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Old 09-14-06, 01:03 PM   #1
bkbrouwer
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Clever new light

This is a pretty clever idea, and fairly cheap to boot...

http://www.reelight.com/en/innovation.html
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Old 09-14-06, 01:05 PM   #2
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^^^ I saw that link last nite too, but I cant tell by the illustration
if the front lite modulates when you are moving slowly. That could
be sort of disconcerning.
Otherwise, this looks like a great product !
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Old 09-14-06, 01:07 PM   #3
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That is slick!
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Old 09-14-06, 01:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=-
^^^ I saw that link last nite too, but I cant tell by the illustration
if the front lite modulates when you are moving slowly.
You can purchase an extra set of magnets for the front to double the pulse rate.
The only problem I see with these is no blinkie when stopped.

Of course you'd still need a good headlight to see the road.
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Old 09-14-06, 01:11 PM   #5
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My guess is that the front light would modulate as well, since it works on an induction priciple. They could in theory have a circuit that would make it more steady by storing the energy briefly, but I think they would advertise it if they had done that.

I would be concerned about the wheels staying true. I've talked to people that have tried those spoke mounted blinking lights that can be programmed, and they have reported that they are hell on wheel true.
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Old 09-14-06, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twahl
I would be concerned about the wheels staying true. I've talked to people that have tried those spoke mounted blinking lights that can be programmed, and they have reported that they are hell on wheel true.
Buy two sets and mount on both sides!
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Old 09-14-06, 01:28 PM   #7
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but the energy is not delivered effortlessly contrary to the marketing blurb. there is drag from the magnetic field. the trick however is that so little energy is needed to power LED bulbs that the energy taken is milliwatts, not something any cyclist will notice.
a self contained LED blinkie seems much more simple and avoid the lights off when stopped issue
Al
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Old 09-14-06, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
You can purchase an extra set of magnets for the front to double the pulse rate.
The only problem I see with these is no blinkie when stopped.

Of course you'd still need a good headlight to see the road.
I have an OK light, a CYGO-LITE, because it was the only one the LBS had in stock......
The cool thing about it other than being able to see at 5:00am in the morning is
cars give me noticbly more respect-room with the lights on. I used an old union generator
up until 2000 and it would blow rear bulbs for some reason. I always knew when one
blew because the front one would go flamethrower all the sudden !!
With two lower mounted Reellites and a bright battery handlebar light you could scare
cars into thinking a UFO was about to land !!
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Old 09-14-06, 01:40 PM   #9
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your speed will probably go through the roof. most computers use magnets to pick up the revolutions of the wheel...

would be cool to see in person. definitely a "be seen" light. but i'd rather a LED with battery that runs forever, combined with a hub generator. much more effective, but i haven't seen these operate.
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Old 09-14-06, 02:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
but the energy is not delivered effortlessly contrary to the marketing blurb. there is drag from the magnetic field. the trick however is that so little energy is needed to power LED bulbs that the energy taken is milliwatts, not something any cyclist will notice.
a self contained LED blinkie seems much more simple and avoid the lights off when stopped issue
Al
Why not both? I always supplemented my friction-driven dynamo head and tail lights with battery-powered French lights strapped to my upper arm(s) and lower leg(s).
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Old 09-14-06, 02:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
Why not both? I always supplemented my friction-driven dynamo head and tail lights with battery-powered French lights strapped to my upper arm(s) and lower leg(s).
Because friction driven dynamos offer advantages over higher powered battery lights (i.e no charging which is frequent with high watt lights and limited light time per charge and expensive batteries)
This light does not offer that significant advantage over a cheap self contained LED blinkie as they can last many days of use on a single battery charge, but does add the disadvantage of more complexity (yes the marketing says it is reliable, but keeping four magnets in plastic containment attached to spokes on wheels aligned to the inducutor coils will be one more thing to deal with for wheel maintenance.)

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Old 09-14-06, 02:45 PM   #12
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It also shows 1-3 mm between the magnet and pickup unit. That's pretty tight, especially with something likely to throw spokes out anyway.
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Old 09-14-06, 03:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twahl
It also shows 1-3 mm between the magnet and pickup unit. That's pretty tight, especially with something likely to throw spokes out anyway.
Yes like a light knock over into the spoke .

What I'm concern is that it's likely not much more visible than a real cheapo LED with a batteries like others has said
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Old 09-14-06, 04:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkbrouwer
This is a pretty clever idea, and fairly cheap to boot...

http://www.reelight.com/en/innovation.html
Friend had it on his bike and immediately started snapping spokes. LBS Said it was causing excessive stress on the spokes by reducing flexibility. This was on new wheels, btw, so it wasn't fatigued spokes. Other than that, it's a great idea!
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Old 09-14-06, 05:16 PM   #15
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^^^ attach the inductor magnets to a dummy disk brake rotor ????
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Old 09-14-06, 06:50 PM   #16
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I like it, but i wanna see one in action to know if it makes sense. Seems like a good alternative to hub genrators, but I would still want at least some cheapo lights to back it up. Those magnets do look awful big though, and i bet they're a lot heavier than reflectors.
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Old 09-14-06, 08:06 PM   #17
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I like it, but i wanna see one in action to know if it makes sense. Seems like a good alternative to hub genrators, but I would still want at least some cheapo lights to back it up. Those magnets do look awful big though, and i bet they're a lot heavier than reflectors.
I don't think it is a "good" alternative (granted, I've never seen it in action!) - a good hub generator will put out 6w of steady power. With the right optics and bulbs you get a very useable light. Add a small blinky to be seen, and if you want, small light on your bars for cue sheets / maps, and you can ride all night.

