Fenix BC30R User Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fenix BC30R User Review

    Well this is my first fenix light. I was skeptical at first. Cost of the light didnt seem to go over well for something that didnt seem all that great.

    Well I was proven wrong! VERY NICE LIGHT! Perfect for those that want a simple, self contained light thats USB chargeable yet puts out PLENTY OF LIGHT.

    Fenix BC30R 1600 Lumens 2 Cree XM L2 T6 LEDs OLED Cycling Light with Rechargeable Battery ( Neutral White )-139.66 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com






    Comes with handlebar mount, USB cable, remote cable (nice quality but usefulness is just dumb, more below), and extra rubber spacers to adapter to whatever bar sizes you could want.

    Build quality is REALLY nice. Well thought out, well sealed. Batteries are NOT user changeable (well average user).




    The remote thing: Only works to put light head into "Turbo" mode. Lasts for 20 seconds have to hold the button the entire time. Now high is plenty of light for the normal cruising so not a huge deal. But to use turbo means removing thumb from the grip, well when you need the light, you need the control as well. Probably going to donate that remote switch to something else lol.

    But Love the light for what it is. Simple, to the point. Self contained, good light output. Personally its going on my Commuter. USB charging will go well with my Cygolight tail light. Be easy to charge or use my solarstorm case that still has the USB active to charge them.
    Last edited by tigris99; 07-02-2015 at 12:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    That turbo mode is the number one reason why you shouldn't buy this light. It might be good for commuters who want to flash a car, but it's useless on a mountain bike trail.

    I always thought that you could replace the batteries of the fenix lights on the trail, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. I must be thinking of a different light.

  3. #3
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    Its not a reason not to buy the light if you don't ride aggressive single track. For those that bike pack, ride fire roads etc, perfect light. And high is plenty for a lot of things. This light wasn't designed for night time down hill and AM type riding. Its a simple self contained light that's for non aggressive trail riding.

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    How was the countdown timer? Close to stated numbers or did it have some variance?

  5. #5
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    Some variance because time is based on current draw/voltage. As run time gets down there current draw decreases so you end up at lower power to maintain output for longer.

    That said lvl 4 says 1 hr 55mins on very first charge. Once cells break in the run time will increase a bit. But right now 2.5hrs run time before cut off is about right.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    I always thought that you could replace the batteries of the fenix lights on the trail, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. I must be thinking of a different light.
    The Fenix BC30 is their version of this light that has user-replaceable batteries. I have one but haven't used it enough to give a decent review.
    baker

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    The Fenix BC30 is their version of this light that has user-replaceable batteries. I have one but haven't used it enough to give a decent review.
    Ah OK. So what's the difference besides the battery in these two lights? This light also has a cool led readout of the battery life, while your version does not. Is that right?

    Is there a version that has the both the led readout and a trail replaceable battery?

  8. #8
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    No, its replaceable without indicator or not replaceable with the indicator.

  9. #9
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    OK so got a couple beam shots. As much hype as fenix lights get, they still over exaggerate lumen claims. 500-600 lumens at level 4, about 1200-1300 lumens on turbo based comparison with known outputs from other lights.

    Level 4



    Turbo



    That said, excuse the not so clear pictures, 85% humidity right now so glare from moisture is hard to compensate for, being that this is a 4.2v integrated light head, Im impressed. Price to me is a bit high for it, but functionality and build quality are really nice. This is definitely a "get what you pay for" light .

    Functionality works beautifully, timer is pretty accurate (time shows less than light will actually run for before protection trips).

    AS long as weather cooperates so trails can dry enough to open, I will do some pavement and trail video of this light over the weekend.

  10. #10
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    Nice pictures. Too bad about the turbo being time limited, because that would have sold the light. That's a deal killer for me. It's something they could easily fix in the firmware of the light, so maybe they will change their minds later on. Also, the remote should be act as a remote in my opinion, so you can actually change the mode of light.

    Like you said it's probably a good light for mixed use road/light mtb or for shorter rides. It does have a lot competition in the self-contained category though.
    Last edited by varider; 06-26-2015 at 09:37 AM.

  11. #11
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    Ya that remote switch could have been done better. Not sure why they did that. I get the "turbo timer" idea but a low threshold thermal step down would have been far better. Then remote to change modes.

