The humble bicycle: a means of conveyance that has hardly changed — except for a few tweaks here and there — since its invention. Some might argue that a bike needs no altering. They might even cite the unchanging nature of bicycles as evidence for their opinion. But with half a million bike-related ER visits in the US each year, along with nearly 200,000 bike thefts annually, maybe there's a bit of room for improvement.
The Helios handlebars, now on Kickstarter, are capable of making any bike smart. Armed with a super-bright headlamp, color-changing blinkers and a GPS tracker, these handlebars will make your bike safer — no matter where it is. And those features are just the tip of the pedal-powered iceberg.
Helios handlebars can connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone, allowing you to customize your biking experience. From your phone you can coordinate the colors of your blinkers, have your bike's lights pop on when you approach, and even set a color-changing visual speedometer. When the speedometer is turned on, the twin, rear-facing blinker bulbs shine red when traveling slowly, yellow then green when accelerating, and blue when you hit the neighborhood of 35 MPH.
The same lights, when acting as turn signals, are push-button activated — blinking for five seconds when tapped. And the most basic of features, the headlamp, is a CREE LED bulb which can output 500 lumens, five times the brightness of the average bike light. Helios is still in the works, but you can reserve an advance set of handlebars (in either drop or bullhorn style) over on the project's Kickstarter page for a cool 200 bucks, plus shipping.