Extras Featured Reviews

Blaze Laserlight

Blaze Laserlight ReviewThe Blaze Laserlight is a solid reminder that crowd-funding, in this instance via kickstarter, continues to incubate a good number of products that are both innovative and beautifully executed. The Blaze Laserlight is, at heart, a powerful front cycle light that adds significantly to the safety factor by incorporating a laser projection up to 6metres ahead of the rider.


As a standard light the Blaze Laserlight, with its sleek machined aluminium casing, is capable of delivering a combination of 100lumen flashing, 100lumen solid or 300lumen solid – all of which can be used either with our without the laser projection (of a bicycle of course) in solid or flash mode.


Technical spec


The aluminium casing of the Blaze Laserlight, with its discreet silver nickel control panel, contains a full aluminium internal chassis designed to aid both cooling and overall robustness. Weighing in at 182g it’s recharged via supplied USB cable to provide anything from 2hours use (high beam and constant laser) to 29hours (low beam, flashing and no laser.) The whole unit is fully waterproof – rather than merely resistant – and attaches to handlebars from 24–32 mm in diameters via a quick-release clip.


Blaze Laserlight ReviewThe Blaze Laserlight on test


Attaching the bike mount section of the quick release clip to the handlebars is relatively easy using the supplied 4mm allen key and appropriate rubber insert for the tube size. Fine-tuning the laser to project at the desired ahead takes a few additional minutes (and really needs to be done in low-light conditions) and you’re good to go.


Operating either the standard lamp or independent laser takes the briefest of touches to the panel to cycle through the options and there’s no denying that 300lumen is a dazzlingly effective way of lighting up even the darkest of country lanes. Better yet, if you’re an enormous attention seeker, it’s impossible to ride anywhere with the Blaze Laserlight and not encounter people willing to coo over it and tell you how cool the projection looks. (Okay, so that’s not going to appeal to every ego out there.)


A thing of beauty


The Blaze Laserlight has, without question, been designed to appeal to those who think contemporary aesthetics begin and end with all-things Apple. In fact the light is made in partnership with PCH International, a manufacturing company that also makes products for Apple – if you don’t like sleek, tactile and brushed metal, this isn’t the light for you. Actually everything from the typeface to the packaging and slender lines of the light itself have been beautifully thought through to balance form and function in one neat package.


Blaze Laserlight ReviewDownsides of the Blaze Laserlight


Yes, it looks gorgeous, yes, it’s crazy-bright and yes the laser projection in both very cool and integral to added safety; but…


As much as we love this light there are still flaws and drawbacks. Starting with the USB charger, which uses the kind of magnetic clip that Macbook users get all worked up about. Whilst the Mac version is robust, the Blaze Laserlight version has an utterly annoying tendency to be knocked off with the slightest of efforts. Several times Cyclo has gone to pick up what we were hoping would be a good-to-go, fully charged light, only to find it untethered and lifeless.


The quick release clip also proved frustrating longer-term, slowly unthreading itself (in days, not weeks) to leave the light swinging wildly from wide to side. Even when tightened to the max there’s far too much lateral movement. More disturbingly – arguably this is a fault in the unit we had on test – was the tendency for the light and laser to both go off unexpectedly when we hit a bump in the road…


Blaze Laserlight ReviewYou make your choices…


There is much to love about the Blaze Laserlight. Personally we really appreciate the aesthetics and attention to detail and there’s no denying that the projected bike image is going to add significantly to safety (apparently ‘79% of cycling incidents happen when drivers manoeuvre into the rider’s path.’) The main beam is bright and crisp – even if 2-3hours on full is nowhere near long enough – and there’s something of the Star Wars generation in us that loves the idea of attaching a laser to the bike.


