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  1. #1
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    Wheel Lighting - Has anyone actually tried these?

    Hello All,
    I'm new to the Forum. Getting back on my bike this year after nearly five years off.

    I've looked at the Monkeylectric (www.monkeylectric.com) wheel lights. They look interesting. But I also found these options. I've read the other wheel light posts in the forum, but don't see any good information about the other options. Has anyone actually bought and tried these other options?

    What are/were your thoughts?

    Programmable wheel lights
    http://www.anvii.com/

    The "kit" you have to build
    http://www.ladyada.net/make/spokepov/

    v/r
    Pro Bro Doug B

  2. #2
    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    it needs too much power, and is expensive, plus heavy.

    but i'll gladly put it on if it was free
    Mu SL Gone in 10 sec!
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  3. #3
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    Google spokelit. Cheap and bright.

  4. #4
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    I just made an updated video of my monkeylectric lights:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbTWfOsev9c

  5. #5
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    I picked up some spokelite's at the local meijer store... they were on sale for $5/each. Normally $7/each.

    I bought two of the "blue only" spokelites, and four of the multi-color spokelites. Tried them out tonight, they are nice and bright.


    But, the Monkeylectric light is much cooler though... It's all about having toys, isn't it? I'm always looking for a project for the workbench in my garage. If I'm not building radio control airplanes, I'm building something else. I thought about building some of the LED spokelights like the kits that are offered. I like to tinker around with stuff.

    I do a lot of riding at dusk and the early evening. Anything to make me more visible is nice. I still have one of the "cloth" type disk wheel covers, circa 1989 on my back wheel. It's a little (a lot) dirty, but it's yellow and bright... and gets me noticed in the day and night (with a blinkie light inside the wheel -making the whole wheel glow)

    Apparently, nobody has tried anything but the Monkey light.... at least it works, and apparently very well. I might pick up one. It's a toy.

  6. #6
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    Monkey Electric may seems like a toy but when you realize how much safer you are at night, it falls into another category. It is a cool safety feature.

  7. #7
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    I have some Spokelits and they are great. Be aware that you have to have a minimum 3x, 28 spoke wheels or the Spokelits will not attach as designed. Spokelits are attached to a spoke via a groove in the middle of the Spokelit and the ends of the Spokelit press against spokes to hold them in place. Maybe someone can recommend how to attach them to other spoke configurations, but that was my experience. My 2x, 24 spoke front wheel would not work.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  8. #8
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    Agreement on the spokelits. And I'll triple the observation that you need triple the number on the wheel to get the Persistance of Vision effect.

    The Disco version is awesome. In steady mode, it cycles through MANY colors. Unfortunately, in blink mode, it only blinks red.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BearSquirrel View Post
    Agreement on the spokelits. And I'll triple the observation that you need triple the number on the wheel to get the Persistance of Vision effect.

    The Disco version is awesome. In steady mode, it cycles through MANY colors. Unfortunately, in blink mode, it only blinks red.
    so you need 3x spokelits per wheel?

    How does 1 per wheel look? Is it noticeable?

  10. #10
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    I'm running two of the spokelites on my front tire, 180 degrees apart. I have the "disco" kind that change color. I think they change to five different colors.

    At 15 mph, they appear to give plenty wheel coverage due to POV. I don't think you need three of them per wheel. Regardless, they really make the bike stand out at night when I'm riding thru my neighborhood.

    I have noticed they make the front wheel a little out of balance at speed. Riding no-handed is a little shakey with the spokelites installed.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProBro Doug View Post
    I have noticed they make the front wheel a little out of balance at speed.
    exactly why i don't like the idea of these lights

    they are just for decoration, but it ruins the wheel balance
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    I feel Monkeylectric looks cool, and I'm sure it's reasonably visible, but I wonder how much "safer" it makes a biker. Something like Spokelit — which appears reasonably "plain" — I imagine, will cause a motorist to think, "Hmm: that looks like a bicyclist. I'll try to be careful"; whereas Monkeyelectric (if it doesn't make a motorist ill with violent spasms...), is something that catches one's eye more than alerts one's senses.

    Is there any evidence that just because it's bright and attention-grabbing, it makes you safer on the road; or are we just clinging to the phrase, "Be seen: be safe"?

    As for wheel-balance, one could probably address the problem to a respectable degree by placing a second light on the other side of the wheel, diametric to the first; also, by positioning the devices as close to hubs as possible, as far as possible away from wheels' circumferences.

