Getting out and about this winter is a great way to stay fit and fresh. There is nothing like buring off the Christmas turkey with an off-road ride. With the days very short, we wake up in the dark and before we even finish our evening meal it is pitch black again. Lighting up not only keeps you safe from other bikers and traffic, but is essential for anything off-road. There is a lot to choose from, with bike specific lights and torches like the Fenix we looked at last week. However, AyUp Lights offer the ultimate solution which they kindly sent to me for review.
In this awesome 2008 MTB package, I got two sets of dual lights. One set fits onto the handlebars of your bike, with a very effective mount that is cable tied on, then a rubber band type clasp holds the light firmly in place. Then there is a second mount that is called a Gecko Mounting System. This is really cool and attaches to your helmet with velcro tabs. The second light then fastens onto this and your ready to go. The light units don't contain batteries. Instead they connect to external rechargeable battery packs. You get a mains charger in with the kit. The cabling is nice and neat and does not restrict how you use the lights at all.
Once everything is in place you need to really prepare yourself for how poerful the AyUps are. You basically have a really focused 320 lumen output set on your bars and another 320 set on your helmet. The beam has virtually no spill, so where you point your bike or turn your head, all the dangers on your off-road adventure are very well lit. When I ventured on-road, I turned the helmet mounted set off, as this seemed to dazzle car drivers. The handlebar mount gave me plenty of visability. It is also nice that each light individually rotates, so you can really tweak the direction of the beam. You will also be pleased at the awesome build quality. These things feel like they are worth every penny.
This is the first time I have used lights with separate battery packs. My initial thoughts were that the packs would get in the way. However, they are very compact and velcro fastenings allow them to be easily mounted and managed. The big advantage here is twofold. Firstly, you get a long six hours of use. The second happened when I was out on a ride. My main handlebar light ran out, but my helmet mounted one was still going strong. A quick swap around of the packs and I still had my main light. A simple solution, but very effective and I could continue on my ride.
The lights are also very light, weighing in at 168g. This means that they do not add much to your riding weight and having one helmet mounted is barely noticeable. If you want to get even more use out of your AyUps, there is even a headband mount for £12.56. If you dabble in a bit of climbing, then this gives you the opportunity to use these awesome units to light your way up the climb. In summary, they are not cheap. Just over £224 for the kit we tested here, or £134 for a single light kit. However, what you are getting makes them worth the spend. Fantastic build quality, handlebar and helmets mounts, battery packs and charger, all presented in a useful soft case. I cannot emphasise the quality of the lights and the powerful beam they output. There are also many colours to choose from, so you can customise the look to match your bike. For me, I just want to keep these AyUps on my bike, they are simply superb.