“Strong, light, cheap, pick two”…….. A well-known quote from Keith Bontrager that rings true in many a bike product. If its light and strong it wont be at all cheap. If its cheap and light it will never last and cheap and strong it most likely have the mass of a house. A quote you can put effectively to use when testing and reviewing products. Until we received this pair of lights from Alpkit.
Alpkit are a brand committed to developing great value, quality outdoor equipment. They have recently branched out into the world of cycling with the full range of lighting options, cycling apparel and components (Love Mud) for use with their own brand of Sonder bikes.
The Alpkit Tau lights are small and light weighing in at a feather weight 22g each including the USB rechargeable integrated 3.7V 300mAh Li-polymer battery. The strip of LEDs provide a 270° beam pattern. The lights have 5 modes selected by the single On/Off switch button.
The front light’s brightest setting of 65 lumens will last you four hours and the flashing mode will continue on for and impressive 12 hours on a single two-hour charge time. Its partner at the rear has a setting that puts out 20 lumens with a run time of three hours and then its most economical pulsing mode will still be going after 18 hours. Making this a great commuter light set.
The lights are secured with a rubber band fastened with hooks either side of each strip of LEDs. This makes them extremely versatile and can be mounted just about anywhere from your helmet to your forks or seat stays, bars or seat post. It means that these lights can be taken between bikes, bags or helmets. The rubber bands also keep these lights well really light! No complicated brackets, no fiddly bolts and no scratches and marks from use on your most precious steeds. Due to their low weight and compact size they don’t move around once fitted in place even on the worst roads or gravel paths.
We have been using this particular light set for a year. Including the best part of two winters and hundreds of commuter miles in the worst conditions mother nature can throw at them thanks to waterproof sealing. The batteries still hold their charge as if they were new and I have a regular routine of charging them both once a week. The rubber bands have given up on both lights over that time so i replaced them with a black elastic hair band (thanks to the wife) which has done the job of securing the lights again.
Due to their compact size you can just leave them on your bike as they are hardly noticeable when switched off.
These are incredibly simple lights. That just work and work very well. Bright enough to illuminate unlit back roads on the highest settings and the pulsing flashing mode is hugely effective at making you seen by other road users.
They are cheap, yet have a reassuring quality to them. Alpkit are brilliant at bringing their quality products in at an amazing price point but these just have to be seen to be believed. They are such good value for money that you have no excuses to not being seen whilst on your commute or training rides in low light. In fact you could buy a few sets for the price of some other lights on the market.
Price £14 each
Available from https://www.alpkit.com/products/tau
Supplied with sturdy rubber band for quick fitting
Lightweight, only 22 g
Dimensions 70mm x 29mm x 18mm
5 different lighting modes
2 hrs charging time
Bright 270° beam
Light weight and small
Rubber bands eventually gave up