Baja Designs Stryker and Stryker Pro review - beamshots added in later post
Now that I've had my Stryker and Stryker Pro for a couple weeks, I thought I'd post up a review...
My first impression upon receiving and unboxing the lights is that Baja Designs' packing and attention to detail is superb. Each component is seperately bagged or boxed and prepped for a safe trip to the customer. Well written (understandable) instructions are included in the box, too!
Baja Designs doesn't cheap out on the accessories either. An extension cord, a helmet mount, and a bar mount are included in the kit.
Here are the contents of the Stryker Pro box
And, here are the contents of the Stryker box
My second impression (after unboxing)...wow, these lights are stout! They look like they'll handle anything I can throw at them. The Stryker is significantly bigger than the Stryker Pro, as you can see in this pic...
The Stryker has a giant reflector (should be good for throw) and the Stryker Pro has a smaller optic.
The size and stoutness (especially for the Stryker) are apparent when the head units are weighed.
Handlebar Mount 33g
Stryker Pro 103g
Helmet Mount/Strap 23g
Handlebar Mount 14g
MagicShine 900 105g
O ring 2g
Some testing with my lightmeter shows some interesting comparative results.
~1m lux measurements
Stryker Pro 3830
Ceiling bounce tests (Hi/Med/Lo)
Stryker Pro 127/96/81
So, the Styker is putting out some serious light. The Stryker Pro is comparable to my MagicShine 900.
Speaking of which, let's take a look at them side by side...
The battery pack and connectors for the Baja Designs lights are fully waterproof and have a nice rubberized mounting system (which is removable if you wanna throw it in your pack). The battery housing is a large step up from the battery packs that came with my MagicShine units.
It's quite apparent the pack is made in China. I'd like to see what's inside. That may come later...
I couldn't resist testing the waterproofness...
There is no way I'd do that with my MagicShines!
So, more important than all these pictures and measurements...how well do they work? A Stryker on the bars and a Stryker Pro on the helmet are a great combination. Lots of light. No annoying SOS modes to cycle through. Yay! I like the battery level indication system:
Glow green from 3 Ė 1.5 hours
Flash green for 1.5 hours to 30 minutes
Glow yellow from 30 minutes Ė 10 minutes
Flash red at less than 10 minutes remaining
The Stryker is actually pretty amazing. Boatloads of light in a great flood pattern. Baja Designs also includes a spot reflector which I haven't tried yet.
The Stryker Pro puts out a level of light comparable to my MagicShines, but seems to have a warmer tint (which I prefer). I was hoping it would put out as much as the Stryker, but I guess I can't expect that from a small optic (compared to the large reflector in the Stryker).
There aren't many negatives I have to mention with these lights, but the Stryker handlebar mount is one. It is a zip tie affair. Although it is sturdy, it is also seriously inconvenient. Baja Designs is in the process of testing a better mount, but in the meantime, I'll probably see if I can rig up a Marwi mount. The other negative to mention is weight. The Stryker is heavy. Probably insignificant, but it bugs my weight-weenie past.
The batteries are also heavy, but probably worth it due to the waterproofness.
Baja Designs 307g
My overall impression is that these lights are really well designed. I hope Baja Designs comes out with new head units as new LED technology hits the market. And, I really hope they address the Stryker handlebar mount ASAP.
Oh yeah, one key point I almost forgot to mention...customer service! Dealing with Shannon was great. Fast, friendly communication. One of the chargers that came with my shipment actually squealed and became warm to the touch. I let Shannon know and he shipped a replacement out the next day. Now, that is the kind of service that is worth paying for.
And, here is a pic of the generic charger...
I plan to follow up this post with some comparative beamshots (Stryker, Stryker Pro, Gemini Titan, and MS900). Stay tuned....
Last edited by baker; 05-15-2011 at 08:35 PM.
Did you mention the BD battery will power the MS900 lighthead?
No, I have no idea about that. They are certainly different voltages, but the MS driver could possibly be designed to handle that.
Originally Posted by J_Hopper
Great review, Baker! I've been very please with my Strykr and agree with your assessment. On the O-Ring mount, it is an improvement as far as portability, but is definitely not as rock solid as the zip-tie mount included as standard. I have the zip mounted permanently on my cross bike (which gets most of my night riding miles) and use the O-Ring mount for the road bike. Haven't tried either on my MTB yet.
