It's over 2 weeks since the Puffer. I've still got tennis elbow and white finger from it! Some of you may remember me blagging Trout's latest incantation to test for the race. Sure enough it arrived the Thursday before and I got the battery straight on charge.
I unwrapped the light and the first thing that hits you is the fact that it does indeed look like a spider. Studying you. Waiting for its chance. It's quite off putting actually so I don't advise that anybody tries to stare one out
I got my Fox Flux out which is my normal night riding helmet but I couldn't get the velcro strap fastening system supplied to fasten in a useable position so it went on the Giro Indicator. This wouldn't have been a problem had it been my own light as a ty wrap bodge would have been quickly invented.
25 years of scrummaging has left me with a slightly tipped forward head posture where I look up. This means that any light fitted to my helmet has to angle upwards quite a way. Because of this a lot of lights I have fitted look quite high profile and this brings its own problems with low branches etc. I got the spider eyes fitted in what I thought was the right angle.
I tested the light in the living room with the obligatory shine it at yourself in the mirror job. OMGWTF!!!!! Do not do this! You have been warned. It hurts and you cannot see for 10 mins and that was only on medium.
This brings me on to the different modes. It clicks on into low mode and subsequent clicks toggle it between medium and high. A longer press and hold finds low again and an even longer press switches it off. I found this unusual but no problem at all once used to it. Because of the exceptional power though I did spend most of the time in low.
The light has a small 3 pin screw connector which attaches directly to the battery lead or via the extension lead which was provided. I used the extension lead but most of it was tucked into my camelbak with the battery.
Battery times were touted as high (2620 lumens) 3 hours, medium (1400 lumens) 13 hours and low (600 lumens) 36 hours. I figured I could leave the light on medium for the majority of my night laps. I had my trusty Hope 4 on the bars and a bastid as back up.
Come the first real night lap I realised that with me staring at the floor zoned out for most of the climbs, medium was too bright so the majority of the time I was in low.
The beam is most unusual. There is a lower flood area and above it a square of light. My eyes didn't like the square on the climbs. This may have been because suffering for that length of time my eyes and the rest of me just hated everything and a not natural thing in my focus area just didn't feel right and I couldn't get used to it. I also realised that I couldn't angle the light far enough up for the climbs to push the square further away. I tried adjusting various mount points in the pits but could never really beat this problem, it was as if the light is too low profile. I realise that for the vast majority this wouldn't be an issue at all.
So, after the fireroad came the Haribo Hill station where the bar light came on too and the power got cranked up. All of a sudden it all makes sense. The flood fills in the near and the square lights up down the trail like nothing else. And that is just on medium. It's like it's too bright as everybody you pass complains and some even have to pull over because they can't see their own lights for their shadow. Photographers whinge and spectators hold up their hands to shield their eyes! I didn't even try a descent on high as to be honest medium is more than enough. I wanted to try my local trails with it on high but a ridiculous workload and tax returns have put paid to any riding since
It lasted all night comfortably and if I could have managed the weight during the final morning rounds I would have blasted around with it still on just to gloat that I still had loads of juice left. Unfortunately my legs didn't.
This light is extremely well made, looks the part and lights up the trail ahead with obscene amounts of power. It almost makes a bar mounted flood light redundant. Trout says that he is addressing the mount point to allow more angle up and some diffusion is being applied to soften the 'square'. I'll miss Spider Eyes and my time with what most definitely is the brightest light I have ever seen. It'll make you the envy and scourge of your pals as they won't be able to compete with its sheer power, but that's not all, it's robust and will burn longer than their lights too most probably. If this was MBUK it would definitely get a MOST WANTED!