10% discount on all kLite products, Ultra, Pro V2 Switches, USB etc...
Use code: "DynamoPower" at checkout.
his review was done by the Seven Day Cyclist. You can see the original review with more photos here
The K-Lite Bikepacker Pro V2 Front Dynamo Light is a super compact version that shares many of the characteristics of its Ultra siblings, but in a bijoux package. Arguably the best option, for clutter phobic Audax and posh winter/trainers, the lamp consumes minimal bar space. Its Ultra road sibling has a slight edge, at very slow speeds and standlight duration. Otherwise, the Pro V2 copes incredibly well with the darkest lanes.
Pros: Compact, lightweight, sensible output, beautifully made.
Cons: Standlight function less potent than its Ultra siblings.
Gold/Orange anodising might not be everyone's bag but it’s suitably unique and proved the perfect complement to my fixed gear winter/trainer's Acros Silicone Wrap Handlebar tape . Inside the precision machined aluminium shell (which is also completely sealed, and fully waterproof) we have 3 CREE XPG v3 LEDs projected through a round TIR (collimator lens).
Using an internal heatsink saves weight, while also reducing thermal junction. This improves cooling efficiency, while maximising output. Oh, and that's also reckoned 1300lumens, at 11.18mph. Being completely sealed means there's nothing user-serviceable but everything is built to last ten years. Then there's a two-year warranty, against manufacturing defects.
Some might grumble at the composite block and cable tie arrangement. From an aesthetically pure sense, maybe. In practical terms, there's two different sizes to accommodate 31.8 and 25.4/26.0. The bracket is an equally flush fit and cable ties, though utilitarian, are rugged and offer ample adjustment/fine tuning. Talking of which, it also presented an ideal opportunity to fine-tune my test rig's cockpit.
This meant plug ‘n' play - I could just change the lamp and get going. The only consideration is whether you're running a SON or Shimano pattern hub connector.
Arguably, if you were on a "to the penny" budget, you could opt for the basic switch but for the sake of £22 the toggle type offers the option of "dipping"; which is useful in town and suburban contexts. One version can be used to charge goodies while the light is running, one either/or. So, you would need to refuel gizmos, during the day.
I've also plugged in the double Decker USB charger and refueling gizmos on the go. In the interests of tidiness, these could be slipped in a bar, or in my case-top tube mounted bag.
Overall performance dips slightly below its Bike Packer Ultra Road/Gravel cousin but isn’t far behind and still streets ahead of any other dynamo lamp I've used to date. The beam pattern is described as med (medium) so a closely woven blend of spot and flood, for speed and presence.
Power differential aside, beam pattern was very reminiscent of my long serving Revo. In common with these lamps, it took a little while before the system began creeping into life - 100 feet, fresh from the packet, 20 meters or so onward, assuming you'd been using it regularly.
Again, the Bike packer Ultra is more intense at this stage, so I'd definitely pair with a blinkie to rule out any stealth moments. Similarly, though the standlight function is generous (good for 12 minutes before incremental fade strikes) and I've never felt unduly vulnerable at junctions.
That said, the arc doesn't quite rival that of its siblings, something like the Oxford Ultratorch Slimline F100 front light or Orp Smart Horn have been perfect backing singers.
This is particularly apparent when running a 6W hub such as the SP SL9, which some weight conscious winter/Audax bikes may well prefer.
Otherwise, the power comes on tap very quickly. Kerry State, our manufacturer contact, reckons this comes in at 11.8mph, although I found it optimal around the 15-17mph (hub type allowing) mark and there's a small but noticeable dip, say when tackling a long, stealthy steep incline, or trickling along in traffic.
Talking of which, I've had no problems asserting right of way, with most drivers, and no-one has flashed me to dip (unlike the Ultra!) there have been a few who've ploughed ahead, regardless.
Wind things up along the open road and I've hustled along at 25+ with ample warning of holes, glass, toads and other potential hazards. I've had no problems at 33mph, down some long, sweeping descents either, although alternating between this and the Bike Packer Ultra Road/gravel unit confirmed the latter's spot is just that smidge sharper. Mind you, this was only discernible along the very darkest of roads.
Ported over to my Univega, the med beam proved quite capable off road, proper. Certainly, on par with the Exposure Revo MK1, giving a decent flood, with enough spot for tackling unmade roads between 15 and 18mph.
Much the same story with less challenging bridle path and taxing forest trails. That said, there have been one or two occasions when I've quite fancied a 600lumen helmet mounted flood, but this was also true, of the Bike packer Ultra road/gravel. Another common characteristic is excellent thermal control. The lamp housing has never become warm, let alone hot to touch. No matter how long I've been riding.
There's no side-stepping the fact that £193 is still a big investment and one requiring careful consideration. Nonetheless, it’s very competitive, given the specification. Exposure's much revered Revo comes in at £47 more.
