Monkeylight

At the annual Cycle Show held at the NEC Birmingham in September I was drawn in by a stand selling fancy lights designed to fit on the spokes of your bicycle wheel. These were sold by Monkeylectric. I was impressed by the product both from a road safety point of view and from a typical girlie 'I like the pretty colours and patterns' point of view! There were essentially 3 options and the more lights you wanted, the higher the price. I decided to try out the middle range light priced at £30. As bike lights go this is kind of an average price to pay.

The gadget contains 5 LED lights which you can set to a pattern and colour of your choosing from a range of 19 themes. As your wheel rotates the lights produce the desired pattern.

As the dark nights got earlier and earlier before Christmas I finally got around to fitting my new light and was suitably impressed with the effect until around Christmas when the first set of batteries started to fade. My immediate thought was 'they haven't lasted long' (the light was in use literally for 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week). However, I duly changed the batteries and low and behold a couple of days later the batteries failed again. I was now starting to wonder what was wrong, but giving the product the benefit of my doubt I changed the batteries again, but when I came to use the light the day after fitting the 3rd set of batteries it failed once again.

Needless to say I am disappointed now with my purchase and will endeavour to contact the company for advice.

Aside from the battery issue the other downside to these lights is that they do cause some imbalance in your wheel despite being fitted as recommended. The combination of having a battery pack (containing 3 AA batteries) attached to your hub and a panel of lights between your spokes near to the rim does make the wheel feel strange and you'll notice a twitch in the wheel in cross winds too.

The idea is good and the effect is great for being seen from the side at night. It's just a shame that the product is so cumbersome.