Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Product Review - FlashBak

Do you know what cool people do?

They make cool, smart, and innovative bike products.

That is what Mr. Brad Beneski did. I met Brad at the social cycling rides. He always had some snack (frozen grapes!!!) in his rear rack and always up for a fun ride.. Soon, I noticed his new invention. The FlashBak.

Check out this link for some background on the man and the story behind FlashBak:

When I saw this revolutionary (really it is) light system, it just made sense.

Versatility: The four alligator clips and a separate battery unit are awesome. The clips make it possible to mount it to a back pack, pannier, or right on your jersey. The battery unit can be placed in a jersey pocket or back pack pocket.

Amber light: In chatting with Brad, he told me how optometry studies show that amber is much more visible than red. Why are bike lights red? I dunno, but I'm guessing it is simple tradition. People figure whats good for cars is good for bikes. Ya I know the law says "red", but I understand Brad looked into this and was reassured that this technicality would not be a problem. Amber makes sense.

Beyond visibility, I think there is another advantage to amber light. Call me weird (it happens all the time), but I think people may react differently to different colors. I think amber is simply a less disruptive/annoying/aggressive color, and that it may affect the actions of drivers.

Lights: There are a ton of VERY bright LED's on this bad boy. Ive seen a trend it commuter lights where the concentration is on one very very bright LED with a fancy pants lens on it. Depending on how well its mounted/worn sometimes your 1 watt of power is going into the ground or is being used to signal aliens.

You know who you are...

Simple is better sometimes. These LED are on a fabric strip that is flexible and conforms to your body/backpack. This make is so the LEDs are basically shining many various directions.

I also really like the unique hiccup pattern of the flash, and I'm sure it helps with visibility to some degree.

Remote control: Never ask "is my light on". Never try shining your light at the ground to see if its on.

The remote on/off button can be put somewhere easily accessible and visible to the rider.

I've seen/tried quite a few lights in my time.

I can say with confidence, this is the best light yet.

Buy one here:

Or East Side Pedal Pushers.

1 comment:

  1. Red is explicitly required by law in many places, including Texas. Brad has determined that nobody is likely to be prosecuted for having amber instead of read, but the law says red. Why? Probably because it's required for cars.

    I suggested adding one or two red LEDs to cover the law, he said he'll do that.

    Green is actually more visible than amber, if you're going for the colors the eye is most visible to.

    I like the lights too. Though I'd like them a bit more if they flashed in some pattern that always left at least one LED on at all times rather than the all or nothing flash they do now.