Thursday, September 3, 2009

Night riding at Makara Peak

A while ago I order a light for riding off road at night from a Chinese company called Dealextreme. It cost about NZ$125 delivered to my door. The light has three settings: 900 lumens, 500 lumens and a flashing setting and comes with only a handlebar mount. I have read about people making helmet mounts for it with some PVC pipe and zip ties. A quick run through Mitre 10 on the weekend didn’t yield any PVC pipe the correct size, so I will have to keep looking. A nice thing about the handlebar mount is that the battery pack can be attached under the stem.

Dealextreme light

Last night I finally had a chance to give it a try. Bec and I headed up to Makara Peak after work. We hit the trails just after 6:00PM and didn’t get very far before having to switch the lights on. I used the lower light setting for climbing to save the battery. I was a bit worried as the light didn’t come with any instruction so I didn’t know how long the battery would last. The webpage claims 3 hours on the high setting and 4.5 hours on the low setting.

We climbed up Salley Alley to a point where we could bail out and head over to Ridgeline Extension. I switched over to the high beam for the descent. It was okay but with all the twists and turns I really missed having a light on my head. Most of the time the light was not pointed where I wanted it to be.

We continued down SWIGG and Starfish to the bottom. Then we rode back up Koru to the Start of Lazy Fern. Going down Lazy Fern I had the same problem as before. Because the light was mounted on the bar it was not lighting the right part of the trail. I will have to suss out a helmet mount before trying it out again.

The light seemed to work really well and it will be interesting to see how it holds up over time.

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