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October 9, 2013 No comments

Aviators, Afterburners, Etc.

Urban Cycling
Aviators, Afterburners, Etc.
Having cut their Crowdfunding teeth last year on Kickstarter with the Gotham Defender, Tivan and Slava of Fortified Bike Alliance have this month unveiled a new project. The Aviator and Afterburner are collectively a set of nigh-on indestructible, anecdotally unstealable lights for cyclists everywhere. They became inspired to get into the business a couple of years ago when a friend had his lights stolen from his frame one night and was subsequently hit by a car on the way home. Thus was born the Defender, a sturdy front lamp visually reminiscent of a revolver's barrel. The Defender made it off the drawing board helped by a host of Kickstarter donations, and the Fortified team have elected to raise venture capital by going down this same road again. Feeling lucky, punk? The Defender was last year's forerunner to the new A&A set. With fantastic success. Launched mid-September with the aim of raising $24,000 to go towards pre-production and tooling costs, the target has already long since been reached, and the Fortified team are now sitting on over five times times their original funding goal with weeks still left until the close of business. Their lights should tick a lot of boxes for most riders out there. They're light (no pun intended), bright and so hard-wearing that no money will change hands in the event of any pieces requiring replacement on account of a crash, a dog attack or similar. We have a perhaps understandable affinity with sturdily built cycling componentry. The lithium ion battery has a 200 hour cycle (no pun intended) and recharges via USB. They also fit to a wide range of seatpost and handlebar sizes, and will be devilishly tricky for an opportunistic thief to steal, given their proprietary set screw fitting. So far so good. But what if said opportunistic thief decides he'd like to think big and grab himself not just a light, but a saddle-light-seatpost combo? Fear not, they also do a special seatpost security set as well. All in all, it's a venture for, and by, cyclists that seems both supremely well intended and thus far excellently developed. The first batch of Aviators (front) and Afterburners (rear) should be rolling off the assembly line by spring of next year.