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Owner Review: Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo Senso Plus LED Front Light 175QSNDi

Fork mounted B&M Lumotech IQ Cyo on my Bike Friday

Fork mounted B&M Lumotech IQ Cyo on my Bike Friday

I bought this light for my Bike Friday New World Tourist which I ordered custom with a Shimano dynamo hub built into the front wheel. It cost 50,34 euro from Bike24. The part of the blurb which sold me on this particular light was:

The Lumotec IQ Cyo light revolution: Dynamo headlight which is up to 500% brighter than required by German road traffic regulations (StVZO)! With IQ-technology for an even and homogeneous beam.

One can recognize a Lumotec IQ Cyo immediately. There is no bulb in the centre of the reflector. Instead, a high-powered LED is used as an indirect light source. One glance into the “empty” reflector makes it clear why Busch + Müller chose the slogan “nothing but light” for their IQ-TEC products. An elegant and concise statement that becomes a genuine sensation after dark: The useable lighted area of the Lumotec IQ Cyo is uniformly illuminated to a maximum extent and twice as wide as with conventional reflectors – simply “nothing but light”.

The Lumotec IQ Cyo features a standlight function with a capacitor. No batteries are required. The standlight function can be switched off by a turn-switch. Wether in the dark or in tunnels the Senso technology automatically activates the entire lighting system when the hub dynamo is in operation.

Any normal 6V dynamo can serve as power supply for the Lumotec IQ Cyo, so it can immediately be installed on any dynamo equipped bike.

Firstly, postage from Bike24 was SLOW. There was much hand-wringing in anticipation of the light’s arrival, as we were running out of time and were about to leave on our tour. The impression out of the box was excellent, though this is my first German designed dynamo-light, and I had high expectations. The light is tough, light, and in my short experience with it, unlikely to be stolen off the bike (to steal it requires an allen key and a small wrench to get it off the fork bracket).

Approx distance from camera: 100 metres, camera height: 30cm (sitting on a retaining wall)

The Good

It is much brighter than the $30 battery powered, handlebar mounted LED light that it has replaced, and even compares favorably to my Ayup lights which I had bought to share across a number of my other bikes. While it doesn’t have the retina-burning spot power of the Ay Up lights, the IQ Cyo has a vertical cutoff (so no complaining from oncoming cyclists on a dark bike path – which I sometimes get if my Ayups are pointed on slightly the wrong angle). The IQ Cyo also has a wider throw which means that you have better peripheral vision at night – great for dark country roads where animals (or pedestrians) might leap out at you unannounced.

Water resistance was thoroughly tested on tour and the light passed with flying colours. The standlight function has more than enough capacity for the longest wait at the traffic lights.

I was a bit worried about fork mounting putting the light too low on a 20″ wheeled bike, but it doesn’t seem to be detrimental to visibility, and it has left more room on the handlebars for other things, like my Otek DVS550 camera.

I have been converted to dynamo lights now, after umming and arring about them for at least a year. I have now ordered a dynamo hub (Shimano DH-3N72) and another version of this light (the Lumotec IQ Cyo Plus LED Front Light 175QDi for 46,13 euro) without the senso function for my Surly Long Haul Trucker.

The Bad

Not much bad to say about this light at all! The only disadvantage was that I had to unbolt it every time I packed the Bike Friday up into it’s travel case on tour. I couldn’t stand the thought of it getting scratched or bashed or squashed while it was still attached to my fork in the case and relatively unprotected.

While the ‘Senso’ function is useful because you don’t have to remember to turn your lights on, I find that I don’t use it. I always turn the light off when I get into the bike cage at work, otherwise it sits there shining until the capacitor is flat, and some ‘helpful’ person will come and turn it off for me anyway.

In Conclusion

This light gets a five star rating from me, although I don’t think I need the Senso function. I think dynamo lights are very, very valuable if you want a low maintenance commuter bike – they very rarely fail and you will never have to worry about flat batteries again!

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Bike Friday, Reviews

 

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Owner Review: Ay Up Lights

ayups on crx

Ay Ups on my Giant CRX2

If you ride on the road at night, you may have experienced ‘invisible cyclist syndrome’ more than once. While a new set of lights won’t solve the problem completely, they certainly help. After browsing the Australian Cycling Forums, I decided to give Ay Up Lights a try. I have two handlebar mounts and share them between my Giant CRX2 and my Surly Long Haul Trucker.

I chose British racing green, and I bought these before Ay Up did some upgrades to their lighting systems – so they are not as bright as the new versions. They still make my bike look like a motorbike though, and provide more than enough light to see in suburban situations.

The Good

These suckers are bright. I use them on low-beam most of the time as low-beam throws plenty of light for me to see by. I use high beam in dark situations (like the shared pathways near the river). The number of cars who fail to give way, either at roundabouts, or by pulling out of side streets in front of me, is reduced when I have the Ay Ups on my bars, as opposed to the Cateye Opticube that I had before.

The handlebar mount is secure and there is no danger of the lights coming detached and bouncing down the road at an inopportune moment (this is what ultimately killed my Cateye). The battery mount is versatile, so you can mount it wherever you have space. They are very waterproof and reliable in all weather.

They are an Australian company, if that kind of thing influences your purchasing decisions.

I also think they look really nice!

The Bad

You need to make sure the battery is always charged. These lights do not warn you when the battery is getting low by running dim – they just turn off when they don’t have enough juice. I have been caught out once, fortunately it wasn’t far from home.

The beam pattern does seem to waste light, as it has no vertical cut off – which means if you don’t point them downwards enough they can blind oncoming cyclists in low light situations. This is in contrast to my Lumotech Cyo IQ dynamo light which has a vertical cut off and a wider light spread – while it is not as bright as the Ay Ups, it provides a more useful light pattern.

ayup beam pattern

Ay Up beam pattern

The cost is obviously a serious consideration for some cyclists – especially when you can buy bright, cheap lights from Chinese manufacturers at places like Deal Extreme. I have seen many people go for different options because the cost of the Ay Ups turned them off.

The other issue is taking them off if you are parked outside the pub or something – the last thing you want is some passerby to swipe the lights as they walk past, and they are easy to remove, but a bit bulky in the pocket.

In Conclusion

Reliable, bright lights are an important part of a cyclists kit. With advances in LED and battery technology, the choices are many and varied. You can go for cheap DX lights – but they may not be as reliable in the rain. You can go for a dynamo light conforming to German design standards like my Lumotech IQ Cyo, but most bikes sold in Australia don’t come standard with hub dynamos, so that is a bit of a hassle. I love my Ay Ups and I am glad that I forked out the money for them. They are reliable and will last for many years to come.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Reviews

 

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