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It’s true! I can’t help prettifying my boyish ol’ hybrid. I even spoil her with baskets of strawberries picked fresh from the farm (!), but sometimes I skimp on the necessary accoutrements. It’s been a looong time coming, but I’ve finally committed. I used to cheap out on bike lights, but I got wise and now invest in the good gear. Hence, here are my 2 cents for buying bright lights.

mec turtle lights are cheap in cost and quality
Yes, I said it. The MEC Turbo Turtle light kinda sucks. Don’t get me wrong. Over the years, I’ve bought way too many Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Turtle lights to count, ’cause, hey, they’re seriously cheap for a bike light ($4.75).

And there’s lots I LOVE about the cheap ‘n’ cheerful Turtle light:
• The three-volt lithium batteries are cheap (50 cents each at MEC; two required).
• They’ve two bright LEDs.
• They take up very little prime handlebar space.
• A wee one can conveniently double as a flashlight in a movie theatre. In fact, I keep one or two permanently attached to the zipper pulls on my daypack for those emergency searches in a dark cinema!
• They’re easy to attach and remove in seconds.

PROBLEM: They pretty much get ruined whenever it rains. Real pain, lemme tell ya. I’ve come to find the Turtle light so useless that I don’t bother to take it off my bike when I lock up outside, because I rationalize that no one will steal my ratty old light. Yet someone recently did.

Knog Gekko bike light

Now, I decided to invest in the Knog Gekko bike light after my ol’ Turtle lights were stolen (bike theft is rampant in Toronto!). Because if I’m going to pay more, I’d rather buy one quality bike light instead of quantities of cheap lights. I said pay more, not a lot. Instead of buying yet another tiny Turtle light, I splurged $30 on a hefty Knog Gekko front light, and, boy, am I glad I did.

The Knog Gekko has plenty of perks:
• It’s superbright with three LEDs.
• It has three modes (constant, fast flashing, slow flashing).
• It’s visible up to 600 metres.
• It lasts 220 hours (when flashing; 30 hours when constant).
• It uses two AAA batteries, which are included, though I’ve since switched to rechargeable batteries.
• It has a one-piece silicone casing, which is water resistant. Can you say awesome?
• It’s available as a front light (white LEDs) and rear light (red LEDs); both are shown above.

The Gekko is obviously more expensive than MEC’s humble Turtle light, but it’s well worth the expense because that awesome silicone casing protects the light in a downpour. That means no more buying a new light every time I get caught riding in a rainshower. Saving me a trip to the store is worth more than the additional dollars!

And did I mention how pretty the Gekko is in pink? It comes in four fun colours, plus the more staid black, white and translucent. Now, hurry up and grab both the front and rear lights and shed some light on the road ahead.


good design is pretty + practical!
Now that Toronto finally has snow
and subzero temps, I can tackle
my B-icicle challenge well
equipped with girly gear:
my cute ‘n’ colourful Gekko,
my Public Federico bell…all I’m
missing is my Nutcase Dots helmet.
Soon, very soon.