Review: Lumos LED helmet

By Adam Newman

The Lumos has a sporty style that wouldn’t look out of place in a race or on a group ride. It has single charge port on the rear that uses its own proprietary cable, so that’s another item you’re going to want to carry with you. It has only one port, and a single battery and switch for the front and rear lights. It’s integrated flush with the helmet’s body and is much more difficult to find while you’re wearing it. It also makes a pretty annoying bloop sound when you turn it on or off. Not sure that’s necessary. It also beeps when the battery is low enough that the lights will be going out, so you get a warning before they do. I do like that. The helmet comes in one size that can be adjusted from 54 to 62 cm heads via a dial on the back of the helmet.

The added weight of the lighting system is a bit noticeable on the Lumos, not only because it weighs more (440 grams) but because it looks like a sporty road helmet that should be super lightweight, but is actually a little bit hefty. That weight packs in some extra features though: a motion sensor embedded in the helmet reacts when you slow down quickly and activates all the rear, red LEDs as a brake light. It also has a wireless remote for the turn signals.

Now, here is where I think the bright ideas fizzle out a bit. In most states, automobiles and motorcycles are mandated to have their turn signals spaced a certain distance apart. On a bicycle helmet there isn’t exactly much room, so they are pretty tightly spaced. From more than maybe 15 feet it’s difficult to tell which one is blinking, especially if it’s dark and you’re in a car, you’re moving and the cyclist is turning their head from side to side looking around. They work as advertised, but I’m not convinced they work as intended.

Price: $179

lumos


This review originally appeared in Bicycle Times 45Subscribe to our email newsletter to get content like this delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday. Keep reading: More reality-tested product reviews here

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Review: Torch T2 helmet

By Adam Newman 

Initially launched on a crowdfunding site, the Torch was an immediate hit with investors and is now has been in full production for about a year or so. Available in eight colors, it has a fairly typical in-mold construction and meets the usual CPSC and CE safety standards. It’s only available in one size, though there are two sets of pads included, and the dial retention system can adjust through a pretty wide range, from a claimed 54 to 61 cm.

The Torch has two separate lighting systems front and back, with their own batteries, on/off switches and charge ports. The helmet comes with a special Y cable that charges them both from a USB source. The connection is a proprietary, waterproof port, so keep that cord close at hand, a standard micro USB won’t work. I haven’t verified the claimed six hours of runtime on steady with a stopwatch, but I’ve been topping off the helmet about once a week and haven’t had it run dead. Torch said that the battery should be good for 500 cycles and that if there’s an issue within two years of the sale they will take care of it.

torch

Once you’re wearing the Torch it’s pretty easy to forget you’re wearing anything special. It weighs about as much as many other full-coverage commuter helmets (360 grams), and the retention system fits me both with and without a hat on underneath. The shatterproof LED covers give the lights a soft glow, and the switches protrude a bit so you can feel them with your fingers, though it can be difficult to tell if the lights are on or not while you’re wearing it unless it is very dark. While it’s nice to be able to operate the lights independently, I can’t think of a reason why I would ever want to do so.

Overall I’ve been really impressed with the Torch T2 and its subdued style and practical safety.

Price: $110


This review originally appeared in Bicycle Times 45. Subscribe to our email newsletter to get content like this delivered directly to your inbox every Tuesday. Keep reading: More reality-tested product reviews here

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