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Review: Light & Motion Urban & VIS

4 Light & Motion Vis

Fall means less light and a crazy mid-afternoon sun glare for drivers. Why not help them (and yourself) by running blinky lights during the day and night?

Meet my Favorite Lights Reviewed to Date

Light & Motion Urban 200 and VIS 180 Micro

Key things to know:

USB rechargeable
Easy rubber strap mount for installation and removal
180′ visibility with orange side lights
Water resistant (maybe proof?!)

Thoughts and Opinion

I’ve reviewed many lights on Bike Shop Girl and Commute By Bike. One thing or another happens after a few months of constant use. Mounts break, lenses fall out, water damage or the battery stops holding a charge (especially in the cold.)

After a year of constant use (day and night) on one bike or another, using the Urban 200 during a couple nights of camping, I can happily say I want this set of lights on all my bikes.

Interested in buying a set? Support BSG by buying through JensonUSA.

Disclaimers: These lights were provided at no charge for review, my opinion is true. If you buy through the link to JensonUSA, I may get commission. Support BSG & do it.

 

 

Preview: Knog Blinder Road Lights

7 Knog Blinder Road Lights

As my hunt continues for amazing bike lights to keep me from being run over, I was sent a set of the new Knog Blinder Road Lights. These rechargeable beauties are part of the hi power series that Knog released earlier this year.

Knog Blinder Road 2 MSRP $79.95

Knog Blinder Road Lights

  • 200 Lumens
  • Light Dimensions: W53mm x H30mm x D63mm
  • Weight: 75g
  • Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime.
  • Waterproof: 100% Waterproof and Dust Proof.
  • Light Modes: Total of 8 light modes: 1. Narrow Low Beam, 2. Narrow High Beam, 3. Wide Low Beam,4. Wide High Beam, 5. Dual Low Beam, 6. Dual High Beam, 7. Flashing Alternate, 8. Flashing-1 LED Steady/1 LED flashing.
  • Burn time: Low-beam modes: Steady 2hr, Flash mode 6hr. High-beam modes:Steady 1hr / Flash mode: 4hr.
  • Charge time: 5 hour charge time.
  • Bike Attachment: Two removable silicone straps for bars 22-28mm / 29-35mm. Helmet mount included

Knog Blinder Road R MSRP $59.95

Knog Blinder Road Lights

  • 70 lumens in strobe mode (peak)
  • Dimensions: W27mm x H76mm x D52mm
  • Weight: 52g
  • Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch.
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime.
  • Light Modes: 5 light modes: 1.Steady, 2.Fast, 3.Chaser, 4.Peleton, 5. Eco-Flash.
  • Burn time: lasting up to 3.5 hours in Steady mode, 4 hours in Fast, 5 hours in Chaser, 13 hours in Peloton Mode and 20 hours in Eco-Flash.
  • Bike Attachment: Tool-less attachment for standard rear posts measuring 22-32mm. Not suitable for aero post design

Out of the Box Thoughts

The look of Knog lights have always been a clean, catchy, subtle design. The question has always been the quality and longetivity of the light. These new Blinder Road Lights seem to have a bit more to them, first in the band which is much thicker than their other lights, and then second are the cords they are finally shipping with their USB charging lights. You struggle any longer trying to plug one of their lights into the back of your computer or keyboard thanks to this long USB extender.

Only time will tell how the lights hold up, and how long they really do keep their charge. Give me a couple weeks to push the test of these little lights! Learn more over at Knog.

Support Bike Shop Girl

If you are in the market for new lights, click through this link to JensonUSA where I receive a commission off anything you buy (as long as you do so after clicking the link!)

Disclaimer: These Knog lights were provided at no charge for review. 

Review: Portland Design Works Aether Demon

9 PDW Aether Demon

It’s pretty apparent how I feel about bike lights and the level of safety they add to your bike rides. A blinking front and rear light are found on most of my bikes, including some of my mountain bikes if I’m going to hit the road on the way to find my dirt diet. When Emily started commuting to the hospital every morning we purchased a couple lights for her All City Nature Boy that were bright, but it became apparent that the USB front light was kicking the watch battery powered rear light’s arse. Every couple weeks the batteries needed replacing or the rear light wasn’t shining as bright as new. Make fun of me that something this small stressed me out, but at 4:30am I want her seen as much as possible.

That’s about when a little birdy told me about a new USB powered rear light coming out from PDW.

