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Fenix BC30, the BEST bike light (The Worst does no longer apply :D ) 335

OCD Squad Member Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,575
Fenix BC30, the BEST bike light (The Worst does no longer apply :D )
« on: December 22, 2016, 12:00:55 PM »
About 18 month ago my Trustfire TR-D008 died, and needed replacement. As I really like my "new" BC30, I thought, I share my conclusions with ya.

Fenix BC30

MOUNTING
The handlebar clamp is solidly constructed. It also allows you to adjust the horizontal angle in order to correct for any curving of your handle. After all, we want the light beam to go straight ahead. It also comes with a selection of rubbers to account for various handlebar diameters. It takes a bit of force to slide the light off the mounting and then all of the sudden it is free and slides right off. That is how I dropped it on the first day and that is where it got the dent.

BEAM me up Scotty
The light has a very wide beam, I would estimate its about 5m wide 2m in front of you. It also has a vertical cut-off so you don't blind oncoming traffic (provided you set it up right).
The color is a neutral white, which is a huge improvement over the cold white of the TR-D008. This is mostly due to the fact that reflectors react much stronger to the cold white light creating unfavorable bright spots in your field of vision.
The light has 5 modes (technically 6, but flashing is illegal here)
low: 100lumen
mid: 200 lumen
high: 500 lumen
turbo: 1200 lumen
burst: 1800 lumen

RUNTIME
I mostly run the light on low, it provides a good deal of light both for seeing and being seen. In that setting good batteries (I use Nitecore with 3400mAh) will last forever even when using the burst-mode occasionally (They give a runtime of 20h in the low mode, I think with the Nitecore batteries it is even longer).



Now, that the boring stuff is out of the way, lets look at what makes the BC 30 the BEST and the WORST bike light.



BEST: Burst  Button


From the Fenixlight website

Quite unique to the BC 30 is a button for direct access to the burst mode, kicking brightness up to 1800 lumen. I didn't even know I needed that, but now that I have it, I can't be without it anymore.
A bright bike light is actually bad for visibility, because everything outside of your beam will be hidden from you. That is why I like riding with the brightness set to low, allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness. Thanks to the button you can, whenever needed increase the brightness and the whole surrounding will be bright as during the day for your night-adjusted eyes. It is truly spectacular  how much this improves what you see.
The burst button can also be used to signal other drivers, the sudden burst of light catches attention. Something that I use quite often as I think communication plays a huge part in safe traffic.

WORST: Wonky sWitch
UPDATE, THIS DOES NO LONGER APPLY! Please read here
Failure is always an option, but it hurts the most if it happens to something we like. As much as I like the button, the connector is really bad. After plugin it in, I always have to wiggle around to find the spot where it actually works. While the light overall is of great built quality (including the mount and the button), the plug just doesn't work well. I tried bending it, bending the connector in the socket, nothing improved it.
And now it completely gave up on me. I don't know if the plug/socket are to blame for that, but in the end all that matters to me is that it is not working anymore.



Here you have it, when it is working, it is the best bike light I have ever had (and I cannot imagine any other bike-light without the burst button coming even close). Sadly, what makes it the best bike light is fickle and I find that frustrating, so it becomes the worst bike light.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 01:17:11 PM by Etherealicer »



Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,494 Cats have pocket knives of their own
Re: Fenix BC30, the BEST & WORST bike light
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 12:24:37 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience with this light. It's been ages since I last rode a bicycle but I see how the instant burst button can be plenty useful :tu:

Isn't the light still under warranty at 18 months? Maybe contact Fenix?

Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.
OCD Squad Member Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,575
Re: Fenix BC30, the BEST & WORST bike light
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 12:52:01 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience with this light. It's been ages since I last rode a bicycle but I see how the instant burst button can be plenty useful :tu:

Isn't the light still under warranty at 18 months? Maybe contact Fenix?
It is, minimum 2 years for all electronic devices here in Switzerland. Still, taking care of this is seriously annoying.

Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,494 Cats have pocket knives of their own
Re: Fenix BC30, the BEST & WORST bike light
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 01:08:02 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience with this light. It's been ages since I last rode a bicycle but I see how the instant burst button can be plenty useful :tu:

Isn't the light still under warranty at 18 months? Maybe contact Fenix?
It is, minimum 2 years for all electronic devices here in Switzerland. Still, taking care of this is seriously annoying.

Annoying as in kind of diffucult plus shipping and waiting or as in you're irritated by the failure? I'd probably use the warranty in either case.

Maybe that particular switch was faulty, maybe Fenix have come up with a more robust one. It is worth a try, I think.

Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.
OCD Squad Member Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,575
Re: Fenix BC30, the BEST & WORST bike light
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 02:02:19 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience with this light. It's been ages since I last rode a bicycle but I see how the instant burst button can be plenty useful :tu:

Isn't the light still under warranty at 18 months? Maybe contact Fenix?
It is, minimum 2 years for all electronic devices here in Switzerland. Still, taking care of this is seriously annoying.

Annoying as in kind of diffucult plus shipping and waiting or as in you're irritated by the failure? I'd probably use the warranty in either case.

Maybe that particular switch was faulty, maybe Fenix have come up with a more robust one. It is worth a try, I think.
They have switched to Micro  USB in the BC30R, however this light has other "flaws". It has more glowing buttons and a display. Both in my field of vision which I think will be very distracting. Also, since I already have a charger I don't need one built in (probably pushing the price up).

Yeah, I'm going to have it replaced and hopefully you are right and I had a dud. I mean this light is amazing, apart from that :ahhh flaw.

BC30R:

« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 02:04:54 PM by Etherealicer »

Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
OCD Squad Member Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,575
Re: Fenix BC30, the BEST & WORST bike light
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 01:16:40 PM »
I think I owe Fenixlights an apology. They sent me a short video, showing how to improve connection and it worked like a charm. And it was so easy, just turn the plug in the socket 3 times. The plug sits now much more firmly :salute:

So it officially got upgraded to THE BEST BIKE LIGHT EVER!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 01:18:19 PM by Etherealicer »

Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,494 Cats have pocket knives of their own
Re: Fenix BC30, the BEST bike light (The Worst does no longer apply :D )
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 10:10:42 PM »
:tu: See, it was worth it :D

I'm glad things got sorted. My faith in Fenix products is further reinforced :salute:

Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.
No Life Club Posts: 3,099 You don't want to see me SMURF!
Re: Fenix BC30, the BEST bike light (The Worst does no longer apply :D )
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 01:54:32 PM »
Great review, Eth! :tu:

I've looking to upgrade my bike light and have both BC30 and BC30R on the list of possible candidates.


One main thing that sways me more towards BC30R is the fact that I'm going to upgrade my bike with
a e-bike kit in the close future, and could charge the light straight from the bike's battery.

 :)
.

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