Mission's mission: super-reflective city bikes

Mission Bicycle Co seek cash to produce bike with reflective coating

A San Francisco-based bike builder has come up with a bright idea: a super-reflective paint job to help motorists spot the rider at night.

The Mission Bicycle Company has launched a crowd-funding project to take pre-orders for its Lumen, which is a standard – but we reckon rather handsome – steel city bike painted with a patented reflective coating on the frame and wheels.

When direct light hits the surface it reflects it straight back. By day, the bike has a slightly iridescent appearance and by night it’s a super reflective signal to motorists and road users that there’s a bike about.  

The KickStarter photos certainly suggest the effect is powerful and they’ve made a video to support the campaign. The team are chasing US$15,000 (around £9,000) and after three days it is more than half way there. 

Inspiration for the project came from reflective road signs and markings. Mission teamed up with Halo Coatings which develops reflective coatings for 3D objects and holds the patent for the coating applied to the Lumen

The coating will be applied to three of Mission’s bikes: two geared models and a single speed. The geared models run on a Shimano 8-speed internal hub.

For fans whose budget won’t stretch to US$1,245 and above for a full build Lumen, there are a number of other incentives such as reflective decal kits and T-shirts to get them to pledge support.  Bikes are expected to be shipped from July.

At the World Cyclocross championships in January, Belgian cycle clothing brand BioRacer released details of its super-reflective high-end skinsuit and said the technology would filter into more of its range in due course.

Visit the Lumen KickStarter page for more details.

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