Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New light; Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ2 Eyc N plus

The Lumotec Eyc on my Ascent commuter.

I had recently been forced to use a battery powered Sigma headlight in place of my Sanyo dynamo powered headlight. I couldn't mount the headlight at the brake bridge due to the tight clearances and the Shimano Ultegra brake's short bolt. The Sigma, while producing an adequate beam, has developed this unfortunate tendency to fail intermittently.  I really wanted to use my Dynamo again, so I searched for a solution. I decided to get the handlebar bracket from Busch & Muller. At $17, it wasn't cheap for a hunk of plastic, but I figured it was the easiest way to get the headlight mounted. And geez, since I'm already spending almost $25 (including shipping), why not check out the latest B&M technology, the Lumotec Eyc, (rhymes with bike). The spec's I read about this new light indicated it put out 50 lux of light vs. the 25 lux my Lyt did. (I have no idea what a lux is but it sounded good). 

Anyway, I ordered the bracket and the Eyc from Longleaf Bicycles. Tony does a great job, the package arrived in just a couple of day from the East Coast! He is very responsive, I highly recommend his shop if you need any lights.

The bracket installed.
Installation on the handlebars was pretty straightforward. One difference from the Lyt was that the wires for the dynamo were "hardwired" into the light; they were long enough for my install, but there wasn't a lot of spare length at all. On the Lyt, there are terminals for the inbound wires and you can use any length of wire desired. Two other leads hang out of the light for the taillight connection.

While this installation did work, I wasn't satisfied with it. I don't really care for handlebar mounted lights, I don't like the light sitting so high and I don't care for the cluttered appearance of the handlebars, so I started devising an alternative. I had a pair of Performance "Forte"short reach brakes in the parts box; these were made by Tecktro so they actually shared some components with the extra long reach cheapo Tecktros I had used on the Motobecane Jury. I swapped the long "nutted" brake bolt from the cheapo's for the short bolts on the Forte's and now had a short reach brake with the long nutted brake bolt. This gave me enough room to use the original light mount for the brake! (Had I thought of this before, I could have saved the money for the bracket, but then I probably wouldn't have bought the Eyc, either!)

Poor picture of the longer brake bolt and headlight bracket.
 So now I had a very nice headlight mounted at the fork crown of my commuter!
The switch is now a push button on the back of the light. This view also shows the taillight leads.
Impressions of the B&M Eyc:

My initial impression when opening the box was that this was a tiny, tiny light! It was also very light.
Even when mounted to the handlebars, the illumination from the Eyc was excellent. The area lit up is a tad bigger than the Lyt, and it seems to be a more uniform light. Also, the design of the lense is such that the size of the light viewed from the side and front seems large for the very tiny light that it is. The standlight feature remains. All in all, performance is not compromised at all by it's extraordinarily small size.

The only problem I have with this light is the on/off switch. As pictured above, the switch is now a push button, covered with a weather-proof membrane. I have found this switch to be pretty inconvenient. It is difficult to press it correctly! This was even harder when the light was on the handlebar, as the bars blocked easy access to the button. It's easier to get to now, but it still takes a few attempts to hit the button just right! I wish the Eyc had the same simple toggle as the Lyt does.

Overall I am pleased with the Eyc. It will eventually be mounted to one of my road bikes for long tours, thanks to it's extremely light weight. At $73, it seems a very good value..

Commuter ready to go!

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