Meet the Portland Design Works Aether Demon

MSRP: $49.00

Details: 

  • Nichia™ 0.5 watt LED
  • USB charging Li-ion battery
  • Texas Instruments™ integrated circuit (I have no idea what that means)
  • 4 modes (run time): Dance (8 hrs), Breathe (8 hrs), Group Ride (175 hrs at 10% power), Rock Steady (3.5 hrs)
  • Includes seatpost, seatstay mounts

Overall Thoughts of the Aether Demon™

Sometimes, though very rarely, I review a product and all I have to say about it is “it really works.” This light is it. The short USB plug that comes with the light plugs into the bottom and then either into your computer, or I use the USB box that came with my iPhone/iPad. It blinks demon blue until it’s charged, you unplug it and go on your way. With included mounts you can install the light on your seat post or on a seat stay on the bike frame. Both mounts allow you to pivot the light to be pointed properly behind you.

Pro’s and Con’s

For $49 it’s hard to beat a USB charging rear light that last for a good long while. Especially one with a great company standing behind it. The only thing I would change has to do with the light output, I’m a big fan of the Light & Motion Vis 180 rear that has light output on the sides for cars coming towards you perpendicular. That’s really my only feedback of the light.

The mount is solid, the USB plug closes up well and the light strobing options are great. If you are in the market for a new rear light and you want something that won’t blow through batteries, take a look at this beauty from Portland Design Works.

Check them out online, or find your local bike shop that stocks them.

Disclaimer: This light was provided at no charge for review. Saying that, I would buy one full retail.

Review: Jaybird Bluebuds X Headphones

1 Jaybird BlueBuds X

Headphones I find to be essential for the long haul, putting in training miles, or maybe the need of getting lost in a good podcast while being active. Loud enough to tune my thoughts out, but not loud enough to tune out the cars around me.

In late April there was a short preview of the Jaybird Bluebuds X headphones, Bluetooth, multi-fit, “training tools”, as I would call them. They aren’t a requirement for a good workout, but they do make it easier.

Full Review of the Jaybird Bluebuds X

Features and Spec

  • MSRP: $169.99
  • Wireless music and phone calls
  • In-ear white noise reduction that eliminates listener fatigue
  • 8 hour playtime on one battery charge
  • Sweat-proof

Personal Thoughts on Features

Pricing

When I see prices of Bluetooth products these days my jaw drops. Normally $100 will get you a “decent” Bluetooth headset to make calls in. Anything below that will wear out and echo. When I saw the price of the BlueBuds X, I thought “that is pretty expensive” and then I thought about using them for music and phone calls. If they prevented me from ever using my phone to my head again, that will be worth it.

Wireless music and phone calls

Phone calls sound amazing, and the music quality warms the soul but if you are a cyclist you may not be able to get both. The headphones have multiple fits, one in your standard “in-ear” and then one “over-ear.” The in-ear fit bothered me with my helmet straps, and the over-ear fit was perfect but you can’t use the microphone very well when the headset is in the over-ear setup. Switching between the two fits isn’t hard, but it include pulling off a rubber wing and putting it on the other ear bud. Over time the wings stretch and don’t stay in place any longer.

One last gripe is that the features on my phone for music are no longer accessible. The double click forward tries to make a phone call, and the triple click for last song confuses my phone. This is a bummer to be able to use it well with my iPhone.

 

Jaybird gave me some directions on how to move tracks forward and back: Hold the up volume and it advances the track, hold the down volume and it goes back a track.

In-ear White Noise Reduction

This feature works really well. I have found in the past with Bluetooth headphones if I am listening to something very quietly the low buzz of the headphones & music output is annoying. There isn’t really a low buzz using these headphones.

8 hour playtime on one battery charge

This one is key for me, I have enough things to charge after a bike ride or day at work. Remembering to plugin my headphones every night is a nuisance. I’m able to get through almost a full weeks of bike commuting with these headphones, or a couple days on the road while making phone calls when driving. It uses a mini-USB charger so make sure to it handy, as an Apple user this size plug isn’t too common for me.

Sweat-proof

All I can say on this one is that it seems good so far. I’ve done a couple pretty sweaty workouts with the headphones and they are still working fine but this is exactly how I’ve killed a couple other Bluetooth headphones.

Overall Impression and Thoughts

Jaybird Bluebud X Headphones

As headphones these guys are great, all the fits work well for my ears and the sound is amazing. The cable resting on my neck doesn’t bother me or tangle in my hair at all. With a long lasting charge and easy to sync feature it will be a big hit for those that don’t mind the in-ear fit with their helmet and want to make phone calls.

I’ll continue to use these headphones, and will check back if they ever stop working. If you are an avid music lover and want something for your active lifestyle these are it. Better than the Motorola, Beats and Yurbuds that I have tested. If you are wanting something for both, you’ll have to pick between your music or phone call quality but at least you can pick which you want to sacrifice.

20% off Bike Shop Girl Discount for 10 days only!

Jay Bird has offered a 20% off discount code for Bike Shop Girl friends. Use BSG20 at check out and get 20% off!

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review.