The ‘shed-made’ Troute lights have built up an impressive reputation over the past couple of years and this latest lamp is a proper heavyweight night fighter.
The big machined head unit is fronted with a mix of four XPG and three XPE LEDs that combine to give a mix of decent distance and broad 3D illumination.
It’s noticeably not as bright on the trail as the similarly lux-rated D-Star Septair and Exposure Six Pack lights we’ve just tested, but overall coverage is outstanding.
The more natural colour temperature that Troute deliver gives a lot more subtle trail detail than more starkly contrasting blue-white lights. It’s a lot more easy on the eye and less prone to bounce back glare too. The 7UP’s medium setting was enough for most of the technical test riding we did.
There’s enough upward and downward light to keep everything lit on rollercoaster trail centre trails or through bombholes, and the broad spread of light means you don’t have to worry too much about accurate positioning on the bar either.
The head unit is too bulky for helmet use but it’s extremely robust and well sealed so it should shrug off most spills or weather without worry. Maker-direct backup from Chris at Troute is excellent too, in the rare event you do have a problem.
Red light monitored run times are impressive even at full power. A single easy-press button controls the power settings sequentially once you’ve worked out the less than intuitive startup and selection process. The battery is heavy and bulky for it’s capacity, though.
The ‘camera’ style bag our sample came in was a really awkward rounded shape too, making it difficult to fit on a frame, and the supplied fixing strap was too short to be much use. We’ve now got a new battery with a longer strap, though, and there’s a bottle battery option if your frame has the right mounts.
While the 7up is new, we ran a Troute Liberator Mk2 all last year with excellent reliability apart from a rogue loose lead jack. We’re just starting testing on a new Liberator 3 light with uprated LEDs in a slightly modified, laser etched head complete with new screw-in cable too – a good job as the 7up has sold out until the start of 2011.
Troute 7up beam: troute 7up beam Russell Burton
Beam shot – Troute 7UP
For more information of how we tested this year’s crop of lights, see our latest buyer’s guide to mountain bike lights and Tested: 30 high-power mountain bike lights.