Bicycle accessory designer and manufacturer Copenhagen Parts has just announced a new range of magnetic bike lights. Called "Magnetic Bike Lights," the battery-powered LED lights may not have the novel power source of the Magnic Light we looked at in February, but they do have one nifty trick at their disposal: they automatically turn on and off when fitted and removed from a steel bicycle frame.
The insta-on/off isn't the Magnetic Bike Light's only nifty feature. Thanks to "a lot of time working on selecting the right components," Copenhagen Parts claims its lights can be fitted to different tube diameters. Though it doesn't say how, judging by one of the product shots it appears if a pair of magnets can be pivoted to hug surfaces of differing curvatures.
And Copenhagen Parts has clearly gone all-out for a simple, minimalist design. "The trouble is that there are hardly any good looking bike lights," the company says. We wanted something that looked good, worked well and, most importantly, could be fitted and removed instantly."
The Magnetic Bike Lights will be offered in two versions, the Randonneur and the Lode. The Randonneur features a polished machined aluminum finish while the Lode has an outer layer of silicone that will come in a variety of colors. Unsurprisingly the majority of the product photos (and certainly all of those that show the lights fitted to a bicycle) show the aluminum option - and attached to a racing bicycle it has to be said that they do look the part.
A neat feature of both models is that the lens will distribute light sideways, widening the angle of visibility at night - though as the company points out in the website, there's nothing to stop you buying extras to attach to the sides of the bike. You have to wonder, though, at the potential for confusion caused by motorists associating colored bicycle lights with particular directions of travel should these be plastered willy-nilly all over the frame. Needless to say both versions will come in both white and red lights - we imagine they'll be sold in sets of two, including one of each.
The Magnetic Bike Lights are not yet ready for order, but are due to arrive by Q3 of this year. The two outstanding questions are these: how much do they cost and how long do the batteries last? There's no public word from Copenhagen Parts at this point but if we hear anything more we'll let you know. And to reiterate these will only work with steel-frame bicycles. As Copenhagen Parts' website puts it - "sorry, but that's physics for you."
So we have a few months at our disposal, then, to try to decipher how Copenhagen Parts came up with the product's name.
UpdateMay 3, 2012: Copenhagen Parts has been in touch with more information. Though it emphasizes that the product is still in development it is aiming for a price of €18 (about US$23.50). Perhaps more exciting is its claim on battery life that, provided you remember to remove them when not in use, "they will easily last an entire season."
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