You Can’t Resist It (it’s MonkeyLectric!)

Riding at night has always been something of a compromise between safety and style. You can deck yourself out in reflectors and high-visibility blinking LEDs and even your bright orange hunting/safety vest, or you can play the odds and have a chance at still having drinking companions once you arrive at the bar. I always make sure to ride with a headlight and tail light, but after a recent spate of cycling accidents at night involving riders using blinking lights (including one with a Iowa official; no charges filed against the driver), I find myself wondering if it’s enough. What if you turned your ride into something that drivers couldn’t help but see?

Introducing… MonkeyLectric!!!!!1

Built by Dan Goldwater, a former MIT scientist and apparent disco playboy, the Monkey Light is the safety solution of my dreams. Thanks to 32 full-color LEDs and the persistence of vision, this thing is capable of creating 9 distinct, full color patterns at speeds over 10 mph. So now, at least you can look good as you beef it over that car’s hood.

[more video and a professional review after the jump]

A closer look at the actual unit:

the monkey light

And some more direct video of the unit in action:

It definitely looks cool installed, although the build doesn’t exactly inspire the most confidence at first glance — the instructions and image do say “waterproof” enough times, so maybe I should just have some faith in consumer products for once, even if you do attach it to your rim with zip ties. For $59.99 through the MonkeyLectric website, you can afford to buy two, strap a boombox to your handlebars and become your own traveling rave/acid trip.

Of course, $59.99 isn’t exactly pocket change either, these days, so I really wanted to get a firsthand opinion on whether it was worth the purchase. While there’s a vast selection of them on the company’s press & reviews page, I thought the most authoritative review came from Milan’s Il Sole 24 Ore [as translated from Italian to English by Yahoo’s Babel Fish application]:

The topic of the bicycles is exciting. They are means of ecological and healthy locomozione, but to contempo a concentrated one of technology, also in the accessories. And every fan renders own means apt to specific uses. Who loves the speed will ultra buy light chassis and wheels from minor the possible friction. The reckless ones of the distances not struck, will create resistant means, equipping moreover to own handle-bar of a series of instruments which arms for navigator to satellitare, lights, bags…

… Instead the city ciclista he has a necessity that often is also a obligation, makes yourself to see. Of night the risk is too much large when it moves to us in city, probably without the protection of a ciclabile track. Front, posterior, even intermittent lights and catarifrangenti bands are a good method for risaltare in the buio. But c’ she is who has thought next to something more. The Monkeylectric di Berkley, California, founded in 2007 from Dan Goldwater produce a series of lights to insert between the beams of rotate, something that seen in action is truly moving. Luminous designs that are modified following the navigation speed, totally personalizzabili.

And it goes said that it has to make some I use are or the city ciclisti that the vituous ones acrobati of the two wheels, l’ pointer who marks functionality and spettacolarità is moved decidedly on this according to aspect. But Dan Goldwater is not an amateur who has realized un’ funny idea, but an engineer coming electrical worker from the MIT, that it has made of the electronic games its passion. It is founding in 2004 with to other associates the Squid Labs, of which Monkeylectric it is un’ emanation. Internet sites that tell concrete plans (that banalizing we could call gadgets) and advisings technology driven for companies that I feel of wanting to innovate, are alone two complementary aspects of what these laboratories propose.

In order today we have spoken about their contribution to the world of the cycling, a technology of consumption with a marked creative accent. Un’ luminous idea.

I think the decision has been made; now all we need is some E.

[note: sticklers for original sources can read it here.]



4 Responses to “You Can’t Resist It (it’s MonkeyLectric!)”

  1. 1 AE
    May 27, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Imagine a pack of riders rocking these things at night. I love it!

  2. May 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Really interesting read. Honestly!

  3. May 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    You have done it again! Superb read!

  4. May 30, 2010 at 3:59 am

    If only more than 55 people would read about this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: