I reviewed the original Planet Bike Blaze 2 watt bicycle headlight back in 2010 and it’s stayed on my handlebars ever since. But everything can be improved and Planet Bike has made the already-wonderful Blaze even more wonderful-er with a sleek, slim design, longer run times, and a lower price point. We sent one to our night-riding tester, Paul Meier, and here’s what he had to report.
My daily commute usually has me working after sunset and my normal light set-up isn’t bike-specific, so I was really interested to test the Planet Bike Blaze Micro. I also had access to one of the original 2-watt Blaze lights so I mounted both the original and the new Blaze 2-watt Micro on my commuter bike to see how Planet Bike had improved the Blaze.
The Blaze Micro is significantly smaller than the original Blaze. Planet Bike has kept the same mounting mechanism so it’s very easy to slide the light off its mount and tuck it in a pocket after use. I felt like I could see the road more clearly with the warmer, more natural light tones of Blaze Micro, while the older Blaze had a colder, more blue light.
As far as beam pattern, the original Blaze light was thrown in a egg shape, with more peripheral and not as much forward light. Traveling faster than a brisk walking pace made me feel like I was over-driving the light. The Micro Blaze produced a narrower and more linear forward light pattern. This increased the frontal lighting at the expense of peripheral light, but more light is thrown in the path you’re actually riding so you have better visibility of road obstacles directly in your line of travel. With the Micro I felt comfortable riding my normal 10-12 mph commuting pace. – Paul Meier
Planet Bike claims the new Blaze produces 139 lumens and will last up to 64 hours in its flashing mode and 10 hours at the brightest solid setting, which is another improvement over the original Blaze run times. At around $40 ($20 less than the original Blaze 2 watt) the new Micro is a great value for commuters and road riders alike.
Planet Bike has also tweaked the Blaze’s best friend, the Superflash Turbo tail light. It runs longer and burns a steadier light throughout the battery life of about 100 hours, but the best improvement is in the on-off button. While the original Superflash was a little challenging to switch on with gloves, the new version gives you a satisfying “click” with a light touch.
Both lights make a winning team for evening and low-light riding situations. Don’t forget that Planet Bike devotes 25% of its profits to bicycle advocacy – one more reason to give these lights a try.
Planet Bike Blaze 2-watt Micro, msrp: $39.99
(available in gloss black, pearl white, and red chrome)
Micro plus Superflash Turbo Tail Light, msrp: $74.99