Once you’ve mounted your Reelight CIO on your bicycle frame, with a magnet attached to one spoke, you could forget about it for years.
The magnetic system means there’s no friction between the light and the wheel, and there is no battery to change.
“You don’t even think about it, you just have your lights on constantly, and that makes riding much safer,” said Jes Jakobsen, product manager at Reelight.
That was precisely the purpose of Jochum Kirsebom, Reelight’s founder, when he created the Danish firm in 2003. He often spotted cyclists around Copenhagen without lights at night – presumably because they forgot their detachable lights at home, or they didn’t get around to changing the dead battery.
While that is clearly hazardous, a study involving more than 4,000 riders in 2005 showed that cycling with lights on during the day is safer as well. It suggested that permanent lights reduced the probability of all accidents by 19%, and the probability of crashes involving at least two parties could be lowered by 47%.
As Jakobsen explains, there is a copper coil inside the light. Energy to power it is generated when the wheel turns, and the coil passes the magnet on the spoke.
While Reelight launched this concept several years ago, it has improved the mechanics as well as the performance of the light.
Jakobsen explained that it now “sits more securely” on the frame, with a steel wire rope that is wrapped around the blade. It’s tightened with the use of a simple key delivered with the product, which takes just seconds.
The latest contactless lights are equipped with ReePower, functioning as a back-up power supply. “It will keep flashing if you’re at a standstill,” said Jakobsen. “It also charges much faster, after a few meters, instead of a couple of minutes in the older version.”Reelights come in different versions, depending on the construction of the frame, the requirements in the rider’s country, the diameter of the spokes or the material used for the rim.