Touring in the dark doesn’t seem to be too common. It’s not something we intend to do but I’m sure at some point we’ll get lost, misjudge mileage or find the campground we were headed for full and have to keep riding to the next stop. These all seem like good reasons to have lights on our bikes and the more we thought about it riding on the side of a well traveled road in the rain or heavy fog also requires good lighting.
A friend of mine works for Princeton Tec, a company that makes lights for outdoor sports amongst other things, and was generous enough to send Hannah and I each lights for our bikes and our helmets. We are very excited about this! Thanks Doug and Mountain Lake Marketing! This write up is not intended to be a review of these lights since we have not used them yet. After we’ve had a chance to test them out we’ll write up a user review with more details and get it posted here.
I used to have a headlamp made by Princeton Tec called the EOS which I lost on a climbing trip years ago. I really liked this light and was thrilled to see that Princeton Tec is still making it but it now comes in a version with multiple user options. This model is called the “EOS Bike” and comes with light weight yet durable hardware which lets you mount the light to your helmet or the handlebars of your bike. The Eos Bike can also be used with the included headband strap and worn on your head for chores around camp or night hiking. Multiple mounts are also included so you can attach this light to your helmet and then remove it quickly and put it on the handle bar mount without needing to move the mounting points themselves. At 80 lumens and offering a bike light/headlamp design combo, it looks to be very handy indeed!
It seems like many bicycling accidents happen when cyclist get hit from behind. For that reason we want to make sure we have plenty of tail lights and will most likely ride with at least one red flashing light anytime we’re on a well traveled road, be it day or night, rainy or clear. That brings me to the next light; the Princeton Tec Swerve. What a name huh? Let’s hope we’re well seen (or should I say no one is texting while driving…) and nobody has to swerve to avoid hitting us. Of the three we were sent, the swerve is my favorite at first glance. It’s one of the best tail lights I’ve seen for cycling. It’s comprised of two, red lights and can be set on a solid mode or flashing, strobe mode and comes with mounting hardware that lets you attach it to a seat post, bike rack, front forks, handle bars, frame tubes…pretty much anywhere. The bonus feature for me is the fact that it has a quick release attachment point to the mounting hardware that lets you detach it from the bike and clip it to other things like all the bags we’ll have lashed to the back of the bikes for example. It could also be clipped to a hat brim or backpack strap or the back hem of your shorts in a pinch. I like this feature because it means we can mount the light on and around our gear while touring but also use it on the frames of the bikes when we take rest days along the way and end up riding our bikes without all the gear on them.
The third light is called the Push. It is a brighter, (100 lumens) handle bar mounted light. It also has a quick release option and can be removed from the handle bar mount and used as a hand held flashlight in a pinch.
As you can see in the picture, we’ve figured out a way to mount this light (using the included hardware) to the top of Hannah’s front rack. Her trekking style handlebars and the placement of her handle bar bag won’t allow her to mount the light to the handle bars without it being in the way of her hands. I actually think the lower mounted light on the front rack will work better for lighting up the road but that is yet to be tested. Th Push also has a side visibility feature. There are two, red strobe lights on each side of the light’s body that helps vehicles approaching you from the side to see you better when your front and rear lights are not in their direct line of sight. These strobe lights run anytime the light is turned on.
Lastly, I’d like to note that all of these lights have a variety of brightness settings which you can adjust to the time of day you are riding to help conserve battery power. They all run on regular AAA batteries, all use Maxbright LEDs and are all waterproof (not submersible) for the purpose of riding a bike in wet weather. I’m also thinking that the quick release mounts on all of them will work well for removing the lights from the bike when you need to leave the bike unattended. We hope to avoid having to do this (it’s one nice thing about touring with another person) but in the event that we do need to leave the bikes, we can grab the lights off them quickly so they don’t get stolen.