|My current commuting kit.|
That's where the Monkeylight comes in. Blinkies, headlights, and taillights are important, but being seen from the side (and more importantly), getting a distracted drivers attention, is the harder part of the equation. The Monkeylight accomplishes both of those things easily and in a very neat way.
First, the install; the package includes everything you see below. The light, the batteries, zip ties, and a metal "anti - theft" strap, along with stickers and some tiny spoke cards - or maybe trading cards, I'm not sure.
|It's in the bag, baby.|
My first thought when I saw the Monkeylight was that it's just a circuit board, and will never last. What you can't see in the pictures is that the board is completely enclosed in resin or rubber, protecting it from the elements. The Monkeylight is very solidly built, and makes my bike look super Hi-Tech to to boot.
|This thing is sealed up.|
Installing is pretty straightforward - zip tie the board to the spokes as shown.
|Zip ties are my duct tape anyway.|
Zip tie the battery cylinder to the hub, on the opposite side of the wheel from the light itself; this is to keep the wheel balanced. I don't question the idea of balancing the setup, but I do question wether the weight of the batteries is offset by the weight of the light itself. I didn't weigh them, but the light board didn't seem like it weighed as much as 3 AA batteries.
|That black thing is the waterproof battery cylinder.|
Once installed, turn it on and pedal away. There is both a high and a low setting on the light, and a lot of patterns to choose from - and that is where it's at. Blinking lights are fine, of course, but I'm banking on getting some attention with this thing. Zigzags, hearts, stripes, triangles, and more are generated by the wheel movement. That might make someone look twice; at least that's what I'm hoping for. The Monkeylight isn't only visible from the side, as the LED lights are super bright and throw enough light out to light up the street underneath the bike.
This isn't a great video, but it's hard to capture the effect by myself. This gives you an idea. Below is an "official" video to show you what it really looks like "on the streets" yo.
I didn't weigh the unit, and unless my readers speak up and tell me you need that, I'm not going to start weighing the stuff I review. This weighs as much as six AA batteries, essentially, so if you are a weight weenie, this isn't for you. I'm betting that if you read this blog, you are more of a commuter, and visibility is more important than a few ounces of weight. This thing is super bright, and I don't think there is a better way to make yourself visible from the side - and have a good time doing it.
|It is hard to photograph stickers on a chrome frame.|
Oh, I forgot the last step - I had to install a sponsor sticker on the Bloggipede. I am very impressed by the Monkeylight - at $49.99 it is an excellent value - as long as it holds up to extended use. I do expect it to hold up just fine, as it seems very well built. I will report the extended test results in a couple of months, so be on the lookout for that report soon.
The M210 Mini Monkey Light LED is available here for $49.99, and will be shipping in February.