Pinkbike Product Picks

Jan 10, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  

Knog Blinder Arc 5.5 Light

Knog is an Australian design consortium that adheres to strict environmental standards and strives to produce long-lasting cycling accessories that are both simple and functional. The Blinder Arc is 5.5 is its most powerful single-lamp light, with a claimed, (awesomely brilliant) 550 lumens. The light source is a single CREE XM-L2 LED that is focused by a parabolic reflector into a very useable 16-degree vertical by 24-degree horizontal beam pattern. Three illumination levels and a flashing mode can be toggled by pushing the on/off button, and run times vary from 1.8 hours on maximum power to 7.9 hours in the low setting. The Blinder Arc’s lithium ion battery is rechargeable via an included USB cable, and it is equipped with a flip-out male plug in case you need to charge it and forgot the cord. Time required for a full charge is stated to be seven hours.
The Blinder Arc 5.5 chassis is well constructed from anodized aluminum, with cooling fins to pull heat from the powerful LED lamp and silicone gripping material covers the rear half to make it easier to hold onto with cold fingers. An elastic silicone band tensioned by an elegant stainless steel over-center lever fixes the Blinder Arc 5.5 to the handlebar, and mounts are included that fit both popular handlebar diameters. The unit is sealed so it can be used in the worst weather. Accessories include helmet mounting hardware, the optional handlebar mount, an Allen key, and adhesive pads and silicone shims to assist tricky mount-ups. Knog offers the Blinder Arc 5.5 in black, blue, red or silver accents. Weight is 150 grams and the MSRP is $119 USD.
Knog

Knog Blinder Arc 5.5 light 2014

Knog's Blinder Arc 5.5 puts down massive quantities of light, and it is only 100mm long and 32mm wide, so it functions well as a head lamp. A polycarbonate helmet mount fits the included 25mm handlebar clamp.



Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesKnog kicked a game winner with the Blinder Arc 5.5. The beam pattern is wide enough to keep the corners in sight when the light is handlebar mounted and to provide ample peripheral vision. For moderate paced trail riding, one unit is more than sufficient. For high-speed work, one on the helmet and one on the bars could provide enough illumination to allow most riders to forego the purchase of a mega-buck high-output system. Internal electronics keep the light output steady and provide an illuminated 'fuel gauge' in case you need a mid-ride status report. High and mid-beam run times matched Knog's published numbers and topping off the charge after most rides rarely took more than an hour or three. The size and shape of the Blinder Arc make it easy to stash in about any pocket or pack, and with its silicone gripper, the Arc 5.5 makes an excellent flashlight. The one downer we found was that the straps included for mounting the Blinder Arc's helmet mount are too simplistic. Once the powerful hook and loop ties are in place, they hold the lamp securely, but without a buckle to help tension the straps, mounting the carrier can be a hellish task. That said, the Blinder Arc 5.5 is a well made and powerful light for those searching for a lot of illumination from a compact and versatile package. - RC



Kali Hasta Glove

Kali Protectives upgraded their Hasta glove with a large ventilated area in the back and fancier graphics. The tops of the braking fingers are coated with grippy smart-phone-friendly silicone material and all of the fingers are ‘boxed’ construction for maximum dexterity. The palm is a leather-like microfiber material that is not padded, and the wrist closure uses comfortable stretchy material, fixed by a molded-silicone hook-and-loop tab. Sizes are X-small, small, medium and large, with an MSRP of $25.00 USD.
Kali Protectives

Kali Hasta gloves 2014

We liked Kali's original Hasta glove and the new version proved to be equally comfortable and functional. Those who prefer gloves without padded palms will like it.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesKali's Hasta glove is a straight-forward design that puts in a good performance for riders who want a reasonable measure of protection and an unencumbered feel at the controls. Most of us at Pinkbike prefer gloves without palm padding and external armor, but it is nice to know that after bashing through Southern California's nasty underbrush, that the new gloves from Kali have not been perforated. Initially, the thumbs felt a bit tight, but they took a shape after a few rides and became quite comfortable. My hands are average for medium gloves and they fit comfortably snug, with a little room left in the fingertips. The gripper fingertips do a reasonably good job of operating a touch screen and feel good on the brake levers in wet and dry conditions. Durability is well above average - with a no holes or tears after three winter months of riding. There are a lot of gloves to choose from - some very good, some not so good. Kali's Hasta gloves definitely belong in the very good column. - RC



