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

Apparel Reviews

Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket

Proviz REFLECT360There are any number of cycling jackets available with a decent amount of reflectives built in – would you even consider one without? – but the Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket really takes things to a whole other level.
Available in both men’s and women’s cuts this arguably isn’t the style of jacket you might train in for speed, but its on-bike uses – from commute to general ride-wear and even MTB or pre-race warmth – are undeniable and, because it’s constructed with a 100% reflective outer-shell it lights up like a beacon.
The REFLECT360 incorporates multiple vents with the underarm/side vents zippered for regulating temperature and when, zipped to the max, the jacket provides credible wind-stopping properties. There’s an inner mesh that holds the shell away from the body, preventing potential clamminess, and two generous, zipped, chest pockets for essentials in addition to a zipped lumbar pocket large enough for route details or maps.
Although initial impressions are of bulk, the 600g jacket feels less weighty on than we had imagined, and the level of comfort impressed. The collar is soft-lined, the cuffs Velcro adjusted with a numb-finger-friendly rubberised tab and the waist fitted left and right with bungee cords for fine-tuning. Even without the exceptional reflective abilities – like Tron on a bike – the REFLECT360 is a more than decent cycling jacket; factor the added safety value in and it quite literally shines.
The Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket retails at a not-unreasonable £79.99 – almost half the price of the similarly reflective, but obviously sleeveless, Nike Flash Gilet – which despite being largely targeted at runners has good application for bike safety too.
Further details and online purchase of the Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket at
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Apparel Extras Featured Reviews

See Me More

See Me MoreAt Cyclo we have often said that the safest approach to cycling in poor visibility or at night is to light up like a Christmas tree. Well the See Me More jacket, which we have been testing through these early spring evenings, seems to have taken that almost literally.


A first glance it looks not unlike most hi-viz slip-over solutions – it’s partway between a tabard and an extensive strap, which slips over the head and can then be fastened and adjusted with the Velcro waistband. The build quality is both substantial and of high quality – the stitching (the quality of which you don’t generally notice until it’s all coming undone) appears particularly robust. But, here’s where the good bit starts: click the switch at the front and eight super-bright white LEDs on the front and a further eight red on the rear illuminate the whole thing.


Yes, we’ve seen LED enhanced hi-viz before and some of it’s pretty good, but the See Me More takes things to another level with exceptionally crisp brightness that can be set to one of two strobe modes or to constant on. The red/white difference is a nice touch too…


It’s not all good news though. Whilst the tabard is really well constructed the battery pack, containing three bulky AAAs, needs some serious though. The flimsy plastic certainly won’t stand up to much wear and tear, the wiring looks like it was put together at a kitchen table and the flap-over pocket which holds everything in supposedly waterproof conditions leaked water when we got caught out in a downpour. All of which is a shame because so much attention has been paid elsewhere.


If the makers – who are potentially on to a very good thing, certainly as a commuter solution – can address the quality of the battery housing and wiring we wouldn’t hesitate in sending you straight out to buy one. With enough feedback Cyclo is pretty sure things will get sorted, so we’ll keep you posted and hopefully the See Me More will make our unequivocal recommendation list pretty soon.


The See Me More retails at £29.99 with further details and online purchase at


Featured Features

Cycling Christmas Presents 2013

Time then to fill your Christmas stocking with all things two-wheel themed and with Cyclo’s guide to Cycling Christmas Presents 2013 we think we’ve included something for everyone – even for those who think they already have everything…


Andy ScullionAndy Scullion Prints


Andy Scullion is a graphic designer who graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2009 with a degree in product design – he combines his passion for cycling (his current bike is a Specialized Allez, since you ask) with a talent for creating beautiful bike-related products. Amongst his numerous print works our favourite is simply entitled ‘Bikes’ and features over 100 miniature masterpieces of two-wheeled wonders. Handmade and available in a variety of sizes (A2, A3, A4) and with prices starting at around £13.50 there’s plenty for all budgets and there’s nothing that says ‘I love bikes’ like hanging some pictures around the house, right? You can contact Andy and view and purchase his work at



