Upping urban visibility: The Redshift Sports Arclight system in action

Previously I went over Redshift Sports’ cleverly engineered Arclight pedals and light module system, and how the engineering and interoperability all works. Today I will share how it is in action.

Disclaimer: Redshift Sports sent me the Arclight pedals and light module as a free review unit. No money changed hands. While I may use their PR material from time to time, all thoughts and review impressions are – and will be – my own.


The modularity of the Arclight system comes into play when the lights are clicked into the optional multi-mount. They can then be used as either a to-be-seen front light, or a rear light.

The multi-mount comes with one rubber O-ring and a zip tie. Both fastening methods are smartly accounted for by the design of the “ears.” Redshift also bundles a spacer and a longer bolt, which can be added if you want it pushed farther away from the mounting surface. The theory goes that the O-ring, with its knurled grab tab, is for temporary fitment, while the zip tie is for a more permanent arrangement.

One criticism: the lone O-ring supplied may be a little too short. Hyro, my TCX, runs a non-round D-Fuse seatpost, but it’s closest to a round unit with 30.6 mm diameter. Fitting the multi-mount onto it with the O-ring is quite tight already. Attempting to do the same on my folding bike Bino, with his 33.9 mm diameter seatpost, is just asking for trouble. With such bikes, if you don’t have a large enough O-ring on hand, the zip tie method is the only way to go.

So how does an Arclight LED module act as a rear light?

From a glance, I’d peg output at about 50-60 lumens. Many rear lights in 2022 sport at least this much light output, and are marketed as effective even in daytime riding use, so this is right up there with them I reckon.

(L) Arclight LED module, (R) Cygolite Hotrod 90 USB

A side-by-side comparison with my Cygolite Hotrod 90 rear light tells a more complete story. The COB LEDs on Arclight need to alternate between red and white, so the emitters are mounted accordingly along the circuit board. Looking closely, you can spot the little gaps this results in. The Hotrod 90, in contrast, is a dedicated rear light; its tightly grouped red LED emitters give a much more solid glow akin to a neon light stick. I suspect it’s mainly here that the extra light output is generated.

The Cygolite unit also has double the modes of the Arclight module. Where the latter has a solid burn mode and two flash patterns with a basic regular rhythm, the Hotrod 90’s six modes offer more variation in flash pattern brightness and timing. This results in a more flexible light that can be geared toward either retina-searing “look at me” visibility in daylight, or a more eye-friendly pulse when riding in a paceline.

Given the Arclight LED modules’ design brief, I wouldn’t hesitate to run one as a fit-and-forget rear light…if you can get the mounting sorted.


Even before install, I had inadvertently put the pedals through the test via unintentional drop onto a concrete floor from about 50 cm. My fingers had fumbled and lost their grip on one of them, which already had two light modules loaded in. After tumbling to the floor, everything still worked. The pedal body gives pretty good coverage and protection of the light modules, with only their power/mode buttons sitting anywhere near proud of it.

The rear light loop on Bino’s saddle bag would be nice to hang the multi-mount on, had there been a suitable “clip” piece supplied.

I swapped out the Shimano Saint PD-MX80 pedals off Bino and threaded the Arclight ones on. At first glance, their shallow traction lugs appear short on grip; the downhill-focused Saint pedals with their variable-height traction pins take the visual win. However, when both pedals inevitably strike your shins and ankles, the Arclight pedals also won’t pose an infection risk the same way the Saints will. Horses for courses.

Appearances are deceptive though. These pedals are very satisfying underfoot. Pushing them along with Keds slip-ons, I did not find myself wanting for grip, although the jury’s out if that still applies on a wet ride. Pedal size is well judged, and despite not resorting to any convex or concave shaping in the body, the chunky items just work.

Slipped into the pedals, the light modules remained visible even on a bright sunny afternoon, and could definitely pass muster as a daytime running light array…provided you have them in the correct mode. Side visibility is excellent too thanks to the sizable cut-outs in the pedal bodies. I would leave “eco flash” mode solely for nighttime use, though, as it lacks oomph.


I’m not sure Redshift had my particular use case in mind.

