The technology that lets you instantly transform an ordinary bicycle into a smart bike with lights powered by the motion of its wheels isn’t quite “magic,” but it is magnetic, hence the name “Magnic Microlights.” Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, this project aims to reinvent bike lights with a design that’s truly extraordinary, eliminating the need for batteries or cables while adding a whole lot of high-tech function to your ride. The microlights come in seven different sets, allowing you to purchase a simple rear wheel-mounted light, a robust package including smartphone-controlled navigation, and everything in between.
Each component is made from 3D-printed materials and a core piece that the creators describe as “the world’s smallest contact and frictionless bicycle dynamo, which is integrated together with the electronic and lighting system in the brake shoe of a caliper brake.” It works using eddy-current induction, in which a magnetic wheel in a generator is set apart from the bicycle rim by a narrow air gap, creating temporary a magnetic field when the rim is in motion.
“Neither batteries nor external cables, further fittings or spoke-magnets are necessary. Solely the brake shoes are to be exchanged for microlight-brake shoes, so that the maintenance only involves the exchange of worn brake pads after thousands of kilometers. The included bake pads are compatible with other standard brake pads of other manufacturers as available in every cycle shop.”
Choose the set that best fits your needs: the front basic set with one dynamo light unit and a reflector for each side of the front brake shoe, the rear basic set with the same components for the back wheel, the basic set that includes both, the front or rear stand light set, the set that includes both stand lights, or the smart set. The latter includes all the components featured in the other packages plus a few cool smart features like brake lever-activated turn signals and smartphone-controlled navigation, which itself enables automatic signaling and Bluetooth-speed data transmission.
The front lights illuminate the road ahead while the rear lights function as brake lights and turn signals and help improve the rider’s visibility on the road. The fact that the turn signal feature works without a smartphone is pretty convenient, allowing you to simply double tap the brake lever to turn them on and off. Download the accompanying mobile app to connect your smartphone to the lights and program them to automatically activate as you turn. Meanwhile, your phone can stay safe and protected inside your bag or pocket.
There’s no complicated installation process required, and the Magnic Microlights can be placed on almost any bicycle. Though they’re designed with caliper brakes in mind, an extra adapter is included in each set to accommodate disc brakes, too. The Kickstarter campaign still has quite a way to go before it’s fully funded, but there are plenty of rewards available if you feeling like claiming a set of your own.
“Without lighting, cyclists risk their lives in the dark — but those on the road with battery lights will soon be left in the dark when the journey takes too long or the batteries are no longer full. For those who do not want to mount heavy dynamos or use batteries or lay cables, we’ve launched two Kickstarter projects with our non-contact Magnic Lights, which feel like battery lighting without having to exchange or change batteries. Magnic Microlights can’t be turned off at daylight, and we are convinced this makes sense from a safety point of view: with lights on your visibility increases significantly, which means a great deal of safety.”