My wonderful, loving, abusive coach gave me a recovery week. Woo Hoo. Alright back to it.
Welcome to the world of Exposure Lights. I'll be straight forward, there things are amazing. First up is the package. I love the fact that they come in their own cases with foam to protect them. No more tool boxes filled with lights where the lenses could be scratched. Clean and organized.
I have modified mine a little to create a place for the piggyback battery.
First up, the Joystick. Get that thought out of your mind. I got to spend some time with it last night, again keep clean thoughts, no naked gear reviews here and this is a AA rated site.
The biggest thing with this is that it's not big at all.
The helmet mount is simple. Two piece squeeze together, one from inside your helmet and and the other from the top. A friction bin keeps them together.
The light itself pops in very easily and is held by friction. No it does not come out easily. BUT if you were to clip something with your head it will, this is a good thing, less chance of breaking the helmet mount in a crash. The mount and light are very easily adjust for light direction.
I rode last night with just the Joystick. It works awesome. No hot spots, didn't even realize I had it on my head. Because the ride was short I ran it off it's internal battery. That's 3 hours on full!!!! Exactly!! The biggest thing about this light I like is the weight or lack there of. Because of having it on for 8-10 hours the less weight the better. My next has felt like crap after some events. I was also able to center it on my helmet which will make an additional difference. As for brightness. It's rated at 240 lumens, It's brighter than my LED from last year and that was rated on par with a 20 watt bulb. This system is bright. I could race with this and be content. Awww but why.
Introducing the helmet mounted sun. The Maxx D is the flagship light this year. It is a bar mount system only. It's not that it couldn't become a helmet light though. The weight is with in reason to be strapped up above. Ideas??
It also has an internal battery and will scorch the trail for 3 hours at 960 lumens. How bright is that? Well lets just say that someone happen to have a LnM system last night which is 700 lumens. I turned this thing on and you knew it was on.
The bar mount system is great, it has a quick release pin. It reminds me of a ski binding. This means very secure but very easy to mount or remove the light. Exposure includes adapters for most bar diameters. No wrapping tape around your bars with this setup.
Now comes the add on's 24 hour racing usually means 8-11 hours of burn time needed. Well how do you do that with internal batteries. That's where the piggyback comes in. you have an option of 1 or 3 cell batteries.
I went to the 3 cells for each light more for my support crew. Simple easy. This now puts the burn time of the joystick at 12 hours on full and the Maxx D at 5.5 hours at full. One very nice thing is the cost of the batteries. Compared to most they are about a third of the cost. To have a few extra batteries in your kit now doesn't kill last months mortgage payment.
Things about the system from a 24 hour guy. First off I like simple and effective. A big thing in the races that I have done was having to shut your lights down when you went through the timing tent. I got to the point that I used to drag my bike while covering my helmet mount with my hand. Then spend the next minute or so trying to get the systems turned back on as I pedalled out. Exposure is so simple. The on/off button is center back of the light.
Turning it on is as simple as a double click. It automatically goes to high. From there you can touch the same button to go either to medium or low. very simple. As for shutting things down. Press/hold for about 2 seconds. Done. This is probably the easiest system I've seen for firing up and shutting down. The last thing you want to be doing at 3am is trying to get your light to turn on.
Another thing that the boys have thought about. The on/off switch turns into the power gauge. As the battery wears the light changes colour. Nice. No going, I think I have an hour of burn time left, then have a black out. Ya come on, use the force ride by feel, hit a tree. I do that enough during the day time thank you very much.
The build quality of the lights are amazing. No plastic housing, it's aluminum. The lights are amazingly bright with no hot spots in the beam pattern. The pattern is wide unlike most LED's This has all the benefits of what HID brought but with none of the downfalls. Why would you want to ride with anything else?
Alright the flaws. Well not much really. A helmet mount option for the Maxx D would be nice. Charge time is long but I prep my systems before hand and have plenty of extra burn time to that isn't really a problem. My biggest complaint was in the cases, I had to modify one of the cutouts to put the piggyback battery in. Not that it was a problem but a removable cutout would have been nice. Overall I can't really find many faults in their systems.
I have to say a big thank you again to James at IBEX. For those in North America interested in the best LED systems give James a call. My comment's on vision is over rated. You only say that when your lights suck!!!
More fun things tomorrow. I'll be on a bike