Lumigrids - Would They Work for Mountain Biking?

May 22, 2013 at 21:53
May 22, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
 
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A design team from Sichuan University in China has come up with a lighting concept that could potentially have applications in the mountain biking world. It's a handlebar mounted LED projector, which they call Lumigrids, that projects a grid onto the ground in front of the rider. The idea is that changes in the terrain cause the grid to deform, and make it easy spot obstacles. According to the designers, Lumigrids would have three different modes that change the grid size - normal mode (140x180mm), high-speed mode (140x260mm), and team mode (300x200mm).

The concept is intriguing, but could it work for mountain biking at night? Modern lights are so powerful that it doesn't seem that this would be necessary, and the positioning of the grid could also be problematic. Plus, the speeds that mountain bikes reach and the types of obstacles encountered off road are greatly different than what a commuter would encounter on a paved road. Could some kind of hybrid light and grid system work, with the the grid projected further than the range of the beam? It will be interesting to see if this concept goes further than the drawing board.

Lumigrids
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155 Comments

  • + 207
 Pretty cool, but my eyes would trip out
  • + 32
 I'd be too concentrated looking six feet in front of me to know what's going on thirty feet in front of me.
  • + 90
 Imagine hitting a drop and seeing the grid become a tiny thing below you!
  • + 148
 Actually I think it'd get bigger since the distance below is greater.
  • + 29
 Thinking more about it now, you're right. Would not make it any less trippy or scary though!
  • + 18
 I'm just wondering why we'd need this.
  • + 17
 i think we could use this for causal riding in the dark, but not anything gnarly.......
  • + 118
 amazing; Tron downhill
  • + 6
 The grids are real small too. the biggest only a foot wide...
  • + 4
 Even though the biggest grid is 300mm, I doubt that's the actual measurement of the display on the ground. Considering the pictures provided, that that's the 'team' mode, and that the size of the grid is going to be altered by the mounted height, it's most likely a measurement at x distance away from the light.
  • + 7
 Imo I wouldn't even use it for commuting, if you're riding along concentrating on a grid on the ground 4ft in front of you you're going to be a lot less aware of what's going on around you and probably more at risk as a result.
  • + 1
 This idea actually makes a lot of sense, but it needs some overhaul if MTBs are gonna use it. At the high speeds woth the kind of obstacles we encounter, a traditional lighting system would be better IMO. But this does look sick for communting....
  • + 9
 For commuting I see that more as a spacial reference for other people than for your own use. Project one of those either side and at the back (ot one front one back each projecting a hemispher shaped grid) and I bet cars would give people more space.

It would be yet another weapon against the SMIDSY argument too, "I swear officer I didn't see him!"
"He has a four foot glowing blue grid around him, what the hell were you doing mate?"
"erm....."
  • + 25
 I would shine it on my wifes arse, 3D oh yeah !!
  • + 2
 Exposure MaXX-D, 250grams 1600 lumens, Job Done. Looks Cool but thats it.
  • + 2
 With a normal light you can see what the obstacle is. It's a good idea I many ways but I'm gonna stick to my normal bike light
  • + 10
 it would be cool if you could turn it into some sort of 3d mapping thing where you end up with a map of the trail showing all little drops and things.
  • + 6
 I'm diggin' that Dead Space blue!
  • + 0
 Ok it will get bigger, but as it is farter away , you wil see it the same size as it was in front of you. Only with 2 different light points you can make up a distance. I think.......
  • + 11
 anyone think about the shaking of the handle bar shaking the grid and you wont be able to see the grid just a bunch of fuzzyness on the ground.
  • + 4
 OK GUYS, WE ALL KNOW THAT IT'S USELESS, BUT I KNOW THAT ALL OF YOU, INCLUDING ME, WOULD LIKE TO TRY IT Smile
Am I right?
[Reply]
  • + 87
 I will only buy one if TLD makes luminescent jerseys and shorts so me and my friends can play Tron at night on our bikes.
  • + 3
 And every grid square was a different neon color....
  • + 9
 They also need to make a hub that replicates that whooosh noise too
[Reply]
  • + 2
 For real bro! We need glowy-glowy rims now Big Grin
  • + 5
 www.ridewithfiks.com

