MonkeyLectric Bike Light Anti-Theft Strap





Introduction: MonkeyLectric Bike Light Anti-Theft Strap

About: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products.

Here is a simple way to make your MonkeyLectric bike light very difficult to remove.

All Monkey Lights come with a steel anti-theft wire.  Just follow the instructions to install it!

Replace one of the plastic mounting straps with a steel wire. It is a lot more difficult for a thief to easily remove! You can't get it off with a knife like the plastic strap. It is possible to remove with wire cutters, but it will take a little while and most bike thieves don't carry wire cutters. Big bike lock cutters will be too big to clip this.

Besides your Monkey Light All you need is a thin steel wire (we used a large paperclip) and some pliers.

Note that this is not 100% theft proof, but its a lot more theft resistant than the standard setup with plastic straps.

Step 1: Find Some Steel Wire and a Pliers

You need at least 8" (200mm) of wire. If your wire is thin use a longer piece and make more wraps. I used a big paperclip for this, the paperclip was a bit thick which made it hard to work with. Next time i might look for something a little thinner.

First, bend your wire like shown

Step 2: Remove One of the Plastic Cable Ties

Step 3: Insert the Wire Around Spoke and Through Mounting Slots

Step 4: On the Other Side, Bend the Ends Around

Step 5: Push the Ends Back Through the Slots

Step 6: Pull the Wire Tight

Use the pliers to pull on the ends, and get that loop of wire to shrink down until it is mostly tight. If your wire is thick like mine, it will take some work with the pliers to do this.

Step 7: Bend the Ends Over Again, Push Through Slots Again

Step 8: Repeat With Pulling Tight, Now on the Other Side

Step 9: Continue Until You Have Several Loops

Keep looping the steel wire until you have at least 4 loops, 6 or 8 loops is better. Use the pliers to pull it tight. Mine is a bit messy looking, you can make it more clean with a little more work with the pliers.

Now its done! You can clip short or tuck the ends, it won't be very clear how to remove it by un-winding. Un-winding it takes too long for any thief.



    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Game Life Contest

      Game Life Contest

    21 Discussions

    Has anyone tried locking this with a kensington (laptop) lock? Or a cable lock such as this one - ? I would do this if it worked - I already have to on my bike saddle, cos my bike lives outdoors in London!

    it misses a little step to make it really untheftable. Weld the steel wire to the spoke. When you want to remove the monkeylectric, you only have to dremel it and change the spoke

    Just about to fit mine, but as a medical doctor I am concerned that no one in the above video was wearing a helmet!

    if the thief has a"typical" lock cutter he could simply cut the spokes and go away with the light, leaving a unusable bike behind... or take the bike + the light.

    6 replies

    Seriously - what thief is going to start cutting spokes for a $50 light set?

    ...and as for taking the bike - well that's down to your lock anyway - which should be about 10% of the cost of the bike.

    You have to remember that even thieves work to a time / cost analysis - if something looks slightly hard - then they will pass you and move on to the next 'easy target'.

    I mean by your imagination of thievery - you shouldn't lock your bike to a fence - because a 'thief could dig out the fence posts, lift the fence and take your bike" - but of course millions of us do because we know the chances are less than slim.

    I love these lights - going to get a couple of pairs - in fact it looks like I need 4 pairs to be the "daddy of the bike lighting game".

    Hopefully I can rig them up to my existing electro-magnetic light system - so even the batteries become redundant!

    how many spokes need cut?! i've ridden bike(s) with more than half a dozen missing detached spokes. so..

    yes i agree, i'll make more clear that this is not a 'theft proof' solution, just a big improvement over a plastic strap. its only a $60 product we're protecting here.

    could it not be just made more easy to remove the device so you can "plug and play" and when done take with you on your way leaving only a locked bike?

    You are correct. It's the same reason why people don't use "the club" on car steering wheels anymore. Thieves clip the steering wheel and just pull it off.

    actually thats because most modern steering wheels lock if you turn them more than a few degrees
    *snip* Better, but but still easy to steal

    Question about the light. Are there LEDs on both sides of the PCB? How many do I need per wheel to be visible on both sides? Thanks!

    6 replies

    Just bought a couple!

    ismash is correct - the LEDs are visible on both sides of the wheel (16 on each side), so you'd only need one unit on one wheel to be visible on both sides. Product lit says that two (on one wheel) would look better because the design created by the lights would cover the entire wheel at lower speeds than if you only have one on there.

    Only one side. Product lit says that only one is required, but it looks better with two.

    The MonkeyLectric unit has LEDs on BOTH sides, 16 lights per side. The idea of using two on one wheel is to create a longer arc of light.

    If you live in an area where there is a high risk of theft & vandalism then it's a case of "use at your own risk" because there's no way to stop thieves from snipping the spokes (it won't destroy the wheel but the spokes would need replacing) or vandals from kicking the unit until it breaks.

    Attaching the unit with wire is only enough to deter casual thieves such as bored kids, it won't stop someone carrying a pair of side-cutters or pliers.

    I've just bought myself a set of two and I'm about to install them for the first time, out of the packet they are already looking good, when I switched the MonkeyLectric unit on I was surprised at how dazzlingly bright the LED's are. It's expensive but it's a well engineered device.

    So if i buy one for each wheel (2 total) you can only see the leds from one side?

     you said thieves wont steal this lights with traditional bolt cutters well let me tell you they can cut the spokes and take the light with those cutters :P i guess its better to lose that light besides walk back home with a crappy rim to repair 

    1 reply

     this remind me the guys with the handcuffed portfolios... i guess they get their hands cut to get those portfolios easier :P