The Blaze Laserlight is also, predictably, on the costly side at £125. Of course it’s unique selling point is the laser itself, but of you just want a really bright light then something like the Lezyne Macro Drive 600XL is going to offer up twice the lumens for half the price or the Exposure Sirius Mk4/TraceR Light Set gives you front and rear (500 and 110lumen respectively) for a comparable £129.95. Both the Lezyne and Exposure Sirius lights are available on


Full details on online purchase of the Blaze Laserlight at

Featured News

Near Miss Project

Near Miss ProjectThe Near Miss Project – a pioneering study researching cycling incidents that don’t result in injuries: ‘near misses’ – is returning for a second year and is calling on cyclists from across the United Kingdom to be involved.


Registration for the study, which takes place between Monday October 19 and Sunday November 1 is open now. Participants will be asked to complete an online diary for one day over a two-week period, sharing experiences from their cycle trips on that day and whether they have had any near miss experiences. Cyclists wishing to sign up to take part in the Near Miss Project’s second study can find out more information and register interest on


Study lead and Senior Lecturer in Transport at the University of Westminster, Dr Rachel Aldred, commented ‘The Near Miss Project was the first to generate per-mile near miss rates for cyclists in the UK. The second year will take this forward, asking whether things have changed, and gathering more data that will allow us to drill down into different incident types and how they affect people. Increasingly organisations such as TfL are seeing near misses as very important both for improving cycling experience, and for helping to reduce injury risk.’


A new addition to this year’s Near Miss research is the inclusion of a question exploring participants’ cycling experience – and whether they are new or returning cyclists, or have been cycling for a year or more. This addition is in response to suggestions that this might make a difference to near miss rates.


Organising partner, Blaze, creators of the Laserlight, an innovation that helps increase cyclists visibility by projecting a bike symbol ahead of them, was instrumental in the facilitation of this study. Blaze Founder & CEO, Emily Brooke said: ‘We are so pleased that the Near Miss Project is back for a second year. Data collection from cyclists is imperative to helping people better understand how to make cycling safer, for everyone. The 2014 study attracted 1,500 people and this year we want to get at least 2,000 signed up from all over the United Kingdom. We urge everyone to get involved and help achieve our overall aim of helping to making the roads safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.’


Further details of the Near Miss Project at



Do You Need Your Lights?

BlazeWith the clocks about to change (October 25), but with nights already drawing in it can be difficult to judge when bike lights are needed. But thanks to the good people at Blaze there’s a simple solution at


The micro-site features a simple journey calculator, which allows visitors to input their morning and evening commute start times and journey duration to quickly gage when lights are required. It’s a neat solution and one that can stop you from getting caught out with the ever-shortening days.


Blaze produce the Laserlight, an innovative product that helps to improve cyclist’s visibility over and above any other bike light on the market, with studies showing that it increases cyclist visibility to 96% compared to just 74% for normal LED bike lights. By projecting an image of a bike ahead of the rider, the Laserlight tackles the biggest risk to urban cyclists –vehicles turning in front of their path when travelling straight ahead – which is the cause of 79% of cycling accidents. Further details at


Wind Blox

Wind BloxBike, shorts, jersey, shoes. Good to go, right? Of course not there’s a host of extras and gadgets out there just waiting to be purchased and the latest to cross the Cyclo desk is the dinky, slightly mysterious, Wind Blox.


Put simply Wind Blox help to eliminate the rushing sound of air as you cycle and whilst you may not have considered this a particular problem that needed solving, the difference they make is both very noticeable and potentially hugely beneficial to safety. To be reductive the Wind Blox (they come in pairs so Wind Bloxes?) are little padded cuffs that attach with Velcro around the front straps of a cycle helmet and partially shield the ears; the manufacturers claim that: ‘Tests have measured a reduction of well over half of the perceived wind noise and often much more…’


Hard to disagree – though not precisely measure – on test. Even at relatively slow speeds the Wind Blox did make a really noticeable difference in how audible vehicles approaching from behind were as well as how far in advance they were audible. As a really low-tech impromptu test we tried riding with only one of the pair in place – the things we do for you…


The Wind Blox fit quickly and stay pretty much in place; they do sit slightly in the peripheral vision, which is noticeable on the first few rides but quickly becomes part of the norm. Their relative bulk against the straps, whilst perfectly comfortable, doesn’t do much for the aesthetic of a helmet but when all things are considered safety has to trump looks and Wind Blox certainly tick that box.