Interesting on the light output. I also have the BD SSC P7 flashlight and it apparently is the smaller twin of the Strykr Pro - very similar output, +2.5 hours run time. All the BD units are built like tanks - I'm look forward to years of use.
It doesn't need to be designed to handle it - it already works. Plug in your MS900 lighthead to your BD battery, and it will work. The connection probably isn't tight enough to be waterproof, but it does work.
Originally Posted by baker
Very, very, cool Baker! I look forward to hearing your ride report and seeing the battery dissection if you decide to do that.
I have a 24 hour race in 3 weeks where I plan to really put the lights to use. After that, I'll be brave enough to open up a battery pack and check out the innards. I don't want to screw up the battery before the race!
Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
That sounds like a good plan Baker, if you somehow get the battery(ies) apart and can't quite put them back together again just let me know and I'll send you a couple of new replacements and fix the dissected batteries here at the shop - no problem.
Originally Posted by baker
Are you doing the 24hrs of ERock? I believe our outside rep in that neck of the woods is going to be at that race, not sure if he is going to set up a booth or anything but he can definitely help out with any lighting logistical challenges you may have. Let me know and I will get his contact info for you.
Always a good day to ride
Great review! I have never seen a bike light that can work under water like that. Pretty cool!
Yeah, I'm doing ERock on a 7 or 8 person team (Monumentally Afflicted). Which means it should be a whole lot more fun and hanging out than doing a solo! I've volunteered for extra night laps, so hopefully I can get a bunch of cooler temp laps in a row at night.
Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
Recently I was able to go to a Stryker Light Demo and was thoroughly impressed. We did a section of a trail I have never ridden and I felt totally confident descending. The Stryker Pro may seem small, but boy does it put out a lot of light. Shannon is also a great guy to ride with and really passionate about lights and standing by his product.
Yep, the Strykr is good to 33ft underwater and the Strykr Pro is good to 66ft, and very waterproof and corrosion resistant to handle marine/military environments. At 33 or 66ft they don't leak, nor do the batteries or plugs, the pressure just becomes enough to press the on/off button and the lights will turn off - which could be inconvenient. I used a Strykr Pro snorkeling on the reef in front of our rental in Maui for our honeymoon a while back, the same light I had used the prior week on the Tuesday night ride, I thought that was pretty cool. (there's a couple of videos of that on our Baja Designs Bicycle Lights Facebook page - fun!)
Originally Posted by bik_ryder
We actually sell a hand mount for the light head and an arm pouch for the battery that can be used for free diving/snorkeling or shallow diving, if you guys have any questions about that sort of gear let me know.
Baja Designs Battery Dissection
Okay, I manned up and dissected the Baja Designs battery. I can see why Shannon was anxious for me to do so. This battery is something to be proud of. The external casing is so thick that I had to bring out a Dremel to get the thing apart. And even then, it wasn't easy.
Maybe that top could have somehow been popped off with brute force, but I doubt it. Even when I had dremeled the top off, I couldn't get the cells out. Dremeled a line down the center, still no luck. Dremeled off the bottomed and pushed the cells out. Notice the nice foam padding on all sides, plus top and bottom. And, the shrink wrap.
Pulling back the shrink wrap revealed a very nice surprise. High quality Panasonic 18650 cells (made in Japan), model number CGR18650DA. Not only is Panasonic known for reasonable quality control, their capacity ratings are generally accurate. These are cells rated at 2450maH. Here is the datasheet: http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/...CGR18650DA.pdf
Not that I'm a PCB specialist, but the circuit board looks nice and the soldering and wiring all appear to be top-notch.
Of the probably 20 battery packs I've used for bikes over the years, this has gotta be the nicest and sturdiest one yet. I obviously haven't had time to really cycle through either of my two packs, so only time will really tell how they hold up. I hope to use and abuse the remaining pack and see how it stands up.
Awesome review. I just ordered two of these todays from Shannon, and Im glad I did after seeing the quality of the lights in general.
Thanks for sacrificing the battery for the sake of science, Baker. That is quite an impressive battery and one more reason I feel good about purchasing from Baja Designs. The Strykr is a beast.
I ran a couple discharge tests from 16.8v to 12.0v to determine battery capacity:
Close to rated capacity of each individual cell (2450maH).
Last edited by baker; 05-20-2011 at 05:53 PM.
After seeing this I'm sure not skeptical about these lights
I'm Impressed Built like a Tank Nice
I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking
thanks for the info and the review! just ordered the stryker and stryker pro myself, should be here tuesday!
