Old 10-15-09, 01:12 PM
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chriskitch
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, CANADA.
Posts: 171

Bikes: Jamis Sputnik, Custom Cannondale CAAD8 road, 1994 Rocky Mountain Metro

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My updated 2009 bicycle light failure diary:


Light #1: Planet Bike 1watt blaze purchased January 2009. Bracket cracked and snapped off during a ride in May and the light smashed on the concrete and stopped working...Probably the best lumens to dollars ratio of the group...This light also has issues with it's battery compartment spontaneously opening mid-ride and launching the bulb section and the batteries out onto the road or trail...the easy fix for that is to wrap electrical tape around the outside so it doesn't twist open...


Light #2: Cannondale Alloy bodied 1watt LED purchased in May 2009. Never worked properly out of the box: shut off while riding. Also, the light vibrated in the bracket which was irritating...Not as bright as the Planet Bike Blaze but still nicer than the BLT Triton...It looks like the new version of this light has a better bracket...maybe they've fixed the reliability problems as well...I would only buy one of these off of a shop with a good return policy if I were you...


Light #3: Blackburn Voyager 4.0 Luxeon 1 watt LED purchased in June 2009. Did a great job of lighting the road and seemed well constructed but the bracket failed after a month and then the slots that hold the bracket in the light casing broke the following week...both failures happened spontaneously mid-ride...After checking online reviews, I found out that this is a common problem with this light which is probably why Blackburn stopped making it for 2010...Like the Cannondale, I would check the return policy of the store before buying this light...actually, I wouldn't buy that light again so the store's return policy is irrelevant...


Lights #4 & 5: Late summer, I got a good deal on a pair of heavy duty alloy bodied BLT Triton 4 watt LED rechargeable lights that were supposed to each give off as much light as a 21 watt halogen...BULLSH*T!!!...They were barely brighter than the Planet Bike Blaze...Neither of the Triton lights was reliable out of the box...sometimes they would work, sometimes they wouldn't...Also, one of the lights didn't fit in the handlebar bracket very well and slid out on my first night ride with them...The included helmet mount was useless...Too bad, because out of all the lights, I've tried, I liked the look of the Triton's cast aluminum casing the most...The quality of the light the Tritons produced on the road was also my least favourite of the group...BLT used to make such reliable stuff...what happened?....

Light #6: Knog Skink purchased as an emergency backup in September 2009...Died one hour into a two and a half hour rainy night ride last week...Not reliable...I like the idea of these lights more than I like their actual execution...They aren't really all that better built than something you would buy in a dollar store...Up until this light encountered rain, it was the most "fun" light of the group...Perhaps that is why I miss it the most......Fairwell little Skinky......



Light #7: Niterider Minewt Mini USB...Just bought it yesterday...Worked like a champ last night...Quite bright...Seems well made...This is the only light out of the bunch that wasn't manufactured in a Republic of China (for what that's worth)...It sure does make a lot of light for such a tiny thing...


Light #8: Niterider Ultrafazer Max 1 watt Luxeon LED ordered for commuting with part of the store credit I got when I returned the BLT Tritons...Should be in early next week...Since it has the same bulb as the Blackburn Voyager 4.0, I'm hoping for all the great lighting performance of that light without it's construction quality issues...We'll see......

(edit: just got a call from the shop and the ultrafazer max is on backorder and won't be in for a couple of months...citing the fact that they both use the same bulb, he offered me one of the blackburn voyager 4.0 lights they have in stock instead...i politely declined)...

Last edited by chriskitch; 10-17-09 at 07:57 AM.
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