Bontrager SE4 Team Issue Tire

Bontrager is upping its game in the tire arena with the acquisition of Frank Stacy – the sport’s most respected tire designer – and one of the first examples of their effort is the SE4 series. The SE4 (Super Enduro 4) is as an Enduro/all-mountain design to fill the gap between a stiff, two-ply DH tire and a lightweight large-volume XC/trail tire. We tested top-drawer Team Issue version with its aramid bead and ‘Core Strength’ three-layer reinforcement system. Bontrager offers the tubeless ready SE4 TI in either 26 or 29-inch sizes at present, with 2.2 and 2.35-inch casings in 26 and a single 2.3-inch in the 29er size.
The basic casing is a 60 thread-per-inch material with a bias layup to encourage flexibility. The exact durometer of the tread’s rubber compound was not given, but we were told that it is in the neighborhood of 56 and it is formulated to be exceptionally grippy. We review the 29er here, but the 2.35 by 26-inch version is nearly identical, so we expect almost exactly the same performance. The actual weight of the 29er SE4 Team Issue is 1010 grams. Inflated at 32psi on a 22-millimeter ID rim, it measured 2.25 inches at the widest point and was 29.25 inches in diameter. MSRP is listed by Bontrager between $65 and $75 USD.
Bontrager

Bontrager SE4 Team Issue tire 2014

An extra row of transition blocks was added to give more consistency to the SE4's cornering performance. The difference can be felt immediately, as can the angled center tread, which rolls surprisingly fast.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe ran the SE4 Team Issue tires mounted tubeless on Bontrager Rhythm Pro wheels at 30psi in the rear and 28psi up front. The tires fit tightly on the rims and aired up easily with a floor pump. As mentioned, the outer diameter measured 29.25 inches (743mm) and the tire at its widest point was 2.25 inches (57.2mm) which was plenty wide, as the cornering blocks of the tire are large and aggressively spaced. Bontrager says that the SE4 tread performs best in rocky and loose soil, or in loamy conditions, but its performance graph clearly shows that it is an all-around performer, which we agree with. For comparison, they handle much like the Schwalbe Hans Dampf. The SE4 tread stops on a dime and claws its way up technical climbs with relative ease. The only situation where we were caught out with the SE4 tires was on rock-hard dirt, where the edging tread tended to drift a bit and was occasionally reluctant to get out of deep ruts. When the tires did slide, though, it was a very controllable feel. At 1010 grams and stretched over a big 29er wheel, the SE4 Team tires feel a bit sluggish under acceleration, but the angled center blocks and a surprising amount of suppleness in the casing, allow the tire to roll effortlessly and to maintain speed. The key to the tire's low rolling resistance can be attributed to its 'Core Strength' casing design that features three anti-puncture layers of a thin, tough fabric: one on each sidewall, and a central strip beneath the tread. There is about a 12-millimeter space left between the tread and sidewall reinforcements which allows the casing to easily deflect over trail irregularities like a lighter weight single-ply tire would. The blend of the reinforced sidewall and supple upper casing gives the SE4 tire the secure feel of a DH tire in hard corners and for off-angle landings, but with the straight-line speed of an XC/trail tire - and that pretty much sums up what is good about Bontrager's new Enduro tire. - RC



I read Product Picks with great interest and I would have to say that...







118 Comments

  • 47 3
 I like the gold TLD helmet best
  • 22 2
 Look up Cree lights on ebay and you can get way more lumens for way less money.
  • 9 3
 And solar storm on eBay. Like 2000 lumen, good looking trail lights for 24.99£
  • 4 0
 I bought an 1800 lumen light off of ebay to do a night race and when it worked it was amazing but the problem is you pay for the battery more than the light and my cheap light lasted half an hour and my lezyne lasted over 4 hours on full
  • 2 1
 Yup, I got a 6000 lumen set for £50. Came with head and bar mounting stuff, plus a rear light. Gonna be grabbing another to stick on helmet, just to make sure everyone knows im there haha
  • 23 5
 Yes obviously 6000 Lumens. LOL. Those are such fake claims that I can't even believe that there are people who actually think those products can perform so high luminous flux. You can easily divide that value by 3-5. I benchmarked several cheap chinese lamps from ebay, and all claims are fake. On of the claimed 1800lm and the photometry measured value was round 700. Those claims are so stupid that even if you are using LED nominal values, it won't add up. And you are not calculation with thermal optical end electrical loss due to "driver". They also don't last too long. Reliability as weak. I would rather spend on a properly designed product, not on cheap knock-offs.
  • 11 5
 So 1800 divided by 5 is 700 is it? I never claimed it was the best light available, just that for £50 its bloody good, and anyway, a light that may only give out 2000 lumens for £50 is better than no light because I cant afford a 250quid set. Don't last long? If it lasts one season of night riding ill be happy, because thats 5 years of light for £250, and I doubt even a £500 set will last that, especially if you fall off and break it, its only £50 lost
  • 3 1
 I have my cree 1300 (claimed) lumens for a year now, paid 32 buck plus the wide lens for another 6 dollars. That thing goes and goes, never had it die while riding. I put it on the handle bars and combine it with a 160 lumen helmet light. The thing I love most about night trailing is to put to the test all I know about that specific trail, every corner, every root, every rock, every detail. Riding at night most be one of the most exciting ways to ride for sure...
  • 5 0
 Yea but none of these eBay or amazon lights really out out that many lumens. And as stated above it's more in the battery. The eBay lights use the same led's as niteriders and this here. The Cree XML's and the claimed output of one of those is about 1200 lumens. The measured output is about 5-600. So when you get a niteriders pro 1800 and a 3600 Cree XML bike light off eBay they have a similar output because they are the same lights. I have a buddy who has a cree 3600 and I have the niterider. Cree is a great light for 35$. It's only slightly dimmer than my pro 1800 but it has thin cables, a small battery and did just shut off completely mid ride once. Remember. You get what you pay for.
  • 1 0
 my cree claims 1200. it is brighter than every other light I've ever seen, including those much more expensive ones the other guys in the woods are using, and the battery can run more than 5 hours without a charge. I have used it in the rain and snow on long hikes and biking. Also, the light in the review uses a cree led. The plastic is cheap so keep the epoxy handy, but otherwise these are incredible. If your buddy's light sucked it was likely a bad battery.
  • 1 1
 FYI, the ebay/amazon CREE LED lights work great IF YOU GET ONE THAT WORKS. I'm incredibly happy with mine, but my buddy's came with a faulty battery pack that craps out after 25min. Returns would be fine except that you have to pay and wait forever to ship to/from China/Taiwan. From what I read, it seems the emitters are usually fine but the battery packs are a mixed bag. But for as cheap as they are, you can get 3 for the cost of a "real" bike headlamp, and if the battery craps out you can always buy a new/better one from a hobby store.