2nd pack test: 2360maH
Originally Posted by baker
I've found that a good way to open the battery pack up is to drive a full-size pickup truck onto the battery pack. We did some testing where we drove a full size Toyota Tundra up on top of the light head (broken cooling fins on the side but still worked perfectly) and then drove up on top of the battery. What happen was that one end cap popped off and a small crack developed on that side of the case, the battery still took a charge and was still functional, there appeared to be no damage to the individual battery cells.
I recommend not trying this at home, I am pretty sure that being crushed by a large vehicle is not covered in the life-time warranty for the Baja Designs Strykr bicycle light.
thanks baker !
looks like you are an official demolition tester !
to extend runtime, for backup purposes
the idea to use existing batteries charger.
2x AA nimh in parallel, cabled in series with baja battery will do.
--- tickle me, post, etc, to motivate me,...
notes: light head cuts off at 12.8V, with another 1.1V on top, you get more runtime,
2x AA, since 1 alone gets stressed, and 1 would not cover 3hr+ if used in conjunction with the main battery.
Shannon , did send me some lens samples , Thanks ! to do some testing.
there is a spot version, but it does have a halo (bright) on edges,
with my reflector foil attached it is brighter, but most, probably would not like a sharp , bright ring, in the beam pattern.
for a reflector, the housing would need to be machined, and front shield , redesigned.
what is more work, than I like. And can't put an XML in it, due the current led driver design, so a new driver is needed too.
what else? hmm, an USB adapter, running of the baja battery, for charging your phone.
think, I better have a Y-cable build-in , for the folks, on foot. works with GPS /ipod too,
just not with Ipad, (not yet).
And do have Stryker in stock, can't give you a big discount, without Shannon beating me up, but might be able to throw in some goodies ( tester feedback)
Originally Posted by rschultz101
Did you ever finish up one of the USB type cords for charging an iPhone/iPod with a Baja Designs battery? If so, I could sure use one. I am out in the boonies a long time with my National Guard unit and could sure use the extra life a remote charger would bring.
Let me know and I will buy one ASAP.
Last edited by Baja Designs; 05-31-2011 at 09:33 AM.
Recently received the Strykr, and the Strykr Pro from Baja Designs, and thought Id add
on to Bakers review.
The lights are built extremely well, and comes with everything you see in Bakers post above. All the connectors are heavy duty, and feel like it. Im not afraid that Im going to damage the lights at any time when handling them.
I typically ride my road bike at night, along the WO&D trail, and the GW trail located in the Washington DC area, so my initial review will be based on riding this trail.
First night ride with Strykr:
The light was rather impressive. I had the flood reflector in it, and there was plenty of light on the trail. I was expecting the light to be crazy bright for some reason, based off of Bakers pictures above. Donít get me wrong, this light is BRIGHT! Im pretty sure the reason it doesnít seem as bright, as there isnít much for the light to reflect off of on the trail I ride, except the black pavement in front of me, and somewhat wide open areas on the sides. Upon some further riding, I confirmed that this was the case, when I entered a narrower part of the paved trail that had foliage on the sides, and a bridge above me. The light is bright and plentiful. It was very easy for me to ride at 15-20 mph, and never felt that I would outrun the light.
The next night I decided to use the spot reflector in the light. The light is thrown a lot further, and more concentrated, and provides plenty of light further up the trail. I personally preferred the flood over the spot for my riding purposes, so youll have to decide what you you like and go from there.
The next night I added the Strykr Pro to my helmet, in addition to the Strykr on my handlebars. This light is also impressive, and provides plenty of light. I definitely liked having light wherever I looked. One issue I encountered is that when I use the helmet mounted light, the bugs like the light, and I ended up with a face full of bugs at night. A lot of the time I just rode with the handle bar mounted light on, and the helmet light off.
I found the helmet light extremely helpful while riding through the city, to have the handlebar mounted light on low, and the helmet mounted light on strobe. I found that I had fewer issues with cars not seeing you. The beauty of this setup is that as you approach the intersection, and look both left and right, the oncoming cars see the strobe on the helmet, and it catches their attention. Also, when riding down streets, you can look at the cars on the side of the road, and point the strobe towards their mirrors, which also gets their attention.
