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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    What kind of lights do you have on your bike...?

    In the November mileage thread, I notice that darkness - the nights are getting longer - is keeping a lot of people off their bikes. So I thought this would be a good and useful thread. These come up all the time in commuting, occasionally in road, and there's even a forum for lights, electronics, and other goodies ... but I don't remember seeing a thread about lights in here. And I think it would be useful, not just for safety, but as a reminder that this doesn't have to be the end of cycling for the year.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I'll go first.

    I can't remember the name of my headlight. It's cheap and light weight, and mind is attached to the spacers under my stem. This keeps the bars clean and empty, so I can grip wherever I like, but is bright enough for me to be seen.



    For a tail light, I have a Serfas light on my left chain stay. Tail lights are a problem for me, because one of my bikes has a dorsal fin an aero seatpost.



    Both of these get moved from bike to bike. Because it's only a matter of pulling some rubber over a hook, taking them off one bike and onto the other takes less time than airing up the tires.

    I use Black Diamond's Storm light, which comes attached to a headband. I've got another light mounted to my bike, which makes it pretty hard to forget, but that one's just so I can be seen. This light puts out 100 lumens (and takes AAA batteries - no external pack), and it means I can see potholes, or debris in the road, and not hit it.



    I've also got a Cygolite Milion, but haven't been able to use it cycling yet. It cost $9, because it came without the mounting hardware, and that's been surprisingly difficult to chase down. This guy is USB rechargeable, and seems like a great light. I use mine as a flashlight. I'd like to use this as a bike light, though, if I can do it cleanly (without tape, for example).



    Here's stuff I've given up on.

    I've used Spokelights, and felt that they were a good thing when drivers approach from cross streets or driveways, but I was disappointed with the battery life.



    I tried a BikeGlow Safety Light, but wasn't impressed by battery life or durability. Also, blue wasn't the best choice for night riding, even if it's a nice color.



    This is what my old utility/commuter/do-it-all bike looked like at night:

    Don't believe everything you think.

  3. #3
    Senior Member snowman40's Avatar
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    I have one of these on the rear:

    And some Topeak WhiteLight HP 3w something or other for the front. They aren't great, but there is a lot of ambient light from buildings and street lights so they are more for picking out glass and obstacles that the yellowish-orange tinged light hides well.
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    farts are greatly appreciated as long as the other riders are talented and experienced. at the precise moment of release, a vacuum is formed. this is the optimal time for the rider behind you to get as aero as possible and "ride the brown rhino". his face should be within 2-3mm of the anus to receive maximum benefit (reduced drag...duh, its in a vacuum). i have hit speeds of over 53mph in such conditions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    magicshine front and rear on my commuter and a planet bike super flash on the rest of my bikes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    I have:

    1) PlanetBike Beamer 5

    3033.jpg

    My first light, purchased back in July as a "let's try it out and see" light. $30. Results? Not very good. Basically it's only good for "being seen". This will not illuminate anything in front of you, so I basically just set it on flash and hope people see me coming. I recently removed this from my bike to make room for a front basket.

    2) Planet Bike Blinky 3
    3009.jpg

    My first tail light. $10. It works. People saw me and moved out of my lane much earlier than before. Battery life is decent.

    3) Planet Bike Superflash

    3034.jpg

    Needed to toss something into my Amazon.com cart to push the order total above $25. Decided to try this out. Much brighter than the blinky 3, the flash pattern is very noticeable. I now use this as my primary rear light on flash mode, and use the blinky 3 to supplement it in steady mode. I seem to be much more visible this way.

    4) Cygolite Expilion 400 USB

    exp1.jpg

    It started getting darker and darker out, to a point where I was now coming home from work just as dusk set in. The first few days I biked in the twilight it became obvious that the Beamer 5 was useless for illuminating anything, so I bought this. It was a choice between this and the NiteRider MiniNewt. A few comments on the forum convinced me to get this instead. I'm very happy with it, I cycle home in the dark regularly now. Very bright, long life. USB recharging so I charge it at work on my computer. Mounted on my helmet. It is now pitch black for the last 10-15 minutes of my commute home, and the light performs admirably.

