Review: “Headlight”: OLIGHT WM 2 Tactical Torch 1750 Lumens Rechargeable LED Torch

NOTE: This review is not compensated and I received no free products or other reward for writing it.

I do long cycles even when the nights draw-in during winter, so having a good light matters. I tried many lights sold specifically for bicycles on Amazon and they were crap with short battery lives. The Olight flashlight however is not only *VERY* bright with a rapid-flash mode for cyclists, it can also be powered directly from a USB power brick meaning it has a potentially bottomless battery life. You just plug the USB cable into the brick and join the other end’s magnetic cap to the back of the flashlight. There’s a button on the bottom where you can not only turn it on, but toggle the light intensity modes. IT however is a bit pricey. An alternative is to just carry a few flashlights with you if battery life is a problem cycling in the winter months. Notwithstanding the price, I’ve come to love this flashlight and would highly recommend it.

This gadget is actually designed to attach to a cycling helmet, but won’t fit on mine. I bought it instead to attach to my handlebars. The device is two halves allowing you to change the direction the flashlight points to 90 degrees. Given the Penny-Farthing’s stiff suspension though, the flashlight works loose and I find myself instead holding it in my hand. Which is not all bad, as I use it to wave on motorists to pass me at night when I see the road ahead is clear. So it’s useful, but one does have to keep checking the flashlight isn’t working loose while cycling on bumpy roads- at night. But again, I’m using it differently than it was designed so cannot deduct any stars for this.

Review: Blinxi Electronic Helmet Turn Signals:

Some clever French folks created electronic turn signals that can be added to a standard cycling helmet with an adhesive plate and controlled by a Bluetooth gadget strapped to your handlebars. Key Features:

1) Enhanced Visibility: In addition to providing electronic turn signals, the Blinxi also flashes red intermittently to enhance visibility when cycling at night
2) Audible Feedback: It beeps so you know it’s working. With the Livall helmet with integrated signals, the battery in the helmet can be flat and you’ll be unaware of the fact believing you’re signalling to trailing motorists who can see nothing. Also, the beeping is captured on CycleCam video so you can evidence that you signalled if there is an incident
3) Waterproof: I’ve used it several times this 2022-23 winter in freezing rain pissing down sideways; it continues to work fine
4) Signal Cancelling: If you’re turning right in a roundabout, you can issue a left turn signal at your exit. Not possible with the Livall helmets. Clearly the Overade folks are cyclists who eat their own dogfood, cycling on Paris’ busy roads unlike Livall.
1) Might not easily fit on all cycle helmets: requires a flat area to stick the magnetic plate.
2) Potential for loss: In order to fit the magnetic plate to my helmet, I had to slightly bend it. It still magnetically mates to the plate, but it’s more subject to loss if the helmet is knocked/bumped. So you need to check it’s not fell off when yoyu tossed your lid on the ground at a rest stop. But if you don’t hear the Blinxi beep when signalling a turn, you should be aware something might just be wrong and return to where you last sat noshing a granola bar… 😉. I mount my Blinxi on a Specialized “Mode” model helmet.

Spoke Lights:

If you’re cycling in early evening or dark, a few of these when combined with a High-Vis jacket will further enhance your visibility. They have (4) modes from quick flashing to continuously on. Fitting: Ensure that the thicker part faces towards the inside of the wheel (see pic) and use (2) small ratchet ties, attaching each to a different spoke in opposite directions to create tension forcing the flanges or “wings” of the device against the spokes to prevent them from poking out and catching on the forks. (2) Spoke Lights are positioned on opposite sides of the wheel hub are optimal, but you could just use a single one. I bought mine from Mountain Warehouse, but they’ve since discontinued this item.