Dual Beam 1500
“Blinded by the Light”, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band explains lights best. This isn’t just ANY light I’m talking about, oh no, I’m talking about the Dual Blaze 1500 bike light! When biking is Life you bike in all sorts of conditions, sunny, cold, hot, snowy, and yes night. Having a good light while biking is essential. While riding in the cities being seen is not just a good idea but imperative for safety, no one likes having a close call on your way home from a long day at work. It’s also important while shredding the dirt at night to be able to see rocks, roots, and small animals that dart out in front of you.
I have been using the Dual Beam 1500 for a few months now from night rides to casual rides on busy city streets. The light has four modes: low, medium, high, and Superflash with run times of 12, 6, 2.5, and 45 hours respectively. I enjoyed the Superflash mode while in the cities as it is very noticeable, even on a bright sunny day! One very cool feature this light has is the side lighting. While the other lights that I use only shine straight ahead the Dual Blaze shines straight AND to the sides. This is a very nice feature to have especially in the cities where riding next to vehicles as you become even more noticeable.
The Dual Blaze uses a 5000 mAh Lithium-Ion battery. What does this mean you may ask? Lithium-Ion is a very popular battery that is lighter, smaller, and less affected by cold weather than other types of batteries. Is this a good thing? Yes it is, the Dual Blasé weighs in at a measly 185 grams, that’s less than a Shimano XTR cassette (for the weight weenies out there). Surely a light so light cuts corners elsewhere, but that is not the case with the Dual Blaze. Tough enough to be dropped, kicked, and crashed I have yet to have any issues with the light and I am not a gentle rider (just ask my poor cracked bike frame).
Living and riding in the Duluth area we have many types of trails ranging from nice easy flowy green trails to gnarly chunky double black diamonds. Riding at night it is very important to have a good bright light. Not only a bright light but one that will last and not die on a chunky decent in the middle of the woods. The Dual Blaze light has been fantastic with both light output and battery life. I usually ride in the woods with the light on medium (800 lumens) as it gives off an impressive amount of light and still lasts for my longer bike rides. When I get into the gnar where I have to pay extra attention and line choice is key, I often bump the light up to the high setting (1500 lumens). Having the light shine not only forward but out the sides is a dream come true on the trails at night as instead of just lighting up what is in front of you it also lights up the brush on your sides. This may not sound like a big deal but being able to see the branches that try to grab your bars can save you from crashing. While cruising the Paved trails around town I like to have the light in the low setting (400 lumens). The light is still plenty bright at the low setting to be able to see people walking late at night.
The Dual Blaze came with a twist bracket and is adjustable to fit three handlebar sizes: 22, 26, and 31.8mm. Unfortunately, that bracket will not fit bigger 35mm bars, however, Planet Bike does have more mounting options. Planet Bike has two other bracket options: a quick strap (elastic band) and a fork mount bracket (a mount that fits into the hole on the fork crown where fenders usually mount) To make the twist bracket fit to my bars (31.8mm drop bars) I had to remove a small screw and move the strap to one of the other hooks. Once adjusted and put back together I can easily swap it between my bikes whether I want to ride the trails with my drop bar mountain bike or fly on the paved trails or roads on my gravel bike.
Now is the time for me to bestow my final judgment upon the Planet Bike Dual Blaze 1500 (cue ominous music). I would give the Dual Blaze a 4.8 out of 5 Fat bike PSI!
I think it is built very well, has great output and the batteries last long enough to where I don’t have to be worried about being stranded on the wild Duluth trails. The Dual Blaze costs 100$ on the Planet Bike website and I would say that is a steal for such a good light. Now I’m sure you are all saying, “surely there must be SOMETHING wrong with this light, it can’t possibly be the greatest thing since sliced bread!”. You are not wrong, however, there is only one thing that I would say could be improved upon, and really it is not even about the light. When I ride at night I like to have a light mounted on my helmet so a helmet mount would be the cherry on top, for this fantastic light. Having a light mounted to your helmet helps when cornering and also gives a second light source to make shadows on the trails. Shadows you ask? Yes, when riding in flat light conditions (cloudy days on snowy trails) it can be tough to read the trail if you only have one light mounted to either your handlebars or your helmet. When you add a second light from a different perspective it helps make imperfections in the snowy trails easier to spot. I think the Dual Blaze would be an amazing helmet light because of its lightness and the side lighting it has. So if you’re looking for a new lighthouse to attach to your handlebars (or fork) to help guide you through the maelstroms of the bike life definitely give the Dual Blaze a long hardy gaze.
Shiner 70 – by Gomez
I’m probably not the guy that you want as a member of the safety committee but I believe in blinking lights as much as I believe in wearing a helmet. If I’m going to ride anywhere where I might tangle with trucks, busses, automobiles, or tractors, I run a set of blinkies. The Shiner 70 kit has been in consistant rotation on my daily sojourns on the bike for the last couple of months.
The tail light features a modern linear design that mounts to the seat post, seat stay, or
rack. I mount the front light onto the leg of my fork. The 7 LED PB Power Array™ delivers 70 lumens of broad beam light and three light modes. The rechargeable 440 mAh lithium polymer battery is fast charging and will keep the Shiner 70 rear light powered up for up to 8 hours. The light is dust and water-resistant up to the IP65 standard. The strobe mode on the shiner is a real eye-catcher. The rubberized cover for the charging port on the Shiner is a bit of a challenge to remove, but that is just me gnit-picking a really good product. I’ve used products like these for literally decades. This is the third generation of rechargeable blinky lights that I’ve owned and use constantly. This set of blinkies is currently my favorite.
The Shiner 70 we tested came as a light set which includes a white front headlight featuring a 10 LED PB Power Array™ light beam that provides 70 lumens of light and up to 12 hours of runtime.
Shiner 70 Bike Tail Light – MSRP: $29.99
Shiner 70 Bike Light Set – MSRP: $49.99
For more information, please visit www.planetbike.com