A good front light is a necessity for winter riding. Not only is it good to have something for when you run out of light at the end of a ride, having a daytime light will help you be seen by other road users, especially when the sun is low.
Choosing a light can be as hard as choosing a bike. With lots of options and price points, it can be a complete minefield.
So when the guys at Cycle Republic gave us the chance to test out their new Ryder Alumia 1600, I jumped at the chance to see what this brand was all about.
Due to an injury and weather conditions that always seem to be against me, I haven’t been able to get out with the light. However, Ryan is already deep into his training for another season of time trialling and road races. So he took it out and this is how he got on.
The light arrived with minimalistic packaging, with a simple handlebar mount and a USB charging cable (which is conveniently the same as a Garmin cable). The mounting bracket took seconds to fit and after a quick charge it was time to ride.
My testing ground was the Lincolnshire Fens, these often exposed long straight lanes with little light pollution, offered a great place to really see what the light was capable of.
As the name suggests the Alumia 1600 is a 1600 lumen light. In other words, it’s really bright! Starting off in daylight I put the light into daytime mode, which is a slow flash.
As the sun started to set it was easy enough to turn up the brightness, just a simple press of the big button on the top of the unit. The button also doubles up as the battery indicator, with a simple traffic light system telling you how much battery is left.
The first test for the light was to see how sturdy the bracket was, I purposely picked out a truly horrible piece of road that was all broken up and full of potholes. I hit it hard and chose an unforgiving line and even bunny hopped a few holes. And while the light rattled around a little, it stayed put, and not once did it move so much as to stop me seeing the road ahead.
While having a bright light is good, what a lot of lights lack is a large beam width. It’s all well and good seeing directly in front of you. But being able to see the whole road is a major benefit.
The Ryder has a particularly wide beam width, even with the light mounted to the left of my stem, I could easily see the right hand edge of the road. What was even more impressive is that somehow, the light managed to light up my front wheel. Something I’ve never seen from a light before. While zipping along at 20mph I had no trouble seeing what was ahead and mostly rode without the light on maximum brightness (to save power and not dazzle oncoming drivers).
Another neat little feature is the the Alumia has a USB port and can act as a power bank for your Garmin/phone/etc.
At a RRP of £100 (currently on sale for £80) the Alumia 1600 is a good value for money light perfect for night riding on the road. We’ll be getting out over the next few weeks and possibly see how it manages on the trails!