Spotting Skippy in the Dark - Indigo 5 Review 

September 01, 2015
Spotting Skippy in the Dark - Indigo 5 Review

Spring might be here but regardless many of us are a long way away from starting our ride in the light. It's still dark early in the morning, which of course means safety is a number one concern. Depending on the roads you ride, there could well be lack of adequate lighting at either end of your day. I ride the majority of my kilometres on country roads with very little lighting, so when the Indigo 5, which boasts 1800 lumen, was given to me to test and review, I was pretty keen to see what it could do.

Normally a light kicking out that kind of strength and power would be enormous and would require cables or a separate battery. As an example my regular light for early mornings on the country roads has a separate battery that sits in one of my rear pockets with a cable running to the light which is mounted to my handlebars... not ideal. In contrast, the Indigo 5 has no cables and relies on an internal battery to keep it running. It weighs in at 166grams (excluding the battery) and is pretty compact at 122mm long and 46mm in diameter.

See also: SealSkinz Ultra Grip Hi Vis gloves - keeping your hands from falling off in winter...

The next obvious question is, 'what are the run times of the internal battery?' And the answer is very impressive. For the majority of riders the low and medium setting is all that will be required on even the darkest rides. The medium setting will last for three hours and the low setting for seven. The high setting will last for an hour but to be honest, the high setting feels more like using the high beams on a truck... It is so bright you'll hardly ever need it. The only time I ever put it on is when crossing a main road between a paddock and national park where kangaroos tend to jump across. Using the high setting allowed me to see right to the end of the road and it would probably blind the kangaroos if they even thought of making the leap across.

The Indigo 5 has focused a lot of attention on what you see as well as the strength of the light. The light is thrown out wide and deep meaning there isn't a focus 50 metres down the road and nothing else, which again is handy for spotting those pesky roos when riding at 40kph at 5:30am! They call this 'Broad Beam technology' and is a very noticeable feature on the 5. For Mountain Bikers and Cyclocross riders, (basically anyone riding trails) the wide stream from the 5 will give you a great view of what is coming at you from all directions, not just straight ahead.

See also: Making a Tandem Dream Reality

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The 5 is described as weather proof and crash proof and is manufactured from machined aircraft grade aluminium and finished with military spec. anodising. I know very little about aircraft grade aluminium and military spec. anodising but it felt pretty robust. (thankfully I didn't get to test out the crash proof aspect of it)

The highlight for me were the mounts which are an sold separately. There are four options; roadie, MTB, dual and uni. I used the dual mount and loved it. Having my Garmin and light on one piece of equipment that didn't get in the way of my hand position on the bars was bliss! As soon as you are up and running, you don't notice the mount at all, and not once did I feel it affect the handling of the bike and weight at the front end. There is also a small rubber ring for added security to ensure the 5 stays in place, it's probably not required but it provides piece of mind.

See also: This sweet T5 commuter

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The only issue people will be thinking with this light, is 'Do I really need all that power? This is a legitimate question as soon as you see how powerful the light is. Simon from Indigo is busy working on the rest of the range, which will be less powerful than the 5, and therefore more suitable for road and commuters. In the meantime there is a cool 'Racing Heart' option which resembles a heartbeat, reminding motorists you’re a living being and not an inanimate object.

The Indigo 5 ticks all the boxes, it's light, portable, robust and accompanied with one of the mounts, makes the perfect addition to the cockpit of any bike, on road or off.

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