Now we can all go full tron.
  • - 2
 that would be sooo cooool! and you could hold your bike in your pocket Big Grin
  • - 19
 Never go full Tron. Never go full retard. Never go full Enduro. Go full DH.
  • + 10
 You just went full moron^
  • + 1
 Ahahahahahaha I'm done.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 being one that rides at night often, and with a very capable light. I can say This could be useful. but not on it own IMO. If they could integrate it to be visible along with a regular light. then they got something maybe. then again this is the internet so i could be full of crap.
  • + 1
 Combine it with a helmet light. Smile
  • - 3
 I don't think it's neccissary at all. I've never had an issue with riding at night (including spotting obstacles) whether it be a 24 hour race in techy/rooty New England, or fast and flowy Utah trails. I think the grid is just a useless addition that really won't make a difference in your riding and if anything, it'd be dentrimental to riding fast at night. The faster you go, the further you need to see in front of you including noticing the flow of the trail, which I don't think this grid will pull off.
  • + 0
 I cycle at night through winter to and from work on a commute and some xc and DH with mates at night, my humble opinion is that this would be awefull, having a mass grid moving in front of you as you cycle would be rediculous, it would just get really annoying, as a novalty great, and it looks cool but it will never catch on.
  • + 1
 i could actually use it for training, I've noticed when I started ridding at night my manouver skills improved a lot cuz' i didnt really spot the small things like little rocks and negligible roots, so I didnt worry about these thing a all, with this device we would actually only see the big things that we really need to avoid, therefore making go faster. IMO
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Well...this is something new. Bike lights are awesome, but this projector is frickin' Tron-like awesome! It doesn't even matter it wouldn't work on fast MTB nightrides Smile Pure bike glitz.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I think the concept is really cool, not sure if it would work for a full on fast pace DH run at night as to what a couple others have said, but then again...when was the last time I rode at full pace and hit all the jumps and drops at night? The answer is never, and in my opinion this grid would help alot for the late night XC or AM rides that alot of people do. At the same time...I just hope it comes out at a reasonable price so that I might actually be able to try it out. That might make all the haters run in to the bushes...or it might give them a reason to hate...I just dont want to have to be part of the 3% to be able to buy it. Keep it cheap!!
  • + 0
 I think it has a lot of potential. I ride at night quite a lot and it is great fun (it is dark here in the winter by 4pm so not a lot of choice), but the light from the bars makes for long shadows that distort the terrain. With this there would still be long shadows but you would be able to see how big the grid had got beyond the shadow and have a feeling for the height and length of the gap.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 it seems as if it would be too hard to concentrate on a grid, make out what youre seeing, then avoid it. whereas with an actual light, you can see the form and colour of an object, instantly registering in your mind what it is, to then be easily avoidable
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Or you could ride your bike during the day
  • - 1
 some of us have jobs during the week, during the day
[Reply]
  • + 6
 One word comes to mind...... Tron!
  • + 0
 Yes! Just what I thought...Don't stack it or you'll De-Rezz...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I can see this being a far better idea for skiing than mountain biking; flat light can makes seeing what you're skiing on damn near impossible
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I could have used this for my nwcup race in the trees with my smoke lenses. I really only think this would be beneficial if it worked in the trees during day. Lights at night would work best. I guess it all depends on how much it lights up under theses circumstances.
  • + 3
 Tho it might need to be laser rather than led.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 you lot are forgetting one of the key elements, off road riding will be too rough to even form a grid. This will point out a brick in a middle of a car park but if you look at an average trail, i dought you will even see a grid so normal lights are far far better
[Reply]
  • + 2
 For a downhill application I would suggest having at least 10 of such grids reaching from the front tire to the point where eyes should stick, not mentioning about any big airs over canyons or shall we imagine the world top dh riders playing chess in there minds. A rock beats a root...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Tron or what! What happened to the buzz of hitting roots in the dark because you can't see there wet and slippy. Or jumping your favourite trail thinking you know it like the back of your hand but in the dark you don't.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was thinking about commuter safety and thought that if we could make a bike look like a car then drivers would be more likely to acknowlegde the cyclists existence hopefully leading to fewer accidents. These lumigrids would be ideal for projecting a larger surface on the road to make a bike look like a car... if the lumigrid can be made even larger or take effect at different angles then that could be very useful.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Not needed. Anyone who rides trail at night knows that your going too fast to look down at your front wheel,unless your going up. Even then a good light is all you need. I would be surprised to ever see something like this on the trail. Overcomplicating things.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 pair it with a light cycle and dont get derezzed.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think this is a cool idea but with how bright modern LED lights are now I think those are the best. What I see here is amazing rave stuff. So keep the idea just market it to a different crowd.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think I would love this... I don't wear my glasses when I ride and, at night, it screws with my depth perception making it hard to judge distances and terrain. Interesting idea for sure.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 We need to remember we are riding bikes. The best, simplest most efficient machine for getting across this planet. Let's not pretend that we are fighter pilots. we don't need to be. Head-up displays and audio cues will be next telling you where all the obstacles are- sound like a fun night ride? Go away lumigrids and go away google glasses!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 mountain bike lights tend to have the lighting power of the midnight sun, so I dont think it would be particularly useful, especially when you take into account how far ahead you have to look at the speeds normally reached
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Interesting toy..... I wonder if its highest setting mode can be set to cover a wider and farther enough area so as to compensate for the movement a rider does while hammering. Otherwise, it will be dizzying to have that small patch of grid constantly moving in front of you.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why don't you make a goggle with night vision, thermal vision, and for extras put the laser guide radar, flame thrower, and machine gun on bike than just go to some war frontline..
[Reply]
  • + 0
 would be great if it projected a decent distance, anyone riding slow enough to use it at that distance isn't going to be helped by it as they will just focus on the obstacle and get thrown off. it would be better used to provide a very obvious illumination for road riding
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Its pretty interesting. Reminds me a little of how the Canesta/Kinect technology works, by emitting a laser that is bounced off nearby objects with a 3D camera to capture the scattered light. So this solves maybe half of the problem, that of reading the terrain properly, but it still doesn't emit enough light to be truly helpful in steering at night nor does it address the main benefit behind commuter headlights - being seen by cars. Maybe there's some hybrid that has this on your bars, and a special helmet light that reacts with the grid in a unique way, to enhance terrain while being brighly lit.
  • + 5
 This + a camera & some sensors, and you could get a 3D model of your trail by the time you got home Smile

