Trelock lights (and Lux)

Sobrique

Active Member
Started doing my home work for an unlit country road set of lights, for an hour or so commute each way.

I knew that that a 'see by' light was likely to more expensive than a 'be seen', and so started to have a bit of a look at my options. My research so far suggests that the 500-1000 lumen range is where to look. Whilst I know lumens is a rather arbitrary measure, I also think when you're comparing similar sizes of beam (e.g. road width) it at least gives an idea of whether something is completely unsuitable.

One of the lights that's popped up on a review was the Trelock LS 950 - one I've not heard of at all in this country really, but seems quite popular in Germany. (Who seem to be a bit stricter about bike lights).

Does anyone have one/has used one and can express an opinion on whether it's suitable for narrow/high hedged winding country roads in the dark and the rain?

Can anyone help me by translating the lux output measurement? It's rated at '70 lux' but I'm not honestly sure at what range/beam spread. As far as I can tell, this _seems_ to be a similar amount of lux as you'd get out of the 500-1000 lumen lights I'd been looking at. Based on figures from http://reviews.mtbr.com/2014-mtbr-bike-lights-shootout

... but in all honesty, I don't really know for sure, which is why I'm looking for someone who owns one and uses it for unlit country roads.

(I'm also looking for a rear light, but that's seems to be altogether a simpler process - the german sellers seem to have quite a good list, and I might just pick up a B+M IXXI at the same time.)

As point of note - UK distributors seem few, and the eBay prices high but Rose Bikes and Bike Discount.de seem to ship to the UK. (Looks like it clocks in at ~£70 including shipping).
 

John_S

Über Member
Hi Sobrique,

Further to your post my apologies because I don't know about lux and lumens so I'm afraid that I can't give any advice on that part of your question.

However I was also recently looking for a light to see with and following reading reviews such as the ones below I bought the Trelock LS 950.

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/category/accessories/lights/front/product/review-trelock-ls950-ion-front-light-46774/

http://road.cc/content/review/47688-trelock-ls-950-ecopower-control-front-light

I can't give any long term review but I've had the light for just over a month now so I can give you my first impressions.

So far I have to say that I'm really impressed with this light! There are loads of good things that I can say about it and it's not the cheapest of lights but if you need a good light to see by then I would definitely recommend this light.

As background my daily commute is about ten miles each way and it's on a mixture of urban lit roads and rural roads some of which are completely unlit. So far I've been extremely impressed with the performance of this light. I've not had tonnes of lights to compare this to but for me it produces a really good light for me to see my way by and I've no problem at all seeing where I'm going even when I'm on completely unlit roads. Also when on my commute I'm riding near other cyclists I do think that the Trelock seems to be shining bright and performing well compared to other lights.

By far one of the strengths in my opinion for a USB charging light is the battery life. Compared to other USB battery lights that I've had the battery on this light last for longer between charges than any other USB light that I've owned. Also it has a display showing an estimate of how many hours/minutes battery life you have remanning and so you seem to be able to keep a check on how much battery life you have left. There are 5 different beam strength modes and for me whilst commuting in winter the great thing is that I find it easy to switch between the modes whilst riding even with gloves on. I tend to do this during my ride because for example in well lit parts of my light on urban roads I often use a lower setting but when I get onto the rural roads I put it on a more powerful mode.

The one negative point is that to me the mount to attach it to your handlebars seems a bit flimsy to me but then I think that can be the case with quite a few lights on sale. However since I've put the mount on the bike and have been using it I've not had any particular problems with it once I'd done the usual fiddling around to get it where I wanted it. One thing to note is to check the width of your handlebars because if the diameter is above a certain amount you need to buy a separate mount which is the Trelock ZL 700 TH (https://www.trelock.de/web/en/produkte/fahrrad-beleuchtung/batterie-frontscheinwerfer/8002095_LS_950_ION.php).

Also thinking of this as a road use light as opposed to an off road mountain bike light I think that because of the German regulations about beam patterns etc. this light is designed for the beam to be directed in certain places and not to be pointed up in the air and all over the place meaning that you end up dazzling other road users.

I also got my light from Rose Bikes because their price seemed pretty fair to me. If you do have larger diameter handlebars I don't know whether or not Rose bikes to the exact ZL 700 TH mount but they do stock this one (http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/trelock-zl-800-replacement-holder/aid:709652) and I guess that you could always contact Rose Bikes asking them if this will work with the Trelock 950 and wider handlebars if that's something that you need because with paying for the shipping from Germany it would be better to pay for that only once.

