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  1. #1
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    bike after dark - fireball mark 2

    Bike After Dark - Dallas at Night - YouTube

    Bike Lights by Bike After Dark

    looks like a monkeylectric knock off designed specifically for visibility, without any unnecessary features.

    each light is $45 ( by comparison each monkey light is $75
    ) or $85 pair. so $170 per bike.

    claims to be waterproof, just like monkeylectric.

    i sent them an e-mail asking about lumens, battery life and return policy ... they never answered. then i read on their FAQ that they don't accept returns.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-04-2012 at 10:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Found a Review from actual user ! "Damien K"

    here it is:

    I have a fireball half wheel on the back wheel of my fixed gear. I am quite impressed with the brightness of this spoke light; itíd take a serious fool in a car to not notice a spinning light like this. Yes, the light itself is bright, and the charge lasts somewhat long, BUT, BUT BUT BUT, Bike After Dark lights are EXTREMELY fragile, hence the lack of any return policy whatsoever. Keep in mind, this is just an electrical switch board with absolutely NO housing. I enjoy my light right now, but this is the second one Iíve bought in three months; the first one only lasted ONE WEEK until the piece-of-**** USB port on the light broke. It all comes down to where the light receives more charge, which is the USB port, which is also easily the most fragile part of this light. Break that part and youíre ****ed. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED: this light is cool, i know, but keep in mind that Bike After Dark is a very small company in Texas that doesnít give a **** about whether the light works or not after they send it to you and will NEVER return your calls incase of any light tech difficulties. As you can see I have a love/hate relationship with this silly little bike light company. I use my light all the time, but I must say that I would NOT recommend buying this light.
    -D.K.

  3. #3
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    also according to this:

    Review: Bike After Dark Fireball Mark II Wheel Light | Bike Shop Girl

    it seems the LEDs are NOT regulated - they burn bright for 2 hours then start going dim. which i guess is not a problem FOR ME but 2 hours is certainly not much. they should have included a low power mode with 6 hours of burn time ... without such a mode it is sort of useless.

    DOES ANYBODY KNOW OF A SIMILAR PRODUCT THAT ISN'T RETA4DED ?

  4. #4
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    OK i found more information about this product ! So this "bike after dark" is not any kind of do-it-yourself outfit, but actually a division of a larger company, namely Kineteka Systems:

    Home - Kineteka Systems

    They have been around for a while and sell a whole bunch of stuff that they design, including small information displays, small robots etc.

    And unlike what i previously said there IS a phone, and an address ( in Texas ). Of course there are still no returns.

    BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY i found this:

    Kineteka eStore. Polymer Lithium Ion Battery - 1200mAh

    this looks like the battery that is used in their spoke lights. i was wondering how much juice does it pack - and if this is the one ( it looks almost identical and it is the same company ) then it is basically half a lithium cell worth of capacity.

    this is quite substantial for a spoke light ! ! ! and from the one review i mentioned in this thread it burns for 2 hours before dimming which means it is a high power system ! based on capacity and burn time it is approximately 1/5th the power of Lupine Piko, so it may be as much as 100 lumens ! ! !

    it looked bright enough on video but i was skeptical if they didn't process the video to make it look this way, but after seeing the battery and doing the math - it seems to check out.

  5. #5
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    So i have received two half-wheel lights. This stuff is seriously bright ! Here is the video !

    bike after dark spoke lights unboxing, installation and quick demo - YouTube

    this video is just unboxing, installation and in-room demonstration. i will do a proper on-the-street-at-night demonstration perhaps in 2 weeks or so when i receive other lights i have on order so i can demo them all at the same time.

  6. #6
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    i tested them out on the street today - ridiculously bright - RIDICULOUSLY.

    i went with someone so i could ride myself and then watch the other person ride - the spoke lights actually light up the buildings on the left and right of the street ! ! !

    thank god i didn't buy any for the front wheel because looking at the rear wheel is like looking into a blender made out of lasers.

    they make my Cateye LD1100 tail light and my Philips SafeRide bar light essentially invisible when they're on.

    not to worry, i have REAL tail lights due to arrive within 2 weeks THEN these spoke lights will meet their match and i will YouTube it all.

    my interest is to capture on video how the different lights work TOGETHER how they compliment each other from different angles etc. which is why it makes no sense to do the video yet until all the lights come in.

