The ORB is designed to be both light and bike bottle; a combination that tackles the two issues of both health and safety. We got to put it through its paces as we ventured into the labyrinth of Auckland streets with the accompanying evening traffic; and the results were positive.
At RoadCycling.co.nz we are a safety-conscious bunch. We’re a big fan of being safe and being seen because we’ve read far too many stories – and have been on the receiving end – of car-bike collisions. Reflective clothing, front and rear lights are a regular feature on our rides; but it’s quite surprising to note just how ineffective they are when it comes to being seen side-on. Front and rear lights become almost completely redundant for motorists viewing riders on roundabouts, or passing in front of them; and while this hasn’t been an issue riding in the countryside in the past, heading to Auckland over Christmas by bike brought the matter front and centre to our attention.
Going through the endless junctions and blending into city traffic, the task of trying to stay visible suddenly became even more of a high priority and so putting the ORB through its paces became a very attractive proposition. The first tick in the box comes through the fact that rather than casting a directional light one way, the ORB is a 360-degree light within a water bottle. Motorists from all angles are able to see the bottle quite clearly, and while it is not a light we’d use on the front to direct us; the ORB thrives in its function of making traffic aware of your presence.
4 LED light bulbs make this possible, with the USB point at the back of the bottle lid providing the second big tick with its recharge-ability. With those light bulbs you are able to choose from a multitude of different settings, the battery-saving dimmer option or the full bright setting, while you’re also able to choose from solid beam to a number of flashing options; all controlled by pressing the power button. Press and hold to turn on, press to change setting, press and hold to turn off. Simple.
In not compromising on volume for fluid, the weight of the ORB’s bottle lid provides 100g extra weight compared to your typical 700ml bike bottle. I’m happy that the ORB team have done it this way around rather than making a smaller bottle to counterbalance the weight; third big tick from us. The bottle is taller and top heavy, but has the same diameter as that of a standard bike bottle.
For poor visibility riding the ORB is an answer to a prayer we never really knew we needed until we saw the statistic that 1/3 of serious accidents on the bike happen from the side. Their innovation inspired a tremendously effective Kickstarter campaign and it’s easy to see the results just from our encounter with it. We tackled our first inner-city Auckland riding experience during the night with a far greater amount of comfort and ease than we’d expected; because we were that much more visible.
To find out how you can get your hands on the ORB go to www.orb.bike.