Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lights Partif Deux

Time to mount and test the new lights. I put the Piko on the helmet. Simple affair to attach with velcro through the vent holes. The Piko battery is light enough to helmet mount. Lupine does supply an extended cord with the set, so you can pocket the battery as well. Worth mentioning is that the connectors are excellent. Look to be WeatherPak clones, and are all interchangeable.

It's a clean, self-contained mounting. I weaved the cord into a vent hole and there's nothing loose to snag on branches.

The Betty mounts on the bar. It uses a simple o-ring. Lupine supplies two sizes for regular and over-sized bars. I needed the oversize ring. This required changing out the stock size. Simply loosen the screw on the mount and swap the rings out. My only complaint so far, is that this screw is Torx head (T-15, I think). Though it would be simple to replace this with a more common hex-head.

Just hook the o-ring and you're done. Easy.

The battery case is velcro. Simply hook the flap over the top tube and the lower strap keeps it from sliding around. Very easy.

My impressions... excellent! It took a few minutes to get used to having a light on the helmet. As I'd move my head, I kept thinking someone was behind me. HA! I got used to that pretty quick though. Having the Piko on the helmet provides nice spot and fill for turns and twists. The Betty provides excellent fill light, and projects far ahead. No blind spots with this combo.

There's beaucoup light. On the road, low settings were more than adequate. I was lighting up reflective signs as far ahead as I could reliabily read. I turned up the brightness on the unlit areas. Wow! No problem seeing. It's almost as much light as a car. Brilliant. I'd have zero problem navigating the darkest singletrack at night. Totally confidence inspiring. No pictures because the ones on MTBR [link] do a better job than I could.

Worth the expense? Yes! For night racing I wouldn't want any less light. Don't think I'd need any more, though. For street riding... the light combo is overkill. The Betty on dim is plenty and the Piko on medium both provide over-adequate light for visibility, and for illuminating darkened areas. Riding at night is a lot less nerve-racking. My only regret is waiting so long to take the plunge.

Now my last excuse for not doing an endurance race is gone. HA! All that remains is some battery capacity testing, and I'm ready. Well... ready, gearwise!