A little while ago I posed a question to Trout on one of his threads about the availability of his new “mini” light. A couple of emails later and 2 x prototypes arrive in the post for me to try out at this Year’s Mountain Mayhem. Not only the lights but everything I’m likely to need to run them. Apart from getting to try out the lights it also saved me from having to buy a new set of lights which is a bonus, well for now anyway. He’s designing these as a cheaper alternative to his existing lights but I have no idea on the actual pricing.
In the carefully packaged box there were two slightly different setups, consisting of a head light and a bar light.
The Head light is made up of 3 x XPG LEDs, with a spot pattern. It has a very simple velcro fixing mechanism, but it works perfectly on my Giro Xen. The light can also tilt through its vertical axis giving a useable level of adjustment to fine tune where you want the spot to place on the trail in front of you. Sorry about the quality of the photos, but they were snapped with the phone while out on a ride.
The bar light comprises three of the older XPE LEDs, and is fixed to the bar using what appears to be the same clamp as on the Lumen Liberator.
Both are running off their own NiCad cell pack. The cells are pretty small, and the bag on the photo below is about twice the size it needs to be. Apparently these put out about 900 Lumens for the number counters out there. Run time is estimated at 3.5 to four hours on full, with in built auto-dimming if they begin to overheat.
First impressions? Well they’re tiny, but according to Trout the production versions will be smaller still. The machined cases certainly seem overbuilt with lots of metal, and pretty robust as a result. They have the appearance that they could withstand some decent knocks which is no bad thing.
A quick night ride last week to test them and I’m very impressed. I have a pretty limited field of reference to compare these lights to so I won’t get in to the “they’re brighter than a …” type conjecture.
The buttons on the back of the lights have a really positive click to them. The helmet light is pretty clever in that it has a high and low mode, with a third “even lower” mode accessed by holding the button for a second or so. This is bright enough for road riding and a useful setting in itself. Otherwise the light cycles between high and low modes which saves faffing cycling through multi modes to get to the one you want.
The bar light just has the high and low settings. I assume this is a different driver and I don’t know what the production versions will get, but I quite like the three modes as it gives you a an extra “emergency” mode, though there’s nothing ”emergency” about the output.
As it stands I think the bar light is fantastic. I really like the beam pattern as it provides a great spread of light with no gaps or hot spots. It’s more than useable on low off road, and set to high it gives a really clear but slightly more yellow light than the head light.
The headlight has a very focused beam, possibly too focussed from the limited riding I’ve done with it so far. It gives a very intense beam on high, and I spent most of the time running it on low,with the bar light on high to compensate.
So I’ll be running these at Mayhem. If you’re interested by all means say hi and come and take a look. I’ll be the knackered looking guy riding a Whyte 19 with some shiny silver lights strapped to the bike and my head.
Lastly a big thank you to Trout for the loan of the lights and kit, and I hope I can put them to some good use at the weekend!