Lights and action
Even at night, it’s cold and the conditions are not ideal to ride with your mountain bike, there are lights with which you will no longer have excuses not to go out in winter.
Not even that annoying having to carry the battery. To show this we want you to take a look at these compact models. Much more practical than lights with flask and, in some cases, with a power that will surprise you.
With readers like you
So we test the lights, an afternoon any week, on a trip through the mountains of Collserola and the city of Barcelona at our feet. Five bikers, habitual users of lights, habitual of the roads of Collserola at night, explained to us their experiences, the reasons why they go out to roll in the dark and their anecdotes more representative in their nocturnal routes. Our thanks go to Carlos Gómez, Pere Anglada, Josh Figlio, Óscar Ferrer and Manu Letelier; it was a pleasure!
This time of year, winter, is always conducive to make an article in which we show you the best lights on the market. We are aware that many of you-members of the writing of Solo Bike also happens to us-you have no choice but to go cycling at night if you want to keep coming out during the week during these cold months. However, far from talking about conventional lights, this time we wanted to show you a selection with some of the best compact lights you can find in the market via ebicyclelights.com. The reason is that today are already producing lights of this type really powerful, so that they can be used as a single light.
The Times change
Previously, the compact lights, with the battery integrated inside, were only meant to be seen and not to illuminate the road, due to its low power. This function was only within reach of powerful halogen bulbs with independent batteries that, irremediably, must be fixed to the Velcro frame or placed in the pocket of the backpack or the jersey. Today, some manufacturers already offer compact lights up to 1,000 lumens, plenty of power to have excellent visibility on roads, trails and trialeras.
Nevertheless , a handicap of this type of lights is that they do not have fixation for the helmet , strategic place to be able to look at where we do not yet have orientated the handlebar and anticipate tracings, for example.For that reason, there will be those who prefer to carry two lights, one on the hull and another on the handlebars. Anyway, and seeing how some of these compact lights illuminate, the most powerful light can be perfectly that of the handlebar and without needing, besides, having to carry the battery hanging.
This is probably the most important aspect of a light. Of the power will depend the quality of our vision. It is measured in lumens (lm), and the more you have, the more powerful your beam of light. Better and from farther we will see the obstacles.
Beam of light
Depending on the optics used by the light bulb, the illuminated beam or area will vary substantially. We can find a very powerful light, for example, but that illuminates a very specific point, or, on the contrary, with a more open lens, to be able to illuminate a wider area that allows a better anticipation in the curves, for example.
The current lights, even the compact ones we compare in this article, offer up to 2 hours and even 2.5 hours at full capacity. Look at it and value the length of your outings to find the one that best fits your needs. You should know that most self adjust, reducing power as they approach the end of autonomy to keep you from going dark.
It is imperative that lights like these compact fit the handlebar perfectly, with solid clamp systems. Do not move with the vibrations of the bicycle. Check the fixing system and choose the one that convinces you.
Conclusions: Question of likes?
The sense of compact lights according to our experience
With these five models we have become clear that it is now possible to enjoy a night out with compact lights and full visibility guarantees. Obviously, there are still lights with independent battery more powerful than these models of which we are writing, but not much more. Lights like the Legiane MegaDrive, of 1,000 lumens, give light of leftovers to get you through the most complicated places without fear of falling for lack of visibility.Although it does not appear here, another reference manufacturer such as Lupine offers models like the Piko TL MiniMax with 900 lumens, to cite an example, although this light in principle will not be commercialized directly in Spain.
Among the lights tested we find different characteristics that guide each one to a more or less demanding user, who want them for one use or another and, of course, also for all pockets. Obviously, anyone who wants to spend as little money as possible will look at the BlackBurn Scorch, which with 69 euros is the most economic of all. With it you must assume a low power, 140 lumens, enough to run on tracks but not valid to go fast for more complicated areas, It can work very well, however, as a complementary light of another more powerful that we take, for example, in the helmet.
In an intermediate group are models such as the BBB, MSC or Cateye; With the BBB, with an interesting value for money we get a power that already begins to be enough to go out on the mountain and dare almost anything. The Lezyne MegaDrive case is exceptional. Few independent battery lights, of the battery pack, exceed the 1,000 lumens of power, and this does it with just 250 g of weight and a sharpness in its simply sensational lighting.
Alone or accompanied?
Despite its power, do not discard using a frontal next to any of these lights. It is a piece of advice, but our experience tells us that in addition to carrying a light on the handlebar, more or less powerful, it is always important to have a spot of light on the head, to have lighting right wherever we look.
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