It all went wrong last night. 6 of us had agreed to meet up at a pub for a #MicroAdventure and a night out under the stars in bivi bags or in tents. I left home early at 5pm to reccie the area before the planned 7pm meet up.
On route I got my 2nd tubeless failure/puncture of the week, this ate in to my reccie time, so I headed straight to the Chinese take away, ate half of it (saving the other half for the bivi) and headed to the pub meet up point. Only Sharon turned up, we headed to the planned site, had a chat and both being very pissed off about the no shows we decided to call it a day (night) and arrange to do it again but with more reliable friends in the near future.
On the plus calling it a night just after it had gone dark gave me the chance to test out my KLite in total darkness, under clear sky’s only illuminated by the full moon on dark off road tracks and through a couple of villages. Heading out of the pub car park and onto the quiet roads but still under street lights the KLite was bright enough for all of the cars to see me clearly.
In my old days of mountain biking around 2004/5 I used a Smart light with its twin 5 watt & 10 watt tungsten bulbs, turning on both lights on technical trails for the full 15 watts of light power, fast forward to today and to make sure I’m not riding in other riders powerful lights shadows on group club night rides and I have an Exposure 6 pack mk6 4000 lumen front light on my bars and a 2000 Lumen light on my helmet. These units are bulky, heavy and need to be faffed with using chargers. If I was riding on my own while bike packing on no technical trails these lights are far too much over kill.
So, for my bike packing bike I invested in a Son dynamo hub, a Sinewave USB charger and a KLite Bike packer PRO 1200/700Lunem model from Michael Travers. After tonight’s failures it gave me my first chance to ride using the KLite dynamo light at night rather than just for it’s USB charger in the daytime as I’ve being doing successfully since the day I got it.
Out of the town and into the countryside, and once my eye’s had become accustomed to the darkness I was happy with the lights output, but thought I’d flick the switch to see how bright the KLite was on it’s lower setting. I flicked the switch and I was very impressed (and extremely pleased) when it shone even brighter as I’d actually turned on the higher 1200 lumen power output and I’d just ridden the first 4 miles of my ride on the lower 700 lumen setting thinking it was on the higher setting.
How much light does it give out? Well it was not very scientific but riding at an average cadence at around 14 to 15mph I counted following distances in a full rotation of my right hand crank and these were my findings.
Reflector signs and high viz clothing reflectors showed up at a distance of 30 full pedal rotations, the trail appear out of the gloom at 10 rotations, at 6 rotations obstacles can be identified and seen completely at 4 to 5 complete rotations everything was a bright as day light.
I would say this would be perfect for any bike packers needs, if you were riding technical, tight and twisty trails at my sorts of ability and speeds I would recommend a back up 2000 lumen helmet light to turn on as and when you need it, but if you are a full on downhiller this maybe not the light for you.
Here are some photos and a video clip all taken last night.
Dynamo and wire in place
Light on the bars
F/3.5 1/4 second and ISO 1600
F/3.5 1/4 second and ISO 1600
30 second video