The Bike List

Lumicycle LED3 Si elite 26 Bag System £200

Tested by Jonathan Manning, tester for The Bike List

Let's cut to the chase. You buy a spotlight to illuminate the road ahead and warn traffic of your presence and this small, neat Lumicycle lamp excels in both. Even in medium mode it casts a dazzling white beam that lights the road ahead with superb clarity, allowing confident progress well into the low 20mphs.

Switch to Smart Boost and you get three minutes of ultra-brightness to negotiate particularly awkward stretches of road, or to Permanent Boost if you want the retina-challenging brightness to continue. The penalty for lighting the road like Las Vegas is a reduction in battery time, but after a month's commute in the winter blackness of unlit winter B-roads, I've never had to move the power setting above High, and it's spent most of its time on battery-saving Medium level.

In total there are six power settings, accessed easily with a swift flick of the neat switch on the back, from Flash to Low (both 150 lumens), Medium (300 lumens), High (600 lumens), Smart Boost and Permanent Boost (a blinding 850 lumens), with the rechargeable battery life declining as the power rises. If only every manufacturer gave a lumens rating for their lights, like-for-like comparisons would be much easier.

In Flash, Lumicycle claim a phenomenal 91 hours from a fully-charged battery, which declines to 3 hours in Boost - more than adequate for most commutes. In High there's a claimed 4 hrs 30mins, and Mid should see you through the night at a claimed 13 hours from a fully charged battery. I achieved nearly five hours light on High power, but leaving the battery unit on my bike in a freezing shed overnight did seem to shorten the power available quite significantly.

And here's a quick tip. Please take the time for a good read of the instruction manual - commonsense surely with any £200 purchase, although like many men I used a combination of native wit and masculine ignorance to get the lamp going before I turned to the instructions. Only then did the flashing lights on the back of the light start to make sense.

When the battery pack is fully charged, there's a green flashing light, and this alternates with a different colour to indicate the power level deployed (blue for maximum Boost power, green for High, Orange for mid, red for Low and blue again for Flash). Seeing the red flash gave me palpitations that I was about to lose power, rather than confirming that I was simply riding in Low mode - see what I mean about the importance of reading the instructions.

On the bike, you can fit an extra link to the bar mounted quick release bracket to get this neat lamp to grip round even the beefiest of handlebars, and the glow-ring around the sides and base of the lens increases your visibility from the side to other road users. Thankfully a hood at the top of the lens stops the beam from dazzling the rider.

But it's not full marks all the way. You'd need a neck like a prop forward to carry the battery pack on your helmet for any decent distance, and on several occasions I've managed to disconnect the cable from the battery to the lamp with a careless swipe. There's also a second cable flailing from the battery pack, which is rather ungainly unless you have a rear lamp to power as well.

Overall however, the combination of a first class battery pack and three ultrabright LEDs make the Lumicycle LED3 Si elite a compelling if costly package for the serious rider who wants bright, reliable light throughout the night.

Lumicycle says:

Two important safety aspects make this light well-suited to road riders and commuters especially. The high-power light features a glow-ring that enables you to be seen from the side by other road users, essential when passing a left-hand side road, turning right or when in heavy city traffic and a vehicle is waiting alongside you at traffic lights. It also features an integral eyelid that prevents any upward glare to the rider. With the physically small, but powerful Elite 2.6Ah rechargable battery, you have a battery that will easily fit anywhere on your bike or your helmet. Many riders now choose to buy additional Elite26 batteries for total flexibility, riding with one, whilst having the other either on charge or fully charged in their back-pack giving them twice as much runtime and ease of battery management.

To see typical runtimes with an Elite26 bag battery click here

System includes: Elite26 Li -Ion bag battery and fast charger.

Weight : 395g

At a glance

Verdict A superb light with a first class battery and excellent power management and monitoring, for serious money.