A recent comment on my blog led me to this website - an Australian distributor for the rather nifty Reelights. I had purchased a set of these previously from a local bike shop for a 'normal' bike and they work very well. From the site I saw they now had a version that fitted to a rear rack with a generator unit attached via a cable. Previously the light and generator were an all in one unit and therefore it had to be mounted at wheel level on the axles (either front or rear). These lights are very popular in Europe due to their set and forget nature - once installed they just work without ever needing batteries and they have no discernible affect on the bike's performance. This looked like a great new gadget for the trike so I ordered one!
In this shot you can see the light, the generator unit and the magnets that attach to the spokes and provide the power as they spin past the generator -
The installation was very easy and the thought that has gone into the product is quite impressive. For example -
- The generator unit can 'slide' once attached to the seat stay to ensure it can be positioned the correct distance from the magnets attached to the spokes.
- The magnets that attach to the spokes are well designed and could be attached to any wheel regardless of the spoke pattern.
- Any excess cable can be wound into the generator unit.
- The mounting bolts for the light are able to be adjusted to fit different mount points on rear racks.
- The light also has reflectors on either side.
A video of it in operation follows -
Now the Reelight company just needs to work out how to put a front light on a Christiania where there is nowhere to mount the generator unit!
And just another interesting footnote regarding the delivery of this light. It was posted in Melbourne on a Tuesday and I received it in Canberra the following Monday. On the Friday afternoon I ordered some computer memory from America (go Aussie dollar!) and it was this package that arrived first (about 30 minutes before the light!). Australia Post really needs to lift its game!