Bicycles

Bluetooth cycling vest ensures that drivers see the light

Bluetooth cycling vest ensures...
The Tuibo's LEDs serve as tail lights, brake lights and turn indicators
The Tuibo's LEDs serve as tail lights, brake lights and turn indicators
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The Tuibo's LEDs serve as tail lights, brake lights and turn indicators
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The Tuibo's LEDs serve as tail lights, brake lights and turn indicators

When you're cycling at night in one of the world's largest cities, it's important that motorists see you. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, to learn that a group of entrepreneurs in Mexico City has developed what must be one of the "flashiest" cycling vests around – it's called the Tuibo, and it'll definitely get you noticed.

For starters, the water-repellent Tuibo is equipped with 72 flashing LEDs on the back, which serve as tail lights. Thanks to an onboard accelerometer, however, they also brighten as the rider is stopping, acting as brake lights. Additionally, using a Bluetooth handlebar remote, they work as turn indicators.

They're powered by a 2,200-mAh battery pack, which should be good for a claimed 5 to 8 hours of use per charge. That battery, along with the LEDs and other electronics, can be pulled out as one module when it's time to wash the microfiber vest.

In front, an optional 100-lumen headlight can be mounted on the breast pocket, where it's plugged into the vest's internal wiring via USB. An electronic horn can also be mounted on the hip pocket, and likewise plugged in. This connectivity allows the headlight and horn to be activated using the same remote as is used for the signal lights. That remote takes the form of an electronics-equipped rubber sleeve that's pulled over one of the existing handlebar grips.

For cyclists who ride with a backpack, expandable side panels on the vest let it be pulled over the pack, so the LEDs can still be seen.

The Tuibo is currently on Kickstarter, where a pledge of MX$2,349 (about US$125) will get you one without the headlight or horn, when and if it reaches production. It can be seen in use, in the following video.

Source: Kickstarter

6 comments
exodous
I don't get all these vests with LEDs, isn't a reflector on your vest enough? They don't take batteries and unless you're riding in a unlit street and the cars are driving with no headlights then they can be seen. The LEDs need to be much brighter than the headlights or they don't really grab any attention.
The turn signals and break lights are pointless unless there is a law that every cyclist has to have them and it specifies where the lights are. I don't see where this is more affective than a reflective vest pared with standard front and rear lights.
LarryWolf
Duh who can afford $2300 for just a jacket with lights? That's more than most all ebikes and even racing bikes. Stupid.
TonyKeyworth
Not sure that it has much benefit over a standard reflective vest and decent lights. Just to clarify the price issue - that's 2,300 mexican dollars or about 125 us dollars so maybe not so dumb.
ljaques
It is absolutely nuckin futz to ride a bicycle at night in a city. BUT, if you -have- to ride at night, these vests would make it a whole helluva lot safer. $125 is outpriced, but once they sell a few, they can bring it down to where the average safety-minded Joe and Jo can afford them. I'd prefer more of a spotlight headlight, though, perhaps something based on a CREE Q5 or XM-L T6 with adjustable focus. Floods don't illuminate the road ahead of you for very far, so speeds would have to be very low to be safe on a dark street or crossing a lot, etc. As to grabbing attention while biking any time, the little white strobes are good for that. A buck apiece on the bay.
tomtoys
Confusing lights on fluorescent black again. As said, passive safety first - reflective jacket, helmet, pants, shoes, bicycle. Cyclists in camouflage astound me.
DouglasAnkrum
...Seems like a nice product....and I hope the 'headlight' isn't too bright. I'm 69 and ride a bike in addition to driving...some of the high-powered bike headlights are blindingly bright....more than the newer cars....and the high powered flashing strobe headlights are as bad, or worse..... Already enough lighted distractions at night...