Every year around this time the lighting arms race swings into action and every year things get brighter. It's a little strange to think that it wasn't too long ago that many of us were riding round the hills equipped with 10W of super dooper halogen power!
I'd been searching for some new lights for a few weeks and wasn't having much luck. I could have dug deep and gone for something from one of the established players but hand on heart I couldn't justify the outlay. I was a little bit stumped until I came across this ... the imaginatively named Sanguan SG-T2200.
|Left button for on and power levels, right button for strobe.|
One of the big draws besides cost and output was the long run times. The manufactures claim 50 hours on the lowest setting, we'll have to see whether that's slightly optimistic but as long as the battery will see me through 12 hours of riding I'll be a happy man. The battery is very neat and compact, it lives in a bag that fastens securely to the frame. All the cables seem very well sealed and certainly appear 'rain proof'.
|Frame fitting batter pack, seems secure and well made.|
|Easy, no tool fitting. The O ring even glows in the dark!|
I suppose the bit most folk will be interested in is ... how bright? Well I have to say it doesn't disappoint. There's a claimed 2200 lumen's on tap in the highest setting, obviously I've no way to confirm this but there's more than enough light for anyone. There's 4 light settings - Low - Med - High and Boost, there's also a strobe too which I'm happy to report is accessed via a separate button.
Obviously on the lowest setting things aren't as bright but they're still bright enough to enable you to travel as quickly as you like over non technical stuff ... think fireroads, bridleways, etc.
At something like half the price of a 'UK made' light I can't help but think this is a real bargain. It's bright, with a good beam pattern. It seems very well constructed with good attention to detail, it's also compact and pretty lightweight. I'll keep running it through the coming months and see how things progress but at the moment I'm not expecting any problems.
The SG-T2200 is available through Brightbikelights.com for £116 inc delivery. They'll also throw in a helmet mount and headtorch strap too, which can't be bad.
BUY ONE HERE
Update: 2 months on.
So, after 2 months what can I tell you? The light's had plenty of use in some pretty awful conditions. It's been used bar mounted and helmet mounted, it's been used on it's own and in conjunction with other lights (not that anything additional is needed) ... and in all honesty I can't fault it.
|Zombie behind post, werewolf just out of shot!|
For general/non technical riding the lowest power setting is actually more than enough. Even in low you can still travel at quite a pace along fire roads, etc without worrying about what's hidden in the gloom (branches, potholes, etc not werewolves and zombies). Hit the big button and step the power up a level and you've suddenly gained another 20/30 metres of clear vision. Another press of the button and things change again, you don't get much more throw but everything around you gets much brighter. Even in the 3rd setting there's no deterioration of light quality, no halos or hot spots, just a very bright, very big pool of clear and I'm happy to say, non blue light. A final push of the button puts you in 'maximum' or 'boost' and again things get brighter but the increment between level 3 and maximum is smaller. You still notice an increase in output but not to the same degree as is evident between the other settings ... is this a bad thing? No, not really. If you can't ride quickly on steep, technical trails with the light produced on levels 2 and 3 then you probably can't in daylight either! I've not encountered any 'powering down' in boost mode, so I can only assume that it hasn't got overly hot at any point. Maybe the freezing temps have helped or maybe I've not run it on boost for long enough ... I have tried though.
Although small and light enough to use helmet mounted I've found that I prefer to bar mount the thing. The spread of light is more than enough to prevent the 'you're now in a black hole' feeling when the trail gets twisty (unlike some bar mounted set ups). The reason I prefer it on the bars is the mount. The light unit is held to bars or helmet with an O ring, it's a very smart glow in the dark O ring and it's very secure ... no matter what you're riding the light unit stays put. However, when you press the big button to change power levels you do tend to move the light a little. It's much easier to avoid or correct with the light on the bars. It's not a real issue but it happens, just like it happens with every other O ring mounted light. The battery bag works very well, there's no movement or swinging, in fact you tend to forget it's there ... it's also very well made.
I can't tell you a massive amount about run times because it's never gone flat on one ride. I'm also conscious of preserving battery life (a throw back to lights of yesteryear), so happily change power levels continually throughout a ride. I can tell you about charging time though, on average the charger light goes from red to green after about 3 hours ... the charger doesn't get hot, the battery doesn't get hot, no ones house gets burnt down.
So, the plus points ... where does it score highly?
• Cost - it's a bit of a no brainer really.
• Quality - it's made in the far-east, some may argue that the quality must be low. I'd argue been manufactured in the far-east is what keeps the price down rather than quality ... it's very well put together.
• Output - anymore and it's starting to get a bit silly really.
• Easy to use - One simple button for on/off and power levels, with strobe on a separate button so you can ignore it (yay)
Could it be improved?
• An optional remote switch would be a nice touch.
• Maybe a tiny visor over the top of the light for when you're stood up.
• A bigger capacity battery option for multi-day rides/races ... you can always buy a spare though I suppose.