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    So went out riding a tad bit last night, too wet for much. And tried to get a bit of video, trying to figure out this new camera was interesting as well. Nothing was cooperating but my summary thus far:

    Lumen output is very over-exaggerated. 600ish on high, 1100 on turbo MAYBE.

    Beam pattern is interesting and nice as the spot is basically stretched back towards the tire. And decently wide beam. But problem is LACK OF LIGHT. Now being with seemingly 4C tint on a T6 emitter bin, kind of understandable, will appear like les light that way, and be a bit dimmer than the u2 3C emitters I run in everything else. But on tight twisty trail I didnt like it. My BT21 on high (1.3A) on the lid was pushing quite a it more light.

    Also, the turbo button. NO WAY ON THE TRAILS!!! About caused me to eat it on level but twisty/off camber (just trying to test it)

    FOR SERIOUS TRAIL RIDERS: No, get a better light

    For bike packers, commuting, road, fire roads, all that: I will keep my opinion as a DEFINITELY YES if your wanting something self contained with decent light output and USB chargeable. Not sure the competition out there in this area, especially at this price, But my commuter/flat bar road bike (i use it for riding everywhere except the trails) this is my "perfect light". Charge at work or anywhere really easy, more than enough light for use on pavement at any speed.

    I wasnt sure if I was truely going to use this on my commuter but the 4c tint is much more pleasant when its wet out and not so annoying for cars driving around (especially with the dual beam and ledge on the housing, much more welcomed than my previous set up)

    Video review to come, I thought I had it last night but nope. Other traisl will be open this weekend that are more open and night riding friendly without a powerful light.

  13. #13
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    https://youtu.be/SPzX15u-xxg

    I found the output to only be marginally dimmer than the brighter bc30. so 800 lumens seems an acurate quote to me.

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    Well im comparing to lights rated at the same output. There is no way high is 800 lumens. Wish I had a sphere to get actual but even the turbo mode is far dimmer than other lights I have that are rated at 1600 lumens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Well im comparing to lights rated at the same output. There is no way high is 800 lumens. Wish I had a sphere to get actual but even the turbo mode is far dimmer than other lights I have that are rated at 1600 lumens.
    Unlikely, but did you get a dud? Fenix has a reputation for accurately stating lumens (disregarding the max lumens Turbo Mode nonsense). My BC30's output is consistent with other lights that I have in the same lumen-range...
    baker

  16. #16
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    Well im going off out the front, not prior optics. Numbers might be good with better optics or the stock optics have that much wasted spill so sphere numbers are decent. But when it comes to useable light on the trail even my bt21 that is half the price does alot better. Battery versus run time and the fact they are on a parallel circuit, that's 2 amps divided by 2 emitters. So 800 lumens, then loss from optics, around 640 out the front on fresh charge best case. So like most, numbers are at the emitter, not out the front.

    Still going to give it a shot on my other trails this weekend, they are more open so the spill may be more useful
    Last edited by tigris99; 07-02-2015 at 02:46 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    Unlikely, but did you get a dud? Fenix has a reputation for accurately stating lumens (disregarding the max lumens Turbo Mode nonsense). My BC30's output is consistent with other lights that I have in the same lumen-range...
    that's my experience to, they under estimate their figures.

  18. #18
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    It's worth noting that Fenix have made an error with the runtimes. official runtimes have been updated on the myfenix website allready Fenix Flashlight, Fenix torches Fenix BC30R USB Rechargeable Cycle Light | Myfenix.co.uk

    Eco - 100 lumens (20 hrs 20 min)
    Low - 200 lumens (11 hrs 50 min)
    Mid - 500 lumens (3 hrs 30 min)
    High - 800 lumens (2 hrs)
    Burst -1600 lumens
    Flashing - 200 lumens

  19. #19
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    Ya run times match what im seeing.

    In no way saying this is a bad light, just that imo its not the greatest for single track use. The optics they use (and even companies like Gemini/gloworm and so on all rate lumens prior to optics loss, east to calculated approx lumens and be within acceptable margin for accuracy). just waste ALOT of light.

    But when I get videos finished youll see what I mean. If lumens are acceptably accurate, then the optics just waste far too much of the light.

  20. #20
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    Spankone: Ok I stand "corrected" it does put out the lumens, but my other thought was the correct one. Too wide, so alot of side spill outside of "line of sight" when going on single track. I have video uploading now. I did put the the other light at equals as best i could. Stock optics, 2 cell pack (though 8.4v not the 4.2v the bc30r uses) and "high" on both. Once video loads ill post. I also did it on pavement path so I had the wider space to see the the full spread of the bc30R output.

