Anti-theft bike lights

Commuter, Concept 9 142

The  Blink/Steady bike light is Brooklyn-based designer Benjamin Cohen’s solution to the problem of bike light theft. The light is machined from solid aluminum and is secured to the seat post by a set screw inside the unit, making it difficult to steal. There are no buttons, and it uses an accelerometer to turn on automatically and shut off when you stop riding. It is waterproof, works in blinking or steady mode (hence the name), and “emits a bright but distributed light from two .5w LEDs and is visible from nearly 180 degrees”. Read more about it on the Blink/Steady website and check out the video on their Kickstarter page (which is open until May 27).

Another anti theft bike light project currently underway is a collaboration between GOOD Magazine and Gotham Bicycle Defense Industries.  Similar to the mountain bike project mentioned in my last post, this is a crowdsourced design project that they are calling Product of the People. The project just kicked off, but they have a few early concept sketches posted. They are asking for feedback on the designs, so leave a comment on the original post to let them know what you think.

One of the commenters to the GOOD post pointed out the LightSkin seatpost, which features 5 integrated LED lights. The design won a reddot award in 2010, and definitely addresses the light theft problem. Of course, seat and seatpost theft is still an issue with LightSkin or any of the other products mentioned here. In places where theft is common, you often see bikes with chain between the seat rails and seatstays or with a ball bearing glued in the head of the binder’s allen bolt. Neither of those solutions is ideal though, so I would suggest investing in a seatpost clamp like this one to protect that expensive theft resistant light.

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9 Comments

  1. Jamey May 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

    Approx $100 (US) per light–and they’re not even rechargeable. It takes me all of 5 sec to put on or take off my front and rear Blackburn Flea blinkers. Total cost: $29.

    BlinkSteady are lovely, but represent nothing so much as the triumph of style over substance.

    • Nick F May 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm -  Reply

      BlinkSteady are lovely, but represent nothing so much as the triumph of style over substance.

      A first in the cycling world, for sure. Priced out a Pinarello or Vanilla lately?

      Don’t worry, I’m sure Blackburn will have a cheaper, dorkier knockoff in a year or two.

  2. Bubba Nicholson May 20, 2012 at 6:55 am -  Reply

    stick on LED lights would be cheaper, lighter, more aerodynamic, and useless if stolen.

  3. art May 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm -  Reply

    1) The big, flat top of this thing is just begging for solar recharg.
    2) What about a white light version integrated into a headset spacer?

    • James Thomas May 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm -  Reply

      I like that 2nd idea, Art. That would be a clean look…and definitely theft resistant.

  4. TimJ May 23, 2012 at 4:14 am -  Reply

    Indeed these are way too expensive. Our little lights, which pop on and off in a few seconds, cost €5 per set. They are only for “being seen”, but heck, I could by 20 sets for this price!

  5. SteveP January 7, 2013 at 3:08 am -  Reply

    Anything attached to a seatpost just makes that more attractive to streal. If you take the post/seat with you, any light is fine. A small, cheap LED that screws to a seat stay is the best solution. If cheap (under $10) no pro will bother stealing it and the screws (could be hex or Torx) will put off the kids that just take stuff ’cause they can.

  6. Jason Wang February 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    The cheapest bicycle light is a $1 LED aluminum pocket flashlight available from many discount stores. Attach it to your handlebar or rear seatpost with a wide rubber band looped around the front and back of the flashlight. That’s it. It is as visible as more expensive lights, can be removed simply by pulling off the rubber band, and is cheap enough to replace if stolen.

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