Wind Blox are American and you’ll have to make contact via their website to discuss shipping outside of the States until a UK distributor picks these up, which in Cyclo’s opinion won’t be long. They retail at $15 (£9) for a pair and are available in black, grey, pink and neon green.


Useeme Set for Manufacture

UseemeAfter three years of research and development the Useeme ‘wearable turn signal’ wristbands are a step closer to general availability with the launch of an IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign looking to raise €25,000 (£20,000).  Invented by Laszlo Nyiradi out of a desire to provide a cycling safety feature for his daughter the Useeme Bicycle Turn Signals are made with layers of flexible, form-hugging plastic, which make them easy to take on and off, with no clasps required. Set for manufacture in a small plant in Hernád, Hungary, they will be available in three different sizes and are designed to fit comfortably over clothing.


The first 2,000 pairs of the Useeme wristbands are only available to sponsors of the crowd funding campaign but for those who would like the bands ahead of general release, Useeme is also offering a tester series. There will be 200 test editions (which may differ slightly from the final design) available to those who pledge €33 with a 50% off coupon for the final product given to those who feed back test results to the manufacturers.


Further details of Useeme at and for the crowd funding campaign at


Cyclo will be bringing you an early look review in the coming months.



London Witnesses 14th Cyclist Death

cyclist_londoAn as-yet unnamed man, thought to be in his mid-60s, has become the sixth cycling fatality in 13 days on the roads of London – the 14th death of the year. The crash, between cyclist and lorry, happened at around noon at the junction of Camberwell and Albany Roads. Of the 14 fatalities in 2013 nine have involved HGVs and the latest in an area where council leader Peter John had previously called for their banning during rush hour to create a safer environment for cyclists.


The accident happened at the same time as Metropolitan Police traffic officers were giving safety advice to both cyclists and lorry drivers across the Capital including at Whitechapel High Street and Vauxhall Bridge Road. In excess of 100 cyclists had been stopped at Vauxhall Bridge alone to be warned over unsafe behaviour, which reportedly included the wearing of headphones.


The five other cyclists who have died in the last two weeks in London are: Francis Golding, Brian Holt, Roger William De Klerk, Venera Minakhmetova, a man whose name has not been released.



See Sense Intelligent Lights

See SenseNo denying that the nights are drawing in and the lights need getting out. The newly launched See Sense, currently seeking funds through Kickstarter, looks to add a dash of intelligence to the common sense of using bountiful lights on the bike. It’s USB charged, waterproof, and motion gesture controlled (so no fiddly buttons), but the intelligence bit from its ability to ‘know’ when to make you most visible to other road users. By using sensor technology to monitor the cyclist and the environment – taking into account factors such as cadence, uphill or downhill orientation, acceleration or braking, cornering lean, and yaw – whilst also factoring in light levels, the See Sense can determine when to flash brightest and fastest, reserving greatest output only for situations where it’s really needed. See Sense uses a Fresnel lens, so rather than focus the light it spreads out, minimizing dazzle to other road users and providing, say the makers, more visibility, ‘…from the side than any other light in testing.’


Lead engineer Philip McAleese has worked with hundreds of cyclists over two years to refine the product and comments: ‘My dream was to create a light that could be bright when you need it. I saw more and more commuters fitting bright off-road lights to their bikes in the quest to be seen. I was tired of not being seen too, but I knew there had to be a better way.’


