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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Night cycling with the JETBEAM ST CYCLER XM-L T6

    I have been cycling with the ST CYCLER for well over a year now and I decided to post a small update review to share this great cycle light with fellow cyclist.
    The St Cycler from Jetbeam's is a well proven cycle light using a very sleek tubular body with a multitude of light levels with some innovative modes for cyclist safety. The ever more popular 18650 3.7v Lithium battery is powering an XML-T6 led giving high output and long runtime. The ST Cycler size and weight make it the ideal cycle light for commuting, road or MTB cycling. Unfortunately this is not stocked by many Cycle shops and appear to be obtainable mainly on line via specialist Flashlights mail-order shops. This light was supplied to me by Jetbeam Technology Co.Ltd for review on the Candle Power Forum in September 2011 and is still in my mind one of the best multi use cycling lights.

    Light position is a personal choice and I have used it mounted on my handle bar and on my helmet. But my favourite position for it is on my "lid", where if feel I can make the best use of it as the high position increase my chances of being seen by high vehicles. That way, the light beam is always pointing to where ever I am looking at, day or night. During my daylight commuting to work this is set on "warning signal" a powerful 425lumens flash to make vehicles aware that I am around and at night, this get changed to the "warning lighting" a very innovative 270 lumens light mode with a pulsating flash build into it. I know that in many countries, flashing lights are not strictly legal, but are tolerated by the police forces to save lives. Please note that at night I also have a forward facing a bar mounted light for general road lighting and two rear light, one flash and one constant. The reason I always use a combination of two lights front or back to increase my visibility and the chance of both running out of battery power at the same time is extremely low, so again this is done as a safety measure.
    Once on the fast forest trails, this get switch on to "turbo" 425 lumens and give sufficient light to see around corners where my bar light does not reach.

    Please note the mounting in the photo is not included with the ST CYCLER

    What's in the box (summer 2011)
    Usual accessory pack which includes an olive drab lanyard, two replacement O-rings and a tail cap switch boot. A Jetbeam registration card with unit serial number was also included as an instruction booklet in my review sample.

    Initial overview
    The light is compact (121mm - 25.4mm OD), streamline and fits comfortably into the palm of your hand as well as creating very little drag once fitted to your cycle helmet or handle bar. The light body (70 gr) comes in the typical Jetbeam dark grey colour with HA III military grade hard anodized finish. It has a low profile but effective antiroll design as well as tail stand capability. Both will be well appreciated during your camping trips. The body and tail cap knurling is not overly aggressive but helps in giving you a positive grip. The clicky rear switch is easily accessible and the tail cap has lanyard attachment slots.

    Manufacturer Data
    Reflector: Aluminium reflector
    Lens: Coated mineral glass
    Material: Aero grade aluminium alloy
    Finish: HA III Military grade hard anodized
    Battery: CR123*2 or 18650 Li-ion*1
    Dimensions: Tube diameter 25.4mm; total length 121mm
    Weight: 70g (without battery)
    Waterproof: IPX-8 standard waterproof
    Accessories: Lanyard, spare rubber tailcap switch cover, spare O-ring

    Adopt premium CREE XM-L LED
    Maximum output of up to 425 lumens
    Maximum runtime of 1 hour 30 minutes
    Rapidly switch between Outdoor mode and Cycling mode
    Special designed user interface for cycling and outdoor activities
    Customized flood-type reflector produces a wide range of spill beam
    Compatible with both CR123 and 18650 Li-ion rechargeable batteries
    Built-in over-discharge protection circuit for 18650 Li-ion rechargeable battery

