Bucking a Trend with the Fenix BC21R Bike Light

Back in the Spring, I received the Fenix BC21R Bike Light to review (currently on sale for $75 on the Fenix website). For my day job, I commute by bike and I was really looking forward to giving the light a good test. The problem was, they sent the light right around the switch to daylight saving’s time, so I am not getting around to the review until now.

Sorry about that.

My trusty steed with the Fenix BC21R mounted on the bar.

I really hate to admit this, but I am a brand loyal kind of a guy. I pretty much only wear Nike shoes since we received them for free on my college basketball team (Go ‘U’ Bears!). Despite the compelling evidence provided by my physician wife, I will only take Advil even though all ibuprofen is (apparently) the same. And unless it is Crest toothpaste, well, there is a problem since that is the brand that was foisted upon me by my loving mother.

Then there are all of my cycling loyalties, and they are a bit more entrenched. I won’t go too far down that rabbit hole since if you are not a cyclist, you will only be convinced that I am hopelessly OCD and if you are a cyclist, I will not be telling you anything that you do not already know.

A bit of background nonetheless: I used to manage a bike shop in Northern California and I remain quite loyal to many of the brands that we sold in that shop (the store was in Sausalito, California, which just might be one of the most fantastic places to live in this country). I raced on Cannonade bikes because we sold them (and my store was the top seller of the brand in the country one year); I wore Carnac shoes (which are now defunct), I only used Continental tires (even though they are German), and thanks to a generous sales rep, I will only wear Oakley glasses (either sun or prescription).

There was one more. Marin County is the home of the mountain bike and even though I had no real experience in the genre, once I started working at the shop, it was clear that I needed to embrace the dirt (i.e., mountain biking). The mountain bike was invented on Mount Tamalpais, the iconic mountain in Marin, by a host of the county’s residents: Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, and Tom Ritchey (among others).

The problem is that in Marin, the home of the mountain bike, on the very mountain that gave birth to the most significant development in cycling over the last 100 years, riding a mountain bike on Mount Tamalpais single track (arguably the most enjoyable type of mountain biking) is illegal.


It’s against the law.

And you will get fined if caught.

(I will neither confirm nor deny if that ever happened to me.)

As a result, we did what we had to do: we rode in the middle to the night.

On a couple of planes, this was stupid. First, I was not the most able of mountain bikers in daylight, so riding at night was really idiotic. Second, the rangers patrolled the trails 24/7 and I heard many stories of riders getting caught, having their bikes confiscated.


Riding at night is really, really fun. Yeah, there is the added element of danger, but there is something about slicing through the darkness at speed that is really addicting.

The Fenix BC21R is rather tiny, but it packs a wallop (880 lumens).

A good light, however, is essential–not only to see, but also to be seen.

Thus, relatively early on, I invested in a light that was more than I could afford at the time. The brand was Nite Rider (cue David Hasselhoff video) and it was the state of the art. I invested in the next-to-the-top of the line model, and I was the coolest guy on the group ride (until I would invariably crash and break something).

And I remained loyal to that brand for years.

Until now.

The Fenix BC21R up close.

The Fenix BC21R up close.

Why? Simply put, the Fenix BC21R is the best bike light I have ever used. Easy to mount, a breeze to operate, and it casts a light that not only illuminates your path, but also refracts light to announce your presence to other vehicles around you.

The Fenix BC21R is on the right–much more refracted light cast (the two lights were equidistance from the fence).

If you ride at night, you really can’t go wrong with Fenix.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Fenix BC21R for free from Fenix in consideration for a gear review. All the opinions, however, are my own.


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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9 Responses to Bucking a Trend with the Fenix BC21R Bike Light

  1. cycling nut porn!! Lost on me, but I know so many people that would be all over this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At first look I thought, holy cow they gave him a bike to review??? Once I read more carefully I was not quite so so jealous. A while back, I was doing some long term work in Hondo and a light was super helpful in avoiding armadillos in the early morning before sunrise. Hope your Fenix keeps you armadillo free!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Or as I like to say…”you haven’t seen an armadillo that isn’t dead…YET.” Wait until you do a few road trips to West Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. martinez854 says:

    Cost? Weight? Battery specs? All would be nice in a review


    • Thanks for the comment. On your advice, I included the current price, and all the other specs are available on the website (a mere one click away) and presented in a much more efficient way. I know some people are too lazy to click on links, but….


  5. Reblogged this on Journal Edge and commented:
    Article Source: thedrunkencyclist.com


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