Blaze are the group who launched the laserlight on kickstarter a few years ago. That was a front light that combined a standard torch with a neat (or gimmicky, depending on your point of view) laser projection of a bike symbol on the tarmac in front of you. It’s not something I fancied, but it was received as a lovely piece of hardware, although with a slightly weak mount (see the road.cc review here).
They’re are back with a new rear light – the Blaze Burner – and I am much more interested.
(So it seems is the rest of the world, as Blaze look set to reach their £30k target on the first day of launching. If the burner is something that interests you, then maybe nip over to kickstarter pronto to slap some cash down.)
Gee, did it get quiet in here all of a sudden?
For the solitary reader I have left (waves), I’ll explain why I’m excited.
Firstly Blaze have proved themselves on Kickstarter before. They’ve taken money, delivered a product (albeit slightly late, but still), and already have working prototypes of the new Burner in a bunch of promo videos. Backing them should be relatively low-risk.
Next; the pledge I managed to grab was a new rear light for £30. That’s pretty cheap as far as high end red lights go, and certainly below the leading offerings from Cateye, Exposure and Lezyne. RRP for the Burner is likely to be around £50, which is probably more reasonable.
Blaze claim to have sorted their mount problems, and the Burner comes with a magnetic bayonet-socket seatpost-mounted thing:
I’m hoping this is solid enough to keep hold of the light over Glasgow’s spectacular road surfaces, but we’ll see. I’m also hoping that they’ll include a rear rack mount – plenty of people have been asking for it on the kickstarter page, and it makes life much easier for those of us riding bikes without seatposts…
Moving on to the light itself; the Burner has 27 LEDs arrange in two rows and from the videos it appears to hit the “bright enough without being thoroughly obnoxious” sweetspot. As you’d expect from a light at this price, there’s a range of steady, pulsing, and flashing options, along with bonuses like switch-on-automatically-when-it-gets-dark (which can be over-ridden, for those wanting to use it as a daytime light) and remember-what-setting-you-last-selected-when-turning-off-and-on (I probably should never be involved in marketing…).
Side visibility is OK without being spectacular, but I’ve got a fibre flare to cover that.
The battery is fixed and should last for around a month of “normal use”, whatever that means. Recharging is by a custom magnetically-attaching cable, which I can forgive as the removal of the almost ubiquitous USB socket means the unit is thoroughly waterproof.
In summary, the Burner looks like a very robust, nicely designed, bright, big rear light. For a reasonable price.
Roll on next April…
PS: images all from Blaze’s Kickstarter, who hopefully won’t mind. Link to the Kickstarter page is here, in case you’ve forgotten.