Posts Tagged ‘cycling equipment’

Having had my Nitelights for a few weeks now I thought it was about time that I gave you guys some idea about what I think of these lights using them on a daily basis.

Up until recently I had always tended to use cheap LBS lights that were around 20 bucks and gave me as a cyclist the confidence that I will be seen by motorists, other cyclists and pedestrians. I have, over the last few years gone through more sets of these cheap lights than I care to remember. Recently my needs changed and my commute changed from mostly road commuting to local cycle track commuting. This meant as well as being able to be seen by other people I know also needed lights that were going to enable me to see ahead of me on a pitch black cycle way.

I pondered this decision for some time, maybe get a few more el cheaper lights from Wiggle, and replace them as and when needed or splash out on a set of rechargeable high-powered bicycle lights that would last me some time. I decided on the latter.

Thus the research began. I scrolled through all the usual suspects Wiggle, Chainreaction Cycles and Probike Kit. All of these stores offered a large selection of high quality, high-powered lights that would fit the bill. I then remembered that a few guys I know swear by a brand called Ayup. Australian manufactured, high-powered lights. I thought these would be the go for sure. However I was instantly put off by the price, after delivery etc would have been over $330 Australian.

FInding the urge to get these lights dampened by the cost I set about seeing if any other Australian company had an equivalent product without the hefty $$$$ attached. I then after a bit more research came across Nitelights, an Australian company, offering lights much brighter than Ayup at a much lower price, after reading the specs I was about to order $220 a steal compared to other costs out there.

I trawled eBay just incase I could get them cheaper and surely enough for $150 I found a set from a Australian buyer, $170 delivered to my door. Ordered.

The lights are awesome, so very bright, great battery time and also very quick charge. All in all they tick all the boxes of what I required in a light. The lights illuminate the ground in such a way that I can easily navigate my way through the paths in the dark mornings.

The fitting solution to the bike is also very good, a simple set of rubber hoops that go around the base and then clip back on themselves is very intuitive.  As is the helmet mount that is also included.

They would also be a great aid for any mountain biker that regularly does 24 hr enduro or night rides. I was happy. I managed to pick up lights in the price range and specs that I wanted. Another plus was my business was kept in Australia.

As you will know I am a big advocate for buying on-line, usually out side of the country as far better deals are to be had. So this really was a win.

However it’s here that my happiness will take a turn for the worse. Firstly I must point out that I am still happy with the lights.

Whilst doing more research for these lights after a bought them, to see what other people thought of them I stumbled across a website called Dealextreme. A US-based site offering electronics of all kinds, including torches and bike lights.

I quickly went to the Bike Light section, what did I find, the same lights, although packaged with a different name for a fraction of the price available in the Australian Market. Sure this had a US plug not the Aussie one mine did, something that could be rectified for a few $ in my local electronics store but apart from that Identical.

The lights retail in Australian Bike Stores for a$220, I paid $150 plus $20 postage. They are available from Deal Extreme for US$78.48 ( at today’s exchange rate a$90.20) delivered free of charge.

Am I pissed off, a little.  I love the lights and am happy to pay what they cost in my country, however as I have said before and will again.  Why buy things in Australia when we simply get ripped off time and time again.  In this case someone with foresight has had the initiative to import and market lights that can be purchased for MUCH less than half the price from an overseas store with free delivery.

I will send the owner of Nitelights a link to this post and invite him to explain how he arrives at the a$220 figure assuming as he is buying in bulk he would purchase for lots less that the us$78.48

UPDATE

I have recieved a response from the Australian Supplier.  It seems that he has had issues with a company ripping off his design.  This is very unfortunate for them.

Although I still find the price difference disconcerting this sweetens it a bit.  Although I guess the level of service cannot be confirmed unless I need to make a claim under warranty.

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Those who know me will also know how tight I am with my cycling gear.  I totally run things down until they are worn out to the point of falling apart.  Completely stupid for someone that rides every day of the week.  This time its shoes.

My old Shimano shoes were wrecked holes in the front, cleats worn to the point of not being able to remove them as the bolts had even worn down so I couldn’t get a key in to release them.  Not good.

In comes my new purchase, Shimano RD86 road shoes.  Their a bit bright for my liking but also pretty cool at the same time.  Bought from TBE Stirling Highway for $170 including a free tube.

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These shoes are a SPD-SL shoe, taking the Shimano Road cleats so a system that I have been using for some time and find good for keeping your foot still during cycling.  The shoes are also well padded and offer god support in all the right places.  The three strap system also keeps your foot snugly and can easily be adjusted on the move.  The first strap is a ratchet type one and then 2 velcro straps complete the system.

What really stands out during the first week of use is the comfort level.  They are just so comfy.  Either these are the best shoes I have ever had for cycling, or my other ones were just total crap.

I have only had these around a week so about 250 km or so completed thus far and if they continue to offer this level of stiffness whilst peddalling and comfort whilst riding I made the right choice.

I will report back with updates as progress happens