AYUP Lights have been sponsoring me for some time now, so I figured it was timely that I should pop up a review of this light system just in case you haven't had the opportunity to experience their awesomeness just yet. I think it's worth mentioning right here and now that I paid for my first set of AYUPs and they are still running strong (that was over 3 years ago now) and it was only recently that I chose to upgrade them because a) I wanted the new batteries with adjustable power settings and b) I had a new bike and wanted the colors to match. I think it is a big testament to any product when I say that had the guys at AYUP not been so generous as to hook me up, I would have been more than happy to pay for another set... They're just worth it, end of story.
And now to why they are worth it... Firstly, they are the lightest mountain biking lights on the market. When you're riding your bike around for 24 hours straight, the last thing you want is unneccessary weight. You can get 6hours out of a battery the size of a matchbox, which means that not only are you carrying around minimal weight, but you really only need to do one battery change overnight in a race... BIG bonus for me... The velcro mounting system also means that any equipment changes are super quick.
They are also the most versatile lights on the market. Most packs come with all sorts of goodies... Different kinds of mounts, headband so you can go running with them, spares of everything just in case you lose pieces... And if you need more, the spares are easily and readily available on their website. As a rider of (ahem) shorter stature, I have a rather unusual setup on my bike. The handlebar mount of the Ayups can be mounted in various ways to accommodate other bits and pieces that you may wish to put on your handlebars. There are a variety of beam options and colour options to suit everyone.
The Ayups are brighter than you will need and are more than adequate for racing or social night riding. I recommend a medium to wide beam on the handlebars paired with a narrow spot on your helmet for checking out the trail ahead.
And last but certainly not least, they look damn cool!
Now for those of you who think "I can't afford a set of lights like this", make sure you visit the AYUP website. You will be pleasantly surprised to find out just how reasonably priced they are and what amazing value they present in comparison to other brands on the market. They have also just released the Ayup Ultra Lite Pack, which is a budget package with the basics to get you started. The cool thing is that the Ultra Lite Pack is more than enough to get you out on the trails in the dark, and with the availability of extra bits and bobs, you can add to your kit as your needs require and budget allows. It comes in at just under $290 New Zealand dollars.
Check them out at www.ayup-lights.com