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News

Innovative & award-winning bicycle pedal light uses DuPont Engineering Polymers for durability & strength

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 31 May, 2005  (New Product)
Pedalite, designed and manufactured by Pedalite Limited of Kingston-upon-Thames (UK), is a patent-protected, non battery-dependent bicycle pedal light with an integral energy storage system. It incorporates three DuPont engineering polymers for key components, all selected for their ability to withstand harsh use in extreme conditions. Pedalite was a recent recipient of the Consumer Product Design Award 2005 at the Plastics Industry Awards held in London in May. It will also be part of the DuPont exhibit (Hall A2, Stand 42) at ISPO, the international trade fair for sports equipment and fashion, held in Munich, Germany, 3-5 July 2005.
Pedalite, designed and manufactured by Pedalite Limited of Kingston-upon-Thames (UK), is a patent-protected, non battery-dependent bicycle pedal light with an integral energy storage system. It incorporates three DuPont engineering polymers for key components, all selected for their ability to withstand harsh use in extreme conditions. Pedalite was a recent recipient of the Consumer Product Design Award 2005 at the Plastics Industry Awards held in London in May. It will also be part of the DuPont exhibit (Hall A2, Stand 42) at ISPO, the international trade fair for sports equipment and fashion, held in Munich, Germany, 3-5 July 2005.

Officially launched during the UK Bike Show in April 2005, Pedalite was specifically developed to increase cyclist visibility in dark and adverse weather conditions. Unlike other lighting systems currently available, the unit, once fitted to a bicycle, is automatically activated by the action of pedalling. It multiplies spindle rotation using a gearbox and generator to convert rotational energy to electrical energy. This is sufficient to immediately energise the light emitting diodes in each pedal, and charge a storage capacitor. Residual energy provided by the capacitor enables the LEDs to flash for up to 12 minutes, even when the cyclist is stationary or freewheeling.

Pedalite provides 360 degree conspicuity and a unique light signature; it flashes white to the front, red to the rear and amber to the side thus helping motorists to judge a cyclist's distance and speed. Furthermore, trials have shown the LEDs to produce beams of pulsed light that are clearly visible at 1,000 metres. Commenting on the product's development, Richard Hicks, technical director at Pedalite Ltd., adds: 'Like many innovations, Pedalite is based on a very simple concept; the harnessing of energy from a rotating pedal. At just 50, it is an affordable and proactive road safety device that we hope will appeal to bicyclists the world over.'

The company worked closely with design consultancy Product Partners, who helped with the translation of the initial design to final product. Product Partners were also heavily involved in the selection and co-ordination of development partners for the product, including the toolmaker and moulder (ENL Limited), the gearbox manufacturer (Davall Gears Limited) and the polymer distributor (Distrupol Limited). Commenting on material selection for the product, ENL representative Richard Gamble said: 'We have worked with DuPont engineering plastics for many years. We identified the need for Zytel glass-reinforced nylon for the pedal body because of the material's outstanding dimensional stability and impact-resistance. Delrin 100 ST Super Tough acetal resin was selected for Pedalite's internal bearing support and spindle pulley mouldings. Both components are subjected to high loading and Delrin was the obvious choice for this reason.'

The 5:1 ratio Pedalite gearbox, developed to multiply the rotational speed of the generator, utilises two Delrin 100P gears. The gear train was designed by Davall Gears, who specified Delrin 100P for its durability and very low coefficient of friction. As a result, the gears do not require lubrication in use. A further benefit of DuPont resins specific to this application is that they operate over a broad range of temperatures; Pedalite will be sold worldwide, therefore temperature resistance of minus 10 degrees to +40 C is essential for all moulded components.

Pedalites can be purchased from the online shop at www.pedalite.com, and currently retail at 49.99 per pair. Further information on the product can be found at the same web address or by contacting Pedalite Ltd., 12-50 Kingsgate Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey KT2 5AA, United Kingdom, Tel: +44(0)208 547 4020 or email: info@pedalite.com
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