I read somewhere that statistically you can expect to get a soaking about 9 times a year on average if you cycle to work every day. Sure it rains on more days than that but the chances of it raining hard just at the point you happen to be travelling are relatively low. I thought I’d keep a tally this year to judge the accuracy of that statistic. Well my average for this year is already up. I got a thorough drenching on my very first morning back to the office and I’ve got slightly soggy on two other journeys since. I’ll post again at the end of the year with the final count.
It’s time for us to take a look at another rear light. Here we test the Cateye Rapid 5. This is also known as the TL-LD650 and is the latest of Cateye’s popular tail lights. The light follows on from the sucsessful and immensely popular TL-LD600 and TL-LD610 lights but has updated styling for the 2011 / 2012 season.
Well isn’t that just typical? You wait for years for a well designed compact cordless rechargeable bike light bright enough for pitch-dark country lanes to appear on the market for a reasonable price, and then three turn up all at the same time! Here we look at the Moon X-Power 500, a light that offers very similar features, performance and price as the recently reviewed Lezyne Super Drive and NiteRider MiNewt 600 cordless LED lights.
NiteRider have been around for a little over 20 years. The motivation behind the creation of their first light was to enable the inventor to go surfing at night, and its initial design was targeted at that purpose, but it was soon realised they were equally, if not more appropriate for cycling. A couple of decades on they now produce a wide range of front and rear cycle lights suitable for night time mountain bikers and commuters (but sadly it seems that they’ve dropped the surfing market!). Here, we review the NiteRider MiNewt 600 cordless, the latest and brightest of their range of cordless rechargeable lights.
Until recently, if you wanted a bike light bright enough for riding at a decent speed on completely dark roads there were limited options. You could spend hundreds of pounds on an expensive branded MTB light, or you could buy a cheap Chinese import (e.g. Magicshine). Most of these lights would come with separate battery packs which for the average commuter are often too much of a faff.
Whenever I read about the latest bike lights, I see the main criterion most people use to judge them is the brightness, whether it be the number of lumens, lux, glow-worm-power or whatever unit happens to be used by the particular manufacturer.
Of course brightness is a very important specification but I would urge a little caution before playing the numbers game and simply plumping for the most awesome luminary firepower you can get your mitts on. In particular if your primary cycling habitat is the road or cycle path which you share with other road users I would suggest you really don’t need a light with more than a few hundred lumens and anything brighter could be dangerous and actually illegal if not used sensibly. Continue reading “Is the brightest bike light best for you?”
It’s been a few months since our last bike light review so it’s high time we had another. Several people wrote in and requested reviews of some lights that are less expensive than those featured so far. Not wanting to disappoint, I’ve been putting the Smart Lunar 35 Lux through its paces. The review model is the latest 2011 / 2012 version. Smart is a Taiwanese company founded some 18 years ago and now produce a wide range of good value and therefore very popular lights. The Smart Lunar 35 sits at the top of their range of front lights. Continue reading “Smart Lunar 35 Review”
For the second in my mini-series of cycling trouser reviews, I’ve chosen the Altura Winter Cruiser Unpadded Tights. These are somewhat different to the dhb pace roubaix tights featured in my last review. The material is somewhat thicker and a lot less stretchy. They are a little better in the reflective department with a few reflective splashes and have foot stirrups rather than zips at the ankles. Continue reading “Altura Winter Cruiser Tights Review”
I’ve only ever used bog-standard track suit bottoms for winter cycling over the years. They’ve been O.K but since my current pairs were looking a bit worn and saggy, and the material around the ankles kept getting caught in my chain, I decided to take a look at a few pairs of ‘proper’ cycling trousers to see how they compare. My first challenge was to get over the fact that cycling trousers are called ‘tights’ nowadays. I thought tights were generally only worn by women, or Robin Hood’s merry men, but a quick look at wikipedia set me straight. My wife offered to lend me a pair of her tights but the look really wouldn’t have been good.
Lezyne, best known for their range of high quality bike pumps and tools, recently announced they’re getting into bike lights. From what I’ve seen of their specifications and prices, I think they could well be the ones to watch this season. Continue reading “Lezyne Bike Lights – Ones to watch!”