Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Solidlights 1203D First Trial

I got an hour ride in tonight to test out the new 1203D light and SON hub. It was bitterly cold and started to snow so I didn't stray too far from home. Calgary, like most major cities, is plagued by light pollution. Its never really dark anymore - especially on the streets. So I headed onto the Bow River Bike Path and kept riding west until I got away from the core. I did managed to find some darkish portions of the pathway, but they definitely weren't pitch black and the nature of the pathway makes high speeds unlikely and unsafe given the variety of users.

The picture above is the standlight in operation - the 1203D in operation is MUCH brighter. Apparently the standlight is good for 5mins. I'll time it in the summer sometime when its warmer! Over all the blue/white light cast by the 1203D at low to moderate speeds was bright and well spread over the pathway. I stopped to adjust the angle of the light up and down a bit. I'm not sure if I have the optimal position yet. The cold and working with bulky gloves made precision adjustments a bit challenging.

Based on this ride I'd say the 1203D is a good light and would be totally suitable for all my recreational night riding. Whether it is a great light and fills my needs for brevets will have to be determined. I need to get it out on a unlit rural highway and go downhill at 55kph - then I'll know. Based on the feedback from the UK Audux riders I am confident it will prove effective, but I won't know for sure till I test it out myself.

As for the SON hub it provided power and the front wheel felt no different than the stock wheel. I didn't have any significant climbs on this ride to judge if the extra weight and/or drag had a perceptible impact on performance. That will have to wait for a highway test as well.

Swapping in the dynohub wheel and installing the 1203D plus wiring took less than 5mins and was painless. Dialing in the Avid BB7 took only a moment and braking was great.

The Terracycle Accessory Mount was easy to install and kept the light rock solid. The forward and down position of the light eliminated any strobing from my feet. This is a great mounting solution and well worth the money.

I am away for 9 days starting this Saturday so I probably won't get a highway night test in until early April. Hopefully it will have warmed up by then.


Steeker said...

looks nice and bright,, can you do mini vid's with your digital camera? it would be cool to see how the light works when your drivingyour bent.

Steeker said...

oh ya forgot to ask , does the dyno hub make alot of noise >???

Vik said...

The light is extremely bright and gets brighter the faster you go which is handy since that's precisely when you need to see further down the road.

I can do video with my camera, but I'd need to convince someone else that going out at night in a snowstorm is really essential! Maybe when it is warmer I'll get a friend to shoot a video.

The SON is silent. The only noise you'll get due to the dynohub is all the hot babes yelling "...nice hub!..." as you ride by...lol..okay perhaps not....=-)