New Fenix BC30 Bike Light Review - Dual distance beam -Twin XM-L2 T6

Wurkkos

Derek Dean

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
2,399
Location
Monterey, CA
Phil, I get the feeling you've never seen a Philips bike light up close. It really does have a precision engineered reflector, similar in nature to many car headlights. I think if you ever road with one you might have a completely different view.

Look, I'm not trying to take anything away from the BC30, and I applaud Fenix for continuing their exploration in the field of bike lighting, and as I said, I'm sure the BC30 will be a great light for a lot of folks.

I just think you were a bit quick to dismiss the wonderful qualities of a longstanding benchmark in shaped beam bike lighting like the Philips Bike Light.
 

CyclingSalmon14

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
944
Well, got to say, its durable, crashed into a novice who grabbed a handfull of break (the group didn't verbal signal and as new did not know to look for sings)

Shifters bent, chain off, buckled wheel, theguy I hit got a flat.

But, the light up to this point stayed on throughout all my other crashes and tumbles, so its solid mount!

But alas came of this time, went jumping and skittleing across the ground...and not even a scratch, still perfect, very slight dent but hardly visible.

I like the plastic mount, if something needs to break I'd rather it be the mount.

Oh as for the burst switch, its very useful for attention grabbing but little else, other than going through short pitch black areas ect not worth changing up in modes for.

But often if I need to grab attention hat quickly I'd rather grab the break than the light...

So great on paper as said, but have found it sometimes very useful, I/e saying thank you to cars, and flashing the [Insert swear word]

As far as the so called loose fitting switch, mine twist out easily by hand, but has never fallen out in a ride.

I have a 9Amp P60 coming for when I just need more light (off road only ahaha)

So when k get that, I will just for giggles turn on my BC30vn + HL55vn + P60vn all on turbo....it will be insane! I'd guess at 6K lumens give or take 1K.
 

bentbike

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
7
thanks for the in depth review. I am planning on using this light on a greenspeed tadpole recumbent trike, so therefore it will be within 2 feet og the ground, i am not sure if these optics will work well in this scenario. I also like the burst switch, i will need to extend the cable ,as with a trike the light are out of reach, mounted near the chainring and feet. The ability to hit the brights from the cockpit, is important . Any suggestions on what type of wire to use to extend it and a supplier. I realize it will probably be a splice which i can do, bit i am new to the bike light mods and can keep trial and error down bu using bight light modder suppliers. I am going to try and mod my other $20 cree O-ring attached + external battery pack that have the pushbutton on the rear to a cockpit switch if that is possible/worthwhile.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
6,077
Location
dfw.tx.us
thanks for the in depth review. I am planning on using this light on a greenspeed tadpole recumbent trike, so therefore it will be within 2 feet og the ground, i am not sure if these optics will work well in this scenario. I also like the burst switch, i will need to extend the cable ,as with a trike the light are out of reach, mounted near the chainring and feet. The ability to hit the brights from the cockpit, is important . Any suggestions on what type of wire to use to extend it and a supplier. I realize it will probably be a splice which i can do, bit i am new to the bike light mods and can keep trial and error down bu using bight light modder suppliers. I am going to try and mod my other $20 cree O-ring attached + external battery pack that have the pushbutton on the rear to a cockpit switch if that is possible/worthwhile.

The burst switch looks to use a mono 2.5mm headphone connector. If you can find an extension cable for one of those rarities, then you could probably just plug-and-play; use of a stereo cable should be fine since the pinouts will be the same (EDIT: the extra contact won't be an issue since it won't be used). If you're going to hack something, then there's probably no reason to abuse the pack-in switch : the burst mode just shorts the pins and surely carries no significant current.

Disclaimer: I was not able to locate one of the silly 2.5mm headphones I have from an old cell phone to confirm, but it's definitely smaller diameter and shorter than a 3.5mm headphone connector.
 
Last edited:

CyclingSalmon14

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
944
If you mean the BC30 is looks very big in photos?!

I though OMG its massive! But in person its no bigger than a top end exposure, in fact its smaller volume wise , better shape and much more streamlined, vs say a Exposure's Sixpack and that is large!
 

mechBgon

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
566
Thanks for the review! I came looking for a review to see if it really does scorch the foreground like Fenix's advertising says. That might be handy when picking a line through a rock garden at low speed, but for highway riding, I want the light strongest at long range. Somewhat like a camera on AUTO exposure, my eyes adjust for the brightest area in the scene, so an overilluminated foreground effectively equates to a dim view of the distance. So I'll have to pass on this one :( unless I want to mount it upside down! Hey Fenix, gonna make one that's optimized for highway use?
 

CyclingSalmon14

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
944
...I know what they mean but tbh, I just aim mine up a tad and its fine, still dont blind on coming traffic, cant say I v managed to blind myself yet with a bright foregound, might just be me thougu.
 

lumicycle

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
36
Has anyone tried this helmet-mounted? Or maybe you wouldn't because you already know it would be too heavy? Or you just wouldn't want this type of beam on a helmet?
 

