Fenix BC21R bicycle flashlight - for every occasion?
Mountain enduro paths, forest trails, night city, camping. We checked, and in literally all conditions, how the new Fenix model BC21R works.
I got the flashlight for testing on Wednesday - it was a good thing, because Wednesday is our "statutory" day for night enduro driving. The crew had an appointment, so I only confirmed my presence.
Immediately, I thought - I will not have time to do the test while driving the enduro, because I will not have time to recharge the battery! It turned out that I was on time - full charging took only 2.5 hours , which is much shorter than in the heavy flashlights we use every day. This is the first big plus.
A few words about assembly and power supply
The flashlight is really compact - it measures only 113 mm in length and weighs 67 g! (plus battery). This result, combined with the high power of the emitted light (880 lumens), is impressive.
As I had little time and still had to take a few photos, I was very pleased with the quick, intuitive mounting of the flashlight on a silicone strap. However, the same evening it turned out that not every plus is a universal plus - it is worth applying to mountain paths and tightening the mounting strap more (very tightly).
The use of a popular replaceable battery (18650, 2600 mAh battery) allows you to replace it during the trip with a second or third - charged one. Long-distance runners may consider purchasing a 3500 mAh cell. The battery can be charged via the microUSB socket - this very convenient option will allow you to charge literally anywhere using a computer, powerbank or phone charger, also in the car (great).
In addition to the short charging time, the equipment surprises with a long working time. During the test, the flashlight worked at the second power level for over 3 hours! This is a really good result. According to the manufacturer's data, using the strongest mode, we can use the flashlight for an hour (using a more powerful battery, nearly 1.5 hours).
Fenix on enduro routes
The test in the harsh mountain conditions was the first that I subjected Fenix to. For night, fast cornering, two light sources are best suited - one on the steering wheel and one on the head. The steering wheel is responsible for a wide beam of light illuminating the sides and here ... unfortunately, it was a bit missing. In turn, the second light on the head should have a narrower, longer beam providing orientation in the category "I'm looking at where I'm about to turn".
Fenix would be perfect as a headphone source (low weight, no cables and no external batteries), if not a small lack - the manufacturer did not provide a mounting bracket for the helmet ... flashlight as an ordinary headlamp. More than one "ultralaytee" sleeping in a half-kilo tent would rather take a handle than an additional lamp.
Unfortunately, at the end of the route, on the root section, a mounting strap that was too weakly attached by me caused the light source to rotate towards me, totally blind and falling out of the route. Hence my good advice: always tighten the belt tightly, otherwise it may turn even in the city, e.g. on a curb.
The final verdict for those looking for a torch for night riding on rough terrain: not really.
Test on forest paths
It was completely different during the next part of the test. The flashlight turned out to be an ideal, very powerful and economical source of light for crossing forest bumps on gentler routes. With a calmer ride, I noticed that the stream of emitted light is transmitted in two streams.
The manufacturer called this proprietary solution "dual beam". In addition to the main beam of light, there is another one directed downwards, directly in front of the front wheel. This feature, which I did not notice at all at high speeds, turned out to be very nice during normal off-road driving.
Fenix rules the city!
It seems to me that the described model feels best in an urban environment. The "dual beam" system illuminates each obstacle directly in front of the wheel, and easy mounting on the belt allows you to quickly lower the light source at any time, so as not to dazzle oncoming traffic. An interesting fact is that there are additional red lights on the sides - does it really matter? I think it's a rather redundant gadget.
The compact size and light weight allow you to put the equipment in any pocket after easy disassembly. In addition, an efficient battery allows you to take many trips without the need to recharge, and a special system signals the battery discharge early enough. Even if you lose energy in the city at night - you recharge literally everywhere, the charger is located under every bar counter.
Bicycle flashlight at the campground
As I also did the tests during a two-week campervan trip, it was clear that sooner or later I would be able to check the flashlight in conditions "not dedicated" by the manufacturer.
> Unfortunately, the aforementioned lack of a head holder eliminates the possibility of using it, for example, for minor repairs, toilets, washing dishes, etc. "At the table), possibly a hook for hanging, which I also did not find. Due to its dimensions, the flashlight turned out to be very useful for handheld applications. It illuminated our path during night walks through the forest.
It should be noted, however, that this is a flashlight aimed primarily at the bicycle. It is a pity - maybe in the next edition, the manufacturer will introduce amenities that will increase its functionality.
The tested flashlight is an ideal solution for people looking for a durable, bright, compact and economical flashlight for the city or in light terrain. Waterproof construction , resistant to falls from 1 m, ensures long-term use.
There is also something rare in today's world: a 60-month warranty! That should say a lot about the durability of this device.
On the plus side:
- low weight
- bright beam of light
- long working time
- four light modes
- battery charge indicator
- replaceable batteries
- usb socket
- easy assembly
- waterproof housing
- dual beam of light
On the downside:
- no holder for a helmet (head)
- no safety bow during uncontrolled release
Bikes, skis, hiking ... exercise is my whole life.