MonkeyLectric Blog

Bike lights that can handle “100% Playa Mud”. Burning man playa dust proof, waterproof, mudproof, and iceproof lights.

 

100% Playa Mud

Help us make our next-generation lights a reality so that it’s even easier to be visible while cycling.  Back our Kickstarter campaign today.

waterproof and ice proof

We stand behind our waterproof claims.. if you ever have a problem with your lights, they are covered by our generous warranty.  Our next series of lights will have a 3-year warranty!

These lights are built to withstand the elements.  Back our Kickstarter project today.

 

New Monkey Lights on Kickstarter turn on just when you need them

Have you checked out our new Kickstarter yet?  We’re making automatic bicycle wheel lights.

 

We’re really excited about our new smart auto-on function.   It seems a bit silly, but not having to reach down and push a button makes a big difference.

 

All of our new models reliably turn on when you need them. Just ride your bike. Our unique triple-sensor technology detects wheel rotation and light levels. It won’t accidentally turn on if it just gets bumped on a bike rack. If you still want a power button, our A15 & A30 lights let you choose between Off, On, and Smart-Auto-On yourself.

 

Check out the campaign here.

 

Nutcase and MonkeyLectric Day of the Dead contest

We’re sponsoring a contest with Nutcase Helmets to celebrate the Day of the Dead.  Win a set of 2 M232 Monkey Lights and a Nutcase Spirits in the Sky helmet and the matching Spirits in the Sky bicycle bell!

Click here to enter.

 

Contest ends at 11:59pm on October 31st.  Winners will be announced November 1st, the first day of Dia de los Muertos.

Nutcase and MonkeyLectric Day of the Dead contest

m232_night_wide

Win a M232 in our Instagram contest!

(Congrats to Christy K!  You are our winner!) 

This month, our customer profile focuses on Ashley Van Beusekom!

 

Ashley shares a slice of her life with us along with some recent photos and a handy tip from mom

 

Riding on holiday in the Netherlands

 

 

 


 

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, where do you live and what do you do?

I live in England and I’m a geophysicist, a triathlete, and a mum of two future cyclists. 

 

 

FullSizeRender                 

Riding in Paris on holiday

 

 

What is your bicycling background and how did you become interested in it?

I bought a bike to ride across the US after college, then raced bikes in grad school, and gradually became more and more obsessed. I pretty much stopped driving now . . . which my friends think is one step towards granny-hood. But I love the freedom and speed of riding a bike, and the choice parking spots! 

That's funny your friends think riding a bike everywhere is a mark of granny-hood. We think riding a bike instead of driving is one step towards everlasting youth!

 

 

FullSizeRender-2 Mountain bike on a nice day

 

 

 

What is it like riding a bike where you live?

I live in a bike friendly town, so it’s easy here. Some places I’ve lived before haven’t been as friendly, but I’ve noticed if you make yourself very visible drivers are nicer, and sometimes even thank you for it. I rode across the US wearing a neon pink tutu on insistence from my mother. I’ve passed on from that due to it being non-aero and full of road grit, but I am still trying to always be brighter— mom always knows best!

 

 

 
FullSizeRender4 Club run cake stop
 

 

 

How did you hear about Monkeylectric?

Internet, searching bike lights. You can never have too many lights. My 4 year old son and I watched the videos online and decided we had to have some Monkey lights. He picks the patterns on the cargo bike— always rocket ships because they’re fast. 
 
 

 

FullSizeRender-1

                         Train station pick-up. Nice monkeylight!

 

 

Are there any links you would like us to share with our readers?

Nope. 

 
 

FullSizeRender-3                

Bike Cleaning
 

 

 

 
 
FullSizeRender-4 Olga lounging after an exhausting effort of watching all the people from her ride — she isn’t very athletic so despite our best efforts, she ends up needing a lift quite a lot! I think she likes the attention she gets from the passersby.

 

 


 

 

 

We'd like to thank Ashley for telling us about herself and for providing us with these lovely photos of her and her family!

