Saturday, November 1, 2014

MonkeyLectric MonkeyLight M204: A Product Review

Everything that comes in the package!
When I made the decision to purchase a bicycle, the goal was to get myself out riding as well as commuting to work. If I were to choose one style of riding to identify myself by, I would say I'm a year-round commuter.
Rain, shine, hot, or cold-I’ll be out there riding in it!
I work late into the evening, often getting home after 9 p.m. I want to ensure my safety (as well as being legal) with appropriate lights.

I saw an offer from Melissa (Bike Pretty) on Wheelwomen Switchboard to try out a new product from MonkeyLectric- the Monkey Light M204.


I figured being a year-round commuter and riding home several nights a week, it would be a great product to try. I’m all for having more visibility! Plus? It's fun, colorful, and makes me feel a bit like a kid again. As a child, the only exciting thing I had on my bike were streamers. The light is more entertaining as well as functional! Or we could say "Fun"ctional!

The install
The packaging is simple and gives some basic directions, along with plenty of zip-ties to accomplish installation. You get two anti-theft ties that you can use for added security.

MonkeyLectric also has a handy YouTube video so you can visually see the light being installed (which I think is extremely helpful for those who like to learn things more hands-on.)

I had the benefit of Travis, who installed the light for me while I took a few photos. Being a bike mechanic, he was familiar enough with lights like the Monkey M204 to install it without looking at the directions.
If I were to have installed the light myself, I would suggest watching the video first before working on the setup. 

The only additional thing you need to successfully install the light would be 3 AA batteries. I would say that this is one minor downfall of this light-but you can use rechargeable batteries to make it more eco-conscious. (I prefer to use rechargeable lights whenever possible.)

Black button-color, Red button- power
Hit the black button multiple times for various color options.
Power button-2 brightness levels, third press will turn light off.
The next thing that confused me was how to turn the light on/off. On the little square you will find a red Power button and black Color button. Clicking the power button 3 times will take you through 2 brightness options and the final push will turn the light off. It took me quite a bit to figure out how turn the light off!
It was a little like this: "Holymoly! My batteries are gunna die!" I'll admit I did feel pretty smart once I figured it out. A literal "light bulb" moment.


The color options are single or bi-color so you can pick whatever suits your fancy! I found myself pretty darn excited over being able to add some color to my bike in a very simple way. You can change your choice each evening with a simple push of the button. Awesome!

Forgive my not having a professional
camera! You get the concept.
Also, see the light out around my tire!
Awesome!
We opted to install the light on my front wheel, but you can install it on your rear wheel as well.
Another nice feature is that this light is waterproof, but I will likely not use the light during the winter months as I trade out my standard 29” tire for a fat tire (done with switching out the fork.)

The cold is another reason-I do not have indoor parking at work for my bike and am concerned over frigid temps with batteries and electronics.
It’s definitely something will enjoy utilizing until we winterize my bike!

I think this light is a lot of fun, plus it adds extra visibility to my bike during my night rides home. It has 4 full color LEDs and 40 lumens of light! You still want your street safe/legal head and trail lights-but for extra lighting, this is a great choice. Especially for those who have long, nightly commutes home. Depending on the color/brightness settings you can have up to 60 hours of run time. You can also tell from the photo that the light goes out and around your tire for a wide-angled visibility.
If you are easily distracted by light/color or anything out of the ordinary, I would suggest installing the light on your rear wheel. 

Wheel at rest.
It’s a fun, colorful, and simple way to bring more visibility to your nightly commutes home.
Easy to install and simple to use; so give it a try and see where the night takes you. Ride on!

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