Wednesday, 31 August 2016 08:46

See.Sense Icon Bike Light: Tested and Reviewed Featured

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Autumn is almost here and hardy tough cyclists such as myself thoughts are now turning to darker mornings and evenings. Commuting, training or pleasure we'll need to be visible as the long sunny summer days become but a distant memory.... WAIT hang on a second! What long sunny days? This summer has been awful in this part of the world and I've needed lights all season. Thankfully the Icon has been on test since April.

I'll admit to badgering See.Sense to get an Icon on test for a few months. I'd heard talk of this amazing intelligent nay smart light that could react to different road conditions. At the front I could understand how this works with air vents providing the stimulus for the light variation but I was puzzled by concept of how the rear would work. Eventually See.Sense sent me a rear Icon in the post, possibly to shut me up, and I set about discovering just how much of a light the Icon is.


First of all this is a powerful rear light. 190 lumens from twin Cree LEDs but unlike many other powerful lights of this size it actually has enough run time so you'd get home. The official figure given is 15hrs but I've probably beaten this on commutes. The only issue I've had is such a long run time it's possible to forget to ever charge it but to be fair See.Sense should not be wholly accountable for end user numptiness.

The light can be controlled by your phone from a free app from the usual places, although I don't believe that you can use a Windows phone. I found the app a bit glitchy at first but recent updates have smoothed the process. The light can still be operated without the app but the benefits are using it are substantial. My previous point about forgetting to charge the unit is negated by a warning system and the controls are simple yet provide more options than the simple switch on the unit.

The final two features though I really love. The first is a burglar alarm. If the light is removed from your bike or your bike moved whilst you are away from it an Ear splitting alarm with sound on your phone. I tested this from a distance of about a 100m, or from the door to the wine aisle in my local supermarket, and it worked very well. Someone nearly dropped their wine.

The second feature is a crash alert. Basically you put a contact number into the app and if the unit picks up a crash then it'll text that number with your location. I've not tested this in a real life situation thankfully but I did throw the light down the stairs at home and true to form it worked well.

The Icon has two main sensors. One is a light sensor which will react very quickly to conditions such as tree cover or following headlight and adjust output accordingly and the second is an accelerometer which detects changes in acceleration such as roundabouts, thus increasing output where it may be most needed. There are plans for the sensors to provide real life road condition updates to a central database as well. That is just about as much as I understand about the science if I'm honest so how does it perform in the real world.

I'll get the minor issues I have out of the way first. The USB cable is fiddly to insert and the unit can't be fitted to a seat post if you ride with a saddle pack. Whilst rhe first is trivial the second is more of an issue. If I fitted the unit to my saddlebag it moved around too much and was horizontal rather than vertical which isn't most effective. I eventually put it between my seat stays with solved the issue but would rather have it on my post.


But these niggling faults are minimal. I've used the Icon all summer and it doesn't miss a beat. I tested it on two contrasting daylight rides. Y Cawr Sportive on the one sunny day I've had and last week I rain and drizzle over the Storey Arms and Crai passes in the Brecon Beacons. The Y Cawr ride included a couple of sections on the Busy A487 in West Wales in and out of wooded sections and a quick look between my legs was confirmation of how quickly the light changed to conditions. even in the bright sun the light was highly visible and much commented on by other riders.

In the rain of the best mountain range in South Wales the Icon again showed it's worth. I felt confident and safe, no driver could miss me unless he was chasing imaginary cartoons but no light in the world can alter that. Best of all the light still had 60% charge after a 70mile ride.

With a RRP of £64.99 just for the rear the Icon isn't cheap but I've said this before. Buy cheap buy twice. I've easily used and broken a £100 worth of rear light over the last three years and the Icon looks like a piece of kit that will last. It also looks very very good.csense1

Further Info and stockists can be obtained on the See.Sense website.



Last modified on Wednesday, 31 August 2016 09:45
Stu Thomas

A former bank worker now working for a major national outdoor company Stu is an avid mountain and road cyclist and tests kit for MyOutdoors around the BreconBeacons and South Wales. As a member of South Wales Mountaineering Club stu, along with partner Julie (who also tests for us) also both climbs and walks. When not tearing up mountain bike trails Stu can be found on the road either commuting by bike or taking part in muscle draining sportives in the Peak District.

With his retail experience and insight Stu is able to help us with real time buying trends and reviews based on a wide range of kit for comparisons. Stu has also started writing for MyOutdoors Blog, first documenting his "conversion" to a road cyclist and soon to be reliving some of his recent cycle tours that have taken in both the Balkans and Estonia/Latvia. You may even be able to pick him out in photos of wild camping in Magillicuddy's Reeks on the site - Stu gets around!

Preferred activities: Hillwalking ,mountain biking, road cyclingg, climbing, skiing

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