Baja Designs Stryker - four thumbs up!
Yep, you read that right - four thumbs up. My two and my riding partner's two, because he said that the Stryker was so bright that he had no need to fire up his lights on the uphills!
1. The lighthead is solidly constructed - you can tell that BD has been buidling ORV lights for a while because this thing is tank-like.
2. But, that doesn't mean it's heavy. With the light on my bar and the battery pack mounted on the top of my downtube, just behind the head/top/down tubes junction, I frankly didn't notice much if any weight difference on the bike.
3. The battery/cable/lighthead connections are very solid and strong. Unlike my old Niterider Cyclone, where the cable junctions would come apart at the least opportune times, the cable junctions on the Stryker are very tight. There's a nice "snap" when you get them together and a solid "pop" when you pull them apart.
4. The battery charged quickly - right at 2.5 hours, which is what BD puts in the manual.
5. The light output - oh, lord, THE LIGHT OUTPUT!! Having ridden only with a single HID helmet mounted light for several years, I wasn't sure what to expect from a single bar mount light, and I'd never used an LED, except for my cheap camping headlamp. I was a little skeptical that it would put out enough light that I wouldn't need a helmet light. But, I tried it solo anyway and I was pleasantly surprised to find that with the diffuser optic, the beam is wide enough to go helmet-light-less for most trails - all but the sharpest and tightest corners (see below.) On low, the light is as bright if not brighter than my old Cyclone on high. And on high? Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, this thing is bright. Each time we stopped, my riding partner would comment on how bright the light was. He expressed "light envy" (his words, not mine) post ride.
6. The side to side and up and down adjust of the light - it was really easy to fine tune the beam direction while riding. This is very important (I found) if you're just using a bar mount without a helmet mount light.
Con. Just one, and the same as what everybody else has said.
Bar mount system - it worked fine, but it's a "one use" application. Because it's mounted with zip ties, if you want to use the light on more than one bike, you either have to buy more mounts or cut the ties and re-install it on another bike with more zip ties. That was the great thing about the helmet light - it's one and done (unless you have multiple helmets.) I also am not a big fan of how the mount "looks" when you take the light system off. I prefer a "clean" set up on my bars and would really like to be able to take the mount off when I'm not night riding. When/if BD produces a removable/movable mount that doesn't use zip ties, I'll be all over it.
The only other comment I'd make is on beam width. It's not really a con (more like a neutral), but I had hoped the beam with the diffuser optic would be just a little bit wider. After reading all the reviews, it sounded like you'd not need a helmet light, but on any corner with a sharper angle than about 75 degrees, I was having a hard time seeing the turns. Probably just me being used to a helmet light where you can turn and move your head through the corner more than the light itself AND I don't have any experience comparing the Stryker to another bar light. For experieneced night riders, you may feel that the beam is plenty wide. I was on a pretty non-technical trail that I've ridden for years, so I felt pretty comfortable after a while, but I'm not sure I'd want the bar-only on a trail that I've not ridden a bunch. So, probably more a comment on riding with just a bar mount more than any sort of knock on the Stryker.
Overall, I really, really like this light. I haven't been a fan of night riding because I don't see well anyway and the HID never seemed to put out enough light to make me comfortable. Having the Stryker actually makes me want to go on more night rides. It is definitely bright enough to use solo (no helmet mount) as I did last night, but it would be best paired with a small helmet light for backup and sharp corners. (My partner was riding with a MiNewt 250 cordless that looked pretty trick and would be a decent helmet light to be paired with the Stryker.) Can't wait to take it down to Fruita for the 18 HOF in a couple of weeks!
Don't wanna hijack your thread...I also did a solo ride with my BD Strykr Pro mounted at my handlebar, but with the beam throw of the light...it's gonna go to my helmet.
Strykr Pro comes with the handlebar mount, it has the removable O-ring. I remember I read at one of the threads here that one of the main price difference between the Strykr and Strykr Pro is the handlebar mount. I'm pretty sure Shannon will chime in, and might correct me if I'm wrong.
If they only have a bike light that'll throw more than 1000 lumens, I'm really sold with their products. Shannon, R&D soon!!!
First, thanks for the review. I'm excited to get mine and see how they work.
Originally Posted by Earthpig
As for the quote above, I really think this is just a matter of life with using just a handlebar light. I know this is a point of contention for people, but for me, I always prefer a helmet light over a handlebar light if I can only have one or the other. If a designer creates a handlebar light with enough flood for turns, it has insufficient throw. I suppose this may change with higher and higher lumen lights, but I haven't ever used a handlebar light that meets my needs on it's own.
I think that's the consensus with bar v. helmet when it comes to having only one light. (At least it was my position.) I have some friends who run bar-only, so I thought I'd see how it went. My conclusion is that, yeah, if you're going to have one light only, helmet is still the way to go, but if you want to go bar only, I can't imagine anything better than the Strykr for the price. Ideal set up is Strykr on the bar, and something small and light on the helmet for sharp corners, emergency back-up, and those times when you have to get off your bike and you need some light. That's going to be my set up from now on.
