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Mini review of Monkey Lectric Spoke Lighting system - is it good for commuting?

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Mini review of Monkey Lectric Spoke Lighting system - is it good for commuting?

Old 06-17-08, 11:43 PM
  #1  
Sonoma76
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Mini review of Monkey Lectric Spoke Lighting system - is it good for commuting?

When I owned a car, I never put extras on it to draw attention to myself.

But now that I bicycle just about everywhere and I'm always worried about my visibility -especially at night- I've decided no gadget is too much for my bike as long as it draws attention to me.

So with that in mind, I bought the Monkey Lectric spoke lighting system. Bring on the bling!

The product just went on sale in May and the company is aiming it squarely at the hipster/fixie crowd, not the commuting set, but I went ahead and took the risk to buy the $70 product.

What is it exactly? Well, it's 10 or so ultra-bright LED lights in a row on a reinforced/water resistant circuit board that attaches with zip ties to your spokes.

Powered by three Triple-A batteries, the system blinks different colored patterns at random, and once you get up to speed (12 mph -20mph), that pattern then appears to create a solid light disk inside your wheel.

I installed it on my Swobo Dixon last night and immediately went for a ride.

It works great! Not only did it create an almost completely solid circle of light at about 15 mph, but it lights up the pavement around you. The effect is really remarkable.

But best of all, it really does draw the attention of motorists. In fact, I had three drive along side me just to watch the light show, which I figure is good since they know I'm there.

Anyway, I realize it's not for everyone, and I wouldn't dream of putting this on a race bike or something like that, but as an auxiliary lighting system, I think you could do a whole lot worse.

If you do get one, make sure to install the system with the batteries closest to the hub of your wheel. If you don't, it can really throw the wheel off.


15" exposure at night in my garage



Link with much better pictures
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Old 06-18-08, 12:04 AM
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thx for that, looks like great fun.

Here's a YouTube movie.
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Old 06-18-08, 12:07 PM
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I don't know that I'd want that much weight in my spokes. The LED's also don't look like they're all that well protected from rain.

I have one of these on backorder:
https://www.niteize.com/productdetail...product_id=163

Lot lighter and way cheaper. Just wish they had a white or yellow for the front(blue?green?WTF?).
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Old 06-18-08, 03:09 PM
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I think you're going to count yourself fortunate if that lasts a year. I'd probably only use something like it for regular nighttime city cycling... like a delivery job.
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Old 06-18-08, 05:25 PM
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I'm pretty sure if you have flashing blue light, the cops will give you a ticket.
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Old 06-18-08, 08:45 PM
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So cool. Me want.
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Old 06-18-08, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder
I don't know that I'd want that much weight in my spokes.
Any imbalance is more noticeable on high-performance lightweight wheels, and at faster riding speeds. (1) mount the m132s closer to the hub of the wheel - this will dramatically reduce any imbalance, (2) remove the batteries when you are not using it. the bare unit is only 65g, the batteries usually add another 100g. (3) mount a second m132s, or similar weight, on the opposite side of the wheel.

Originally Posted by dynaryder
The LED's also don't look like they're all that well protected from rain.
They coated the LEDs with a waterproof clear hardcoat, and used an extra layer of matrix fiber over the electronics - all the electronics are literally embedded into the fiber composite construction.

https://www.monkeylectric.com/m132s_faq.htm
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Old 06-19-08, 07:39 AM
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There also a prodect called hokey spokes that can show messages
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Old 06-21-08, 02:04 PM
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Yeah, it's a pretty robust little device. I"ve had it on my bike all week, no issues with it whatsoever.

I like having a bit of bling on my bike.
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Old 06-21-08, 02:51 PM
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Ever bit of visibility is welcom, problem here is that it's primary focus is side to side instead of fore / aft.
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Old 06-21-08, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonoma76
Yeah, it's a pretty robust little device. I"ve had it on my bike all week, no issues with it whatsoever.

I like having a bit of bling on my bike.
Would be interested to see if it was still holding up in a few months. Looks cool though.
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Old 06-21-08, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonahhobbes
Would be interested to see if it was still holding up in a few months.
I've had a SpokePOV running for years. As long as you take the batteries out when it's wet, it'll be fine. The Monkey 'Lectric is far better sealed than my SpokePOV, so it shouldn't be much of a problem.
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Old 06-21-08, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dobber
Ever bit of visibility is welcom, problem here is that it's primary focus is side to side instead of fore / aft.
I don't know about you, but I already have plenty of light to the front and rear... side visibility is lacking.
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Old 06-22-08, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sonoma76
But now that I bicycle just about everywhere and I'm always worried about my visibility -especially at night- I've decided no gadget is too much for my bike as long as it draws attention to me.
ahh, another fred is born.

Seriously though (and yeah, I consider myself a fred), I couldn't agree more about night time lighting. I run 2 headlights and 7 blinkies..... 5 to the rear and one to each side at night and with 5 different 'settings' I get a good amount of eye catching flashes.

I'm still looking for another xenon strobe like I used to have. I ran it during the daylight to the rear, but at night it was so bright I had to mount it under the saddle facing down so no one was blinded.
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Old 07-29-08, 05:38 PM
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Another review of this https://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/0...onth-with.html
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Old 07-30-08, 12:10 PM
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Wait,the batteries aren't protected? Fail. No use making the board weatherproof if the batts are going to short out.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:17 PM
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good point dynaryder, also nice bump as I'm keen to see what these lights are like after a few months.
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Old 07-31-08, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter
I'm pretty sure if you have flashing blue light, the cops will give you a ticket.
I thought that was only for front and rear lighting only. I;d love to have some blue lights on the spokes.

One sure fire way to slow down speeding traffic for sure. Front highpower strobe, Back Dinotte strobe, and sides.
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Old 08-02-08, 11:48 AM
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You could always get those valve cap covers that light up.
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Old 01-10-09, 11:55 AM
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Ice biker here in Cedar Rapids. With temps in the 11 - 19F category, the lights have now performed perfectly to provide the morning and night time commute lighting I was looking for. To quote one of my working peers, was that you thismorning on commute?........The wheels were ablaze with color and lighting the entire disk.........what a light show.........I almost ran over the curb watching it!"
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Old 01-10-09, 11:57 AM
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I'm REALLY sure I don't want drivers watching a light show instead of the damn road.
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Old 01-10-09, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder
I have one of these on backorder:
https://www.niteize.com/productdetail...product_id=163

Lot lighter and way cheaper. Just wish they had a white or yellow for the front(blue?green?WTF?).
Inconvenient batteries.
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Old 01-10-09, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
I'm REALLY sure I don't want drivers watching a light show instead of the damn road.
Yeah and peds wanting to steal your bike. Still they look really cool though.
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Old 01-10-09, 05:56 PM
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I rride a LOT at night I think since Iam a real fred ! Iwill put them on both my bikes
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Old 01-11-09, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter
I'm pretty sure if you have flashing blue light, the cops will give you a ticket.
Somone posted in a thread about spokelits that he was running blue ones and rode past cops, and the cops apparently didn't care. You should probably check with the police department in your own city/town. Also, if you do get the blue ones, you can set them for constant instead of flash.
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