Well I received the lights today in what I thought was a very timely fashion via Lance's old sponsors considering that they came from all the way across the pond and another item that I had won on ebay that came from the east coast arrived the same time and was purchased a day earlier. Anyway on to the review.
I was a bit worried when the package was nothing more than a mylar envelope but the packaging around the system was bombproof enough (think the clear plastic type that you need a knife to gain access to) and all was well. Contents were:
Light(s) which nestle together nicely
All batteries necessary to fire up, 4 AA for the front and 4 AAA for the rear
Mounts for handlebar and rear which is made for a seatpost. The lights attach to these and detach also if you don't need them. Perhaps a bit too easily for a determined thief but because they stow together so nicely (even comes with a lightweight storage bag) I don't see a problem with taking them off in the event that they are going to be exposed for awhile in a bad neighborhood.
Took about 5 minutes to get the batteries in and the lights operable. The only trick is that you need to make the final battery connection with both lights at the same time which is easier than it sounds. That syncs the lights which flash until they are. Hit it first try.
Took the lights down to the Bumvee for installation. Did the front light first and had to finagle the flashlight I have on the bars by turning it upside down. Then you just put the double clamp mount on, tighten down a few 5mm hex bolts and put on the light. There is another single bolt on that mount to tighten once you get the attitude right. Took about 10 minutes tops including moving the other light around. I tried the rear on the seatpost and it took a short time to install also. I was not happy with it there though as I envisioned it mounted on the rear of the bike so I undid it and figured out a way to zip tie the original mount to the back of the bed. Yes, bed. I know no one else is going to be going this route but I feel that the mount is beefy enough that it could be used just about anywhere.
To turn on the system you need to activate both lights individually via a power button located on the inside of the units. The first push flashes the center light (white on the front and red on the rear) a few times then stops which I would imagine using in the day time. Another push gives a constant glow and yet another activates a flashing mode. It is interesting to note that the lights flash opposingly which is a nice feature.
Now to the good stuff. On the front light there are large buttons on the inner outer ends of the light that are easily accessible from the grips with your thumb. Press once and that amber light starts to flash (and the center light stops flashing if in that mode and goes solid as long as the blinkers are on). The corresponding rear amber flashes as well, once again in an opposing fashion. Slick. Press the button again and the center lights return to flash mode if that was where they were set to begin with. Because my bike is pretty long, comparable to a tandem I was worried that it wouldn't work but it does just fine.
The light intensity is pretty good for a double aa/aaa setup I feel. I will only probably use the headlight in flashing mode as I have a couple of other strong lights already set up for that. Here are some pictures of the setup in action.
I was pretty lucky and got pictures of the blinkers on the first try! I also forgot to mention that below the center lights mounted to the mounts there is a clear reflector on the front and a red on the rear which is a nice touch I thought.
So far I would have to give this product a
The only thing is that it is getting now so that I have a plethora of batteries on my bike and they range from C to AAA. I have some rechargeables but I am trying to convert to a single power source for my lighting needs in the future. But in the meantime I can deal with the rechargeables I guess.
As far as there being cheaper options that is a given and more power to anyone that has their own solution to being seen. As far as a blinker option though and especially the wireless part of this system goes and the way it syncs it makes it worth the coin to me. I am not done lighting up my ride yet, next, on to the cold cathode tubes!