I know I said I would write about this later in the week but you know how when you get engaged and you want to tell everyone…I mean not when you’re a guy…but you know what I’m talking about? That’s how I feel about this helmet. Like every good love story though, we should probably roll back and start from when it all began.
I caught wind of Lumos more than midway through their Kickstarter campaign. They were in the process of creating a bike helmet that featured turn signals and safety lighting. I believe they were still in the prototype phase at the time and were allowing folks to pre-order helmets. I have to say I liked these guys from the start, their co-founders really believed in what they were doing, were passionate about the product but didn’t come across as salespeople. Like “here’s this really cool thing we’re making” more than “this shit will make all your dreams come true”. I also loved their idea – to make night riding way safer and turning easier.
Throughout the process, there were some delays, but I got emails updating me every few weeks. The delays weren’t because they didn’t have their shit together, it was because they were being diligent about quality and didn’t want to sell crap. They were talking to folks as investors – people who had a shared interest in getting it right, not quick. I don’t think anyone really cared about the delay, I didn’t – I was watching this shit like a movie. These guys were entrepreneurs who clearly loved what they were doing- making money seemed like icing on the cake. Now that may not be true, but that’s how they handled it and you really can’t fake that -people pick up when you’re full of shit. I found myself rooting for these guys – their concept. When you can get people to do that for your company, you’ve struck oil – but you can’t pull that off if you’re only about the buck.
The helmet came in late fall – early winter 2016, I think? I didn’t want to open it right away for two reasons. I don’t ride in the winter. I tried once and said, “fuck that”. All that expensive shit they say keeps you warm? Maybe if you’re a polar bear. Secondly, I have no capacity for delayed gratification when it comes to this shit. I’d be walking around the house with the helmet on using the turn signal going from one room to the next. My kids whispering, “is daddy sick mommy?”
Today was the day. I got my bikes back from their tune-up earlier in the week and it was gorgeous out.
The first thing I noticed was that the packaging was efficient. I didn’t need to hire a crew of miners to cut through layers of styrofoam and extract the helmet. The second thing that impressed me? No screws. No fucking screws. Thank you JesusMosesAllahColonelSanders. Every time I get something for my bike it turns into a four-hour project – I’m convinced Ikea secretly makes all the bike accessories out there. This clearly did not come from Ikea, the instructions involved four or five really easy steps and I didn’t need Hubble or an expert in dead languages to read it.
The mount for the turn signal remote was incredibly easy to set up – slap on a couple of bands around the handlebar and you’re done in 2 minutes. The remote for the turn signal was a nice surprise. They didn’t get cute with it – they made the buttons big and simple with no frills. I really appreciate that they went with functionality over everything else.
Pairing the helmet to the remote was also simple, one press on the helmet and then another on the remote.
The helmet is impressive. When you buy something like this you almost expect them to cut corners thinking that the novelty would be enough, in their minds, to sell it. I’d probably buy the helmet even if the turn signal feature wasn’t on there. It feels light, sturdy and comfortable – right down to the straps. And it looks good, but I make everything look good so it may not look as good on you. Just keeping it real.
One cool feature I haven’t mentioned is that this helmet responds to sudden movements by flashing the brake lights on automatically.
There really isn’t a downside to this helmet. I mean the one tiny thing that seems annoying is that the adapter is USB-only, but most stuff is being made that way now.
This is a strong buy folks, these guys focused on three principles –
Keep it simple
Make it work
Respect your customer