And to the haters, I don't give a shit that it claims an insane lumen output. All that matters is that unless I'm going completely balls out down the trail it's more than enough light, and through slow, technical stuff it's like riding in the daytime. And you get that for less than 1/3 the price of a "real" light.
  • 2 0
 plus you can replace the batteries on amazon for about $5
  • 2 0
 Ya, the amazon ones have crap quality control of the batteries. I've bought 5-6 for myself and friends, and about 1/3 of the batteries are junk and last 20 min. The others work great. The benefit of Amazon is that they take returns.
  • 5 0
 The cheap chinese batteries are hit and miss... If they don't catch fire when charging or just plain don't charge, then they're great...
  • 1 0
 as others are saying, the cheap lights on ebay and amazon are spotty quality light output, spotty on battery duration and the materials break very easily. That said,....I have two of them. I've had to glue both of them back to their mounts, and one has unpredictable run time. I have these for any friend who wants to ride, but doesn't have lights.

They are good for extras, or for just trying out night riding to see if you like it. You should always have 2 lights (one bar, one helmet) so my advice is to make one of those reliable.

The nice thing about the knog is that it has no battery cable, easy charging options and looks very durable. It really is a good price point. Though I don't like the height for the helmet mount, that might not be an issue for some. 700 lumens and up is plenty sufficient for each light at even high speed night riding.
  • 2 0
 Yes, but for $119 I could get near 6 cheap chinese lights off amazon. If you get a lemon, you can return/exchange it
  • 5 0
 The difference between cheap chinese lights and premium american/euro brand ones usually isn't the leds themselves but the batteries used. Practically every chinese light is built around generic 2200mAh cells which are about five or six years beyond the current state of the art in li-ion rechargeable capacities in the 18650 cell size. You can buy japanese made panasonic cells with 50% more capacity in the same cell size. When my chinese cheapo battery packs start failing i replace them with packs built around those panasonics.
  • 2 0
 I have two of the $20 magic shine knock off lights from Amazon. They work better than I could ever imagine. I have one on the bars and one on the head. I've never thought twice about buying a light for more than $20. Sure one of the chargers died but even if I have one fail it's only another $20. Truly amazing lights for the money. Oh year and they last about 3 hours on full.
  • 1 0
 cheap vs reliable and bright. i know i choose reliable any day. I have 3 NR 700 lumen lights for various things and they always work great. cheap knock offs aren't worth the hassle and when I'm out in the bush, i know my lights will continue to work. I have never understood the concept of saving a couple $$ and buying a pos... for anything! my buddy bought a "900" lumen light online and my old NR 200 is WAY brighter, and his was the same price! No matter what i buy, i buy the reasonable and reliable option, plus buying local is better, a little friendly service is a lot nicer than going online, plus it keeps the money closer to home. You suckers can buy cheap shit but you're never getting ahead!
  • 3 1
 My light is bright and reliable. Brighter than the expensive 1000 lumen light my fellow riders use and only $20. Pretty sure I just pulled ahead. If my batteries fail I can spend as much as I want to replace them.. All it means is I buy more basic components and do some work my self (namely putting in batteries).
Next you'll tell me I'll never get ahead if I keep changing my own brakes and oil in my car.
Enjoy blowing money on something that is the same as mine, but with batteries that are worth about $15 more. and a name that cost you a $100 more.
I understand the need you feel to justify your purchases.
  • 1 0
 You don't have to replace your batteries if you get a bad one. Any merchant on Amazon.com has to take returns ! You can get another battery for free.
  • 1 0
 My point was I don't replace my batteries because they don't fail, so tell my how your ahead when your out on the trail with two lights in your hands that won't turn on and I'm still out there riding... I have nothing to justify, lights that have worked for years without trouble is enough for me.
  • 2 2
 Mine haven't failed yet, and yours might fail tomorrow. You never know. If mine do fail (as lights sometimes do) I can spend another $20 and have batteries just like yours and have a top notch light. Total price: $40 for a light just like yours. How much did yours cost?
  • 2 0
 I have a "real" one and a cheap chinese knockoff of the same model (magicshine) and there is quite a difference. The real one works all the time, the build is better and it provides more light. The chinese version is built cheaper, heats up faster and tends to go haywire every now and then or just straight up shuts down for no reason. I ride with both, one on the helmet and one on the handlebars and I've often had to take one out and give it to a friend because their chinese versions stopped working for no apparent reason mid ride. They didn't want to buy the real thing, sometimes I feel like rubbing it in their face but I'm not enough of an a*shole to let them pedal in the dark and risk injury to prove a point.

