RSS

Tag Archives: light

Axiom Ultra Spark LED Headlight

Editor’s Note: Most of us in the United States are enjoying a day off from work as we celebrate Independence Day. I decided to take the day off as well and am happy to provide you with an excellent product review from triathlete and fellow-blogger David Clancy. I am a frequent visitor to his blog, College Tri, and hope you can visit it as well.

All fifty states require that cyclists have at least a headlight and a rear reflector on their bike (please note—this is the minimum, there are states that require more). And quite honestly, common sense says that as a cyclist at night, it is very important to be seen by drivers! Many car-bike accidents happen in the evening and the chances of fatality sky-rocket at night. In fact, according to the City of New York’s website, while most riding occurs during the day, 45% of bike fatalities occur at night! Although you may not live in New York (I sure don’t), chances are the statistics tell a similar story in your area. Lights are essential to nighttime riding and your options are many and varied.

Performance Bicycle LED Headlight

Tool free, extremely quick mounting!

LED technology continues to evolve and the result is lights with good power that are lightweight and affordable. I don’t do much night riding at all because, in general, I don’t need to. But I knew that I needed a good light for instances where I’d be out during the evening or even early in the morning. So, at Performance Bicycle I found the Axiom Ultra Spark LED Headlight. The light is a 5 LED USB rechargeable headlight. It has 4 modes: low, high, strobe, and flashing. The highest setting is 70 lumens. The battery life is decent with 3 hours (high), 6 hours (low), and 8.5 hours (flash and strobe) run time.

This light, in my opinion, falls under the safety light category. Don’t expect to take this light on the trails or lengths of poorly lit well. This light is made for you to be seen but it still does a pretty decent job for lighting your path. This is a lightweight, extremely compact light that is very easy to take on and off of your bike. If you are a roadie who rides at night occasionally on fairly well-lit roads, this is a great choice for you. Heck if you are one of those weight weenies, check this stat out… This light weighs 36 grams! That’s right, this light is light! Even if you’re worried about aerodynamics, this light can easily fit into a wedge saddlebag or your jersey pocket when you aren’t using it.

Performance Bicycle Axiom Ultra Spark Headlight

Mounting system in action… Incredibly efficient!

One thing that is great on this light is the side visibility. The way the light is designed it really shines to the sides so you are visible from all angles, not just head-on! I must point out something though. If you do a lot of night riding, you should really consider splurging on a high power headlight that is more useful. This is not a product I’d recommend for every night use or trail riding! This is a safety light which gives a decent beam for when you need it.

The Ultra Spark has a list price of $49.99 at Performance Bicycle (don’t bother shopping around, Axiom is a house brand of Performance) but I’ve never seen it being sold for more than $40.00. This light can fit into any budget because, let’s be honest, your life is worth it. This is a safety light and a great value at that. There are a lot of competitors in the safety light world including some names like the Blackburn Flea, but in my opinion, the Ultra Spark has to be one of the best values on the market. Ease of use, battery life, visibility, and size make this a great light for a roadie who rides in the evening on occasion!

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Topeak AlienLux Tail Light (One Cool Light)

When I ride on busy roads at night I always attach two of the brightest tail lights I own to the back of my bike. However, bright tail lights are not necessarily needed on off-road trails—you just need a tail light bright enough to keep other cyclists from running into you. If you are looking for a good tail light with a unique design then you need to get a Topeak AlienLux Tail Light.

Topeak AlienLux Bicycle Tail Light

Topeak AlienLux Tail Light

The Topeak AlienLux Tail Light is not the brightest light on the market, but what it lacks in lumens in makes up for in coolness. This alien shaped light has two red LED’s and is powered by a pair of CR2032 batteries (included with purchase). The lamp housing is made of engineering grade plastic and is water-resistant. There are only two functional modes on this light: Constant or Blinking. Topeak claims that in the blinking mode the batteries will last for 100 hours, or for 60 hours when the light is constantly on.

This light comes with a small Velcro strap so you can attach it to a seatpost or you can easily slip it onto most seat bags. The AlienLux is only two inches tall and weighs less than an ounce. If you look at the photo above you will see that the light comes through the entire body of the AlienLux, not just through the eyes. To turn the light off or on you just press on the alien’s forehead. Did I mention how cool this light is?

