Eurobike 2017: U.S.E., Exposure Lights

by
August 30, 2017

Ultimate Sports Engineering (U.S.E.) had quite a lot of new stuff on their stand at Eurobike 2017, including updates to their entire lighting range. Most notably though, they’re showing their own dropper post, which has an entirely new design.

U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
Here it is, the Helix dropper post. U.S.E. branded, UK made, and entirely mechanical. There’s no oil inside that post. It works on air pressure alone, and the internals are patent pending.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
(Bike journalism fact time: seatposts are one of the hardest things to photograph. They’re long, thin and don’t really fit well into any conventional image aspect ratio).
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
The posts at the show were fully functional prototypes, but with a few very obvious proto-bits on them, such as this 3D printed cable junction. U.S.E. now have three 3D printers in house for prototyping work.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
They’ll come with their own U.S.E. designed remote lever too, but the one on display was paired with a Wolftooth remote for now – nice to know they’ll be compatible.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
They asked us not to photograph it due to the finish (at present brass and chrome) being so far from the final (black anodised) design, but the air valve is at the back just under the seat. Return speed is set by air pressure, with the min and max not finalised yet, but this demo post was running around 50PSI and returning with a speed comparable to most dropper posts.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
The innards are an entirely new design from U.S.E., and patent pending, so they were slightly vague on showing or explaining them, but basically a brake acts on a central helix until the cable at the bottom of the post is pulled.

They went through a host of different prototypes, including coil spring and oil filled posts, but settled on this new design as something mechanically simpler, that would be easy for people to service at home themselves, and that would also allow them to more easily make smaller diameter posts without having to redesign or respec many components.

Many details including prices and weights, and exact dates are still TBC, but the Helix will come in 31.6mm, 30.9mm and later on 27.2mm, with drops of 125mm and 165mm. Expect to see it debut during 2018.

U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
As well as the post, they were showing a range of handlebars, newest of which is…
…the Boom Carbon. 800mm wide, 35mm stem standard, 5º upsweep and 7.5º backsweep. Apparently the first prototype had a 9º backsweep, but riders found the 7.5º way more comfortable at an 800mm width.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
Scott Beaumont has been testing these out in 4X racing. Weight is 220g uncut, and as well as mm, they’ve helpfully printed how many grams you’ll shed by cutting the bar down.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
As well as their signature black, the Exposure Joystick will be coming in limited edition purple, blue and red, but there are only going to be three hundred of each.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
The Axis is an apparently often overlooked light, as people tend to look at either the Joystick, or do that then talk themselves all the way up to the more powerful Diablo. In terms of brightness, the 2018 version sits between them at a maximum of 1150 lumens (Diablo: 1500, Joystick: 1000).

One of the biggest changes among Exposure’s 2018 lights is that the Equinox is dead, and will be replaced by one of the new model Diablos.

U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
This is the standard model Diablo, which will be available as a single unit, or with the external battery shown here.

Apologies for the phone camera shot of the brochure below, but these were one of the things not quite ready in time for Eurobike. As part of their 2018 range, some Exposure lights will get a Sync edition, which means as well as all the existing features of their range, they’ll have bluetooth connectivity too and you’ll be able to reprogram them with your smartphone. As well as that, Sync lights will be denoted by a graphite grey anodised finish.

Exposure - Eurobike 2017
In the case of the Diablo, the Diablo Sync entirely replaces the Equinox in Exposure’s 2018 lineup. As well as this, the Six Pack Mk8 and MaXx-D Mk10 will both have Sync versions too.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
The standard Diablo and Axis lights have Tap Technology, which means instead of fiddling around with the button at the back, you can tap them with a finger, or even tap your helmet depending on sensitivity, to change what mode they’re in.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
Not only does LED technology get better each year, but Exposure also tweak the design programming they do for their lights, eking out more brightness and power than before. This means every light in their 2018 range is brighter than their 2017 equivalents. For instance, their very first Joystick put out just 200 lumens, the 2017 version 900, and the 2018 Mk12 puts out 1000.
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
The refined programming also improves on the Reflex automatic brightness settings they included in recent years, meaning it now responds faster to trail conditions (meaning if you’re riding something rough, accelerometers tell it to get brighter), but fades up and down with a gentler gradient.

The Sync lights are so new that the photos in their catalogue haven’t made it onto the web yet, but Exposure have full details of their lighting range, complete with RRPs, on their website (the U.S.E. dropper post is still very TBC though).

One more thing; it’s not new, they’ve been making them for years, but a lot of people familiar with Exposure lights don’t seem to know about it, and they still get incredulous customers and journalists saying “I’ve never seen that before!”

U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
This tiny LED light is the Red Eye Micro, and is small enough to easily stash anywhere…
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
… pop it in the charging socket on your helmet light…
U.S.E. Exposure Lights - Eurobike 2017
… and hey presto! Emergency rear light running off your headlamp. Being a single 5mm LED, it’s not the brightest, but does make you road legal and might save you in a pinch.

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