The Revolights City, version 2.0, have landed… and boy do they look cool. We originally ran a News feature on Revolights in January and have been chomping at the bit to get our hands on a set ever since.
The design was exciting to see on Kickstarter initially. As they greatly exceeded their target, Revolights put out the version 1.0 and generally impressed the bike commuting and technology community. I was excited when I found out I was to be given the opportunity to review the Revolights City v2.0.
If you haven’t heard of the Revolights before now, their website’s description states: The patented Revolights bike lighting system consists of two narrow rings of LEDs that mount directly to each wheel using a series of clips and ring spacers. Lithium-ion batteries, bracket-mounted to the front and rear hub, supply power to the LEDs. The batteries are slim and lightweight, and can be charged via USB. A small, fork-mounted magnet and an integrated accelerometer provide speed and orientation data to the rings. This allows the LEDs to illuminate only when oriented at the front or rear of the bicycle.
The 2.0 represents some pretty notable upgrades from version 1.0. The improvements include:
• Extension of the LED ring mounting brackets to allow Revolights to fit on deeper V-section 700c wheels
• Inclusion of internationally approved electronics
• Change in basic materials of construction (Revolights City 2.0 no longer includes aluminum. Plastic was changed to hard Nylon).
• Integrated accelerometer to eliminate original “disco” pattern lights when at stop. The lights now recognize gravity and maintain the front and rear “arch” pattern even when the wheel is at rest.
While I don’t qualify as international for them, or have a deep-v wheelset on my commuter (currently running Mavic Open Pros with Ultegra hubs), I have certainly been through quite a few lights in my time!
The packaging itself looks nice and tidy. Cracking into it, you have a LOT of bits and pieces. Thankfully, they have created instructional videos to accompany their printed instructions. I will admit to being intimidated by the installation from looking at the instructions initially – that’s why I usually don’t do that! – but after watching the videos makes it seem like a steady systematic approach is needed and that it shouldn’t be too difficult. I will be sure to let you know how I get on in the full review.
The full set of front and rear lights come in at $229. They are also available separately for $139 each and weigh in at a claimed 12.3 oz (about 340g) per wheel, including the battery. The LEDs output at 35 lumens (front), but since there are 8 lights on at all times, the potential calculation of lumens can also be written as 8 LEDs x35 lumens each. Revolights is currently fulfilling domestic US orders and plan to begin shipping internationally later this month (June).
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