The Version 2.0 1200 lumen X2 is the result of months of testing and developing. CNC machined from a single block of 6061-T6 Alloy and weighing it a mere 80g this waterproof unit turns night into day.
The X2's output is optimised for your activity, with IMT (Intelligent Mode Technology), you have the choice of four programmes: Trail (optimised for Mountain Biking), Commuter (optimisied for commuting), Adventure (optimised for adventure races, trail running etc), Bush (optimised for tramping/hiking). Each of these programmes are user selectable at any time and each have differnet runtimes based on their set light output.
A remote switch keeps your hand on the controls and the small size means there's no massive weight hanging from the top of your helmet. A huge benfit of its design is the ability to mount on the front of the helmet meaning you'll never catch your light on another overhanging tree. Additionally it can also mount on the handlebar or on the headstrap (if ordered) - it can also be mounted on a rifle or hunting bow using the helmet mount!
• 1200 Lumen (real, not theoretical)
• IMT technology
• Light Head Assembly 80 grams
• Waterproof to IP66 (being tested for IP67)
• 5.8 AH Lithium Ion Hard Case Battery
• 2 x Cree U2 XML LEDs
• 2 Lens system (Spot lens and frosted lens)
• 2.5 hr runtime on max power
• 4hr battery charge
• Remote switch
The X2 is delivered in a hard-shell carry case. The contents of the case are:
• Lithium Ion Battery Smart Charger
• Extension Cable
• Light Head
• Alloy Helmet Mount
• Alloy Bar Mount
• Mounting O-rings
• Li-ion Battery 5.8Ah
• Hex Tool
For such a compact unit, this little beauty packs a heck of an illuminating punch. Designed here in New Zealand, this unit is built to take the toughest conditions, with rubberised-coating, fully waterproof connectors, heavy-duty battery packs and sturdy mounting brackets, it would be equally at home on a 10-speed or a mountain bike. In fact, with it's utter disregard for being soaked in water, I can easily see this baby modified slightly to be mounted on kayaks or canoes for night-time paddle trips.
But, this is more than just a fancy bike light... by swapping to another mounting bracket - a task that takes all of 30 seconds maximum - you can rig this light for head mounting, and string the battery on your belt or through a backpack strap. It comes with an extension cable that will give you all the slack you need to ensure freedom of movement and maximum comfort.
Careful use of the profiles can give you battery life ranging from 2.5 hours on a single charge up to 2 days! The secret is the clever combination of programming in the little computer chip, and a powerful 5800mAH Lithium-Ion battery pack and it's very clever little "fuel gauge" that tells you very clearly how much charge is left in there. More than that, this baby also has a range of pre-programmed lighting profiles built in, with lighting options for hunting/hiking - with a very low glow for stealth, a good high-beam for distance viewing and an ultra-bright strobing emergency beacon mode to attract attention from search parties should the worst happen, mountain biking - with settings ranging from a low 100 lumens up to a stunning 1200 lumens, and even a commuter profile for use around town, where low is set to 300 lumens and high beam is throttled back to just 1000 lumens to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.
The system has a clever two-beam approach, giving you one focused beam to punch ahead of you and light up distant obstructions and people, showing you where you are GOING, and a second, more diffused beam created by a frosted lens to light up the surrounding area, giving you a clear picture of where you ARE. This also allows others to see you coming and gives them time to work around your flightpath. Having tried this out on a clear night, a slightly foggy night, and a real pea-soup of a fog-bound night, I found the twin-beam approach to be brilliant in all conditions. Mind you, I doubt I would want to be careening downhill at full tilt in the heavy fog, so "driving to the conditions" is, of course, a really smart idea.
To be honest, this lighting system blew me away. It really does highlight the fact that most "bike lights" you buy are NOT about giving you - the rider - better visibility, they are all about giving motorists a chance to see YOU! Keeping that in mind, you do still need to have a flashing red or orange rear light fitted to your bike to comply with road regulations, and to give motorists coming up behind you a clear indicator of where you are so they can steer around you. Because this unit is so bright, you also need to be considerate of their safety, and aim the beams according to your surroundings - if you are hill plunging, aim it ahead of you, if you are on public roads, be sure to angle it down a bit more to ensure the tight central beam is lighting up the road ahead, and not the faces of oncoming drivers who are now blinded and in control of a few tonnes of fast-moving death coming at you.
What I would love to see is the full kit expanded, with a Y-connector on the battery and another cable leading back to power a rear-facing flashing light. This would also be great in other use-modes such as hiking, so the hikers behind you have a guide to aim for. Having it controlled by the same controller would simply add extra functions, albeit at the cost of battery life. So boosting the battery pack up by 2 more cells to a juicy 8700mAH wouldn't hurt either.
Overall, is this kit worth $260? Most certainly, if you are either a chronic outdoorsie type or want YOUR safety as an urban rider to be doubly assured. Is it something I would put on a kid's bike? Heck no... you'd have traffic accidents galore as the kids tried to play "spotlight" with oncoming trucks! Though it may be a tad overkill for urban cyclists, I still see it as a good investment. Totally waterproof, built to take abuse, it's designed to handle the worse Kiwis can throw at it and keep ticking so it's a long-term investment that won't get dry and crack at the slightest know the way plastic cases sometimes do. There are all sorts of safeguards built into the unit to help increase it's lifespan, including one I thought was just brilliant - a timed dimmer to avoid the lights overheating and burning out when there isn't enough airflow to cool the unit off.
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