Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
Reload this Page >

Fenix BC21R vs Cygolite Expilion 850 headlights

Notices
Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

Fenix BC21R vs Cygolite Expilion 850 headlights

Old 05-16-16, 09:00 AM
  #1  
tjkoko
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Okefenokee Swamps.
Posts: 575

Bikes: Rockhopper, Azor Oma cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fenix BC21R vs Cygolite Expilion 850 headlights

I possess the Cygolite 850 and it performs to my needs. Does anyone have any experience with the Fenix BC221R headlight????
tjkoko is offline  
Old 05-19-16, 09:46 AM
  #2  
natemeister
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 40
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
I possess the Cygolite 850 and it performs to my needs. Does anyone have any experience with the Fenix BC221R headlight????
I don't have experience with their bike light, but I bought their HL60R headlamp couple of weeks ago and took it on a ride with my NiteRider Lumina 750. Both Fenix lights use the same LED diode and battery and weigh pretty much the same. What I found is that the Fenix light was as bright as my NiteRider Lumina 750, and cast a much wider beam. Not sure if the bike light version is as wide, but I enjoyed the wider beam while riding offtrail.
natemeister is offline  
Old 11-02-16, 07:33 AM
  #3  
bikebreak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 878
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
I possess the Cygolite 850 and it performs to my needs. Does anyone have any experience with the Fenix BC221R headlight????


I recently got one. It is nice and bright, beam fairly round. Good throw. The top cutoff (to reduce brightness at the top of beam as to avoid blinding drivers) seems to work. However, the silver bevel around the lens should be longer and wider to block light from rider's eyes - you need to aim the light down a ways to avoid this if you have an aggressive forward position on bike.


It is large and heavy compared to my other lights, cygolite dash and Planet Bike Blaze. The mounting bracket is fairly tall, due to the release lever, so light body sits fairly high above the bars.


Battery is swapable 18650, comes with a 2300mAh, you can get larger capacity. Charge port is a bit ackward to get to, right in front of mounting bracket. Light can work while charging but only in 2 lower steady modes.


The flashing mode does not seem any brighter than my cygolite 320, steady modes are much brighter.
I only use it at night, and use the other lights as day lights.
bikebreak is offline  
Old 11-02-16, 07:39 AM
  #4  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,122

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 475 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6477 Post(s)
Liked 1,018 Times in 674 Posts
I haven't seen this light, but I prefer mechanical mounts over rubber bands. What does the Cygolite model have? The Cygolites I've seen (and the one I have) have very good mounts.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 11-10-16, 09:04 AM
  #5  
bikebreak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 878
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I haven't seen this light, but I prefer mechanical mounts over rubber bands. What does the Cygolite model have? The Cygolites I've seen (and the one I have) have very good mounts.
The Cygolite and the Fenix are rubber band style and both work pretty well.

The Dash is a lot of light for the size and weight, but I have one dash that died after about a year of use. I'm going to see if cygolite will warranty i...
bikebreak is offline  
Old 11-10-16, 09:12 AM
  #6  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,122

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 475 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6477 Post(s)
Liked 1,018 Times in 674 Posts
For what it's worth, I have a Cygolite Streak (350, I think). It seems to be just like the Metro but a little less expensive and smaller and with a smaller battery and thus shorter battery life. The Metro has been popular, as it's quite practical. I don't need a battery headlight often, so this is good for me. The mount is a mechanical hinge with a knob for tightening it well. This is the kind of mount I like when I want a light with easy-on-easy-off ability.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 11-10-16, 10:46 PM
  #7  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,319
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 465 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by tjkoko View Post
I possess the Cygolite 850 and it performs to my needs. Does anyone have any experience with the Fenix BC221R headlight????
I own one. It has some good points and some bad points. If you already have a Cygolite 850 I'm not sure it would be worth changing.

Good
- Neutral white led is easier on my eyes than the usual cheap blue led, and easier on oncoming traffics eyes in my experience (I've also tried having someone ride towards me with it)
- Perfect battery - you charge it in light, but can pop off the back and remove it and replace it with another battery

Bad
- Their "dual distance beam system" uses a design that puts an additional beam of light in the nearfield by the bike. In theory it's cool but it's overly bright and in my experience it's to bright and makes it harder to see down the road.
- The runtime is very short on high, either 1:00 or 1:20 depending on the battery used. All lights of this size and shape have short runtimes, though usually they're 1:30.
- The mount is ok, it generally stays in place for me, but it's not great. I don't have any huge complaints (their previous light's mount was terrible) but I prefer a more solid mount.

If you already have a light that works I don't know that it would be worth changing.
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 11-11-16, 05:50 AM
  #8  
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 6,935

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 398 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 30 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
The Cygolite and the Fenix are rubber band style and both work pretty well.

The Dash is a lot of light for the size and weight, but I have one dash that died after about a year of use. I'm going to see if cygolite will warranty i...
The Expilion line is the mount style, not rubber band.
Garfield Cat is offline  
Old 11-11-16, 10:35 AM
  #9  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 20,089
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 519 Times in 383 Posts
I was going to say, my Expilion 850 has no hint of rubber-bandishness at all.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 11-11-16, 07:30 PM
  #10  
BikeLite
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 813
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 13 Posts
I'd imagine the only thing better with the cygolite, maybe, is the handlebar mount.
BikeLite is offline  
Old 11-12-16, 12:43 AM
  #11  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 17,321

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4620 Post(s)
Liked 995 Times in 681 Posts
Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I own one. It has some good points and some bad points. If you already have a Cygolite 850 I'm not sure it would be worth changing.

