If you awoke from a 50 year coma there would be quite a few surprises. Many things have changed almost beyond recognition but I’m pretty sure that you would have no trouble recognising a bike! Almost every aspect of the bike has improved beyond measure but the basics remain the same and there really haven’t been any ‘game changer’ technology developments. Except, that is, for the lights.
As a boy my bike’s lights weighed about the same as the bike itself, and cast a beam so feeble that it barely reached to front wheel . Furthermore, the batteries cost a fortune, lasted about 5 minutes and if you forgot to remove them from the lamp unit they would leak within minutes, ruining the lamp. The invention of the LED light has completely transformed nocturnal cycling and, depending on your needs, you can now buy something for a few pounds that will run for hundreds of hours and let you be seen, or a monster packing many thousands of lumens and costing about the same as a cheap bike. These very high intensity lights have brought their own problems with cyclists using lights designed for off-road riding and ‘blinding’ oncoming motorists.
Whenever I pass a bike shop I always pop in to see if there are any new and exciting gadgets and on my recent trip to Australia I found a new lighting innovation that I have never seen before – a bicycle brake light! This fantastic little gizmo clips onto the rear brake cable and casts a bright red light whenever it is operated. If you have ever cycled into the back of a rider because you hadn’t realised they were slowing down you will immediately see the benefit!