    So ratings on both this expensive light and my nitefighter bt21 are both correct. Turbo is overrated though

    Having spent some time out now, the display does annoy me a bit if I need to look down toward front wheel, too much going on. But not as bright as alot of these other lights. And the timer was actually not bad at all, just the buttons.

    Having said all that, my other opinions and thoughts for purpose of this light remain. But the more I use it THE MORE I REALLY LIKE IT.

    Improvements needed:

    Button needs to function as actual remote, not just for turbo (or just ditch turbo all together)

    Smaller display, that thing is far bigger than needed.

    The handlebar mount: I dont get why you would want to rotate it laterally on a bicycle, far less effort just to turn the bars. Instead being able to tilt it down (to minimize glare to oncoming cyclists/vehicles) In my opinion would be far more useful.

    In searching: Fenix BC30R does a few things better than comparable lights. Run time is first, second it neutral tint (brand names havent learned about the NW revolution yet) and third is the display. At the $150 price tag or lower. Also the variation in beam pattern. Though too wide/floody for my tastes it covers all the angles without wasting too much vertically

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    The handlebar mount: I dont get why you would want to rotate it laterally on a bicycle, far less effort just to turn the bars. Instead being able to tilt it down (to minimize glare to oncoming cyclists/vehicles) In my opinion would be far more useful.
    Given the fact that all of the bars on my pile of mountain bikes are alt bars (funny shaped), I have a huge appreciation for lateral rotation on a bike light mount...

    From my limited testing, the BC30 (similar to the BC30R) works well on the bars when paired with a spot on the helmet. Good wide coverage from the bars and focused light where I am looking from the helmet light.

    And, yeah, the remote button is just a waste for my usage. I could see it being handy to flash oncoming traffic when used for commuting, but it is just a waste for trail conditions.
    baker

  22. #22
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    Well BC30 is actually a better light. Its highest "non remote" level is better and runs off higher voltage (less voltage sag issues) which is much better. 1200 on highest normal level vs this 800 would do much better, especially for throw.

    I really think they meant this light for what I intend to use it for and think its best for. BC30 on the other hand seems like a much better trail light. Sadly I dont have on to compare to (numbers on paper are one thing). And Im spoiled on beam patterns that I like that are tighter so less glare from damp undergrowth (and wasted light as well since nothing to illuminate that wasnt lit up for the entire rest of the beam). Again this is MY OPINION THOUGH. Compared to where I ride and other lights I have.

    I do ride trails with helmet and bar light combos so I have the light out where im looking as well.

    Im not saying anything "bad" about the light. Just there is so many options that IMO are better for the bars than this version of the BC30 at lower cost. Like the BC30 and others we discuss and I have reviewed.

  23. #23
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    Beam patterns are subjective, I don't think the lights being "wasted" they've designed a beam pattern that puts the light down on the road or trail and doesn't waste it up hi. This also means you won't need to dip your light when a car approaches. Also, the nice wide beam pattern helps fill your peripheral vision.

    I do think all bar lights need teaming with a helmet light on the trail. But on the road this light can be used solo.

    The bar mount is also one of the best out there. certainly not the prettiest but its strong and works well. mega bonus points for not needing shims for different size bars and fits 35mm bars

    That boost button. It's just not needed for the trail and has been designed for commuters and roadies to flash oncoming traffic. It's a fantastic safety feature.

  24. #24
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    I tried to use on trails again last night, too much of the beam is wasted to the sides for me. This was on the wider/more clear of area trails. And the bar mount actually irritated me twice (second time I gave up) cause drops and rough stuff If can move and did if I was leaned over while going through roots. Beyond that on the paved path, gravel etc, its awesome, trails not so much. And that button is just going to get someone hurt if you try to use on trails.
    Last edited by tigris99; 07-06-2015 at 04:24 PM.

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    Tigris, I seriously doubt fenix has over-exaggerated the lumens, usually they under exaggerate by a little. There's several reasons why the light output might not be what you expect:
    NW tint (simply doesn't look as bright as cold white)
    Beam dispersion (using optics, the spread of the lumens is somewhat more even compared to perhaps other reflector lights, or more intense optics).
    Not to mention our perception of brightness is poor. You could take a 500 lumen light with exact same beam profile and compare it to an 850 lumen light, and you wouldn't know the difference unless the beam profile was different. Standard rule is 3x brightness equals a mode change to human eye perception.

