Tradeshow Randoms: Part Three – Vee Rubber, Slipnot, Velotraum, Lightskin, DIY Tire Studs & More!

brake-mounted-bicycle-lights

There were plenty of killer bicycle lights at the shows, but none more fantastic than Magnic Lights’ contactless dynamo system. What you see here is all there is. No batteries, no external magnets and no wires.

Super strong neodymium magnets use the rim’s passing motion to generate eddy currents in a conductor, which powers the light. The science is pretty involved, but they work, and they’re perfect for bicycles: No drag, no batteries to replace and nothing else to mount to your bike. And they take just a couple minutes to install.

What’s even cooler is that the rear brake automatically brightens when you brake since the light gets closer to the rim, effectively becoming a functional brake light…

brake-mounted-bicycle-lights

Two versions are available, Sport and City. The City model will light up at just 3km/h. The sport requires you to go at least 6km/h to work, but they have a higher ultimate brightness at 15km/h. They’re sold individually (per side) or as a set with two fronts and one rear for about €192.

Here’s their Kickstarter video from earlier in the year that explains the tech in more detail:

Supernova-ultrabright-waterproof-bicycle-lights

If you don’t mind batteries, dynamos or wires, Supernova’s E3 Pro 2 comes in a rainbow of colors. Both the headlamp and minuscule E3 Tail Light 2 are dynamo powered. They also had a new E3 Pure 3 that’s a bit smaller but still bright enough to meet German law (as is the tail light).

Supernova-ultrabright-waterproof-bicycle-lights

The lights are sealed and completely waterproof, which demonstrated by leaving these on and submerged for the duration of Eurobike.

Philips-bicycle-tail-light

Philips continues their entry to the bicycle lights market with this tiny little clip-on tail light. Cute, but…

Lightskin-bicycle-seatpost-with-integrated-tail-lights

…not quite as slick as putting the blinkers inside the seatpost. Lightskin’s waterproof, five-LED seatposts come in five diameters, including the skinny 25.4 used by the new Cannondale Synapse and the 31.8 used by Bromptons, plus the usual three in between. The top light is the button and cycles through ten unique blink patterns. Weight, with battery, is pegged at 360g, and they come in silver, black and white. It runs on two AA batteries inserted at the bottom of the post for up to 400 hours.

Crazy-Safety-kids-bicycle-helmets-lights-and-locks

At the other end of the spectrum was Crazy Safety’s clip on kids’ bike lights. Available in cute animals like sharks, tigers and more, they simply chomp around their handlebar. Tail lights use an elasticized string to whip around the seatpost and have a single LED. They’re cheap, and they seem to hold up – I grabbed two sets for my kids and they’ve been tossed around and ridden hard for the past two months. The tiger no longer has its ears, but it’s still blinking.

Crazy-Safety-kids-bicycle-helmets-lights-and-locks

They also offer animal (both real and imaginary) themed helmets…

Crazy-Safety-kids-bicycle-helmets-lights-and-locks

…bells and locks. It’s hard to tell from these photos, but the chin strap’s pad has the lower teeth so it looks freakin’ cool when they’re wearing it. Pics are on their website.

Grip-Studs-screw-in-bicycle-tire-traction-snow-spikes

If cute’s not your thing, make your bike more aggressive with Grip Studs. Convert any big knobby tire to a snow-and-ice crushing ripper on your own with complete kits.

Grip-Studs-screw-in-bicycle-tire-traction-snow-spikes

The simple screw-in traction studs come in different lengths and girths. The shaft is made of solid tungsten carbide, just like a good drill bit, so it should be plenty durable. They recommend 100-150 studs per tire, with retail at about a buck a stud. Installation tools are also available.

Slipnot-bicycle-traction-chains-fat-bike-tires

Studs too labor intensive? Or the thought of putting them in a fat bike tire just too daunting? Slipnot’s new fat bike chains could be for you. They’re available in three sizes for different tire and rim widths, and they install without having to remove your wheel from the bike. Retail is $104.95 for the set and includes a mesh storage bag for rinsing and drying.

