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Old 06-16-13, 10:25 AM   #1
wagonfanatic
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Best LED Wheel Lights

I'm new to the forum, but am rebuilding an old bike and am very interested in having my wheels light up for safety.

I've seen a few different designs for LED wheel lights, including:

1) MonkeyLectric:
http://www.monkeylectric.com/
http://www.amazon.com/MonkeyLectric-...=Monleylectric

2) Revolights:
http://revolights.com/#lighting

3) Rimfire.
http://www.amazon.com/Rimfire-Lighti...ef=pd_sim_sg_4

THere are seem to be a few more cheaper alternatives, with small LEDs that attach to your pressure cap or on the edge of spokes. I'm up for whatever, and am looking for a medium-cost, long-lasting, secure (not easy to steal), and bright lighting system.

Any insight or experiences would be appreciated.
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Old 06-16-13, 02:20 PM   #2
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Bump, Anyone?

Or are there other less expensive, DIY options?
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Old 06-16-13, 03:07 PM   #3
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I've used the Rimfires almost a year now. When I bought mine they were $12 per wheel. ( I think the price has gone up )
The one on my front wheel has gone out a time or two. Not sure why but maybe a problem with the battery contacts. I tweeked the contacts the last time I charged the batteries and had no problems on the last ride. The problem might have been just the batteries being low, not really sure. Other than that they work great and really get you noticed. The only thing I don't like about them is that they are not easy to mount. That means once you got them mounted you really don't want to take they off unless you have to. The battery compartment is just plastic and no telling how long it will last

A while back I saw these mini LED spoke mounted lights ( Atozi Wheel spoke leds ) and thought these might be easier to take on/off your bike. These look a little better than the standard cheap valve cap type leds. The down side is they use button cells but you can buy those by the card ( for a song ) from the Chinese websites. I bought four of the cheaper generic valve stem type lights last year and had nothing but problems with them. That is why I switched to the Rimfires. At least with the Rimfires I can use rechargeable AA's. At some point I will give the Atozi's a try. Would be nice to just slip those on/off my Mountain bike for those short road sections.

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Old 06-16-13, 03:41 PM   #4
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Okay, lots of good information here. I'll certainly do more research on both the Rimfires and the Atozi's. Thanks for the insight!

Would love to hear people's experiences with the MonkeyLectics...
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Old 06-18-13, 01:51 PM   #5
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Okay, lots of good information here. I'll certainly do more research on both the Rimfires and the Atozi's. Thanks for the insight!

Would love to hear people's experiences with the MonkeyLectics...
I think with Monkeylectics and other wheel lights the emphasis is more on providing a side show. My purpose is just to get me seen. I wish there were more choices. The rimfires work but I could wish for something that is more easy on / easy off. Real important to have a battery compartment that blends more with the bike and creates no "wheel balance issues". It would be nice to have the battery compartment made to clamp around the hub of the wheel and yet cause no balance issue. Better to have the batteries horizontal ( with the hub ) and preferable with Li-ion cells. I like the rimfires as "proto-type" but I'd like something better engineered. I would also like to be able to choose the color of my LED's. I don't want so much of a show I just want to be seen.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:05 PM   #6
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I've gone ahead and order the MonkeyLectric Minis. The Revolights are clearly the best, but are out of my price range. The Monkeylectric minis mount near the hub and I think should offer a good light show for cars to see me. I'll post a review here once I get them up and running. This would be a good place for others to share their experiences though...
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Old 06-18-13, 05:24 PM   #7
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Does it have to be wheel lights? How about the BikeGlow Safety lights? They look cool. I've seen a couple bikes go by with them on at night and they definitely catch your attention.
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Old 06-18-13, 05:58 PM   #8
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Nite Ize spokelit lights: inexpensive, bright, lightweight.
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Old 06-19-13, 08:29 AM   #9
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I considered the bikeglow. Its a good point that it doesn't just have to be "lights."

I stayed away from bikeglow simply because I didn't like the look of them wrapped around the frame. If you could do it around just the wheels, that'd be really cool.
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Old 06-19-13, 01:34 PM   #10
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I've decided to order a couple of the Atozi's. Personally I just like the idea of something small and light-weight that is easy to put on and take off the wheel. I also like the idea of being able to choose the color. Something in a neon green or amber should fit my bill. I just hope that when I get them that they don't cut off like the cheap valve stem type lights. Not to mention the valve stem type lights were terrible in cold weather. I figure it's worth throwing some bucks at just to see if these are any better. Sometimes you gott'a roll them dice. I'll post back if the results are good.
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Old 06-19-13, 09:54 PM   #11
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I know that you've already ordered but.... I agree with vol's post above ^^^^ I've been using 'Nite Ize SpokeLit' spoke lights (http://bit.ly/TN13iS) for about a year now and haven't had any problems. You can find them at any LBS and on Ebay/Amazon as well.... They take (2) 3V CR2016 batteries which you can purchase inexpensively by the card on Ebay or Amazon. You can easily install and remove them and they grip really well. I don't really ride in rain.. (I live in So Cal..where it rarely rains).. so I don't know about a good waterproof test. I run mine on strobe for the most part so that it conserves battery life. Along with my Cygolite front and rear lights, Cars and pedestrians see me...... I've seen the combo literally stop people in their tracks. (which in my opinion is needed)
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Old 06-20-13, 07:18 AM   #12
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Okay, some good points here. Even though I've already ordered, I have two bikes, and this just covers 1/4 wheels, so your suggestions will certainly come in handy in the future.