If it isn’t obvious yet, I think Redshift has a great product here. The Arclight pedals and light system smartly innovate on the humble pedal reflector – and even expand on it. That’s backed up by how well it works in real-world riding.

What I’m concerned about is the price. At US$140 (PhP7,310), these are decidedly premium commuter pedals – a little bit more, even, than what Shimano Deore XT PD-M8100s cost. This doesn’t include the US$40 (PhP2,090) outlay for a light module + multi-mount combo, either. When you think about the price encompassing both a pair of pedals and a set of to-be-seen lights…the answer to the “what price safety?” question, I’ll leave up to you.

Speaking of the multi-mount: neat idea, but its mounting hardware constrains its versatility. While the provision to thread a zip tie through it opens up its use to any bike or any seatpost, that also means a degree of permanence not everyone is willing to commit to – such as, say, cyclists on folding bikes. Perhaps bundling a second larger size of O-ring would help. More importantly, a lot of saddle bags have loops for fitment of a rear light, which Redshift seems to have ignored. Why not throw in another plastic piece that will enable hanging the multi-mount off that?

Combining the Arclight pedals with the Lumos Ultra helmet just might be a commuter cyclist’s nighttime visibility pipe dream. I understand the cost of making all this as simple, as functional, and as robust as it can be. If it were a little more affordable, I think this product would easily find more fans.

Upping urban visibility: First look of the Redshift Sports Arclight pedals and light system

Philadelphia firm Redshift Sports is no stranger to this blog. I bought their ShockStop suspension stem four years ago, before they had any distribution in the Philippines, and was so impressed with it that I still use mine to this day. They’ve since had a slew of other products, targeted for gravel riding and triathlon, but now they’ve turned their itchy mechanical engineering hands and smarts over to the commuter cycling segment.

Longtime readers know that I am a huge advocate for running lights on your bike instead of reflectors, even in the daytime. They do much more to increase your visibility to other road users, which is often enough to ensure you aren’t ignored as a rider. What if you could combine the attention-grabbing motion of pedaling with lights, instead of just reflectors? This isn’t a new premise by any means, but with the Arclight pedals, the Redshift Sports boffins have come up with a frankly ingenious solution that extends the concept.


  • Flat pedals with aluminum construction; steel spindle; sealed bearings
  • 97 mm x 95 mm platform; molded traction lugs
  • Four dual-color COB LED light modules included; two modules per pedal
  • Charging via USB type-A connector; four-way hub included for simultaneous charging
  • Modes and expected run time
    • Steady – 3 hours
    • Flash – 11 hours
    • Eco Flash – 36 hours
  • Motion-detection-based automatic shut-off logic
    • Standby mode – after 30 seconds no movement
    • Sleep mode – after 150 seconds no movement
    • Off – after 24 hours no movement
  • Optional multi-mount allows LED light module to act as either a front light or rear light
  • Weight (claimed): 305 g per pedal; 30 g per light module
  • Price: US$140 for the pedals and lights set; US$40 for the multi-mount and one light module

Disclaimer: Redshift Sports sent me the Arclight pedals and light module as a free review unit. No money changed hands. While I may use their PR material from time to time, all thoughts and review impressions are – and will be – my own.


In isolation, the Arclight pedals themselves are pretty normal platform items at first glance. They’re aluminum, with a few traction lugs molded into their perimeter. Like most pedals, they will mount up to your crank arms via 15 mm wrench flats or a 6 mm hex key on the end of the steel spindle.

A closer look into the cavities for the light modules yields some very interesting details. On the inboard side sit a pair of round magnets, one for each light module. These work with grooves and lugs in the cavities as a retention mechanism. I suspect these are some sort of rare earth or neodymium magnet. While the light modules slide and click into place, it takes a firm, intentional tug to remove them, and they’re only ever coming out the way they came in. There’s even a little keyway to accept the exposed USB type-A charging plug on each light module.

