Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ay Up ultralight bicycle lighting kit

Shit happens!
While riding along the Kuala Selangor - Sekinchan route, I noticed that my Sigma PowerLED light was drooping on my Minoura spacebar.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the hinge on the lighting mount was broken.
What the fuck???
I had these for less than a year and its already problematic.
The Sigmas, they served me very well, but charging it and also carrying it around had proven to be a chore.
Its heavy and also bulky.
And I don't think that the shop which I had purchased the lights from would even replaced the damaged mount..

Broken: the hinge on the light mount...
But, there's always 'Plan B'..
I have two Sigmas. 
The surviving light was used for my bikepacking travel to Thailand.
Before this happened, my Starmetro cycling team members Kevin Tan and Glenn Guan had organised a group buy for a set of Ay Up ultralight bicycle lights.
They ordered it directly from Australia and enjoyed free shipping including discounts for the kits.
This is even cheaper than any high-end bike lights in Malaysia.
To my surprise, it took less than five days for the lights to arrive in the country.
Kevin had the first dibs and Glenn had it mounted on his road bike.
My fear was the mount itself as its meant for road and mountain bikes only.

Improvisation
I removed my RAM radio mount on my Minoura Spacebar on the Dahon Jetstream EX.
Took me about 10 minutes to rig up the light mount.
Everything was a perfect fit.
Compared to the Sigmas, the Au Up Ultralight kit is a no-frills lighting system that is lightweight and space-saving for travel.
It has an output of 400 Lumens which is bright enough for you to see what's ahead.
Glenn ordered an 'all-rounder' beam shape and all the lights were ordered with black hardware.
I am very happy with the fit, finish and overall quality.

High-performance in a small package: the Ay Up ultralight kit
Test ride and beamshots
The lights are easy to mount and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to rig it up.
As a standard package, the Ay Up ultralight kit came with a half-epic battery (3 hr run time) and has a 'fuel gauge' feature. For extended trips, its advisable to get an epic battery (6 hr run time). The kit also came with a charger and handlebar mount. This option was chosen by Glenn who made the order.
With the lights secured on my handlebar, I took the Jetstream for a spin.
Now, as far as beamshape is concerned, the Ay Up would outperform my Sigmas anytime.
They were no match in terms of flood and throw.
This is very important for ranging your distance and looking out for hazards and obstructions on the trail.
I am very impressed with the throw even though the 'all-rounder' beam was meant specifically for bike handlebars. There are two other configurations, but seriously, we don't need it.

The beamshot from the Ay Up lights
The true test for this light is on an endurance ride. I hope to attempt another 200km/day ride soon.
An additional epic battery pack would be really useful in this case.
Apart from that, I am also seriously thinking of the Ay Up V4 adventure kit...
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