We recently came across some great little gadgets provided by Nite Ize. While browsing their website http://www.niteize.com/
We got to take a hands on look at the INOVA X3A Bike Light and a few other products.
Bike lights are going through a huge transition over the past few years. Cost have been coming down, and lumens have been coming up. The Inova X3A is not the best light on the market. However, the mounting options far surpass its competitors. It’s 175 lumens are blindingly bright for 3 triple A batteries, and last around 3 hours. In low power it’ runs 16 lumens for almost 50 hours. Interestingly enough when on the normal road, the low output is enough for general commuting. However in very dark areas, it’s nice to be able to switch to high.
The gear ties attached to the mounting bracket provide an unfair advantage to other bike lights. You can quickly attach the light to a helmet, then throw it on the handle bars. It’s easily removed and used to fix a flat tire on the road, and back into a backpack when at the office. This is such a great commuter light.
We would not recommend this for an off road light. The gear ties are just not strong enough to keep the light in place when riding rough off road trails.
Although Nite Ize makes a rechargeable light, it’s not marketed as a bike light. We wish that this was rechargeable as well. With such a short burn time on high power, you will be burning through cash on triple a batteries.
In addition to the batteries, the light is rather heavy. If you are one of those weight snobs, you will not like this light attached to your bike.
We can’t fault the Inova too much as most single LED lights have a hot spot. The light is really bright right in the middle, but not so much on the peripheral.
Switching modes while riding can be a bit tricky. The light has two “on” modes. One mode requires the button to be pressed to keep the light on. The other requires you to screw then end cap on tight. Additionally, to switch between modes, you must unscrew and then screw the end cap back again. As you can imagine this is pretty difficult while riding a bike. Often times we like to switch to high beam to check a bad spot in the road, and then switch back to low mode to conserve battery power. This is next to impossible with the inova x3a.
Helmet Marker Plus LED Red Bike Light
We have seen some expensive bike light with only one or two mounting options. The Helmet Marker plus wins hands down for the most versatile mounting options for a safety light. It comes with a gear tie attached to the back of it as well as a velcro adhesive strip. If that’s not enough, it also has little loops to secure to virtually anything with a longer gear tie, string, or rubber band.
The helmet marker plus lacks a little in brightness. Because the light is distributed throughout the fabric it’s not as bright as other safety lights.
If you need a simple red safety light for riding your bike, this would be a sure hit after frustration of trying to mount lights to bags and panniers it’s a healthy refresh to have something that can mount everywhere and is effective reflecting and distributing light.
GearTie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie
We will warn you, these things are addicting! When you start using them you will constantly be looking for them or wanting more. You start out using them for the obvious, wrapping up electronic cords, and attaching items to backpacks. Next thing you know, you want one to hold your flash light, use it to keep the hair out of your eyes, or hold a paper upright for reading.
They are great for keeping kids busy, wrapping around their fingers, creating creatures, and making glasses. They are the new version of pipe cleaners that we played with years ago.
Your going to want more of these after you buy a couple, so just stock up now!