Tag Archives: Bike lights

Being visible is paramount to staying safe while riding and there are many different types of lights available to help with that pursuit. But, the king of them all is the Dynamo light.

A Dynamo light is an upgrade you should consider for this spring!

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Being visible is paramount to staying safe while riding and there are many different types of lights available to help with that pursuit. But, the king of them all is the Dynamo light. Dynamo lights use a bicycle mounted generator for power, staying lit while riding at night and low visibility times of the day. Read on to learn how Dynamo systems work and why they are so dependable.

Dynamo Light: Where Does The Power Come From

With no battery, you generate power with your motion. For a Dynamo light to work, you need to attach a generator to your bicycle. Generators are rated for either 3.0 watts to power both a headlight and tail light, or 2.4 watts to power just a headlight.

Generator types

The two main generator types are hub type and bottle type. The hub type is built into a front wheel and generates power as the front wheel spins. Bottle type generators mount onto a bikes frame or fork. Bottle generators have a small wheel that rests against the tire and generates electricity as the tire spins the wheel. Typically, the hub type generators have lower resistance than the bottle type and won’t wear out a tire as quickly. Bottle type generators are typically less expensive and can also be installed on your bike without rebuilding or replacing the front wheel. Another benefit of bottle type generators is that they can be disengaged during daylight hours so you can ride resistance free. That being said, as hub generators become more efficient and less expensive, the bottle generators are becoming less common.

Hub generator from Shimano and wheel generator from Busch + Müller (photo Courtesy of Busch + Müller)

Front Light types

Of all the light types on the market, high output LED headlights rule the roost. These HLED lights use very little power to deliver a ton of light. While we are talking about light, most headlight’s power are measured in LUX. The differences in power can be seen below. In addition to light while riding, most headlights have a capacitor to store power and allow the light to shine for a small period while the bike is stopped.

dynamo light

This is the same section of road under 20, 50, and 100 LUX lights

dynamo light

A few headlight options from Supernova and Busch + Müller

Rear light types

Rear lights use LEDs and blink while you ride. They can be mounted to the bicycle’s chainstay, seat post, or fender. These rear lights are typically wired from the front light, across the bike, and to the rear light. While it’s easy to run wiring through a bike built to accommodate them, it is difficult to cleanly run wiring on bikes not made for them.

Benefits

Lighting in general is one of the most important aspects of safety on the bike. While you don’t need a dynamo lighting system to be safe, they do offer some advantages over battery powered lights. First benefit is you can jump on your bike and go because you never need to charge a dynamo light like you do a battery system. Also, dynamo systems can be upgraded to charge products via a USB port. Finally, Dynamo lighting systems enjoy the feature of being extremely durable.

if you enjoy our articles, please sign up as a HaveFunBiking member to receive exclusive articles in our weekly E-Mag.

 

No matter your level of bicycle riding skills, bike lights are essential to make sure you have a safe ride, day or night. Bike lights aren't only needed when the sun goes down.

Bike lights will help to keep you safe day and night!

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

No matter your level of bicycle riding skills, bike lights are essential to make sure you have a safe ride, day or night. Lights aren’t only needed when the sun goes down. In fact, lights are super helpful when riding in conditions where traffic may be present or their is limited visibility. That’s where proper lighting comes in. Plus many states, like Minnesota require you to have lights on your bike. The two types of bike lights on the market are lights that allow you to see and lights that allow others to see you.

Bike lights that Help You See

Lights that help you see are usually high output LEDs that cast a focused beam of light in front of you. These lights start at 600 lumens and increase in output from there. Their size and run time depend on the battery. As an example, rechargeable and battery-operated lights are usually larger, while lights run by a generator are smaller.

So, how do you know which one is best for you? It all depends on how often you plan on using it. The battery-operated kind work well as backups in the rare chance you get caught in the dark. The rechargeable kind are best if you plan to use them on a regular basis, and want to save on the cost of buying batteries. If you ride long periods of time in the dark, then it’s hard to beat a generator-powered light. Any of these lights will be great for unlit roads, trails, or paths.

