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Launched within the spring, the Supernova M99 DY PRO is a singular dynamo-powered headlight with a turbo-charged “excessive beam” mode and high-end construct high quality. Kyle Ponce has been testing one on roads and trails round Germany all through the autumn to learn the way its modern design holds as much as the pains of bikepacking. Discover his overview right here…
Right here in Northern Germany, we now discover ourselves plunging into the darkness of one other winter. It’s the time of 12 months when the solar begins setting earlier than you’ve had your afternoon espresso. Staying out all day within the saddle not solely requires a number of wool layers however a reliable lighting system as properly. Happily, Supernova not too long ago despatched me the latest member to their already stellar lineup of dynamo lights, the M99 DY PRO, which is their strongest dynamo gentle but. After loads of time testing it out, I’m comfortable to share my ideas and impressions of their top-of-the-line gentle.
Out of the field
Like every other Supernova product, the construct high quality of the M99 is exact and reassuring. At 120 grams, it feels just a little hefty within the hand, however in a approach that indicators sturdiness. The sunshine’s physique is product of aluminum with a smooth matte anodized end. The glass lens, which is particularly designed for influence resistance, seems thick and robust. Behind that could be a polished array of faceted mirrors that mirror and redirect highly effective overhead LEDs out and down vary. This expertise is one thing that Supernova proudly advertises as being borrowed from the Automotive trade—maybe one thing that, a minimum of amongst my group of car-loathing associates, could be higher left unmentioned. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless dazzling to have a look at. Lastly, three well-insulated wires path away from the primary physique: one to attach a rear gentle, one for the dynamo, and one to attach the excessive beam swap. Extra on that later.
Setting it up
I used Supernova’s common mount to affix the M99 DY PRO squarely on the middle of my handlebars. After all, there are myriad methods to run a entrance gentle, together with on the fork crown or bolted onto a mini rack. All of those positions will have an effect on the sunshine’s beam sample, however for the sake of this overview, I’ve chosen to arrange mine as prescribed on Supernova’s web site.
The final step is to attach the sunshine to its energy supply, the dynamo hub. Because of Supernova’s clear labeling, arrange of the sunshine is simple. After all, it takes some finesse to realize a brilliant skilled look with dynamo cabling, however that’s a subject for a future submit. Within the case of the M99 DY PRO, arrange means shortening the dynamo cable to the right size after which including, crimping, and heat-shrinking spade connectors. And, in my case, urgent them onto the male connectors of my SON dynamo hub. Voilà! A fast spin of the wheel turning on the sunshine indicators success. In case you’re eager to mount a rear gentle, merely join each poles of coaxial cable collectively after which solder or quick-connect them. Then, warmth shrink, zip-tie, and affix to your bike, and also you’re all set.
Within the area
Relying on the kind of using you’re setting out for, a strong gentle could be value its weight in gold. Not like Battery-powered lights, the M99 DY PRO—paired with a dynamo hub—is about as much as take you removed from house with out ever having to fret about operating out of energy once more. Nevertheless, that sort of reliability comes with a hefty price ticket. At 325 euros (€273/$282 outdoors of the EU), this gentle actually received’t match into everybody’s funds, and it’s not one thing I’d advise shopping for with out confirming it fits your distinctive wants. With that in thoughts, let’s take a more in-depth take a look at a few key components to assist decide if it’s proper on your secure.
To say the M99 DY PRO is vibrant could be an understatement. On my first night out with the sunshine, I used to be blown by its energy. With 700 lumens of sunshine, every little thing is illuminated. Not simply the street forward of you, but in addition options off to the periphery.
The sunshine’s highly effective beam makes it straightforward to see branches, roots, potholes, and different obstacles properly into the space. Not like much less highly effective lights, it permits your eyes to chill out, and biking at evening can really feel nearly as easy as doing so in daylight.
Trip a bit quicker—round 20 or extra kilometers an hour—and the little handlebar-mounted swap begins glowing white to point that top beam is prepared. Urgent the button modifications its shade from white to blue and bathes every little thing in its path with 1,000 lumens of unadulterated dynamo energy.