 

 

If you'd like to share your story, please send an email to chloe @ monkeylectric . com

Enjoy!

Our favorite entries from the 2016 Instructables Bicycle Contest

We were happy to join Nutcase helmets in sponsoring an Instructables contest in support of the DIY community: their Bicycle Contest 2016.   Lots of good entries were submitted.  Here are some of our favorites.

 

Athul shared a useful set of bicycle maintenance tips.

He writes:

Your bicycle doesn’t run on leg power alone. It also needs a little lube, a lotta­ love, and a good ­listen. You may not know every remedy your bike needs to live a long life, but you can gain enough wisdom along the way to keep it in tip-top shape and out of the shop.

 

 

ErickPp had an, uh, unconventional way of lubing his bike chain.  Simple, and to the point.

 

The Grand Prize winner made a well-crafted, and well-documented picnic box for their bicycle.  Enjoy your Monkey Light Pro, The Dutch Cyclist!  

He writes about his inspiration for the project:

Recently I moved from The Netherlands to Austria (No kangaroos). Since cycling is such a big part of my life I did not realise how fortunate the Dutch people actually are with there cycling infrastructure. It took me a while to get used to the Austrian infrastructure. Lets say its something else. But I was determined and kept using my bike for all kinds of transportations that are really strange for Austrians/non Dutch people. It did not take long to get the 'crazy Dutch guy with his bicycle' label. People around me are getting used to the fact that you can go to IKEA with your bicycle. 🙂 The bicycle culture is a bit 'hipster' and that's probably why someone pointed me to the Bicycle Picnic Box. She found it on Instagram and told me that it would fit me and my bike. At first I didn't think much of it but the idea stuck and after some research I came to the conclusion; I can make that! I found some Instructables but they did not fit all my needs. For example, I wanted to be removable without tools because I don't want it to take with me everyday. Then decided to make my own and first Instructable. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

 

 

Other notable winners include this amazing bike that transforms from tall bike to cruiser with a slight shift of body weight.  It's definitely worth watching the video.

She writes:

This bike transforms from a tall bike to a chopper/low rider (and back) while you ride it! It is made with a full suspension mountain bike and a set of gas shocks. The spring on the mountain bike is removed to allow the bike to pivot, the fork and rear triangle of the bike are extended. The gas shocks are extended when the bike in the tall position and compressed in the chopper position.

 

Major props to second-prize-winner, Krivas, who used the laser cutter in their local library to make this high-visibility vest.  (What an awesome local library it must be to have a laser cutter!)

My local library has a maker space with a really awesome laser cutter; I’ve been learning how to use it and have been experimenting with different materials. Last week I decided to try cutting fabric and this is what I ended up making; a stylish alternative to a traditional safety vest.

 

 

Instructables user henryric made a fantastic walk-through of how to make a cargo bike on the cheap, out of a Craigslist bike, a shopping cart, and spare parts. The detailed walk-through also comes with rare safety tips and a good dose of humor.

He writes:

Build a cargo bike out of an old mountain bike, a metal shopping cart, miscellaneous bike parts, a variety of scrap metal, and a willingness to hack things apart!

I am currently living a car-free life and need a means of transporting supplies for those larger projects. Constructed at UPland.

Chainsaw bike
A front shock-powered pump

Two entries that drew our admiration for ingenuity (and some laughter) were the Chainsaw Bike, submitted by ThriftStore Hacker, and the Shock Powered Pump, submitted by Mrathweg.  If you put these together and connect an airgun to the pressure chamber, you'd have a one awesome zombie apocalypse cruiser!

Details about the inspiration for the chainsaw bike:

I have had a lot of feedback on my channel from people asking me to make a gas powered bike.

I found a good running chainsaw with a bent and broken bar at a garage sale for 20 dollars. I also was able to pick up a cheap mountain bike from a thrift store.

Thanks for taking a look at our favorite entries!  We look forward to sponsoring our next contest with Instructables.  In the meantime, check out our LED lights for your bicycle wheel.  They will add a lot of color to your bike ride!

