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SSC P7 LED Mountain Bike Light review 

SSC P7 900-Lumen 2-Mode LED Flashlight 25 from Dealextreme in Hong Kong. You will also   need:

Li-Ion Batteries  6 Twin pack

Charger 5

Plug Adapter 1.30

Optional helmet mount use two 1.75 each

Total Cost including postage at time of review 38 (Exchange rate will vary). Weight 121g without battery. Battery weight 50g. Complete weight 170g.

It's Really, seriously Bright!
Really bright lights for riding off road are expensive, most useful lights are over 100 which is serious money in anyone’s book, with some costing as much as a half decent starter bike! New LED technology and mass production have driven the price of bright lights down but mountain bike lights have not been sold in sufficient numbers to get the real price drop benefit. So we’re stuck with high price boutique brand specials, with admittedly impressive performance but many riders simply won’t invest.

Well that’s how it was but this year sees the introduction of an even more powerful single LED the Seoul P7 LED C-Bin emitter (catchy little name huh?). To give you an idea of how bright this light is it’s brighter than a 160 Joystick Maxx. It’s on a par with the 300 Niterider Trinewt which weighs 606g. So it’s cheap, light and bright but there’s a lot more to lights than just these facts, here are some more:

Burn time: Short, at one hour per battery on max.
Longevity: Too soon to tell, LEDs traditionally last a very long time but this one is being driven hard!
Size: It’s on the long side but at 14cms it’s not enormous.
Robustness: Should be good with all alloy construction.
Mounting options: Needs a separate handlebar mount or helmet mount e.g. zip ties.
Beam spread: It’s around a 90 degree flood with a brighter central spot and no dark rings.
Colour of light: It’s pretty white.
Regulation: (Does it dim or stay bright until the end?) It’s unregulated but stays fairly bright due to the battery type.
Waterproof? It’s not a true underwater lamp but these kind of flashlights have a good reputation in the rain and mine certainly survives a downpour.
Heat build up: Indoors, it gets hot! All bright lights do though and once moving it’s fine.
Lighting modes: Two modes, one fairly low, the other really high!
Power gauge: None.
Remote switch: No.
Weight: At 170g it’s certainly heavier than the Joystick Maxx (102g). It’s not too heavy for helmet mounting though. It’s appreciably lighter than the Hope Vision 1 (264g) which is a bit on the heavy side for helmet mounting.

So what's the catch?
So the headline downsides are you have to mount it yourself and the run time is only an hour. The Fenix bar mount works well enough though (even though I modified mine to make it rattle less
) which just leaves the run time as a deal breaker. So how much are you prepared to pay for a long run? Before we try and deal with that question I should point out some battery issues. Perhaps the main contender for this light is the Exposure Joystick Maxx, it’s not as bright but it does have a handy helmet/bar mount (just make sure to attach the lanyard and tie it too as they sometimes fall off, if the light is switched off you may lose it!). It does have a killer run time of 3 hours 45 Minutes though which is longer than most riders outings.

You can of course carry as many spare batteries as you like with the P7 and a second lamp is only 25 offering the opportunity of one on the bar and one on your helmet for only 65 with a total run of two hours. The combined light from these would challenge any single light on the market and much has been written about the advantages of a bar and helmet light pairing. So how much of your night ride is off road and do you really need full beam the whole time? If your rides are longer than two hours in darkness, are you thinking of going 24 hour racing? The Joystick Maxx may last your night laps but I wouldn’t count on it, preferring a backup light. There’s no way to transfer the power from the Joystick Maxx, it’s built in. With the P7 of course you can have as many fully charged batteries as you like. A pack of two costs around 6 so no worries there.

Using those brightness modes:
What I do with my lights is run the bar mounted lamp on its low setting on the road, l then go to max for the singletrack. Forest road climbs are fine with both lamps on low and they run for hours.

Some more on the light:
It’s an all aluminium construction, with a screw tail cap and end mounted, rubber push button operation. First press gives the high mode, second the low mode and third is off. It utilises a textured 'orange peel' reflector to avoid dark rings in the beam which mar the output of many lamps. More expensive units have clever lenses which capture more of the available light into the useful beam. The theoretical light output of the P7 is 700 Lumens but I estimate this lamps actual output is around 400-500 lumens (visually comparing it to the output of more expensive lamps).

Why should I buy one?

  • It's cheap for the quality
  • It's really bright
  • Has no competitors at the price
  • Great beam on helmet and bars

Why should you not buy one? 

  • You hate changing batteries
  • You're rich

Sounds like you're on comission?
Cynical lot... we're not.

To get the best out of your Li-Ion batteries see our article Extend the life of your Li-Ion Battery.

For more info visit Dealextreme To discuss this article visit the Forum.




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