More new lights!

My new see.sense ace lights have arrived!

First thoughts are how small and light they are. I knew they’d be smaller than the Icon+, but they are seriously dinky.

Currently on their first charge, so it’ll be awhile until I can use them, but I’m really looking forward to trying them.

I’ll post a more in-depth write up after I’ve used them a few times.

Different strokes

I thought I’d just make a quick post about the difference in the rear lights in these two images.

The top image is the See.Sense Icon+, and the bottom one is the Exposure TraceR react. Both lights are Set to their maximum output, although the Icon may of limited its power as its stationary. However, the difference here is notable. The TraceR directs alot more light back, and spilling further out, whereas the Icon spits light out in almost every direction.

So, which light is better for visibility on the road? While they both do a superb job, the Icon is more eye-catching, and dispite not casting light as far back as the TraceR, it is just, if not more visible, than the TraceR.

I’d certainly feel safe with either light on the rear, but would nearly always reach for the Icon when heading out.

One bonus of the TraceR is that mount. It takes up alot less space on the post than the Icon, so if space is an issue, such as running with a saddle bag the TraceR fits better.

Exposure TraceR

While my Icon+ is away being repaired under warranty, I’ve been using a Exposure TraceR.

And truth be told, it’s a fantastic light.

Pumping out 75 lumens, for its size is remarkable. Visible from a distance, and with its daybright settings very noticeable during the day, but unlike the icon, the flash pattern is the same, one long flash and two rapid, whereas the icon seems to be more random, with increased detection of the surroundings. The tracer is constantly lit however, which gives drivers the ability to judge distance in the dark.

Runtime is good, with 6 hours on the high flash, is more than enough to ride for a good week before recharge. Which brings me onto the only issue I have. The charging port is covered by a silicon band, and that is incredibly hard to move but does make for a very watertight seal.

The react built into the light works in a similar fashion to the see.sense, but I think the see.sense is more adaptable to the environment, and noticeable to those behind.

What both lights share, is pain for those riding behind you. Even on the lower settings they distract, and in some cases are quite painful to ride behind. At least with these lights you’ll be sent to the back, and never have to have a turn on the front.. Well, that’s my excuse anyway 🙂

Will it replace my icon+ as my favourite? It’s close, but no.

New toys

So, Ive gone and got myself a couple of new toys to play with. With doing more and more dark rides, I decided to up the lighting game and bought a diablo and tracer light. Neither of which I really need, but hey, why the hell not.

The tracer is to complement the see.sense rear, which having recently died a death is being replaced under warranty. I really didn’t want to be stuck with the cateye rapid x should things die again. Although it’s a good light, it isn’t the most powerful light.

The diablo will mostly be used mounted on the helmet to complement the Volt 800. Not on road, but definitely down the cycle paths. The diablo is certainly a beautiful piece of engineering, light and yet solid with its solid metal construction. Only issue is a short battery life on full blast. I don’t envisage running it on full much, if ever. So one of the lower power settings should do just fine,with occasional blasts of 1500 lumens.

Targets

This year, I’m planning to ride at least 2018 with my strava plan being set to 2500, which works out to 50 miles a week. But already the plans have been scuppered by the storm, and I’ve only got 19 miles down. Hopefully I’ll get a couple of 20 milers done before Monday. If not, it’ll be added onto next week’s totals. So long as I get more than 2018 miles or more this year I’ll be happy.

I tend to wimp out for heavy winds,rain and old I can deal with, but winds are my limit. With gusts approach 40mph and more, it would be stupidity on my part to ride, especially since most of the routes I ride this would equate into a side wind for most of it,and that dos’nt make good conditions to ride in.

Icon+

As you know, I recently picked up a pair of See.Sense Icon+ lights, and have now ridden a couple of rides with them. Safe to say I love these lights.

They increase my visibility on the road, and give me a sense of safety. Seeing the front light I’ve sort of worked out the responses they have;

  • Senses decrease in speed
  • Senses drop in ambient light
  • Senses increase in ambient light
  • Senses tilt to react to hill climb
  • Senses lateral tilt for sharp cornering
  • Senses a sprint

And any combination of the above. They are ideal daytime running light, as they are bright enough to be seen from a fair distance.

Build wise, they are solid. No movement in the plastic face or back.

Mounting them onto the bike is easy with the supplied straps

, however I’ve noticed a tendency for them to move. While not a major issue, I find it annoying. I mount the rear on the saddle post, which unfortunately means no saddle bag will fit. And the front on the lower head tube. My one criticism would be the button on the units. They are a little tough to turn on. The cover over the button is significantly larger than the button, meaning you some times miss all together. Not a major gripe but it does get annoying.

Light up!

It’s that time if year again. Time to dig out the lights, although some say you should always run lights. And there has been times I’ve not noticed a cyclist due to having a backdrop of dark.. Or dappled light.

 

So you get your lights out the cupboard, find a charging lead and hope their still holding a charge. Mine where, but the volt 300 just dos’nt really cut it for me now. I’ve got a Garmin varia system as well, but tend not to use it since switching over to the wahoo elemnt.

So off to buy a new front light. But as is always the case with me, I came back with two. I stayed with cateye, and decided on VOLT 800 for my main light, which I rely on too see, and a swanky set of See.Sense icon+ lights for my too be seen lights.

One thing I really like about the volt is a double click no longer sets the light to epileptic inducing strobe, instead it switches the output to high mode. This is much more sensible. The high mode is great for the unlit cycle paths, even the medium setting of 400 lumens will do on them, but it’s good to have the 800 lumens setting to fall back on.

These see.sense lights are something special, they have a certain level of intelligence being able to sense light and motion. So brighten in dark areas or car headlights, junctions and slowing down. They are my permanent lights, now the days are shorter and more gloomy. They pack one hell of a punch in the output. Some might say they are stupidly bright, but brighter the better too be seen in the day light.

My lighting system now features two front lights, a flashing light and a solid on the front, and a flashing and solid light on the back.