I often ride solo and the very LAST thing I want during a nightride is having it die for no apparent reason 1h30 into pitchblack woods and that alone is very well worth the extra money for me. If you're chinese knockoff is good enough for you then fine, you save money and that's great but do NOT imply that a 30$ light is just as good quality wise compared to real thing, especially if you haven't tried anything else than the cheap stuff. They're not the same.

Also, call me a hippy but the idea of buying shit stuff that doesn't last because "it's cheaper and I can just buy another one if it breaks" is quite selfish and not very environmental friendly (especially when it comes to batteries...) but I don't think that is an argument that holds much water on pinkbike. I understand that for cellphone covers, it's pretty much retarded to pay 40$ in store when you can get the same thing shipped to your house from hongkong for less than 5$ but buying unreliable gear because it's available and inexpensive just doesn't make sense to me.
  • 1 0
 Your point about batteries killing the planet is pretty valid. Of course I can buy a cheap light with no batteries and then only buy good ones and still save money. I just happened to buy the cheap batteries (or i wouldn't be able to ride at night at all for lack of funds). What model is your china light. Wait, both of your lights were made in china. What was the model of your cheap light? Mine is a cree xm-l t-6, water proof that takes lithium ion batteries. If has been awesome except the plastic is cheap, but I have epoxy. There are a lot of bad ones though. Maybe you got junk? Always read the reviews.
  • 26 1
 Never thought I'd see the day that in a glove review the ability of the glove to operate a touch screen would be spoken about before the feeling on the brake lever, wow. Please point me towards the 'stop my bike, I'm about to die app'......
  • 2 1
 I never take my s3 out with me I have an old nokia thats my ride phone and it stays in my bag. Made the mistake of taking my old s3 out with me and well one big crash and it snapped
  • 1 0
 Flip, I don't think people comment on the feeling of gloves anymore. Which is why I rarely wear them. They're too thick and obtrusive, and, like you said, have no feeling. My last order I made from no fear before they went bankrupt I ordered 5 sets of these super nice thin gloves, I loved em. But they're all worn out now and all I have is think ones and they suck. But that's the norm these days.
  • 3 2
 Yeah Ty, I just can't believe that touch screens are even mentioned. I wear gloves for protection in the event of a crash and for grip as to not have sweaty hands.
  • 11 0
 if you cant use a touch screen how else will you pause strava every time you stop to scratch your balls?
  • 3 0
 Hahahahahahaha to true but doesn't strava have a stop ajd scratch balls button yet
  • 2 1
 You got a problem (or are a very talented rider) if you can play on your iphone while riding
  • 2 0
 Those gloves wouldnt last a day of heavy trail riding or street and look only useful for those on road bikes !
  • 1 1
 What makes you say that?
  • 2 0
 I wish feel lovers and racers didn't dominate the market. I have wrist injurys and need vibration dampening and since 661 no longer make gel gloves I'm riding with gloves from the hardware store yuck. If I wanted more feel I'd ride a rigid bike. I want to surf the earth not feel the impacts.
  • 14 5
 Alright everybody lets calm down. So what pinkbike reviews a Tire or a head lamp your not going to buy? Not every review pinkbike is going to do and maybe give a high rating will appeal to you. There is no need in completely turning on a website that does so much for us as a community because of a tire review
  • 17 1
 duh don't you know PB product picks is all about complaining!? On that note those gloves are a ripoff and that headlight sucks too, mine is better and weighs less.
  • 15 4
 You wont get any better than mine, the guy at the bike shop assured me it was enduro specific.
  • 2 1
 There’s several things which factor in on why people complain about these product picks or everything in PB, first of all it is an internet forum, everyone is entitled to their opinion and users are talking to strangers, no one cares about each other emotions or ideas, but most importantly is that we all practice an individual sport, so most of us are used to shine on our own, competition is not through teamwork or friendship, it is individual, so whenever there’s an opportunity to take a Oneupper position we’ll take it. The key word here is Most of us not All of us though.
  • 7 0
 You guys are killing me. Complaining about $120 for a headlamp?? Have you seen the prices on "bike specific" lights these days? Look at the ones MTBR reviewed in their bike light roundup and tell me $120 isn't one of the more affordable ones out there. Of course, I use the cheap amazon kind, but if I wanted something bombproof and reliable with a manufacturer to stand behind the product I wouldn't blink at spending $120.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I saw 119$ MSRP and I was like "sweet, prices are going down" and the sure enough, the comment section is a shitstorm about how expensive they are and about how their chinese light is so good (when none of them tried any other model for comparison).
  • 6 0
 I hope the light weight is a typo. 550 gm is a very heavy light for an all-in-one configuration. My Taz is less then half that. The Urban from light and motion is almost the same price and 112 gm with a much more streamlined helmet strap. The beam pattern on the Taz is very good. My 800 lumen Taz lights the trail better then the cheap Chinese 2000 lumen lights. A well focused light even at lower power beats a lot of poorly focused light. The Light and Motion Seca is very bright and usable light but costly. Good optics doesn't come cheap, unfortunately.
  • 3 0
 HAHA! That would be a heavy light - 150g The parabolic reflector makes a big difference. I have a Taz also and it uses a high quality reflector as well. You are on the money that optics are the key to LED performance.
  • 11 4
 "with 2.2 and 2.35-inch casings in 36 and a single 2.3-inch in the 29er size. " is that supposed to be 26 inch?
  • 3 0
 Fixed.
  • 5 3
 Neg Prop'd for asking a question, what happened to PB?
  • 1 0
 Some people are just odd.
  • 4 1
 My solarstorm x2 has two XML-L2, a 4cell battery lasting 3+hours on high and a 3 hour charger. All for $40 usd shipped. Build quality is excellent. Battery probably doesn't give full listed capacity but I easily get my 2 hours on full without low batt indicators coming on.

