I have backed quite a few Kickstarter campaigns and two cycling related projects are being used a lot during this winter season. Firstly the Blaze Burner, which I have mentioned before and the Proviz REFLECT360 CRS cycling jacket. Lets be honest, you can not put a price on your own safety.
Let’s start with the Blaze rear Burner, a 100 lumens light with various light pattern options, a 60 hour battery and a light sensor, that switches the light on or off depending on the light conditions. The light is supplied with two seat clamps and held securely in place by a very strong magnet. This provides you with a choice of light position and you need to give it a sharp tug to release the light from the clamp. I have ridden some rough roads recently and hit a few small holes and it did not move. It may not be the brightest light on the market but it is bright and has a good throw. Riding down the country lanes at night and the area behind me was illuminated. Just what I want when cycling down the Epping New Road, I WANT TO BE SEEN.
A nice little feature is briefly pressing the black button in the centre and the LED’s light according to the battery level. I have used it for about 10 hours so far and only 5 LED’s have not lit up. The Kickstarter campaign by Blaze kept everyone informed, unfortunately they suffered a few hiccups along the way which delayed shipment. Whether it was good news or not, there was either an update or a short video from Emily explaining the latest news. I’ve noticed across various campaigns, backers like most people, appreciate honesty and being kept up to date. Backing a project is a risk and inevitably there will be delays but ignoring your backers only infuriates them.
The Blaze Rear Burner is a great light and I would recommend it to anyone in the market for lights. Visit their website at Blaze.cc and maybe some other items could fall into your basket.
My second cycling related Kickstarter campaign was for the Proviz REFLECT360 CRS Cycling Jacket. For those not aware of the jacket, it is an interesting concept. The jacket looks normal but shine a light onto it and it reflects. The CRS range is now available in a smorgasbord of colours. I opted for the black option.
This flash photograph demonstrates the reaction of the jacket to light. It is not something you see while donning the jacket but it is quite a prominent feature for cyclists in London and you can definitely see its benefit.
The jacket is very warm and in the current weather conditions is ideal. It does seem to breath well as under clothing was only slightly damp. I think as the weather improves I will need to reduce the layers of clothing.
This is not a cheap item of cycling clothing but worth the investment. The Kickstarter campaign allowed them at a reasonable price but unfortunately let down by the lack of updates. The campaign pitch was to receive a jacket before anyone on the market but it came apparent that funding may have been used for manufacturing the jacket to the main stream. Many backers raised their concerns and asked questions but no response from the company. It was compounded when I met a cyclist outside London Bridge with a Blue REFLECT360 CRS jacket, they had purchased just a few weeks earlier. I raised this with Proviz but again no response.
I really like the jacket but think Proviz need to understand the concept of communication a bit more. That aside, I would purchase from a LBS but won’t be backing any further crowd funding projects from them.