Is this bike wheel light worth the $60+ price tag?

We unbox and review Monkey Light from MonkeyLectric


Amr: Hey Autobloggers! Amr here. I’m really excited to show you this product that we got in today. A company out in Berkeley, CA, MonkeyLectric, makes these illuminating LED light attachments for your bike. The idea behind this is to help riders become more visible to cars during night bike rides but also turn heads and look fly while biking around town. And guess what, they sent us two! Yeah! They sent us the A15 Automatic which is the starter version and we have the M232R to test out. They also have a PRO version but we don’t have that one to show you today.

The difference between the PRO version and these two is that the PRO version can play GIFs, videos, and your own custom artwork, which is actually pretty awesome, but the issue is that it’s priced at $995 for the PRO version. The A15 Automatic is currently priced at $39.99 and the M232R comes in at $65.79. Both are available on Amazon right now. Check the description below. It’s crazy the price difference between these two and the PRO version at $995.

So let’s check out these two real quick. The A15 Automatic has an automatic on and off, a speed sense, it's USB rechargeable, 40 lumens, 4 LED, full color, 360-degree view, and it’s also waterproof. Let’s check the back real quick. It actually comes with 23 optional build-in lights. That's actually really awesome that they’re offering that - and it fits wheels 16-inches and larger. On 14 lumen it has 17 hours of battery life so I’m guessing, yep, 6 hours for 40 lumens for sure, which is not bad for ride time.

Erik: I don’t how many people take 6-hour long bike rides every day. 

Amr: And now let’s check on the M232R. Now this one is actually one notch bellow the PRO which is pretty cool. It has a USB rechargeable, 200 lumens, 32 LED, waterproof, and comes with 42 themes that you can choose from. It's a crazy amount of themes in there and they’re all colorful all different. You have skull and bones, you have hearts, a dead fish, you got lighting, you got flowers, and you also have space invaders in there which is actually really cool, really awesome. It fits 20-inch wheels and larger but the thing about this is that you have to go 10 mph for pattern visibility to appear. And of course it’s made for all-weather use. 

MonkeyLectric want to see more of these on the road, so check the description to see how you can win one of these two. Let’s open up these two packages and see what we have inside. Let’s start out with the A15 first. You got the instructions on how to hook it up on your wheel, you have zip ties including a USB charger, some stickers with the space invaders, that’s actually awesome. Here is the A15 version really, really small. The first thing we see when we open the packaging is a circuit board encased in plastic and the plastic feels really smooth, really soft, and you got a black and red button, and these two white pieces right here in the front. Also on the back are the LED lights, and this right here, I believe, is the charging unit. Ok, this is awesome. You’re able to remove the charging unit. So that’s the A15! Looking forward to hooking this up. And now let’s look at the M232R.

It actually shows you right here all the different themes that the M232R has and the different button patterns that you can do for the color, reset, power, and also the selection from all the themes. You got an elephant, you got a ladybug, you got fire and flames, you have hearts, and the list goes on and on and on. I love the different styles though that’s really awesome. Just like the A15, it looks exactly like the same charging unit in the same placement as well.

Here is the M232R encased in plastic as well. Whoa... it looks complicated. You can see the circuit board and everything that’s inside of it. And what’s really unique too is around the circuit board itself you can see multiple notches here and here. Those are designed to actually place it on your bike wheel. That’s really cool and I’m looking forward to hooking this up to my bike. And there are directions on how to hook this up to your bike wheel, of course, you have the zip ties and a USB charger, and two security fasteners as well.

Here are our packages, let’s hook up the M232R and A15 to the bike that I bought for $20. Hopefully, it can hold me and hopefully it doesn’t break when I test it out on the road, so let’s do this thing. Alright guys here’s the bike, $20, there are cobwebs all over it, rust, some weird yellow stuff but you know what for $20 it’s functional. We’re gonna hook the back wheel with M232R and the front wheel we’re gonna hook it up with the A15 Automatic so without further ado let’s just get to the back wheel and get it done. 

The cool thing about this is actually it looked really easy to put together. MonkeyLectric kinda made it so easy for consumers to just hook it up on there, zip-tie it on, and just go. We're gonna let the batteries charge because they’re empty right now. We're gonna look at the instructions and check out the YouTube tutorial and then come back and install it. So I checked out the tutorial and I’m ready to hook the M232R to the back wheel. It looks simple enough and I’m ready to do it right now. Make sure it’s inside, take this plastic piece right here and put it between the metal piece and the notches. Then you slide the zip-tie in and lock it. Now you've got to hook up the charging unit. They want you to place two zip-ties in the holes and make sure that the power cable is the closest to the M232R. Wrap around the wire and connect it to the charging unit. 

Alright now that we attached the M232R to the back wheel, we’re gonna attach the A15 Automatic to the front wheel so let’s do it right now. Here would be the best spot. Same thing as before, you've got the plastic piece. Find the notches and insert the zip-tie. Just like before, zip-tie in and hook it onto the center of the wheel. One is in, let’s go to the other one, two in. And make sure that the wire is pointed to the LED and once you’re set, pull the zip-ties and loop the wires around. Alright, everyone, it’s hooked up, it’s fully charged, it’s ready to go. Everything is powered on we’re going to shut off the lights and see them in action.

Erik: That looks, like, a million times better than I expected. 

Eddie: Yeah.

Erik: Like, a million times... oh my god the skulls.

Amr: Which themes do you guys want? 

Eddie: What are our choices?

Amr: Oh my god, you have 42.

Erik: I like the spiders and flowers.

Amr: So, it’s 18... yes that’s the one. This is the spider one, now we can see it. That’s cool. Monkey Lights looks amazing in the dark and we can’t wait to try it out at night.

Time for final thoughts... It’s a cool product that does what it’s supposed to do: improves your visibility when riding at night. The multi-color and multi-graphics are eye-catching and pretty cool. I guess a few things that I didn’t like, were the zip ties. I would have loved it if there was a reusable clamp instead of the disposable plastic waste. This would make switching the Monkey Light over to other bikes easier, but more importantly, more green. 

Another thing I would have loved was the ability to add custom light designs in the M232R rather than having to spend almost $1,000 on the PRO version. I like the $66 version we have here but being able to program my own visuals would be awesome.

But even with these few criticisms, I do love this product. It’s colorful, cool, and unique. When we took it out for a test ride, it really did turn the heads of a few onlookers who were smiling and seemed to really enjoy the lights and graphics as we rode by. So if you’re not phased by the price tag, Monkey Light is a definite “buy” for me. But to be clear, I recommend the M232R over the base model because the graphics are what makes this cool and the base model is little more than a safety light for $40 and there are cheaper options out there. 

Thank you for watching and don’t forget to hit the subscribe and bell buttons to get alerts for our latest content. Let us know what you think of Monkey Light and comment below on what you’d like to see us test out next. 

I’m Amr I’ll see you in the next episode. Click here to buy your very own Monkey Light 

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