    Jetbeam has created two totally separate mode platforms activated by tightening or loosening the head. Within these modes you have separate settings giving you an overall total of seven different light settings.
    The first mode level or outdoor mode is obtainable via fully tightening the head then using the rear clicky switch to select your desired setting.
    This mode level has a memory, so any mode selected will be held in the memory and activated next time you switch your light on.
    Within this mode four different settings are obtainable:
    The first one is turbo with a 425 lumen output. This will be used by mountain bike cyclists on downhill or technical fast trail riding where a lot of light is required.
    The second setting (high) is a very respectable 190 lumen with a long run time of 3.5 hours. This will be favoured by many who want a decent output with an extended runtime and, again, will used by MTB'ers, road cyclists as well as campers, dog walkers, cave explorers etc.
    The third setting (medium) is giving you 50 lumens and a run time of 14hours. This has well is also ideal as a marker light for cycling.
    The last setting is the strobe light, which is very common with all Chinese built lights. This, I am sure, will be the least used of all the different settings, but could perhaps be used to deter an assailant.
    The second mode level or cycling mode is obtainable via loosening the head about one-eighth of a turn.

    The first setting is a low 10 lumen. This has an incredible run time of 45 hours and may be used as a marker light for cycling but I personally think that this is better suited around a campsite for tasks where not much light is required.
    The second one is a slow but very powerful flash (425 lumens) ideal for cyclists in urban areas where it is more important to be seen than to see in front of your wheel. Due to its high power flash output, this can be used effectively during day light.
    The third setting is an innovative warning light setting with a powerful 270 lumens combined with an inbuilt slow pulse. This gives you the best of both worlds in that it is a riding light with a warning device built in to it. The light pulsation is quite discreet and will not interfere with your normal riding night vision but can been seen clearly from a distance.
    The two settings above are designed for general road cycling and are safety modes, this can be seen in my mini video clips
    The last setting is an SOS mode. Hopefully this will never be required, but it is reassuring to know that in an emergency you can use your light as an SOS beacon for rescuers to locate you.
    I think Jetbeam have made a very good choice by not giving a memory to its secondary mode and of placing its low light (10 lumens) as their first light setting.
    With the head is in the unlock position, you are guaranteed to have an eyesight friendly output when the light is turned on. This is especially important if, for example, you need to get up in the middle of the night as you do not get blinded as soon as you switch it on.
    All settings are easily obtainable by simply half pressing the rear click switch when the light is on. The two different mode levels are obtainable by slightly screwing or unscrewing the head.

    I have done some short video showing the various modes and an extract of a night ride, another one of my favorite light the ST PRO was also used during some of the filming.

    You guys are going to crucify me now for the brake noises! This is was not rehearsed and was very unlucky with the damp weather!

    More clever stuff
    The ST CYCLER has a purpose designed new reflector designed for cycling and other outdoor activity giving you a fairly large bright central
    area as well as good peripheral lighting.
    This is ideal for mountain bike trail riding where a combination of the two is required.

    Rain will not be a problem as the ST CYCLER is submersible up to two meters and complies with IPX-8 waterproof standard .
    The light is also fitted with the double spring system which should absorb shocks and always gives a good battery connection. It is rated at 1.5m impact resistant
    and has a built in over discharge system for 18650 rechargeable Li-ion batteries. This will give you a blinking warning when the battery is nearly flat (for me this is another safety factor because by giving you prior warning and you are able to switch to the 10 lumen low mode to give you more run time).
    (Note this system does not work with some of my cheaper rechargeable batteries, this is obviously a battery problem)
    The light can also run on two CR-123. There is no voltage data in the instruction manual supplied with my sample, but I have contacted Jetbeam and I have been informed that the light will take up to 9V ie two CR127 rechargeable (total of 8.4V)

    MTB riding with the ST CYCLER
    This has been tested during many a rides in Friston Forest in the UK. The light has been powered by many different makes of 2400mAh to 3100mAh rechargeable battery. During the night ride review test, the light was positioned on my handlebar. I used the various settings on forest trails and was able to ride safely and happily with the turbo, high and warning lighting when going downhill. The medium setting gave me just enough light on the wide uphill fire tracks. I would like to point out that night mountain bike riding is dangerous and you need a lot more light than road ridding and I do cycle always with a couple of lights (helmet and bar) giving me around 1000+ lumens in total. The ST CYCLER gives a large bright beam with a very respectable throw in the turbo mode specially for its relatively compact size. The ST CYCLER was used for over an hour on the turbo setting without any noticeable loss of brightness during that time.