When you look to buy a light, they are all compared by the lumens they produce. What’s a lumen, you ask? Well, lumens are the most popular description of brightness. In the past, lights were measured by the amount of energy they consumed (watts), but with the creation of LEDs that get more light output with less power consumption, measuring brightness with watts has become impossible. Simple rule, more lumens equal brighter light. As a comparison, the iPhone flashlight is less than 10 lumens.

Bike lights to Help People See You

The lights designed to be seen use an LED to flash intermittently when turned on. surprisingly they can be as small as a few coins stacked on top of one another, and have run times in the hundreds of hours. Additionally, they are usually easy to move from bike to bike if needed and are great for city streets and well-lit paths. Some riders are now finding added security in running these lights during the daytime.

Reflectivity

Another great way to ride safe in the dark is to use reflective products. Thanks to advancements in reflective technology you can find clothing that is completely reflective, looks like normal fabric, and glows when hit by light. There are reflective stickers you can adhere to your bike, and reflective bags you can mount behind the saddle or on your handlebars.

How to be Seen

Visibility is about safety so it’s best to use a belt and suspenders approach. A headlight will allow you to see and be seen from the front. Match that with a reflective jersey and you become visible from the sides as well. Mount a rear blinker and you become visible from 360 degrees.

sign up for our free, weekly, E-Magazine for more great content!

Rotllicht "red light" off the bike is great for visibility.

Rotlicht: Out of the box review for a one of a kind rear blinker

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

Along with Lupine’s SL-A7 we received a smaller package containing the Rotlicht (German for “red light”). While on the exterior it looks t be a normal red blinking light, this little package houses big features. With the brightness of 160 lumens (higher than some front lights) and an internal rechargeable battery, this light might just be the best rear blinker ever made. Read on to see what else is hiding inside.

Unique blinker light features

One thing this light does that is totally unique, it gets brighter when you stop. Thanks to an accelerometer inside, the Rotlicht can sense when you are slowing and increase its output. Additionally, you can preset one of 20 different output settings (4 blink modes with 5 brightness levels).

Construction

As far a blinking lights go, this light is in a class by itself. Most lights are injection molded plastic, with poorly fitted o-rings designed to keep everything water resistant. How the Rotlicht differs is its CNC aluminum case. The lens and electronics are bolted into place and all the seals are snug and sure to be waterproof (although their site doesn’t give specifics as to how waterproof it is?). Also, the USB charging port is located on the back of the light, well protected from the elements, it uses a custom rubber plug to keep it dry.

How it fits

One of the best parts of the Rotlicht is how secure it mounts. The aluminum case acts as a great foundation for the lights long rubber pads. Those pads keep the light nearly immovable when mounted with the included rubber strap. I have ridden this light for a few weeks without it slipping down or twisting on the seatpost.

Moving forward

Like any product tested here in Minnesota, I am really excited to see how it handles the cold and wet winter ahead. So far the Rotlicht has shown remarkable promise even after being subjected to a cold, wet, salty ride. Stay tuned for a complete review.

Sealskinz' has evolved their product line to include the Halo Bike Glove.See what makes these gloves interesting for winter rides.

Out of the box first impression of Sealskinz’ Halo Glove for winter rides

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

In a previous article, I talked at length about the Sealskinz’ new Super Light Pro Sock. While Sealskinz as a company began with socks, they have evolved their product line to include headwear and gloves for winter rides. One of the products that piqued my interest was the Halo glove. It drew my attention because it is a waterproof, winter glove with an active blinker system built in. Read on to see what makes these gloves interesting and some of my initial thoughts.

The Halo Glove for winter rides

Even though Sealskinz made a name for themselves with socks, they didn’t allow themselves to get caught on their heels (HEELS! Get it!). Sealskinz is committed to keeping all your extremities warm and dry. That mission is the inspiration behind the Sealskinz gloves we will be reviewing for winter rides. My first review will be on the Halo glove, a unique waterproof glove with powerful LED lights built into the back of the hand.

