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

Featured Tech

Proviz Neutron Lights

Proviz Neutron LightsThere’s really nothing Cyclo likes more than simple efficiency and the Proviz Neutron Lights perform – quite literally – brilliantly. The Neutron is part of the Proviz own-brand range of bike lights and for those of you not in the know Proviz specialise in the retail of all things hi-viz from helmets to reflectives and cycling jackets.


Proviz Neutron Lights – one front, one back – are dinky water-resistant rubberised nodule-lights not unlike the Knog (Cyclo review here), which use a double LED to produce 36000MCD (millicandela) per light visible up to 650m. Of course that’s the distance at which the light is visible not the distance at which it provides visibility, but it does produce a decent crisp white light to front with a decent spread – there are also a choice of three modes: rapid flash, slow flash and solid.


The Neutrons attach quickly to pretty much any part of the bike by wrapping the silicone loop around and slipping it over the plastic clip – it’s a neat enough system although the plastic, the weakest point, is vulnerable in the case of a spill and is fairly unforgiving against the frame, so watch for scratches over time.


The Proviz Neutron Lights, whilst somehow not quite up to the sleek design aesthetics of the Knogs, are bright, light (just 22g each) and small enough to slip into a jersey pocket for those ‘just in case’ moments when the weather catches you out. At just £14.99 for the pair they are also cheaper than other similar manufacturers – compare the say the Lezyne Femto Drive LED Light Set at £21.99 or the Knog Frog Stobe Light pack at £19.99 (both available from


Full details and online purchase of the Proviz Neutron Lights at Follow Proviz on facebook and Twitter.


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



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

Lightrider – A Bright Future

LightriderCyclo always applauds attempts to make cyclists safer and more visible. Tudor Davies, a sound engineer, mainly working on TV programmes in and around London, would, it seems, agree. Having dreamed up various products over the years, he has now developed Lightrider, a unique approach to cycle lighting, which he feels has ‘big enough potential’ to devote the time and effort to bring to market. Currently seeking further backing via the crowd-funding network Kickstarter, Cyclo caught up with the inventor to talk about his latest ‘bright’ idea…


Cyclo: Tell us about the Lightrider? What makes it unique?


Tudor Davies: Lightrider is the only bike light in the world to illuminate the rider as well as the road ahead. Most cyclists these days are concerned with being seen at night, and yet all they can do about it is shine a light forward, that actually does a good job of making you, the cyclist, disappearing. A hi-vis jacket in the dark is black, it needs a source of light to reflect, so the best solution is to provide your own source.


Cyclo: The idea came from personal experience?


TD: Yes, I was driving home from work one night and waiting at a t-junction to pull out. I was just about to move when a bike flashed in front of me, I nearly hit it. As I carried on my way I was surprised to realise that this cyclist had both lights on, and a hi-vis jacket, but I didn’t see him… Why?


Cyclo: So, a true inventor’s ‘Eureka’ moment?


TD: Indeed, I realised they needed their own source of light, so at that critical moment when another road user is looking out for you they see the form of a cyclist, rather than another small light on the road. I went home that night and wrapped some tin foil round a torch, to create the all-important hood, which protects your night vision. I taped it on my bike facing back towards me and switched it on. My chest was illuminated, but I was completely unaware of the light myself because of the tin foil hood. Eureka!


Cyclo: What research did you do?


TD: I got a survey from the department of transport that confirmed that 80% of bike accidents are from the front or side of a bike. This proved to me that most of the time drivers didn’t see the cyclist coming towards them.


Cyclo: What stage of development are you currently at?


TD: It’s taken 2 years to make this design. It’s currently in the final stages of tooling in China and the packaging is being completed.


Cyclo: Why turn to Kickstarter rather than more traditional means of funding?


TD: Kickstarter is also a good way of getting your product noticed and launched, it’s a win/win for everyone, although we still need more fund to reach our goal!


Cyclo: Would you look to partner with an established manufacturer – either at this stage or further down the road?

TD: That’s actually what we have done. We realised we needed some experience in getting the light made, so we have employed Oxford Products to help bring Lightrider to market. Their experience and contacts have been invaluable.


Cyclo: When this goes into production are you looking to market and retail this yourself?


TD: Yes, we have a sales manager who will be dealing with sales and Lightrider will appear on a number of Internet sites. We will also start looking into finding various distributors in the UK and Europe.


Cyclo: What’s the next step for the Lightrider?


TD: We will be launching with two models, an AA battery and USB rechargeable version; both also available as a rear set. We then plan to extend the range with accompanying hi-vis Lightrider jackets and other accessories.


Cyclo: So other products are already in development?


TD: Oh yes! Our patent covers the whole concept of illuminating the front torso of a rider- so watch this space!


For further information on Lightrider see and for funding opportunities and to get involved see



Extras Featured Reviews

Aura Belts

Aura BeltsThere is much to be said about adding as much visibility as possible on the bike – especially in poor visibility and low light. The Aura Belt is an interesting solution from a new Brit start-up, which looks to address the issue of 360degree visibility; whilst traditional lights (regardless of how many you add) broadly provide illumination front and back, the Aura Belt delivers all-round light and resolves the problem of side-on illumination and protection.