    Photo of the ST CYCLER mounted on my "lid" and on my bar.
    This light is well suited as an handlebar or helmet light, note mountings are additional

    More photos showing you fittings which are available via various retailer or e-bay.

    one of the best fitting is the Exposure clamp, which allow you to adjust the direction of your beam, you need to install a lanyard as your light can get knocked off by low branches

    rubber mount with no adjustment, can be positioned in high or low position, see other photo

    Home test
    A while back I made a DIY integration sphere that I now use to take my LUX readings. This allows me to make fairly accurate comparisons between my various light outputs and run times. On a year and half old AW 18650 2600mAh flat top battery, in the turbo setting I got a constant 40000lux for one hour, then a drop of only 15% in the next 30 minutes (34000lux) and the low battery warning was activated after 1 hour and 49 minutes showing at the time 17500 lux. For an XM-L led, I believe this is the best regulated 18650 light that I have used so far and is certainly well suited for cycling.

    Done more runtime test on turbo, this time with an Int-outdoor, Panasonic 3100mAh battery, very different output than with the AW!
    The cooling fan was switched on at 8mn, note the increase in lux. The Panasonic from Intl-Outdoor did give me a constant output for 55mn then a very gradual decline, very different discharge line to the AW. By 2hours 25mn the low voltage system was activated as the ST Cycler started to flash. The light was switch off not to discharge the battery to much.
    So with the Panasonic 3100mah, a much longer run time but with a lesser output.

    Please note the lumen is a measure of the total "amount" of visible light in some defined light beam.
    The Lux indicates the intensity of light at a given point which can be easily measured by a light meter. Figures given have been taken out of a home made light box.
    Just shows how much difference batteries makes on output and run time of a flash light. So by using different make of batteries , you can in away customise your ST Cycler to give output versus run time. something you can not do with lights having a fully integrated battery! The other plus, is you can carry spares extending your run time.

    Outdoor beam shots

    My back garden

    425lumens, Outdoor mode turbo - 1h30mn

    270lumens, Cycling mode warning lighting - 2h

    190lumens, Outdoor mode high - 3h30mn

    For: Multi purpose cycling light, which can be used has a normal flash light once off of your bike. Very compact and slimline. A good choice of LED with a well designed and easy to use interface as well as a good multi level of brightness and setting. Good runtime, steady output and cycling warning feature. Can tail stand. Can replace battery extending the run time. Upgradeable battery as battery technology advance. Competitive price if you do not need to buy battery, charger and fitting. (Note some UK retailer will include free bar fitting in the price of the unit)
    1*No battery, charger or fitting included

    Against: 1* not the complete package as battery charger or fitting not included. For the beginners, this may make it slightly dearer than some of its competition!.
    I am not that keen on the strobe light setting, not a setting that should be used on the road although this is my personal opinion.

    1* the fact that this light does not come with battery, charger and fitting can be a positive or negative point for people, for me this is a positive one, as I would not be paying for items I already have, but this also could be a negative for beginners who would have to purchase the above!

    This is a well designed cycle light, giving you a choice of
    high power output, long run time and safety high power flash.
    The ST CYCLER will certainly help you to stay safe on the road or on forest trails and what I really like about it, is once of the bike, this is also a true outdoor light that can be used around the house or while camping!

    This sample was kindly send to me for review by Jetbeam Technology Co.,Ltd in August 20111


  2. #2
    Ride More, Work Less
    Reputation: heyyall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Lots of good detail. Thanks for sharing.

    I actually have a light very similar to that

    It was on sale for about $30 around Christmas.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Lots of good detail. Thanks for sharing.

    I actually have a light very similar to that
    It was on sale for about $30 around Christmas.
    Great tactical light and for $30 this is a steel, I like the coloured leds , but the ST CYCLER is very different light, much higher output, 8 modes to include two specifically designed modes for cyclist, very well regulated, so good run times, very stream line and light and top quality manufacturer with a long established customer care system! As you can tell, I do really like it

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