San Francisco's Mission Bicycle Company first caught our attention three years ago, when it introduced a bike that looks black in the daylight, but reflects bright white in the dark. Now, the company has unveiled another interesting two-wheeled creation, the Lyra, which takes its own approach to visibility – and security.
Instead of relying on riders to remember to attach and remove their own lighting system, the Lyra features built-in head- and tail lights. While it's certainly not the first bike to do so, the form that they take is certainly interesting.
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The headlights consist of 100 white LEDs, arranged 50 per side down the inside of the front forks. They're angled in such a way that they not only shine forward to illuminate the road ahead, but also out to the sides and even towards the back, enhancing visibility. Using a single-button control, they can be set to either Super Bright or Energy Saver modes.
The tail lights, which are more traditional, consist of five red LEDs integrated into the back of the seatpost. Riders can set them to Continuous, Flickering or Wave modes.
A GPS module – something which is more often found on electric bikes – is available as an optional extra. Activated when the Lyra starts and has ceased moving, it can be used to track the bike's location on an accompanying iOS/Android app. This could allow users to find their bike if they lose track of where parked it, or more importantly, to see where it's been taken if it gets stolen.
Everything is powered by a single lithium-ion battery located in the head tube, which can be removed and taken inside for recharging. According to the company, one charge is good for over 20 "half-hour night rides."
The Lyra is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$999 is required for a singlespeed model, and $1,450 is needed for an 8-speed – for the time being, both those prices include a free GPS upgrade.
It can be seen in action, in the video below.