We met up with Rory from U.S.E. recently for breakfast and a talk through the new range of Exposure lights. Well regarded in mountainbike circles where their cable free design and long run-time has gained many fans the Exposure portfolio has expanded to include some models that should prick the interest of road users. Allow us to shed some light, as it were. There, that's got the pun out the way.
Brand new to the range and of most relevance to tarmac-heads is the aptly named Strada.
Rather than embark on the "more and brighter is better" crusade of most bike light manufacturers Exposure figure that beam pattern is more important than power and have tweaked the lens on the Strada to be road-user friendly. It pumps out a useful 480 lumens on full blast but on the lower “dipped” setting it produces a flatter beam, directing the light in a "letterbox" pattern onto the road and out of the eyes of oncoming traffic, which is nice.
The Strada has three settings - high, dipped and flashing. The latter, which is a constant low light with a powerful flash layered over the top is great for low-light use and simply just being visible whilst on the road. Run times are stated as three hours for high, 10 hours on low and "days" in flashing mode.
Like all Exposure lights the Strada features a cable-free design with the light and battery housed in the same compact unit, a clean and tidy plus for road bikes with no battery-to-light leads flapping in the wind. The light quickly clips into a neat and unobtrusive horseshoe clamp that bolts to either OS or normal bars.
The glowing switch button on the rear of the light is ingeniously both a Mode indicator and Fuel Gauge that changes colour to signify which of the light modes you are in and how much juice is left in the battery.
The Strada comes supplied with a remote switch that plugs into the charging hole on the rear of the unit using Exposures "Smart-Port Technology", and can be strapped anywhere on the handlebars for easy and safe toggling between the light modes.
If you're not using the switch you can plug a piggyback battery into the charging port to extend the duration of the light, or else pop in one of their new Red-Eye rear lights. All fiendishly impressive stuff.
All of this comes with a charger in a soft-case for £245. Let's hope it performs better than my Dad's Strada of the Fiat variety, although that can't be hard. We'll let you know.
This little devil, heh, is the big brother to Exposures iconic Joystick light, and it's a sibling with attitude.
The Diablo chucks out an eye-watering 700 Lumens on Max but sadly runs out of juice in an hour at that strength, the alternate modes of High, Low and Flashing last 3 hours, 10 hours and days respectively.
Despite its size it shares the same cable-free design, Fuel Gauge/Mode indicator and Smart-Port Technology of the Strada so all the same extra toys can be plugged in the back.
It comes with a handlebar mount or a helmet clip, with the helmet-light option being a great way of supplementing an existing handlebar light for fast or tricky roads or just for staring cars down in the battlefield of a commute.
The Diablo, bar mount, helmet clip and lanyard all cosy in a soft-case can be yours for £225.
The Spark Is a stripped down version of an Exposure light, their first unit to use replaceable batteries, and it is very very very cute.
Instead of Exposures usual integral rechargeable battery the Spark is powered by two CR123-A Lithium-Ion Exposure cells (that's normal batteries to you and me), or you can use rechargeables.
It's a neat cable-free front light for commuting, a get-you-home training light or a really powerful little torch punching well above its weight with a 220 lumen output on max.
Suggested run-times are 2.5hrs/8hrs/20hrs and days for Max/High/Low and Flashing modes with disposable batteries or 1.5hrs/5hrs/12hrs and days with rechargeables.
As with other Exposure lights the on/off switch is also the fuel gauge and mode indicator, and as the light accepts either normal or rechargeable batteries with their differing run-times and discharge properties the light is easily programable to tell what type of battery it is using so that you receive the correct information from the fuel-gauge and don’t bleed a rechargeable deathly dry. Boffintastic.
Packed in with the light in its tiny soft-case you get a zip-tie handlebar mount kit, a lanyard and 2 x Li-Ion batteries, all for £100.
Now, we like this.
The Red-Eye is a dinky CNCed light that plugs into the rear Smart-Port of the new Exposure range, straps to the rear of a helmet or seatpost and kicks out 80 lumens of red light, that's bright enough to shame Amsterdam.
Fully waterproof, it says here, it uses the same LED as Exposures MaXx-D uber-light, but in red. Available with two cable-lengths, the short cable plugs into the back of a Diablo or Joystick and clips onto the mother unit, which is great for helmet use, while the long cable is designed to reach all the way back from the bar-mounted light to a seatpost or rear rack.
It costs £40 which seems a whole fat fist of monies for a rear light but it's brightness offers complete peace of mind, especially if you do a lot of busy commuting.
To find out more check out www.exposurelights.com
Oh, and since you ask - Breakfast Number 2, tomatoes swapped for extra beans, and four teas.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.