The Topeak AlienLux Tail Light comes in six different colors (Red, Green, Black, Pink, White, and Yellow). The AlienLux retails for $14 and even if you never use it at night it will add a bit of class to any bike (unless you are one of those cyclists who take themselves way too seriously).

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Eye Beam Front Lighting System

In my final post for 2011 I listed the Fire Eye 2.0 Helmet Light from Illuminated Cycling as one of the five best cycling products for 2011. The folks at Illuminated Cycling have recently enhanced their product line with the addition of the Eye Beam front light system. While there is no shortage of good headlights for cyclists already on the market, the Eye Beam has several nice features that make it worth considering. Erik Shaffer, president of Illuminated Cycling, was kind enough to loan me an Eye Beam headlight for a few weeks so I could review it and I really don’t want to send it back!

Illuminated Cycling's Eye Beam Front Lighting System

Eye Beam Front Lighting System from Illuminated Cycling

The Eye Beam is a lightweight 400 lumen headlight that offers a five-hour battery life while on high beam. Thanks to the carbon fiber and aluminum construction this unit only weighs 4.1 ounces and there is no external battery pack so you don’t have to route cables or have a battery pack hanging on your bike frame. This unit uses an LED that provides a 6500K light (a pure, white light). The housing on the Eye Beam is sealed so it is completely waterproof. With just one push-button switch on the back of the housing this light is extremely easy to use. The body of this headlight is six inches long and just one inch in diameter.

The Eye Beam has five operating modes (High, Medium, Low, Strobe and Slow Flash) and it always remembers the last mode you used. With a five-hour battery life I imagine most people will use this light in the high beam setting. However, most of the time when I used it I had it in the strobe mode since most of my “daylight” rides were on days with either heavy cloud cover or fog. The strobe mode is awesome and on days with low visibility it could easily save your life (it really helps keep cars from pulling out in front of you).

Illuminated Cycling Eye Beam on a bike handlebar

The Eye Beam mounted on the handlebars of a mountain bike

On the side of the Eye Beam you will find a Mini-USB port so you can charge the battery by connecting the light to a computer USB port or plug it into the wall with the included adapter.

While every other headlight I own is designed to sit on top of your handlebars, the Eye Beam is intended to mount under the handlebar. I don’t know why someone hasn’t thought of this before! When a headlight is mounted on top of the handlebar it is prone to tilt, but since the weight of the Eye Beam is hanging below the handlebar I found it to be very stable.

At the time of purchase Illuminated Cycling offers you the choice of four different lenses (Narrow, Medium, Wide, or Elliptical) for the headlight. You can see their Website for the way different lenses impact the light pattern. This choice of a lens is especially important if you are going to be wearing a helmet mounted light as well. While riding at night I prefer to have a wide light pattern on my handlebar light and a narrow light (spot light) on my helmet. Unlike many other lighting systems, the Eye Beam uses lenses, not reflectors, to shape the light beam and this provides a very pure light that is free of optical impurities.

The Eye Beam front lighting system is hand-built in the USA and is available from the Illuminated Cycling Website for $135. Illuminated Cycling is an American company and their lights are designed and manufactured in the United States.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Planet Bike Superflash Tail Light

I love cycling at night, but I also like living, so when I ride at night or in the rain I always have a Planet Bike Superflash Tail Light on my bike. This tail light can run up to 100 hours on just two AAA batteries and the half-watt LED light can be seen from up to a mile away.

Planet Bike Superflash Tail Light For Bicycles

Planet Bike Superflash Tail Light

The Superflash has a steady mode (light on all the time) and a unique flashing pattern that really helps motorists see you (this is the mode I always use). Last fall I went for a long off-road ride at night but I forgot my water bottles, so I phoned my wife and asked her to bring them to me at a park I was going to pass through later. My wife said that when she turned down the road going to the park she saw my flashing lights from over 3/4 a mile away and thought it was a police car in front of her! I now own four of Superflash tail lights (one for each of my bikes).

From personal experience I can tell you that you should never look directly into this tail light (you will be seeing red spots for at least 15 minutes). Considering how bright the Superflash is it is an incredibly compact unit, measuring only 2.75 inches tall, 1.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep.

