We’re in the home stretch now with Christmas Day just a week away. This is also the time of year when daylight is so short and bike lights are essential for long distance riding.
Many of us started randonneuring with adequate lights and over time came to realize that to see well on downhills we needed more illumination. The problem is that the most powerful lights, including superbright mountain biking lights and generator-powered systems, cost $400 or more.
Fortunately, the engineers at Busch & Muller of Germany have been improving their less expensive battery-powered bike lights by leaps and bounds. MG and I are very pleased with the Ixon IQ, which runs on four AA batteries and puts out a powerful, concentrated white light that is as bright as my old Niterider systems. It can be purchased alone or with rechargeable batteries and a charger that allows one to simply plug it in at home.
I prefer to use my own batteries and an inexpensive fast charger. The Ixon IQ runs for five hours or more on high-capacity Maha Powerex 2700mah NiMh batteries available from Amazon and elsewhere. (These batteries are also excellent in GPS units).
The Ixon IQ is not cheap, at $120 from Peter White Cycles, but it represents a tremendous value and a great middle ground between “be seen” lights and generator systems. I like being able to move it from bike to bike and reload it with fresh batteries on the road. If your randonneur is still making do with inexpensive lights, give them one of these and they’ll be so glad when the sun goes down.
Tomorrow: letting people know you love to ride.