Have you ever been out on your bike at night and felt less than safe? The boys on the Bike Balls team have your back. Call their new product glow nuts, luz de cojones, a PG-13 rear light for your bike, or a Fleshlight you'd share with a friend, but Bike Balls will help make sure you're seen while pedaling (while being just a tiny bit obscene).
Recently launched on Kickstarter, they hit (ouch) their humble goal of $9,327 (random number because it's translated from Canadian dollars/loonies/whatever they call them) in a few days. All 50 of the Bike Ball early-adopter rewards have been gobbled up. As of this writing, there were still plenty of $13 sets available.
After all 500 of the $11 sets are devoured, a pair of Bike Balls will set you back $20. Batteries are included, and although we haven't held the Bike Balls in our own hands, they appear Timex-esque: They take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.
The LED module is protected by a translucent silicone shell that glows. This is different than naked LEDs that produce a pinpoint of light. According to the company, the shell increases the lit visible area from 18 square millimeters to 1,872 square millimeters or, about 104 times more lit surface.
Each pair of bike balls also includes "two zip ties to secure the balls to your bike seat so no one can steal your glory," according to the website. These zip ties let the bike balls sway freely in the wind. As funny as this looks (the animated GIF on their website could mesmerize a whole class of third-grade boys/coliseum-full of Blink 182 fans), there's some intended functionality behind the design.
The swaying movement attracts attention. And Bike Balls are similar to another thing we've heard about, but can’t put our hands on: [lumen] size doesn't always matter if you've got the poetic motion of the ocean.
Or, as the Toronto-based company says, "The design of the housing ensures that the light bobs around on the back of your bike seat. This random movement grabs the attention of people behind and beside you, ensuring that you will be noticed. Noticed bikers don’t get hit as much. That’s science."
As light choice goes, it's red, red, or red. No, you can't have blue, because what the hell kind of masochist would choose blue [bike] balls.
Bike Balls have three modes: two party modes (the light can be set to flash on and off in slow and fast patterns) and one mode that turns the light on solid. Toggling between modes requires nothing more than a gentle squeeze: Goose the Balls to turn the light on and switch between the modes. Gently squeeze again to turn the Bike Balls off.
And Bike Balls may be the perfect metaphor for being on a bicycle in traffic: pretty much the last place you want to be hit.
Because most of us need some bass to really make them balls bounce, we also present the brand-new Buckshot Pro , a portable Bluetooth speaker that includes a light attachment. We've been testing ours for about a week — it was released in early May and is built by Outdoor Technology — and we've used it to crank tunes in our ski condo and play lots of music and podcasts while pedaling.
Attaching it to the bike via an included urethane rubber strap takes about three seconds and the unit stayed put even during off-road rides. The speaker that points toward the rider provided plenty of volume in all but the windiest of conditions.
The sound quality was surprisingly full for a unit that's the size of a bicycle grip.
Added bonus? An audible reminder to folks that we were rolling up on them, which is great for urban as well as bike-path riding.
Compared to riding with ear buds, it felt much safer, since we could hear so much ambient noise all around us. Receiving phone calls was also easy and the call quality was as good as just chatting directly on the phone itself. Although we haven't tested the play time (a reported 10 hours), we've been impressed with the ski-helmet speakers this company produces, so we're hoping the battery life on the Buckshot Pro is just as good.
The lithium-ion battery also gives as well as it receives: You can use the included USB cable to pull juice from the unit to charge your phone.
The flashlight attachment that's included with the unit is intuitive, easy, and has three modes: torch, lamp, and flash. Powered by 16 LEDs, it's a great for walking around the campground, and a good backup for night riding. But if you're serious about pedaling at night, you might want to go with a more powerful unit.
Water resistant and rugged, this is one of those few electric devices that you can loan to a child or your drunk-ass friends and not worry about them breaking it. Buckshot Pro is $79.95 and available in six colors.
Combine the Bike Balls with the Buckshot Pro and you'll be seen and heard. And, if you really want to be pro balls/hella baller, combine the Bike Balls with the pedal-friendly Anti-Ball-Crushing pants from Lululemon while cranking "The Lemon Song" by Led Zep.
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