Manufacturer InformationThe following information is from the Cygolite website.
High-Intensity L.E.D. - Equivalent to 10 watt halogen
- Hi / Low light output settings
- SSR optics (Solid State reflection) for maximum brightness
- Super long runtimes of 25 hours and up
- Optional Wideview lens included
- Non-Rechargeable frame mount battery pack
- Remote thumbswitch
- Headlight swivel for better road coverage
- Upgradeable to Helmet Mount(kit sold separately)
- BULB: High Intensity LED
- LED BULB LIFE: 100,000 hours
- BATTERY: 4 “C” size NiMH
- RUN TIME: 25 hours on high setting, 200 hours on low setting
First ImpressionI recently purchased the Cygolite HiFlux 100 light that I hoped would be sufficient for off-road trail riding over fairly challenging terrain. I have used the light for about 3 hours (2 rides) and am happy to report that I am very satisfied with the purchase.
Prior to using purchasing this light I relied solely on a Black Diamond headlamp - needless to say it wasn't sufficient on its own. The headlamp did what it was supposed to, but didn't provide nearly enough light for challenging single track in the Mojave desert. Although I knew I needed more light, it wasn't until I purchased the Cygolite that I realized what I was missing! I don't have experience using other bike lights so I can't make any comparisons, but I am extremely happy. No longer do I have to constantly ride the brakes on downhills because I can now see what is coming at me from 30 feet away.
Before this light I experienced 1 or 2 near misses per night ride. I am proud to say that I had zero near misses on my last ride. Compared to just a headlamp I feel like I am riding during the day! This light throws about 30 feet of light on the low setting and supposedly lasts up to 200 hours on low. I can't comment on battery life yet, but didn't notice any dimming during the 3 hours I have used it. I will update this review as my experience builds.
There are two models available, the 100 and the 200. The only difference is that the 100 uses 4 C batteries while the 200 is rechargable. The battery pack is meant to be strapped onto the bike frame, but it is a lot easier to just toss it in a water bottle holder and used the attached velcro straps to secure it. It came with a "wideview lens" that attaches over the regular lens - it is supposed to increase the width of the column of light for off-road use. Suprisingly it appeared to do what it is supposed to, increasing the light beam by a few feet in either direction.
I have read from other people that this light is meant to "be seen" on the low setting and "to see" on the high setting. I didn't even use the high setting and I could see just fine. This might be because it was so much better than what I have experienced in the past, time will tell. Perhaps I'll slowly adjust to being able to see and the low setting just won't do it anymore.
ConclusionJanuary 27, 2008 update: I've had the light out a few more times and can easily say that it is the best mountain biking purchase I have made in years. I don't use it on low anymore (when riding the trails at Red Rock) because it just doesn't cut it. High works great for my needs. The last batch of batteries have been used on the high setting for about 6 hours with no noticeable dimness. A riding partner has a more expensive light system (around $150), and it is very comparable to the cygolite hiflux 100 (which only cost me $40 or $50). Although his system has a somewhat "smoother" pattern of light, the overall brightness is very comparable. I highly recommend purchasing this light if you are looking for a solid choice without spending lots of money.
April 16, 2008 update: I still really like this light and am thinking about getting a second one to add more night vision. I started having a problem on bumpy downhills where the light would flicker on and off, which resulted in a few nice crashes and injuries. The problem is that the connection between the batteries simply broke during the roughride. The fix involved wrapping the battery pack with electrical tape to secure the batteries. I haven't had any problems since doing this. Do date, I've probably used the light close to 20 times at around 2 hours each ride. I usually replace the batteries after 2 or 3 rides to keep them optimally bright. They would probably last a lot longer but I don't want to risk it or carry backup batteries.