Andy ScullionTour de France T-Shirt


Also on offer from Andy (we featured his Ts extensively during this year’s TdF) is this pretty stylish Tour de France non-technical T-Shirt. A great piece of graphic design that will either remind you of this year’s stunning event or set you up nicely in anticipation of the 2014 Grand Départ. Handmade to order and available in S, M, L, XL and XXL at £15 the TdF T-shirt is just one of a dozen designs, which also include a version of the ‘Bikes’ print featured above and several Brompton-based ones for lovers of the classic folding bike. Again, you can contact Andy and view and purchase his work at



seventyfour degreesSignature Series T-Shirts


On the subject of both non-tech T-shirts and the Tour de France, Cyclo has also enjoyed the Signature Series Ts from 74°. Made using soft, comfortable 100% fairtrade organic heavyweight cotton jersey with seamless set-in rib knit collar and taped shoulder and neck for comfort, these Ts are available in a range of designs each featuring a classic TdF climb – Col du Galibier, Alpe d’Huez, Mont Ventoux, etc. – with a stylised representation and associated quote for each. Not only do they look and feel good, they have that slight ‘I know what I’m talking about’ quality that serious bike and Grand Tour aficionados will revel in.  Available in S, M, L, XL and XXL at £20, details and online purchase at



swiss sideSwiss Side Carbon Cage & QR Skewers


Swiss Side only fired up back in 2011 but their mission to produce quality additions that compliment their growing wheel options whilst helping to minimise weight has already impressed. As founder Jean-Paul Ballard puts it: ‘Reducing weight is always important on a road bike as less weight ultimately means more power to the ground… We’ve chosen titanium and carbon fibre materials to achieve the lightest possible weight.’ Their ultra-light titanium & carbon fibre quick release skewers weigh in at just 43g, whilst their carbon bottle cage is just 26g – both well worth considering for the cyclist that really likes to tot up the overall weight.  £36.50 for the QR skewers and £28 for the cage – further details at





Is this taking weight-saving too far? Maybe, but for carbon fetishists out there Tidds are dinky little silicone plugs that replace standard metal bottle cage bolts, shaving a reported 90% of the weight in the process. Coming in at just 0.5g for a pair (£3.99), you just lube them and push and twist to fit. Even if you don’t think the minimalist weight alone is worth it, they do clean up the line and look of te bike (choose from black, white or pink) and next time someone is boasting about their carbon creature you can nod wisely and say, ‘yes, but do you have Tidds?’ A nice stocking-filler for the cyclist that really, really does have everything (else). More at



Ultimate Bike SolutionUltimate Bike Solution


Okay, this is definitely not the sexiest Christmas present you could buy someone; so perhaps just treat yourself. We love anything that makes our life easier so the one-stop Ultimate Bike Solution really appealed – it’s basically an all-in-one oil/lube/protector/degreaser/cleaner. Wash down the bike after use, spray all over with Ultimate Bike Solution (being careful not to spray brake pads or discs) and you get a shiny bike that’s lubed and ready to go next time you are. Ultimate Bike Solution retails at £9.99 with further details at and online purchase at



Mountain HigherMountain Higher


Cyclo’s favourite book of the year is (probably) Domestique by Charly Wegelius but if your looking for a present to inspire the cyclist in your life – or get them to go on holiday without you – we would highly recommend Mountain Higher: Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs by Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding. Covering the continent’s lesser-known, but still challenging and spectacular mountain roads and passes, this is a sumptuous large-format book (no cycling jersey pocket potential unfortunately) that gives both lucid and narrative accounts of each detailed climb along with all the stats and stunning photographs to boot. Want more? The free QuercusEye app allows you to hover over a selection of the photos and have them augmented with video and additional detail. Published by Quercus and with an RRP of £25.00 – Available from, amongst others,



Looking for more cycling books? See Cyclo’s guide to the Best Cycling Books 2013 here.


wheel writerFuze Wheel Writer


Excellent 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 we 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. Helps make cycling fun too (but of course it already is…) RRP £19.99 and widely available online. Including from Argos.



egg helmetsEGG Helmet

Also for the younger cyclist and definitely the cutest product we’ve see this year is the EGG helmet. Suitable not only for cycle and skate but also snow and water sports, the EGG is an incredibly solid piece of kit that allows for almost infinite configuration and personalisation. Pick a helmet – small at 48-52cm or medium 52-56cm, add a ‘skin’ – anything from union jacks (or union flags for the pedants amongst you) to daredevil ‘Dante’ flames or Cath Kidston-style flowers then add 3D adornments such as horns, fruit stalks or mini-mohawks, which can be snapped onto the helmet even once on. With an ABS outer shell, a flexible EPP safety core, and an EVA comfort core the sandwich design offers maximum protection, whilst an integrated finger-press air pump adjusts everything for ultimate comfort. The basic EGG helmet costs £59.95 with skins and adornments ranging upwards of £7.95 – available from John Lewis.



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