Quite a Difference

I proclaimed loudly (or at least typed some shit here) back in May about how I was going to start mountain biking more. That lasted about two or three weeks, and then I immediately went back to riding gravel roads.

Riding out my door, or driving to a Dirt Road Launching Pad of my choice to start a ride and explore “new to me” roads and take photos is just more my thing these days. I felt bad for a few minutes about my proclamation ending with me assuming my usual position as a heap of chubby human suck with a too good for me to own mountain bike in the garage, but such is life.

As many long-time readers know, at one time I did ride my mountain bike quite a bit and tended to race it a fair amount too. At times, that mountain biking came with the need to ride and race at night.

Heavy ass light on my then thin, smiling for some reason, head. Photo circa 2007-ish.

In my years racing and riding at night, I spent a shit ton of money on lights: Crap, can’t see the trail at all halogen lights, HEAVY NiCad battery packs and bottles, super expensive HID lights, first-generation LED lights, ingenious homemade light systems, and super cheap (yet efficient) Chinese made LED systems that may or may not spontaneously combust.

If I totaled up all the light systems I bought and sold over the years, I probably spent thousands of dollars without ever truly finding the light that worked for me.

Fast forward 10 years after my last night race, and a few less years after my last night ride and I am freaking amazed at the what the bike consumer has to choose from these days. It’s sick!

I’ve not used any of the newer lights available in the shop, but I have to admit the prices, weight, and available lumens have me sort of itching to pick some up via my fat face discount to use for early morning or evening rides this fall.

The lights the shop has in stock from Lezyne are the ones that have peaked my interest the most, especially the just arrived Multi Drive 1000. A 1000 lumen helmet mounted LED light that weighs a mere 73 grams1 and lasts for 3 hours on full blast (Overdrive) mode. The kicker is it costs just $170!! If you paired that with one of their self-contained bar mounts2 and ran it in 600-lumen (enduro) mode, you would have 1600 lumens in front of you for over 3 hours with a cost of roughly $300 or so. 3 hours is about perfect for recreation night riding in my opinion… at least MY sort of night riding.

Yes, I know that $300 retail is still a lot of money for most riders. And, admittedly, I’ve not compared it to any other lightweight, LED, USB charging systems in the same price range, but as someone who dumped a SHIT ton of money into much shittier lights over the past 20+ years, I am more than a little impressed at what is available to riders now.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll bring one home this fall and give it a go. God knows I’ve spent money or worse things in my life (e.g., all those pre-internet nudie mags I threw away when I got married last week).

NOTE: Top photo is a customer’s bike in the repair stand. He left his “custom” bottles in their cages, so Chris worked around them. Also, this post is a unsolocited personal opinion of what MIGHT be good. I’ve yet to try any new lights out, nor have I rode at night in a LONG time.


  1. I’m not sure if this is battery and mount combined or what. Sorry.
  2. Perhaps the Super Drive 1500XXL.

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