I've been doing a ton of research as to which headlight would be best for me - a part-time commuter who's going to be forced to commuting in the dark really soon thanks to the end of summer approaching.
What I was looking for in a headlight:
1) ILLUMINATION - 15W minimum
2) Battery Life - don't want to be recharging every night
3) Light weight - don't want to lug along even MORE weight when climbing the steep hills on the way back home
4) Price - limited budget
I was initially thinking I'd go with a couple of NiteRider Road Rats (one on the bike, the other on my helmet), but don't want to have to carry around twice the weight, the hassle of a battery in my jersey/jacket/messenger bag pocket, etc. That left me thinking I'd go with the NiteRider Classic for a solid 25W of power and an approx $150 price tag. The only downside to that was the battery life which was less than impressive for my needs. That started pointing me towards the CygoLite DualCross 200.
I'm a die-hard Performance customer, found the DualCross 200 on PricePoint for $130, and Performance matched the price. I just got the light on Monday and was able to take it for a short spin around my neighborhood around 11pm Monday night. My initial impression was that it was very noticeably brighter than the 15W NiteRider that I'd been borrowing from a friend of mine earlier in the year. The white LED light also made a noteworthy difference in the illumination (or at least, the perceived extra illumination) as well. I have yet to take it on an extended ride in the dark, although I hope to do so this week some time, but from my multiple spins around my dark neighborhood, the illumination was fantastic. FANTASTIC. Instead of being more of a narrow beam, it's significantly wider as well. That, and the extra illumination were the first two things that jumped out at me. The whole setup is very light weight, the handlebar clamp mounts securely, the straps for the battery appear to be good quality, etc. It'd be nice to have a remote on/off switch for the light, but that's by no means a deal-breaker. Turn the light on high and walk around the front of the bike, and it's an eye-burner! Seriously - it's BRIGHT.
If you're looking for a solid light with LOTS of illumination (the DualCross 200 is equivalent to 20W halogen), an affordable price tag, light weight, and LOTS of battery life (4 hours at max power, 9 hours at minimum), the DualCross 200 is definitely worth looking into.
i'm holding out on a new big LED till the newest cree and Luxon products have battled it out and have solid solutions. the time of the 500 lumen, $100 LED light (non-homebrew, thanks anyway) is not far off!
Thanks for the review. I am looking at a primary light to go with my Dinotte 5w and was looking at the DualCross.
What is the difference between the 200 and 300 DualCross?
As far as I can tell, it's simply an overnight charger vs a 4-hour charger. The power is the same (20W halogen equivalent), the lights look identical, etc. The charger is the only spec I can find that's different.
I took the light on the first late night ride last night. Hit the local MUP at approx 10pm and although I only stayed out for a little over 30 minutes, I couldn't wipe the grin off of my face! This light is freakin' AWESOME! TONS of illumination. TONS! Granted the trail had a dry surface as we haven't had rain over a week, but I could cruise along at 20+mph with no problems whatsoever and not have to worry about what was coming up ahead. Riding at night like that with a light will take a little bit of getting used to over riding during the day, but it was a surprising amount of fun!