Now I would suggest you check with your local authorities before doing what I mentioned above, as their may be some type of ordinance or law regarding strobes in traffic. In DC, they actually prefer you flash the light, so thatís a good thing.
Once I get out on the trails with these lights, Ill post up another review.
So far Ive gotten about 3 hours out of the batteries, and they seem to still be going strong, so I donít think that battery life is an issue with these lights.
The only very small gripe that I have with the lights are the mounts. The little thumb screw is really small especially for someone with larger fingers like myself. A snap in type of mount may have been better, but maybe not?
Other than the minor mount issue, Im glad I bought the lights. In addition how can you go wrong with a lifetime warranty on the light heads? What other company offers that? Also customer service is huge in my book, and Shannon has been superb with customer service. Even with the latest addition to his family, he has answered all emails, etc that I have sent him, usually before the close of business each day.
Overall great lights, and super customer service, what else could you ask for.
Ill get some photos when I go out tonight, and post them up.
Great review Nov0798, it's rare to read a review that involves an urban environment, good stuff. I have held the same feeling about helmet systems while commuting in to work, it's great to be able to "look" at someone on your right or left, there is no question in the driver's mind at that point that you are there.
I am trying to work an "anti-bug attraction lens" into next year's Baja Design Strykr Pro...it's just not perfected yet... Maybe we could just make it to where the light zaps it with electricity when a bug gets close??
One way to alleviate "FBS" or Fingers are too Big Syndrome, is to hold the thumb screw steady while you turn the light head (instead of the thumb screw), that works particularly well with the little screw on the Strykr Pro helmet mount.
I look forward to seeing your pictures!
I've had more time to train and race with the lights now. I did the 24 Hours of Erock over the weekend and put in 4 night laps. For the first two laps, I used the Stryker/Stryker Pro combo. Totally adequate, even at descent speeds over 28 mph. I should note the course is totally non-technical, so obstacle avoidance requirements are minimal.
For the second two laps, I used the Stryker along with my DIY triple XPE helmet light. I actually preferred this combo, due to the greater output of the triple XPE helmet light, as well as the lighter weight. The triple XPE seems to have similar throw to the Styker Pro, but more flood. On the other hand, my triple XPE is not nearly as waterproof. If there were any threat of rain, I'd have stuck with the Stryker Pro.
Battery life was more than adequate, even for the Stryker battery which I used for 2:09 of racing plus however much time I had it on while waiting in the pits.
For comparison sakes, my fastest night lap was 30:07. My fastest day lap was 29:15. Pretty d@mn close times (actually 0:52 difference). Some of that difference was due to the inability to read lines during the night, but most was due to me climbing better on the day lap.
I definitely like the user interface, with the lack of flash pattern during the normal sequence.
BTW, I saw several other racers using Baja Designs lights. I imagine the demo program was put to good use.
Last edited by baker; 06-05-2011 at 05:26 PM.
Congrats on the race Baker! Hopefully you and everyone else out there had a lot of fun. Baja Designs actually had our Colorado rep working the race, he did do a great job of loaning out all of the demo systems we had, and supporting the racers we have sponsored for this year.
I'm glad the Strykr and Strykr Pro worked out well for you. It's funny how night lap times, despite being extra fatigued, are roughly the same if not quicker than day light times, I think a lot of it has to do with just being focused on the trail and not looking around at the scenery - at least that is my theory.
Are you going to be doing the 24hrs of Colorado Springs this year? I will actually be out at that race, I'm looking forward to it, the weekend after that is Moab, it'll be a busy couple of weeks. Well, let me know if you need anything.
I saw a Baja Designs banner at one of the sites. That was probably your guy.
I'll actually miss 24 Hours of COS this year, due to a wedding in Tahoe. Enjoy the race, it is really well run and a nice course. Things will probably be a bit more competitive this year, since it is the National Championships. I'll probably do the race again next year, but maybe team instead of solo.
Shannon, is there a 12v/cigarette lighter charger for the Strykr?
J_HOPPER, I was just thinking about this last night as I was riding. So Shannon, do you have this available?
Also on another note, I also have had more time to ride with both light systems. I typically ride with just the Strykr on, and only use the helmet mounted Pro when in the city. I had some issues getting the helmet mounted light to properly mount to my helmet, due to the design of the helmet, not the design of the light itself. One issue I do have with the design of the Pro is that the velcro given to mount it to the helmet is wider then the base of the mount, causing the velcro to "roll" at that point, BUT the light still mounts up with no problem. I also wish the weight was a little less than what it is, as I like to wear my helmets slightly loose under the chin, and the weight on the top of the hemlet actually causes it to move around a little, but nothing that interferes with its operation at all.