Halo Glove

Waterproof doesn’t stop at the product for Sealskinz. Even the packaging that holds your glove is considered. Rather than punching holes in the glove to mount it to a backer card like most brands, Sealskinz sews loops into the glove to ensure it never gets damaged.

The Halo bike glove is an $80 investment full of many features. It is constructed with a synthetic suede palm, incorporating gel pads for greater comfort on winter rides. The outer shell is completely waterproof, and the glove is machine washable. Additionally, the liner uses an anti-slip material that won’t pull out of the glove when you remove them. Finally, the cuff closes with soft Velcro straps that are large enough to be manipulated with a gloved hand.

Bicycling Glove Features

One thing that is unique to cycling gloves is the way they insulate. Most cycling gloves are windproof, waterproof, and have minimal insulation. I can hear you asking already “minimal insulation?”, yes minimal. Cycling gloves rely on you to generate heat by exercising on winter rides. Under those circumstances, the glove holds the heat you create, keeping you warm. By being water/windproof and relatively thin, cycling gloves offer better dexterity than a normal winter glove.

First Impressions

Immediately upon putting the gloves on, I was impressed. The liner is soft and warm to the touch, and the glove fit was great. All the fingers articulate well without any pulling of material folding uncomfortably. Additionally, the lights activate easily and are really bright.

 

The first time I rode with the Halo bike glove the temperature was just below freezing and rainy. Luckly, it wasn’t a real downpour and more of just a misting, but it was wet none the less. My forty minute commute ended with all my fingers being warm and toasty. Since that day I have ridden down to about 20 degrees and the gloves never left me wanting in the warmth department. My commuter bike has a flat handlebar, so when the Halo’s lights are activated, they shine forward giving me more visibility to oncoming traffic. In the case of a drop handlebar, the Halo glove will shine to your sides.

halo glove

The Halo’s lights are really bright, and really lightweight.

Moving Forward

I hope to push these gloves as far into the cold as I can handle. Once I reach the Halo’s limits, I get to switch to Sealskinz Highland Claw Glove for the colder temps. Overall, I am really excited to see what the life of the lights on the Halo glove is and if they can survive the cold and moisture of Minnesota’s winter. Stay tuned for more info.

Reflectors are forms of passive visibility, while lights are great for active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Finding Visibility for Safety and Fun in Fall’s Limited Light

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

With schools now in full swing, Halloween on every child’s mind, trees dropping their leaves and the days getting shorter we need to begin considering visibility while riding our bikes. The main forms of visibility we focus on are passive and active visibility. Things like reflectors and bright colors are forms of passive visibility, while lights and blinkers are great examples of an active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Passive visibility

Most autumn rides start in the light, and only devolve into darkness as the ride stretches on. In these cases, most riders rely on passive visibility to get them home. Provided that your ride is under street lamps or some form of light, that passive visibility will get you home safely. The most common form of passive visibility is the lowly reflector. These plastic devices are required by the CPSC to be installed on all bicycles sold in the united states. You will find reflectors come in two colors, white (front and wheels) and Red (rear). Additionally, many apparel companies install reflective materials onto their products. Like the reflector on your bike, these reflective materials will take any light thrown at you, and return it back to the source of the light. Where passive reflectivity falls short, is when there is no light source to activate the visibility.

This jacket offers excellent visibility through color and reflective materials.

Sealsinz makes some cool winter gloves that are both visible and insulated

Active visibility

When the area is devoid of a light source, as a rider, you need to create that light to keep yourself safe. For cyclists, Lights and blinkers are the most common devices for light. Where the light and the blinker differ is that blinkers are designed to be seen while lights allow a rider to both see and be seen.