I doubt this will put out enough light to navigate country roads after dark (or even at dusk, when its even harder to see!)


And I don't buy there light without penalty to the rider. There is no free lunch. Its either a weak light, or the magnetic field will create drag, just like a hub dyno. The website is very vague about specifics. No watts, power, or brightness noted.
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Old 09-14-06, 11:59 PM   #18
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....................snip...........................

And I don't buy there light without penalty to the rider. There is no free lunch. Its either a weak light, or the magnetic field will create drag, just like a hub dyno. The website is very vague about specifics. No watts, power, or brightness noted.
+1

It's a complicated solution for a non existant problem. Cheap, reliable, lightweight blinkies already exist for front and rear.
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Old 09-15-06, 12:20 AM   #19
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My take that its a lot of overengineering for a relatively simple device. Slap on a rear taillight with a triple A battery, turn it on, forget about it. No worrying about dynamo alignment, added weight and complexity.

This reminds me of the bikes that sported driveshafts a couple years back. Its a solution to a problem that has already been solved in a more optimal manner.
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Old 09-15-06, 04:23 AM   #20
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This reminds me of the bikes that sported driveshafts a couple years back. Its a solution to a problem that has already been solved in a more optimal manner.
he he he... i'm reading "bicycle" - which is great history (lots of cool pics too!)
there was a push at the height of the boom in the late 1800's (by several manufacturers who dominated the market) to switch to shaft drive. main reason was "fashion" and "new" - trying to reel in more higher end sales in the upper class market. idea flopped - even a study at the time proved the chain drive better - it's 99% effecient! - anyway... cyclists have lots of options for accessories - and people still find solutions to problems that are already better solved with other technology.

cool idea though.... and maybe there's merit to it, but i doubt it...
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Old 09-15-06, 04:54 AM   #21
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A blinking foward facing light is a ticket waiting to happen.
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Old 01-22-08, 11:52 AM   #22
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Just nudging this thread forward to the present to let everyone know that they now have additional models. As I understand it, the original one just flashed when the magnets passed by. They now have models with capacitors that get charged and in turn power the light. That allows the blinking speed to be steady (although not adjustable), and to continue for a few minutes after stopping. It also allows for another model that has a steady light.

I got a set of these for Christmas (from my LBS), and I'm pleased so far. Granted it's maybe too soon to see about the spoke problem, and maybe there is a little bit of drag. But I do like the simplicity of no batteries, even if you would only need to change them once a year or so. I probably like them for the idea as much as for any practical reason. Batteries can be toxic to manufacture and discard. Granted, so are electronic circuits.

As for visibility, I agree it's definitely a "to be seen" light, not a "see with" light. I think the taillight is not any dimmer a cheap blinkie. I also agree that neither the front nor the back should be your only light, but I think of it the ultimate dependable backup.

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Old 01-22-08, 12:05 PM   #23
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I cannot, for the life of me, see why this would cause a wheel to go out of true or lessen spoke life.
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Old 01-22-08, 01:31 PM   #24
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I had a pair on my commuter for a few months, so I'll give some comments based on that. Just to put things in perspective - I ride an older, steel 3-speed and weight/drag issues being brought up in the context of utility devices like these kind of annoy me - if you're a racer, the only people where weight/drag should be an issue you obviously aren't going to be using something like this.

The set I have is one with the capacitor, so they stay lit at lights. Also, I haven't noticed any fading or flickering when I slow down, probably because of the capacitors. The lights are pretty bright, comparable to a blinky. My only issue with them is that because of the way my fenders (original metal ones) attach I had a hard time positioning the lights, especially the rear, so they didn't aim as far up as I would have liked for visibility.

Are they good enough to be a sole light source, no. What I like them for is a vehicle-side light that shows where you are in the road. Since most of my riding is next to traffic with people who aren't used to bikes on the road (not many B'more cyclists) having extra lighting on the car side of the bike is great.

I did not notice any drag or spoke issues. It's possible there is some, but the magnet involved is only slightly more powerful than the ones used for bike computer sensors so unless those thrown you out of whack there shouldn't be a big issue. The only reason I'm not using them currently is I got new wheels built up around a dynohub and I haven't bothered to put the Reelights back on. I'm debating holding them off for the touring bike I'm getting built since it would be nice to have lights on it that I don't need to think about charging or changing batteries in for touring.

If you have questions feel free to PM me. One thing that has always irked me a bit on these boards (all of them, not just A&S) is the regular occurrence of people rendering judgment without firsthand knowledge, so I'm willing to answer any questions about these from the position of someone who has used them.
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Old 01-22-08, 01:47 PM   #25
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how is this new ? I have a 15 year old induction light.

red LED, magnet.


the problem with induction lights, (was my problem anyway)is the magnetic draw is strong enough to vibrate the
spoke a bit each revolution. after 40 miles or so I found the spokes holding the magnet
were loose. I had to specially red-locktite those spokes to keep it from happening

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