    I've got the BC30 version, basically a 1200l light that outputs around 1260 lumens, although if comparing the hotspot to many flashlights I own at 800 lumens it doesn't look as bright, you really need to take into account the spill angle and dispersion, the 1200l is well utilized in that regard. Great light and beam profile IMO

  26. #26
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    Dont want to re-type everything, but PLEASE read everything I posted in full context. Not just my initial post. My first opinions were based on set parameters (my trails) and don't like it there due to overly wide beam. Having expanded beyond that to other uses for riding this light does great. And understand this isn't a bc30. Huge differences in the 2 lights. But again this is my opinions. And I really like the light, quality is beyond great, as is overall design. It just doesn't work for wooded/heavy under growth single track as well as most my other lights.

    Ps, im also spoiled on the fact I can change optics on my personal "top of the list to use" lights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Dont want to re-type everything, but PLEASE read everything I posted in full context. Not just my initial post. My first opinions were based on set parameters (my trails) and don't like it there due to overly wide beam. Having expanded beyond that to other uses for riding this light does great. And understand this isn't a bc30. Huge differences in the 2 lights. But again this is my opinions. And I really like the light, quality is beyond great, as is overall design. It just doesn't work for wooded/heavy under growth single track as well as most my other lights.

    Ps, im also spoiled on the fact I can change optics on my personal "top of the list to use" lights.
    Yeah my bad, was responding to one of your earlier posts. Personally I think this light is great as a flooder even for more technical trails, but note I consider it a flooder to be used with a more throwy head mounted light. I particularly appreciate it for it's peripheral vision over some of the more jack of all trade lights that provide a profile that isn't as floody but perhaps more throw. I'm not one for tunnel vision, different people have different tastes of course.

  28. #28
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    Ya me its not so much taste, as trails I ride. Wide angle creates reflections from dew on plants in my peripheral vision, screws with my eyes adjusting to the dark. Thats why I like it for everything else. Gravel roads/rail trails, road, all wide enough I dont get that glare on the edges of my vision so I can see in front of me as well as I would prefer. I can bet out in the desert areas or just more open trails this light is nice, bc30 would probably make it to awesome for performance (that 400 lumens would hep with throw).

    And this light is my everything but the trails light now (which I REALLY liked my previous customized set up) because of ease of use and CHARGING. And more than enough light for everything Im using it for now.

    Edit: Also, the night time trail video I didnt like how it turned out so redoing it tomorrow night before i compile my entire video review.
    Last edited by tigris99; 07-09-2015 at 12:20 AM.

  29. #29
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    Man I hope the video came out good, my opinions have changed a bit.



    Not as good as my other prefered lights but without all the dew ( I played hookie for the last couple hours from work so I could ride just as it got dark) and SO MUCH BETTER. I could focus in front of me instead of peripheral glare. Very nice beam pattern, the line of light down to the front tire though I dont usually need is actually quite nice to have when you do.



    So keep that in mind with fenix lights, very wide beam, so wet plants is killer on the eyes, much better when things are dry.

  30. #30
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    Ok video review done. After having used it more now definitely like this light, may have to buy a BC30 just to have it as an option lol. Has a few shortcomings (FFS at least have the button active the turbo timer and run, not hold the button the whole time, even cheap flashlights get that right) and the illuminated "too much going on display" but overall, I have to agree now that its a AWESOME LIGHT, for being USB chargeable and self contained with neutral white emitters.


    (at time of post, yet I know its still processing, but wanted to get it listed for the early morning people as Im about to head to bed)

  31. #31
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    OK wanted share this, not a bad little deal.

    Cool bit of a deal. Get a BC30r. Gearbest is throwing in a convoy s2+ flashlight and a decent tail light (one i actually have and use, works rather well)

    So whole deal for the $139 for the BC30R, other things are included free when you add the Fenix too your cart. Not a bad deal IMO since Fenix lights are the same price anywhere. Get some needed stuff for free with it. Fenix BC30R 1600 Lumens 2 Cree XM L2 T6 LEDs OLED Cycling Light with Rechargeable Battery ( Neutral White )-139.66 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

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