Electron Terra 2 Bike Lights
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The two lights can be arranged as you like on your handle bars. They boast very reliable Sanyo li-ion batteries, yet the price is not ridiculous. You can set the lights up so that one is a spot light or flashing light, and one is a wide beam. This is said to be a very safe option.
Features of the Electron Terra 2 bike lights
Features include a low-battery indicator (which sadly does not work) and enhanced side visibility. The claimed run time is up to 20 hours, with both head units on low, or 5 hours on high. From my long experience of two sets of these lights, this is a fair claim.
The lights have 3 modes: high, low and flashing. I mainly use high and flashing.
The Electron Terra 2 bike lights are billed as great lights for a serious commuter, and even good enough for entry level night mountain bike riding. Cycling Weekly amusingly refers to it as a Wall-E lookalike. As a sci-fi enthusiast, I find this a plus!
I like my Electron Terra 2 Bike Lights so much that they deserve my Gold Bike Star Award.
But unfortunately I was very unimpressed by the customer “service” I got after I ordered my first set. I ordered them online from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK, and they kindly shipped them to Canada at no charge. This made me think that they value the North American market. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when they arrived with two sets of chargers: one for the UK, and one for Europe. I contacted Chain Reaction customer service, who said:
“Unfortunately we are unable to stock every single plug option used by different countries around the world as this would slow down the whole order process. I’m very sorry this has caused you a problem. I advise either to return this item back to us or if you are able to source an adaptor this would solve the problem.”
Well, I could not ship them back, as Canadian customs (in its usual totally random way) had already billed me $27, so if I shipped them back I would have been out of pocket about $40, with nothing to show for it. So this left me with a beautiful set of lights and no way to charge them.
I don’t suffer from North-American-centricity, given that I am an immigrant from Africa anyway. However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a company to supply North American chargers for a continent as big as North America, with the buying power that this continent has. Moreover, despite the inference in the Chain Reaction Cycles email that there are thousands of different kinds of plugs, Wikipedia informs us that:
“There are two basic standards for voltage and frequency in the world. One is the North American standard of 120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz, and the other is the European standard of 220–240 volts at 50 Hz.”
So why not provide the North American option as well? I cannot see how just one alternative option would slow Chain Reaction Cycles shipping down to snail-like speed. And I would happily have waited an extra week or two (or three) while they figured out the shipping, if I could have received a product I could actually use. I just don’t get it.
In any event, I bought an adaptor for $60 from The Source. It is clunky and heavy enough to break your foot if you drop it, but it works well. Since then I use the lights all the time. I have even bought a second set for my other bike (I figured I already bought the charger, and I am not one to hold a grudge, so why not).
My Electon Terra 2 Bike Lights are so bright that I have had homeless people wake up and yell at me, and pedestrians cover their faces and screech “My GOD!!!” I feel bad about this – but on the other hand, for half of my morning winter commute I am traveling off-road in pitch blackness, so the lights are essential. So now I just try and keep an eye out for humans and cover the lights partially with my hands if I am approaching them head-on. There is also the option of switching the lights to their dimmer option – but this takes longer, and my reflexes are NOT as cat-like as they once were.
Despite all my complaints about the distributors, the Elecron Terra 2 Bike Lights are super bright and a very good option. But if you’re on the American continent, try to find a local source so you do not have to deal the charger issue.
Things I DON’T like about the Electron Terra 2 Bike Lghts
On the negative side, the Electron Terra 2 bike lights have little red lights on the top that are supposed to light up to warn you if the battery power is low. This is simply not true – one or both of these lights invariably goes on immediately I start riding, even though the batteries are completely charged. So the little red lights are just a waste of energy. Another minor quibble – these bike lights do NOT remember what mode they were in last time you used them. For the price, I would expect them to.
The difficult thing about these bike lights is mounting them. The instructions are almost non-existent, so you have to figure it out yourself. It’s almost impossible to describe, but you take the very tough rubber O-ring supplied and kind of insert it into the front of the light (there’s a cleverly hidden little flap – you won’t be able to see it, but at some point you will finally get it in).
Then you exercise infinite skill and finesse in threading the O-ring under your brake cables and around your handle bars. Then you spend about 20 minutes cursing and swearing as you attempt to drag the O-ring all the way around to cinch it over the back of the mount. Just when you think it’s impossible and you are going to break your fingers trying, you finally get it on – and then it’s great. The O-rings keep the light on snugly, and you can push them up and down a bit without fear of them coming off. Eventually of course the rubber loses its elasticity due to weather, and you get to do it all over again …
Bottom Line on the Electron Terra 2 Bike Lights
The Electron Terra 2 Bike Lights are great lights, they work well, look great and take up very little real estate on your handle bars. Buy them if you can find a set that has a charger that works with the electrical system in your country.
- If not, take a look at the Lumintrail Headlight, reviewed here. It’s way brighter than the Electron Terra 2!
- To read all about bike lights, see Average Joe Cyclist Guide to Bike Lights.
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