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. Construction is substantial and it feels built to last, it might not quite be a thing of beauty but in terms of functionality it’s spot on.


The Aura Belt currently comes as one-size-fits all, adjustable from ‘Women’s size UK 4 to men’s size 38inch’, a good starting point but smaller sizes – specifically for children – would be an excellent addition as would, perhaps, larger ones to accommodate rainy-weather commuters fully layered-up against the elements.


At £25 the Aura Belts are pretty much on the money. There are very few other products on the market that address the 360degree and side-on safety issue (the Nathan LightBender at £20 perhaps or the Fibre Flare Shorty at £27.99 – Cyclo review here) but Aura Belts do it with some style. Expect to see theses in shops soon, but for now they can be ordered at with the addition of £3.50 P&P which covers any number of belts ordered and world-wide delivery.


Cyclo highly recommends Aura Belts – light up and be seen…


Extras Reviews

Angel Cycle Helmet

Bicygnal Angel Safety Light HelmetIf you’re looking for additional cycle safety during the darker winter months, or indeed just looking to up your visibility in general, then the Angel cycle helmet from Bicygnals offers an interesting solution. Fundamentally a regular cycle helmet in appearance (although with rather sleek ‘designy’ affectations), the Angel has an integrated band of fibre optic light, which illuminates around the full circumference at the push of a button.


Created by Gavin Thomson, who has produced designs for companies ranging from BA and Samsung to MontBlanc and BT, the Angel certainly looks the part – combining matte black elements with a print-textured polycarbonate shell upper that’s clearly intended to give that carbon-look edge to proceedings. The illuminated yellow band – which creates the angelic halo effect, giving the helmet both its unique selling point and name – is powered by a battery recharged via a supplied USB cable; the light is by far the brightest to the rear, diminishing substantially to the front of the helmet. A nice inclusion though is the ability to use the band in either solid or flashing mode.


As you might suspect the Angel is not the lightest (no pun intended) of affairs, weighing in at a bulky 535g – around double the weight of an average road helmet – but then this is hardly the lid of choice for those looking for speed or aerodynamics; as a straight commuter option the trade off between weight and additional safety may well be worth considering.


Despite the weight, a fairly basic internal cradle and minimal padding the Angel is surprisingly comfortable for day-to-day use, the universal sizing (54-61cm) can be ratcheted up and down with a simple dial-wheel and the strap adjusts easily and incorporates a detachable beard-guard/chin pad. The venting is bare-minimal (which is telling in the weight department) but adequate enough for the intended commute rather than sportive use.


Easy to dismiss as a novelty item, the Angel is in fact a useful safety addition to the commuters’ arsenal. Priced at £49.95, further details and online purchase via


Extras Reviews

Lezyne Femto Drive LED

We hate to say it but the nights are drawing in aren’t they? Time then for all sensible cyclists to have their thoughts turn to safety and lighting and here at Cyclo we’ve been having fun playing with the oh-so-cute (but at the same time deeply practical) Lezyne Femto Drive LED lights.


Barely 5 years old as a company, Lezyne’s express goal was and remains, ‘…to engineer and produce premium quality accessories that meet the same high standards as high-end bicycle components’. With the Femto Drives they have combined their passion for design aesthetics (these are as close to a thing of beauty as a simple bike light could be), with an impressively functional approach and a careful eye to cost, coming in at a reasonable £12.99 for a single front/rear or £21.99 a pair.


The machined aluminum body, durable and Brit-weather resistant, is just 30mm long with the unit coming in at sub-25mm diameter, small and light enough (29g with bracket) for tucking into a jersey pocket, meaning there can never be an excuse for getting caught out at dusk ill-prepared again. Although not brilliantly bright – 15 lumens front and 7 lumens rear – the crisp, clear quality makes them seem more powerful than mere numbers suggest and with five modes (flash, slow flash, rapid flash, strobe and solid) are hard to fault as backup or additional lighting. Turning the Femtos on and off and switching between modes involves pressing and holding the lens directly, ideal for tackling in gloves, but, given Cyclo’s reluctance to ever read instructions, something it took us longer than we care to admit to figure out.


The Femtos use a nifty silicon sling bracket, one end of which attaches semi-permanently to the light’s asymmetric hooks, to wrap around and hold pretty much any part of the bike. This quick fix option, with a wealth of permutations, is a key selling point and improves over, say, Knog Frogs or NiteRiders – the alternatives they most closely resemble.


The only (very) minor gripe Cyclo has is that battery insertion (two x replaceable CR2032 batteries per light) is slightly fiddly with the screw thread having a tendency to cross, but weigh this against their plus points – durability, practicality, ease of fit, gorgeous looks – and it’s easy to forgive.


Available in anodised black, silver, red or blue the Lezyne Femto Drive LEDs are widely available including from