Bicycle Safety: The More You Know

 

"The Ultimate Bicycle Light" by Margot Gabel

 

 

 

 

Safety is a number one concern for cyclists everywhere.

And it doesn't make things easier that the general attitude is that

it is your responsibility as a cyclist to make yourself seen and safe.

 

 

 

 

"If Roads Were Like Bike Lanes" by Steve Patrick Adams

"If Roads Were Like Bike Lanes" by Steve Patrick Adams

 

 

 

Without proper bike infrastructure on the majority of our roads, feeling small and vulnerable when you are sharing the road with countless cars and trucks zooming past is just part of the daily commute. As a bicycle light company, we felt it was important to delve into the facts about the dangers of cycling so we can understand the leading causes of traffic accidents.

 

 


 

 

 

"directing traffic" by rick

"directing traffic" by rick

 

 

 

Disclaimer:

Many crashes do not get reported properly or thoroughly, if

reported at all. Most data reflects accidents where cyclist

fatality occurs. There is not a lot of info on the much more

common case of accidents resulting in mild to severe injuries.

Sometimes, different studies show conflicting data. And there

is no perfect science behind adjusting for variables.

 

For Example: Men appear to be victims more often, but is this

due to larger volume of male riders or does it say something

about the way they are riding?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Age Chart IIHS

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

 

 

 

Questions for a Pro:

 

Ken McLeod of the League of American Bicyclists co-authored a comprehensive report on cyclist collisions

after reviewing copious amounts of research and data collected on impact incidents for the Every Bicycle Counts report.

We asked him to lend his expertise and answer a few questions.

 

 

 

From your research and experience, why do most cyclist/motorist collisions happen?

The majority of collisions happen at intersections, but the majority of fatal collisions happen when a motorist hits a bicyclist from behind.

 

 

LAB Collision Type

 

 

What are the best precautions a cyclist can take?

There are many different precautions that a bicyclist can take and the best precaution is the one that solves the most important safety issue for that bicyclist. Some of the best precautions can be:

 

  • Improved route choice – if possible, manage your exposure to high speed traffic and difficult intersections

 

  • Defensive bicycling practices – ride slower, position yourself in the center of a lane when appropriate, be aware of your surroundings, and follow traffic laws

 

  • Lighting to make yourself more visible

 

  • Make sure your bike is in good condition – especially brakes and tires

 

 

 

How important is side lighting in preventing side crashes?

Side lighting can be an important part of preventing side crashes. In low light circumstances it is helpful for bicyclists to have conspicuous lighting and/or reflectivity. Often moving lights or reflectivity improve the visibility of a bicyclist (although research is mixed on flashing lights). The sooner a driver can see you the sooner the driver can react to you and prevent a crash.

 

 

Source: NHTSA FARS Data

Source: NHTSA FARS Data

 

 

 

Will lighting help in the day time?

Lighting can help in the day time. There is not a lot of research on the subject, but some research suggests that permanent lighting can reduce the incident of collisions by 19%

 

 

 

Does the time of day make a difference?

The time of day does make a difference. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the third highest specified factor in bicyclist fatalities is that the bicyclist was not visible. While we do not know how many people are biking at a particular time of day, NHTSA data shows that roughly 28% of bicyclist fatalities occur between 6pm and 9pm.

 

 

NHTSA - Time

Source: NHTSA FARS Data

 

 

What are some ways to raise motorist awareness on the road?

Bicyclists can take individual action to make motorists aware by using lights and bells. Bicyclists can also take collective action by becoming involved with local, state, and/or national advocacy so that infrastructure is improved in ways that make bicycling safer. Bicycle infrastructure, particularly bike lanes and protected bike lanes, creates awareness and clear expectations for all road users.

 

 

Is it important to record crash data?

It is important to record crash data. Bicyclists should report crashes to their local government to make local planners and engineers aware of dangerous conditions and make police aware of dangerous behavior.

 

 


 

 

 

What We Learned:

 

  • The highest instance of cyclist fatality in a collision occurs when the cyclist is rear ended.

