Franz Struwig's Backtracker is a new take on the bike light based around a radar.

The back light alerts motorists to your presence, flashing more frequently as they get closer.

Then a handlebar-mounted display gives a read-out to riders: the red bars illuminate as cars come nearby.

Struwig says the handlebar display isn't really a danger signal. It's more about giving riders extra intelligence.

The back scanner, which detects cars 400 feet a way, forces drivers to appreciate their proximity to the back wheel.

Backtracker claims the unit is even useful in heavy traffic, when you imagine cars are always close.

"From testing we’ve found that Backtracker is very useful when crossing lanes," says the web site. "It helps you to know when there are gaps in the traffic so that you don’t constantly have to look over your shoulder to try and identify the most opportune moment to change lanes."

Pre-orders cost $149.

Struwig, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, is crowd-funding on Dragon Innovation, a Kickstarter-like site specializing in hardware.

Struwig, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, is crowd-funding on Dragon Innovation, a Kickstarter-like site specializing in hardware.

Struwig, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, is crowd-funding on Dragon Innovation, a Kickstarter-like site specializing in hardware.

2014-07-16

A Radar For Your Bike, So You Don't Have To Have Eyes In The Back Of Your Head

With the Backtracker, tailgating cars take notice.

How do you improve the bike light? We've seen a few new ideas recently: lights embedded in wheels or installed in helmets, lights that project an image on the road or even lights that let you see what the road surface is like.

Franz Struwig's Backtracker is another new take. His light idea is based around a radar. The back light alerts motorists to the cyclist's presence, flashing more frequently as cars get closer. Then a handlebar-mounted display gives a read-out to riders. Its red bars illuminate as cars come nearby.

Struwig, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, is raising money to fund the lights on Dragon Innovation, a Kickstarter-like site specializing in hardware. See the campaign video here:

Struwig says the handlebar display isn't really a danger signal. It's more about giving riders extra intelligence. The back scanner, which detects cars that are 400 feet away, forces drivers to appreciate their proximity to the back wheel.

He claims the Backtracker unit is even useful in heavy traffic, when cars are always close. "From testing, we’ve found that Backtracker is very useful when crossing lanes," says the website. "It helps you to know when there are gaps in the traffic so that you don’t constantly have to look over your shoulder to try and identify the most opportune moment to change lanes."

You can support the project here. Pre-orders cost $149.

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