See Sense is seeking £12,000 via the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform with an end-date of November 8. A pledge of £60 will get you a set of basic lights, when and if the funding goal is met. Further details at and



Featured Features

Cycle Safety – Let’s Get Visible

Cyclo is supporting The Child Brain Injury Trust’s Child Safety and Awareness Campaign (read our feature here) and with this in mind, and with the nights drawing in, we take a look at some of the best reflectives, lights, LEDs and other cycle safety products on the market. It’s really quite simple – if you want to stay safe on the bike, you need to be seen…


Lezyne Femto Drive LEDLezyne Femto Drive LEDKeeping it simple (and simply beautiful) Lezyne offer a functional approach to cycle safety, with these tiny, machined aluminum lights that measure just 30mm long, with a sub-25mm diameter and a mere 29g in weight. Attached with modest, but effective, rubberised straps to the bike, the Femto Drive LED isn’t astonishingly light at just 15 lumens front and 7 lumens rear, but they offer five modes – flash, slow flash, rapid flash, strobe and solid – and their go anywhere, fit in a pocket, dimensions means you never have an excuse to get caught without lighting – or extra lighting – again. RRP £12.99. Read the full Cyclo review here.



Knog LightsKnog LightsAnother long-time Cyclo favourite is the Knog range. This Melbourne-originated brand, has been producing cycling kit for a decade now and they continue to combine style with substance almost effortlessly. If the Femto’s harder, more industrial lines are not to your taste then the Knog’s softer approach to aesthetics could be for you. Take for example the Knog Frog Strobe, a flexible silicone bodied light with an impressive 80 hour burn time in flashing mode or 50 hours in constant; they connect to the bike with a quick release system, dish out a more than adequate 25 lumens and, for the fashion conscious, come in a range of five colours including a rakish pink. At around £7, they’re a bargain too. Read the full Cyclo review here.



Nite IzeNite Ize – Nite Ize supply an impressive range of LED cycle solutions including some child-specific appeal options, such as the bendable BugLit LED Micro Flashlight and carabiner-clipped flashers. Cyclo particularly likes the Nite Ize Helmet Marker Plus; weighing a minimal 19g it’s a thin, durable polymer strip encased in weather-resistant nylon fabric, which can be attached to helmets via hook-and-loop strips or with the rubberised twist tie to pretty much any part of the bike – seat post, baskets, panniers, etc. Also worth a look is the SpokeLit which adds side-on visibility when added (easily and securely) to the spokes – press once for a continuous glow or twice for flashing mode and the supplied and replaceable battery gives up to 20hours of added illumination. Take a look at their products, reviewed on Cyclo, here.



NathanNathanAnother option for excellent LED solutions – and numerous reflectives – is Nathan ( A brilliantly simple idea is the featherlite ClipLight (£10), coming in at just 7g, including battery, it clips onto apparel – a rear lumber pocket is ideal – or can be attached to ClipPods which, with their sticky back, can in turn be attached to pretty much anything else. With either solid or flash-mode the ClipLight is one of the smallest and most efficient cycle safety LEDs we’ve seen. If you want to add some extra visibility the LighBender is an arm strap, which is weather-proof and, in either blinking of solid mode, promises 2,400foot of visibility and up to 100 hours from the replaceable battery. RRP £19.99



Fibre FlaresFibre Flares – We loved Fibre Flares when we first reviewed them back in 2011 and not just because you can have lightsaber fights if you buy a pair. No, Fibre Flares provided much needed, and too often neglected, side-on visibility to the bike using high intensity LED’s to illuminate a flexible fibre optic core and attaching ,via silicone straps, to a variety of bike parts including over-size tubes of up to 60mm. Available in a variety of lengths and colours and promising visibility for up to 300metres and a burn time of 75+hours on a set of two AA batteries – Cyclo can firmly say this is another cycle safety product that looks good in more ways than one. Priced from £21 – Read the full Cyclo review here.