Why spend nearly 3x as much for half the output and 1/4 the battery and no charger?
  • 1 0
 The Solarstorm X2 was so impressive that I convinced 2 of my riding buddies. It was so affordable that their wives gave them the okay. Smile So for the same $120, I ended up getting two buddies to ride at night with me. At $120, neither would've bought a light and they wouldn't be riding and I'd be alone. Best $40 bucks I've spent on a bike accessory in a very very long time. Got a well built ultra bright light and two night riding buddies for that price!
  • 1 0
 I have a solarstorm x2 and love it, I believe it was $36 shipped. I'm going to get another one, trying to decide if I want the x3 or not.
  • 5 0
 Why am I the only one thinking of a low branch, one among mass of them, which takes my head light off my helmet leaving me in the dark in best case scenario?
  • 2 0
 ..
  • 2 1
 I wouldn't ride trails with lots of overhanging branches in the dark, I guess. Seems like a recipe for trouble generally.
  • 2 4
 Jedrzeja - ugh... if you are doing any riding in the dark you do want a lamp on top of your helmet, because you need a strong beam of light pointing directly where you want to ride. Then if you got some cash to lash out, you might mount another one or more on handlebars, preferably a strong yet wide spread lamp for peripheral vision and to see better what's coming under your front wheel. There's no need for overkill though unless you ride reeeeally fast. Riding in the dark is awesome, you should try it one day
  • 1 2
 Oh guys! Why does my point seem so simple to me only? I don't ride trails, as trails in my neighbourhood are built to be ridden in skirts together with enormous bells and white sides of tires, or some tons of items attached to all three lateral racks of a sunday cruisers for elderly. So if you can immagine me, having ridden it all though and around, and riding the landscape now on a dh bike, how can I speak about using trails at all? I don't have much time for bike in my life so travelling to bikeparks or any mountains, or during several hours of daytime is often beyond reach. This is why the extreme nature of my biking keeps pushing me far beyond anybody's immagination where I can possibly ride on a bicycle. It is mostly done in the dark also becasue these places are illegal to be ridden at all. Paths are old, tight through bushes or just being built new under my front tire. Riding them I have to use helmet to push in some space between branches. So please understand that one strong head lamp on my forhead part of helmet is enough. One only as there is often the need to turn it off fastly and set the stealth mode. Bike lamp does not only show where to go, but keeps me visible or less visible according to situation.