Extra on excessive beam
Activating excessive beam not solely provides extra brightness to your visible area, however it additionally opens up the highest portion as properly. You’ll be able to think about this working precisely the identical because the excessive beam perform in a automotive. Sigh. In response to Supernova, the M99 DY is the primary dynamo-powered gentle to supply such a perform. Beforehand, this was deemed not possible on account of strict beam sample requirements in Germany. Such regulation (often called StVZO) exists to make sure that bicycle lights don’t blind unsuspecting pedestrians or motorists.
Excessive beam is simply protected past metropolis limits, and it’s a welcome perform when out within the backcountry. This characteristic actually shines when blasting down forest roads and grime trails at excessive pace. Nevertheless, excessive beam mechanically switches off the second you dip under 20ish kilometers an hour. Since I’m no skilled, this meant my excessive beam was successfully rendered ineffective whereas twisting alongside tight trails and singletrack. I used the excessive beam as a lot as a lot as attainable throughout my testing, however, admittedly, it was principally only a get together trick to impress my associates. For my type of using, which consists principally of informal on and off-road touring, 700 lumens is loads.
To me, a lightweight’s beam sample (typically known as “modeling”) is simply as necessary as its brightness. For my part, the SON Edelux II, the most effective lights available on the market, excels on this class. The sunshine is modeled to put solely on the street with out being wasted by shining into the abyss. On this respect, I’m comfortable to report that Supernova nailed it. The M99 throws gentle precisely the place you want it and nowhere you don’t. Distinction that with one other very highly effective gentle, the Sinewave Beacon (keep tuned for our overview quickly), which roughly shoots gentle straight out quite than asymmetrically shaping it with particular person, angled mirrors. After all, a part of the M99’s design is a byproduct of these aforementioned StVZO requirements, however there’s extra to the story than constraints alone. This gentle sample additionally means you may journey or commute responsibly by the town with out blinding anybody. A pleasant characteristic certainly.
Anybody who’s had expertise with dynamo lighting is aware of that gentle flicker at low pace is an inevitable a part of such lighting techniques. Mild flicker is solely an engineering constraint with regards to dynamo lighting. Not like battery-powered lights, dynamo lights expertise some latency earlier than their capacitors are totally charged. Getting rolling, this delay could be noticed as a flicker. Since smaller, much less luminous lights take much less energy to run, they may usually expertise little or no flicker. In some instances with smaller lights, comparable to some Busch + Müller fashions, the sparkle is just about indetectable. Nevertheless, high-powered dynamo lights such because the Sinewave Beacon and M99 DY PRO have extra obvious flickering.
In my testing, the M99 flickered when using under round eight kilometers an hour. Past this pace, a stable gentle took over. Usually talking, flicker was by no means an issue since I’d often get spinning as much as that pace in just some seconds. As soon as the sunshine’s capacitor is totally charged, you may come to a full cease and a security standlight will stay on. Begin once more, and also you received’t discover any flicker in any respect since energy can be being drawn from the capacitor.
- 700 lumens of dynamo-powered gentle, 1,000 with high-beam
- Wonderful gentle beam sample but nonetheless secure
- Excessive-end construct high quality backed by five-year guarantee
- High-end worth level isn’t for each funds
- Automotive terminology and imagery for bike components (e.g. excessive beam and its corresponding swap icon)
- Lumens: 700/1,000
- Materials: Aluminum
- Weight: 120 grams with out mount
- Worth: €325 (€273/$282 with out VAT)
- Place of Manufacture: Germany
- Producer’s particulars: Supernova-Lights.com
If what you’re after is among the brightest and best-performing dynamo lights available on the market, I don’t imagine you are able to do a lot better than Supernova’s M99 DY PRO. In my testing, I discovered that it outperformed my Sinewave Beacon in various methods—most notably its gentle patterning and brightness with the inclusion of excessive beam.
For my part, this gentle is finest suited to extremely cyclists and fans whose type of using requires the brightest gentle attainable. It’s value noting that Sofianne Sehilli not too long ago received the Silk Street Mountain Race utilizing this gentle, and there’s little doubt he’d have made good use of his excessive beam. After all, hardcore commuters may also discover the M99 equally helpful in the course of the darkest depths of winter. However based mostly on my expertise, for informal using or uncompetitive bikepacking, this gentle might doubtless be overkill. For these varieties of actions, any variety of inexpensive dynamo-powered lights would definitely hold you out safely properly into the evening.
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