Good
- Neutral white led is easier on my eyes than the usual cheap blue led, and easier on oncoming traffics eyes in my experience (I've also tried having someone ride towards me with it)
- Perfect battery - you charge it in light, but can pop off the back and remove it and replace it with another battery

Bad
- Their "dual distance beam system" uses a design that puts an additional beam of light in the nearfield by the bike. In theory it's cool but it's overly bright and in my experience it's to bright and makes it harder to see down the road.
- The runtime is very short on high, either 1:00 or 1:20 depending on the battery used. All lights of this size and shape have short runtimes, though usually they're 1:30.
- The mount is ok, it generally stays in place for me, but it's not great. I don't have any huge complaints (their previous light's mount was terrible) but I prefer a more solid mount.

If you already have a light that works I don't know that it would be worth changing.
Good to know. I'm tempted to pick one up. I just had the battery die on my light and motion front light. I think I'm done with lights with proprietary batteries which is why the fenix is tempting.
bikemig is offline  
Old 11-12-16, 01:16 AM
  #12  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,319
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 465 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Good to know. I'm tempted to pick one up. I just had the battery die on my light and motion front light. I think I'm done with lights with proprietary batteries which is why the fenix is tempting.
Cool. Although...like I said it has some good points and some bad points. I'm not sure if I would recommend it, I ran across another light that looked a lot more promising -

The Glow Worm Cx. I emailed them and they said for $20 they'd replace the led with a neutral white one (they offer the service on their site officially for other lights so you an choose your color temperature), it looked interesting.
Gloworm CX Urban and Trail ? Action-LED-Lights

- "Internal 2 cell Li-ion battery that's easily changed without tools"
- 2.5 hours of runtime on high.
- A decent easy looking quick release mount.
- Dual Beam light with interchangeable optics to customize the beam pattern (Spot-Spot and Spot-Wide included)
- Can be charged from a Dyno-hub, even while using the light.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 11-12-16 at 01:47 AM.
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 11-12-16, 06:21 AM
  #13  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 17,321

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4620 Post(s)
Liked 995 Times in 681 Posts
Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Cool. Although...like I said it has some good points and some bad points. I'm not sure if I would recommend it, I ran across another light that looked a lot more promising -

The Glow Worm Cx. I emailed them and they said for $20 they'd replace the led with a neutral white one (they offer the service on their site officially for other lights so you an choose your color temperature), it looked interesting.
Gloworm CX Urban and Trail ? Action-LED-Lights

- "Internal 2 cell Li-ion battery that's easily changed without tools"
- 2.5 hours of runtime on high.
- A decent easy looking quick release mount.
- Dual Beam light with interchangeable optics to customize the beam pattern (Spot-Spot and Spot-Wide included)
- Can be charged from a Dyno-hub, even while using the light.
Looks god but I'm leaning towards a light that uses batteries that are readily commercially available. I don't want to be locked into a light that has a proprietary battery even if it is replaceable.

Why would you flat out not recommend the fenix? The mount works, batteries are readily available, and it throws out a fair amount of light?
bikemig is offline  
Old 11-14-16, 04:02 AM
  #14  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,319
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 465 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Looks god but I'm leaning towards a light that uses batteries that are readily commercially available. I don't want to be locked into a light that has a proprietary battery even if it is replaceable.
Hmm. I assumed it was 2 regular lith-ion cells (blanking on the exact name to be honest) but I guess it's repeatedly vague about that. I'm feeling a little lazy to email and ask.

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Why would you flat out not recommend the fenix? The mount works, batteries are readily available, and it throws out a fair amount of light?
It keeps being my "It's almost a great light but one flaw keeps me from using it" light.

feel like a warm relaxing ride around the neighborhood at night - nearfield beam being to bright causes a tunnel effect. Tried it several times, really wanted it to work because the color output on the Fenix BC21R is the most natural I've seen from an LED bike light, but with the tunnel effect it's never quite relaxing.
max visibility, long throw and wide coverage - not wide enough, not enough throw to match more specialized and expensive lights.
long battery life 2 hours plus ride - 1 hour on high doesn't cut it.
Quick and easy to take on and off - rubber band mount not as good as solid plastic slide on-off mount.
Mountain Biking - rubber band mount works fine for road but not solid enough for slamming bike on and off stuff like you do in mountain biking.

It use it as my emergency backup light because of it's all-in-one design and small size. Even there, it's another "almost great" light because it has no way to lock it out from turning itself on if the button is held down by accident inside the bag. I get around it by putting the battery in backwards (so it won't come on if you press the switch).

My go-to light for long throw is a phillips saferide v2. They don't sell it any more, but it takes AA's with so-so battery life. Longest throw on a light that isn't a "oh god why is the sun coming towards me" mountain bike light.
My go-to light for wide fill light is a light and motion taz. It's runtime on high is pathetic but fill light only requires medium or low.
My go-to light for long runtime is a dynamo light together plus a taz.

The Fenix BC21R is always almost good enough, but never the one I pick, that's why I'm hesitant to throw myself behind endorsing it. The Glow Worm Cx looked like it's 2.5 hours of runtime, better mounting, removable battery, and ability to switch lenses might make is a better light - but I haven't used it so it's just a suggestion.

There's a lot of other lights I've found to be terrible. A Dinotte had way to bright of light right in front of you causing a worse tunnel effect with no throw, the fenix btr20 has the worst mounting system I've ever used as it would not even keep the light stable on the road, I used several lights with cringy cheap bluer led light output that my eyes and brain don't like.

The Fenix BC21R isn't terrible, it just keeps being a "well if it wasn't for this one small thing it would be great" light.
PaulRivers is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
corrado33
Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
1
10-28-14 01:50 PM
smurray
Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
92
11-21-13 04:08 PM
rschreck
Commuting
14
06-14-12 11:50 AM
Chris Pringle
Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
16
02-11-12 09:58 AM
cyclist5
Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
20
04-01-11 02:18 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.