My some-time commutermostly casual bike is a testament to fugly.
For night time, a commuter bike is about visibility when battling for road space with 2-ton people stompers, not about the look. There's no point in gracing a GQ cover which posthumously cites, He's gone, but at least his man-machine was class A. Reflective surfaces are plastered all over the bike frame, forks, fenders, spokes, flashing lights front and back, and a couple video cameras to record the possible shuffling off of the mortal coil. The bike is meant to look like a hideous last-minute entry float in a Xmas parade-you're going to avoid driving near the damn thing because it looks alien and dangerous at night. This is very effective, it's very rare that someone will pass uncomfortably close.
During the day, not so much. A lot more effort is expended trying to avoid becoming a squashed bug because bicyclist are considered vermin by some. With that being said...
My first ride with the unit was impressive, especially on busy highways where the speed limit is 45 and beyond. In California, there is a requirement to pass bicyclist at a minimum of three feet. That is normally the case, but there are those of the Rebel Alliance who ignore this rule, and get uncomfortably close (hence, the videos to be used for future possible prosecutions).
With the radar unit, these incidents have dropped precipitously. Not only distance-wise, but a reduction in pass-by speed. There is an LED at the top of the display unit that changes color (greenamberred). Green means no vehicles, yellow means vehicles, but red means a high closing rate. When I see red, invariably it drops to amber as the vehicles get closer, because of the increasing flashing rate, and as a result, the drivers slow down. Even it they don't, the drivers give a wider berth passing by.
After about four hours on the road, it was obvious this unit really does grab the attention of drivers. Since then, the stress level has dropped considerably on the busier roads.
There is a downside to this. If these units become popular, the drivers will start eventually ignoring the flashing and resume old habits. There are speed limit signs that flash when you go over the limit. When the first came out, they were quite effective, nowadays, folks generally ignore them. I fear the same for these devices.
I give this unit a five for overall value since my subjective reason suggests that it increases the chance of coming home without injurydead. And I also gave it a five for value, but it was on sale at the time (otherwise a four).
This unit is like a cable modem-you'll never go back to dial up again. If you commute, buy this-you need every annoying photon this thing emits to knoc
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