Friday, March 28, 2008

Red Wall Review: Trek Ion 6 Headlight

A few weeks back, I purchased the Trek Ion 6 Headlight as a headlight to serve as a 'too be seen light' but also serve as a light that would provide enough light to at least give me the heads up on potholes or other desirable avoidable obstacles. Ideally, I'd love to get my hands on some thing more along the lines of the Cateye Double or Triple shot but the funds aren't really there for such a purchase and since I'm not a prolific blogger as others, I will do my best not to beg or request freebies.

Sorry, I digress.

The Trek Ion 6 boasts 6 LED's [thus the Ion 6], 75+ run time on 3 AAA batteries, a universal bracket that fits 25.4-31.8 bars and a waterproof design.

The pros:
_ the thing is dang bright. On strobe mode, it light reflects off of signs a good block away, lights the road up enough to know what's coming and let's all the pesky SUV's know of your presence.
_ size, small but delivers a great punch
_ bracket has notched positions that allow for exact and stable positioning regardless of placement on bar.

The cons:
And I must admit from the onset that prior to my ride home on Thursday with Geoff, I really liked this light. I told him that I wanted to do a comparison between the Ion 6 and my Cateye EL-500, which has been my go to light for the last few seasons. Unfortunately after the Thursday ride my opinions on the Ion 6 greatly changed.
_ Trek claims that the light is waterproof, which I might add does not mean water resistant. There is a big difference and on my ride home on Thursday it was a mix of snow/rain, wet roads the light started off great, then began to fade, then was on but did nothing to aid in sight, then shut off completely, only to get the nice tap on the top of the light and it began working again. So either I encountered the 'perfect storm' that makes the Ion 6 faulty or it can't handle much exposer to the bad elements. The light now a day later is still not up to full power.
_ As stated in the pros the bracket is amazing in it's notched positions. Unfortunately, the battery compartment of the light does not hold the batteries extremely snug, thus allowing for a subtle rattling noise. I have also had trouble installing the universal clamp onto a handlebar of the 31.8 flavor.

Final Thoughts:
I'd recommend this light to anyone who is going to ride at night or get caught out in the dark but not when the weather turns for the worse, this light will be very useful and I'm confident will provide sufficient light for you and warning to those around you. I would not recommend the light to the everyday commuters who might get stuck fighting our Mother Nature in those annual Battle Royals.

*If you haven't hit up BikeSnobNYC's post for today, it's a good one.


bluecolnago said...

my el 500 has been serving me flawlessly for about a hundred years. :) it's even been wet once or twice....

GBK said...

I should have listened to this review. I threw my Ion 6 on for this mornings wet and windy commute in and it cut out and came back 2-3 minutes later on me no less than 3 times. It has been a great dry weather light but water seems to get the best of it very quickly.