Vee-Rubber-fat-bike-tires

Should you need new fat bike tires to mount them to, Vee Rubber’s range continues to grow.

Vee-Rubber-fat-bike-tires

Road fat bike tire anyone?

KHS-Fatbike-Vee-Rubber-Tubeless-Ready-Tires

We even spotted some sealant compatible, tubeless ready fat bike tires on a few bikes.

Velotraum-cargo-fat-bike with integrated dynamo hub

And if you need something to put those studded, chained fat bike tires on, the new Velotraum Pilgir (Pilgrimage) fat touring bike should take you anywhere you want to go. It’s designed to do just that, actually, with rear rack, integrated lights and dynamo front hub. Mounts for more racks and options abound.

Velotraum-cargo-fat-bike with integrated dynamo hub

The complete bike shown here comes in at a claimed 17kg (37.47lbs). The front hub has minuscule wiring coming out, which runs inside protected housing along the rear of the fork, all held in place by bolt-on clips. They start at €2,500.

Comments

Ben - 12/03/13 - 11:40am

Re: Magnic, I think you meant no friction and not “no drag”. No drag would imply free energy, which would be quite an accomplishment!

Ryan - 12/03/13 - 12:07pm

@ Ben, I was thinking the same thing.

Matt - 12/03/13 - 12:15pm

This has been a thing for years…
http://www.reelight.com/

wheelguy - 12/03/13 - 12:25pm

@Ben and @Ryan: I came to post the same comment. No such thing as a “free lunch” or “free energy.” Yikes.

Webby - 12/03/13 - 12:45pm

It’s essentially drag free.
The drag is inherent in the spinning wheel.
The energy transfer already occurs.
These lights harness it.
Ergo- no addition to the bicycles drag.

This place is so full of haters and super negative idiots.

Why do you bother if you never have anything useful to say.

Read things.

Try to understand

Then comment.

Or just be reactionary, I want to comment first fools.

Your choice I ‘spose

Mike - 12/03/13 - 12:53pm

I would also like to join the conversation and say that science is still real. There is still a drag increase with the magnet in action.

Padrote - 12/03/13 - 12:58pm

Is the science sperging over yet? Those lights sound pretty cool if they’re bright enough.

Tommy Tucker - 12/03/13 - 1:44pm

If only they had a tiny lithium battery in the Magnic light that takes over when you’re stationary, else you’re a sitting duck at a traffic light.

Jim - 12/03/13 - 1:55pm

@matt The re-light requires a bunch of magnets attached to the spokes. It’s a cool light, but it’s not nearly as clean as this one. It DOES have a capacitor for a blinkie at stoplights though, which I like and wish this had.

Alan Brightbill - 12/03/13 - 2:19pm

$1.00 per stud @100-150 studs per tire?
Am I reading that correctly?

Dentarthurdent - 12/03/13 - 2:41pm

Eddies in the current?

Psi Squared - 12/03/13 - 4:06pm

Drag free? Well, if that’s what you think, answer this question: are magnetic trainers drag free? Nope, and neither are these bike lights because they both operate in the similar fashion by taking advantage of eddy currents and the associated drag from the magnetic field. These lights might introduce exceedingly low drag, but there is drag.

As stated above and in the First Law of Real Physics, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

Skeeter - 12/03/13 - 4:32pm

@Webby – Awesome troll comment! LULZ! … unless you really do believe in free energy, but that would be REALLY stupid.

I would like to see a little ultra-capacitor built in to the Magnics, which ought to suffice when stopped for at least a few minutes, likely last for the life of the product, and be lighter than a battery.

