Eurobike Connected Bike Lights, Locks, and Lube


There’s always been talk and demonstrations of the ‘connected bike’ at Eurobike.  After all, it’s a buzz phrase.  You can stick ‘Connected’ or ‘Smart’ in front of anything and it makes your product instantly marketable.  Sorta like when people put ‘i’ in front of stuff: iHome, iBike, iBaby, and even iPig (seriously).

But this year at Eurobike there was a very clear undercurrent of interest in connected lights and locks (and even lube).  Every light vendor I hit up seemed to be looking at ways to integrate with sensors or smartphones, with a number already in the space with new products.  I was particularly interested in some of the data harvesting aspects that some companies want to start digging into – such as capturing road quality or light quality on bike paths/trails, and working with municipalities to better conditions (sorta like Strava is doing).

No doubt with 8 massive show halls I probably missed more than a few connected lights, they’re a bit harder to spot since they don’t always come from the tech companies.  But nonetheless, here’s a small snippet of a few – from cheap to pricey.

Cycliq Fly12:

You’ll remember back to CES in January when I first showed you the early prototypes of the Cyclic Fly12.  This product combines a front headlight with a camera.  Once you power on the unit the camera is always recording, just like their Fly6 taillight that’s been in the market a while.  They launched their Kickstarter project a bit later, and are now very close to shipping out units.  I got to poke at one of their final prototypes for about 48 hours during the show, using it on a few rides around town and out into the woods.


The unit now attaches via a GoPro mount, which works awesome.  I connected it up to the K-Edge combo GoPro/Garmin mount I already had on my bike.  It was a bit of a tight squeeze with the cabling, but not too bad.  They’ll be working through some mounts of their own that’ll ship with it.



I took it out for two grocery store rides just before sunset, and then another later on afterwards.  I was generally quite impressed with the brightness of the light (400 lumens), as well as the recording quality in the dark.



Here’s some short sample footage I collected.  You’ll have to ignore the timestamp, as I did these before I sync’d up to the app (was rushing to get out the door in time for sunset).  I’ve got three chunks in there of different times.

The app itself allows you to connect to the unit and then will soon overlay the 1’ (3ft) safety marks on the video (to show you when drivers get too close).  It’ll also soon integrate with Strava.



I told them that this sort of unit is ideal for hooking up to the ANT+ Bike Light standard that others including Garmin and Bontrager are using, since you could then control it (such as brightness and mode) from the head unit as well.

Good stuff though, and I’m looking forward to them finishing up the product and shipping.

Scottoiler Automated Lube System:

Next up we’ve got the Scottoiler folks, who have developed an automated lube system.  The idea here being to automatically lube your chain to keep it clean of road gunk.  By semi-constantly lubricating it, it prevents gunk from building up on the chain.


The unit attaches to the frame where you might otherwise put a water bottle.  It looks sorta like a mini-pump:


If you peek inside, you can see the fluid inside, showing you how full it is. The unit will automatically apply the lube to the chain as frequently as every 30 seconds in muddy/rainy conditions to roughly every 3 minutes in dry conditions (they have a big chart explaining it all on their Kickstarter campaign).


While I didn’t try the unit, I did sneak away with some of their lube solution – it’s what I used on my bike before doing all the various Tacx NEO trainer sound videos.


The company is currently up on Kickstarter doing a campaign right now to raise enough funds to ship the product, the campaign runs till October 11th.

Sigma Brake Lights:

As silly as this is, this may actually take my cake for the niftiest product of the show – mainly due to the $9 price point (the whole thing).  This tiny little pod allows you to create brake lights.  It’s not so much designed for cars, as it is for other cyclists riding closely behind you.


It uses a tiny little piece that clips on your brakes.  As you squeeze the brake cable, it triggers the rear light:



Here’s another shot of the little rear light:


Seriously, it’s silly brilliant and also awesomely cheap.

