MonkeyLectric M232 Monkey Light - First look

Customisable spoke light offers fun way to stay visible on your bike

From the moment BikeRadar heard about the M232 Monkey Light we were intrigued. A simple unit that mounts to the spokes of a wheel and contains 32 LEDs sounded like a fun way to add visibility and colour to a ride.

Installation appeared to be a daunting task but turned out to be a fairly easy – if slightly fiddly – affair. Essentially, it's a case of using cable ties to mount the light unit to the desired wheel and the battery unit (which holds three AA batteries) to the hub. The entire assembly is claimed to be fully waterproof, and all the components seemed to be of decent quality.

The LED unit looks quite complex but only has three operational buttons for you to switch the lights on and off and change the pattern and colour on show – you know what you've picked by comparing which strip of six bulbs have lit up compared to a supplied design chart. 

Once the unit is switched on, you really need to be spinning the wheel at about 10mph for the illuminations to make themelves clear. And with a heap of 'themes' on offer, our rear wheel was soon showing everything from pink and purple elephants to Space Invader style characters. 

The designs are impressively clear once a rider gets up to speed, and while you'll still need a standard front and rear light the M232 will certainly get you noticed.

The simple operating buttons on the M232 light unit

The only inconveniences are that you have to dismount in order to change the design your wheel is showing (a handlebar-mounted remote would be a nice touch) and refer back to the chart in order to find a specific look. 

Wondering whether or not you can fit the Monkey Light M232 to your child's bike? It should fit wheels of 20in and over. The full-blown 32 LED model comes with 48 themes and will set you back £59.99 / US$74.99. A cheaper 10 LED version offers 20 themes and costs £39.99 / US$49.99. For more information see the MonkeyLectric website.

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