Overall good lights so far!
Sorry it took me so long to get back on here, I was roaming around the mountains of central California playing Army with my National Guard unit for the last four days.
We do not make a specific 12v charger for the Strykr/Pro, I personally use a little 50w invertor in my truck.
As far as weight goes, one of things we have done to test the strength on the housing of the Strykr and Strykr Pro was drive a full sized Toyota Tundra on top of the head (and battery), the light head worked perfectly afterwards (it had a couple of cooling fins broken off) and the battery still worked but one of the end caps had popped off, a little epoxy to re-seal it and we're good to go. I used the Strykr Pro for CQB (urban combat) this weekend with my National Guard unit, it worked great for "looking" at people and things that you didn't necessarily want to aim your rifle light at, that light very very abused over the last few days. I guess the point of all of this is that because our systems are so multipurpose I think it is better that we err on the tough side than the light-weight side.
All that being said I am really happy that you are enjoying your systems!
Last edited by Baja Designs; 06-14-2011 at 01:12 PM.
Any Radio Shack should sell the little 75watt cigarette lighter style power inverters. I think I paid maybe $20-$25 for mine but that was years ago. Just plug the charger into the inverter and you're good. Since most Li-ion chargers only draw about 13-15watts you should be fine. The one I have is a little larger than a box of cigarettes ( not including the cigarette plug which tilts and is a part of the main unit. ). I'd give you the model number but the writing is so small I can't read it.
Originally Posted by J_Hopper
I have a power inverter.
I only asked about a 12v charger because I just got a solar charger (Goal Zero Nomad 7) and I thought it would be nice to top up my battery using solar.
Hmmm...I could use a good solar charger for my military work...
Brad, terrific review.
Did you manage to get try out the wide beam optic on the Stryker? Any comparison shots of this and the regular optic equipped with the Stryker model?
Schultz informed me that he is doing some testing for after market lenses for the Pro model. Should be interesting to see how everything turns out.
Originally Posted by Chromagftw
I've only tried the flood reflector, never the spot. I had totally forgotten my intention to get comparison shots with the 2 reflectors. I'll have to put that on my list of things to do.
The stock optic seems pretty good to me, but it would be interesting to see what Rob comes up with.
Rob's come out with a couple of things for use with the Baja Designs Strykr and Strykr Pro. He made a couple of different types of charger/adapters that will allow you to charge your iPhone/iPad using a Strykr/Pro battery (roughly 10 times on a full battery). He also whipped up a dual connector (splitter cable) that allows you to run two Strykrs or Strykr Pros on your handlebars. Two Strykrs one with a wide angle reflector and one with a spot reflector is truly incredible. He may be able to make them for you guys, I am not sure what the plans are as far as reflectors go, although I know he has been working on them. (Rob rocks )
Originally Posted by baker
Shannon, I sent you an email via MTBR about the solar panel. Not sure if you got it...
I did, I just haven't any time to check things out since I got back on Monday from Arizona. I could really use a good (perhaps faster) solar charger for military use. Thank you for sending the link!
Oh, I see. Some time ago there was a thread on that very subject. Alas, I don't think anything like that is available at the moment. ( If I'm wrong about that someone please correct me ).
Originally Posted by J_Hopper
What you might want to do is feed the output of the solar panel directly to the battery but that would be very dangerous without circuits ( in between ) to monitor the charging process. I suppose someone could devise a circuit configuration that could perform the function but the circuits would be unreliable without a stable voltage reference. Then again I'm not a Electrical Engineer. It could work but it would take days to charge a typical 4 cell Li-ion battery unless you had a really big solar panel ( and lots of sun )
Continued from my previous post. This product is advertised as a 7.4 volt battery car charger. This might work with your Solar panel but you would need a female cigarette plug to use it. ( shouldn't be a problem finding one of those ).
Originally Posted by J_Hopper
Then all you have to do is switch out the plug end to fit your battery. All this is cheap Chinese stuff and I have no idea what battery you are charging. ( I'm assuming a 7.4 volt Li-ion battery ) Whither this charger will charge your battery to full peak voltage ( 8.4 volts ) is anyone's guess but it is a battery charger so it must have cut-off voltage circuits.