Anyway as I said I've not tested hundreds of lights so I can only speak from the perspective of having had this light for just over a month now but for me as a light on my commute I'm really happy with it and I would recommend it.

I hope that this helps.

John
 
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Sobrique

Active Member
That's brilliant - exactly what I was after. My situation is much the same - my ride is far enough that I don't want to get caught out, and would pay a bit extra for something reliable. (I've used one of those light cannons off ebay, they're fine, but I'm not sure I'd trust them for my regular ride, what with general durability, battery life, and generally annoying other drivers).
 
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Sobrique

Active Member
OK. So I've got the light - initial impressions are good. Good quality beam and build.

However, that mount really is a complete stinker. Mine was a jubilee clip style, with a recessed plastic worm screw. Which of course has slipped and stripped in the process of putting it on the bike, and it's still not fitting securely.

Edit: Looks like it ships with the ZL-800 as linked above now.

So really - it's disappointing. I have ordered:
http://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/trelock-zl-700-th-66413

Which is a mount that's I'm hoping will fix it.

Because otherwise, a bike light that doesn't attach to my bike is simply not fit for purpose. Which is a real shame, because it certainly seems to have an excellent beam pattern, control system, build quality and run time. (Only comment on that - no flashing. I assume this is because of German road use laws. Personally I don't like flashing front lights anyway, so am fine with this)
 
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John_S

Über Member
Hi Sobrique,

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had problems with the mount. I would agree that the performance of the mount doesn’t match up to the performance of the light but if the mount has broken on the first attempt to fit the light onto the bike I’d be tempted to get in touch with the seller to see if they will replace it.

I didn’t buy any separate mount and I’ve just used the one that came in the box. It’s not that great and seems pretty flimsy to me but once I got it set up I’ve not actually had any problems with it.

I’m not sure which model code applied to the mount that I got in the box but it’s basically a bit of plastic with a fabric strap that loops back through the mount itself. From memory I don’t remember having to use any screws at all although there is a screw which is visible and goes through the mount I don’t remember having to touch the screw at all.

My bike is a Trek 7.1FX hybrid and I don’t know what width/diameter my handlebars are but I don’t think that they’re overly wide and seem a normal/common size to the extent whereby I’d hope that most standard mounts would fit my handlebars.

Basically all I did was push the mount up against my handlebars and then the fabric was looped around the handlebars and back through the mount. Then once the fabric was looped back through there was a bit of plastic that you pushed down back onto the fabric to hold it in place.

At this point I decided that taking into account the weight of the light there would be a chance that the mount could potentially slip around on the handlebars when riding & going over bumps or when taking the light on and off the mount. Therefore I took the mount bracket off my bike and remembered that I had a small piece of squash racket grip left over from re-gripping a racket a while ago. I wrapped the small bit of racket grip around my handlebars and then put the light mount back on my bike. This seemed to help with the job of making it a bit more secure on the bike but I’d never actually gone out on the bike using the light & mount without the squash tape grip being used so can’t compare the before and after difference.

When the mount was back on the bike I then took the light on and off a few times as I adjusted the angle of the mount/light to get it where I wanted. Once I got the angle where I wanted I’ve just completely left it alone and so far touch wood it’s been fine and I’ve not had to adjust it at all. I still don’t think it’s the most bullet proof of mounts but it’s been fine in everyday use so far. To get the light on and off the mount there’s a sort of plastic rocker switch on the light itself which you use to get the light off and I’ve been able to use that fine without moving the mount around on my handlebars.

Following your post I did go back to the website that I bought the light from a read through the comments. Admitadly I can't speak German but you could click on an automated translation button which gave you a good enough idea of what the comments were.

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/trelock-ls-950-control-ion-battery-front-light/aid:470889

One person left the following feedbac/comment on the light, "Top lamp (5 stars), but the fastening strap (1 Star) is no good. Have the same handlebar Trelock ZL 500 ordered. Fits perfectly and holds, even in hard off-road use, the bomb! The burn time is absolutely impressive.".

The ZL 500 mentioned is on the link below and seems to do away with the fastening fabric strap and instead is a plastic loop that will go over your handlebars but I've not got this and so can't comment on it other than referencing the feedback from someone else above.

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/trelock-zl-500-standard-holder/aid:50255

Someone else said, "The ZL 700 support is a bit "tricky", but after getting the hang is steady as a rock on the handlebar, keeping in place even on winding trails.".

