By Mike Dayton
Sooner or later, every cyclist gets caught out at dusk or in rainy, low-visibility weather. The chances are especially high this time of year, as the warming spring afternoons coax riders out for a spin after work.
Many cyclists don’t have lights on their bikes, putting them at risk of becoming a traffic accident statistic. So here’s a simple way to increase visibility in the twilight hour: the Infini Amuse, an inexpensive light that can be tucked in your seat bag until needed, then installed — without tools — in seconds to catch the eye of motorists.
This safety light looks like a bug-eyed stingray, complete with a long rubber tail. It comes in 2 models — one with 2 white LEDs for the front of the bike and the other with 2 red LEDs for use as a taillight.
Installation is quick and simple. The bottom of each light is concave. The front light fits snuggly against the handlebar while the rear light can be attached to the seat tube or seatpost. Each light’s rubber tail then wraps around the bar or tube and fastens to a small hook atop the light body. Voila — it’s on in seconds. To let there be light, you simply press the body of the Infini once for flash mode and twice for a steady beam.
The Infini’s claimed run time is impressive — 50 hours on steady and 100 hours on flash for the white beam, according to the company. The red beam burns even longer — 120 hours on steady and 240 hours on flash. I’ll have to believe Infini on these numbers. So far I’ve used my lights for 20 hours and they’re both shining brightly.
To test the company’s claim of water resistance, I submerged a light in a glass of water, pulling it out occasionally to change the beam setting. After 30 minutes under water, the light developed one hiccup — when used in flash mode, it would switch to steady on its own. After I gave the light a quick shake, the flash mode worked again. Bottom line: I don’t think you’ll have water issues, even in a rainstorm.
An Infini runs on 2 CR2032 batteries, the kind many cyclecomputers and watches use. These batteries are not especially expensive, ranging from $3 per pair online to about $5 at a drugstore. Keep in mind that you probably won’t find CR2032’s at your typical convenience store.
Another potential issue is durability. Specifically, if the rubber tail stretches or breaks, the light will no longer attach to the bike. There’s also the possibility that the light might vibrate loose, although it didn’t happen during my testing.
Could you use the front light for navigation? That’s doubtful. Maybe, just maybe, in a pinch, if you kept your speed down, but I certainly wouldn’t want to rely on it for any great distance. The white LEDs, especially in flash mode, are better for being seen than seeing.
Two Infini lights weigh less than an ounce, so there’s no weight penalty for carrying a pair. They can be strapped on in less than a minute to provide greater safety when the setting sun catches you still on the road.
Mike Dayton is an accomplished long-distance cyclist who serves as newsletter editor of “American Randonneur,” the newsletter of Randonneurs USA.