Photo credit: Redshift Sports

Speaking of the light modules, each is made of ABS plastic encasing a strip of COB LEDs in both white and red, and has a little button at the end. This acts as the master on/off switch and the mode select switch, of which there are three (see “Features”). Beneath it is a small status LED that will glow orange while charging, and green for 15 minutes when done – after which they will turn off. This also appears to show current state of charge as well when turning on the light module.

With regard to charging, Redshift bundles in a four-way USB type-A charging hub so that you can charge all four light modules at once. Neat. Claimed charge time this way is two hours to full.

Unlike Look’s Geo Trekking pedals, which can also incorporate lights, Redshift cleverly thought of making Arclight as a modular system – hence the reference to the lights as “modules.” Extending the concept means the light modules can be used outside of the pedals, and act as either a front light or a rear light. This is done with the multi-mount.

The multi-mount is essentially a plastic sled that incorporates the exact same magnet-based retention system built into the Arclight pedals. On its back side are two ears and a curved pad, for fastening it to either handlebars (in a horizontal fashion) or seatpost (in a vertical position), either via the supplied rubber O-ring or a zip tie. While optional, this is ingenious. Ordering the full set of extra light module and multi-mount in conjunction with the pedals does add $40 to your expense, but as an all-in-one urban commuting setup of “to-be-seen” lights, this makes sense.

Photo credit: Redshift Sports

I’d run this fifth light module as a rear light and get a more powerful front light…but hey, options.

A closer look at the multi-mount also explains how the Arclight pedals perform their best party trick. All you really have to do is turn the light modules on. As you pedal, the lights automatically work out where their position is, and will glow red or white accordingly.

How do they do this? It’s down to the magnets.

The multi-mount’s two exposed magnets gives a better insight as to how the Arclight’s LED modules work.

On the pedal bodies, all you see are the magnets at the inboard end, but the multi-mount exposes another magnet just behind the lengthwise edge of the light module. This magnet is hidden away somewhere in the pedals’ spindles. The interaction of the magnets’ polarities and the position of the light modules determines what color they glow.

The final trick is the automatic shutoff logic for the light modules, which is motion-detection-based and works when they’re mounted to the pedals or the multi-mount. This makes the Arclight system fit-and-forget until the lights need recharging.

When the light modules are detached from the pedals or multi-mount, the color-changing and auto shut-off functionalities are inactive – all of that is cycled through via button presses.


Photo credit: Redshift Sports

Redshift claims the pedals run on sealed bearings, and spinning them in hand yields a smooth, buttery action not unlike the Look X-Tracks I run. That said, I can’t find a way of dismantling these easily for servicing. I suspect this is due to how the magnets are mounted hidden in the spindle. There may yet be a way of servicing these, but the documentation is mum about it.

Look’s Geo Trekking Roc SPD+flat urban pedals, with one optional Vision LED light mounted.
Credit: JensonUSA.

One major difference between the Arclight pedals and Look’s Geo Trekking counterparts is that the latter is a clipless+flat pedal combo, much like Shimano’s Deore XT PD-T780. While I’d love to see an SPD-style version of Arclight, this may be difficult to pull off in practice, due to how the light modules and pedals are apparently designed from the ground up as a flat pedal system first and foremost. A theoretical SPD-style version would need to add at least 30 mm to the length of the pedal body, I reckon.

I haven’t yet mounted the Arclight system onto any of my bikes. It seems Bino, my folding bike, is a good candidate, as I use him mainly for running errands. It will be interesting to see how the whole system stands up to real-world use and abuse. Stay tuned and watch this space.

Extending the safety envelope: Lumos Ultra MIPS helmet review

At their most basic, cycling helmets help dissipate the energy of an impact that would have otherwise gone to our heads and brains in full. Us humans being who we are, we can’t leave well enough alone, and the past decade has seen us try to improve upon and extend the basic design in a number of ways, such as with the introduction of MIPS and improving ventilation and/or aerodynamics.

We’ve tried to get helmets to do things other than their main functions, too. I’ll be talking about one such helmet today: the Lumos Ultra.

