I went with the Sanguan SG-2200 from brightbike lights.com with the 2200 being the claimed lumen output. The light is available from other sources under different names and cheaper if you source straight from Taiwan but it's worth paying a little extra to deal with a UK distributor whose name is Trevor who is friendly and helpful to deal with. At £115 these lights are a real bargain, I'm no expert on lumen output but what i can say is the 2xCREE XM-L led's used in the light are bloody bright ! They have four settings and one strobe setting, the second lowest setting (40%) was easily bright enough for riding off road. Run times are stated as 3 hrs on full and around 9 hrs on low so could be used for riding all night if you so choose. Out the box the light unit itself is lovely, really dinky and well made. The button on the left operates the four light settings and glows green at full power changing to blue at 70% and red at 40% and flashes red at 10%. The button on the right operates the strobe but is really too bright to use on the road, it would be use full if you could adjust the brightness as you can with some pricier light sets.
Charge time is about 4hrs so is totally reasonable and the battery is fully sealed and waterproof.
You get some useful extras in the box too with a helmet mount and a head strap so you can use them for walking at night too a nice bonus over other light sets.
The light performed as should on the ride with a good spread of light and good depth but what really impressed me is the light wasn't affected by the -8 temps and the freezing fog which is more than can be said for me.
On to that ride then.
I love riding when there's a good hard frost so after several nights of frosts i finally got my arse into gear after a few weeks off the bike due to my upgrading of my bike and with my new Chris king headset coming loose all the time putting me off (excuses). I have ridden in colder temps but last night was the coldest i have ever felt on a bike, i ballsed up my layers with not having enough, and also set off too quick, didn't warm up steady so sweated too much which resulted in me feeling very cold as soon as i had to stop for more than 2 seconds. What made things feel colder than ever before though was the damp air from the freezing fog which coated me in a layer of ice, I've had water bottles freeze a few times but I've never had ice on me before ! I wasn't the only nut job out there though as i bumped into Kevin Clews, and a mob of about 10-15 members of the Goldtec mtb posse in Hanchurch woods, i only stopped for the briefest of chats as by now i was not in the mood for small talk. It takes me about 2hrs to get warmed up but i feel like i can ride forever then so when i got to the spot in my loop where i can take a nice easy 6km road spin home, or the long way with a long steady rutted farm track climb i was feeling a little better so i took the long route. This choice nearly scuppered me as was it not for my new tubeless Stans Alpha's it would of spelled disaster because as i was riding up the farm track i was drawn to half a tree hanging out my front tyre and smacking the forks as it spun round ! Oh no ! Thorns ! Thank god for tubeless ! They passed there first serious test as the tyre stayed up, i don't think I'd of been able to change a tyre as cold as it was (wimp) while soaked from sweating too much from being idle these last few weeks. I was glad to get home.
Last night was my first using Strava and was happy to be 15th out of 44 on a segment of Hanchurch woods and will be using it for a bit of motivation so i don't spend the next few weeks off the bike, the headset seems ok so no more excuses and time to start getting the miles in, that is if xmas doesn't put a stick in my spokes !