Lumicycle has a great legacy in the mountain bike light world, having been around since 1997 and reacting to every change in the bike lighting world since then. Its lights are designed in the UK and feature up-to-the-minute components while, amazingly, continuing to be retro-compatible with everything they’ve ever made; so a battery or lamp from today will still fit a head unit or battery from 2001 and vice versa.
What we have here though, is brand new. The Explorer light uses three CREE XM2 LEDs in a CNC’d head unit. This features cooling fins and a neat visor so that you don’t blind yourself when you’re out of the saddle, honking up a hill. The clamp fits 25.4mm bars out of the box, but an add-on link converts it to a more modern 31.8mm. I’m not sure if Lumicycle has heard of the 35mm revolution yet. Out back there’s a power socket and a rubber-covered switch, which I’ll come to in a moment. The plug from the Enduro battery is a very snug fit and won’t come out by accident. Once plugged in, the lamp’s LED will flash (a counter-intuitive red, regardless of battery level) to indicate it’s ready for action.
The Enduro battery is a 2.6Ah which promises 14 hours on ‘low’ at 400 lumens, and up to 1.5 hours on ‘Boost’ which gives a mental 3,000 lumens (a 5.2Ah battery is available too). The battery in its Cordura bag is a little smaller than the size of a pack of cards. It’s light enough to mount to your bars without being noticed, and 30cm of cable also means you can fit it to a top tube. Various extension cables (up to 120cm) are available too.
The single switch covers all modes and it has an up and down toggle motion, with a sprung return to centre. Turning the light on requires a ‘press up and hold’ for a couple of seconds. Turning off requires a ‘press and hold down’. Once on, flipping the switch will pass through the various modes like a sequential gearbox and not cycle round from brightest to flashing (or off) by mistake. So if you’re in Medium, flip up once for High and down once for Low. It is, however, still possible to flip into flashing mode if you get carried away.
High mode offers a whopping 2,200 lumens, through a 20° beam, which is enough to turn most nights into day. If you want more power, though at the expense of run time, a long upwards press of the lever will give you 3,000 lumens of Boost mode, giving you 90 minutes. However, if you just need some mega power for a descent, a short upwards press will give you Smart Boost, which’ll give you 3,500 lumens for exactly three minutes, returning back to High power afterwards.
In use, the sequential shifting bit is very intuitive and a great way of selecting ‘just a bit more’ or ‘just a bit less’ without plunging yourself into flashing mode at the top of a descent. (As a leftie, I did find the switch obscured by the chunky power plug, but that’s just a problem for me and 10% of the population, eh?)
As for the light power and battery life, I’ve been using this for regular Monday night rides, as well as night-time solo forays and, running the light on low or medium on climbs and on full power for descents, I’ve yet to get the status LED to dip below full power.
Overall: Great to see some true innovation (and great customer service) from a UK bike light company. Brilliantly made and intuitive to use. Well worth the cash over eBay lights if you do a lot of night riding and racing.
|Product:||Explorer Enduro lights|
|Tested:||by Chipps for Three months.|