BikeCommuters.com

Featured Product: Monkeylectric LED Wheel Light

From time to time, we get some cool and fun products to ride with and feature on the site. The Monkeylectric M132 is such product.

Here are the product’s features:

· Unique and powerful graphics synthesizer system:
generates thousands of constantly changing patterns and colors
instantly customizable colors, patterns and activity to fit any situation
· 32 Full color, wide angle, ultra-bright LEDs provide nearly 360-degree visibility
· 8 mounting options fit nearly any Road, Mountain or BMX bike wheel
· Ruggedized construction designed for daily use and frequent wet weather
· Vibration-proof 3-point mounting system
· High strength fiber composite construction withstands rough riding
· Hook & loop battery strap keeps batteries secure and easy to replace
· Lead-free, RoHS compliant environment-friendly construction
· Only 65 grams without batteries
· Clear hardcoat over all LEDs keep the lights fully waterproof for the deepest puddles
· Lasts up to 30 hours on 3 x AA batteries, rechargeables provide best performance

I installed the Monkeylectric LED on my DB Transporter-Xtracycle, I figured that the bike is an excellent candidate since I like to cruise with it in the dark.

The LED is fairly easy to use, simple push the power button, select a color, pattern and speed and you are ready to go. One of the things that I really like about the LED is that is really bright and it really attracts attention. As I rode through my neighborhood during 4th of July, I got a lot of cheers from the people that were enjoying the 4th of July festivities outside in their driveway.

The only drawback of this light is that it may make your wheels imbalanced, since I don’t ride very fast on my Xtracycle, I don’t really notice, but here’s what Monkeylectric says about how to handle such imbalance:

Our more casual test riders can’t tell the difference when riding. As with any product you attach to your bike wheel or bike – it can affect the handling especially at high speeds. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the handling of your bike after installing the m132s.

Any imbalance is more noticeable on high-performance lightweight wheels, and at faster riding speeds. If this is important to you there are a couple things you can do: (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.

Here’s a short video of the Monkeylectric in action (Sorry about the fuzziness, my camera is not really equipped to shoot in the dark):

At $64.95 it may not be cheap, but Monkeylectric seems to be sold out due to high demand. I think that if your commute is a short one or a slow one and if you ride at night, you could benefit from the Monkeylectric M132’s brightness making you more visible at night.

18 Comments

  1. tadster

    That is really neat. I guess you can’t get going fast enough for it to spell a word like “hello” or something.
    In my opinion, ‘batteries exposed to grimy environment’ does NOT equal ‘ruggedized construction’

  2. Dman

    Yeah, this thing looks incredibly homemade.

  3. Ghost Rider

    Um, it IS homemade, in a manner of speaking — the creator is no less than the FOUNDER of “Instructables”…and waterproofing the batteries takes mere seconds:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Waterproof-your-Batteries-in-seconds!/

    Clear nail polish is all it takes.

  4. Moe (Post author)

    I was also going to use a trick that I used when I used to race Nitro RC cars: Wrap the battery pack with a balloon so water won’t get into them.

  5. ernesto

    Wonder how this compares to the Hokey Spokes Lights … Has anyone checked out both?

  6. Raiyn

    @ ernesto
    I was wondering the same thing. I’ve asked about it somewhere before and never really got an answer.

  7. Moe (Post author)

    Regarding the Hokey Spokes, they said they were gonna send us some samples to test, but they never did. So, I can’t really give you an answer since I haven’t ridden with the Hokey Spokes.

  8. Elizabeth

    A fellow Chicago commuter shared a tip recently — the Ikea strands of LED Christmas lights use only 2 AA batteries and work really well… and come in a multitude of colors. Look for them in the upcoming holiday season. According to this cyclist’s review — “These [Ikea] lights are almost as much fun as hokey spokes, but they are a HECK of a
    lot cheaper.” 🙂

  9. Ghost Rider

    Dude, we’re way ahead of you…Christmas bike lights rule year round:

    http://www.bikecommuters.com/2007/12/08/christmas-lights-for-bikes/

    Complete with crappy YouTube video!

  10. Cruise Answers

    Any imbalance is more noticeable on high-performance lightweight wheels, and at faster riding speeds. If this is important to you there are a couple things you can do: (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.

  11. Ghost Rider

    Excellent tips — I lean toward adding another unit, because these devices are absolutely AWESOME.

    I can barely feel any imbalance..and only at low speeds…with the unit installed on my Xtracycle. The wheels are pretty heavy, though, so they probably cancel out much of the imbalance.

  12. jackjones

    Hi guys

    You can better ones at http://www.unijem.co.uk
    They have a wide range even one with text message,
    Proper cool take a look

  13. Raiyn

    “Proper cool”? Err, no.

  14. Pingback: User links about "fixedgear" on iLinkShare

  15. Lofticious
  16. Damon

    I find anvii light.
    I think it is better than monkeylectric.
    http://www.anvii.com/

  17. Bicycle lights

    Bicycle lights are very important in today heavy traffic-ed world. It helps the rider through a clear focus on the roadway avoiding obstacles and accidents in darker conditions. Moreover these lights seems really good and the colorful lights gives a different and funky look to the bicycle.

  18. KB

    I have two sets of monkey lights on my road bike. I love them. Yes, they are expensive. No, I have not had to call anyone. Yes, I had a problem with the lights turning off. I removed the rubber case and removed a battery. I am ordering the Hokey’s soon. My plan is to move to foldable electric because my LBS quoted me $1800 to install an electrick kit on the road bike. I am also putting something to downplay the decals on the bike. In any event, so far I have $200 worth of lighting on the bike. Yes, I receive a lot of attention–I direct interested parties to the Monkey electric website. I love riding at night especially midnight. Its fun! The road bike (Trek Alpha) is fast but not comfortable. I am considering options (foldable, electric, Surly, Rivendell, old steel lugged frame.)

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