Product Review – Cleanskin Solo Mountain Bike Lights
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Guys, Mountain Bikes Direct have come up with a great new light system, Cleanskin Solo and Cleanskin Joy. I have got a couple of those lights there. Let’s go and see what’s in a box and then head out for a test.
Now firstly let’s have a look at the Cleanskin Solo and what’s inside the box.
First impression is really neat packaging, nice box, nice design, all looks quite good, very, very tidy. Contents inside. Little foam surround hold everything in place. Battery pack in a little case, couple of velcro straps there, plugin cord, single beam light itself which is quite robust, middle outer case, power button at the rear, mounting bracket on the bottom, and short cable there to plugin.
Mounting bracket, some velcro strap to go in the top. Another velcro strap there. USB charge cable, couple of rubber straps there to attach the lights to your helmet mount as well as your bars. Piece like a little go pro now with a little screw.
Instructions, warnings, contents, specs, a bit of product information on the back there. To 38 hour battery life, water resistant, USB charging, 4 miles. That looks really straight forward.
Plugging connection there for the battery to the light. Indicator light comes in the back. One, two. three, four modes. And just hold the power button there to switch off and recharge just with the shorter USB cable. Plug in and charge with the USB port.
Now the other thing I wanted to do was test the battery life. It is one thing for manufactures to say how long you are going to get out the battery but it is another thing to actually test it. So with all that in mind, I have given the batter a full charge overnight, turn the light on, set the timer going, and let it roll. And what I couldn’t believe manufactures have indicated up to 38 hours battery life, I have got a whopping 40.5 hours of battery running on the low setting. I couldn’t believe it. I thought this is got to be wrong, I tested it, and retested. And that’s the numbers, so a fantastic battery life. Cleanskin Solo 1000 lumen single beam light system.
Mounting lights to handlebars
Guys, now we want to look at mounting the battery and the light system to the handlebars and the bike and also to the helmet. So just going through the parts on closer inspection of the battery, I am going to open up that little bag, you can see the battery is fully enclosed, cable connects directly with the inside of the battery, couple of good things there, obviously it is a seal battery so it is not going to get water dust and dirt in it, but something that comes to mind is a replacement for that battery. Now, I have already contact the guys just to understand about replacement batteries, how to go about getting them, and what they worth.
Okay, so what I want to do is I would like to mount a battery pack on the top tube of the frame. Obviously oriented this way, the cable coming out of the battery to this end, playing your cable length here, and then mount the light on the bars either side of the stem is fine. Tuning the cable back around and connecting those two up, planning a cable length there. Obviously, the battery pack can slide and sit anywhere you need to on the top tube just so it doesn’t get in the way of your bottles, cages, all that sort of things.
So let’s just connect that up under those velcro straps, just through those loops there, back over the top again, and same for the second one, really easy to do, nice and simple, but nice firm fitting there. Run the cable out through here.
What we are going to do now is we are going to mount the light with the bracket on the bar leaving the cable to comeback through to connect to the cable out at the battery. Now this can go either side of the stem here. Just keep in mind for events where you maybe have a number plate. Obviously, your number plate will sit somewhere here on your bars and I just want to make sure you position your number plate so it is not going to interfere with your light otherwise it is going to cause you a bit of grief, bit of frustration there. So we are going to take the light system, and I take one of these rubber bands here. I am going for the larger of the two rubber bands. The smaller one appears too short. So what we do, we just tuck that cable to the side there, we loop that rubber band just around that little lug, and they are going to pull a tail of that rubber band up and around to the back side of that lug there like that. Now as you can see that’s a pretty snog fit, no much movement there at all, nice and firm which is just what we like, we don’t want that flopping around and a casting an unusual shadow as we ride through the uneven trails and then we can connect those two up like so and then we are in business. As you can see there is a fair bit of access cable there which is good. Obviously, you can wrap those up, cable ties those together, onto your frame, something like that, and you are good to go. It is that easy. Really quick, easy system. And you can probably see there also. That green standby light has also come on there so now you have got power, you have got supply there ready to roll, and you are good to ride.
To take that off, as simple as it was to put it on disconnect that plug, undo that rubber band there around the bars and you dismounted that, and under the velcro straps again really, really easy.
Mounting lights to helmet
Now this time we are going to mount the light to your helmet. Now what we are going to do here is use this helmet mount bracket that came with the set. Plenty of strap there and what I find is using the ventilation holes in your helmet; you use this way to do this, velcro strap through the hole there. What we are going to do is come down through your helmet and back up through these slots in the top of your bracket and finish off to the top of the velcro. We are going to do that on both sides. As you can see these straps are really, really sticky which is great but they do tend to catch on everything including the padding on the inside of your helmet which takes a bit of maneuvering. As you can see there the two velcro loops there bracket on the top and all those tails through. As I have said, they are really, really long give you plenty of flexibility there where you may like to mount this bracket depending on the helmet shape and style that you have. Pull that through nice and firm press it down there and for me these tails here I would probably cut those off couple of centimeters from the end just that enough flapping around because really they are, they just took away.
What we are going to do here is take the light. We are going to mount it to top of this bracket here. Again keep the cable to the side. This one is a little bit awkward here. We are going to get one of the rubber bands here. We have to tuck it down through here as we did with the handlebar mount. We fitted off to the lug at the front and the rear of that light. So what I find the easiest thing thing to do first up I used to put the rubber band through, grab your light, pop it on there like that, tuck it over that lug at the rear, grab that front of that rubber band, loop it over that lug on the front there, and then you can easily just to swing that around just to get the light in the right position at the right angle once that’s mounted. That’s the light mounted on the bracket on your helmet, nice and firm, nice and steady. Obviously, it sits up few centimeters up there so something to be mindful of when you are riding at night in the bush tucking under branches, trees, that type of thing. The clearance you need for the light above your helmet is a little more than what you used to. Just be mindful of that otherwise you are going to cut head yourself, knock your light off and all that sort of stuff, so just be careful of that.
And then at the battery pack obviously we got a cable that comes off here. My preference is to run the cable to the rear and take the battery back and put it in the pocket in the back of your jersey. And then nicked up to the light mounted on your helmet, take cable out, see we have got plenty of cable length there.
And so as you can see there now guys, cable is hooked up, there is a light at the back, down to the battery pack, inside of the pocket in the back of my jersey, all done, geared up, ready to go. But some guys, who like to ride with the backpack or camera bag, just make sure you keep this cable tuck away so it doesn’t get caught on anything. You don’t want hanging out there that pull on trees and pull out and all that sort of stuff. You might even want to tuck it down inside of your jersey.
So there we are guys, all geared up, light mounted on your helmet, nice and stable, really firm, feels really good. For me, I would like to ride with the light on my helmet as well as mounted on my bars and I will show you when we get down the trails and do the night test shortly. Let’s go.
Simply click on the link below to find the test for the solo and Duo light.
For more great mountain biking information visit www.sportsadventure.com.au
Click on the links below for –
Click on the links below to see prices for –
All Cleanskin products – Affiliate Link
Cleanskin Solo 1000 Lumen – Affiliate Link
Cleanskin Duo 2200 Lumen – Affiliate Link
Cleanskin Extension Cable – Affiliate Link
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So keep in touch and see you out on the trails.
About The Author
Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia… helping middle aged men improve their lives with exercise, good nutrition and good health and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury