After a fair few struggles, the team behind the Blaze laserlight, have seen their baby delivered to its many Kickstarter project supporters. I was one of the 600 or so supporters that donated £50 or more to receive one of the first off the production line.
UPDATE: see below for news from the makers of Blaze.
The wait was longer than anyone thought including company founder Emily Brooke but I am not overly bothered because the regular updates from the team about the progress – boths ups and downs kept me in the loop about the project; and because significant quality improvements were made along the way that has resulted in a product that not only does what it says on the tin, but has that ‘wow factor’ that sets it apart from its competitors.
For goodness sakes it even is waterproof to 1m depth! Now your pet goldfish can enjoy blazing around its aquarium on a well-lit bicycle!
There is quite a sensation with being a supporter of a team trying to get a new product launched. Having the progress reports really gave an insight into (just some of) the issues that arise as a prototype is turned into a consumer good…and the logistics of getting the thing built and then shipped from a far-off land (and through UK customs!).
It has been worth the wait – it is sensational.
I even took to YouTube to make one of those ‘unboxing’ videos I’ve seen geeks do. Call me a geek: Unboxing the Blaze bicycle laserlight
BLAZING MY BROMPTON
Now unboxed – and charged – I affixed it to my Brompton (also British designed – and built too; unlike Blaze which is assembled in China).
Alas, this is when a minor issue arose: the diameter of the Brompton’s handlebar is so small that the Blaze laserlight’s bracket does not fit snugly; the light wobbles around a little bit. The net result is that the bicycle laser light symbol that is projected sometimes goes quite fuzzy in appearance if you are cycling over less than smooth roads; which by chance my newly repaved road was (sure the Council’s repaving filled some of the potholes but boy! is the surface noisy and rough).
Thankfully, I had no incident with people driving cars out of side-streets when I took my Blaze equipped Brompton out for a short spin last night. I did note that people who overtook me did not cut back in until after they had cleared the green bicycle laserlight logo.
GAZE INTO MY LIGHT
Riding along, I found myself gazing at the projected bicycle symbol a lot. Maybe it was fascination with this new thing; maybe not – it certainly is eye-catching, and unlike for people (and dogs) that I pass, the logo is always there, about 3 metres in front.
The light is recharged with a special USB connector: one end goes into your computer’s USB port or a into transformer plug (not supplied) and the other end attaches magnetically (and lights up!) to the Blaze laserlight. Don’t loose the cable! Note to self: purchase a spare.
The Blaze laserlight can now be pre-ordered for £125 at their website HERE.
Now, come with me, won’t you as I test the laserlight firstly as a cat toy (obligatory, but my cat seemed more interested in being fed than chasing a bicycle logo) and then as I ride around Whitchurch, Hampshire for a bit: First cycle ride with the Blaze laserlight.
An update from the makers of the Blaze laserlight on 11th February 2014 said in part,
To prevent any future problems, we’ll be sending our an improved set of bolts to all of you. We’ll also include an improved top coupling that will reduce the movement of the light in is bracket socket. This should lessen the play in the bracket coupling that some of you noticed. … And for all of the folding bike riders with thin handlebars, we’re sending out thicker rubber inserts to you all.
That’s great news indeed!