Torch Apparel brings you the M1, a beautiful prototype cycling helmet with a 500 lumens detachable torch.
You have 12 more miles to go.
The cold grabbed you by the neck at the outset and never slackened its grip. Your energy level dropped below zero hours ago. You’re moving forward on hope, water and energy gel.
It’s been a sluggish slog.
You’ve had your fair share of flat tires. Your rear derailleur jammed twice. Your brake cable snapped halfway through the race.
The lack of light amplifies your troubles.
You vow, like last year and the years before, never to do a night time MTB race again.
To brighten your mood further, your handlebar-mounted light is all over the show. The swivel conked out ten kilos ago. You’re forced to adjust the light every few feet. You’re all for adventure, but riding a mountain bike on a narrow trail in the middle of the night with a broken cycle light is too much for you.
If only you had a headlamp. Something fixed to your head that shines where you look. But something that’s not so bulky that it requires you to ride without a helmet.
Here’s something you’d be interested in.
Torch Apparel, makers of the T2 cycling helmet, is expanding their range with the addition of the M1. They call it the world’s brightest bike helmet.
Let’s take a look.
What is the Torch M1?
The Torch M1 is a cycling helmet with a removable, rechargeable LED light that offers two shine modes with four different settings.
M1 vs T2
Torch isn’t new to crowdfunding. They received $68,170 from a Kickstarter campaign asking for $45,000. This was for their T1 helmet, many years ago. It was a helmet with lighting, front and rear.
They’ve since upgraded the T1 to the T2. And now they’re asking for funding for the M1.
What’s the difference between the T2 and the M1?
This, from Torch’s FAQ page:
The lights of the T2 are meant to spread light in all directions to make you visible to motorists, not to light your path. Lumens are determined by the power of the light source and the degree of angle the light is focused to therefor [sic] we do not rate our lights in Lumens.
So the T2 offers visibility, not illumination.
The M1 offers illumination and visibility.
I’m not going into a study of lumens and lux with this post. Lighting is a complex subject.
The M1 gives an output of 500 lumens.
Torch Apparel looked at increasing output. But too much light makes you a safety risk for other cyclists and motorists.
500 lumens provides ample illumination.
Let’s allow Banner Engineering to shine some light on the subject with their Lux/Lumen calculator.
The M1 shines at a 30 degree angle.
Providing the calculator with those details gives you a beam width of 17.58ft (5.36 meters) at a distance of 32.8ft (10 meters.)
To put it another way…
If you stood the M1 32.8ft (10 meters) from a flat wall and shone it at the wall, it would illuminate the wall with a beam 17.58ft (5.36 meters) wide.
The M1 gives you two output modes with three levels of illumination:
- High – 500 lumens
- Medium – 250 lumens
- Low – 100 lumens
- 100 lumens
The pulse mode is for foggy rides. It’s aimed at making you visible to motorists and other riders.
The lower settings save your battery from draining. You won’t always need 500 lumens.
You don’t have to charge the light while it’s in the helmet. It’s removable.
Double your night riding time by buying an extra light to carry with you when you go cycling.
Or use the M1 without the LED light if you’re cycling in broad daylight.
The M1 is tough and safe.
Although you’re not bound to using it for off-road cycling only, Torch based the M1’s design on off-road cycling conditions.
When they designed the M1 they took into account the shimmying and shaking off-road cyclists experience.
The helmet meets the following certification requirements:
- CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission)
- CE (EU Conformity)
Torch put the M1 through many safety trials to ensure that it provides good impact absorption and ample penetration resistance.
The M1 comes with a built-in rear LED light that makes you visible to motorists and other cyclists.
What’s it made of?
The M1’s made from a polycarbonate shell with an EPS foam interior.
It stays lit for long
The 500 lumens mode gives you 90 minutes of usage, while the pulse mode gives you up to eight hours.
The M1’s light runs on a lithium polymer battery. It uses a gel-like electrolyte for enhanced stability and impact resistance. It’s safer than a lithium ion battery.
The battery takes three hours to charge.
How does it charge?
The M1 has a USB charging port.
You can charge the M1 using any USB enabled device.
The Torch M1 ships with a USB charging cable.
Torch Apparel’s T2, while not ugly, is an acquired taste. It’s not everyone’s idea of attractive. It looks like a BMX helmet.
The M1 looks more like an MTB helmet. It looks better than most cycling helmets I’ve seen. It’s sleek.
The Torch M1 looks like a beautiful cycling helmet.
The 500 lumens gives you ample light for night cycling.
The M1 meets international safety standards. Rest assured that you’re as safe as can be when you wear this helmet.
The LED light gives you four modes to choose from, three normal with varying illumination and one pulse option.
Not happy with the 90 minutes shine time? Buy an extra light and double your cycling time.
If you’re a cyclist, the M1 should be on your radar.