While Lumos may not have the same brand cachet as, say, Giro, Bell, or Kask, the company has been around for quite a while. Their first helmet, which has evolved into its present guise as the Kickstart model, integrated LED lights front and rear into the expanded polystyrene (EPS) shell, and made the rounds among reviewers as far back as February 2017. That name is no accident; the Kickstart was successfully crowd-funded through popular site Kickstarter. At present, the company now offers five models, most of which have a decidedly “commuter” slant to them, but now their Ultra model is perhaps the closest they’ve gotten to addressing the road cycling crowd.


  • Size tested: M/L (54-60 cm with MIPS, 54-61 cm without)
  • Integrated front and rear COB LED lights
  • Turn signal capability via handlebar-mounted remote
  • Bluetooth 4.0 radio for connectivity to smartphones; compatible with Strava
  • Battery: 3.7V lithium polymer, 1100 mAh; 4-10 hours claimed run time depending on settings
  • Charging via USB Type C cable
  • Claimed weight 370 g; actual weight 414 g
  • Price: $115 without MIPS, $150 with MIPS


A nice throwback to Lumos’ early days – and a sobering reminder that very few crowdfunding campaigns see the finish line.

The Lumos Ultra helmet comes in packaging that will please the environmentally conscious among us. Underneath the front flap is a thick little envelope that contains the documentation, which is a neat way of doing it. One of the cards inside the envelope even has a QR code, which when scanned should lead you to an online version of the user guide. There is clearly more going on here than with a regular helmet, which should be expected considering it’s packing more tech.

USB Type C charging cable, handlebar remote, elastic mounting bands, and CR2032 battery

Apart from the helmet, the box contains an interesting mix of parts. Lumos throws in an optional bug net that attaches to the inside of the helmet via additional Velcro patches; except for Rudy Project, this is something nobody else does. Bundled is a very red USB Type C cable for charging, a huge step up from the proprietary charger of days past. Lastly, the sole white plastic baggie contains the handlebar remote, which you will need to use to trigger the turn-signal functionality. Lumos provides you with a CR2032 battery to power this thing, as well as an assortment of elastic bands for mounting.


That custom livery sure looks nice. To the right is the optional bug net.

This particular helmet was loaned to me by my buddy Brian Sy, and he had his done in this custom “Laban Pilipinas!” colorway reminiscent of the Philippine flag. This was a perk offered for early backers of the Ultra during its crowd-funding phase. It’s really well done, and the Ultra’s design lends itself well to this sort of customization.

The Ultra helmet itself reminds me quite a bit of the MET Manta, which foregoes some ventilation compared to its Rivale sibling in the name of better aerodynamics. Here, the closed-off central portion of the shell is ostensibly a concession to make room for the front-firing white LED emitter and some of its embedded circuitry.

More stuff happens out back. The rear center pod, similar to the Giro Aspect helmet of yore, houses much of the Ultra’s special sauce: the lithium polymer battery, the USB Type C charging port under a rubber flap, the on/off/mode switch, even a Bluetooth radio for communicating with your smartphone via an app. Like most other helmets, cinching up the fit is done via a ratcheted dial on the retention mechanism, and this worked pretty well. On either side of the dial are small rectangular reflective stickers in white.

Animated GIF courtesy of Brian Sy.

Lumos has to be commended: the Ultra as a package is remarkably sleek, discreet, and seamless. Had you not looked closely, you likely would have thought this to be a normal, albeit attractive road cycling helmet. From this aspect alone, I’d say Lumos has already succeeded with the design brief for the Ultra.


At a measured 414 g on my scale, weight weenies will scoff, but it’s a decent weight considering the electronics and MIPS liner. More importantly, its weight is spread out well across the head, with very little of the pendulum effect that would have otherwise prematurely fatigued road cyclist neck muscles.

The retention mechanism does a good job of hiding the MIPS slip-plane liner, and it doesn’t seem to compromise the ventilation of the shell too much. One thing it does lack is vertical adjustment. At 56 cm head circumference, I usually wear “medium” helmets, and this fit me well with no hot spots or pinching.

That charging port cover does well against water splash ingress.

Charging the helmet until its rear status LED glowed green, I dove right into riding with the Lumos Ultra without reading its owner’s manual. I just peeked at how to fire up the lighting system, which is done by a quick press of the rear button from an “off” state. From there, tapping the rear button cycles through the three modes – a quick three-pulse flash, a steady one-second flash, and a steady glow mode. A long press turns the lighting system off.

