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Comment count is 27
Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2017-05-25

If it works its the ultimate troll tool with some modifications. I dont think motorists will ever act reasonably towards cyclists but it would fun to have their sound systems blast obscenity 30 times per second at full volume.

Adjuvant - 2017-05-25

You know what's cheap, perfectly legal, unlikely to piss off every driver around you, and never needs its batteries changed?


Worn by a sum total of no one in this commercial.

Not saying that helmets are going to solve all biker problems, but definitely seems like a massive blind spot if your stated goal is to reduce biker injuries and deaths.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2017-05-25

Theyre also all riding old-timey feckin' hipster bicycles. This is an *ad*, it must show trendy people doing cool things, and possibly getting laid, or definitely being about to get laid in the near future. Helmets are not cool.

garcet71283 - 2017-05-25

Remember, it's everyone's responsibility except yours.

Pretty much hipster culture summed up.

chumbucket - 2017-05-25

Stars for a great summary.

jfcaron_ca - 2017-05-25

The attitude around helmet is like an inflamed version of the attitude around jaywalking. The idea is to place responsibility for safety on the more vulnerable agent in a potential crash, while absolving the one responsible for more damage. I'm not saying "don't wear a helmet", but I'm saying the general "yeah you should wear a helmet at all times" is bullshit anti-cycling rhetoric. While this product is stupid, here you decide to attack their lack of helmets rather than the product itself.

Fact: bicycle helmets are great at absorbing impacts at or below 30 km/hr, which is a decently fast cycling speed, or roughly the speed at which your head hits the pavement if you fall off your own bicycle. That's why I totally support mandatory helmets for "sport" cycling like road racing. When you are hit by an SUV going 50+km/hr and get overall body trauma, the helmet is about as useful to you as the crumple zone on the car. For general transportation for adults who know how to ride properly, helmets don't make a systematic difference because those people rarely fall of their bikes or crash their bikes into things.

Requiring helmets makes ordinary cycling SEEM as dangerous as sport cycling, when really it's about as dangerous as walking or driving. Would you castigate pedestrians and motorists for not wearing helmets? Mandatory helmets for motorists would save lives you know. Think of the children!

Anyways just be aware that among the cycling crowd, your kind of comment about helmets is an anti-shibboleth that identifies you as pro-status-quo.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2017-05-25

yeh, I wear a lot of safety shiz cycling. Helmet + lights + high-visibilty vest (the high viz vest + lights at night are by far the most important items, You notice the difference palpably, I wouldnt cycle without lights at night + I'd feel sketchy without my vest during the day)

Anyway, I'm still massively pissed off that I have to do that. I have to carry all this extra stuff with me everywhere and maintain it and keep batteries charged and if I lose it impedes my ability to get around. And I'm not doing this because of *me* because I'm a dangerous lunatic or something, its because of the insane auto-centric system of laws, culture and infrastructure that we have allowed to develop.

Pretty much like all social issues. We need to be more like Denmark.

crojo - 2017-05-25

Most bike accidents aren't an SUV smashing into you at 50kph+

Most are oblivious drivers blundering into a bike's space causing them to lose control and headbutt planet earth

Wear a helmet, idiot

Nominal - 2017-05-26

This is a very dangerous device that could cause accidents.

The justification for it is the safety of the bike riders.

The bike riders don't even bother with the very first basic level of safety: helmets.

So yes, it is relevant to point out that they're idiotic douchebags for promoting this while not wearing helmets.

I've been commuting to work by bike for years. The ratio of asshole bicyclists who almost hit me to cars has been 20 to 1.

jfcaron_ca - 2017-05-26

While your anecdote about asshole cyclists is fascinating, you need to realize that asshole cyclists are not a major danger in society who kill ~30k people every year. Driving a motor vehicle is so dangerous that drivers don't even NEED to be assholes to kill your face. While you CAN injure or kill someone with your bike, you kinda have to try, and the risk to the operator is way higher. If you got as upset about drivers speeding and being distracted as you do about cyclists running stop signs, then you'd be on to something.

I need to address your claim that helmets are the "very first basic level of safety". At best they are like the 7th or 8th level of safety.