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  8. #8
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    well i finally did head to head comparison of these lights with MonkeyLectric and the Fireball is much brighter and significantly more visible than MonkeyLectric. however the MonkeyLectric appears to be more durable ( better protected from things like gravel ).


  9. #9
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    I kind of assumed that i have Fireball Mark 2 because that's what i ordered, but when i actually read what it says on my light ( in HUGE letters ) it says Fireball Mark 3 !

    This would explain why my USB charging port is in different location from the one shown in the video. I have no idea what are the other differences between MK2 and MK3.

    I wish i noticed the number 3 sooner because i already listed it as Mark 2 in my videos.

    Oh well ...

  10. #10
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    I also talked to "Nick" the guy behind this product, and i suggested a list of improvements to him. He said he is already working on two of the improvements i suggested ( i suggested 10 improvements, plus i relayed Cat-Man-Do's wish for a cheaper "mini" version )

    I was also corrected on my assumption that "Bike After Dark" is made by "Kineteka Systems" Both are small companies based in Texas and they collaborated in the design of the product, but are completely separate companies. "Kineteka" will still answer questions about "Bike After Dark" if you call them though.

    Bike After Dark will answer your questions through "contact us" link on their page:

    https://bikeafterdark.gostorego.com/...21e6j0uas3eh73

    but there is no phone number to call. at first i thought that no phone number meant that it is some kind of a scam, but as it turns out the company is simply too small to have a phone line.

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    So, you trust the durability of this light? I've been doing more road rides lately and need a much much better setup for rear/side visibility than I currently have.
    Last edited by steelhmr; 08-15-2013 at 02:12 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    So, you trust the durability of this light? I've been doing more road rides lately and need a much much better setup for rear/side visibility than I currently have.
    i wouldn't put this on a bike where you will be hitting any sort of gravel - it would probably get destroyed.

    bit i did do one video of this light in the rain and both spoke lights still work.

    so i would say it depends on what kind of riding these lights will see - they don't seem to have any protection against impact of stuff like gravel, but they do appear to have some kind of protection against water ( although i don't know what that protection is, because i can't see any, but they worked in the rain somehow ).

    by contrast monkeylectric that i also have is very heavily protected against impact by clear flexible silicone rubber. however some monkeylectric users complained of the power cable contact failing, while "bike after dark" doesn't have any cable to fail, is lighter, cheaper and brighter.

    so my verdict is - it depends. i think on a road bike, in a place with sunny climate like California they will probably last long enough for you to get your money's worth. on the other hand if you're going to be hitting trails or doing some cyclocross etc. then from the looks of it i don't know how long they would last.

  13. #13
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    so i had about 20 rides with these lights and they are starting to exhibit strange charging behavior. they still work like new but the red charging indicator LED now oftentimes stays on indefinitely.

    when the lights were new it would stay on for a few hours and then turn off when the light was charged. but then a few days ago i had one of the two lights turn its red charging indicator led off after a few hours and the other light had it stay on for about 20 hours until i finally unplugged it.

    right now it has been at least 12 hours since i plugged the lights to charge and both lights still had charging indicator LEDs on, so i again unplugged them manually. even if it was charging at only 500 ma ( they're plugged into 2A USB chargers ) that would already be 6,000mah at that point and the battery is only 1,300 mah.

    it would help if the manufacturer provided charge time for the light, then i could manually turn it off after that time. but the manufacturer won't even provide a burn time, let a lone a charge time.

    i have heard that this kind of thing often happens with chinese ebay headlights who fail to turn off the charger when full and overcharge the batteries. the problem in this case is that the battery is custom and glued to the circuit board.

    this is very different from MonkeyLectric which uses standard AA Ni-Mh cells. of course the Fireball is much brighter. about 5 times brighter. so both solutions have their cons and pros.