While relatively compact, its barrel shape consumes far more real estate than the Bikepacker Pro V2. It’s also a "mere" 800 lumens. and the K-lite switch gear/wiring is also a good few notches higher (which is saying something). Compared with its siblings, for road biased tourists, Audax and sportive riders, the Bike packer Pro V2 represents even better value.
To some extent, when everything's factored into the equation, it’s a tie between the Bikepacker pro V2 and its Bikepacker Ultra Road/Gravel sibling. One which boils down to the old "horses for courses" gambit. The V2 is the most cost-effective way of getting uber lumens. In my experience, perfect for long steady miles, along unlit roads. Chances are, it will also work out cheaper still, in the long run.
That being said; if you're a hard-core mixed terrain aficionado, the Bikepacker Ultra, though more expensive, has a very slight edge. In these contexts, the Ultra might be the best, "future proof" choice.
Verdict: 4.25/5 Superb compact dynamo lamp ideally suited to clutter-phobic bikes with enough clout for country roads.
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2019
You can see the original review at SevenDayCyclist
The K-Lite Bikepacker Ultra Dynamo Light produces a maximum of 1300lumens at 17mph and comes in both road/gravel and Snow/MTB versions. I've been lucky enough to play with both and frankly, they're like having a premium quality 1300lumen light with unlimited run times. Fully water and shockproof, they're phenomenally rugged, too.
Pros: Beautiful build quality throughout , phenomenal performance.
Cons: Completely sealed, non-serviceable components. However reckoned to last ten years.
K-Lite 2nd impressions
I was very excited to get a hold of the latest kit from K-Lite to run through its paces recently. Kerry is constantly iterating his designs but recently he has launched a couple of very cool additions to his line-up. His new rear flashing lights, (QUBE) and a new USB converter with dual outputs.
If you followed the world's gnarliest bikepacking events, like the Tour Divide, or the Silk Road Mountain Race you would have noticed that many of the riders were using various models of K-Lite kit. These guys are using the kit in the crucible of fire, if anything can possibly go wrong, it will.
Dual-port USB-charger, QUBE flashers, switch wire/loom and front light.
Kerry makes the only dynamo powered flashers, in the world, called the QUBE, available in 1x or 2x formats, or front and rear sets, for attaching to the seatpost, seat stays or bars.
Runs for 3 mins after a 15 second spin of wheel.
Somehow he has crammed little super capacitors into them so that a 15 second spin of the front dynamo wheel means your rear flashers will go for 3 mins before needing more juice. Not many traffic lights take that long to change.
The QUBE flashing pattern seems quite random, but in fact, the LONG/SHORT flash-pattern is actually what NASA use. It is the best for judging the distance to the rider, and also catching the eye from a distance.
They are very bright and yet Kerry tells me they draw less than 30mA intermittently, a typical rear dynamo light draws 110mA at all times. That's a big difference. If it means anything to you, the standard bikepacker's GPS, the Etrex 30, draws 50mA-110mA (back light dependent) at 5 volts.
Even in the daytime the QUBE's are a great addition.
Kerry has also done something smart with the optics, so that the further you are away, the brighter they look, the idea is that the rider behind, sitting on your wheel, is not blinded, but a car, in the distance gets full blast, clever stuff. These QUBEs are the only item that Kerry is building by hand these days, so he only does a run on them when he has a big enough order. Check your local K-Lite dealer for stocks.
The switch / wire loom
Mount the switch on bars, stem, or steerer
The switch wire/loom comes in two styles. The first one is where the USB-charging out-puts are active all of the time, and you just toggle the front light off and on. This is the mode you will need if you are wanting to run the QUBE flashers.
In the second style, you just flip back and forth between front lighting, or USB charging.
The USB charger
Kerry has some clever smarts hidden in the new dual-port USB-charger to help with charging supercap systems like the QUBE. He has more smoothing caps than any of the other USB chargers out there. This does make it a little larger, but it allows safe direct connection of phone or GPS to USB charger, should your USB cache battery stuff up.
Normally connecting a sensitive USB device direct to a dynamo charger (without an inline cache battery) is not advised, as the output can be a bit "choppy" due to the AC conversion done on board. This can cause re-sets and crashes of sensitive USB devices. In the new K-Lite charger with its extra smoothing, it offers another layer of back up, in an emergency situation.
The new design retains the little LED activity light introduced in the previous model, so you know if the power is making its way from the dynamo to the charger. Apparently the new USB charger lets you run your SPOT-tracker and charge your USB cache battery at the same time, because the SPOT trackers draw so little power.
The SPOT-tracker will run from the dynamo all day and automatically switch to it's own battery only when you have stopped moving. You can even power your SPOT tracker with no batteries in the bay, just plug it in to the USB-charger and get pedaling. I haven't tried this out myself as I don't have a personal SPOT tracker. As in his previous model Kerry has all the plugs going in and out of the USB-charger at the same place, this is great for space saving in your gas-tank, if that's where you store your electrics.
