Princeton Tec Switchback 2 Lights

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Switchback 2

  • LED Head Unit
  • Lithium Ion Batter Pack
  • Papid Smart Charger
  • 12V Car Charger
  • Handlebar Mount
  • Helmet Mount
  • Helmet Extenion Cord
  • Cable Straps

  • User Reviews (3)

    Showing 1-3 of 3  
    fastmtnbiker33w   Racer [Jan 15, 2009]
    Strength:

    Long battery life. All accessories imaginable. Charger for car and home. Really cool velcro for the straps. Extremely narrow beam that can focus on an animal or ridgeline a half mile away. Extremely well built. Princeton Tech made its name building dive lights. Peoples' lives depend on those. So I have faith that these will last through anything I can throw at them.

    Weakness:

    Large battery pack that is way heavier than some of the competitors. Beam may be too narrow for some.

    I got two of these on Pro-deal. Not a bad value if you can get them at that price or on sale. Right after I purchased them, Nashbar put them on sale for about $15 more than I paid for them. The beams are very focused and narrow. While previous reviewers state they aren't that bright, I can pick out the spot of these lights within the spot of my AyUps that are mounted on my bars. I ride in the desert and like to look around a lot when I ride. These lights are great for spotting wildlife. I can scan ridges and washes for distances our to about 800 meters and pick out details. These lights definitely need to be supplemented with something else on the bars.

    Similar Products Used: AyUp MTB kit. Lots of old halogen systems.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Available At:
    pinkrobe   Cross Country Rider [Dec 30, 2008]
    Strength:

    Comes with almost every possible accessory, including helmet mount and in-car charger. Handlebar mount works for std and OS bars. Awesome customer service!

    Weakness:

    Proprietary [fiddly] connectors for power, li-ion battery doesn't last that long for its size, not very bright.

    My wife has been running the Switchback 2 on her bike for a little over a year. However, since I do all the maintenance on her bikes and hear the complaints when something doesn't work, I'll chime in here.

    I have a few complaints about this light:

    Brightness - this is not really a bright light. When it came out in the spring of 2007, it would have been mostly on par with other LED lights in the same price range. It would not have compared well against something like a 600 lumen Trailtech HID, which was only slightly more expensive. If I had to guess at the output, it would be somewhere in the 150 lumen range. This is okay for slow/mellow mtn biking and for seeing where you are going with no other light sources available. It's okay as a "be seen" commuting light, but then again, so is a $20 blinky.

    Connectors. If they are cold, dirty or wet, they have a tendency not to engage properly. The screw-lock is often too tight to connect/disconnect easily. Relaxing the tolerances or adding some rubber into the connectors would make these easier to work with. If you snap one of the pins off [which I did], Princeton Tec will send you a replacement cable if you ask nicely.

    Battery life. The SB2 battery should be able to run for about 3 hours on "high", and this is what we were seeing for the first year of use. About 2 months ago, the run times started dropping to around 2 hours. In contrast, I'm still using the battery from my Trailtech HID three years after I bought it, with similar use patterns and no noticeable decrease in performance.

    Overall, this light is a a disappointment. My DIY LED light cost about the same but puts out 4x the light with similar runtimes from a [theoretically] similar battery. Princeton spec'd this light with a mid-level LED emitter circa 2007, and it just isn't up to snuff when compared with 2008 technology. After I build my wife a DIY light, I will attempt to upgrade the emitters in the SB2 to a Cree R2 or something and use it as a backup.

    Similar Products Used: BLT Fireball [pretty good], Niterider Flamethrower [?], Trailtech HID [pretty good], DIY [FTW]
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Upchuck   Racer [Dec 29, 2008]
    Strength:

    Ease of use. Long burn times. Well made. Durable.

    Weakness:

    Expensive at MSRP. Not bright enough for primary light while racing.

    This is an excellent commuter light, or as a secondary light on the trail. The beam is a bit on the yellow side compared to other LED systems. The product is well made and has proven to be very reliable. I wouldn't recommend it as a primary light for faster rides on the trail. It's barely bright as a helmet light for looking around corners while racing. Overall, this is a good, reliable light. I wouldn't recommend paying full retail. There are better lights out there at this price point. If you really want it, find it at an online retailer on ebay.

    Similar Products Used: NightRider BlowTorch HID. Light&Motion Seca 700. Trinewt. Minewt.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Showing 1-3 of 3  

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