TransAm gear: Exposure lights

My TransAm strategy was to ride fast and get a decent night’s sleep – this meant that I would be able to charge batteries every night, and didn’t plan on riding in the dark too much. That combined with not using a GPS device meant that I did not have a need for a generator hub, and so I was looking for the best battery powered lights.

British company USE (Ultimate Sports Engineering) have been making high quality components for a long time – their seatpost was the ‘must have’ post for mountain bikes back in the 1990s. When they branched out into lights with the Exposure brand just over ten years ago, they were the first high powered light to package the battery and light in one unit. I used that first model, then upgraded to the latest version a few years later. Exposure have kept at the forefront of bicycle lights, with continuous improvements every year. So they were my first choice when looking for lights for the TransAm bike.

One of the best features of Exposure lights is the run time – 3hrs on high, 10 hours on medium and 24hrs on low for most models. The latest versions have a display on the rear that gives the remaining burn time, so it is easy to manage to ensure you never run out of light. I selected the Strada 800 (upgraded to the 900 now) for the front, as being the right balance of lumens and weight for what I needed. The beam pattern is designed specifically for the road, with a large spread with no hard edges. On the medium setting there is plenty of light for riding fast on unlit roads.

For the rear, I wanted a light that was bright enough for daytime running, that I could turn on in the morning and not have to worry about it until I stoppedĀ  – which could be 18 hours later. The Blaze fitted this need perfectly – super bright with a pulse mode (which I consider more considerate to other road users than a flash), and in the medium setting it will run continuously for 24 hours.

For checking the map, computer and seeing gear, or if I had to fix a mechanical in the dark, I also needed some sort of helmet mounted light. Exposure recommended the Link Plus – this combines a front and rear light in one unit, so I would have additional rear visibility as well as forward vision. My aero road helmet didn’t have vents that the helmet bracket requires, so I machined it down and used velcro for attachment. This meant that I could leave both the bracket and light in my framebag until it was needed, then just put it in place on the helmet.

All three lights charge quickly via USB.

The lights worked great on the ride – riding two climbs and fast descents in the dark on day three into Baker City was no problem. On high power the front gave me plenty of vision at speed on the downhills. The brackets are well thought out and made, so I could quickly and easily remove the lights for charging at night.

Thanks to Exposure for the support!

 

 

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