Great lights are usually rechargeable and use an LED bulb. For riders who spend a lot of time off-road or on unlit paths, these lights are a necessity. While most mount onto the bars or helmet, there are a few companies who integrate lights into the bike or your helmet.

MagicShine Bike Helmet and remote (inset)

MagicShine Bike Helmet and remote (inset)

 

Blinkers are usually battery operated and use an LED to flash intermittently. These blinkers can easily be mounted to your bicycle. In some cases, blinkers are incorporated into helmets, gloves, shoes, saddles and handlebars.

The Omni Bike Helmet, with photo receptor covered and lights on.

The Omni Bike Helmet, with photo receptor covered and lights on.

What to use this Fall

For the fall season, mount a pair of blinkers to the bike (one front an one back). When you get stuck in low light and high traffic, simply switch on the blinkers. If your route is going to be unlit for any portion, a front light makes things safer. Overall, just think ahead before your next ride and pack to insure you can see and others can see you.

 

Visibility is key to safe bike ride as the days become shorter.

Bike Pic Oct 3, visibility is key to a safe ride as the days become shorter

As the days become shorter and damp weather is part of the norm, while riding your bike here in the upper Midwest, visibility is key. So take a tip from our motorcycle friends, along with bright clothing and gear to stay visible and noticed in traffic, always ride with lights front and back. Here are some more helpful tips from AAA Auto Club for a safe ride on your #nextbikeadventure.

For fun, remember to mark calendar for the Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival,, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Lebanon Hills Park, in Eagan. Its where both beginner and experienced riders will get a chance to ride some of the best mountain bike trails in the Minnesota. So come out and celebrate the great sport of mountain biking in a safe, fun and festive atmosphere.

View more the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Visibility is Key’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

Reflectors are forms of passive visibility, while lights are great for active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Top 5 Tips For An Immensely Rewarding Fall Bike Ride

by Jess Leong, HaveFunBiking.com

Bike riding in fall can come with many challenges. However, it can also be immensely rewarding. While bicycle season is winding down for some, for many other cyclists their two wheels are a favorite mode of transportation to explore the great autumn landscape. Pedaling along the colorful autumn roads or trails is so breathtaking that I will admit that fall bike riding is one of my favorite times to ride. Not too hot, not too cold, and there are less insects once the first frost hits.

If you’re planning to ride around this fall, check out these top tips before heading out.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 1: Layer It Up

For fall bike riding layering your clothing is key.

For fall bike riding layering your clothing is key.

The temperature fluctuation can be really confusing when you want to get dressed and go biking. The morning can look like 47 or 48 degrees Fahrenheit, but by the afternoon it could be in the lower to mid 70s! The best way to combat this is by wearing multiple layers that you can easily remove and put back on to find your perfect temperature. When layering a good rule of thumb is to make sure that whatever you decide to put on last, it will b the first thing that you’d want to take off!

Pro Tip: Start off while still slightly chilly. As you ride, you’ll warm up and that chilliness will go away. However, bring an extra layer incase you stop along the way! You want to stay warm when you’re not riding.

Not sure what to do for layering? Check out our article about how to layer, why it’s beneficial, and what to wear.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 2: Beware of Wet Leaf Piles

The falling leaves are gorgeous, and leaf piles can be a lot of fun. However, a wet, crunchy leaf pile an be a hazard when riding your bike through it. Not only can water splash upwards onto your bike and legs, but the bike tires can slip on the leaves. When leaves are wet, they become slick or slippery. With a normal bike tire being thinner, it has less surface area for surface tension. If a leaf gives away, or get stuck onto the tire, a bike can slip out from under you.

Luckily, if you have a fat bike, this is less of a problem. The larger tires adds more traction to the surface and, therefore, is less likely to slip. Even with the lesser likelihood of slipping, caution should still be used.

Also, wet leaf piles can conceal a number of different items. This can include nails, glass, or other objects that can puncture you tires. No one wants a flat while out riding. Sometimes you can’t avoid riding through the piles, but if you can, ride around the leaves.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 3: Stay Visible

For fall bike riding high visible clothing and saddle bag gear are easier for motorists to see.

