Fenix BT20

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  • 12-02-2012
    8 Attachment(s)
    Fenix BT20
    Hi All,

    I too was chosen to review the new Fenix BT20 from a list of applicants that applied back in October 2012. This product was sent to me free of charge and I have no direct affiliations with this company.

    This review will be picture intensive with the intent that it provide as much information as possible (both manufacturer sourced and reviewer provided). As such this review will be over multiple posts.

    PART 1

    Package and Contents:

    * detailed instruction manual in English and Chinese
    * light head
    * BA4C battery case (fitting 2 x 18650 batteries)
    * 'O' rings (3 x various sizes)
    * extension cable (70cm length)
    * battery case protective sleave
    * clamp down helmet mount (non velcro operation)
    * warranty card - warranty period is 24 months and Fenix will repair any defective product for free.

    * BA4A battery case ( fitting 4 x AA batteries)

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    Manufacturer Specifications:

    The LED used is a neutral tint XM-L T6. Manufacturer specified run times are based on 2 x 2600 mah protected cell batteries.

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    Measured Dimensions and Weights:

    Light head measurements excluding 360 degree swivel mount: (LxWxH) 67mm x 38mm x 39mm.

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    Weight including battercase cover and 2 x Panasonic 3100mah (18650).

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  • 12-02-2012
    10 Attachment(s)
    PART 2

    Fenix are marketing this light as "The World’s First Bike Light with Dual Distance Beams.” This functionality arises from the use of a unique reflector which has both an orange peel and smooth polished section and is further enhanced by the use of a Fresnel lens.

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    This effectively gives the light two distinct and concurrent illumination ranges - immediate foreground and mid range illumination.

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    Marketing material indicates that the light complies with Germany's STVZO regulations which makes this a commuter friendly light - i.e. does not blind oncoming traffic or pedestrians. Great news for our friends in Europe!

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    Operating modes - The light is activated via a one second press of the power button and it cycles through its four modes of low, mid, high and turbo. The flashing mode is not included as part of this cyle. A double press of the power button is required to activate the strobe mode. Pressing the power button once deactivates strobe mode. Another useful feature is the light's menory function which remembers the last mode you werer in when the light is turned off (except flash mode).

    The power button is a translucent rubber/silicone which also functions as your battery status indicator as follows:

    * 100% - 50% - Solid Green.
    * 50% -20% - Solid Red.
    * Less than 20% Flashes Red.

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    Battery pack - there are no batteries supplied with the battery pack. This is actually a useful feature as the end user can configure the lisght's power source as required as well as easily upgrading the battery pack capacity as as LiPo capacities improve.
    Note: Fenix recommend the use of protected battery cells as the battery case does not a low voltage over discharge protection, however, the light head does have overheating protection.

    I will be posting running time results shortly - Batterries used will be 2 x Panasonic 3100mah 18650.

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    The battery pack also comes with a barry pouch that features rubberized velcro straps to allow better gripping of the bars/stem/ frame
  • 12-02-2012
    9 Attachment(s)
    PART 3



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    61 lux reading compares well with other MTBR 2013 bike light test results in the 750 - 900 lumen range test results. Fenix's claim of 750 ANSI lumens therefore doesnt sound unreasonable

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    1m white wall testing - again capturing the "dual beam pattern"


    Photos were taken in accordance with MTBR light testing settings:
    •Camera: Canon EOS 5D
    •Lens setting: 100mm
    •Setting: Full manual
    •ISO: 100
    •Exposure: 4 seconds
    •Aperture: F4.0
    •Focus: Manual
    •White Balance: Daylight

    Setting: Firetrail of approx 5m (15 feet) width. Markers are set at 10m (30 feet) intervals all the way to 50m (150 feet). Track dips slightly at 40m (120 feet) before leveling off again. Trail is at a slight incline with good levels of surrounding vegetation (sides and canopy). The light was focussed at 30m (90 feets) as this is a constant reference distance in the Fenix documentation.


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    Other photos:

    Hemet mounted - can get a decent low profile depending on helmet's vents

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    Bar mount - details of rubber lined aluminium swivel mount

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    I too had the same battery status indicator issues raised by other reviewers but do note that these are pre production units. Fenix have been open about this and are resolving the issue befor these units become commercially available.

    All up this is a great first effort by Fenix. A very usable beam patern with decent light output. If you only want one light at a very reasonable price, then this light definitley deserves consideration. Based on other products in the pipeline, Fenix appear committed to being a presence in bike lights which can only be good news for us.

    I hope to have some run times posted soon.
  • 12-02-2012
    Judging from their claims that it fulfills German road requirements I wonder if this is best suited as a commuter light? For road use the dual spot would be pretty nice since I usually feel like I'm trying to split the difference between seeing the road surface and seeing down the road some distance.
    I've had a Fenix AA flashlight for a few years now and it's never missed a beat even after long falls onto hard surface and using it as a bike light on rainy nights. Considering what I've put it through, even the finish has held up pretty well.
  • 12-03-2012

    Originally Posted by SoCalAl View Post
    Judging from their claims that it fulfills German road requirements I wonder if this is best suited as a commuter light? For road use the dual spot would be pretty nice since I usually feel like I'm trying to split the difference between seeing the road surface and seeing down the road some distance.

    The Fenix BT20 is probably better then a lot of other lights, but judging from the pics in the Mtbr Lights Shootout it is not as good as the Philips light

    Fenix BT20


  • 12-15-2012
    Hakan, could you please tell me which philips light is that? I think i've seen you talking about that light as a good commuter-light somewhere somewhen... I'm looking for a commuter light and that looks cool.
  • 12-16-2012
    The Philips-light in the pic above is the SafeRide 80 Lux battery light,
    Philips - SafeRide LED BikeLightbattery driven 80 LUX - BF48L20BBLX1 - Front lights - LED bicycle lights - Lighting
    Tested in the 2012 MTBR Bike Lights Shootout:
    Philips SafeRide LED Bike Light – 2012 Mtbr Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

    But Philips have changed the light a little for 2013
    Philips - SafeRide battery-driven 80 Black SRFB80BLX1 - Front lights - LED bicycle lights - Lighting

    Main difference seems to be a new handlebar mount. Philips also claims a slightly longer burn time.
    But the price is also a little higher, 87,90 € here:
    Philips SafeRide Akku LED 80 Lux Gen2 schwarz

  • 12-16-2012

    Originally Posted by HakanC View Post
    The Fenix BT20 is probably better then a lot of other lights, but judging from the pics in the Mtbr Lights Shootout...

    ..I'm alImost completely sure that this light is not StVZO approved.
    It seems that the "cut-off" is only marketing.
  • 12-16-2012
    Thanks hakan.
    They are both great light for commuters but I think the Philips head is too big. I prefer the form factor of the fenix and its external battery feature.
    However, still don't know what beam would work best... The fenix is for darker roads while the Philips would work better in traffic city with many oncoming drivers perhaps...