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What are Smart Bike Helmets and Lights?
Rising in popularity over the last 3-4 years we have seen more connected bike tech and “smart” systems added to everything from smart bike lights, smart bike helmets, smart bike pedals with lights, and even bike suspension with brains! One of the more popular brands with smart bike helmets and lights is Lumos, but an up-and-coming option is from a company called Unit 1. Both companies are now releasing smart bike helmets and smart bike lights that sync together using your phone, have technology like turn signals, brake lights, and some even have crash detection and alerts.
Who is Unit 1?
As I mentioned, Unit 1 seems to be coming up on Lumos’ heels as a competitor in the smart bike helmet and smart bike light segment. They’ve released several “connected” bike products over the past couple of years using Kickstarter.
I’ve been testing out their earlier Kickstarter helmet, FARO, for about 8 months. I love and hate it, but the new AURA smart bike helmet may be solving all of my qualms which we will cover in a moment.
This bag is just starting to deliver from their Kickstarter but if you are someone out and about, especially on a bike or scooter, this bag may be pretty cool for you. I’m still waiting for my sample to try out the fit, the lights, and other integrated tech. Note – it is so new that they haven’t even updated their website, so make sure to check out the Kickstarter page.
Unit 1 Discount Code
If you are looking at any of the current Unit 1 products, make sure to purchase through this link and use BIKESHOPGIRL at checkout for a discount!
Meet the AURA Smart Bike Helmet
Launched in mid-May 2023, the Unit 1 AURA Smart Bike Helmet, and Smart Bike Lights have a lot of great features packed into them from the outside. I should note that I have not been able to personally test these products yet but hope to receive samples before the Kickstarter is over.
AURA Smart Bike Helmet Features Worth Mentioning
- This is the first smart helmet with lights and visors that could de-throne my favorite Nutcase Vio Helmet!
- Much lighter than the FARO ( 580g non-MIPS vs 370g AURA with mips) with better airflow.
- Front and rear lights which are turn signals and brake lights. I’ve asked if these are removable for future replacement, will chime back in once I know more
- A sun visor, and two different eye shields that are magnetically attached
- Crash detection
- E-bike certified with NTA 8776. Also, it is compliant with CPSC & EN1078
- 3 Sizes
- Multiple colors with more options during Kickstarter unlocks
- Fidlock, magnetic, buckle
- Integration with additional lights that can go on your body and/or bike
AURA Smart Bike Lights
Enough about helmets let’s talk about these lights AURA Smart Bike Lights!
The AURA smart bike lights look very functional with a longer design, and a nice-looking charging setup that can be used on the go. It looks like from their videos that one light can be used in red or white simply by flipping over the light, and the smart bike lights can sync together with your helmet and each other to become turn signals or brake lights. I also really like the various attachments they have made for bikes, bodies, and even a smaller option for kids’ helmets which typically don’t have a good way to mount lights to!
AURA Smart Bike Lights vs Lumos Firefly Smart Bike Lights
The timing is also very.. timely.. as the Lumos Firefly lights are landing from their Kickstarter which syncs with all the Lumos helmets through their app and Lumos started teasing their e-bike helmet being released just as the AURA was announced.
It seems that Unit 1 has been paying attention and, from an outsider, it looks like Unit 1 may have done a better job with their lights. They are bigger, there are more mount options, and the charging system looks cleaner. I look forward to comparing them side by side!
Is It Worth Backing?
If you are in the market for a new city biking helmet, without knowing the fit of the helmet – I think it is one of the best options I have seen for the Kickstarter price of $162 for the MIPS helmet with remote but no other accessories.
I’m not sure if the $100 stand-alone light option is worth it without the helmet but maybe once I get my hands on them for testing I will be surprised!
All in all, I am backing at the $299 “All In” so I can get all the production runs of everything. In other campaigns, like the Lumos Ultra, I have purchased two helmets – one for my partner and one for me knowing the Lumos fit. I don’t know the fit of this new mold of the AURA so I will hold off buying two until I know how the helmet fits.
Check out the campaign here and let me know what you think in the comments!