A good light is invaluable to riding strongly through the dark. When your mental energy is at it's lowest, having a good light set will help you persevere and ride strong. Better yet is a light that is compact, mounts neatly, has an outstanding battery life and is bright AF.
I'd been looking for an all-round system that would work well in all conditions, when I came across the My Tiny Sun 1000 lumen front light, and Raceware Direct 3D printed mounts.
My Tiny Sun
The first thing I notice about this light is, as the name implies, that it is tiny. The head unit is about as big as the circle you can make with your index finger and thumb. And that's with the cooling fins around the sides. It comes attached to a large button that can be mounted anywhere in your cockpit via a some strong rubber bands or zip ties. The battery packs vary in size from a 2.9 mAh which would fit in a clenched fist, to a 5.8 mAh which is certainly more bulky, but will light you through an entire night. The batteries mount under your top tube with 2 velcro straps.
Raceware Direct 3D printed Mount
The head unit mounts using a gopro style mount, so you could use any existing gopro mounts you had. In this case I used a 3D printed dual sided Garmin/Gopro mount. This is a very stiff and ultra-sleek solution that keeps my front end super tidy. The mount is also incredibly stable, so you can shoot gopro footage from is easily when not using the light. You can get them printed in carbon and even titanium if you want to be super swanky, but the weight benefit is negligible. The mount is sleek, strong and very effective. Extra bonus for aero bar users is that there are even multiple options to have a mount that will fit these bars perfectly. The quality of finish is great, and they hold a Garmin very snugly, much better than other mounts I've used.
On the Bike
The performance of the light is excellent. Firstly, the switch also acts as a fuel gauge for the light, showing green when the light is on, and the battery is above 50% charge. At 50% the colour changes to blue, and at 10% the colour changes to red. Even when it is running out, the light will drop in power to 50% before fading out, rather than just dropping out altogether. Having said that, you would need to be riding for a bloody long time for that to happen. I rode from sundown to sun up on three separate occasions, all on a single battery. The light was flawless.
Output varies between 100% of 1000 lumens, and 50% power. You can toggle between the two just by pushing the button. The change in light happens through a fade up and fade down rather than an instant change, which is bloody easy on the eyes.
The spread of the beam is awesome. How a circular light can throw a square pattern is beyond my understanding. The spread of the light is very wide, making it sensational for descending in the dark. I was really surprised when I first started using it. But it's the penetration of the beam that packs the real punch. The best beam for seeing a distance in front that I have yet seen.
Both the width and depth of the light are also complimented by the whiteness of the colour. A very clear looking beam, that gives a really natural feel to what you can see. I felt it helped reduce fatigue a little when riding through the night too. I have no evidence for this, but a more dull and yellow light definitely makes me feel sleepy! All of this was highlighted when I put some 750 lumen lights on after having ridden the MTS 1000 for a couple of months. All of a sudden it felt like I was holding up a match to see!
For usability, I was also very impressed. Using the switch was super simple, even when exhausted, you can slap it with your hand and it will work fine. Particularly good feature for 24 hour MTB racing, when you need to switch off your light before entering a timing tent, and you don't want to get yelled at... Lenses can be easily replaced if damaged. the cable between battery and switch have a very snug fit, and has not dropped out on me once.
The 1000 lumen system also comes with a headband, so can be used as a trail running light. It also comes in an even brighter, like night-turns-to-day bright 2700 lumen light should you choose.
The switch is a little bulky for road cycling. Only a little, but if you are fussy for an ultra-sleek set up. The switch mounts very securely, but is a bit too tough to take on and off regularly. It would be nice to see a smaller and sleeker switch.
As the lights are German, and German law does not allow flashing, the lights only come in a solid beam. Personally I bloody hate flashing lights, so no issue for me, but may be for some. There potentially could be updates to this in the future.
Price / Where to buy
Head to our friends at Full Beam Australia to pick up a My Tiny Sun 1000
The lights come in at $259 with the standard battery pack, the extra long run time pack is an extra $39.90.
The Racewear Direct 3D mounts are a no brainer and good value at $59
You can find Full Beam Australia at www.fullbeam.com.au
The light and mount system is a total win. I loved using it, and would happily recommend it as a great system for road riding. It's flexible, super long burn time and quality build tick alot of boxes and for what you get the price is right.
For MTB, potentially the brighter system would work better. But as an all-rounder, the brightness, depth, width, durability and long lasting batteries make this a total winner.
Both the My Tiny Sun lights and Raceware Direct mounts are available in Australia from Full Beam Australia.
Full Beam Australia were proud supporters of the World Everesting Project.