Sidekick Duo GoPro Lights:


Next we’ve got these combo GoPro/bike light mounts, the Sidekick from Light & Motion.  This concept is sorta similar to one I showed last year from Knog. The main difference is that Knog wasn’t movable side by side, whereas here you can tweak the direction of the light a little bit (though I can’t honestly think of a case where I’d want the light pointing in a different direction than the camera).



Still, you’ve got a few options here, and they pop on and off, giving you some flexibility.

Lupine Lighting Betty R 14:


While not new – it’s just something I noticed and it fits this post.  This is on the slightly simpler side of connected lights, with the Betty R 14 just using Bluetooth Smart to turn on and off the bike light from the remote control.  I think if you were to categorize connected lights, this is ‘Phase 1’, with other phases being control of lights from a head unit (perhaps Phase 2), recording of sensor data by the lights (perhaps Phase 3), and then integration with smart phone apps (maybe a Phase 4).

However, since the 4,500 lumen blowtorch of a system costs some $1,175US, it sorta just blows the rankings to bits.


Still, interesting to see Bluetooth symbols next to bike lights so often around the show floor.

Master Lock:


Next is the connected bike lock from Master Lock.  We’ve seen many similar projects on Kickstarter over the past few years, some of which have actually shipped recently.  In the case of Master Lock the bike lock uses Bluetooth Smart to allow you to quickly unlock your bike lock from an app.  You can see here the lock is locked, with the blue light:


Then using the app we can unlock it, changing the light to green:


So what if your phone battery dies?  No worries, they’ve got you covered there.  You can create a code using the joystick on the front to open it (ahead of time obviously):




They’ve also introduced an interesting locker mode, which allows you to use the smartphone app to ‘share’ access to the bike. For example for friends and family.  You can give time-limited access as well.


Pretty cool stuff.  The unit will cost about 140EUR, and be available by November.  The unit uses a simple 9V battery, which they say will last about 5 years.

Garmin Varia Lights:

Next we’ve got the Garmin Varia lights, which are connected via ANT+ to your head unit.  This is actually the first time I’ve seen them in person, so it was interesting getting a handle on the size.  Previously they’ve only ever showed computer generated imagery of them.  The Garmin lights are a bit more advanced than any other connected lights (including the Bontrager system) in that the (front) beam direction will automatically shift based on your speed.  Further, it utilizes the light sensor on your head unit to determine how much light to emit.  Also, it’ll automatically change brightness if riding during the daytime and you go into a tunnel.


Meanwhile, here’s the connected tail lights.


The taillights also have a left/right turn signal function, which can be triggered by the lighting remote control (by my count, we’re up to three different Garmin cycling remote controls: Edge Remote, Varia Remote, VIRB Remote).



My only thought on these though was the size – they’re collectively a bit bigger than I anticipated.  Especially the front, but also the rear as well.  Obviously since I just saw them here, I haven’t had any on-road time so can’t really saw how well they work one way or the other.

Lightweight Connected Wheels:


You’ll remember last year that Lightweight had showed off some ANT+ connected wheels which included stats like tire pressure and tire temperature.  Well, these were gone this year.  I asked about them and was told that essentially the project is on a low-priority status, so not to expect anything near term.

With that, thanks for reading!  If you’re looking to burn a bit of time, here’s all my Eurobike 2015 posts!

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  1. What’s the mount that has the front light and Edge 1000 on – something new?

    I’m tempted by these for convenience but likewise was a touch concerned on the size of them….

    • I’ve got it mounted to the K-Edge combo mount, bottom is a GoPro adapter, and top is a Garmin quarter-turn mount. Love it. K-Edge announced it last year around this time. I believe that’s the XL version I have there.

      Garmin has made something very similar out of plastic. In general for just a bike computer that’s perfectly fine, but when you attach both a camera and GoPro (or this light), then I’d be super-worried about breakage on the plastic mount in vibrations.

    • I use that (k-edge combo) mount and love it.

    • Steven

      K-Edge XL — the only downside is it blocks the charge port on the edge 1000 — but luckily you can swap the gopro and garmin mount and have an unblocked charge port for your super long endurance rides.

