflash turbo is superior to the Radbot's rapid flash. The Radbot has a more constant flashing sequence, the Turbo's seems to be very random. However, sometimes the Turbo's flash gets really bright in this mode, which is not the case with the Radbot. The Radbot doesn't reach the highest brightness in the flashing mode somehow. BIG plus for the Turbo since I prefer the flashing modes on my bicycle. I was actually really surprised by this since I LOVE the Radbot. But the flashing pattern with the Turbo is really nice. Of course the 2 additional smaller LEDs help out a little, too.

The Turbo does not have the slow on-off mode that the radbot has. I really like that on the Radbot, since it reaches the full brightness for a while and then gets darker again. This is a more "quiet" sequence that is a mixture of the steady on and the flashing.

My bike now has both lights mounted, and I run the Radbot on the slow on-off, and the Turbo in the flashing mode. Looks really nice and is highly visible!

The Radbot actually comes with more mounting brackets and hardware than the Turbo, plus point for the Radbot. The Radbot also has a nice reflector, the Turbo is a little smaller instead.

So whichever light you choose, they are both really really good! You will be satisfied with either one, the Radbot is a little cheaper.

So on a scale from 1 to 10 they both get a 10, the next competitive lights on the market get a maximum of 6. Both lights are playing in a different league!"