Cygolites Performed Better Than Me

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Labor Day weekend while many Americans were drinking beer and grilling, Shannon from the mag, a couple friends and myself participated in the 24hr race at Seven Springs near Pittsburgh. During the race I had a few grueling night laps around 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. to field-test the Cygolite Mitycross (reviewed in 145) and the Trident X Li-Ion in a race setting.

Cygolite offers some very compact products. The Mitycross specifically. This is the smallest rechargeable light system Cygolite offers, and it is by no means a small performer. During the review period I was impressed by the light output of the system, but wasn’t sure about using the Mitycross on it’s own during a race. The light puts out an impressive amount of lumens for it’s size. However, in the Pennsylvania woods during the black of night on technical terrain, I wanted my legs governing my speed, not my lights. When voicing the concern to Cygolite they were kind enough to send a second light for my handlebars. Accompanying the Mitycross was the Trident X Li-Ion. Both lights share some technology. As mentioned in my review, the Mitycross uses two LEDs set up in a cross pattern for a larger beam pattern. The Trident X has 3 LEDs, and the outside 2 diodes cross for a larger beam pattern as well. The Trident X is a bit bigger the the Mitycross but still very compact. The battery was only slightly larger then the Mitycross’, about the size of a smart phone.

The combination of the Mitycross on my helmet with the battery in my jersey pocket and the Trident X on the bars allowed me to ride brake free on technical decents, and navigate rock gardens with the same clumsy potato mashing I do in the day. The output of the systems gave ample illumination of the trail with enough depth to accurately distinguish obstacles. Each provided a wide beam pattern of natural looking light. My first night lap was turned at a similar time as one of my day laps, which suggests that the Cygolites provided adequate light to give me a bubble of daylight while keeping the boogeymen of the Pennsylania forests away.

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At 3 a.m. the lights provided the same excellent illumination, but I think the lack of sleep and muscle fatigue caught up to me. That was a slow lap (as the above left pic suggests) after climbing a fire-road near the camp area. The Cygolites blazed bright and between the 2 laps it was a fair test of the systems’ battery life. Each were run on high for the majority of two laps totaling over 3hrs of run time on the highest setting. There was one crash and one dropped bike, but neither mishaps scathed the lights.

With the race behind me I can confirm what was stated in the review. The Mitycross makes for a terrific supplement to a high powered handlebar light. It is compact, light and casts a wide beam of natural light perfect for illuminating around switchbacks or picking lines where your bars aren’t pointed. Of course the Mitycross can stand alone on the street while commuting with enough features and lumens to brighten any road while commuting, but after a 24hr race I can fully appreciate the Cygolite products for their design and functionality in a demanding setting.