Revolights released its original wheel-mounted bike light system in 2011, following a $215,621 Kickstarter campaign (tagline: "Join The Revolution"). The lights, which spin round the wheel until they form solid front and back beams, were a big hit. Revolights sold 1600 sets in 37 countries.
But then it faced after-care issues. Some buyers’ rims were too wide, and many said installation was a chore: "A lot of feedback we got said 'the installation isn’t difficult, it’s just time consuming’," says CEO Kent Frankovich. Revolights even had to manufacture a special tool in China, just to accommodate some customers.
So, Frankovich has come up with some refinements, and new products. A 2.0 version is compatible with more types of rim. And, Revo is working on both its own wheels, as well as its own bike, together with a local San Francisco manufacturer. Frankovich describes the latter as "matte black" with an "elegant frame", with full Revolight integration (basically, bike porn). "It’s a beautiful bike in the day. You can’t tell the lights are there," he says. "Then, at night, it’s a full blown light cycle."
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Revo is now running another Kickstarter drive for the wheels (likely to sell at $217 each), and selling the new version of the clip-on lights at $229 (the original is $250). It goes through its own web site currently, but Frankovich would like the lights in stores. "That would help with installation. But we really want to sell wheels, and then there’s no installation. We hope that’s more what people want it to be."