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Old 11-15-04, 06:31 PM   #1
moxfyre
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Headlight recommendation

Can anybody recommend me a bike headlight to ask for as a present? I'd like something a lot more powerful than an LED light... I'd like to ride 15-20 mph comfortably on a completely dark, paved trail (my commute :-). Looking for something in the $50-100 range.
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Old 11-15-04, 06:56 PM   #2
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On my old bike I had a cateye daylite rig that had two lights. I am sad in retrospect that I left it on the bike when I got rid of it. OTOH, mostly I ride in town these days, so lights are more for being seen than seeing. But that cateye was hella bright and right around 100 bones.
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Old 11-15-04, 07:11 PM   #3
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Can you say "check" or "gift certificate"? The problem is your needs don't match what's out there. You need a HID light set. Those are in the neighborhood of $400. All other lights you are going to be overriding or you will have to drop your speed to be safe.It's your call which is better an arm cast or $300.

Best bets would be:
-- performance, viewsonic [?** evo dual. It's a 20w and 10w with NiMh battery on sale for around $100. The problem is you need a pliers to disconnect without breaking the wires
-- Light & motion, commuter light.

Good luck
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Old 11-15-04, 07:21 PM   #4
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Doesn't exist in that price range for that speed.
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Old 11-15-04, 07:21 PM   #5
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I've got a Nighthawk SLA light with the somewhat heavy but reliable bottle cage battery. It came with a 10W and a 20W light that can be used alone or in combination.

Normally I just use the 10W since most of my ride is under streetlights. However I hooked up the 20W and rode with that a few days ago; I'm spoiled now. It put out enough light that at some some spots I thought a car was behind me. Got it from Nashbar on sale for $50. (Which may have been an error on their part, I checked out the price the day after I ordered and it was around $70.)
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Old 11-15-04, 09:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice/info! Sounds like I set my sights too high. How much does a 10W halogen do for you?
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Old 11-15-04, 09:57 PM   #7
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After doing some research, I found the Cygolite Night Rover Xtra--$79.99-- to be economical, long lasting and bright enough for my commute:

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4320
http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Lights/product_22171.shtml

The special feature that I like is the dual 6 watt/10 watt arrangement. If one side burns out, you still can use the other side. Also, the aim of the 6 watt flood is tilted slightly lower than the 10 watt spot, which gives you a wide pattern--no manual adjustment needed. The specs say you can get up to 6 hours off of the 6 watt if used alone.

I ride 15-20 mph on my commute, and can't outrun the light if the 10 watt is used.

Last edited by rnagaoka; 11-15-04 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 11-15-04, 10:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Doesn't exist in that price range for that speed.

BS! We ride singletrack here in the dark with a 10 watt light. We are doing 10-15 mph. Doing 15-20 on the road is not a problem. I think a rear light and side light is more important. You need to be seen as much as you need to see.
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Old 11-16-04, 06:34 AM   #9
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Bicycle Lights / Laser Edge. I've been using it since last spring and with the coming of fall have been using it daily. No complaints. Good, solid construction. Long run time. Nice mounting system.

A $6 Wally-World timer helps with the charging regime.
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Old 11-16-04, 07:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feltup
BS! We ride singletrack here in the dark with a 10 watt light. We are doing 10-15 mph. Doing 15-20 on the road is not a problem. I think a rear light and side light is more important. You need to be seen as much as you need to see.
Please link the light and price.
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Old 11-19-04, 08:26 AM   #11
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Some people just like to say they spent a lot of money on something. There are a lot of good usable lights in your price range. Price Point has a decent Sigma Sport for around $50. The light is not always what drives the price up it is the battery. A 10 to 20 watt light would be fine, but in that price you are probably going to have a lead acid battery. I think some of us rode in the dark before HID came out. How was this even possible? (sarcasm)
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Old 11-19-04, 10:10 AM   #12
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Other issues to consider :

- How good is your trail (i.e. paved former railline vs singletrack) ?
- How about slowing down a bit ? You need much less light for riding at 10 mph than at 15.
- For how long do you need it? Battery duration is a real problem with most systems, especially at the highest setup.
- Do you need the high output all the time or just for a short time of your commute ?