The very first basic level of safety should be in the hands of the people who to do the most damage: motorists. After that, yeah cyclists should learn how to operate their machines in a safe & predictable way, and our society is terrible at getting adults to learn shit. The zeroth basic level of safety is probably the responsibility of the city planners to design the roadways in such a way that conflicts arise less often.

I'm not going to pretend to rank other things, but some more important things than foam hats include:
- actual speed enforcement
- texting & distracted driving bans & enforcement
- training for motorists on how to properly pass cyclists in the roadway
- situational awareness in general for humans
- empathy for the other

Nominal - 2017-05-26

Other basic safety precautions bicyclists, as a culture, ignore:

-stopping at red lights
-stopping at stop signs
-stopping for pedestrians crossing the street
-stopping for pedestrians on the sidewalk
-slowing down for anything (shouting "Move!" is the accepted substitute)
-traveling the right way on one way streets
-traveling the right way through intersections

I could use an Old Man Murray Martin Van Buren alert system for any time I witness a bicyclist obeying traffic laws. It is that rare.

jfcaron_ca - 2017-05-26


Helmets, while effective for some kinds of crashes, are not magic. The social & legal imposition of helmets onto non-sport cyclists makes cycling feel and look more dangerous, and adds an extra financial barrier. The resulting broad impact on society from increased motor pollution, increased obesity, increased social alienation, increased traffic deaths, etc are SO MUCH WORSE than all the head injuries that could potentially be prevented by having everyone wear helmets.

Wear a helmet if you want to, but don't make it a law and don't pidgeonhole every cyclist just because of your anecdotes about stop signs.

15th - 2017-05-25

Faux wood grain
Steve Jobs soothing light
Sleek, clean design
Invasive connectivity

Why not just make it loud? You fucking hipsters.

Braze - 2017-05-25

I really think this will make things worse because drivers will be confused by a sudden bell sound coming from their speakers. Does it maintain directionality via the speakers? like if the bike is on the left does the sound come from the left? Can't find any details

Oscar Wildcat - 2017-05-25

It will provide a moment of confusion and distraction to the driver at the precise moment when they need to be focused on the road and not on what's wrong with their car stereo.

But, like the Jucero, the point is to make money.

Legal question is interesting. It uses RDS, so it's not overriding the broadcast as you would with a normal AM/FM transmitter.

Monkey Napoleon - 2017-05-26

I was reading up on this last night. I don't know how this bell works exactly, but there's a number of ways it actually can override the broadcast.

RDS can re-tune radios to a different frequency. It's intended use is to tune you in to an alternate frequency a given station is on in case the normal one is getting bad reception, freeing you from doing it manually while you're driving.

The literature for the bell claims that it's audible any time someone's stereo is on. whether they're listening to the radio or not. This leads me to believe it's using one of the emergency channels built into the system that don't get used very much here.

It all comes down to what features your specific radio has enabled by default, I suppose. For newer cars, probably all of them are enabled.

Oscar Wildcat - 2017-05-26

By that, I meant stepping on the signal with a more powerful local signal, which is illegal depending on the strength of the transmitter. This is using a defined interface to work the radio, so probably isn't illegal ( or not yet anyway, the tech is still new).

Black Napkins - 2017-05-27

It's illegal full stop. I can say for the US and CA, stepping on a licensed transmitter is illegal even with unlicensed, low powered transmitters. This thing would not receive certification.

It wouldn't even work that well if the idea is only to inject RDS signals on a station without RDS, as the data stream directly references the stereo pilot tone. Even a small drift will make it unintelligible to RDS decoders.

Mister Yuck - 2017-05-25

It's an ad for bicycle insurance.

garcet71283 - 2017-05-25

Apparently not concerned enough about your safety to wear a helmet however.

(Blanket statement about culture not taking responsibility for itself here)

But I guess a helmet won't fit over your man-bun.

garcet71283 - 2017-05-25

Oops, didn't see Adjuvants above.

Statement about man-buns still stands.

