Ay Up has been producing its lighting systems for a few years now, and since we first tried the originals, the Aussie company has been continuously improving its product. They’re probably the most popular lights seen at endurance races and night rides on both sides of the Tasman, which is no surprise as they really are a brilliant system.
I say ‘system’ because if I were to list all the features and bits and pieces you get with an Ay Upkit, it would fill this page. So go to their website for all the tech info. What we can tell you is that these lights rule. They are the lightest and the simplest. Maybe not the brightest on the market, but bright enough for racing and trail riding.
On the trail they perform as well as or better than any higher priced units we’ve tried. The beam patterns are pretty well dialled, and while the wide beam on the bars could perhaps be a touch wider, you won’t really notice or care. The helmet mounted spot lets you scope the trail ahead, and together these two combine to deliver a bright, white, full coverage light.
The new Gecko mounts for the helmet light and battery units are simple and quick to use, once you’ve set up the Velcro patches. I managed to place them in the vents of my helmet so that no unsightly mounts are visible when day riding. The bar mount is zip-tied on, which could be improved but hey, that’s nit picking. They stay put and that’s all that matters.
The Li-ion batteries are tiny, easy to mount, last as long as advertised and charge quickly. You get a couple of three hour batteries plus a six hour one, so you’ll never be left wanting for juice––you can easily stuff a spare in your pack or pocket.
Sure, there are cheaper lights out there. And there are brighter ones too (although not many). But for the best of both worlds, this is a great value, high performance package that definitely puts the Ay Ups at the top of the tree in off-road lighting systems.