To the point. Seeing the type of mouting a head lamp on a helmet like a hook over my head just to catch some low branch, loose the lamp or have the helmet pulled back together with the very head and the rest of body and fall back on a ground with the bike continuing forward without any rider is not for me. I wrote the first comment as I thought there are also riders who ride tight forest paths and haven't thought about it yet.
  • 1 3
 I just haven't seen a single strong lamp that can be mounted around the forehead. Hope, Magic shine, Lezyne, Niterider, they are all mounted quite high on the helmet. What are you using?
  • 2 0
 I just knew somebody will ask about it. It is also simple, and typical Polish solution. Cheap and effective. I bought the cheapest model of a trekking forhead lamp, through away the stripes and zipped it to the forhead vents. There is some adjustment done in the back of the lamp to keep the angle just right - tilted a bit down. So it actually lights exactly where I look. It took some trials to prepare the right angle, and set it for sure. Cost? About 6 euro for the lamp, two aa batteries, two zipps. Advantages? Exactly what I need. Never moves, never hooks branches. No worries about breaking the lamp in bushes as it is so cheap I can always have next two in the backpack. It never broke down anyway. Disadvantages? Weight of two aa bateries hanging on forhead, but it is like winter bike clothes. On can get used to it. Believe me I was looking for something more sophisticated and found nothing better for my type of riding. I will change it into something lighter and smaller but I haven't seen anything for me yet.

I am using the strong head lamp and two tiny 20g lamps, front and rear. Attached to the bike, they keep me visible riding along streets, which I turn off in forest.

Any strong bar mounted lamp is a complete misunderstaing from my perspective unless used on a road bike, where riding is smooth and corners are gentle.
Head lamp is not exactly perfect in traffic as it doesn't suggest your position when you're turning head from side to side.
  • 2 0
 @treesmoker you have to be crazy man, you have to become crazy! No risk no fun. Otherwise direction warm couch potato.
  • 1 1
 The solution is obvious a helmet maker needs to embed a light in the helmet. Night riding is getting popular so there may be a market for it. The batteries could be housed in the helmet itself. Hell you could make it modular to allow a camera or a light and why not an mp3 player too!
  • 1 0
 I like your thinking, but lets consider that I am wearing a helmet, mp3 player - the sony W series, gogles, or protective glasses, the head light and during winter a hat under the helmet. One could add a camera to it, and probably a phone display and some navi display in the future. Why am I listing all of this? Show me a helmet producer who would ever make all of it. I would still like to have a choice between producers of head lights etc appart from the helmet make I am in possession. I would be happy to have at least some mounting points, or some compatibility, like with gogles and fullface helmet. For example the best place to put batteries is the back of helmet. Some producers of different gear should come into consensus, but this is always difficult conversation. Anyway my main helmet problem is how to use mp3 and full face at the same time so what I am interested in most now is the new giro helmet and the quality of headphones compatible inside of it. The best part of my mp3 player is the lack of cables.

Night riding makes immagination work more around fear of what can be hidden in the dark so what I noticed and share is that turning off music in those sections can be helpful. It is amazing how much more senses we have in the dark.
  • 1 1
 Anyone using mp3 player on the bike, while riding on roads and particularly in the city centers, is second in line to be shot after the girl writing SMS to her bestie girl-friend. Hipster checking his facebook on his dumb-phone while riding on the red light, should not be shot he should be spanned on legs between two poles, hanging head down and slowly cut by that shitty retro chainset from his fixie
  • 1 0
 All mp3 players have volume control, so it can be adjusted according to situation. There is no difference between the ability to hear of a driver who has all windows closed and listens to some radio news, a tram motorist who has all windows closed and a pedestrian or a biker who listens to some music with the right volume. There is no need to hear all the street noises that are simply unpleasent and exhausting, but there is a need to hear what is happening around. The use of objects is the key. Knife can be dangerous, car can be dangerous, mp3 player can be dangerous. There is also this fact that some people have brains and all gear is designed for such people.

