Winter is fast approaching and with it everything the cyclist fears. Icy surfaces, the possibility of endless rain, the corrosion process being one you can actually sit and watch happen to your bike. Dark, the endless Dark.
It’s a constant challenge for the cyclist to keep going all year and even the most ardent cyclist will be lying if they said that they hadn’t peek through the curtains on winter’s day and thought “stuff that”.
A big part of keeping going all year round is equipment. The right kit will make sure that you only have to draw on will power to get out and get going. The more equipment that is available the less excuses are available.
Lights are arguably one of the most important bits of kit. If you can’t even see where you’re going then it’s going to be a bad time on the bike. Here’s a selection of great lights to get you out there in the wild winter hinterland.
If you’re commuting in the city then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see where you’re going anyway. Street lights are plentiful and there’s always lots of car light. But it easy not to be seen amongst the bustle. It’s not necessarily about seeing but all about being seen.
Lights like the Lezyne Zecto, Lezyne Femto, and Exposure Flash and Flare do a decent job of broadcasting your presence to other road users. Either a constant beam or a pulsing strobe catches the attention of pedestrians and motorists alike and help keep journeys incident free.
The Centre of town is one thing but those leafy suburbs can be a dark place at night with Lime trees growing around streetlights. On these roads motorists usually expect it to be quiet and don’t always drive with the caution that they should. For the suburbs you need something with a bit more kick.
The Exposure Joystick has long been a stalwart of the Exposure range. It’s output punches above its weight and has mount for helmet and bars, the CNC body keeps the weather out too. The Lezyne Mini Drive also gets the CNC treatment and a spare battery pack. Both can be charged by USB port for added ease of use.
On The Road
It’s dark and there’s no lights but even on an early winters morning or evening there’s no better place to be on a road bike than the quite country lanes. Lights like the Exposure Race do an excellent job of illuminating the tarmac, keeping you out of any potholes and making sure you don’t pedal through any road kill.
Featuring a ‘fuel’ gauge so you know exactly how long you’ve got left, the famous Exposure CNC body keeps the electronics from mixing with water. Programmable light settings mean you can tone down the output when under street lights to keep the battery running longer.
Out in the fields
Lighting up the tarmac is one thing, lighting an uneven surface like a bridleway track or footpaths through the countryside is another. Exposure’s MaXx-D kicks out 1600 lumens to light the way. Uneven spots in riding surfaces are picked out allowing you to plan your route well ahead of any evasive action needed to be taken. The fuel gauge and programmable lighting keeps you burning for longer alongside Intelligent Thermal Management which monitors the thermal output of the LEDs to prevent overheating and therefore burning less efficiently.
Downhill is one of cycling’s most demanding disciplines and you can turn that up a notch in the pitch black. You need to see everything that’s coming and see it fast. The father of them all is the Six Pack. Scares wild life and lets you see absolutely everything. The 2000 lumen beam is so strong that I’ve actually seen it knock things over when turned on, sort of. Featuring all the technology that you expect from Exposure the Six Pack is the ultimate in bike lights.