    5) Cygolite TridenX 750

    triden2.jpg

    However, since I have the Expilion 400 mounted on my helmet, it does not provide a steady beam of light forward if I turn my head. I've accidentally run over debris by looking over my shoulder momentarily to check for cars, thereby de-luminating the road ahead, and making it hard to notice upcoming debris. Due to this, I've decided to purchase a TridenX 750 for when it's pitch black out. I will mount this on my handlebars and point it down to completely illuminate the road ahead of me. I haven't received it yet, it's still in the mail. I can't wait to try it out.




    I'll keep the Expilion 400 on my head as well, so I can aim it when I need to. It's also especially useful in letting drivers know you exist, because you can flash it into their window if they haven't looked your direction to acknowledge your existence. Hopefully these two headlights will be more than I'll ever need.

  6. #6
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    I got a MiNewt 350 by NiteRider. I picked up the 150 kit with the tail light for my son. I currently have the Zephal rear blinky. It works well enough for now, but am actively looking for a brighter replacement. The light I have is strong enough for riding after dark, but I would suggest it for lower speeds and roads you are familiar with. The addition of another light, or even a lower strength helmet headlight would be perfect for most any condition riding. It is USB rechargable as well.

    Those little rubber tail light thingys are just this side of worthless. Better than nothing, but only barely. The one I had "broke" the first ride, as the little on/off button floated around under the rubber cover. I took it apart and taped the button over the place it needs to be and it works, that is about it. The little rubber ties also break easily. As a supplemental, place anywhere on anything kind of light it is functional.
    One Foot Less

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    However, since I have the Expilion 400 mounted on my helmet, it does not provide a steady beam of light forward if I turn my head.
    I've found that having one headlight on the bike - somewhere near the bars - and another one on your head, that turns to follow your gaze, is a hugely useful combination.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  8. #8
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    My single-speed is outfitted with a SON dynohub, B&M IQ Cyo headlight and "flat tail light" don't remember what it's called.

    I also have a Dinotte 600L headlight, 140L taillight, PB Superflahs, and PDW Dangerzone that I move around on the bikes.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I use two. One Cateye, A Planet Bike, and then a a Cteye tail light.

    http://www.rei.com/product/807257/ca...ont-bike-light

    http://www.rei.com/product/756359/pl...ont-bike-light

    http://www.rei.com/product/756359/pl...ont-bike-light

    Fine for being seen but I do plan to get a better light sometime soon. I need to see more on night rides through the mountains (GMR)

    Though I think my best defense weapon is the tri color ankle bands. The pedal movement is the attention getter IMO.


    IMG_4399 by gulpxtreme, on Flickr
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 11-02-11 at 02:04 PM.

  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    SON28 hub powering an IQ Cyo headlamp and Seculite 4D taillamp. In addition, 2 PBSF blinkies in back and a Princeton Tec Quad mounted on my helmet.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  11. #11
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    I have:

    1) PlanetBike Beamer 5

    3033.jpg

    My first light, purchased back in July as a "let's try it out and see" light. $30. Results? Not very good. Basically it's only good for "being seen". This will not illuminate anything in front of you, so I basically just set it on flash and hope people see me coming. I recently removed this from my bike to make room for a front basket.

    3) Planet Bike Superflash

    3034.jpg

    Needed to toss something into my Amazon.com cart to push the order total above $25. Decided to try this out. Much brighter than the blinky 3, the flash pattern is very noticeable. I now use this as my primary rear light on flash mode, and use the blinky 3 to supplement it in steady mode. I seem to be much more visible this way.
    I got the same things but i have two superflash. I set the one on my bag to blink and the one on my frame for solid.

    the beamer is set to blink but if i get caught in real darkness i my need to point it down a bit and set it to solid so i can see what i am about to ride over.

    i will at all possible not ride if it get dark. So far when i commute home its been light out. and i am thinking of driving to work for january and february.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    On my commuter, I've been running a PB Blaze 2W to ight my path, PB Blaze 1W in flash mode as a be seen front light. I have 2 PB Superflash Turbos in back. On in steady and one in flash.

    Purchased one of these:
    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ssc-p7-...-4-18650-50947
    and when I received it, decided to purchase a second one. I'll run one flash and one steady.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Pics will be extremely useful in this thread.