  2. Bart

    I love the way Scottoiler Automated Lube System promotes their product on the kickstarter page.
    For most products the cheaper a watt can be saved the better but (because they did their maths compete wrong) they turned it around.
    According to a picture on the site they have the most expensive cost per watt saving?!?.
    Cycle S1 has a $0.4 cost per watt, compared to e.g. a zipp 303 with only 0.008 cost per watt saving.
    Real cost per watt should be $25 cost per watt compared to $115 cost per watt for the zipp.
    (picture will change when the wakeup and recalculate the right way i hope)

  3. Casey Shanks

    Up + Left + Up + Left + Right + Right + Down, somehow this brings me back 25 years down the memory lane.

  4. Benedikt

    The Sigma light isalready in hot water because someone else has a patent for the idea.

    • Gavin

      Any idea what the patent issue is? Bicycle brake lights that work on a similar concept have been around for years, just not packaged as neatly or priced as cheaply.

    • Benedikt

      I don’t know. One of the people deeply involved told me that they got a cease and desist letter in the us while eurobike was still running.
      He also told me they checked for “prior art” to prevent this problem. Im curios how the situation evolves.

  5. Thomas Hansen

    About the Varia rear light, I thought you needed two of them to have turn signalling?
    Also did you test the rear radar version? I am curious as to what sort of resolution you can get (can you tell if it is a car or bike sneaking up on your six.. multiple..)

  6. John

    Maybe it’s a YouTube compression issue, but I found it disappointing that license plates weren’t more legible with the Fly12. Though perhaps that’s more the domain of the the Fly6?

    Too bad that 1m (3ft) “safety marks” requires an app on a smartphone, that would otherwise be a pretty cool integration with a Garmin.

  7. Mark

    Lupine BT features actually do more than just turn the light on and off:
    link to lupine.de

    I’m looking forward to having an app for adjusting the light levels and other features – currently configuring light levels on a Lupine light means lot of button presses and counting number of led blinks.

  8. John

    [The Varia] “utilizes the light sensor on your head unit to determine how much light to emit.”

    Which Garmin head units currently have a light sensor, just the 1000?

  9. Niklas

    i am suprised that Lupine Betty still only have 4500 lumens, while Ledx Cobra now have 6500 lumens. Besides Ledx Cobra have a nicer lightspreading link to ledx.se

  10. Ukexpat

    Couple of things: I have the Sigma brake light and it’s a seriously brilliant idea. The Scottoiler is ridiculous – chains get gunky because they should be wiped down after lubing, excess lube is a dirt magnet. Does the oiler wipe your chain down too? Thought not…

  11. WBF

    What do you mean when you say the fly12 will integrate with strava?

  12. Thanks for the post Ray. Here are some answers to the comments:

    WBF: Fly12 can access your Strava metrics and place an overlay/dashboard of three metrics (like speed, power or heart rate) onto your footage from the smartphone app allowing you to share the clip on social media.

    John: I think you will find you were not watching the footage in the full resolution or YouTube had applied some compression to it. Even if it has you can still see number plates….or at least we can!

    Thanks for the comments & feedback!

  13. Eli

    I’m guessing the ANT+ Bike Lights device profile is still not final as its not available to download :(

    • Hmm, I’ll ask about it. Might just be a site oversight. Both Garmin and Bontrager use it at least.

    • ifor

      It’s available for Alliance members but not public yet. It’s complex stuff and the simulator is not ready yet so supporting it is awkward at the moment. Sadly it will not currently support my MTB use case where you have the head unit control the light level with a none stepped type intensity level. I have a homemade setup from a few years back with a bar and helmet light with Betty type lumen levels when on full. The helmet light being controlled wirelessly by a custom ANT protocol the bar light with a cable connection the home made head unit. The head unit controls the intensity based primarily on speed (ANT+ or GPS). So when going downhill quick you have full power when crawling uphill you cut the power right down to say 1/8. Batter life goes up 2 to 3 fold and you don’t loose the brightness when you want it. Having the head unit do the control rather than the light itself allows for lots of fine-grained control over the control parameters based on what sort of ride you are doing. I raced my setup at the UK 24 hour MTB champs some years back. it’s what got me into ANT and hence IpBike.

