Some Weeks with the Gotham Defender Bike Light

I received my light in mid-October and have been riding with it for some weeks now.

My impressions from first installing the light have been confirmed by regular use, though the brightness turns out to be more useful than I had initially thought. I have not been able to ask anyone that I have biked towards in the dark about visibility, but the beam is bright enough to ride by on the short stretch of my commute that doesn’t have street lights.

When I tweeted about my initial review, the folks at Gotham replied:

@JulianDierkes, very thoughtful review! Thank you. Indeed almost 1/2 the weight comes from 3xAA batteries for long life.

It seems to me like there’s still some potential in thinking about the weight. Yes, the three AAs will last, but even going to 2 AAs would knock the weight down. On the other hand, I had the light on every weekday for about 30 min in the morning and evening and the batteries lasted about 2 months which seems about right. Presumably, going to a 2 AA set-up would bring this down to 5 weeks or so which would suggest three battery changes or so per dark season…

Or what about a USB-rechargeable option? And if the batteries are half the weight, then there’s some potential in making the casing thinner, I imagine.

The other issue I raised in my initial impressions was the lack of visibility from the side.

To stay with the gun theme, what about adding a translucent sight with an LED to the top of the light. This would not be very large or bright, but it would give a little 360° or at least 150° or so visibility, wouldn’t it? Might be a design feature, too.

The other thing I’m thinking about is that the back of the casing (the rounded-off section facing the rider) is begging for something to be placed there. A compass isn’t really useful enough, but what else could go there?


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