Totally agree about the lightness and simplicity...

I also think that MonkeyLectrics are cool, but very much for show
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Old 06-20-13, 01:59 PM   #13
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I know that you've already ordered but.... I agree with vol's post above ^^^^ I've been using 'Nite Ize SpokeLit' spoke lights (http://bit.ly/TN13iS) for about a year now and haven't had any problems. You can find them at any LBS and on Ebay/Amazon as well.... They take (2) 3V CR2016 batteries which you can purchase inexpensively by the card on Ebay or Amazon. You can easily install and remove them and they grip really well. I don't really ride in rain.. (I live in So Cal..where it rarely rains).. so I don't know about a good waterproof test. I run mine on strobe for the most part so that it conserves battery life. Along with my Cygolite front and rear lights, Cars and pedestrians see me...... I've seen the combo literally stop people in their tracks. (which in my opinion is needed)
I've seen the "Nite Ize" before but they really didn't impress me. If you leave them on the bike they look funky. The Rimfires are kind of funky too but have a more impressive output. Good that you can take the Nite Ize off easily. Anything that uses button cells is a pain but I'm willing to make that sacrifice if it is something that is non-problematic, is bright, has a small foot print and can be installed / removed in a flash. If it is something that doesn't look too geeky that is even better. Push-come-to-shove, the geek factor gets trumped the more impressive the output is. However, if I can use something that blends well with the wheel during the day and yet still get me seen at night that would be nice. That's why I've chosen to give the Atozi's a try. I'm thinking one green and one orange for both wheels might look interesting.

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Old 06-22-13, 10:40 AM   #14
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I've seen the "Nite Ize" before but they really didn't impress me. If you leave them on the bike they look funky.
Don't know what you mean by "funky", but they look pretty much like the regular spoke reflectors, very inconspicuous, so less worry about theft if leaving them on. My only complaint is how hard one needs to press the button to turn it on and off. The stiffness varies among individual products, but some of them are so stiff that it is almost impossible to turn them on with fingers. Once on, they are great, especially in very dark surroundings. Not only for side visibility; even when looking from the front or behind, as long as you are not in direct 0 degree angle, they are visible, too, because of the brightness.
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Old 06-23-13, 01:44 AM   #15
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Don't know what you mean by "funky", but they look pretty much like the regular spoke reflectors, very inconspicuous, so less worry about theft if leaving them on. My only complaint is how hard one needs to press the button to turn it on and off. The stiffness varies among individual products, but some of them are so stiff that it is almost impossible to turn them on with fingers. Once on, they are great, especially in very dark surroundings. Not only for side visibility; even when looking from the front or behind, as long as you are not in direct 0 degree angle, they are visible, too, because of the brightness.
Well they work and they're bright...nuff said. Wheel lights are great. Nothing shouts, "BIKE!!" like having two wheels with colored lights going around in circles. Like you said, they are very visible at almost every angle. I just ordered the Atozi's. I should have them around the 10th of July.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:51 AM   #16
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Well they may be bright enough, but Spokelits are not bright compared to Monkeylights, not even close.
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Old 06-23-13, 03:38 PM   #17
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Well they may be bright enough, but Spokelits are not bright compared to Monkeylights, not even close.
Well of course they're not. You can't compare the output of a single LED to something that uses multiple LEDs and displays a graphic. That would be like comparing a keychain light to an HDTV. If your intent is just to increase your side visibility at night a couple single leds on the wheel will work fine. They work even better if you use at least two per wheel ( the more the better ). The Monkeylites are great but have the drawbacks of being heavier and having mounting issues. If you want your wheel to remain balanced you will need at least two per wheel. This of course adds more weight to the wheel and this also of course means more money will have to be spent. This is not something that most people want to deal with just to get seen from the side a little better.

My road setup already has great front and rear lighting. Even without any additional side lighting the bike is visible from the sides to a limited degree. Increasing side visibility doesn't mean you have to add more heavier objects to your bike. There are always smaller, lighter options that will, "get the job done". Finding the best compromise is the way to go ( IMO ).
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Old 06-23-13, 04:02 PM   #18
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Do the monkeylites only shine on one side of the bike? (232)?
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Old 06-23-13, 06:39 PM   #19
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Do the monkeylites only shine on one side of the bike? (232)?
No, they shine on both.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:52 PM   #20
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Revolights see this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...the-revolution About 2:30 into the film the light show begins.
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Old 06-23-13, 08:08 PM   #21
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Too much fanciness/complexity can be distracting to both drivers and oneself. Even when I used the disc-o spokelit (whose color constantly changes) I found myself frequently watching and admiring the lights themselves. I used to have them on the rear wheel, so I kept looking back. Now I moved them to the front--at least I don't have to keep turning back.

