I’ve been a big fan of the Planet Bike Blaze headlight and Superflash taillight for a while now. They stay on my commuter bike year-round and have supplanted all my other lights except for the big 10 watt battery pack light I use for total darkness. The Superflash is bright enough to get noticed from the back and the 1 watt Blaze casts enough light to help navigate dark streets when you’re riding fairly slowly.
Planet Bike now makes the Blaze headlight in a 2 watt version and I wanted to see how much difference that extra watt of light would make when I was riding in total darkness. Normally, I think of the Blaze as a “be seen” light rather than a light for nighttime navigation, but the 2 watt version is definitely bright enough to ride around the streets and see the potholes, opossums, and other jetsam on the road at a decent speed. I wouldn’t take it down a mountain bike trail at night all by itself, but for most nighttime pavement riding situations, it’s super.
All the Blaze lights (1/2 watt, 1 watt, and 2 watt) come with high-beam, as well as low-beam and flashy settings, so you can conserve battery life if you don’t need that high-beam intensity. The Superflash taillight will flash or stay solid and it’s bright enough to hurt your eyes if you look directly at it up close (Planet Bike assures us it’s visible up to a mile away).
One of the things that’s made the Blaze one of my favorites is the ease with which it mounts and removes. I’m often running errands on my bike and I like to slip the lights off and put them in my bag to deter thievery. The Blaze slides easily out of its handlebar mount – no complicated unlatching or bolts to undo. Replacing or recharging the batteries is quick, too, with the light front twisting off to give you access.
If any of your riding takes you out on the streets at night or in low light conditions, it’s a must to have lights. The Blaze and Superflash will keep you pedaling safely after dark and you’ll feel fine knowing that Planet Bike donates 25% of their profits back to bicycle advocacy causes. www.planetbike.com
Blaze 2 watt (sold separately): $59.99
Blaze 1/2 watt/Superflash Combo: $54.99
Blaze 1 watt/Superflash Combo: $69.99
Superflash (sold separately): $29.99