I am a "generator" guy, and good generators are great for on-road cycling but not for off-roading. A system based on the Dymotec bottle generator would cost about $100 U.S. and would be good for the road, but definitely not for off-road. Other on-road solutions would be a LED-based headlight such as the Cateye EL-500 (powerful but very narrow spot) or the Planet Bike 1 W LED SuperSpot (very wide scattered beam, but good for being seen). I know these wouldn't work off-road, but if you have a mixed commute, then it's relatively easy to find an extra system that would power a 15 W halogen for 30 - 50 minutes.

Especially with batteries, having two independent systems might be cheaper, and it is definitely safer. If one battery dies, you have a fall-back system.
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Old 11-19-04, 10:45 AM   #13
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Thanks for the help, Michel. The trail I use is a windy paved trail that snakes through parks and around a golf course. Slowing down and using a less beefy light is probably my best bet. I will look up the Dymotec too!
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Old 11-19-04, 10:55 AM   #14
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I also have the cygolite nightrover extra. My speeds are usually in the 15 mph average range. This light is suitable for such speeds. I use mine on gravel county roads in complete darkness, where there is no artificial light for miles to light the roadway.

Many of these roads are full of potholes and many obastcles which i am able to avoid while running both lamps on this light. THe key is to get it aimed right. At a higher speed you need to have the road lit up quite a distance in front of you. I accomplish this by aiming the unit up as high as possible.

THe low beam on this unit illuminates the near distances, while the 10 W beam lights up the stop signs and things from afar. Sure a $400 HID would be better, but i would never spend that kind of money on a light. There are many, many, many cycling related toys i would rather spend the money on. Check out their reviews.http://www.cygolite.com/light/main/2magazine.htm
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Old 11-19-04, 01:08 PM   #15
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I have slightly different requirements: I'm looking for an on-road commuting light:

- 10W halogen or better
- *not* a waterbottle battery (small battery pack that attaches to top tube okay)
- 1.5 - 2 hours burn time
- quick release handlebar mount - easy to put on/take off
- reasonable "smart" charger
- price not a major consideration, but thinking 75-125 range

I've been looking at the niterider trail rat; anyone had experience with that?

TIA,
Jim
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Old 11-19-04, 01:25 PM   #16
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Here you go $140
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4320

10w flood, 20w spot so you can run with 10w, or 20w, or 30w
NiMh not acid battery so runs longer and handles cold better
long run time: 1, 2, or 4 hours
recharges quickly
hangs from top tube

Disadvantage: need a pliers to disconnect from battery pack without wrecking wiring.

Other than disconnect, it's a great light for the money. I couldn't afford an HID yet, and this was the best buy I could find. I think performance went overboard on the connector as previous models had problems with connector coming loose. I've commuted all week, burning about 20 minutes each night, and have not had to recharge yet.
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Old 11-19-04, 01:33 PM   #17
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I had a Cateye EL500 last year, which I found OK for use with street lighting or totally dark paths, but was inadequate for intermittent street lighting as my eyes dont adjust fast enough for the changes in illumination. I have just added a Planet Bike 1W LED light which I have mounted near the bottom of my forks, I will be trying it out for the first time on the ride home tonight. I dont expect to ride at more than 15 mph.
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Old 11-20-04, 04:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Disadvantage: need a pliers to disconnect from battery pack without wrecking wiring.
Thanks, kemosabe - That looks like some serious light!