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Old 06-24-13, 12:05 AM   #22
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Well of course they're not. You can't compare the output of a single LED to something that uses multiple LEDs and displays a graphic. That would be like comparing a keychain light to an HDTV. If your intent is just to increase your side visibility at night a couple single leds on the wheel will work fine. They work even better if you use at least two per wheel ( the more the better ). The Monkeylites are great but have the drawbacks of being heavier and having mounting issues. If you want your wheel to remain balanced you will need at least two per wheel. This of course adds more weight to the wheel and this also of course means more money will have to be spent. This is not something that most people want to deal with just to get seen from the side a little better.

My road setup already has great front and rear lighting. Even without any additional side lighting the bike is visible from the sides to a limited degree. Increasing side visibility doesn't mean you have to add more heavier objects to your bike. There are always smaller, lighter options that will, "get the job done". Finding the best compromise is the way to go ( IMO ).
Apparently we agree, then, that the Spokelits are not bright compared to the competition (which is the context of this thread). If you feel they are 'bright enough,' I won't argue that point, but I do not agree, and feel the increased brightness of the Monkeylights greatly improves not only side visibility, but off-angle visibility. And that's not to do so much with number of LEDS, but the low electrical power available to the Spokelits.

I also do not agree that the Monkeylights require pairs to balance properly. It was true for the 1st gen units, particularly at high speeds, but the hub mounted battery packs of current offerings virtually eliminated the balance problem.
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Old 06-24-13, 04:42 PM   #23
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Apparently we agree, then, that the Spokelits are not bright compared to the competition (which is the context of this thread). If you feel they are 'bright enough,' I won't argue that point, but I do not agree, and feel the increased brightness of the Monkeylights greatly improves not only side visibility, but off-angle visibility. And that's not to do so much with number of LEDS, but the low electrical power available to the Spokelits.

I also do not agree that the Monkeylights require pairs to balance properly. It was true for the 1st gen units, particularly at high speeds, but the hub mounted battery packs of current offerings virtually eliminated the balance problem.
I don't own one of the Monkeylectric lights but judging from the installation video ( of the 210 model ) "balance" might be an issue. I can't say absolutely for sure because I don't own one. They do say on the video that you need to mount the battery case "in line" with the light unit to maintain balance and while this makes sense to some degree I can't help but wonder that even when installed per instructions if the wheel will maintain it's balance, particularly at speed. The battery case straps to the hub via two plastic tie lock straps. Once the wheel starts moving I can't help but wonder how well the battery case keeps it's place ( once rotational inertia kicks in ).

A couple things are very clear with the Monkeyelectic's. They are very bright and very cool to look at ( at night ). Downside is that mounting is not easy on / easy off. This means you aren't going to want to take them off for day rides unless you have a good supply of the black plastic straps on hand and don't mind the fuss. Otherwise, be prepared to look at them on your wheels during the day.

I hate having to look at the Rimfires on my bike during the day but taking them off would be way too much of a inconvenience. At least the clear plastic of the Rimfire battery hub is not too noticeable when the bike is moving. There are some minor balance issues with the Rimfires so getting it all to work is not always easy. This is why I'm continuing to look for a simpler solution, one that is easy-on / easy-off yet still bright enough to draw attention.
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Old 06-24-13, 09:37 PM   #24
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I don't own one of the Monkeylectric lights but judging from the installation video ( of the 210 model ) "balance" might be an issue. I can't say absolutely for sure because I don't own one. They do say on the video that you need to mount the battery case "in line" with the light unit to maintain balance and while this makes sense to some degree I can't help but wonder that even when installed per instructions if the wheel will maintain it's balance, particularly at speed. The battery case straps to the hub via two plastic tie lock straps. Once the wheel starts moving I can't help but wonder how well the battery case keeps it's place ( once rotational inertia kicks in ).

A couple things are very clear with the Monkeyelectic's. They are very bright and very cool to look at ( at night ). Downside is that mounting is not easy on / easy off. This means you aren't going to want to take them off for day rides unless you have a good supply of the black plastic straps on hand and don't mind the fuss. Otherwise, be prepared to look at them on your wheels during the day.

I hate having to look at the Rimfires on my bike during the day but taking them off would be way too much of a inconvenience. At least the clear plastic of the Rimfire battery hub is not too noticeable when the bike is moving. There are some minor balance issues with the Rimfires so getting it all to work is not always easy. This is why I'm continuing to look for a simpler solution, one that is easy-on / easy-off yet still bright enough to draw attention.
Yes, I see what you're saying. It's true that 'easy on/off' is not part of the Monkeylectric repertoire, but then, does any wheel light system offer that?
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Old 06-25-13, 12:00 AM   #25
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I picked up two spokelits, but it looks like you need at least 4 to get a good "Tron" effect going
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