Monday, December 10, 2012

riding at night

It's gonna be a crappy rainy day forcing me to stay inside so I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to waste some time and blog a bit, but not too much time as Melinda left me a rather lengthy "Honey do list" before she left for work this morning.
Last week I decided that enough time had past in my "time off the bike" in order to reduce my lower back pain, that coupled with missing a few Tuesday Night rides and catching some flack about it from a certain bike shop employee for not showing up. I decided to join the guys for a ride which ironically, said bike shop employee did not show up but plenty of fast people did. My plan was to take it slow and easy, that didn't happen as I ended up being one of the slower riders of the evening. The good news was that I was able to hang with the guys and stay mostly pain free.
I've been itching to test out my new LED headlight for a couple of weeks and the weather was too perfect not to ride. How odd is it to ride at night in December in shorts and short sleeves and finish the ride with sweat pouring down your face? Thank goodness for global warming right?
I wrote a short review of my thoughts on my new light on our local forum but since Facebox killed the forum I figured sharing it again here wouldn't be too redundant.
I've written several times before about the various lights I tried out and this newest one I think is probably my favorite of them all. I will admit to you now that I was smitten by the price a couple of years back like so many were but I've also realized you get what you pay for with those lights.
I bought two Magicshine's, one for me and one for Melinda and within a year we got the dreaded recall information on the batteries. Like most we received the new ones and disposed of the old ones in the wrong way, our trash can. The new batteries worked great for about 3 or 4 rides last year but once the night riding season kicked off this fall I found out the hard way that these batteries sucked too and left us in the dark in less that an hour into our ride.
Right then I knew it was time to stop being cheap and start hunting for a new replacement light, one that I could buy local, not online from China.
The light I finally decided on was the Cygolite Expilion 700 and I will say I was VERY impressed.


I ran it at a mix of settings to see how well it performed, 400, 650 & 700 lumens. At 400 I felt comfortable riding at a good pace, at 650 & 700 I could go as fast as I wanted without worry.

Comparing this to the Magicshines the only downside I could find was the cost. I spent a measly $30 over what I paid for my last Magicshine but that doesn't include the shipping cost I paid for the MS.

The pros I found over the MS were the Cygo was smaller, lighter and all in one unit, I hate having a cord running down my back that I have to disconnect in order to take off my helmet. My MS claimed to put out around 800 lumens but obviously my Cygo was as bright or brighter at 700.

Other pros are, I bought this from my local bike shop who will take care of any warranty concerns I have if any arise. Buying a quality LED from a local shop really is a big plus for me. One cool thing I really like about this light is that I can cary a spare battery if I feel the need that is slightly bigger than a regular AA and that I can swap easily on the fly, tool free.

I recently read a review on the newest LED's on the market done my MTBR and they had a nice chart showing the claimed lumens and the actual recorded lumens they found in their test. It was not surprising to see that there were a couple lights in the test that did not actually put out the lumens they advertised. For example the Magicshine MJ-808 claimed to put out 1000 lumens but MTBR recorded only 648. Something else I've heard is that the MS puts out the most lumens per dollar but is that true if your technically only getting half the lumens the company claims?
Sadly Cygolite was not featured in the test but in my own little un-scientific test I think they are very close to the claimed output since they advertise 100 lumens less than my old MS but seem to be brighter on the trail.

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