San Francisco-based bike specialist Mission Bicycle has focused on both areas with its latest design, which is currently looking for backing on Kickstarter.
The Lyra is a stylish two-wheeler that incorporates an array of LED lighting to make you highly visible on the road, while the lightweight steel frame includes a GPS tracking device to help you track down your bike if it gets stolen or if you simply can’t remember where you parked it.
But let’s get back to those LEDs. Mission Bicycle founder Zachary Rosen said his team designed the lighting feature “in an integrated way that doesn’t have extra flourishes or gimmicks or anything like that, it’s there to serve a purpose.” That purpose is, of course, to get you seen on the streets at night, giving approaching motorists and other road users ample time to safely respond to your presence.
We like the way the front lights are built into the forks of the bike, creating an eye-catching spread of light across the ground, thereby increasing your visibility. Rear lighting, meanwhile, comes in the form of a series of red LEDs built into the back of the seat stem, with two modes of lighting offered — super-bright and energy saving.
Speaking of power, the lighting system runs off a battery that lives in the head tube. When it’s running low, you simply remove it from the tube and charge it using the USB cable. Mission Bicycle says that testing shows the battery is good for around 20 half-hour night rides, equivalent to “about a month’s worth of commutes home from work.”
Now, while you’ll want a decent lock to reduce the chances of your precious bike going walkabout, the Lyra’s built-in GPS tracking device means you can keep tabs on the location of your bike around the clock. Each time the bike begins or ends a journey, it will ping its GPS location directly to the Lyra’s smartphone app so you’ll know exactly where it is at any given moment.
A Lyra prototype has already been built and tested, and Mission Bicycle hopes to start delivering its latest design — available in both single speed and 8-speed options — to U.S.-based Kickstarter backers in the fall of this year. Prices start at $1,000, but you’d better hit the project page quick if you want to snag an early-bird deal.