Your point is assuming I have no brain and listen to loud music biking through city centre. This is offending me, so please keep your piece of advice to your morning mirror. I know you are from Poland so there is probably shame in you becasuse of this fact since you changed the flag. What is it that you should be really ashamed of? Please reconsider, but I shall ignore you from now on.
  • 1 0
 Im so sorry for insulting your honour and hurting your feelings... You have indeed succeeded at seeing me through - I did think all those things about you basing onlly on the fact that you use mp3 player. That has also given me a lot of hints about your childhood: winters in Kudova Zdrooj, luge lessons, summers in Rangoon, mother used to take you for Ice Cream to Janeczka restaurant in Wisla where you used to pee yourself. Your 5 year older cousin used to dress you like a girl and put you to a potato bag, hitting you with a broom stick afterwards. Your comment that you will ignore my trolliness has pierced me like a Turkish arrow. I shall now curl and succumb to my cave, or rather a tunnel dug up by nazis in Gory Sowie. I will regain my confidence by watching the nazi gold that no one can find... Mohaha mohahaha mohahahahaha!
  • 6 2
 Frank Stacy has designed tires for Maxxis, Specialized and now Trek, looks like another good tire
  • 4 1
 It looks nice and round but too low volume for my heavy arse.
  • 2 0
 Over 1 kilo for a tire??? Not too impressed... I'm not a weight weenie but a pair of these will come out to a pound heavier than most decent wheelsets these days! I'm sure the tire grips well and all, but there are really good options that drop a significant amount of rotating mass compared to this.
  • 1 0
 I really want to like Bontrager tires now that Stacy is designing for them. Even went out and bought a set of XR4ti's based on a lot of positive reviews (btw: am I the only one that remembers the Merkur XR4-ti?). Trouble is, the tires are pants but they won't die. They are predictable but Cornering and breaking are mediocre, in dry and dusty climbs they slip more than any tire I have used in the last five years, and they are relatively heavy for their measured size and utility. Still, I've got 100+ hours on them, the middle tread on the rear is starting to look a bit worn, but the nobbys everywhere else look good. I guess that is something.
  • 4 1
 Aagro - you don't have to wait for tires to wear out to replace them if you don't like them.

Max - did you miss the part that it's an "Enduro (tm)" tire specifically meant to fall between XC and DH in weight and sidewall protection? If you want a light XC tire go buy a light XC tire.
  • 1 0
 I met Frank a few weeks ago when he was conducting a tyre test with Tracy Mosely. The amount he knew about every tyre I mentioned was unreal. It's really good to talk to someone who's that good at their job.
  • 1 2
 @briani
Blasphemy! Ride it until it dies. Replace a frame when it cracks, chain when it breaks, and tires when they are bald! Otherwise I'd be too tempted to buy all of the latest and greatest gear on a daily basis. Plus, think of how happy and excited I will be to finally blow out a sidewall on these. HaHa!
  • 1 1
 I'm pretty sure Frank Stacy never designed for Maxxis. Specialized yes, Maxxis, no.
  • 5 2
 If the light is Australian did they have to design it upside down so that it would be the right side up in the right side up countries?
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike just does not get lights and the value for money vs performance. I ride with mine up to 2 hours per day and would not enjoy my commute as much with this candle. I do use a gilet, a sombrio waterproof one with the battery in the top pocket and the nice light magicshine mj-880 on the helmet, when not riding and thrashing in the woods I use thr much more expensive magicshine on the helmet and a cheaper, heavier fluxient 3k lumen light on the bars. Is 5k of light too much for a real shred..... hell no, I want daylight, it is dark for night rides around 8 months of the year here, so lights are important to me.
  • 2 0
 I tried the MJ-880 and it just ran too hot for Aussie conditions. It wouldn't stay on high beam for more than a couple of minutes before dimming dramatically due to overheating. Not a good design, imo. Sent it back and get a Xeccon Spiker 1207 (dual Cree XML-U2), and it's been bloody brilliant as a bar mounted flood light. Got a Xeccon S12 (single U2) for the helmet also, total cost around $270. That's peanuts for a well built, reliable light setup with enough lumens (approx. 2000 combined) to turn night into day and bomb down the gnarliest terrain. Love my night riding, adds a whole new dimension to mtb.

Also, if those tyres are anything like the Hans Dampf, they have my vote. Have the Schwalbes on my VP-Free trail bike, hook-up in any terrain or conditions, easily the best tyres I've ever had.
  • 1 0
 It warms up here, not enough to dim, but we get 8c on a hot day, -3c to +3c normally.
  • 1 0
 Is there any tread difference between the SE-4 and the XR-4 or is it simply a protection addition to the SE-4? A note about Bontrager Tires, I have prob tried 15 tires (various brands) in various positions on my Santa Cruz Nomad and I ended up with the Bontrager XR-3 Team Issue in the rear and the Bontrager XR-4 Team Issue in the front. I know tires are very rider and trail condition specific but I would recommend trying these tires out, I really like the compound, high volume casing and smooth rolling yet very grippy tread pattern. .
  • 2 0
 The SE4 is a 60 tpi tire vs. the XR4 Tm Issue being a 120 tpi tire. The tread rubber is also different, with the SE4 utilizing a softer rubber.
  • 1 0
 @ TyreGuy, can you give me a quick education on TPI?
  • 1 0
 TPI means Threads Per Inch. On bike tires, the threads all run in one direction (the warp) with only one thread running across (the weft) every 1/3" or so. You can actually see this on the inside of some tires. The lower the tpi, the thicker the threads as fewer threads are needed to span that inch. The thicker the threads, the thicker the rubber top coat needs to be to encase them. The thicker the rubber, the heavier the tire and the less supple it is. Suppleness improves ride quality and is directly related to rolling resistance.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the info @TyreGuy
  • 1 0
 For all of u buying this cheap Chinese shit don't forget it's being made in factories with underpaid workers and with total disregard to any environmental issues ! If that's how u all want to vote with your dollars have at it , personally ill spend a little more on companies like light in motion , have a solid warranty , made by people receiving a fair wage and an environmentally friendly company ! Come on everyone we are all out door enthusiasts here why support companies that are not doing their share to if not help the planet ateast not harm anymore
  • 1 1
 You can't ask $100+ for a head lamp anymore!
www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Waterproof-1600LM-CREE-Headlamp/dp/B0098IJC7C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389363164&sr=8-1&keywords=cree+headlamp
Those gloves look no better than cheap mechanics gloves.
The tire is about what you'd expect.
  • 2 0
 Mechanics gloves are cheap but work great! No padding so you get lots of bar contact.
  • 1 0
 yep, just like those gloves
  • 1 0
 Not a big fan of the Bontrager SE4. It is not very good at climbing because the middle treads are short and angled. You get that slippy buzzing sound on roots, especially when its wet.
  • 1 0
 Is Bontranger really trying to sell their tires?

