new things

today i rode for the first time with two new pieces of kit – which is always nice.
(i was going to start this post with ‘i have been sent…’, which is true, but the bloggers and reviewers who usually do this didn’t usually have to pay for the goods they are reviewing/advertising).
anyway, first up is my new front light. it is a hope vision 1. an AA cell powered, LED light, all the way from barnoldswick in lancashire, via chain reaction cycles in ballyclare in northern ireland. the materials used to build the light are lovely. fantastic, lacquered, blue-anodised aluminium body and aluminium-bronze bushes in the ballistic nylon clamp – all beautifully made. however, the shapes that those lovely materials are made into is not so good – not good at all. the thing is ugly. saved only by the loveliness of the bits.
when i ordered it, i also ordered four rechargeable, high-capacity batteries on ebay. they charged overnight and the light was ready for the ride in this morning. it turns on on the ‘low’ setting and at that, it was already brighter than my cateye el530 and i still had ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘max’ to go.
you can find beam pattern pictures and run time charts elsewhere. suffice to say that for my commute along pitch dark country road, ‘medium’ was enough but ‘max’ is great. for its size the thing is brilliant and thoroughly recommended.
it also has a flashing mode – useful for built up areas with street lights and traffic. the flash rate is… ummm… leisurely! it flashes on and off at a far slower rate than any blinky i ever used before and while i like the way everything that is reflective* is lit up by it, i’m sure i rode more slowly. my cadence matching the flash rate. *(and it isn’t until you get a high powered light like this that you realise quite how ubiquitous 3M’s scotchlight is in built up areas – street signs, registration plates, workmen’s coats, car trims &c.)
only two negatives for me so far – the button to switch between modes doesn’t have a very positive click and with thick gloves on, it is difficult to tell if you have pressed it or not. second is, and it is nothing to do with the light’s design, when i’m honking out of the saddle,my face is forward of the light and so i have to keep looking up to avoid being blinded. time to fashion a little hood i reckon. for the lamp, not me.

second new goody was a bike burrito that now hangs under my brooks and carries a tube, spanners, allen keys, tyre levers &c. in the kind of style that no black plastic pouch from topeak or the like could ever do.
buy one. support a tiny business that had an idea and went for it. it came wrapped in tin foil and packed with a mini bottle of tobasco – nice touch
sorry for the crap pictures (again). i had to resort to the phone camera.

despite my goodies, i still managed to fall off today. on my way home from work, a road was closed and i had to take to the pavement. i made the classic schoolboy error and mis-judged the step height and the front wheel, rather than crossing the curb, carried on in a straight line. my body weight was already heading in an opposite direction. i fell to the ground doing perhaps 15mph. my fall was stopped by a dry-stone wall to the hip bone. i’ve taken skin off my knee and shoulder. my hip and ribs are bruised up and my left wrist is turning grey/purple.

the bike was fine. ironically, the thing that stopped the bars spinning round and denting the top tube was my new light! another reason to buy one… maybe

One comment

  1. Good review. I kind of like the shape of the housing. I looked up Hope USA. If I’m looking at the same model it is only available in black here in the U.S. I’m going to need another light soon.


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