We were impressed by the first lights we tested from new brand RSP last year, and they've got some interesting looking new models for autumn/winter 2010.
The Moon series lights are all extremely compact, and perhaps better used as backups rather than your main lighting if you ride in traffic because they don't have any side-facing LEDs. Brushed aluminium backs give them a stylish look.
The single-LED Moon GEM 1.0 is about the same size as a USB memory stick (approx 63x18x14mm) but is surprisingly bright (claimed output is 6-7 lumen), especially on strobe mode. Other options are low beam, high beam and flashing. It's available in front and rear versions, in black or white.
To charge, simply pull the rubber cover off the end and plug it into a computer's USB port. Like all the Moon models, it mounts to the bike using a rubber strap which can be quickly unclipped. RRP £19.99.
The brighter (claimed 16-19 lumen output) three-LED GEM 2.0 is correspondingly larger, at approx 53x28x13mm. It's available in the same four versions (front, rear, black or white) and has the same four modes (low, high, strobe, flashing). Claimed run time is 3.5-7 hours, depending on mode. It also charges from a USB port, but via a cable this time. RRP £24.99.
The GEM 3.0 is only available as a rear light and has four LEDs poking out of its casing. Charging is via USB cable. Unlike the other two lights, it has a quick-release bracket so you don't have to take the rubber strap with you every time you lock up your bike. RRP £23.99. RSP lights are available in the UK through Raleigh. Look out for tests in Cycling Plus, What Mountain Bike and on BikeRadar soon.
Also available from Raleigh is a range of new reflective 3M Scotchlite stickers, patches and tape for clothing, wheels and bikes from US-based Lightweight Safety. What particularly caught our eye were the Lightweights Bright Black patches (£4.99) and Stealth Tape (£13.99) which, as the name suggests, are black in colour yet should be visible from up to 500m away – ideal for those who want to be seen but aren't fans of hi-vis clothing.
We were impressed by Mucky Nutz's novel Bender Fender mudguard when we tested it last winter, and now there's a new-and-improved Bender Fender 2.0. While it no longer looks as much like a pair of Y-fronts, it's larger, fits more tightly and is available in eight colours, in case this lurid yellow doesn't float your boat. Use of narrower straps has kept weight down to a mere 16g. RRP is £8.
If you're after more coverage, the new CycraGuard Twin pack could be right up your alley. Similar in looks to the classic Crud Catcher and Raceguard, these mudguards are quick and easy to fit. Neat features include channels and rubber attachments on the front guard to keep down tube mounted cables running smoothly, along with rubber sections at the nose, tail and centre to protect your paint.
Mountain Dew Energy
Mountain Dew is a Sprite/7UP-like fizzy drink brand owned by Pepsi that's popular in the US but failed to take off in the UK when it was launched here in the 1990s. That could change with the release of their new Mountain Dew Energy drink, which has a similar sweet, lemony taste but slightly different ingredients and a higher caffeine content (18mg/100ml). It certainly makes a change from the Red Bull clones flooding the market. RRP is £1.15 for a 500ml bottle.