General Cycling Discussion - Maglite mounted on handlebars?
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07-23-01, 09:10 PM
I've noticed that several companies make a mount for maglite and similiar flashlight. The mounts are made for C cell and AA cell flashes and incorporate adjustments to focus the beam where you need it. This sounds like a ideal setup for commuting and general night riding. I'm just wondering if anyone here has tried one of these mounts. Here's some links to the companies that i found that make these mounts.
I looked at both those sites, and while the Paul unit looks more compact, I was more impressed with the business-like tone of the
DKG site. I guess it would be a toss-up; they're probably both well-made products.
One thing I know, is that the MagLite flashlights are very, very good. As you probably know, the beam can be adjusted from really wide to narrow and intense. This might be useful under certain riding conditions. The flashlights are highly water resistant, too.
Can't think of any disadvantages.
07-24-01, 03:30 AM
Proper bike lamps have a different spread of illumination. My Soubitez lamp throws a bright rectangular patch where I need to see the road, and a series of hotspots around so people can see me from the side.
Mount the lightweight lamp on top of the forks and fit the heavy battery (your choice of power and type) in an old water bottle, and you have a lighting system which is better and cheaper than most of the units in shops. Recharging units from electronics stores are usually better than the ones in bike kits.
A C-cell maglite is a fine flashlight, but very heavy on the handlebars.
Maglights are good lights.
A policeman I know has a huge Maglight. It must have about six D-cell batteries. He uses it for a club to soften up the legs of bad guys who start fighting him when he is trying to arrest them.
From this concept, I can imagine that a nice hefty Maglight could work well for bonking mean dogs who are trying to bite your ankles.
as mentioned before, the only disadvantage would be the sheer weight of a maglite. they are made from "aircraft grade aluminum" and are totally sealed from the weather, but anything with more than 4 C-cell sized or greated batteries is just heavy. i have a 4 D-cell maglite, and it could easily be used to beat criminals into submission. i can't even begin to fathom the damage that could be caused by that police issue 6 D-cell maglite. ouch.
however, my girlfriend's dad has one of those little headbands that hold one of the smaller AA-cell maglites, and those little flashlights give off a good bit of light.
don't go and hastily buy a mount for a flashlight. i always like to attempt, in some way, shape, or form, to fashion something that i want out of stuff i already have laying around--before i go out and spring the cash to buy it. usually, you can do so (with smaller items) relatively easy if you put your mind into it.
all it takes is a little creativity!;)
And if you do use a Maglite, don't leave the batteries in forever; they are almost indestructible flashlights, but they will corrode. I had it happen to my little AAA one. VERY hard to fix.
07-25-01, 01:14 AM
As a former policeman, I concur with Mike's account of the 6D Maglite's capability to persuade combative subjects to sit down and take notice. Saved my partner's life once. The idea is not to injure and cripple, but to immobilize - striking the outside of the thigh will contact the large nerve that runs the length of the leg. This produces the "charlie horse" effect making walking and standing virtually impossible for a few minutes. Alot like those cool Kung-fu nerve pinches only with tools.
The only thing I would caution about having a Maglite (any size) is the corrosion issue. Jon is correct in saying that the batteries will corrode quickly. A tip that we (the MP's) used for our Maglites was to coat all of the O-rings and the threaded areas with Vaseline. This was effective to control corrosion and prevented the aluminum from seizing.
Finally, the bulbs in the larger D-cell Mags are somewhat fragile. If you drop the light, the filament will move, causing an odd reflection pattern. Most of the time, dropping the Mag will render the bulb useless and spare bulbs can get expensive.
07-25-01, 01:39 PM
I thought of getting one of those mounts for a Maglite. I've since decided to get a good headlight head and use my own battery pack (5 D nicads in a water bottle). It'll be a good cost savings.
I'm still deciding on the model of head to use. It will have to be one where the heads and mounts are sold separately to upgrade your light system.
07-27-01, 05:05 AM
well I found another company making a flashlight mount.
Thanks for the replies. I like the idea of these mounts for one because the maglite is so nicely made and the beam is highly adjustable. I've riden home with my AA maglite held in my mouth before when my nicad bike light went dead. Not quite enough light to feel comfortable but it got me home.
I also like the fact that the light can be easily removed. A nice feature when I have to leave my bike locked up somewhere.
One of my peeves about bike lighting systems is the battery packs. I gave away my old vistalite when the battery went south because it cost so much to replace the battery. The nice thing with the maglite is that I could use regular rechargable batteries and a nice charger. I could also extend my run time by bringing a couple extra charged cells with me on a ride.
Well, I'm just thinking out loud here. The only real drawback I see is the added weight on the handlebars. I'll have to see how much a 2 C-Cell maglite weighs. If I end up getting one of these mounts I'll let you all know what I think of it.
07-27-01, 05:52 AM
If you unscrew the Vistalite battery packaging, you will probably find a standard battery pack, available from any electronics store for $20-30. In my system, I just use one of those cells in my own packaging (an old waterbottle).
I can remove the bottle to prevent theft, but I leave the lamp unit (a dynamo lamp) screwed onto the forks. One dissadvantage of flashy commercial lighting is that it is expensive, attractive and easy to remove. I suppose you could remove it every time you stop (along with your seatpost and front wheel), but for a utility bike, that is so much a waste of time.
07-27-01, 12:35 PM
Ah, but there's the rub.
07-28-01, 09:10 AM
MichaelW, It seems like you're trying to steer me in another direction. You've got some good suggestions. The dynamo light attached to the fork and powered by a rechargable battery pack sounds like a great setup.
It's hard to find these type of things in the U.S. since bikes are thought of as toys here. However, I have found a nice light called a Lumotec at www.peterwhitecycles.com
I'm just wondering what voltage of battery pack I would need to run such a light. The light is 2.4 watts and designed to be operated by a dynamo. Would this be suitable to use with a battery pack, if not can you suggest a light that is?
The Schmidt dynamo hub that Peter White sells is also quite appealing but a little too expensive for my needs. Thanks for shedding some light on this subject.
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