Monday, June 23, 2014

Xeccon First Look

Received this nice looking lighting package from MTB Revolution during the week. But before we put it through the ringer we gave it to the work experience kid to see what the first impressions would be. Turns out we may have to employ this kid, great report Steve.

For my second ever night ride on single track, I managed to get my hands on a Xeccon Spiker 1211 helmet light and a Sogun 1100 handle bar light to play with for a couple of days. Marketed as a set on MTB Revolution’s website as ‘Xeccon D2D Lite - Performance Racing’ at a comfortable $169 it seemed like a pretty reasonable set up for a casual single-track novice like me. First impressions are that the lights and batteries are well made – small, but solid.

The straps for the helmet mounting system were a bit awkward, although it would depend on each different kind of helmet as to what would work best. I played around a bit and some of my choices allowed the light to flop around. I did manage to mount the battery on my lid as well, but it does add a bit of extra weight and is quite a task to do. Running the cable through the helmet would have prevented most of the cable flap that annoyed me on the first night ride, and it’s definitely better with the extra weight in a pocket or backpack than up top.

Sogun’s handle bar clamp system is good – although it does not open up very far to get onto the the bars and I did need a handle bar packer. (The packer would not have been an issue on my road bike’s handle bar, or most modern tapered bars). With both lights the neoprene battery pouches lacked sufficient Velcro and length to easily secure the batteries to anything but the smallest diameter tubes. My Trek 4300D has a largish, oval cross-section down tube and while not particularly massive the Sogun’s battery pouch barely made the distance. With cables on the top tube and a Garmin on the head stem, there was not much option. Even without adding length to the straps, a bit more Velcro would have made all the difference.

As for light output – I was pretty impressed. You could almost get away with low beam, but the brighter levels were really good. I had no problem seeing where I needed to go, wether it was on my own or in the middle of a bunch. The Spiker was everything I needed it to be – except for some rapid flashing for a second or so at random times. With a better mounting system it could be close to perfect. The Sogun did a good job too, but its light is not a much of a flood as I would like. If I was going to buy  my own set, I would probably fork out the extra coin for the Spiker 1210 – not so much for the extra light, but it looks like it would be more of a flood light. For a commuter and sometimes-single track light the Sogun is excellent value, but I don’t think it would suit a serious XC racer. 

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