Tell me that wouldn't be cool.
  • + 1
 their called cameras and have been around for at least five years, but that would be pretty cool to be able to do a wire frame of the trail.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 In response to hybrid system of light and grid, I would suggest maybe grid for close up and then light for further distances ahead? seems to me that the grid should be utilized as a last chance saloon for people who fail to identify obstacles at range
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Modern lights are crazy bright but I find I need two lights one high one low. Otherwise one on my lid only makes the ground seem flat, one low down makes even the smallest indentation on the trail the deepest canyon to lose me and my bike. This seems like a good idea but the throw is too short for mountain biking. Road and making me look big for cars seems like a much more promising solution. Specially in the sexy Tron colours.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Combine this with those electronic Oakley goggles, combined with google glass, and that 3d radar thing, plus whatever crazy software Lockheed has in the F35? JK JK! Cool idea, at least as a novelty.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 First it's lumigrids,.. next thing you know it's lumitictactoe or lumicheckers,... no thank you.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Mom and dad spent how much sending you to University and that's the best you can come up with mmmmmmmm
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Needs mushrooms
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Knowing the trail is half the battle, seeing it at nite with this takes away the game.. great idea but to much going on there..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 looks like fun at the strip club! but not for bikes! they call em lights i think they work today probably tomorrow 2 you be better of with torch lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If you need one of these for riding a bike, you're screwed. I could see this beneficial to those that drive cars dropped so low that a pebble clips their undercarriage.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 night time jump trails would be easier with this but during the day its pointless. if they made bike paths out of this that would be good.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 downhill... at night
[Reply]
  • + 2
 tunnel vision much? I would hope it projects far enough out to make me focus where I need to go.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 To use a different film analogy, it's like The Phantom Menace. Interesting idea but ultimately, poorly executed and terribly pointless."Hey!, it's like, just my opinion man".
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure that this would be awesome at getting everything on your bars evenly spaced, not sure about riding though..
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would try it out, might really change the night ride experience.....might be a trip
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ill wait until the wearable h.u.d units come out.
(Think mercedes night mode dash board)
But, it all depends on wheel size anyways.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 This would not work if someone is blind...
  • + 5
 Agreed - there are safer ways for the blind to ride bicycles.
  • + 0
 uh how about the Braille trail in Santa Cruz Demo Forest...?
  • + 5
 braille trail in demo was designed so that when a 29er rides over the braille, it says "29ers-are-ghey". but when 26ers go over the braille, it says "just-try-29er-you'll-love-it". and then when a 650b goes over the braille it says "you're-ok-for-now-but-only-until-a-new-wheel-size-comes-out-at-which-point-you-will-be-ostracized-so-enjoy-it-while-it-lasts-dipshit". its quite amazing how they got the braille to do that with three different bikes.
  • + 1
 U made my day bro
[Reply]
  • + 1
 We need to see where we're riding. If a branch higher than your handle bars is in your path, how is this thing going to let you know?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Would be like riding in the Matrix.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It looks fascinating but I would need to see it in real life, don't get me wrong, this concept could have huge potential
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sounds like fun...if I'm riding at night on mushrooms.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I like the idea but.... I think lights are the way forward !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Albert Hoffman likes this!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Tron for mountain bikes, what will they think of next.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would rather spend my money on my bike
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It may be a good concept for people with limited or partial sight.
  • + 2
 that's a super awesome point about people with limited vision , I can see the advantages for that in darker lite areas
  • + 1
 I appreciate your enthusiasm...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Lumigrid plus drop of acid equals trip of your life
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Looks like the aiming system from the dead space games
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great idea, but i will use when my bike is gonna make quick turns at 90' degree angles as a light cycles ! hihi Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 id feel as though im in a Tron movie, i think id have to wear lycra with glowing strips
[Reply]
  • + 1
 add handlebar vibration and your pretty little grid is a useless laser show
[Reply]
  • + 1
 you go too fast on a mountain bike, you would only see obstacles after its to late
[Reply]
  • - 2
 These are the guys that know what is coming to cycling in the future...

