There must be something wrong with the flash on that camera… It's working perfectly. As is the bike. This is the new Lumen bike from San Francisco-based Mission Bicycles, and as the name suggests, it glows in the dark.
How does it do that, then?The frame and wheel rims are coated in retroreflective paint – by day, it's an iridescent grey hue, but shine a light on it and it's visible up to 1000 feet away. That's because the paint contains microscopic spheres that reflect light back to its source – just like cat's eyes or the reflective tape seen on hi-vis jackets.
Why would I want a glowing bicycle? Safety is everything when you're riding at night. Anything that can increase your visibility is welcome, whether it's a gadget like Revolights or the Blaze bike light – or a glow-in-the-dark bicycle.
Very clever. Why hasn't it been done before? According to Mission Bicycles, "Retroreflective solutions have previously only been available in 2D formats" like road signs or stripes – they teamed up with Halo Coatings, who used their patented powder coating technique to apply a retroreflective coat to a bicycle frame.
Upon reflection, I think I'll buy it. You'll need to dig deep into your wallet; the Lumen is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, with a frame and fork setting you back US$500, a single-speed Lumen 1 costing US$1250, an eight-speed Lumen 8 costing US$1600 and a Lumen 8SE special edition costing US$2500. Expect to pay US$110 to ship a complete bike outside the USA, with delivery starting in July.
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