Lumos Aster

Spring 2017 Women’s Product Picks: Fi’zi:k, Giro, Mavic, Bontrager, Lumos and Topical Edge

by Anne-Marije Rook

May 4, 2017

It’s been a long and dreary winter and spring for many North Americans as the rainy months just kept going and going. But now that spring weather is finally here (kinda), Ella editor Anne-Marije Rook has been able to put in some outside miles and test some new and fun product.

She’s been rotating through various shoes, helmets and apparel while fighting off muscle fatigue with Topical Edge. A lifestyle cyclist first and foremost, Rook has been riding around the city in the dark hours to test the visibility of Bontrager’s safety apparel as well as the crowd-funded Aster commuter backpack.

Click the links below to skip through to a particular review:


Lumos Aster

Lumos Aster cycling backpack

by VeloClub

I was a commuter long before I ever rode my bike for fun. As such, I get kind of excited about the many new ‘see and be seen’ safety products on the markets these days.

So when Lumos sent me the first run of their “world’s safest cycling backpack,” I was very much intrigued (and somewhat disappointed it didn’t turn out to be some giant inflatable crash cushion to catch you when you fall...).

Funded using IndieGogo, “Aster” is a commuter backpack with integrated bike lights, turn signals and even an automatic brake indication.

Basically, the team of designers figured that to make drivers aware about your presence and actions on a bike, you have to speak their language.

To do so, the cleverly designed pack has enough bells and whistles to make any gadget geek giddy.

Lights:

To start, this bag is extremely well lit. There are adjustable front facing lights in the shoulder strap, side profile lights and a rear multi-function panel to ensure that you’re seen from all angles. The rear panel features 16 LED’s in a diamond pattern with chevrons on either side to act as turn signals. All these lights are powered by a sizeable 4,000 mAh battery that is USB rechargeable and can light up Aster for up to 15 hours.

Turn and braking signals:

The turn signal is activated by the Lumos’ Sidekick remote control, which bolts onto your handlebars. You can use the Sidekick to turn lights on or off and activate the turn signals. When the Sidekick senses a stop, it automatically switches all the rear lights to extra bright to act as a brake light.

Lumos Aster

The App

Aster’s many functions can be monitored and regulated with the free Aster App. The mobile app allows you to monitor battery life, adjust light settings and even activate an anti-theft system – if the Sidekick remote (which is fixed to your handlebars) senses your bike moving for more than 5 seconds you’ll receive a notification on your smart phone.

Utility

To me, it wasn’t the gadgets that stood out about this bag but rather the thought and design that went into the storage capacity of this bag.

Available in two sizes -24L and 18L – the design team really put a lot of thought into functional storage. Everything has its designated space, which is a vast improvement from the one-big-sack approach of many commuter bags out there. There are loops for your U-lock, a minimalist helmet holder, zippered bottle pockets, laptop space, a whistle buckle and even a ‘In Case of Emergency’ information slot.

And to top it off, Aster boasts waterproof seams and comes with an extra raincover for those truly wet PNW days.

Our take:

Aster is a really well-designed and thought out backpack. However, I found myself not using many of the electronic features because I wasn’t using the Sidekick. Having to swap over the bolt-on remote every time I changed bikes simply wasn’t going to happen. Additionally, that extra thought needed to press a turn signal button rather than simply signaling with your arm is something that needs to be trained over time. Of course, for those with a daily commute and designated commuter back, this wouldn’t be an issue.

As I mentioned before, what impressed me most about the bag weren’t the techy features but rather, its well thought-out design and utilitarian storage. I found myself using this bag almost daily and was disappointed that the inner liner tore within the first month of use, as did the helmet strap.

Upon receiving my feedback, Lumos acknowledged that this had been an issue for other beta testers as well and they have since switched to a new fabric for the liner and made a more robust helmet holder.

Price: $119 USD via IndieGogo
www.iwearlumos.com


BACK TO TOP
30 NEW ARTICLES