Another satisfied customer
I totally agree with the OP. I had my first ride with the Strykr last night. What a huge improvement over my old light! The light output is more than enough for the pace I ride. The mount system is much more stable than just an o-ring setup. The light head doesn't shake all over the place. I also like the battery case too. The rubber mounting feet keep the battery from slipping on the down tube.
All in all a very satisfied customer.
If you have a decent o-ring or rubber strap system, they don't vibrate all over the place.
Thanks for the awesome review Earthpig, good stuff! There is, in fact, a super-sweet bar clamp burly enough to handle the mighty Strykr in the works. As soon as I have some pictures of it worthy of posting, I'll put some up for you guys to take a gander at.
I have been able to use the QR mount that comes stock with the Baja Designs Strykr Pro with a Strykr, however if you are really moving fast through large rocks all willy-nilly (one of my favorite things to do) it can slowly work it's way downward, that is not optimal, so I generally use the standard Strykr mount.
Hey Bashtee, we are always working on cooler, newer lights, we lay awake at night thinking of new light stuff (ask my wife, she'll tell you all about it). We have pretty high bars set to beat the Strykr or Strykr Pro. You guys here on MTBR will be the first to see spy photos of the new lights, I promise.
In the mean time we have lot's of Strykr's and Strykr Pro's in stock, in fact we have a deal (which would solve the whole "should I get a helmet or bar mount light" question) the deal is you get a Strykr and a Strykr Pro for $400 plus shipping (usually $10-$15). That should solve that whole issue - both is best I think - particularly when they are both firebreathers. If anyone has questions my email is Shannon@BajaDesigns.com, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have and get you set up for the summer "beat the heat" riding and 24hr race season.
As far as whether I prefer a bar or helmet mount if running one alone, I will generally run a Strykr on the bars, for my tight single track the wide angle in that puppy rocks, plus it projects really well too - I am very happy with the Strykr. The funny thing is that when I ride MX bikes at night I am more than happy to just run the Strykr with the spot lens installed on my helmet and no bar light at all.
All that being said I still think the ultimate set-up is a great bar and helmet light working together, these lights rock, we live in a great time to be nocturnal mountain bikers!
The new mechanical mount for the Strykr is in the testing phase as we speak, I have a prototype about 5ft from where I sit, it looks good so far. I will let you guys know when it's available.
+1 on the OP's review of the system.
These things throw out a ton of light and are rock solid! The AZ Devo team rocked them on their way to winning the 24 HITOP 5 person CAT back in Feb.
You can read our race recap and our experience with the light at http://www.azdevocycling.com/blog/20...he-old-pueblo/
Last edited by mcoplea; 05-12-2011 at 07:53 AM.
18 HOF follow up review: I purchased a small helmet mount light before the race to compliment the Stryker, knowing that the race course is tight and very twisty singletrack. (NiteRider MiNewt 250.) The helmet light was the perfect compliment to the bar mount Stryker. The Stryker's intensity was so bright that if I had the helmet and Stryker lights pointed in the same direction, the MiNewt was washed out.
I charged the battery on Thursday night for a 12:01 AM Saturday start. I decided to run both lights at medium intensity for the race. The first two laps took 1:09. The light worked great. During the third lap, I noticed that the green battery charge indicator light on the Stryker light head started to flicker - not flash, but flicker. However, the light itself stayed on and worked just fine. Third lap took about 35 minutes. At the beginning of the fourth lap, I switched the light to high, and the green battery charge indicator light stayed green, but began to flash on and off, which I believe signals that the battery level has dropped (haven't looked at my owner's manual, so I'm not sure how much charge time is left when it goes to green and flashing.) I admit to being a little surprised that at an hour and 45 minutes at medium intensity level would drain the battery to that level, so I switched it back to medium. The green light began to flicker again, but the light worked just fine for the remainder of the lap. I haven't used the light since.
I've got two emails in to Shannon right now about the flickering indicator light, but haven't heard anything back yet.
Per the Instruction Manual - https://www.bajadesigns.com/2009/tech/bajad/Strkyr.pdf
Glow green from 3 – 1.5 hours
Flash green for 1.5 hours to 30 minutes
Glow yellow from 30 minutes – 10 minutes
Flash red at less than 10 minutes remaining
FYI - Shannon is the proud papa of a brand new baby girl that was just born yesterday.
Last edited by mcoplea; 05-13-2011 at 12:45 PM.
I love my Strykr. I've been using the o-ring mount commuting and it's worked great. All of my off-road adventures have been during daylight, so I haven't actually used it off road yet.
That being said, Shannon is right. The o-ring does tend to migrate a little. It's no different than the MS900 o-ring though... one side of the o-ring is typically stretched around the bar and then fastened to the light base. That side is then tighter than the other side, which causes the light to rotate downward. Once the tension is evened out, it's not an issue.
Hey Lads and Lasses,
Originally Posted by J_Hopper
We are working on a sweet, light-weight yet burly mechanical handlebar mount that will work perfectly with the Baja Designs Strykr or Strykr Pro bicycle light and be able to handle it's beastliness. The clamp will be available in early fall, I am thinking just prior to Interbike if all goes according to plan. I will let everyone know once we have it ready to go.