Sunday, 27 September 2015

REVIEW: Exposure Lights Strada Mk 6 (2016)

Bathed in red: Startline, 2015 Rapha Manchester2London
We're an Exposure household, you might say -

Exact burn time left. No more 'range anxiety'

Exposure Lights Strada Mk 6 (2016)

Lighting. Come late August, a night out in London and lights and a self-conscious flit home, 'hypocrite' branded across my conscience. I'm not too sympathetic for riders who don't bother with lighting.

This year was a bit different. September 6th was the Manchester2London ride, put on by Rapha to raise money for Ambitious about Autism. So I had an early foretaste of the winter riding that lies ahead. It was a gorgeous day of sun and light wind. But it began and ended in the dark as all epic adventures should.

I noticed a lot of miniscule lights around the field of 200+ riders, saving weight and bulk, but also some impressive stuff. One abiding memory was racing the last leg from Hertford to the Olympic Velodrome in East London. There was a point when we put our lights on, but then another point when nightfall became a reality. We hurtled into a black wood, but the guy in front of me had an Exposure Sixpack, surely one of the ultimate lights money can buy, with a 'Wembley effect' 2,000 lumens. I just followed him. I could see every pot hole and it wasn't even my light.

My choice of weaponry was an Exposure Flash on the front, and a Flare on the back tucked in beautifully under the saddle rails using Exposure's saddle rail bracket (£7.95). The Flash functioned only intermittently despite me deploying a fresh, spare battery I'd carried since Manchester! So I have now bought a Mk 6, 2016 model Strada, a big step up and a chance to conduct a test over the next couple of months.

I'm planning to include some night riding, the usual epic amount of London commuting and some Audax. So far the Strada looks like a huge advance, with precise burn times relieving much anxiety. But the niggly question I've got is whether it is better or worse than a Sixpack. I've got a Sixpack. The argument for it is that it's a nuclear weapon that brooks no argument. The argument against is that it's comparatively bulky, too heavy for club riding, and so bright that in practice you run it on low beam 99% of the time. If you mount it at the wrong angle you blind drivers to the point where you attract nothing but pure aggression. So arguably it's overkill...except that I love it, especially when conditions are terrible and you want to be lit up as much as possible, or in the countryside when actually, yes, you have to light up that lane and read the potholes.
2016 Strada has two beams: puddle and spot
Programs allow tailor made burn timesREVIEW: 

Richard Lofthouse

Richard Lofthouse