For fall bike riding high visible clothing and saddle bag gear are easier for motorists to see.

Dusk is coming earlier and earlier as the season continues on. This means that the evening is intruding on some great riding opportunities in the daylight. While some daylight will be saved temporarily when we fall backwards an hour on November 6th this year, the time change can still negatively affect cyclists.

When times change it affects a person’s sleeping routine leading to a lack of sleep. This sleep deprivation makes people less attentive while driving. While November 6th is a Sunday this year you would think that people will most likely sleep in and therefore decrease the number of accidents. However, cyclists and other pedestrians should be aware and be extra cautious that day, and the day following. Why? Because people need time to adjust to the time change. It has been found that there is a significant increase of fatal accidents following the changes in daylight savings time when it occurs on a Sunday or Monday – according to a study done in Sleep Medicine and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

This means that staying visible is even more important than usual. This isn’t limited to just the morning, but throughout the day whether on the road or trails.

You can do this in a couple of ways depending what you are comfortable with doing. Plus, the more you do, the more you increase your visibility.

Wear Light or Neon Colored Clothing

Wearing bright colors will make you stand out. If someone doesn’t see you to begin with, the color will catch their attention and they will find it easier to keep tabs on where you are. On the other hand, wearing dark colors isn’t recommended. Dark colors can blend into the dark and reduce your visibility. Natural colors can also blend you into the background or sidelines making you less visible.

Wear Reflective Clothing

When cycling in the early morning before there’s much daylight, or in the evening, reflective clothing is a must. This way, when the headlights on a car shine on you, you’re immediately recognized.

Add Lights to Your Bike

For fall bike riding add bike light front and back to be more noticeable.

For fall bike riding add bike light front and back to be more noticeable.

Did you know it’s a law to have lights on your bike? It’s something you have to do, but you should also do it because you’re interested in staying safe.

It’s important to note that lights aren’t required for daytime riding. However, since we never know when it might get dark out and we can’t plan for all those times when we end up riding late at night, it’s important to have a light handy. If it’s already attached to your bike, then it’s something you don’t have to worry about!

Unfortunately, there are no excuses if you get pulled over by a police officer for riding in dark conditions without one. Every state might have slightly different laws regarding bike lights (with many similarities as well). For bike laws and more about lighting in Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Transportation has a condensed document to review.

Fall Bike Riding Tip  4: Check Your Tire Pressure and Tires

As discussed earlier, leaves can hide different items that can puncture your tire. It’s not always avoidable, so it’s important that you should check your tires occasionally. This shouldn’t be limited to the fall and winter, but should be checked every time before you begin riding. Doing this allows you to catch any problems sooner rather than later.

Another thing to check is tire pressure. While fall isn’t as cold as winter, the cold can still alter the tire pressure. So, it’s best to check to make sure that the tire pressure is perfect before going out for your ride.

Fall Bike Riding Tip 5: The Usual Tools

Remember to bring the usual tools that you would usually bring for your bike adventures! In case anything happens, you want to make sure you have all the materials you need to fix it. To know what these are, check out our article about the tools you should have along for any ride.

With these tips, you’re sure to have a great and safe extended season as you continue to ride your bike through autumn.

Keep safe, have fun, and ride on!

 

Jess Leong is a writer for HaveFunBiking.com

 

New Bike Turn Signals Offer Added Awareness

by Ben CoxworthGizMag

As any dedicated bicycle commuter will tell you, it’s important to let motorists know when and in which direction you’re turning. At night, however, drivers might not always see your hand signals. Using illuminated gloves is one solution, but British startup Cycl is now offering another: LED turn indicators that attach magnetically to the ends of your handlebars. They’re called WingLights, and I recently had the chance to try them out for myself.

