Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pedalite Products from Walmart


If you ride at night, you'd know that visibility is always a concern. The more visible you are, the better your chances of not getting hit by a car.
I'm a devoted fan of BikeBrightz, but there are other products out there that can increase your nighttime visibility and safety. Like BikeBrightz, they are not well-known and are not available in Honolulu bike shops. To me, this is very unfortunate, since people could have been saved from death or injury if they had these parts or accessories at the time of the accident. But, that's why I have this blog: to make you aware of bicycling-related products you might not have otherwise heard of until now. 
Today, I'd like to tell you about Pedalite, a company that sells an interesting collection of products that can greatly increase your nighttime visibility and safety. They have several products to sell and I'm going to give descriptions, pictures, links where you can purchase them as well as my own thoughts.
First up for discussion are Pedalite battery-free 360 degree visibility pedal lights. While most of us settle for the reflective strips that are installed on our pedals by their respective manufacturer, Pedalite actually has lights inside the pedals ("Pedalite", get it? Pedal light? Pretty clever, wouldn't you say?) and they are not dependent on batteries. Instead, their lights are powered by the action of pedaling itself. So, you simply turn them on by pedaling your bike and the lights continue to flash for a few minutes even after you stop, which is good for those times when you have to stop at a stoplight or a crosswalk. The company says that they give-off light in a 360-degree arch and can be seen at a distance, so they sound like a good investment. Here's what they look like with and without toeclips.
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Since they don't require batteries, you won't run out of power while you're riding-around at night in the pouring rain. So, these are a good idea for people who do a lot of night riding.
Other Pedalite products really don't look like they'd get a lot of buyers, in my opinion. For example, the Anklelite
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and the Baglite
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both look like they'd be a good buy for people who do a lot of night riding or for people who are about to leave home and it starts to rain (I hate when that happens) or whatever. But, people tend to like things kept as simple as possible and wearing the Baglite would make some people feel more like a mountain climber than a cyclist. The Ankelites are okay for cyclists, joggers and walkers, but I wonder how many people might stop using them if they get chafing problems with the Anklelites rubbing against their ankles. Besides, unless you're going out just to ride your bike and then go home, where you might not mind them so much, a lot of people commute to work/school by bike and may not want to carry the extra stuff around with them, unless they can store them someplace. I wouldn't take either one of them with me to my day job, even though I sometimes get caught out late and have to ride home in the dark, since it'd be just one more thing I'd have to carry-around. But, at my night job, I leave home when it's dark and the sun usually isn't out yet when I'm going home and I have a place to keep my things during my shift. So, Anklelites and Baglites would work well for me. However, these products are solar-powered, so I may have a problem getting them charged-up between rides.
Pedalite Products don't seem to be available in Honolulu bike stores or other retail outlets. The company does have its own online store where you can buy them directly http://www.shopcreator.com/mall/departmentpage.cfm/PedaliteLtd
But, you can also buy them online from Walmart and they are actually cheaper if you go that route and you'll have the choice of choosing to have your order delivered to your home or to your nearest Walmart location. Here are the links to their respective pages at Walmart's online store:
While the prices for these products may seem high, compared with similar products out there, I still think at least the pedals would be a good investment for increasing your night riding safety. The more light you have, the safer you are out there on the road.
 Duane Browning
   
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