You can mount the Superflash on your seat post with the included mounting bracket or clip it on your seat bag. Over the past ten years I’ve probably lost a dozen tail lights (from several manufacturers) when they fell off my seat bag after hitting a bump. Though I’ve not had this problem with the Superflash I now secure my tail lights to the seat bag with a simple cable tie (see the photo above). Cable ties are really cheap and you can cut the cable anytime to remove the light (I use cable ties for all sorts of things on my bikes). Planet Bike claims this tail light is weatherproof. I’ve used the Superflash in both rain and snow storms and in temperatures down to zero without any problem. As you probably know, the battery life of any light will be considerably shorter when the temperature drops below freezing.

The Planet Bike Superflash has a retail price of $30, but you can find in on Amazon.com for around $25. I believe this is a very fair price for a quality tail light. You could buy a cheap tail light for about half the price, but it is truly a case of getting what you pay for. If you choose to take the cheap route please remember to always carry your driver’s license and an organ donor card (the driver’s license is needed to help the police identify the body).

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

JetLites A-51 Bicycle Headlight

Have you ever purchased an item for your bike and after a few months wondered, “Why doesn’t everyone have one of these?” That is exactly how I feel about the A-51 LED Headlight from JetLites. I purchased my A-51 late last September when it first came out and I have not regretted it one bit!

JetLite A-51 LED Bicycle Light

JetLite A-51 LED Bicycle Light

This LED bicycle headlight puts out 720 lumens of beautiful light and runs for over three hours on a full charge. The JetLite Website only claims a three-hour battery life, but I have been about to get three and a half hours out of it on when running on maximum brightness. You can also run the light in low mode and should get five and a half hours of light from it, or get twelve hours in the strobe mode. The connector between the battery and the headlight is threaded and waterproof. I carry the 9 ounce Li-Ion battery in my jersey pocket.

The “smart charger” for the A-51 LED Headlight is the best I have ever seen. Once you plug-in the 7.4 volt Lithium Ion battery into the charger it quickly determines how much of a charge it needs and once the battery reaches full the charger goes to sleep. The charger also wakes up every twelve hours to keep your battery topped off.

You can buy the A-51 LED Headlight with either a helmet mount or a bar mount. I chose the helmet mount since I like to have my brightest light on my helmet and a secondary light on the handlebars. The first time I rode an off-road trail with this light I noticed that some bikes ahead of me were pulling off to the side of the trail when I got close—they thought I was a car or motorcycle. When I caught up with them everyone wanted to know where I purchased the light!

You will probably never see a JetLite product in your local bicycle shop. You are going to have to either visit the JetLite Website and buy one online or find one of their few certified dealers to buy one of their lights. I bought mine online for $249, but I noticed on their Web site the price for the light, charger and helmet mount is now only $229.00 (folks, this is a steal).

This light comes with a one year warranty and it is made in the USA. If you ride at night you really need one of these lights!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

CygoLite ExpiliOn 250 LED Bike Light

Riding off-road trails at night is a blast! I started night-riding several years when the Chicago area was experiencing an unusually hot summer and riding after sundown seemed like the only way I was going to get my miles without suffering heat stroke.

During my first few years of riding at night I purchased several underpowered headlights and I never really felt safe because I was outrunning my light, i.e., my headlights did not throw a beam of light far enough down the trail for me to safely ride at the speed I was traveling. It was like driving your car at 90 MPH down a foggy country road using only your parking lights. That all changed last summer when I purchased a CygoLite ExpiliON 250.

CygoLite ExpiliOn 250

The ExpiliOn 250 is one-piece compact unit that throws out 250 lumens of intense LED light and fits on either your handlebar or helmet (it comes with mounts for both). Since it weights a mere 130 grams you will probably never even notice it if you wear it on your helmet. Using the high beam I was able to get nearly three and a half hours of light out of it (CygoLite only claims a 3 hour battery life). It is powered by a quick release Li-Ion battery and it recharges in about 5 hours. How good is it? After my first ride with an ExpiliOn 250 on my helmet I ordered a second one for my handlebars!

This light has six different settings (High, Mid, Low, Daylight Flashing, Walking and SOS). The flash setting is very interesting—it sends out a quick pulse of light, pauses, then sends out two more pulses in rapid succession. This flash setting really grabs the attention of oncoming traffic. During the winter months in the Upper Midwest the sun never gets very high in the sky so our few hours of sunlight are accompanied by long shadows, but the sad fact is that most of our days are rather cloudy anyway. Riding with the ExpiliOn 250 in flash mode allowed cars to see me a long way off. I was having cars stop me at least once or twice a week to thank me for using the light. Some motorists claimed they saw me over mile away which gave them plenty of time to avoid a head-on collision.