Skyraider59

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
178
Location
Sussex, England
Thanks for the review! I came looking for a review to see if it really does scorch the foreground like Fenix's advertising says. That might be handy when picking a line through a rock garden at low speed, but for highway riding, I want the light strongest at long range. Somewhat like a camera on AUTO exposure, my eyes adjust for the brightest area in the scene, so an overilluminated foreground effectively equates to a dim view of the distance. So I'll have to pass on this one :( unless I want to mount it upside down! Hey Fenix, gonna make one that's optimized for highway use?

You still get a very good reach/throw,I think the way their optic works is: the high beams usually lighting the tree are bounced back on the ground in front of you, giving you a flood effect in the foreground but without compromising the throw. For me the BC30 with its warm tint work very well on the road as it stop the bouncing glare from the tarmac often created by some of the harsh cool white thrower! I have used successfully both on the road and on forest trails and it really works very well. The reach of the beam of course does depend a lot on the light height adjustment.
 

Skyraider59

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
178
Location
Sussex, England
Has anyone tried this helmet-mounted? Or maybe you wouldn't because you already know it would be too heavy? Or you just wouldn't want this type of beam on a helmet?



I must admit I am tempted but at 260gr in one 50mm wide and 127mm long lump, this would have to be very carefully positioned and you would also have to make a custom mount for this! But again some of the Exposure light are pretty big! So could be worth a try!!!!
 
Last edited:

lumicycle

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
36
I must admit I am tempted but at 260gr in one 50mm wide and 127mm long lump, this would have to be very carefully positioned and you would also have to make a custom mount for this! But again some of the Exposure light are pretty big! So could be worth a try!!!!

I suppose...I've just never had anything mounted on my helmet so don't know how much weight makes how much a difference. Just seemed like 260 gr is within the range of variation for helmet weights anyway so was just wondering if it would be an issue.

Any thoughts on how this type of beam would function as a helmet light? Alternative, with this as a bar light, what kind of beam would be ideal to pair it with in a helmet light? A light with more throw?
 

diylighter2

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
4
Question for the modders: What do you think the level of effort would be to change the wiring so that the remote button changes the output level (same as the main switch), rather than serving the single purpose of putting the light into burst mode (not achievable from the main button)?

I would think that since the main switch is just a switch (open circuit until pressed), I should be able to attach the wiring from the remote plug to the same 2 points as the main switch. A rough diagram on paper confirms that if the main button is pressed with the remote connected as well, the circuit is closed. So it would be an either or situation. If both buttons were pressed at the same time, should still be okay in that the circuit is closed. The only gotcha could be that the main switch is lighted by small led, but surely I can figure out which wires are for that purpose.

Thoughts? Am I missing something? I only have basic soldering and wiring skills, not advanced circuitry.

Thank you!

Sheldon
 

diylighter2

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
4
It's a great light for the bars. I complement with a zebralight helmet mounted, and the combo is a great neutral white color match. Actually, I have a hard time telling which is which because neither is super spotty, but that's just something to get used to (in a good way). I do wish the remote were more useful for mountain biking, but it's not a feature that competitors provide and it's optional. The mount is super sturdy (I can attest to that via crashing). I get around 2 hrs of 1200 lumen power with 3100mah panasonics. Since rides are often 2.5-3 hrs, I will carry a spare or knock down to 500 lumens which is actually not bad.
 

Scooby214

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
123
I agree that this is a great handlebar light. As a commuter, I find the remote button to be very useful. It serves as my "light horn" to signal motorists. For most of my utility/commuting rides, the BC30 is the only headlight I need. When I need additional light, I use a Convoy S2 tube light on my helmet. The neutral XP-G2 emitter in my S2 makes a great complementary beam to the BC30 on the bars.
 

castorcan

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
3
I know the BC30 has a low power indicator. Does anyone know if it also has over-discharge protection circuitry (useful for use with unprotected batteries)? Does it step down the power as the batteries drain and then turn off at a safe minimum voltage?
 

Skyraider59

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
178
Location
Sussex, England
Use mine for mountain biking with Solarstorm X2 on helmet (to be replaced by GlowormX2 on my next ride), I like the mixture of warm light on my bar and harsh white one on my lid, works for me.
I also remember reading people having problems with the cradle, ie closing and opening. Don't have that problem, but I keep the o ring lubricated with rubber grease, makes all the difference!
I still run a pair of Fenix 2600 as they have a fairly flat top, I have tried some Pluzpower 3400batteries, better run time but due to the button type cells, they are more difficult to remove from the cradle.

The remote burst switch is good for road use but no good while mountain biking. My favourite bar light, the only thing missing for me is a USB port to charge the batteries without having to remove them!
 

hakka

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
5
Getting ready for a ride, i mounted my BC-30 and the external switch onto my bike, i pressed the remote button a few times to ensure it was working. Turned it all off and went inside for about 30 minutes, returned to the shed to find the light stuck on the 1800 lumen boost mode. I tried to turn it off but it was way too hot to touch, i got some gloves but the power switch was unresponsive. Had to pull the batteries to make it shut down.

thermal protection didn't kick in a drop the brightness, im hoping i haven't damaged the eagletac 18650s that i got 2 days ago.

problem seems to be in the external button, i put a fresh set of batteries in and it went straight back to boost mode. Disconnected the switch and its back to normal.
 
Top