 

  • Cyclist side/car front makes up the second leading cause of fatality and the third is cited as a "T-hit." The differences between "cyclist side/car front" and "T-hit" are unclear but it is possible they could be grouped together.

 

  • Unfortunately, "unknown" collision type makes up nearly as many instances as the rear ended cyclist. This reflects the need for more thorough accident reporting.

 

  • One study indicates that a collision involving cyclist side/car front, while not being the number one cause of fatality, is the leading crash situation. It also appears that most situations involve the car hitting the cyclist or pedestrian with the front of the car.

 

  • 6PM to 9PM is the window of time when most accidents occur.  This is consistent in different studies.

 

 

  • Taking precautions to make yourself more visible can reduce the risk of collision.

 


 

Thanks to Ken McLeod for guiding our research and answering our questions and to Steve Patrick Adams for allowing us to use his comic!

 

Ride Safe!

 

8 Things We Love About the M232

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the M232. For years we have worked to make the most unique, fun, and durable bicycle wheel lights on the road. Here we explain why in 8 words (that all end in ‘Y’).

 M232 animated gif


 

 

Durability

 

  • Our lights are individually cast molded in 28.6g of rugged, waterproof, crystal clear polyurethane
  • IP67 waterproof
  • Made to withstand all environmental exposures such as rain, snow, dirt, and sand
  • Affordable for a light that will last

 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"I have it on a fat bike that has experienced at least a few spills on rocky, wooded mountain bike trails...What impressed me the most about the durability of the lights was it's absolute waterproof abilities. I...submerged the bike up past the pedals. In some areas we had to drag the floating bikes through the water for quite a distance. After the ride... the lights are still working perfectly."

     -

 

"It's lasted thru rain, snow mud, 5 degree to 100 degree weather and the buttons still work fine.Was very doubtful of the quality at first, but it has proven itself many times over."

     -

 

"Secure and durable (dumped hard and its still just fine} Looks amazing, bright, doesn't seems to cause noticeable instability even when I'm going at 35+mph"

     -H. Annen

 

 

 

 

 M232_AB_stars_lightning_1000_nt

 

 

 

Simplicity

 

  • Never worry about taking it on and off your wheel
  • Easy, durable install
  • Select from 42 different themes with the press of a button
  • Select from 64 different color options with the press of a button

 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"Installation takes a few minutes of zip ties and clippers, and you're done."

     -Firstname McLastname

 

"These lights are very cool! I bought 2 for my motorized bicycle. They work fantastic on it. They're extremely easy to install and also very simple to use. It took me about 10 minutes to install them on my bicycle. I'd suggest keeping the packaging for them to keep the list of patterns. A really great accessory for bicycles!"

     -Scanfi

 

"The 232 is vastly improved because it's easy to select one of the 42 themes by only pushing one button repeatedly."

     -Paul S.

 

 

 

 

 "Hey, Four Eyes" by Antoine Pethers

 

 

 

Visibility

 

  • 200 lumen output
  • 360 degrees of light
  • 32 Ultra bright LEDs
  • Two brightness settings
 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"If you ride your bike at dusk or in the dark, it's important to make sure you can be seen. Here's a product that will help. Monkey Lights help you stand out in style by digitally displaying bright, colorful lights and designs with every turn of your wheels."

     -Lynne Ober

 

"I was commuting to work several mornings a week before dawn and even with two super bright headlights, flashing taillight and Illuminite reflective clothing I had close calls with drivers when standing at intersections because they just didn't notice me. Monkeylight seemed to make a difference. Even stopped it's like having a roman candle in your spokes."

     -Paul S.

 

"I purchased another lighting system for my granddaughters bike wheel before getting the Monkey Lights. The other system wasn't bad, but it didn't even come close to the effect you get with the full color and the fact that it show on BOTH sides of the wheel."

     -Gatorgirl

 

 

 

 

232giphy 

 

 

Quality

 

  • 32 ultra bright LEDs emitting 200 lumens
  • Up to 20 hours battery run time
  • Each M232 is carefully inspected before and after molding by one of our production techs.
  • Made in California

 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"They are so awesome and you get what you paid for, quality. They are definitely the best bike lights for their price and quality."

