It’s not often that we get excited about new technology around here. Whether it’s 11-speed cassettes or 31.8 mm-diameter handlebars, we often fail to see the need to improve upon what works perfectly well. So when Busch & Müller announced new LED headlights, we wondered how much better than our current favorites they could be. After all, with the current lights, we often descend curving mountain roads in the middle of the night at 40 mph or more, and even ride gravel descents at speed.
We tested the B&M Luxos and Eyc models, as well as the Schmidt Edelux II for the Winter issue of Bicycle Quarterly. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that we were impressed. The old lights are perfectly fine, but the new ones are really a big step up.
Here is the beam pattern of the Edelux II, courtesy of Andreas Oehler from Schmidt Maschinenbau. Not only is it much wider than the previous version, but the illumination is incredibly uniform. There is just light on the road, no bright and dark spots. And that is how it feels – most of the limitations of riding at night no longer apply.
The Edelux II will be available at the end of this month. The B&M IQ Cyo Premium uses the same optics, and we just received the first shipment, so it’s available now.
The new IQ Cyo looks like the old one, but you can spot the “P” for Premium in the photo above. This means it has the new optics and a brighter LED that produces more light for the same power consumption.
In addition to the new beam, the IQ Cyo Premium has “daytime running lights.” This features two smaller LEDs that shine slightly upward. During daytime, the main LED is dimmed, and the two small LEDs make the cyclist more conspicuous to other traffic. At night, the main beam shines at full brightness. The two daytime LEDs continue to shine, which may be useful for riders who like to set their beam so it illuminates the road right in front of their bikes, making them hard to see from a distance. A light sensor switches between the daytime and nighttime setting.
Another new light is the B&M Eyc. This tiny headlight packs an amazingly powerful beam. In fact, the beam resembles that of the old IQ Cyo/Edelux. It’s a bit narrower than the new lights, and it has a few bright and dark spots, but it’s very affordable and at just 44 g, it is the lightest headlight I have used. I would have no qualms doing Paris-Brest-Paris with this light, it’s really that good.
It’s amazing how far lights have come in recent years, but it’s also sad that many headlights of other manufacturers still use symmetric beams that put too much light in the nearfield, not enough in the distance, and then waste half the light output by shining upward, into the eyes of oncoming traffic.
So if you have one of those other kinds and are waiting for deep discounts, now could be a good time for you to change to a generator light: we’ve reduced the prices of the remaining stock of first-generation Edelux and IQ Cyo headlights. At these prices, they provide an amazing value. Remember, these are the lights that we use on our own bikes, lights that until a few weeks ago were state of the art and seemed hard to improve.
To facilitate installation of these great lights, we now install connectors for SON generator hubs for a small fee. We use state-of-the-art crimping tools to create a connection that is durable for many years to come.
Click here for more information on the headlights and accompanying generator hubs that Compass Bicycles sells.