Monday, December 10, 2007

Product Review - Ay Up Lights

As most people are aware, I choose to ride most of my products because I strongly believe they are the best products available for the riding that I do. Lights are no exception. After using Vicious Power Arc HID lights for the past couple of year (I still believe they are the absolute best HID riding light on the market to date bar none), I was given the opportunity to test a relatively newcomer to the lighting market world, AyUp. Once again an Australian company (very important to me) and once again producing a product that excels in what it sets out to achieve. I was initially blown away by the physical size and minimal weight. This is what attracted me to investigate further on their function and practical use as a new enduro racing light.

AyUp have set out to achieve what no other lighting company have - to produce an extremely lightweight lighting system practical in just about every way possible. What I mean by this is that most other LED lighting systems over volt the LED to produce more light, AyUp run the LED’s at their specified voltage of 7.4. As a result, the LED’s don’t heat up, therefore there is no need to use cooling fins, excessive amounts of alloy, etc to keep the LED’s cool. This design also allows Batteries to be half the size/weight for the same burn times.

Because AyUp don’t over volt the LED’s they aren’t the brightest LED lights on the market. But, by no means is this a negative thing. I strongly believe mountain bike lights have gone to the stage where they are too bright – where you can see forever but get into some sand or a little rock garden and all you see is brightness, no track contrast. It is now time for manufacturers to move away from making their lights brighter and concentrate on making them lighter and run for longer.

Running the AyUp’s with intermediate beam on my bars and narrow beam on helmet and I can see clearly what I’m riding into. I like to call this usable light. I have now raced with AyUps in four 24 hour events and the only time I would have liked to have the Vicious strapped to my helmet was at the Worlds during a 90km/h fire road decent (although I’d ridden it 6 or 7 times in the light knew there were no obstacles to worry about).

Another interesting point with the AyUp’s as a dual system (one light on bars one light on helmet) is that they are still lighter and have a longer burn time than most single system items on the market. All this from a company who are continually pumping money into improving their products, from more styles of batteries, to bags with solar charging panels for adventure racers and the list goes on.

As a result, I’m more than happy with my lights, and very happy that AyUp are sponsoring me. But I would be using these lights regardless of sponsorship. An Australian company owned by mountain bike riders.

I Usually run the larger 6 hour battery with the extension lead running under jersey and into my pocket. You don't even know it's there.

I you use the 3hour battery in this way, this half of the system weighs 200g.

With the 6 hour battery, it jumps up to a whopping 250g.

The Vicious Power with a five hour battery come in at 600g.
Handle bar setup with small 3 hour battery, very small, can hardly see it from the top.
With the six hour battery you can still mount it comfortably under the stem,


Anonymous said...

Can you post some night pics so we can see theses in action?


Bellie said...

I will try to get on to that at a later date. I am working on doing some night riding video. If it helps, have a look at Ay Ups website
Here they have some great shots.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew

Are you using the Ayup Endurance kit at the moment?

I was thinking of buying the regular kit and one extra 6 hour battery to get me through a full night.

Would be interested in your comments.


Bellie said...

That would be fine. I prefer not to charge during a race, so as long as I have enough batteries to see me through the night I am happy. I don't think it is a real issue only to have one charger so long as u are doing all your charging away from the reace site.

Anonymous said...

I bought a set a year or so ago and have loved them ever since. Very god light. Extremely light and you effectively get two sets. It also has the advantage of using two lights so that the handle bar lights give your some dpeth perception showing the shadows of rocks holes etc.
The white lights are also good.
The new lights are even better...apparently

Lighting Enthusiast said...

Looks awesowome! I'll definitely be cheaking out AyUp. Great photos!