Nominal - 2017-05-26

pony tails > man buns > man buns with chopsticks

TheyUsedDarkForces - 2017-05-26

I ride a fairly small motorcycle pretty much everywhere, I can sympathize with both sides of the argument here in the comments. In addition to that, I've done approximately 300,000 miles of work-related driving in the last five or six years, much of which was in a big truck with a view down into most cars, so I've seen some shit go down and I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what the average driver's habits are like. Drivers, riders and cyclists are almost universally terrible at operating their vehicles and do so in a truly careless manner. No revelations there. The percentage of drivers I've seen with a cellphone in their lap is shocking, it has to be over 80%. You know what else is almost as bad as the cell phone? The driver who is having an animated conversation with their passenger, at least the cell phone folks are generally kind of self-conscious about it and will look up the check their mirrors once in a while.

The entitlement thing is also something many people on the road share, not just cyclists or whatever. It seems like there is a higher correlation with fancier cars/bikes/etc, but I think it's just more noticeable. Shitboxes are just as guilty...

While I don't feel it necessary to legislate something like a helmet on a bicycle, I don't understand why people don't wear safety gear. Yeah, it isn't always comfortable and it takes more time. Big deal. Just the other day, I was sitting in stop and go traffic, sweating in all my gear because it was 90 degrees, and some asshole goes flying by on the left shoulder on his paper plated Harley, wearing board shorts, no shirt and no protective gear of any kind. He looked like a dude who should be playing volleyball on the beach, not riding recklessly in traffic. Ugh...

I think if someone has seen as many fatal accidents and near-misses as I have, they would be wearing a helmet and all the gear they can afford/manage. I'm talking fresh streams of blood running down the street, pooling in the center-divide, bodies under sheets, tire tracks of blood that stretch down the asphalt for yards... A helmet, or other gear, might not save you if you get hit by a car, but it isn't going to hurt, and that's all there is to it, in my opinion.

Furthermore, it seems wholly inconsiderate to put yourself in more danger by not wearing gear. If you get into a multiple-vehicle accident where it could have saved your life, you likely ruined someone else's life in the process of losing your own. I don't need your blood on my hands because one of us wasn't paying attention for a split second. Yeah, it's clearly worse for the dead person and their family, but it's still awful for the surviving party, regardless of fault.

Everyone needs to do their part... Cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers, pedestrians... I don't really care who has more or less responsibility than the other when it comes to being intentionally safe or unsafe, that seems like kind of a cop out. But yeah, when it comes down to it, someone driving a big truck or a car has a greater responsibility to those around them than someone on a bicycle or motorcycle. Obviously, I've never heard of a bicycle mowing down a bus stop full of people.

I'm not picking on any one of these groups, my overall point here is that everyone needs to chill the fuck out and do what they can to lessen the danger of an already potentially dangerous scenario. As others have touched upon here; awareness, not getting too upset in traffic and consideration for your fellow human beings are the biggest factors to staying safe. I'm not saying you need to drive super slow, obey all laws, etc, I'm just a proponent of awareness and rational decision making above all. The safety gear is incidental, yes, but as I said, it's never a detriment.

My best friend died in a car accident when I was a kid, which was entirely preventable, but I'll readily admit that additional safety gear would not have helped in his situation (he was wearing a seat belt and all that). He was t-boned in an intersection while driving a small Toyota pickup, by a drunk redneck who intentionally ran the stop sign. He thought that by shutting off his lights, he could safely run the intersection because it would allow him to see any oncoming headlights better. He did this because he was driving fast and didn't want to slow down, which he admitted. So, this meant that he just came hurtling out of the darkness. My buddy was picking up his 11 year old kid sister from the movie theater, so she was in the passenger seat and got to watch her brother die before the first responders showed up (who happened to be their father). Fun aside: the redneck guy's dad wore a Jack Daniels shirt to his son's fatal DUI court hearing.

Anyways, I'm just rambling at this point.

Maggot Brain - 2017-05-26

Oh, I was on board with this until the music kicked in, and I saw the look of the thing, and the commercial explained what the thing was, and Adjuvant pointed out that no one in this commercial is wearing helmets.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2017-05-26

Who the fuck still listens to FM radio?

dairyqueenlatifah - 2017-05-26

Oh, it turns out this is a fake ad created by a Polish Insurance Company to shill policies. Stupid me.

Chancho - 2017-05-27

Cyclists should be legally required to:
1) Wear a helmet
2) Take a driving test
3) Have a license
4) Have insurance

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