Gizmag checks out a set of WingLights magnetic turn indicators (Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

Gizmag checks out a set of WingLights magnetic turn indicators
(Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

First of all, there are indeed other bar-mounted signal lights in existence. What’s different about WingLights is the fact that they can be easily pulled off when not in use, keeping them safe from passing parts-thieves when the bike is parked.

Additionally, users won’t have to bother with the extra inch-and-a-half (38 mm) of bar width that each unit adds, when riding during the day.

Each WingLight consists of a handlebar plug that replaces one of the bike’s existing plugs, and a corresponding waterproof LED module that fits into the end of it (Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

Each WingLight consists of a handlebar plug that replaces one of the bike’s existing plugs, and a corresponding waterproof LED module that fits into the end of it
(Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

The idea behind WingLights is simple.

Each one consists of a handlebar plug that replaces one of the bike’s existing plugs, along with a corresponding waterproof LED module that fits into the end of it. Powerful magnets in both parts keep the two stuck together even when riding over rough roads, yet still allow them to be pulled apart by hand when the bike is left unattended. The two LED modules can then be magnetically stuck together end-to-end, to form one unit that can be tossed into a bag or hung off a pack using an included carabiner.

To activate either WingLight, you just press the rubber power button on its end – no silly Bluetooth smartphone apps, or anything like that. This causes front and rear LEDs in the module to start flashing, which they continue to do for 45 seconds before automatically shutting off. If you want them off before that, you just press the button again.

Each one is powered by two CR2032 coin cell batteries, that should be good for up to 2,000 uses before needing to replaced.

Each WingLights plug equipped with a rubber ring that can be expanded by twisting the plug once it’s been inserted, ensuring a snug fit. (Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

Each WingLights plug equipped with a rubber ring that can be expanded by twisting the plug once it’s been inserted, ensuring a snug fit. (Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

According to the instructions, the plugs will fit in any straight bar with an inside diameter between 17 and 19 mm. They’re each equipped with a rubber ring that can be expanded by twisting the plug once it’s been inserted, ensuring a snug fit. In the case of the 17-mm handlebar on my city bike, however, the steel washer at the end of that ring would not fit inside the bar.

I could just manage to shove the plug in by taking the washer off, although a plastic collar built into the end of my wonky handlebar grip still kept it from sitting flush. So … I mounted the WingLights on my full-suspension mountain bike, instead. I know, it’s not the sort of bike that can really “relate” to turn indicators, but it sufficed for testing purposes.

Once I got riding, the WingLights worked great. They were bright, easy to activate, and the plugs stayed securely in the bar while the LEDs stayed firmly attached to the plugs. In fact, if you pull on one of the lights without holding onto the parked bike, the whole bike will tip sideways with it before that light comes off.

I also appreciated the sturdy aluminum construction of both the plugs and lights. Even when you’re not using using them, the two LED modules are kinda satisfying to hold onto.

The two WingLight LED modules can be magnetically stuck together end-to-end, to form one unit that can then be tossed in a bag or hung off a pack using an included carabiner (Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

The two WingLight LED modules can be magnetically stuck together end-to-end, to form one unit that can then be tossed in a bag or hung off a pack using an included carabiner
(Credit: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag.com)

Should you be interested in buying some WingLights for yourself, they can be ordered from Cycl for US$50 a pair. Just be sure to measure the inside of your handlebar first, and remember to use them along with hand signals, not instead of them.

Product page: WingLights

Bicyclists Can Now Wirelessly Control Their Lights

By Ben Coxworth, GizMag

Headlights, tail lights and even turn indicators certainly make cycling safer, but reaching around to operate all those devices at once could be a bit awkward. That’s why Bontrager has announced its new Transmitr system. It allows multiple lights to be controlled from one handlebar-mounted remote, via the ANT+ wireless protocol.

Along with the remote, the system currently includes the 700-lumen Ion 700 RT headlight and the 65-lumen Flare RT tail light. Both lights are USB-rechargeable, and can be turned on and off plus set to different operating modes via buttons on the remote. They can also be operated directly, using controls on the lights themselves.

