Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Headlight: Busch & Muller Ixon IQ

Fall has officially arrived, and I have been getting myself ready for dark and cold riding. I have had a bulb burned out of my NiteRider that I knew needed to be replaced. And I was getting a little worried about runtime. So the NiteRider is 10w/15w so 25w combo, and my commute is about 45-50 minutes each way, and I'd like to have at least the 15w on full both ways. I tested the run time and on 15w I only got about 1:15 total. I figured it would be $20 to replace the bulb and around $80 to get a new battery pack for the light. So I spent quite a bit of time looking for a new headlight.

I looked at a lot of options, and settled on the Bush & Muller Ixon IQ. A HUGE thanks to Peter White Cycles' website, where there is a great amount of information about various lighting systems. You can read a lot of information about the light on PWC, but I'll tell you why I bought it.
1) Runtime. 4-5 Hours on high, 20 hours on low setting.
2) Great optics. It's bright.
3) Rechargable AA batteries - this was the clincher for me. The light comes with 4 NiMH AA batteries, which are both easily replaceable AND rechargable WITHOUT TAKING THEM OUT OF THE LIGHT.

I just got my light today, and so far I am pretty happy. The mounting system was really easy to use, and I got a spare mount for the icebike for about $3 that will make my life easier. The mount isn't super tight on the 25.4mm bars on the icebike, so I will probably wrap the bars with a bit of old tube to make it tighter.

The only thing that is a little akward is that the plug-in for the charger is on the bottom of the light. They did that so it would be more water-resistant in the rain. It is accessible on the mount, just a little bit more difficult.

First ride tomorrow, it won't be super dark but enough to get a feel for the light.

Some pics of the light mounted below. You can see that it's pretty small, no separate battery pack, no cords!



Here's the light in the garage with no other lights on:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why

I recently had a friend, who is a casual cyclist, ask me about my bike commuting. What’s my motivation for not owning a car and using my bike as much as possible? Of course the basic reasons of financial benefits and health benefits came up. I told him at the time “mostly, I just like bikes.” Which is really true. I do like bikes, a lot, people who know me would probably think that’s an understatement.

Last night while riding home from work I was thinking about the ‘Why.’ In the end, it’s not about saving money, or even about being healthy. (As an aside – this morning my wife asked me what I thought my mileage would be for the year, and I assumed 4000-5000 or so – that’s about 150,000-200,000 calories burned – lots of pizza and beer!) For me, commuting is about me. It’s my thing. I love it, and if I won the lottery and somebody invented a miracle pill that kept pizza and beer from turning into fat, I would still do it.

And, a teaser: