New for 2019 the Lumicycle Apogee Extender pack front mountain bike light produces a massive 4500 lumens in a sturdy handlebar package with an easy to reach switch. It does need an external battery though and the light beam forms more of a ‘spotlight’ than competitors.
The Apogee is a powerful light, there’s no doubt about that, the 4500 maximum output is bright, unfaltering and clear, if a little spotlight in its formation. The light itself is mounted to the bars with a short cable continuing to the battery which is best placed up near the headtube. The light attaches to 31.8mm bars easily but you’ll need some extra parts for 35mm bars (£16.99 for a different clamp) and a cable extension (£5.99) if you want to place the battery pack down nearer the seat tube. The light can be mounted both above and below the bars, you can alter the position of the ‘anti-glare eyelid’ of the light in order to retain this feature whatever position the light is in.
In terms of battery stakes Apogee fares well with total run time from this tested Extender 6800mAh battery pack in Boost mode sitting at a huge claimed 13 hours. We left ours running for over 6 hours in Boost mode and the battery indicator still sat at the middle at orange, it looks good for it's claimed run time. There is also a feature that offers an emergency "get you home" mode, it detects the battery is running flat and lowers the output in order to extend light time and get you home safely. The battery pack stayed pretty much in place under the top tube where doing the two provided Velcro straps up tightly kept it secure.
The light functions are operated via an easy to reach lever at the back, flick up for brighter, down for dimmer and hold for on and off. There is a light indicator above the switch which indicates which of the 7 control modes you are in from daylight pulsing to the 3 minutes “smart boost” great for a quick boost of 4500 lumens without having it on all the time and rinsing battery – just make sure you are at the end of the trail in time! The light also has RF connectivity capabilities so if you are running more than one Lumicycles light you can control them all from one switch. I really liked the up/down nature of the switch, you don’t have to cycle through the light modes to get the one you want.
As I mentioned previously, the light beam is a little more focused than you get with other brands, it appears Lumicycles updated the LED’s this year to CREE XPL HI LED’s to help spread the beam whilst still penetrating the night. Lumicycles say these LED’s should light up t 100m ahead of you, they certainly are bright and will see you down the darkest trails with ease.
The light is also supposed to enhance the "green" element of the light; meaning that branches, leaves and pretty much anything in front of you will be seen in greater detail compared to "standard" LED units, not something I noticed in the depths of winter but a nice detail if it works. With ‘super boost’ taken out of the equation the light puts out 3650 lumens in Boost mode, with the remaining mode intervals at 1860, 720 and 400. For the majority of my riding, I left the light on Boost and coupled it with a 1500 lumen head mounted light to help me around the corners on singletrack.
In summary, the Lumicycle Apogee Extender Pack front light is a solid well-built piece of kit. The option to buy the new Apogee light will appeal to riders who are already Lumicycle users and looking to upgrade and use batteries they already own. As a new purchase though it’s not that considerably cheaper than competitors and having a separate battery pack is a bit more of a faff than using the competitor Exposure Lights Six Pack, but you do get considerably more run time from the Apogee.
This Apogee Extender Pack costs £365 meaning you are going to have to have a serious think about whether the £70 extra for the Exposure light is worth it or not. Remember you also get an over less weight set up (albeit it's all located on the bars) with the Exposure, some clever battery saving ‘Reflex tech’ and 250 more lumens in full power, it certainly is food for thought. But if you don't mind an external battery then you'll get power for longer with the Apogee.
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