Is there a reason why you would want to disconnect the light from the battery pack? You can just put them on/take them at the same time, yes?
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Old 11-20-04, 04:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
Can anybody recommend me a bike headlight to ask for as a present? I'd like something a lot more powerful than an LED light... I'd like to ride 15-20 mph comfortably on a completely dark, paved trail (my commute :-). Looking for something in the $50-100 range.
All you want to know about lights and more........

http://nordicgroup.us/s78/
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Old 11-20-04, 07:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
Thanks for the advice/info! Sounds like I set my sights too high. How much does a 10W halogen do for you?
On the road, my 10 watt halogen allows me to descend confidently at up to 30 mph. I don't think you'll be happy with less than 10 watts. There are several in your price range. Try to get a NiMH battery instead of a NiCad or lead-acid. The NiMH will be smaller and lighter.
Tom
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Old 11-20-04, 07:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
I have slightly different requirements: I'm looking for an on-road commuting light:

- 10W halogen or better
- *not* a waterbottle battery (small battery pack that attaches to top tube okay)
- 1.5 - 2 hours burn time
- quick release handlebar mount - easy to put on/take off
- reasonable "smart" charger
- price not a major consideration, but thinking 75-125 range

I've been looking at the niterider trail rat; anyone had experience with that?

TIA,
Jim
I've used a Trail Rat for commuting the last 3 winters and it is great. The small NiMH battery straps under my stem. The charger is not smart, however. When the battery feels slightly warm, it is fully charged.
Tom
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Old 11-20-04, 10:13 PM   #22
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I was very pleased with the addition of the Planet bike LED at the bottom of my forks, to the EL500 on my bars. It was very effective at lighting the road for the 30 ft immediatley in front of me. Being close to the ground any irregularities in the road showed up clearly. The EL500 was aimed further ahead. At $26 Cdn you could have a couple on each forkn with your budget of $50-100. With separate lights the batteries in each can be expected to run down at different times so you wont be subject to sudden loss of light. I havent done any measurement of the life of the batteries with these lights, but if I get half the claimed 30 hrs full brightness and gradual dimming over the next 70 hrs, I will be very pleased. I also like the lack of wires strung around the bike.
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Old 11-21-04, 09:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
Thanks, kemosabe - That looks like some serious light!

Is there a reason why you would want to disconnect the light from the battery pack? You can just put them on/take them at the same time, yes?
To recharge the batteries. I thought I would have about 40minutes of run time, but actual run time has only been 20 minutes. Four times last week and the battery is still charged. I know I should recharge it, but tomorrow. It snowed over the weekend and I want to wait one more day.
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Old 11-25-04, 12:54 AM   #24
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saw these head/tail combos over at performancebike. anyone have either of these lights?

Performance® ViewPoint™ GEN 3 Commuter Combo


Performance® ViewPoint™ Take 5 LED Light w/ ViewPoint™ Flashpoint Taillight

just wondering about them, as I'm on a super-tight budget and want to get lights soon as to avoid flak from the po-lice
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Old 11-27-04, 06:35 PM   #25
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Wow, some of the hoopla about not being able to find a adequate light for those speeds and that money sure was funny!

Seriously though; I use the cheapest ($48) Cygolite called the Metro; this unit has 2 beams, one 6 watt flood and a 6.5 watt spot or a combined total of 12.5 watts. I ride a lot at night and have no fear running at even over 25mph with it. Some will not like it's 6 D battery setup but I did and still do because I'm not reliant on a wall outlet, plus if by chance the light was go dead on a ride you can get bats at any store. But the 6 D's will last 5 hours on one beam. I've used the light now for 2 years and haven't had any issues with it's durability. You can buy a Rover charger unit for the Metro, or get rechargeable D's, then you would have a dual battery type of unit.

Cygo also makes a unit called the Rover NiMH Xtra that has dual beams with 6watt flood and a 10w spot with 16 watts total and can run up to 6 hours on low and 2 hours on high on the battery; I think this unit cost only $68-78.

They also have the Explorer NiCad that has dual beams with 10w flood and a 15w spot for 25 watts total but the battery run time is 3 hours on low, 1.5 hours on high. I think this unit cost about $100.

As you can tell depending on your light needs Cygo has something that will fit it for under $100.
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