I have been on bontranger.com, trying to find some info on their lineup. Not even a basic size is given!

They lost a potential customer...
  • 1 0
 Seriously? I just went in looking for some SE4's and found them pretty easily. Not the cleanest interface, but no issues finding them.
  • 3 2
 Alternatives:
Serfas True 1500 (Best Niteriding Light Ever!)
Fox Sidewinders (Best Trail Glove Ever!)
Bontrager XR4s Team Issue (Best AM Tire Ever!)
  • 1 0
 I have 2 sets of the serfas true 1000 and they are amazing. Chainlove.com has been listing both of them lately for about $150
  • 1 0
 i have the 1500. i wouldn't say it's the best light ever. it's heavy on the head and the beam is mostly focused in the middle rather than a true spread. it is the brightest light i've ever used, though. the tint is eerie.
  • 2 0
 Not being able to mount properly on a helmet is a bigger drawback then the article makes it out to be.
  • 1 0
 I like the look of them tyres pb....would work well on my future AM hardtail that's on the way
  • 1 0
 I'm bummed that those gloves don't come in xl or xxl
  • 1 0
 I like the Knog´s helmet strap, would like to get it for my light
  • 1 0
 man Knogs been knocking out alot of light lately...hard to keep up
  • 5 5
 I dont think id pay 120$ for a headlight
  • 27 4
 I dont think youll be finding a headlight then...
  • 4 2
 I think he'll find plenty of headlights. Deals Extreme and Ebay there are tens of thousands of well assembled bright LED lights available for under $100. Hell even the now classic bargain standard the Magicshine MJ808s are about 600 lumens and under $100.

An XML LED is pretty standard fare now, and self-contained lamp/battery is fine but the reliance on a USB charging port is just stupid. They're no doubt using a pair of 18650 cells in parallel (with one LED, you don't need more than 3.7 volts to drive the thing) and the usage of panasonic's 3400mAh cells would account for a 7 hour charge time given that USB ports output 1Amp maximum current. But they probably felt a dedicated high-output charger, costing a whopping $6 would have just broken the bank on this setup....

The lowest output charger I run is 1.2 Amp and most of them are 1.8A. A 6.8A battery pack is charged in under 4 hours with the 1.8A charger.
  • 2 0
 Lots of good lights, plenty brighter than this, are available for under $100. My magicshine is going strong, for one. Still, if you don't think it's worth $120 and more to be able to ride before or after work all winter then you obviously aren't the intended market for nice lights.
  • 7 1
 They say only a rich man can afford cheap tools. In my experience this saying absolutely applies to flashlights/headlamps.
  • 1 0
 MEC has their Zinger 480 light, 480 lumens, same 7 hr USB charge time, $49, 2-6 hour burn time, 4 modes, 153 grams. The specs don't indicate the LED type but going from the combined lumens most likely XPEs or XPGs.
  • 1 0
 MEC has really nice lights generally. Like, usually most stuff is cheaper in the US but I've not seen anything quite as good for the price as the $20 usb-rechargeable commuting light I found there.
  • 1 0
 I had the Zinger and didn't like having a bright purple LED. Exchanged it for the Taz800 which was half price. The beam pattern is superb on the trail running on the bar. Great fill and decent throw. Trails in BC are not high-speed trails so good throw isn't that necessary. At least for me.
  • 2 2
 :edit: Read it wrong, nevermind.
  • 2 4
 Super Enduro tire, not offered in 27.5". Such marketing. Lots sense. Much genius. Wow
  • 3 2
 take this crappy meme back to Reddit please, pinkie memes are bad enough.
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