  14. #14
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    one of the two lights appears to be dead. its not completely dead, but rather it doesn't appear to take on charge properly any more. it ran down during my ride today. it probably lasted only 40 minutes. the other one worked normally.

    it looks like i will replace it with MonkeyLectric ...

    at first it seemed like removing the batteries on MonkeyLectric to recharge them is a pain in the butt, but i got used to it now - not an issue - and once charged it's good for many hours.

    i think i'm done with lights from second and third rate companies. i think from now on i will rather have an inferior performing light from a first rate company than a superior performing light from a third rate company. because superior performance means nothing when the light doesn't work.
    Last edited by androgen; 09-27-2013 at 05:27 AM.

  15. #15
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    not riding tonight because of the drunks, so at precisely midnight ( in 2 minutes ) i will turn on both spoke lights and time how long they last.

    UPDATE: 10 minutes into the test this:



    that's how much brightness one of the lights lost after just 10 minutes. these lights don't shut off - they just dim when they run out of juice.

    i will keep the 2nd light running until it depletes to see how long it will last ...

    the light that gave out i will attempt to charge again and test again ...

    UPDATE: 1 hour 45 minutes into the test the 2nd light is dimming rapidly. i probably noticed it wasn't at full brightness at about 1 hour 30 min. it is now at about 10% brightness. at this level it would still provide good visibility. it is the same brightness at this point as MonkeyLectric M232 on "low" mode ( M232 has 2 modes - high and low ).

    UPDATE: 2 hour 20 minutes still glowing at a level comparable to MonkeyLectric on "low" ... this is certainly still a highly visible spoke light at this level

    UPDATE: 3 hour 20 minutes still glowing at about 1/3 the level of MonkeyLectric on "low" i would say this is the lowest level that's still usable. i'm going to let it run some more.

    UPDATE: 4.5 hours ... still glowing ... but is now quite dim. i've stopped the experiment and i will rate the battery life at 4 hours for this light. the first 2 hours it is brighter than MonkeyLectric and the next 2 hours it is dimmer.

    i only need about 3 hours of battery life from spoke lights so actually the battery life is perfect ... when it works ... but the first spoke light died after only about 30 rides.
    Last edited by androgen; 09-28-2013 at 02:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    Does the spoke lights have any warranty? Get the dim one replaced. That should equal no money spent.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Does the spoke lights have any warranty? Get the dim one replaced. That should equal no money spent.
    i don't think there is ...

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I return/exchange an item I have purchased?
    At this time, all sales are final.
    i originally took the chance on this product because i thought MonkeyLectric would draw too much unwanted attention with the color patterns, but i later realized that MonkeyLectric color patterns don't actually show in real world - only on their promotional videos. and at the speed at which they do show nobody is going to catch you to steal them. you need like 25 mph. when you look at "demos" of MonkeyLectric there are two kinds you will see:

    1 - ones made by MonkeyLectric where they play the video at double speed

    2 - ones made by users that put the bike upside down and spin the pedals by hand

    there is also a third type of video where somebody will mash the pedals for 20 seconds while a cameraman is in a car driving alongside ...

    but the patterns don't show in real world scenarios, so my concerns were overblown ...

    and MonkeyLectric run time is "up to 25 hours" and i get to use my own batteries and charger.

    i think the guy who makes these lights knows his product isn't ready - that's why there are no returns. i took a chance - got burned - from now on will try to stick with more reputable makers.

  18. #18
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    well i just did a ride and i got a bit lost. i was supposed to finish in 2 hours, but because i got a little lost it took me 3 hours to finish. i didn't run all the lights at full power all the time simply because in some parts of my ride it would either be impolite or draw too much attention but bottom line is this:

    ALL THE LIGHTS WERE ABLE TO FINISH MY RIDE EXCEPT BIKE AFTER DARK FIREBALLS, OF WHICH BOTH DIDN'T FINISH

    by didn't finish i mean that they dimmed to a level that was only a tiny fraction of their normal output, maybe 2-3%. i also ran MonkeyLectric on HIGH and they finished no problem ( as expected ) and by the end of my ride the FireBalls were only about 20% as bright as MonkeyLectric.

    well that does it. i'm done with this light. my final verdict on this light is:

    DO NOT BUY.

    i will remove these lights and replace them with MonkeyLectric M232 - the same as i already have on the front wheel - now i will simply have identical spoke lights on both wheels.

  19. #19
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    wtf!

    bike after dark - fireball mark 2-untitled.jpg

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