Ahead of the debut of the London Bike Show's Innovation Lab, held in association with BikeBiz, we speak with the companies showcasing their innovative wares. First up, Tudor Davies explains the genesis of Lightrider...
Can you explain your product, why it is different and innovative?
Lightrider is the only bike light in the world to illuminate the torso of the rider as well as the road. This addresses the problem that a Hi-Vis jacket in the dark is black, it needs light to reflect. 80% of bike accidents are from the front or side of the bike (TfL figures) with the biggest danger being T junctions. Lightrider enables other road users to see the form of a cyclist rather than just another source of light on the road.
How did you come up with the idea?
I nearly hit a cyclist whilst pulling out of a T junction in my car. He was wearing a Hi-Vis jacket and had lights on, but in the split moment I had to make the decision to pull out, his light was just lost to me amongst all the other distractions on the road. That night I went home and wrapped some tin foil round a torch and pointed it at my torso, as soon as I realised it was possible to illuminate the rider with out distracting their night vision Lightrider was invented.
How hard was it to get started? Did you use crowd funding like Kickstarter, etc? If you did, how did that go?
It's been a very long road. We did try Kickstarter, but missed our target, I put that down to a very low social media footprint, you need to already have a good following before you do that. We are now privately financed.
Can you pick any key milestones in the development of your product/company?
Our first session with a CAD operator was very exciting, suddenly all these ideas that have just been scribbled down were now looking real. The first physical prototype was an amazing day, but I find you only celebrate for a short while, as it's always onto the next thing that needs finishing.
What are you hoping for from exhibiting at the Innovation Lab? More exposure? New trade partnerships?
Certainly more exposure, we have been selling the lights since September, but still most people don't know about Lightrider. We are also keen to expand our trade links and would love a chance to demonstrate our unique product to any interested parties.
We are really looking forward to the show, Lightrider is especially aimed to the commuter, so a London Show is perfect.
We are busy getting ready for this years show. As Lightrider is most popular with commuters this is a very important show for us.
This year we will be positioned at the new Innovation Lab, sponsored by BikeBiz.
I have just seen the design for the stands and it's going to look good.
Please come along and say Hi, we will have a video to show the light in action and a tent where you can look into the dark and see how it performs.
Well, what a week that was!
I had a crazy idea to not book a hotel for the show, and drive to and from Birmingham and London every day- never again, but did mean I could see the family for a short time each day.
Thursday was a great day on our stand, we met with many interested trade contact's with about 10 serious orders and enquiries, from both the UK and abroad. Mechelle has been busy following them up today.
Friday-Sunday was open to the public, and we had a fun time, but had to send out for more sweets by the end of Saturday.
By the end of this week, Lightrider should start appearing in 46 of Halfords largest stores, it's going to be a proud moment when I see one in there- may even take a photo and will post it up!