Here are a few potential scenarios that you might hope to run from your dual USB-charger. Obviously it depends on whether its day or night, and the terrain, as the front lights will use a lot of the power coming from the dynamo hub at night time.
Obviously the idea is to charge your cache battery in daytime if you can as there is a lot more power available when the front lights are off.
My experience with the USB charger and the Etrex GPS was pretty good. Basically, if you have it plugged in to the USB-converter, and you are moving, it defaults to the dynamo for power. I found that it wasn't until I dropped below 9 kmh that I got the nag-screen. However, if you run the GPS via a cache battery you don't get the drop-out at all. Etrex AA batteries last for 4 days anyway, and are easily available at most stores or gas-stations, which is why they are so popular.
My buddy ran his Garmin 1030 without a cache battery in the Japanese Odyssey last year with no problems using his K-Lite kit. It would just drop down to the internal battery when the dynamo power was too low. The 1030 is a much more sophisticated piece of equipment than the old Etrex though and you have to look at the pros and cons of each device. Matt pointed out that in Japan a lot of the riders used phones instead of GPSes for navigation. In an event where most of the people are topping up their devices in accommodation over-night it's an option.
The lights have undergone a weight-loss programme that shaves a bit more meat off them but they still share the same internals as the previous model. Coming in 2 variants, the Gravel/Road and the MTB, the major difference being that the MTB has a wider more diffuse spread for the great outdoors, vs the more punchy beam of the Gravel/Road light which has to compete with urban light pollution.
In both variants the outside lights come on first and are supplemented by the centre beam at higher speeds. Everytime I go out I am amazed at the strength of these lights.
The new K-Lite kit also contains an adaptor for the Universal fork crown mount, allowing easy connection to Supernova or B&M style mounts. The GoPro mount is still a very popular mounting mechanism, and rightly so, with thousands of cheapie variations of it available online.
I did a bit more field testing in the weekend with a proposed trip down south to do the Old Ghost road. There was always the chance that the weather was going to be bad, so I had to be open to other options, and I had plans to visit my parents 120kms away in Nelson. As it happened, the trip was cancelled and after some local riding, I rode over the Mangatapu Saddle that links Nelson to Marlborough. I had installed the Dynamo Kit on my Santa Cruz Tallboy mainly for safety as I knew I would be on the seal for at least 60 kms. The dazzling brightness of the rear QUBES made me feel a lot safer on a main road with no shoulder, on a Sunday afternoon. What really impressed my though was the low speed at which the QUBES kicked in. I confess I haven’t checked it with a computer, but for most of the 14.3% hike-a-bike section on the Mangatapu saddle the little buggers were flashing away maniacally. That was an average speed of around 3.3 km/h. Impressive.
Kerry is always tweaking and launching new stuff, so if you want to get the heads-up on his next thing, its best to follow him on http://instagram.com/klite_dynamo_power/ He has quite a few things going on in the back-ground just now.
If you want to get a feel of what is behind the K-Lite ethos then tune in to this podcast, https://bikesordeath.com/ep-22-kerry-slaite-mad-scientist-klite/
I guarantee you will be entertained. Warning, contains occasional expletives.
Last month we told you that the end had come for the kLite Qubes and sadly that is true, the factory will no longer be making the Qubes! But there has been such demand Kerry the owner of kLite will be hand making small batches for a select number of dealers! We in the UK are lucky and already have a batch in stock.
As they are being bespoke made in small batches availability will be sporadic, Get them while they are hot!
There has been a small increase in price for the kLite Qubes.
Front and Rear £129
The front Qube Light (when used as F+R) has a slightly longer cable, ideal for those using the light with handlebar extensions. The cables have also been beefed up.
E-BIKE version of the popular ULTRA lamp.
ROAD or MTB versions
1425lm output can run form QC USB cache battery via supplied adapter.
can run from any battery pack inc 12v, 24, 36v, 48v Fully waterproof and vibration proof.
Sadly the kLite Qube will no longer be made due to the high cost of production. Its the best daylight Light system on the market, Ultra low powered. High quality and Waterproof.
We have very limited stock available, (delivery will be a couple of weeks) but once they are gone that's, it no more.
Front or Rear Qube £57
Front and Rear Qube £65.40
The question I get asked most about the kLite USB charger is "Which cache battery works best with it?" There are quite a few to choose from but I have had the best result from the Mi Powerbank Pro 1000 mAh.
It has low power charging, ideal for trickle charges even when you are climbing. Many cache battery wont do this. Its nice and slim, so will easily slide into a top tube bag. It also has dual USB output, so you can charge a number of things at night as you sleep or run the Klite main light at full power while you continue to ride without needing to worry your phone/Garmin is going to die.
Great explanation on how to setup the kLite Bikepacker ULTRA dynamo system in different ways.
HAND BUILT TITANIUM FRAMES.