Bumblebee tuna. Bumblebee tuna!
So the Valencia got some more goodies this week. If you’ve known me long enough you know that I just cannot leave a bike alone. I’m a tinkerer … and I love gadgets.
In the last few months Trek has added Reelights to their catalog of awesome stuff available to dealers. These have always intrigued me: battery-less lighting, not requiring a generator hub or some friction-inducing wheel that attaches to my tire. Magnets that make light? It’s just crazy enough to peak my interest! I’ll admit, the packaging is a little cheesy and the directions are a bit simplistic. In fact, the directions were almost too easy to be believed. In the kit you get 2 spoke magnets for each light, and brackets to mount. My bike has disc-brakes so I needed the extender kit so that the lights would fit properly on the hub.
Installation was pretty straightforward. You put them on your skewer, tighten the skewer down, and install the magnets. To get it to fit properly on my bike I had to dremel off the lawyer-tabs on my fork so the bracket would fit properly. The rear light bracket also required some shaping with a grinder to make a cut-out for my fender & rack bolts. Not too hard to do. The brackets that hold the light are super solid steel brackets – we’ll see how they stand up to the rain and snow later on though.
What’s neat about the lights is I picked up the SL120 model – it has a capacitor that charges up as you pedal, so when you stop at lights and stop signs (don’t laugh, I do actually do this … usually.) the lights continue to flash. Takes a minute or two to charge up the capacitor and once you get going the lights flash extremely bright and often. DEFINITELY eye-catching, even if they are mounted by the axles. Mine are aimed slightly up in prime driver-blinding positions.
I’ve been running the lights now for about a week. So far I’m pretty impressed and the gadgetry of it all hasn’t worn off at all. The front flasher is extremely bright which was surprising considering the size of the 2 LEDs up front. I was able to remove my other auxiliary lighting (The two Ion 3 lights on my fork legs) which not only saves me 6 AAA batteries each time I need to change them out, but I no longer have to remember to turn them on/off and it cleans up the look of the bike a lot.
The lights are definitely not a replacement for a dedicated “see the road” style light, but the rear and front work spectacularly as “LOOK AT ME I’M ON A BIKE!” flasher that runs both night and day without ever having to worry about charges, getting stolen, or any real maintenance.
Overall … EPIC WIN. Check them out! 😀