Then and now | How technology has changed cycling

by Jemma Nimick April 11, 2018

Then and now | How technology has changed cycling

Televisions, mobile phones, laptops, watches, and even light bulbs - we’ve seen them all go through their transformations over the years. Here at See.Sense, we love both cycling and technology. Most of us wouldn’t dream of going out on a ride without charging up our favourite cycling gadgets before - it’s almost a second nature to us all. Garmin's, smartwatches and fitness trackers, cadence sensors, heart rate monitors and of course our intelligent lights - we wouldn’t be without any of them.

As a fast-paced tech company, we really enjoy staying up to date with the latest advancements in technology that might make our lives that little bit easier, or more fun! We think that this should be the same for cycle lights - that’s why we’ve been bringing pioneering technology to bike lighting since we started out in 2013.

Flashback to the 19th Century...

The whole inspiration behind this blog is because last week we had the pleasure of welcoming James Twomey into our office for the day. James works for Microchip / Atmel who provide us with some of the cool IoT hardware components that we use for some of our tech.

As well as having a passion for new technologies, James is also massively into bikes and all things cycling related - regularly riding his penny farthing for fun and also cycling across Ireland on a unicycle (just crazy). We also got to try this out... in the car park of course! A very talented guy.

We loved watching James ride his bikes with a big contagious smile on his face during every pedal stroke.

James also brought with him a large front carbide bicycle lamp that is over 100 years old! At this time, these lamps would have used water and carbide to produce acetylene gas which it burns to produce light. Even earlier lighting used candles, oil or carbide - literally flames! 

Flashback to the days where you had to use large (and leaking) batteries and wondering where and how you would mount them on your bike!

Here are some of the latest advancements in bike lighting that we think are making a difference to our rides, our safety and visibility on the road.

Tech Downsizing - they are getting smaller (and lighter!)

You can see from the size of the 100 year old light that it would have been a nightmare to mount too - we had to use 3 cable ties, and protect the bike from getting scraped by the metal using silicone, too(ouch). But like many good things, bike lights are going down in size. A particularly good feature for any cyclist who is wanting to shift some weight off the bike and improve their performance. This is also very good for people who ride high end TT and aero bikes too. See.Sense ACE weighs a tiny 35g when mounted to your bike - perfect for anyone looking to trim a few grams off!

They are getting smarter

There were no fancy light flash patterns back in the day, but now you can attract the attention you need to get you seen on the road with our variable flash patterns based on your ride. With older or standard lights, you will have found that they are a compromise between brightness, run-time and size - and you could probably only pick one of these! Now, there is no compromise at all with our unique intelligent lights.With See.Sense you are getting amazing brightness and a long runtime in a small and light piece of kit. And that means that you can cycle further, for longer - it’s a win, win.


Connecting to bike computers

As cyclists, when using products we like it when there are less things for us to think about or need to do - so that we can just enjoy riding our bikes. This is why we have included an ANT+ connection to compatible Garmin devices for our new ACE lights. You’ll be able to automatically activate your lights when you power your Garmin on, or when you activate your Garmin timer.  This way, you and your lights will be ready to go in just one click of a button.

Daylight visibility

You might have been seriously surprised a few of years ago if someone were to tell you that they used bike lights during the daytime. Now, more and more cyclists are becoming aware of their daytime visibility and how important this really is - considering that most accidents happen during the daytime. That's why every light we have produced has been 100% daylight visible and we promote the use of daytime lights regularly.

Improves cycling infrastructure

Did you know that by using IoT technology See.Sense lights are actually helping improve our cities for cyclists worldwide?

Cyclists who have opted in to sharing their anonymised data insights simply use their lights as normal, but they are helping improve cycling experiences over the world. Who would have thought that a bike light could do something like that years ago?

Whenever a cyclist joins our community (through a closed city trial, or very soon, through using our new ACE lights) - they are opening up a world of new possibilities their own city and beyond, helping shape cycling infrastructure worldwide. 

We've already helped improve cycling in Dublin and Manchester, click here to find out more.

 

We hope you enjoyed the flashbacks as much as we did - happy cycling, team See.Sense.

Jemma Nimick
Jemma Nimick


News & Updates

Keep up to Speed with See.Sense