     -Amazon Customer

 

"Quality is better than I expected on the overall body and LED protection. Waterproof and shockproof as well. The LEDs are superb and very high quality."

     -Amazon Customer

 

 

 

 

"Fibre Flare Flashes" by Antoine Pethers

 

 

 

Battery

 

  • Any AA batts
  • Use rechargeable
  • Improved battery pack, shock resistance, better balance, more waterproof
  • Up to 20 hours

 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"I bike about 60 miles a week, 30 of those using these lights (at night), and I only had to change my batteries once after about 3 months of use."

     -Coleman O.

 

"The battery mounted to the hub is a great idea, since you can easily get rechargeable AA batteries and carry extra with you, no need to spend a fortune on some weird-sized watch battery!"

     -Sluggirl

 

"The new 232's also moved the battery from the board on the spokes to the hub of your wheel. This help reduce weight balance issues and seems to make it easier to change the batteries... One battery pack can run two light units! This cuts down the weight in batteries, it does reduce the run time of course but since the batteries go into a quick load housing you can have the other set from your second light on hand to swap out and it takes just seconds to swap. I bought an extra set of rechargeables so that while I'm riding with one set, I can have another set charging at home!"

     -Chris Cre

 

 

 

 

Grand Prize: Sityak in Hungary

 

 

 

Versatility

 

  • Fits wheels 20" and up
  • "Random" modes that cycle through groups of patterns
  • Tons of color options
  • 42 themes for any occasion

 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"Even if you are a total cruiser with one array on one wheel, these M232s are going to light you up and make people notice. With a double array you can go slower and still get full patterns... If you live in a place like Seattle (like I do) where the sun doesn't shine that often, you can probably get use out of them during the day."

     -Kris Pendleton

 

"These are great. With so many neat designs, I change up the pattern every time I ride."

     -Coleman O.

 

"The pattern selection is bigger than the originals and you can select certain groups (like the classic patterns or groups of new patterns) and you can pick out groups of colors to customize your ride. I like to change the colors to reflect holidays like orange and purple for Halloween or to have different colors for each wheel."

     -Chris Cre

 

 

 

 

232giphy2 

 

 

 

Warranty

 

  • We offer a 2 year warranty to fix or replace
  • Great customer support to help troubleshoot
  • Guaranteed

 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"With no argument or fuss they put in a warranty order and it's on its way to me. Fantastic customer service as well. Defective products can and will happen...the difference is in how the company deals with it and Monkeylectric gets an A+++!"

     -Scanfi

 

"THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER... Wow! Talk about a company that stands behind their product and goes the extra mile for their customer... I cannot speak highly enough of this fantastic product and company."

     -Tina A. Pollio

 

"I managed to separate the wiring leading from my front light to the battery mount (some clumsiness when I took the front wheel off to mount the bike on my car). I checked with the company to see if I could send it back to be repaired, and they actually instead are replacing the broken part... I love the fact that not only is the product fun and a great tool for safe riding, but the customer service is also superb. I will certainly buy from MonkeyLectric again!"

     -Sluggirl

 

 

 

 

m232_hearts_skulls

 

 

 

Security

 

  • Comes with stainless steel strap for added security
  • Attaches firmly with strong zip ties
  • Discreet

 

 

 

What our customers say:

 

"The Monkey Lights are such a fun addition to any bike. Watching the video online made the installation very easy. I have had one set one for over a year and just ordered a 2nd set.My first set is still on the bike just as securely as the day I installed it."

     -Sue Czarniak

 

"Not to worry about [them getting] stolen: once they're on, they're ON. They're also pretty discreet when they're turned off."

     -LZ

 

"The metal security ties that were included actually appear stronger than I originally expected."

     -Judymac

 

 

 

 

Learn More!

 

Visit our page for product comparisons

 

See photos of our lights in action

 

Contact a knowledgeable specialist

 

Purchase our lights