New bike light

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CiB
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New bike light

Postby CiB » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:46 am

Just found this http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/emb ... t?ref=live on a startup funding website. Brilliant but simple - it projects a cycle emblem in green ahead of the bike using a laser, to highlight to road users that a cyclists is approaching. I'm sure there are some tenuous arguments for not using it, much like there are for helmets, but this one sounds and looks good.

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meanredspider
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Re: New bike light

Postby meanredspider » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:09 pm

Interesting idea - bigger and heavier than I was expecting - would like to see it in action
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cyclingprop
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Re: New bike light

Postby cyclingprop » Sat Dec 01, 2012 20:48 pm

What do you think she modelled the unit on? This?
What do you mean you think 64cm is a big frame?

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Applespider
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Re: New bike light

Postby Applespider » Wed Feb 05, 2014 19:40 pm

I signed up for the Blaze light back in Dec 2012 and it arrived yesterday and had its first proper use tonight.

It's very 'Apple' in packaging and the feel of the light. It's quite heavy (about double my Cateye) but it's sleek and feels solid. It doesn't have a massive lumens output but it's more than a just 'be seen' light. Not sure it would be enough on an entirely dark and bumpy road but great for sections where road-lighting is dim.

The laser is more impressive than I thought it would be- it stands out, unless the street lighting is particularly bright and is recognisable as a bike at 5-6m away. No vehicles pulled out on me (but then they don't often in any case!) but it did make a few pedestrians stop before just stepping out. A runner who was about to step into the gutter to pass a group on the pavement did a double-take on seeing it and bounced straight back onto the pavement.

Other things I like about it - it's waterproof, it charges by USB, it's got useful battery indicator lights - and cleverly moves itself into flashing mode if it drops below a certain threshold although you can over-ride it. You can use it as a flashlight off the bike but then you don't have to cycle through the flashing modes - and it reduces the lumens. You can 'lock' the light so it doesn't go on in your bag.

Things I don't like - the laser only works if it's on the bike which I guess is a safety thing. The bracket is bespoke so without it, your laserlight won't work. Hopefully, they will sell spares in case the bracket gets nicked or you want to use it across two bikes without shifting the whole bracket. The charger is also bespoke - the USB cable has a magnetic connector like an Apple Magsafe so again, you don't want to lose it.

Is it worth the £50 I paid for it? Yes... Would I pay £125 for it which is what it's now going for? I'm not sure. I'll see how many more pedestrians/runners step back and if I start to see cars reacting and then make that call.

Nickolarse74
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Re: New bike light

Postby Nickolarse74 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 09:47 am

I have one too. Cannot begin to express my disappointment at how the product has failed to meet the PR hype and Kickstarter pomp that preempted it's delivery.

Yes it's beautifully packaged and has "Apple" feel to it, because the Chinese company that handle Apple sourcing, handled Blaze's production and sourcing. However, on a full charge, set exactly how the instructions dictate, to the distance (5-6 m) recommended the beam is cast in front of the bike, the vibration from my front wheel blurs the image to the point where the image becomes a random green, unidentifiable squiggle.

Also, the laser intensity is much less than the prototype that was shown on the Blaze and Kickstarter videos. This means that under street lamps and within the headlamp "foot print" of cars, HGV and buses, the laser image is drowned out by the brighter vehicle headlamps to the point of being non-existent. Whether this is because the production models had to have a health and safety diffuser added, whereas prototype did not is subject to conjecture.

If the intensity is renewed, they might solve the major design flaw of what is, otherwise, a brilliant idea and concept. Until then, regrettably, it is just a great idea, great PR and a beautiful looking gadget in great packaging.

MrSweary
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Re: New bike light

Postby MrSweary » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:05 am

Saw these in the flesh at the London Bike Show. My main worry was the mounting. The one they had on the stand just wobbled about on its mount - rattling lights really annoy me and as Nick points out wobbling about ain't great if you're trying to project a steady image. I think I'll save my £125 for something more developed.
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tetm
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Re: New bike light

Postby tetm » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:17 am

MrSweary wrote:Saw these in the flesh at the London Bike Show. My main worry was the mounting. The one they had on the stand just wobbled about on its mount - rattling lights really annoy me and as Nick points out wobbling about ain't great if you're trying to project a steady image. I think I'll save my £125 for something more developed.


I've got one too and have found it really good at stopping peds walking out on you, maybe not so good with cars who are looking in their mirrors rather than the ground, but they're easier to spot anyway.

After initial feedback from the Kickstarter crowds a new bracket was immediately designed and went into production to reduce vibration and give a more secure base on the bars which was due to ship yesterday. I think that's pretty decent turnaround really.

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Re: New bike light

Postby MrSweary » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:35 am

tetm wrote:After initial feedback from the Kickstarter crowds a new bracket was immediately designed and went into production to reduce vibration and give a more secure base on the bars which was due to ship yesterday. I think that's pretty decent turnaround really.


