Mountain Biking - Night rides and illumination
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
02-01-09, 10:57 AM
So I am looking into doing some night trail rides with the locals to the brewery. Ive been reading and doing a little posting in the Electronics and lighting forum. However I think a few of my needs need more of a MTB opinion rather than commuting.
I would think I want both a helmet light (to illuminate where I look) as well as a handlebar mount (to see where I am steering)?
What kind of power would I need, and should the handlebar be brighter than the headlight? I was looking at a 900 lumen on the bike and a 200-300 on the helmet (although the 900 people say is more like 400-500).
Am I looking for things that have better flood to see my surroundings, or more of a beam... or combination flood on bike and beam on my head?
I am leaning towards one of the many on dealextreme ones, even though they are more of the flashlight variety... and getting batteries and a charger. Most of them seem to be all about the same (40-60 min on high, get a little hot, some are finnicky clikers). My understanding is to stay away from annoying 8 mode ones.
I am leaning towards the following, although none seem particularly better than the next
If you run a different setup, Id be happy to hear your praises/regrets
02-01-09, 11:36 AM
IMO if you only use one light, go with handlebar mount. As far as brightness, modern systems(past few years) have come a long way. Most of the quality systems I've seen people using are plenty adequate. IME a system with modular construction is better in the long run, because in the event of a crash you only have to replace parts, not the whole light. There are plenty more considerations such as weight, burn time, charge time, etc.
02-01-09, 08:48 PM
IMO if you only use one light, go with handlebar mount.
Although I personally agree with you, most riders I know prefer the helmet mount given the choice.
02-01-09, 11:08 PM
I used just a bar mount for many years and was quite happy, used a Nightsun halogen with a low and high beam, relatively long run time in low which sufficed most of the time. The helmet lights at the time weren't so hot, usually it was home rigged and batteries and switches were problematical.
I put the lights away for a long time, just recently revived them and also got some other lights to play with, particularly a Niterider x.2. I tried the x.2 alone on the bar, okay but not as good as the Nightsuns alone; as a helmet light alone the x.2 wasn't so hot either, but in combo with the Nightsuns on the bar was much better but a mismatch in light color. I'm still playing with some other combos of a halogen helmet lamp once I rig a better battery/switch setup, and have a small led flashlight (150-170 lumens) I'll rig to the helmet to try with the x.2 on the bars again for a light color match. I've also overvolted the halogens, don't know the lumen rating but am guessing somewhere around 400-500 overvolted with a 14.8v battery).
I think the total super bright light thing is overkill in many cases. If you're riding in an area where others are using the trails and may come towards you, it's not cool to blind them either. Lumen ratings aren't everything, but those 900 lumen flashlights from what I've seen are more like 600-700 in actual practice (although there is a potential for the led used for 900, just not in that particular application). However, even 600-700 is still a massive amount of light, but it is just a single beam and usually more of a spot. It's nice to have a low power flood when you don't need a lot of penetration (climbing) but to have a spot with more throw when you do something faster. Having switches you can reach easily to avoid blinding others and to easily keep your runtime up is a big plus.
OTOH for a run to the brewery it would all depend on the technical aspects of the trail to get there, but I'd probably do just fine with a bar light on low for the brewery locations near trails I know of. In any case night riding is a lot of fun and makes your regular trails a whole new thing...
02-02-09, 04:59 AM
Where I ride there isn't anyone else around so over-brightness isn't an issue...
I use a bar mounted overvolted MR16 (20 watt, 12 degree) with a batteryspace 5mah battery and a hat mounted LED modded light I got from DE. I estimate it puts out around 200lm. I have plenty of light. In the rare instance I actually come across someone else on the trail I just hit the button to turn the bar mount off and then look away so I don't blind them.
Here's the LED I use:
And the battery pack:
And on the bar is an Optronix QH-7CC running at 14.4V.
I have plenty of light.
02-04-09, 06:44 PM
Dinotte has some nice packages with their 800L.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.