  14. You had trouble spotting the lights? The lights weren’t visible? har! I’ll be here all week.

    On the Vario light- you show the taillight operating, but the headlight is still a mockup, right? I mean, it looks like there’s a bubblegum wrapper there instead of a reflector.

  15. Ismo

    About the brake lights: Lupine has one too, the Rotlicht. It has motion and light sensors that take care of the brake light functionality and turn up the brightness to match the situation when the lights of the passing cars may impact the visibility.

    • Eli

      That is an accelerometer based brake light, Lumicycle also makes an accelerometer based brake light. Not sure how many others there are

  16. Teriemer

    For the record; the Lupine Betty will deliver 5000 lumen (measured, not calculated) and not 4500 as you mention ;-)

  17. Mike S

    It’d be great if the Garmin light was user configurable to come on at a set speed or maybe even a set speed but while coasting, I’ve got a dynamo set up and it’s really good but when descending about 23-24 mph it can get a bit hairy, especially if it’s a steep road! If this thing would come on as a main beam it’d be awesome!

  18. Nate

    The auto chain lube’r is one of the top 5 dumbest cycling products I have ever seen.

    • anders majland

      I won’t rule it out – i rely on a chain oiler on my motorcycle

      Scottoiler have tried a few times before to get in to bicycles, but I’ll try it before ruling it out …

      It all depends on if is actually makes the hole cleaning/lubing process easier or not. When you lube so much to have excess oil flung away with the dirt you also get the mess on the bike.

    • EB

      They are recommended by Graham Obree in his book, the Obree Way, principally as a way of saving power wastage. He makes a good argument. Given that he was a world champion and held the hour record I suspect he is not the one who is dumb.

  19. Jimbo

    I guess I just don’t get the idea of smart or ANT+ or BT lights. I just turn mine on and off when necessary. It’s not a big deal at all.
    Maybe when I see some in action I’ll change my mind.

  20. Hi Ray,
    Congrats for being nominated one of the 50 most influential people in running by RW.
    Well deserved and keep going the great job at dcrainmaker.com

  21. Tim C

    I installed the Sigma break light a couple of weeks ago. I concerned that its not going to last for the long haul, but for $9 it is a good deal. I know that other cyclists notice it – in fact I got asked about it yesterday (from someone who was following me).

    • John

      The only issue I’d have with the Sigma light is that I rarely use the back brake if I’m just scrubbing off speed, i.e. matching pace in a group. Judging solely by pad wear, I probably brake 67% front/33% back. Not that I couldn’t adapt, but the law of primacy says the tendency is to revert to ingrained habit, and I wouldn’t want someone behind me depending on that light to know I’m slowing.

      What would be really awesome (and also really expensive) is if my Garmin could detect the deceleration and light up a back light automatically via this new ANT+ standard for lights.

    • Mayhem

      My Lupine Rotlicht has a built-in accelerometer that allows it to be used as a rear brake light. Much, much more expensive than this Sigma though…

  22. Todd Nixon

    Why wasn’t masterlock’s manual code “up, up, down, down, a, b, select, start?” ;)

  23. I rushed out and bought two of the Sigma brake lights.

    It’s a really great idea. However, when it came to the business of fitting them, I found that they were extremely poorly thought out.

    I’d be interested to hear other people’s experiences.

    I had bought the second one as a gift. The first one I tried to fit started jamming on and in fact as you push the little plastic/switch down, you can hear a clicking as something sticks and it doesn’t return when the pressure is off.

    The second one doesn’t seem to have this problem and might be better. However, there is an overriding problem and that is that the way that it attaches to the brake cable is extremely basic.

