|[ Main index | Bicycle components tests |||Dutch: Zaklampen om lekke banden te repareren of reparaties uit te voeren op onverlichte wegen ]|
If you regularly ride evenings or at night on unlit roads, you should take a small torch with you just in case you need to fix a flat tyre or do some other repairs... Here are a few examples of recent LED torches and bicycle emergency lighting (that can also be used for that purpose).
From left to right: Hema white+red lamps (on the front lamp I added some black tape to prevent light shining directly into my eyes), liteflux LF2XT, stainless steel lamp using AAA size batteries with Cree XP-E R2 LED.
|Hema from a set of front/rear lamps to put on handlebar/seatpost as emergency lighting. The front LED is supposed to be white but as usual with 5mm 'white' LEDs, it's actually quite bluish. They are both powered by 2 xCR2032 batteries. This gives barely enough light to fix anything. Finding the place where an inner tube is punctured won't be easy.
Weight: 14 g. each.
Price: ca. €5,- (per pair)
|Stainless steel AAA lamp with Cree XP-E R2 cool white LED. This gives almost as much light as a Schmidt Edelux headlamp and the pictures are overexposed in the centre of the beam because of this (esp. where it hits the chain in the first 2 pictures). Even though most of the light is in the 'hotspot', evertyhing is lit up more than enough, perfect for night time fixing of tyres or other repairs. You can also use the low setting which is still plenty of light to do repairs. To show its size, it's pictured here with an AA battery:
Weight: 60 g. with AAA NiMH battery but without lanyard.
Size: ∅ 15 mm, length 90 mm.
Price: ca. €15,-
|Liteflux LF2XT AAA lamp with Cree XP-E Q4 neutral white LED. This gives a wider beam than the above lamps and more daylight-like light. Brightness can be set to any value. Very nice lamp that's fully programmable and has for example a safety feature of not allowing batteries to be drained too much (important for Li-Ion) but it is a lot more expensive.
Weight: ca. 32 g. with a AAA NiMH battery.
Size: ∅ 15 mm, length 82 mm.
Price: ca. €50,- + taxes and import duty.
These are of course just some examples of the myriad of available torches/flashlights, but they are good examples that you might want to check out.
I would suggest the stainless steel lamp as a good compromise between features and price. Regarding weight, it would be better to have an aluminium torch/flashlight but I didn't find good ones that were relatively cheap and had at least 2 different brightness levels and not too many useless modes (strobe, sos). For example, a lamp that had 5 modes (high, medium, low, strobe, sos) was just too annoying to use (you have to cycle through all 5 modes if you get it wrong, and I don't like flashing, etc.). The above stainless steel lamp is the best compromise in these respects: modes are high, low, strobe, the stainless steel looks very nice and scratching it won't change how it looks, and it's relatively cheap. Also, I only looked at 'clicky' lamps (i.e. switching on/off/programming/mode changes is done with a tailcap button), not twisty lamps which have a mechanism whereby loosening/tightening a part of the body selects the levels which I think is a strange method.
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Last modified: Fri Nov 30 17:43:14 CET 2012