Real life bike and gear tests
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For the last few months I have been running a Moon Comet rear light. Before purchase I hadn't heard of Moon as a brand, let alone the comet, but when shopping I found it had racked up some good reviews and well, it certainly couldn't be any worse than my original Bontrager AA battery powered unit that kept shorting batteries twice a month right? My primary condition was that it had to be very bright. My benchmark was set by what I had seen following my buddies at night - some rear lights would be drowned out by my headlight, others were assaulting my poor eyeballs and wouldn't help the epileptic. I wanted the latter type - the Comet seemed to fit the bill.
A quick look at the specs confirmed my choice:
•1 PCE COB high brightness LED
•30 lumen output
•Internal Li ion battery
•2 hour USB charge time
•Full beam 3 hours
•Low beam 7 hours
•Flashing & constant modes
•Low battery indicator
•Auto charge cut off
•Includes seat post and saddle mount brackets
•Horizontal & vertical mounting
So I went off to fleabay and bought one for $35 from cyclingdeal. The unit arrived quickly and was well packed.
The light kit was well appointed. Light unit, USB cable, 2 Mounts (1 x Rubber Bungee style, 1 x Saddle rail clip)
The 2 mounts are useful. There was no 'saddle bag' clip on offer - but the bungee cord around the seat post should suffice. Not for everyone though, so a slight ding in the ratings.
I have 2 bikes. Conveniently, the fancier one has an aero profile seat tube, and I dont make it wear saddle bags (my preference is a tool can or jersey pockets for stuff so it keeps its looks - vanity is important!) so the saddle rail clip came in handy and keeps the bike looking clean. The commute bike received the bungee cord mount. Both clips feature a toothed pivot adjustment with a screw, so you can tilt the light in small increments and tighten the angle into place.
The clip mount for the light is quite robust so it will last. It's also square and lets you mount the light vertically or horizontally. The unit is waterproof and the cover of the USB port is soft rubber, but yet to fail and part company with the light. The cover is also fitted very well, and needs a good fingernail to get it open at times. Light and saddle clip is 68g.
The side light is actually just 2 little plastic windows per side that the light of the main lens travels to. It's not as bright as looking it dead on and I wouldnt bank on it to be seen from 3 & 9 o'clock.
Charge time is as quoted - around 2 hours. The Lightening bolt power on led flashes to let you know its receiving juice, and locks solid when done. Charger is a std USB-Mini pin - similar to my Garmin 500.
Power on the unit in 2 ways. 1 press for a solid light, maximum brightness, another press goes mid, another again sets low. One more press goes back to high and so on.. For flashing mode, hold the power button down for 3 seconds. Intermittant hi-beam strobe is first, then a bit faster, followed by disco-theque strobe. Power off the light by holding down the button for 3 seconds in any mode.
Quoted battery life:
Mode Lumen Runtime
Standard 10 Up to 6 hours 50mins
High 20 Up to 3 hours
Overdrive 35 Up to 1 hour 45mins
50%Flashing - Up to 5 hours 30mins
100% Flashing Up to 3 hours
Strobe - Up to 4 hours
I have yet to push it to its limit on any mode - I always run 50% Flashing mode on a ride - I think the the other modes are overkill. It will last me a week of commutes and a 3hr distance ride (O/A ~ 4-5 hours of riding) before I charge it up.
Brightness is also very strong. It left an immediate impression on my riding buddies - saying it packed oomph when they were on my rear wheel. One went so far as to buy a Moon "Shield" rear light which I have followed and also found to be very effective.
An indication of how bright it's 30 lumens is comes from my ride home. Often I will duke it out with other commuters and in the darker parts of the ride the light output on the ground around my bike often fools me into thinking someone is right behind me - I have to check over my shoulder to make sure I'm not being caught! It is easily spotted from a distance.
All told - I'm very happy with the purchase. It has lasted several rain storms and the brightness level is excellent. Ease of charging and multiple mounting styles are useful, thought the lack of a saddle bag clip is the only shortfall. At $35 it is also amazing value for a light of its power and quality.
Good brightness, USB Charge, Mounting Kit for Aero bikes, good build quality, good battery life, good range of mode options
No Saddle Bag clip
Value for money
$20 Each on clearance!
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
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