    The Allen screw tightens down directly onto the cable. This means that as the end of the screw touches the cable and you start to wind it tight, it in fact has the effect of winding the entire little light up the cable so that it touches the brake adjuster and comes on – and stays on. It takes a lot of strength and finicky finger work to hold the light down to the end of the cable while tightening up. Most of the time, you tend to find that you have screwed the Allen key home but it hasn’t tightened on the cable so that the light is actually completely loose.

    It might be that the only solution is to mount the light upside down so that hopefully it will spiral down to the bottom of the cable – but I haven’t tried this and anyway in the rain the unit would fill up with water.

    Now I understand why most cables are not fastened by the Allen screw directly but rather the Allen screw pushes a small metal plate onto the cable and it is felt that way. If you tighten a screw directly onto a braided cable then it will automatically engage and climb along the cable in the direction of the winding.

    I have to say that with one non-functioning Sigma light and a second one seemingly impossible or at least extremely time-consuming to fit and to have properly positioned, I gave up. Maybe I’ll try another day. I’m trying to work out how to fit a small piece of metal in between the Allen screw and the cable so it stops winding, but I’m not sure that there’s any space for it.

    I’m interested to see that two people here seem to have had a good experience with it. Did you not find the light climbing up the cable as you type from the Allen screw?

    My conclusion for this unit is that it’s a great idea but it needs a lot of work and it should probably cost more than it does as a result.

  24. EB

    I wonder why people would want a Fly 12. I backed the Fly 6 and wanted a forward facing version at that time. This seems to be targeting people who want to record their rides, to have high quality images and the possibility of overlaying data, like they want to compete with GoPro and Virbs.

    Since I’ve had the Fly 6 I have only looked at the images once (to check it worked), and not just because it is larger than a small mammal. Maybe more people than I think believe their cycling is interesting enough to need recording. I know mine isn’t. If it had been lower quality/cheaper and designed for use in the event of a crash I would have backed it. Hopefully they will do a cheaper version.

    • I use the $140 gopro to record my rides. In the city, it’s pretty much every other ride where something slightly insane happens and I make a snippet of the footage. Mainly it’s mounted for the legal protection.

      On more ‘epic’ rides it’s neat to clip together a 5 minute summary, though it’s for my own entertainment.

    • Design for use in the event of a crash requires a camera good enough to pick out the plate of the car that hit you and hopefully the driver too

    • I bought my Fly6 because I live in Paris in France – which contrary to popular opinion is not cycling paradise but rather where is is the home of aggressive. poorly trained drivers – who tend not to care and who seem to be supported by a rabble bunch who call themselves the Police Nationale Francaise and who have a reputation for being dangerous, racist, boorish. French drivers kill pretty well more people per year than anyone other country in Western Europe. (about 18% more than last year. 335 in August alone this year). By the way, France has about the same number of cars as the UK – and it has about 2.5 times as many roadspace to avoid each other in – but they still manage top run into each other and kill each other.
      They even have a class of motor car which doesn’t need a licence or insurance and which some rental companies advertise as the ideal car to drive around in while you are working through your licence suspension period, (for drunk driving, for example)
      They have a rate of uninsured drivers at about 2.5% and they are currently debating the reduction of penalties for uninsured driving or unlicenced driving to a mere fine. /end_rant/

      I bought my Fly6 after having been rear-ended 3 times – once by accident and twice on purpose by honking drivers in a narrow road. The taxi driver reversed quickly when he saw me try to get a picture with my mobile phone.
      The driving instructor got out and threatened to hit me and when the police arrived, they refused to take details, asked me why I hadn’t simply gotten out of the way until the driving instructor passed and the proceeded to share cigarettes with the instructor and have a chat.
      I had to walk my bike back home and pay for the damage myself.
      I’m pleased to say that since I bought the Fly6 I’ve had no more trouble – but in a way, I look forward to the next time because I intend to treat myself to a very delicious revenge. (not much Zen there!!)