Mission Bicycles' Lumen turns your whole bike into a super-bright reflector

Glow in the dark with this vivid velocipede
Lumen bicycle

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.

Lumen 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 (RM1655), a single-speed Lumen 1 costing US$1250 (RM4135), an eight-speed Lumen 8 costing US$1600 (RM5295) and a Lumen 8SE special edition costing US$2500 (RM8275). Expect to pay US$110 (RM365) to ship a complete bike outside the USA, with delivery starting in July.

[Kickstarter via Wired]

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