However the issues with the mount is a common theme throughout the reviews but people seem to have got to a point whereby they're happy overall and rate the light highly despite the trickiness and problems setting up the mounting bracket in the first place.

Someone else said the following although the automatic transaltion is a bit confusing I think that you can get the idea of what they say, "I have long wondered back and forth, since some seem to have problems with the attachment. Initially a reasonable attachment did not manage to until I understood that you have to fold down the red jagged thing which then clamps the band. I found the instructions on this point is not good, maybe I was also too stupid to understand it. Whether this is the reason of the problem was with another, I do not know. For me, the bracket sits in any case bombproof. When the light was broken on my touring bike, I could rebuild the holder jiffy without tools, as I was very glad to have this structure".

I've just had a look at the Trelock website and clicked on the download part to get the manual and reading the manual is the bracket that the light comes with the ZL 700 or is it different?

https://www.trelock.de/web/en/produkte/fahrrad-beleuchtung/batterie-frontscheinwerfer/8002095_LS_950_ION.php

I hope that you manage to get your mounting problems sorted out and can then get on with using the mount.

Good luck and I hope that you get it fixed,

John
 
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Sobrique

Active Member
Mine shipped with what _looked_ like a ZL-800:
http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/trelock-zl-800-replacement-holder/aid:709652

E.g. not the one mentioned in the manual.

The bit I have problems with is the little screw to 'drive' the doodad is plastic - and a size I don't recognise (It's more rectangular than most flat head fits).

But I'm still quite impressed with the quality of the light, so I shall persevere. (I have contacted Trelock regarding it).
 

John_S

Über Member
Interesting and the ZL 800 looks like it has a rubber strap whereas the mount bracket that I have definitely looks more like the ZL 700 that is pictured in the manual and mine seems to have a fabric strap although there are tiny rubber grip bits on the fabric surface.

Like I said it seems a bit flimsy and for me not a bullet proof piece of engineering. However with the ZL 700 once I'd used a small bit of squash racket tape and mounted the bracket on top of that and done a bit of adjusting up and down to get the light angle right I've just left it alone and it's been fine.

I definitely don't remember doing anything involving a screw and I'm not a fan of a metal screw going into plastic because I always think that there's the potential to ruin the thread. However from memory and from looking at the manual I'm sure that although there's already a screw in the supplied mount I didn't touch it at all and I think that it must be the ZL 700 that I have.

Hope that you get some useful feedback from Trelock and best of luck getting it sorted out.

John
 
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Sobrique

Active Member
Assuming it is the same mount, it's not rubber it's plastic. It came with a rubberised piece of tape to put on the handlebars. And yes, I'm not too fond of metal -> plastic, but ... I don't have plastic screwdriver either :smile:.

I wonder if I've got an older one, and they've stopped shipping with that? Or whether I've a newer one? *shrug*. Either way, I'll await the arrival of my new bracket, and hope that sorts things.
 

John_S

Über Member
I'm definitely not impressed by the sounds of the mounting bracket that you've received and I can't imagine a bit of plastic gripping the handlebars too well and that's before the trouble that you've had with the screw.

With respect to mine although I can't see a code printed/stamped on the mount but I'm pretty sure that the one I got in the box looks like the ZL 700 that is mentioned in the manual and on the link that you posted earlier. Even though the ZL 700 is far from perfect once I got the fiddly initial setup completed touch wood I've not yet had a problem since then and I've left it well alone without needing to adjust it.

When I said that it's got a fabric strap whilst my explanation might not be technically perfect that seemed like a pretty good way of describing it but I thought that another way is to say it's kind of like the adjustable strapping material that you'd get on say a rucksack. However it has little rubber bits on it which add some grip. So you've effectively got the plastic mounting bracket which you hold up against your handlebars and then the strap goes around your handlebars, back through the bracket and the next bits are a bit fiddly because you have to put the strap through the right bit pulling it tight and then pull bits of plastic down to grip and hold it all in place before finally looping a bit of the strap back through a bit of the bracket once it's where you want it to be.

The one thing I'd say is that with the mount that I received with the light is that although it has a screw through it I never touched it. As far as I could see the screw is there to hold the bracket together but is not needed in anyway for the fitting of the mounting bracket to your handlebars so if you get the same bracket as me I'd leave the screw alone.

I only bought my light about two months ago so it seems strange that it would ship with two different mounting brackets but then I guess you never know what batch has come out of a factory at what time and which resellers they've ended up with.

Best of luck getting your problem sorted.

John
 
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