With the holiday season upon us it was good timing for me to receive a recent email from an old friend of Bike Hacks, Dan Goldwater. The name might not immediately ring a bell, however if you have ever visited Instructables you have Dan to partially thank as he is a co-founder of the popular site.
Dan is also responsible for creating an awesome bike safety and entertainment device, the Monkey Light. Back in the day Dan sent Bike Hacks one to review and I decided to dig through our old Word Press archives and repost it. We also did an interview with Dan that I will dig around and post . . . soonish . . . a familiar word to many who submit hacks for posting =)
Dan also passed on a couple of other bits of goodness and I will elaborate a bit . . .
First, I have riden with my Monkey Light for over two years now and I am of the opinion that the Monkey Light would make a great holiday gift, and Dan has graciously agreed to give readers of Bike Hacks a discount for those interested in purchasing a Monkey Light. Readers can enter coupon code BIKECULT645 for 15% off until December 31st.
Second, Dan passed on information regarding another cool product. Here is what he wrote:
I've been doing a lot lately with bike sound systems. Our systems have improved design and construction methods to greatly reduce power consumption and weight compared to the bigger setups you commonly see with a car battery, inverter, and all that stuff. We've published a bunch of how-to projects (links below). Based on this work we're also now selling PA speakers designed specifically for mobile and off-grid use.
Speaker system and mounting projects:
Here are some cool pictures to match the links above:
Here are the contents of the Monkey Light I received from Monkeylectric. I tossed the battery in there to provide perspective on the size of everything. I guess this was not necessary due to the fact that it should be pretty evident that three AA batteries power the thing.
First item of note: the thing is light! The device itself weighs less than the three batteries it takes to run it.
Installation is snap - or maybe I should say a "zip." It takes a whole three zip ties and some rubber dampers that come with it and you are done. I did need to play with placement a little. You need to angle the thing between your spokes and I decided to anchor it to where two spokes cross for a little more stability.
You do want to make sure that how you anchor it will allow you to easily replace the batteries. Once I liked the placement I took some blue masking tape and marked its future home. Here's a short little clip of inserting it between the spokes to match the places I put the blue masking tape. My wheel has 36 spokes but the light does come with a variety of holes for placement on wheels with different spoke counts.
When you do the initial installation you definitely want to leave some play in the zip ties. Don't cinch them down at first, just get the thing about where you like it and once you have all the zip ties started then you can anchor one down and go from there. There is also a great Instructable tutorial that goes over installation in vivid detail.
Once I tightened all the zip ties I wanted to give it a brief test so I flipped my bike upside down and gave the wheel a spin. I could not get the tire spinning all that quickly and I am sure the effects are probably better when riding and achieving a higher speed. But here is a quick demo, the thing lit up my whole kitchen - the sucker is bright for sure. I shot it with my point and shoot camera so it is not the best quality, but the point is, the thing is powerful. You can see a much better demonstration on via a YouTube post here. I should note that most of the videos you see on line seem to have two Monkey Lights in stalled rather than one - two provides more impressive effects.
I can attest to the durability of the Monkey Light. I commute every day in NYC and the Monkey Light has indured temperature extremes, snow, rain, wind, salt on the roads and has performed like an absolute champ.
So if you are looking for a great holiday gift for yourself or a friend, my advice is to get your Monkey On! Once again here is the discount code and landing page:
Discount Code good for 15% off until December 31st, 2010: BIKECULT645
And one more thing that Dan included in his email - for this one, feel free to leave your ideas in comments. Dan's question is . . .
Have you ever seen any way to pump up a tire without a pump?