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…
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:
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).
The lights are sealed and completely waterproof, which demonstrated by leaving these on and submerged for the duration of Eurobike.
Philips continues their entry to the bicycle lights market with this tiny little clip-on tail light. Cute, but…
…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.
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.
They also offer animal (both real and imaginary) themed helmets…
…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.
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.
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.
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.
Should you need new fat bike tires to mount them to, Vee Rubber’s range continues to grow.
Road fat bike tire anyone?
We even spotted some sealant compatible, tubeless ready fat bike tires on a few bikes.
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.
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.