Now the best part: I’ve had to call CygoLite’s customer service twice and I have been extremely happy with them. My first ExpiliOn 250 had a small problem (it was probably my fault) and when I called customer service they insisted that I return the unit for a new one—no questions asked. The guy on the phone made an interesting comment. He said, “We are really trying to protect the CygoLite name and we can’t afford to have dissatisfied customers.” WOW! It is wonderful to deal with a company that is trying to build a reputation instead of resting on one.

The CygoLite ExpiliOn 250 has a list price of $140.00, but I was able to buy mine for around $110.00 from Amazon.com.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
FreeBibleimages

The Word in Pictures

G2G Fit

"Fitness that adapts stays with you."

Bird and Bicycle

I make. What do you do?

Islam Exposed Online

The Truth About Islam

Tour Divide - Tim & Dave

Helping Break The Cycle of Poverty on 2 Wheels

Mission for Fit

A newlywed fighting fat life forever.

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

Food for Thought

I sometimes struggle with keeping myself accountable to my nutrition and fitness goals, so I thought if the world is following me then I will be more successful.

SmirkPretty

Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

The Running Thriver

If I can do it, so can you!

BikeHikeSafari

A cycling and hiking journey through the most amazing places on the planet

tiny-trail-mermaid

-like a fish out of water, one must learn to adapt, throw on some trail-runners and run free.

...Faster than Last

“Bones heal, pain is temporary, and chicks dig scars...”

theskinnybitches

2 gymphobes attempt to get fit. Lol.

FitVal

Fitness with a dash of Fun

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

An Amateur Outside

if my ancestors could chase antelope until they died of exhaustion, so can i

Native Nourishment

Nourish your body

fatbeardedandtattooedcyclist's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

Memoirs of the Extraterrestrial Psycho-Cyclist Space Pussies

Official site of Alex Stamas & Tyler Noseworthy's cycling tour from Massachusetts to Key West to San Diego

Cycling My Way

Mike clark - Bristol South C.C

Jenna L. Sexton, PhD

Writer, researcher, perpetual student...

The Limber Lawyer

Because flexibility is power.

" The Obstacle Is The Path "

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

Cyclerist

Cycling and stuff

Motivation Not Deprivation

Motivation the "Forever" weight loss solution

Long Distance Cycling Cleveland

We host a series of long distance preparation rides each weekend from February - June in the Cleveland, Ohio area

bwthoughts

copyright 2013 - no reuse without permission ( see bwfiction.wordpress.com for fiction and fantasy )

The Sweat Angel

Sweat. Smile. Repeat.

Real Food Rosie

Loving & Nourishing my Body with Real, Whole Foods

My Wifely Adventures

Living for Christ, learning to be a wife, and enjoying the journey.

Emma's Diary

my fab little WordPress.com site!

Inspiring Stories of My Healthy Lifestyle Change

Promoting Change one step at a time.

Jasmine's Vision: Seeing Pain Through New Eyes

A 30-year journey to the right diagnosis

Purely Nutritious

Let Food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food

Kerrie Is Running

Hi, I'm Kerrie, I'm training to run, every mile counts!

Naturally Fit...& Well

Strengthen body......mind......spirit

PrimalCotton

Taking Life Back to the Basics

spokengear

All things about bicycles and bicycle commuting.

Unchained Iceland

• A FATBIKE ADVENTURE •

THE SKY RUNNER

Fitness. Food. Finance.

Ari rides her bike

Love at first pedal

foodbod

healthy tasty food that I love to make and eat and share

Did cavewomen wear heels?

A city girl struggling to live as her ancestors did. Adopting the Paleo lifestyle. Join the laughter, love and tears. Weight Loss. Cooking disasters. Crimes against fashion. Delicious recipes. Sarcastic remarks. Shoes. TTC. First world problems. Shift work. What more could you want from a blog?

Molly's Journey to the West

A Filmmaker, Writer, and Outdoor Enthusiast Experiencing the World

runnershealth

A site about science, running and health.

Lauren Lost Weight

A new town, a new school, a new me.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,159 other followers

%d bloggers like this: