Ay Up V4 Adventure Light Review

Lights Shootout Pro Reviews

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Lights
The kit comes with two twin lights, that use the CREE XLamp XR-E LED’s in a Cool White Tint. The LED’s are enclosed in a bullet shaped anodized Aluminum 6061 housing (1.75″x1″), and comes in an array of 12 color offerings. The twin lights are attached together with a short barrel, and the lights can swivel independently 270 degrees on the barrel, offering a multitude of front and rearward pointing angles. At the rear of the barrel is the battery port, which offered a stable and secure connection. You can order the lights in three beam patterns, Narrow for helmet use, Intermediate for the handlebars, and Medium for handlebars and headband. You can pop on a Red Saxon cap over the LED, and use as it as a back light.

Mounts
The kit comes with three mounting systems, helmet, handlebar and the headband. The handlebar and helmet mounts are obviously positioned towards biking usage, while the headband can be used for running, hiking and camping.

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Helmet
The helmet mounted system is a pretty trick set up, and it uses a set of Gecko mounts, one type with a barrel slot for the light (which snugly pops in), and the other with a Velcro pad for the 1/2 Epic battery. They attach to the helmet with a set of four Velcro pads, just like a Gecko lizard with their specialized toe pads that enable them to climb smooth and vertical surfaces, and even cross indoor ceilings with ease. The Gecko has no eyelids, so don’t bother trying to win a staring competition! The system is easy to install and use, and is stable and very lightweight, coming in at a respectable 160 gram. The kit includes an extension cord, so that the battery can be placed in a pocket or pack. For commuting purposes, you could place the light mount on the top center of the helmet, and swivel one light forward, and the other rearward, and cover it with the Red Saxon cap, to make a functional set.

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Handlebar
The handlebar system, utilizes a mount that bridges itself over the top of the stem (not touching it), and then attaches to the bars with zip ties using a set of rubber covers for gripping security and protection. The mount is semi-permanent, but the kit comes with two mounts, so two bikes can be set up, and the light can be swapped out as required. If you needed to move the mount around to different bikes, it’s a pretty easy task to cut the zip ties, and reinstall on another bike. Once installed the mount is very stable, and it’s nicely centered because of the positioning directly over the stem. The light’s barrel pops in easily, and you flip over the rubber strap and slides it onto its front pin. The Epic battery is inserted into its neoprene pouch, and is attached to the stem with its neoprene strap using the Velcro closure. The entire system is compact, and the switch is easily accessible when the battery is on the stem. The battery can also be placed in other spots on the frame, and the extension cord can help with placement. The handlebar system weighed in at 257 grams.

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Headband
The headband is a pretty nifty addition to the kit, and is highly functional for a variety of activities. The light pops into the front barrel holder, and the 1/2 Epic battery attaches with Velcro on the back. The straps are easily adjustable, for a multitude of head sizes, and can also be worn over hats. There are two slider along the left side of the headband that allow the wire to be held, though I had a difficult time getting the wire inserted. I liked the headband for poking around in the garage, the backyard or anywhere a bright head lamp was useful.

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Measured Weight:

  • Light – 57.8 grams
  • Gecko battery holder – 8 grams
  • Gecko light holder – 7.2 grams
  • Small battery – 87.8 grams
  • Total Helmet – 160.8 grams/ 5.7 oz
  • Light – 57.8 grams
  • Large battery – 140.2 grams
  • Large battery pouch/strap – 42.2 grams
  • Handlebar mount (pad/zip ties/mount) – 16.9 grams
  • Total handlebar – 257.1 grams/9.1 oz

Next » Impressions

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Mark Ferris says:

    I have had a set of Ay-ups in various forms for what must be 4 years now. I have 3x lights and a silly amount of batterys and chargers etc. I use the lights on road commuting (country lanes and city), off road MTBing, and with the headband everything from DIY when you need a hands free light, putting the trash out, working in the dark in the garden, and taking my dog out walking in the depths of night. In all the best lights ever! I know they are not the most powerfull but the ease of use and flexibility is ace.

    Off out now to walk the dog (midnight and raining in Surrey) using my Ay-up lights on a headband :-)

    Mark Ferris

  • Paul says:

    Meh. Used to be at teh top and now overpriced and under powered. These suit adventure runners better than riders.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    The current LED’s are under powered, but their new versions are supposed to have a 40% increase (the specs are usually accurate), which moves them up slightly in the ranks, the pricing isn’t that bad when you consider you get an entire kit, you get 3 batteries, 2 lights, 2 mount systems and the headband, etc. Great kit for the adventure racer, and riders that frequent the woods and tight singletrack.

  • Dave, Edinburgh says:

    Underpowered? Has the darkness got darker where you’re riding? :|

    I’ve had Ay-Ups since 2008, they’re still good for 40mph descents on the road with the original batteries. I don’t necessarily think they’re the best, but, well, I can’t go much faster than that anyway!

    • David Whitmon says:

      I agree Dave. I run them on my Velomobile and I can cruise at 35 mph on the flats. It doesn’t take much of descent for me to hit 40 to 50 + mph.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    It is only in direct comparison to the competition, you get spoiled and expect more from the light output.

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