Outbound Lighting has gained a strong following thanks to their well engineered lights and optimized beam optics. Although they have primarily focused on mountain biking lights, their previous Road Edition light has been popular with road and gravel cyclists. In this review, we’ll be looking at the new Detour which replaces the Road Edition and offers a similar beam cutoff pattern with more features and battery capacity. The Detour retails for $179 with an optional $14 GoPro adapter and has 1200 lumen output from dual Cree XD16 LEDs. It’s one of the few bike lights that’s actually made in the U.S.A. which makes the retail price even more impressive. Outbound Lighting has integrated a number of unique features in the Detour which include a camera style tab mount, USB-C charging port and an adaptive output mode that gradually ramps down.
The Outbound Lighting Detour is a rare bike light that’s made in the USA and has a sharp optimized beam cutoff.
|Retail Price||$179 ($14 GoPro adapter)|
|Rating||9.4 / 10|
|Measured Weight (g)||152 (light), 42 (handlebar mount), 22 (GoPro adapter)|
|Likes||+ Intuitive and simple user interface|
+ Wide uniform beam with crisp cutoff from dual LEDs
+ Made in the USA
|Dislikes||– Large form factor|
– Tab style mount removal can be clumsy
|Where to Buy (US)||Outbound Lighting|
The Outbound Lighting Detour comes in an environmentally friendly cardboard box with specs printed on the exterior. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Detour bike light
- Quick-release handlebar mount
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable + USB-C to C cable
- 2.5mm hex wrench
- Instruction manual
- Outbound Lighting sticker
The combination of the USB cables means you can easily charge the Detour or connect it to a powerbank to charge the light while you are riding.
Outbound Lighting describes the mount design as “borrowed” from camera tripod mounts. It uses a tab with a spring loaded tab. The rear of the Detour has a rectangular protrusion with angled edges that slides into a matching mount. When the light is inserted into the mount, a metal tab is pushed into the mount which causes a tab to rotate 90 degrees and push against the Detour to hold it into place. It’s not quite as intuitive as a Garmin quarter turn style mount but is faster to install and remove than thumbscrews on GoPro mounts. The rear placement of the mount also ensures you always have easy access to the controls and orientation of the light.
Included with the light is a metal handlebar mount. It’s a one sided design that clamps onto your handlebar. The mount can be installed on either side of your stem which means you could potentially use a traditional out-front mount along with the handlebar mount. A small thumb screw allows you to adjust the angle of the Detour without having to move the mount clamp itself. If you want to use the Detour directly on the bottom of a dual-sided out-front mount like the Topeak UTF, Outbound Lighting offers a $14 GoPro adapter.. Our only complaint with the adapter is that it places the light forward which may cause vibrations on some mounts.
FIT & FINISH
What sets the Detour apart from other bike lights on the market is Outbound Lightning’s no-nonsense approach to bike light design. This engineering forward approach means the Detour has a highly functional design with impressive cut-off beam optics. It’s a big all-in-one style light that is dominated by a large front lens with two Cree XD16 LEDs. The reflectors on each LED are slightly different, with the left side having a more dimpled design to spread the light while the right side is a focused spot beam. Outbound Lighting markets the Detour as an “automotive lighting experience” as it has an optimized beam pattern with a sharp beam cutoff. While the Detour isn’t officially StVZO certified like the Lupine SL, the beam cutoff is equivalent thanks to the reflector design.
The exterior of the Detour has a non-slip rubber-like coating with charcoal finish on the top and a dark gray bottom. Strategic indentations on the side of the housing make it even easier to hold and adjust the angle of the Detour. Outbound Lighting describes the housing as an engineered resin that is optimized for durability and heat dissipation. Six additional heat fins protrude out the top of the Detour to help keep the light cool. While it may not feel as premium as metal housing such as the Moon Sport Canopus Pro, the Detour does a good job of staying cool even in higher output modes. Note, the all-in-one design of the Detour does mean it’s a large light that is hard to miss on your handlebars. It’s a more convenient design than wired bike lights which require separate battery packs but sacrifices some sleekness.
In terms of the user interface, Outbound Lighting has realized that most people don’t read instruction manuals and has kept things simple. Unlike lights like the Magicshine MJ-906S which have 15 plus modes or lights like the Moon Sport Rigel Power which have dozens of features, the Detour has only 6 modes and a single button interface. There are no integrated sensors, lock out modes, variable lumen options or apps to deal with. Instead you simply press the large rubber button to turn the Detour on in a constant mode and do a single press to cycle through the four intensity options. You can also access two flash modes by holding the power button for three seconds with the light off. The separation of the constant modes and flash modes means you won’t accidentally switch between them. In fact, there is no direct way to switch between constant and flash modes as you have to first turn the light completely off first. That can be a little confusing though but it’s not a common scenario when riding.
Outbound Lighting has incorporated six different output modes that utilize both of the LEDs in each mode. There are four constant modes to choose from and two flash options for daytime and nighttime riding. The constant modes are: low (~30% output with claimed 8.5 hr runtime), medium (~65% / 4.2 hr), high (100% / 1.7 hr) and adaptive (varying output / 2.6 hr). Adaptive is perhaps the most interesting mode which starts out at full power and then gradually ramps down to ~65% until there is only 30 minutes of runtime remaining. Not only does this significantly extend the runtime, but it also feels brighter as your eyes adjust to the gradual reduction in output. It’s a clever idea that lets you ride further without having to manually adjust the output.
The two flash modes are a daytime strobe (10 hr) and a nighttime flash (4.5 hr) which has a gradual up and down ramping and then flashes. Although the Detour is quite large compared to other daytime lights like the Moon Sport Rigel or Bontrager Ion RT, the daytime flash is quite effective thanks to the wide lens and dual LEDs. What’s so special about the Detour light is the optimized automotive style beam generated by the dual reflector lens. It creates a sharp beam cutoff with a very wide beam that’s rare to see at this price point. The beam is nearly two lanes wide and illuminates everything from the handlebars forward. While the reflector design doesn’t produce as clean of a cutoff as the LightSKIN NACA, it’s a sharp cutoff that focuses the light onto the ground.
Overall, we found the Outbound Lighting Detour to have an impressive beam and well engineered design. Rather than focus on high lumen output, Outbound Lighting has optimized the beam with a sharp cutoff and kept the user interface and mount simple. The rubber-like exterior has a durable finish that holds up well to daily use and has a four LED indicator light to show which mode the light is on and battery status. There are additional thoughtful details such as the raised edge around the power button which prevents the light from accidentally turning on while being transported. Although the all-in-one design is rather large and the tab design can be a little clumsy to remove, it’s one of the few bike lights made in the USA that offers a sharp beam cutoff. If you’re looking for a bright light for road or gravel cycling that doesn’t blind others on the road, the Outbound Lighting Detour should be on the top of your list.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Outbound Lighting. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.