Integrated Lighting

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Lights which last as long as the bike itself

Why do bikes not have built-in lighting systems? When you buy a car you don't have to then buy some additional plasticky lights with separate batteries and clip them on yourself.


Dahon ReeCharge systemGiant CitystormTrue, some bikes come fitted with lighting as standard, but it is never really integrated. Even on a bike sold complete with dynamo and lights, they are effectively bolt-on accessories, easily broken with visible fixings and exposed cables, albeit ones which were fitted at the factory. The automobile left behind this stage of development in the 1920's and it would be laughable if reintroduced nowadays.


Dahon has developed a battery system, charged by a hub dynamo, which can not only power your bike lights but also a GPS satellite navigation system, for example, or recharge your phone. Although it is still an add-on accessory with plastic clips and trailing cables, and could easily be stolen from a parked bike, Dahon's ReeCharge system at least proves the viability of the concept.


There are a few production bikes with genuinely integrated lighting and security - most recently the Giant CityStorm, for example. They are not mainstream, and the locks in particular look inadequate, but again they demonstrate the technical feasibility of the idea.


Even in 2010, 125 years since the invention of the modern bicycle, we still cannot buy a standard off-the-shelf bike complete with truly integrated lighting, security, luggage capacity, and weather protection. But with the growth in demand for practical utility and commuting bikes, surely this is a concept which will soon come of age.



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