That's interesting to hear. My issue wasn't with the mount to the bars though - that felt solid - it was with the light mount itself. Basically the light wobbled around on the mount - a lot.

I mentioned it to the girl on the stall last week and she just said it was because it was a display version - didn't mention anything about a redesigned mount. Of course that still leaves the worry that regular unclipping will degrade the mount in the same way. I think I'd want to see one in the flesh with the new mount before I parted with the cash.
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tetm
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Re: New bike light

Postby tetm » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:47 am

MrSweary wrote:
tetm wrote:After initial feedback from the Kickstarter crowds a new bracket was immediately designed and went into production to reduce vibration and give a more secure base on the bars which was due to ship yesterday. I think that's pretty decent turnaround really.


That's interesting to hear. My issue wasn't with the mount to the bars though - that felt solid - it was with the light mount itself. Basically the light wobbled around on the mount - a lot.

I mentioned it to the girl on the stall last week and she just said it was because it was a display version - didn't mention anything about a redesigned mount. Of course that still leaves the worry that regular unclipping will degrade the mount in the same way. I think I'd want to see one in the flesh with the new mount before I parted with the cash.


This was exactly the feedback I gave after my first use of it, that if it wobbles to begin with fatigue life isn't going to be high. The new bracket is said to have some extra material around the contact point to prevent the vibration, giving a steadier laser projection and increase the lifespan of the mount.

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The Rookie
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Re: New bike light

Postby The Rookie » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:47 am

80lm would be nowhere near enough for my commute, I'm running a £45 Lezyne Macro which uses a standard USB cable, is solid in it's mount (spare mounts and O-rings readily available) and pumps out 300lumen (which is just about right for pitch black country roads)...maybe were I a Londoner it may be different.

MrSweary
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Re: New bike light

Postby MrSweary » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:52 am

tetm wrote:This was exactly the feedback I gave after my first use of it, that if it wobbles to begin with fatigue life isn't going to be high. The new bracket is said to have some extra material around the contact point to prevent the vibration, giving a steadier laser projection and increase the lifespan of the mount.


Interesting. Weird they didn't mention it on the stall though. Not as if they were just hired help.
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Applespider
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Re: New bike light

Postby Applespider » Fri Feb 21, 2014 19:11 pm

Mine 'wobbles' (or nods) in the current bracket but only if I push it down to make it do so. On the roads, I don't hear it rattle so figure it can't be too bad - perhaps the really wobbly ones are the Friday afternoon ones. Will be interesting to see what the new bracket looks like.

I've noticed that it's nowhere near as bright on damp roads - presumably because the glare of the streetlights fights with it but on dry roads, it's brighter than I expected. If I'm on a bad road surface then yes, the bike image gets a little blurry but on most surfaces, it's surprisingly clear.

It does generate a lot of comments; I don't think I've had a ride home with it where I haven't been asked about it or heard a comment from a pedestrian crossing the road etc. I've had a quite a few asking where to buy one.

I'm still not entirely convinced that car drivers will really notice it - given their headlights and the fact that they're rarely looking at the road - but it has stopped a few pedestrians from jumping out on me. And only really confused one or two who have crossed a cycle path to see it and then piroutted a few times trying to figure out what it was.

BigLights
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Re: New bike light

Postby BigLights » Mon Feb 24, 2014 17:40 pm

I came across one of these the other day. The upside is that you can tell when someone is stalking you and up the pace to prevent getting scalped without looking like you're trying just because they're next to you. That's great.

Nickolarse74
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Re: New bike light

Postby Nickolarse74 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 09:30 am

Update. Blaze Components battery resilience, over time, is also rubbish. Mine can no longer take a full charge (flashing red = 20% full is the "fullest" it gets before the charger cuts out), which is fairly bad especially considering a) It's only just about a year old, b) It didn't get used all winter (it stayed in a box in a room temp cupboard).

Just to be clear, my "wobbly" issues occur on a "new / updated" redesigned bracket which they sent shortly after the initial bracket recall issues mentioned above.

Daniel B
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Re: New bike light

Postby Daniel B » Fri Mar 13, 2015 13:27 pm

This sounds like a bit of a nail in that case - 'beautiful' packaging, does not a fine product make.
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Nickolarse74
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Re: New bike light

Postby Nickolarse74 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 17:05 pm

You're dead right, and actually it's a real shame, simply because the concept solves many issues which other lights cannot. Also the "idea" fixed, or at least made a really good attempting at fixing pedestrian SMIDSY's and critically, vehicular left hookers which (I believe) is the most common cause of cyclist death in London.

Also, Emma (the lady who KickStarted this, her University industrial design final year project), worked bloody hard, executed fantastic PR and I believe is only a few yards short of owning a brilliant product.


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