TurboCat, why did you fall behind?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bpnic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,401

    TurboCat, why did you fall behind?

    I love the beautiful quality of my old TC lightset. They're service was excellent too, I used to have my calls answered by the owner.
    Why didn't they keep up with the other mrg's with super high performance Led lights and batteries? Too small a company? I think they're still using halogen bulbs only.
    I understand they can't compete price-wise with MS, being made here in the States, but they can/ could have competed with L&M, NiteRider, Lupine, and others.
    Looks like they threw in the towel early. What gives?
    I'd hit it, but I bruise like a peach.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,047
    Quote Originally Posted by bpnic
    I love the beautiful quality of my old TC lightset. They're service was excellent too, I used to have my calls answered by the owner.
    Why didn't they keep up with the other mrg's with super high performance Led lights and batteries?....
    From their own website:

    In the $200 and under price range, LEDs just don't offer the light output of a good old fashioned xenon/halogen bulb. In the $400+, they can provide a nice beam - but one that lacks the power to see things at great distances. And for under $400, you can get two complete TurboCat systems - one for the helmet and one for the bars. See the two Mountain Bike Action articles in the REVIEWS section.
    After looking over their website it seems they tend to believe they are using a better quality halogen bulb than others. Also they are over-volting but are using heavier batteries. They do a comparison to some other systems ( including the NiteFlux Photon Max 800lm version ) They claim the center spot of their 15watt bulb is brighter than the Photon Max center spot at 20ft. ( Photon Max- 151 lux vs TC 15watt 14 degree bulb - 162 lux. )

    Personally , I think their test is biased but that's just my opinion. I would be more impressed by beam shots or comparisons done by an independent reviewer. Still, even if the claims made are true run times and weight simply don't compare to newer LED systems. Interestingly, T.C. included some outside reviews on their website with the most recent being in Nov. 2007 ( )...If you read between the lines it doesn't sound like MBA was that impressed with the light. Just remember, the review is 3 years old.

    For the record, there are still some very good halogen systems out there. Namely L&M and Jet Lites. It would be real interesting to see how all these systems including the spot version of the TurboCat fair against the newer, brighter LED systems.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    752
    Turbocat fell behind long before the shift to LEDs. They pretty much missed the boat with the transition to HID. This is a pretty common phenomenon across business in general. Once companies achieve some level of success they get complacent and often miss the next wave. I won't claim to fully understand all the reasons why, but here are a few common reasons.

    -too busy dealing with the demands of shipping the current product to "play" and do research on the new technologies early enough

    -afraid to introduce new products based on new technology early enough because they'll compete against the existing products and cannibalize the cash cow revenue streams

    -lack of vision / foresight - often because the visionaries that founded the company leave for new ventures once the company is successful

    -lack of skills in the new technology

    To some extent L&M and Niterider are guilty of some of this as well. Frankly they were late to the transition to LED technology and are still playing catch-up. They still don't completely "get" LED technology. Their lights tend to look a lot like their old lights. Largely the same bulk as their old lights for example. They don't get that they should use the new technology to make the lights much less obtrusive to the riding experience as companies that started with LED technology.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    596
    Hi Mac I think your number 3 is the biggest thing. Lack of vision. Where are the buggy whip manufactures now?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    365
    There is just no comparison with new LED's and light batteries. Anything else is ancient.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    107
    I loved my TurboCat lights... the overall quality of the CNC housing, clamps and the system in general, is just plain outstanding.

    And yes, they relied on over volting to achieve their higher than average light output, with a nice clean white (instead of yellowish) tint. I know they aren't the only company to overvolt - but I'm sure they spec'd out the best possible components and prolly had the highest reliability.

    IN ADDITION to a thread for "what happened to TurboCat"...

    I think we need to start a thread for "why didn't you get rid of your TurboCat lights at the beginning of the LED revolution instead of waiting until they have no value..."

    Personally I kept them around 'cause I was a late adopter to LED (cause my Halogen set was so good)... and after I moved to Marwi HIDs and then Lupine, I kept the TurboCats around in case a friend needed to borrow a light.

    I'm going to compare my S47 bar set up and TG15 Trailguide helmet light against my Lupine Betty / Tesla combo and see what happens. I'LL BET THEY STILL HOLD UP!!!

    But in the end, it's the 45 min (high) to 2 hour (mixed) runtime that makes them impractical - unless you go on shortish rides or carry a boatload of batteries. Oh well, anybody want to buy an extremely well made, bright light system for cheep???

    I guess I'm a slow learner cause the advantages of LED technology didn't keep me from jumping on the HID bandwagon for a while... the output of my Marwi Nighpro Extreme (and Extreme EVO) lights are nice - but hasn't held up well against the TurboCats or the Lupines for brightness, beam pattern and color rendition. I guess the only advantage was the long runtimes.

    Well, as you can tell - I finally gave in and am now on the LED bandwagon...

    TurboCat - RIP.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    407
    I'm going to ressurect this thread a bit, because I love my Turbocat system. Personal preference probably do to my eyes. but I like my Turbocats basically because they are way reliable, and I like the more Natural Light as compared to the Super White LED lights. I have a hard time picking up features with an LED, and a hard time with Depth perception.

    But anyway, I lost my helmet light and I'm looking for anyone selling some Turbocats.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: erol/frost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    488
    Agreed about the yellowish light vis a vis the super white light LEDs emit.

    Since we are or where discussing once state-of-the-art lighting mfgs, what happened to NightSun? Once The premier lighting system.
    WTB: Ritchey Plexus
    DiNotte 200 lights

    automobiliana.blogspot.se

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,047
    Quote Originally Posted by erol/frost View Post
    Agreed about the yellowish light vis a vis the super white light LEDs emit.

    Since we are or where discussing once state-of-the-art lighting mfgs, what happened to NightSun? Once The premier lighting system.
    Yes, the nice thing about halogen was the increased definition you got from the warmer spectrum light source. The earlier versions of LED lighting tended to be bluish. Since then the beam tints are much better. Now if you want a warmer tint you can buy the "warm white" versions although I doubt any of the name brand manufacturers use such bins. Most people want either the brightest bin ( cool white ) or neutral white. Personally I prefer neutral white and as such most of my lights and torches are just that.

    Now that my curiosity has been prodded I might just have to buy me a "warm white " XM-L torch just to see what it looks like ...used alone or when mixed with another neutral white torch..

    Last night while driving in my work van I was passed by a car with very bright, very white head lights. My van is newer and as such has very bright halogen lights ( I get blinked/flashed at all the time )( my low beams look like some cars high beams ). I don't know what type of lights they were using but they completely engulfed my lights when they passed. I was duly impressed. No tinge of blueness, just brilliant clear white light that lit up the whole highway. I think it was a Mitsubishi. Brightest damn head lamps I every saw and I see a lot of head lamps. Not trying to change the subject, just a thought in passing.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: erol/frost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    488
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I think it was a Mitsubishi. Brightest damn head lamps I every saw and I see a lot of head lamps.
    Mitsubishi may be using NR Pro3000 now I hear...
    WTB: Ritchey Plexus
    DiNotte 200 lights

    automobiliana.blogspot.se

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.