... and they are running flat bars and 26" wheels!

So do I go ahead and buy a 650b and Danny Hart 25mm riser bars and be trendy now, or do I sell my 29er and my 10mm riser bars for a 26" and flat bars and be ahead of everyone?

If I only I could see the drivetrain in that photo...
  • + 1
 HERP DERP I HATE *insert wheel size here*.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Integrate this tech with lasers in the head tube and have instant feedback to the suspension.
  • + 2
 While steering it remotely from home. Via XBox or something. Who needs riding when it can ride itself...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 changing the color would maybe help aswell it would just trip out my eyes tho
[Reply]
  • + 2
 What about that if you are on weed? Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This reminde me of the lawn mower man
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Creative, but may not works good for MTB. Riders will get dizzy easily. Still a great idea though.
  • + 1
 终于找到一个中国的
  • + 1
 其实还有不少呢。
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That could be nice for the ones that are not astigmatics.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm good, I'm good o here comes tree , boom
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This seems to have more use for robots than for humans.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Probably laced with lead and antifreeze....
[Reply]
  • - 1
 i really dont think this will work for mountainbiking, if it comes out people wont buy iy becouse it will surely be somewhat expensive and less effective than a decent lamp
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It would be like biking in Tron.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Pair it w/ a HUD, now we are talking TRON.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it would cause to much distraction. i'm good with my niterider thanks.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice! Would love to see them expand from this!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good for commuting. I can see Walmart selling lots of these
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think the mosquitoes would be attracted to that thing
[Reply]
  • + 1
 dam thats cool but i bet it would be expensive
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Cost=OVER 9000!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You are now entering the Matrix
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Reminds me of Tron! Now I need a lightcycle haha
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Be like riding on that tron bike game!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 That's brilliant, I'm seriously imprest with the concept.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 2020 status, see Sam Hill using it- lol not really.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 not to mention the amount of shaking it would do while being projected
[Reply]
  • + 0
 stayin on that nightrider 1200 lumen. Sorry. No lumigrids going on my bike
[Reply]
  • + 0
 i like it. come on with it :-)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love the future...
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Who looks down right in front of their wheel when they ride anyway? I dont see this going anywhere.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 LED, LSD, Tippie on a glow bike. Talk about trail tripping, this could get interesting.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Yo dawg, we heard you like light bike. So we got you a bike light, so you can light bike while you light bike!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Shut up and take my money!!
[Reply]
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