Are you in the market for a smart bike in San Francisco but don’t have$1,400–$4,000 to spend? Helios can help. This San Francisco-based bicycling startup has created a universal handlebar (two of them actually) which, when equipped, can turn any bike on the market today into a smart bike . . . at a fraction of the cost!
What is Helios?
Helios is simply (or not-so-simply) a replacement handlebar with smart technology (Bluetooth) and high-intensity LED lights built-in. It can be installed in a manner of seconds and fits almost any bicycle imaginable. There are two styles to choose from:
- The classically styled “Drop Bar” (reminiscent of 1970’s racing bikes)
- The “Bull Horn,” a more aggressive design akin to mountain bike handlebars.
What Does the Helios Bar Do?
Firstly, the Helios Bar is a lighting system for your bicycle. Avoiding bicycle accidents in San Francisco depends (heavily) on maintaining your visibility. As a San Francisco bicycle accident attorney, I know one of the very first things at fault drivers often tell police is they didn’t see the cyclist—so stay visible! Helios’ high intensity front- and rear-facing CREE LEDs give off bright white or colored light that lets drivers know you’re sharing the road.
The rear LED set can be programmed to change with your speed (a unique visual indicator), act as a turn signal, or provide ambient lighting. And the whole lighting kit is smart. It uses Bluetooth technology to sense how far your smartphone is from your bike. Walk closer and the lights come on. Backpedal and they go off!
Secondly, the Helios Bar is smart. It wirelessly links your bike to your smartphone to create a high-tech ride from your low-tech bike. This connectivity allows you:
- Turn-by-turn GPS
- GPS tracking (in case of loss or theft)
- iPod/iPhone music controls at the tip of your fingers
These aren’t just comfort features, they’re safety features. Anything that allows you to stay focused on the road ahead is an excellent tool to have when hitting San Francisco’s busy streets.
And you get all this for under $300.
Why San Francisco?
It’s really no surprise Helios was born in San Francisco. This city has a wondrous and thriving bike culture—partly because the city is so bikeable and partly because it is so bike-friendly. The three founding members of Helios came together as inventors and entrepreneurs to further empower that cyclist community. They created an adaptable system that would allow standard bikes to be safer, more visible, and more connected on San Francisco’s streets.
Unfortunately, cyclists need all the help they can get. In spite of a large number of infrastructure changes put in place within the past few years, the number of bicycle accidents in San Francisco has remained relatively stable. Every year roughly 300 people are injured and dozens of cyclists and pedestrians are killed by automobiles. In the vast majority of those crashes the driver is found to be at fault.
If you’ve been injured in a crash, fill out this short form to see if you have a case. Or contact one of the expert San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys at my firm. Call (415) 413-0033 today.