Full disclosure: This blog has a strict policy of accepting any and all offers of bike-related goodies – or indeed bikes – in exchange for cravenly flattering reviews (this means you, Brompton). However, despite this, nobody has yet sent me so much as a novelty keychain* so this bike light review comes courtesy of a friend who nobly and generously lent me his wife’s.
I’m still very fond of my Knog light which is nifty and shines a pretty good light for something so neat and handy, good enough that I can make out and avoid potholes on the darkest of nights before I crunch into them and, in combination with my other flashy light has been safely getting me home from choir and the pub as long as I ride with care:
But it is not this:
Which is surely visible from space.
The light itself, the snappily named MJ-808 HA-III SSC P7-C (SXO)3-Mode 900-Lumen LED Bike Light Set, which costs how much?!, is nothing like as small and neat as the Knog, with a separate battery back attached to the bike by a velcro strap reminiscent of some sort of a medical appliance. The light itself has a similar fitting to the Knog and has a handy glow-in-the-dark switch on the back (no more fumbling for the button in the dark) which lights up when you plug it in. There’s a battery meter reading on the pack and the whole thing can be charged up from the mains. I’ve got into the habit of just leaving my lights on my bike so I’d find the need to keep taking it on and off (or dealing with the trailing cables when the light’s detached from the battery) a bit of a pain in the neck and it’s neither light nor cheap but that all pales into comparison when you switch it on.
I was going to use it to ride back from an event in Bigtown on Tuesday but in the end the dire weather forecast (actually merely grim in the event – BBC Terror Centre strikes again, sigh) saw me cry off and accept a lift from someone who was going that way anyway. In the end I only got a chance to play with it last night at around 10pm, by which time it was fully dark. Technically there was a full moon, but it was cloudy enough that there was almost no light in the sky. Normally that means riding pretty slowly, concentrating hard and often with absolutely no idea where I am in relation to the road, just following the little illuminated patch of asphalt ahead of me. No such caution necessary with this light. I cycled down to the village and back at more or less the speed I’d go in daylight and it was so clear and bright I almost forgot I was riding at night – I looked down to check what gear I was in and got a little confused when I couldn’t see the lever. It also, I can report, wakens the neighbourhood dogs as I pass and I’d like to apologise for that now. It was even bright enough to confuse a rabbit that got caught in my headlight, but I suppose that’s easily done. In short, this makes longer night rides – which I’ve tended to avoid in the winter in the past – something I might actually look forward to.
There’s just one tiny catch, which is that its owner wants it back. It’s going to be hard to go back to the peering-at-the-asphalt now I’ve seen the light.
She’s going to have to catch me first.
*baked goods from other bloggers notwithstanding