As far as one-button controls go, this is pretty intuitive.

The foot of the handlebar-mounted remote doubles as the lid of the battery compartment.

Interesting things happen when you play around with the handlebar-mounted remote and attempt a turn signal.

Activating the turn signal with either button overrides the helmet’s current light mode and forces it to go into the steady glow mode. Pressing the “L” button triggers an audible, regular single beep, and makes the left rear bank of LEDs flash amber yellow while the right bank remains a steady red. This doesn’t stop until you manually press the “L” button again, or automatically after ten or so beeps. Pressing the “R” button does the same thing, but in reverse, and with double beeps. An orange indicator LED also lights up on the remote as visual confirmation that there is an active turn signal.

I found this system pleasant to use, with great audio and tactile feedback, even though the handlebar-mounted remote is a more natural fit for flat handlebars. Those beeps are clearly audible on the saddle in most situations, but they’re drowned out by loud motorcycle exhausts.

However, I think the Lumos Ultra’s LED array isn’t going to cut it as your only set of lights. It, and the other Lumos helmets, are best used in combination with your other lights to beef up your “to be seen with” lighting. This is especially true if you ride with daytime lights. While Lumos doesn’t claim a specific light output figure in lumens, the front LED array simply isn’t bright enough as a light “to see with,” nor does it have enough in the optics department to provide a focused, long-throw beam, and none of the modes actually raises the emitted light output.

I still maintain that your front light should output a minimum of 600 lumens to be truly usable. However, the Ultra does put additional light at head/eye level, improving your visual “verticality” and increasing the odds of you being identified as a human being. And any improvement in that area counts.

One other point of contention is comfort and ventilation, which I’ve already mentioned in passing. The Ultra simply isn’t going to be the airiest helmet around, although given its tech loadout, it’s commendable that its cooling performance is roughly equivalent to the Lazer Blade MIPS, if not marginally better. A one-hour late afternoon ride at 32 degrees Celsius heat will yield sweat, which the brow pad is a little lacking to fully address without getting saturated. That said, it’s airy enough at speed and it was easy to forget about wearing the Ultra on my head, which is a good thing.

Finally, there are additional functionalities which make themselves available if you get the confusingly named Lumos Remote. With that, the Ultra should gain the ability to act as a brake light array. While it’s a nice extension of present functionality, I’ll reserve comment on that as I wasn’t able to test it properly.


Adding lights to a cycling helmet, to me, is a sensible innovation and one that extends the basic safety remit. It’s great to see Lumos sticking to their guns with their core philosophy, and resisting the temptation to introduce frills such as onboard audio and calls via Bluetooth. Functionality like that sounds pretty darn stupid to me, and can detract from the hyper-awareness needed to ride a bicycle safely in environs that aren’t cyclist-friendly. (And yes, I’m talking about Metro Manila still; despite the much-ballyhooed 340 km “network” of bicycle lanes, I think most of them are still pretty pathetic excuses of their purpose. But I digress.)

One thing I see that Lumos can improve on is the handlebar remote for the turn signals, which is really a flat-handlebar item in current form. On a drop-handlebar road bike, the current unit is only really operable with your hands on the tops, close to the stem, where most folks don’t really have access to shifting or braking. I feel that a supplementary remote for drop handlebars that can go on both left and right control lever hoods would make the turn signal activation much better.

The Ultra feels like a natural refinement of Lumos’ basic concept, but aimed squarely towards road cyclists. Sure, it can be refined further in future, but for the $150 price Lumos is asking for a MIPS-equipped unit now, it’s quite hard to fault and it’s a reasonably good deal. A similar amount of money can get you, say, a Giro Syntax – and while it’s lighter, it doesn’t have the LED lighting tech that this does, and there are helmets out there that are vastly more expensive than this, but don’t deliver the same value proposition.

For me, the Lumos Ultra helmet itself is very good, and deserves to find a home with cyclists who understand and fit with its designed use case.