Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Lights, lights, lights.. (Gear Review)

Posted by quirksalight on November 11, 2007

The headlamp mentioned in last week’s semi-disaster night ride was the Petzl Tikka LED headlamp, bought at REI. the image below is from the REI website.
Petzl Tikka headlamp

It’s lightweight and very unobtrusive. This light was rated at 46 lux at 2 meters, flood style beam, and was 3 LED’s powered by 3 AAA batteries. It’s a nice headlamp, especially for the price (under $30), but not at all suitable for biking. VERY, VERY bad for biking. The light emitted from this lamp is just not strong enough for riding the trail at night. From the front of the bike helmet (the lamp did fit quite nicely and securely around my bike helmet, though), I couldn’t really see past 2 meters. Which is a very big problem, when you are trying to ride around and over obstacles, constantly changing direction and speed, and having to watch the trail so you won’t slip and fall, possible over the side and down a hill. Thank goodness I was with a group – even so, I had to bail halfway through.
I can see that this would be ok if you were on foot, or camping, and need a light that will leave your hands free. But if you want to get moving at any speed… well… I’d pick something else.

Definitely learned my lesson. NEVER skimp on the lights when night riding.

FYI – REI’s return policy is awesome.


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