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    I have my Monkey Electric on my front wheel of my Xtracycle so I don't know about delicate bikes and wheel balance at speed. These lights haven't had double blind studies done on them but I have had cars stop in their turn at night, so they obviously saw them. Of course, I am 'clinging to the phrase' Be seen Be safe. It isn't a force field. One has to assume drivers aren't going to hit something on purpose.

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    I have two blues on my bike and two discos on the wife's. One on each wheel opposite the normal spoke reflector. I had dozens of people on the street comment on the lights, riding at my wife's creeping speed from, "Where can I get them." to "Ohh, look at the gay lights they have."

    I haven't felt any balance issues at my max speed of 20 mph on my hybrid or 30+ on short downhill runs.


    Battery life may be more of an issue at the point. I've had a 50% drop in brightness in 15 hours or so of continuous use. In a effort to find rechargeable CR 2016 batteries for the spokeLits I found this page from 2002. http://rex6000.fortunecity.com/Conte...eryvendors.htm
    Seems all CR 2016s aren't make with the same charge rate. From 90 mAh for Maxwell down to 70 mAh for Rayovac. I have no idea if this info still holds true today.

    But, I do like the Monkey Electric lights. The purple checker board pattern seen in their add video is great. So I've got to have one

  15. #15
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    One spokelit per wheel is highly visible and more than sufficient. Multiple spokelits per wheel is totally unnecessary IMHO. Everyone that has ridden with me has been very impressed with them. They illuminate very well in twilight also.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  16. #16
    Senior Member hansel's Avatar
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    why not just make your own with a bunch of led's, and a 9v battery? im sure it will be lighter

  17. #17
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Very interesting, but for commuting, I'd always like to keep the lighting simple and professional-looking. Not unless I want to fancy out for entertainment.

    Well, to make it interesting for commuting, I thought about having lights change colors depending in one of the following:


    • If I go, the color will change to green.
    • If I hit the rear brake, the color of the wheel will change to yellow.
    • If I stop, the wheel will be colored red.



    Oh, and here's one other thing: Since I will be riding an adult upright tricycle, I'd like either of two rear wheels to blink a red light depending on whether I'm going to turn left, right, or switch lanes. One negative about the lights in wheels is I'm not sure if they can be visible from the back of the tricycle, so it's better to use hand signals instead.

    However, I do realize that this will require hacking together relay switches to lights, which is no big deal. But some thing that I don't like about is soldering wires together and I'm not good at that. I used to have that Cold-Heat thing that I usually saw in TV commercials and I ordered it like a couple of years ago (I stopped buying products advertised in TV commercials recently). I used the Cold-Heat to soldier a wire to a circuit board, which is used for a wireless doorbell, but it got browned out and had to pay another for a new wireless doorbell (it is used for home automation).

    So anyway, I like the lights in the wheels.

  18. #18
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    problem with the above graysonpeddie, is that it isn't standard lighting so people may get confused. I think having a very bright red light at the back for when you hit the brake and a flashing orange light at either side for indicators would do a much better job, be easier and be more obvious.

  19. #19
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    when I look at the monkeylectric and other POV wheel lights I always wonder why someone isn't making something with surface mount leds on a flexible board. Seems like you could make it a lot lighter than what's out there now.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProBro Doug View Post
    Has anyone actually bought and tried these other options?
    i've bought all of them

    this is in many ways 'you get what you pay for'. the monkey light is about 10x brighter than anything else i've seen. we're also the only product with full color LEDs and our visual effects are a lot more interesting i think. compared to the other larger-size wheel lights i think our construction and attachment methods are more durable and suitable for someone that rides every day in all weather conditions.

    on the safety side, we get strong feedback from our customers that they feel much safer when using our product.

    -dan-
    Monkeylectric

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    when I look at the monkeylectric and other POV wheel lights I always wonder why someone isn't making something with surface mount leds on a flexible board. Seems like you could make it a lot lighter than what's out there now.

    its a bit tricky to make a flex board durable enough. but, you may still get what you wish for.

    -dan-
    monkeylectric

  22. #22
    先輩 Gilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Awesome this thread has answered a lot of questions that I had about spoke lights thanks for every ones posts. =)

  23. #23
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I'd have to see some studies on these. I am not convinced that they're not more distracting than anything else.

    For me I don't think they're of much use. Almost all of my commute is on rural roads, and it's very rare for me to have ANY traffic coming in from the side at all. Almost all traffic comes from behind, and they'd never see this anyway. But for riding around a city I guess they're not a bad idea, again, assuming that they're actually visible (visibility from inside a car is a different thing than visibility to a person standing watching) and assuming they don't distract drivers, causing them to hit someone else instead.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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