@Alan – Yes, ~$1/stud, and they seem to think that’s a better deal than studded Dillingers w/ 240 studs per tire! (http://ridefatbikes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Grip-Studs-article1.pdf)

Dolan Halbrook - 12/03/13 - 4:37pm

As someone who has been using Magnic Lights for about four months of Pac NW commuting, I have to chime in and say that they work really well. I’ve had very efficient dynamo systems (SON with B&M Cyo) and still noticed the drag when they were running. With the Magnics I can’t notice any real drag, to the point that I keep them on while doing the local club ride and haven’t noticed any slowdown over not having them, only lots of admiring comments from other riders. Plus the whole set weighs under a pound.

The lack of a standlight (capacitor) to keep the lights on when stopped is still a big minus over a modern dynohub system or battery lights. I run a small rear battery light to make up for this. Apparently this will be added to the next version. The next version is also supposed to be much brighter. They are currently bright enough to use as your primary light (a damn bit brighter than what many other riders are using), but only about 1/2 to 2/3 as bright as my Cyo.

As far as durability is concerned, so far so good. They’re very simple, so provided you take them time to mount them properly they’re really set ‘em and forget ‘em. However, the mount could be improved. You can switch them from bike to bike, but it’s a bit of a pain to get them on and off and requires a bit too much force. I’d love to see a Garmin-like half twist personally.

In any case, there’s really nothing to compare to them at the moment. This version is already damn good, can’t wait for the next.

ah - 12/03/13 - 5:18pm

Was very interested in the studs until I saw the price. So I can buy a complete new studded Conti, Nokian or Schwalbe tyre OR for just twice the price buy these studs and use one of my old tyres and spend an evening screwing them all in?!?! Wow what a great deal.

David - 12/03/13 - 6:52pm

They should’ve called it the “Eddy Merckx light”, not Magnic Light.

Oldfatandslow - 12/03/13 - 8:08pm

The frayed brake cable in the second photo is like nails across a chalkboard to me! For God’s sake, use some decent cable cutters and spend a few cents on cable ends.

S. Molnar - 12/03/13 - 8:36pm

OK, the “no drag” statement is silly, but spelling “minuscule” correctly makes up for it. I like the idea of the Crazy Safety lights, but I wonder how bright they are: I would rather go with boring but bright than cute but dim (and the kids are probably a lot safer in Denmark to begin with than in third world countries like the US).

PdxRunner - 12/03/13 - 10:57pm

I was part of the Kickstarter group for the Magnic lights. I paid for 2 sets. Of the four lights, 2 broke very quickly at the mounting point. The system uses very small 4mm bolts and the plastic mounts broke. There was no response from emails to Dirk the owner about warranties or replacements. The amount of light is more of a be seen than a see , much less than my 200 lumen Dinottes. At the price of USB rechargeable 300 & 500 lumen lights, the Magnic lights are too fragile & too weak.

Argh - 12/04/13 - 3:26am

I have only carbon wheels… so… it’s useless !? :D

Elts - 12/04/13 - 5:05am

The science behind it is known as Lenz’s law. A simple demonstration of this law is dropping a magnet through a copper pipe – the magnet falls much slower than expected because the eddy currents created in the pipe create magnetic fields that act to slow the magnet down. The same principle acts in this light – the rim will be slowed down by the magnetic fields that it creates so it’s not “drag free” but compared to an equivalent physical dynamo system it will be much more efficient.

SeanK - 12/04/13 - 5:15am

Very efficient maybe, but there’s no such thing as free energy.

Also have a quick google on the environmental impact of the manufacture of these magnets.

Dolan Halbrook - 12/04/13 - 5:41pm

@ PdxRunner, I’m in Portland as well. Talk to Todd at Clever Cycles. He seems to have a direct line to Dirk. Perhaps he can help. FWIW, mine have been holding up a fairly well, but I agree that the mounts are the weak point.

MadMarsupial - 12/05/13 - 1:16am

Magnic: If the version 2.0 does have a stand light then these will be fantastic. Huge market for easy to fit (ie easier than a dyno hub/bottle) battery-less lights.

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