Additionally, if two of the tail lights are used side-by-side, the Transmitr system allows them to serve as turn indicators. In fact, a single remote can control up to seven (!) lights, along with displaying their battery status.

The Transmitr Remote is priced at US$70, with the Ion 700 RT headlight going for $160 and the Flare RT tail light for $80

Xeccom Lights Makes Biking After Dark Safer

Russ Lowthian

DSCF4099With Daylight Savings Time a thing of the past, until next spring, having a powerful bicycle headlamp can be a very important safety feature to maximize your cycling activities as the days grow shorter. Recently, here at HaveFunBiking, we were asked to review the Xeccon “Spiker 1210” Bike Light and “Geinea III” rear light. After using both of the lights in both commuting and trail riding scenarios, we found the Spiker 1210 with 1600 lumens, to the dollars invested, to a good buy.  For rear light visibility the new Geinea III also proved worthwhile to checkout.

DSCF4095

The light kit comes with several mounting options so it can easily be mounted to a bike helmet or to the handlebars.

For commuting one of our staff members with a night vision problem found the Spiker 1210’s, with 1600 lumens made all the difference. The light once again, allowed her the confidence to again safely ride after dark. With four steady light modes and four more strobe (Fast/Mid/Low/SOS) settings the Cree XP-G R5 LED lens can easily help alert oncoming motorists, while giving a person a wide beam to light to see the path or lane ahead – and in the high beam mode a riders has the visibility, at night, of a full two-lane width road under normal weather conditions.

The Xeccon 1210 kit comes with several mounting options so the light can be easily mounted to a bike helmet or the handlebars of a bicycle. In all of our tests, we found it was best to use the 1210 as a bar light to project a wide light pattern in front of the bike and use a smaller lumen spot helmet light as a companion, for added visibility. The light kit also comes with a lithium battery.

DSCF4103

Mounting the battery under the seat was one option that worked well

The Li-ion battery that comes with the 1210 is in a well-protected waterproof ‘brick’ casing that is rated at 7800mAh.  At full power, (high beam) it can light up the road or trail for approximately four (4) hours. On the low beam mode setting we found the battery will last up to 12 hours. To monitor the battery level the unit has a built-in color indicator light to show you what percentage of time you have before you need to re-charge.

For mountain biking at night we found the same configuration worked well by mounting the 1210 unit on the handle bars and using a second light mounted to the helmet. This setup made maneuvering the off-road single track trails, at night, equal to riding on a dark cloudy day or near dusk/dawn conditions.  Here is a U-Tube video showing how this light preforms on a single track course at night.

Xeccon’s Geinea III

DSCF4097

This little taillight shine bright or flashes a red beam of over 160 lumens.

This rear light has to be seen to be believed. This little beauty, the Geinea rear light will pump out 160+ real lumens of light, weighs only 23 grams, and is easy to mount and recharge. Housed in a red case this lightweight tail light has evolved to make it user friendly. Any one of the four modes (steady high, steady low, slow strobe and fast strobe) can be used in the day or night for safer visibility. Putting this rear light, side-by-side several other popular rear light models on the market we were very impressed. At night the light beacon shows the silhouette of a rider over 150 yards out and in daylight the strobe mode is eye catching.

The Geinea, has an optical lens reflector built into the aircraft-grade, waterproof aluminum casing and allows a runtime of  a little over an hour on the high-beam or it can last up to over six hours on the flash-mode. With a build-in 80mAh, USB rechargeable battery the Geinea III can be fully recharged in less than 2.5 hours using any number of electronic devices, having USB connections for charging.

Along with bicycle lights, Xeccon also makes lights for underwater diving, Here is their website http://www.cycling-lights.com/spiker_1210_cycling_light.html for more information.

Just an FYI, in the United States, Daylight Saving Time will again resume at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, so a brighter light will come in handy for the next several months.