Aura BeltsAura Belts – An approach to not only side-on but true 360degree visibility comes in the form of the Aura Belt. Constructed from high-wearing ‘ballistic’ nylon, the Aura features an integrated LED strip (powered by a replaceable CR2032 battery) beneath coloured, weather-proof, fabric which switches on via a button next to the clip fastener. Available in six colours – pink, yellow, orange, blue, red, green – the belt can deliver either a fixed ‘on’ glow or two speeds of pulsing flash. It comes in a one-size-fits-all option (at £25) so regrettably not an option for kids as yet – but the makers tell us they’re working on it. Read the full Cyclo review here.



Fuze Wheel WriterFuze Wheel Writer – More side-on visibility, arguably for kids (or the big kids in all of us), comes in the form of the Fuze Wheel Writer. It looks initially daunting when it comes to fitting the individual parts to the bike’s spokes, but is far easier than first feared. Once in place and switched on the Wheel Writer’s ultra-bright LEDs can be set to display a range of images and animations as the wheel spins – aliens, skulls, flames, an old-fashioned ‘space invader’… There’s even an option to display the bike’s speed if you’re really looking to impress. It’s not the most robust or weather-proof piece of kit, but might just provide the fun needed to encourage reluctant children to take cycling safety into consideration. RRP £19.99 and widely available online.



Altura Night Vision GlovesAltura Night Vision Gloves – Adding visibility to apparel greatly improves cycle safety and if you can keep your hands warm at the same time, all the better. The Altura Night Vision Gloves are a Nylon/Polyester mix and a 100% Polyester liner, which cope well with even the most biting winter wind and their ample and well-placed reflective detailing is to be commended. Pick the day-go yellow option rather than the ninja black and that will help visibility too. Available in five sizes – S to XXL – the padding is exceptional and the triple grip (thumb, outer edge and finger bases) delivers superb grip. Take a look at the full Altura Night Vision Gloves review from Cyclo here.



SealSkinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis GlovesSealSkinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis Gloves – If you’re looking for complete weatherproofing to combine with cycle safety the SealSkinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis Gloves come in either yellow or orange and feature the famous SealSkinz waterproof membrane. Feeling a little bulkier than traditional cycling gloves and lacking zone-specific padding these are best suited for commute rather than dedicated MTB or road cycling, but they live up to their name when it comes to grip – palm and fingers are studded with silicone dots that deliver a Spider-man like grip. They wick will and use Merino wool so their thermal properties are impressive too. RRP £32.50 details and online purchase at



pop_bandsVendante Pop Bands – Cycling safety doesn’t have to be complicated and things don’t come much simpler than the Vendante Pop Band. Made of highly reflective 3M Scotchlite (the go-to product for most on-garment sports reflectives) Pop Bands are flexed across their width to straighten, then tapped against the arm/leg to wrap them firmly in place without the need for Velcro, or similar fastening. Available in blue, green, orange, pink, white and yellow, the latter two promise reflectivity from up to 450 meters (the others a still impressive 130m). Vendante Pop Bands come in sets of two at around the £12 mark, Cyclo have tried other similar ‘snap’ bands, but for our money the Vendante are by far the most durable.



FlipFlapFlipFlap – One for the cycling commuters rather than the Lycra-lovers we feel. The FlipFlap is an unusual answer to cycle safety; a reflective designed to flip out of front or rear pockets – one side of these reflective paddles is rubberised to grip the pocket, whilst the flap which… well, flaps out, is hi-viz, tested to (and exceeding) the EN13356 safety standard. You can tuck the whole thing back into your pocket when not in use and it’s on hand (bum) when it’s needed. £16.95 (plus P&P) isn’t cheap for a reflective but the FlipFlap does offer a little more than your standard set of stickers or bike additions. Curious, but well worth your consideration…


Feature photo courtesy of Moritz Waldemeyer. For more information on the ‘Joy Rider’, an exercise in pure minimalism that mounts two LEDs on spokes to paint a smiling face, and his other extraordinary light projects visit