    I get the impression that C&A has more new cyclists than a lot of other forums here. By its nature, it's going to attract a lot of heavyset folks, and bikes are good exercise. A lot of "new member" and "which bike?" threads introduce a new cyclist, or someone who hasn't been on a bike since they were a kid. And ... there are a lot of bike lights out there. I'm hoping this is a helpful thread for our Clyde brothers and Athena sisters, but I think lots and lots of pictures will make it one.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  14. #14
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    Front: Serfas TSL 500 http://www.serfas.com/product_details.asp?ID=899

    Back: DesignShine Lighting DS-500 Taillight https://sites.google.com/site/designshinelighting/

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    3) Planet Bike Superflash

    3034.jpg

    Needed to toss something into my Amazon.com cart to push the order total above $25. Decided to try this out. Much brighter than the blinky 3, the flash pattern is very noticeable. I now use this as my primary rear light on flash mode, and use the blinky 3 to supplement it in steady mode. I seem to be much more visible this way.
    Follow-up note on this one. A neighbor pulled into my apartment driveway (it's long) after me, and when he reached me in the parking lot, he said to me "Jesus Christ, I thought you were the cops!". Heh. This made me chuckle, I had heard a reviewer claim it looked like a police flasher from a distance, but I assumed that was an exaggeration. Apparently it was not. Superflash is super!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    the beamer is set to blink but if i get caught in real darkness i my need to point it down a bit and set it to solid so i can see what i am about to ride over.

    i will at all possible not ride if it get dark. So far when i commute home its been light out. and i am thinking of driving to work for january and february.
    You would not believe how much of a difference the 400-lumen light is compared to the Beamer 5. It's like night and day... no pun intended. Ok maybe it was a little intended. But yeah, the 400 lumen light has given me a gigantic boost in confidence in night riding. I can only imagine the 750 light I've got coming soon will help even more.

  17. #17
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    These for front:
    250 lumens Cree q5 torch ( always 2 of these )


    Around 1000 lumens Magicshine copy Cree xml t6
    For the rear:

    1 watt Blackburn mars 4 for day and night - VERY bright

    Blackburn mars 3 for night rides
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  18. #18
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    Around 1000 lumens Magicshine copy Cree xml t6
    How well does it work? I'm thinking about buying one.
    .
    .
    .
    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



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  19. #19
    fc_
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    Current commuter setup:

    1000 lumen SpokeGrenade Headlight:


    Princeton Tec EOS (mounted as helmet light)


    2 PlanetBike Superflashes


    Busch & Muller 4D Toplight


    The helmet light is nearly always with me year round (basically on the helmet or in a saddlebag, unless I forgot it in the garage... doh!)

    The SpokeGrenade 1000 lumen headlight is a recent upgrade, throws a lot of light, haven't really had a need to run it at full power on the road yet, on medium its plenty of "to see by" light".

    I've also always liked running a helmet light, not only as a backup, but as a "visual horn" to point at cars coming out of side streets.

    The Superflashes are nice, but not excessively waterproof. I think they may have fixed that in the more current models. I wrap a bit of electrical tape around the seam to keep out water during the wet months around here.

    The 4D toplight is bolted to my rack, so its always on the bike, no flashing, just a steady light, surrounded by a big reflector.
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  20. #20
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Main light (B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo R):


    Auxiliary light (Planet Bike 2W Blaze):


    Tail lights are PDW Radbot 1000 and PDW Fenderbot.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  21. #21
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    On my Trek Hybrid, since April, Ive been running the Planet Bike Blaze 2w. Seems like a good light with a strong strobe pattern:


    On the rear Ive been running this "cheapo" Deal Extreme light. Its actually an awesome deal at $3 and is extremely bright and fantastic battery life. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.


    As I ride thru the winter, I think a headlight upgrade will be in my future. Im thinking a $100 "MagicShine" as where I ride at night there is very little street-lighting and I literally wont be able to see.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-808-...ight-set-44459

    Great idea for a thread for us "year rounders"

  22. #22
    Senior Member DOOM_NX's Avatar
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    Magicshine MJ-808E in the front and Owleye HighLux 5R in the rear. I used to have a Blackburn Flea 2.0 USB but it won't charge now. I'm sending it back for a replacement or something. So I went ahead and bought the Owleye from a local bike shop for 35 EUR (ouch):


    To my suprise, it's brighter than the Flea 2.0. The Owleye uses 5 Nichia LEDs and claims brightness of 60 lumen. It IS brighter then the Flea and it has a way better viewing angle. I thought I would use it as a temporary light until I get a replacement, but given the quality, I might keep it as a primary as well. It charges in 2h from a USB port. It has a 570 mAh Li-Ion battery and is supposed to have a longer burn time than the flea.

    http://www.owleye.com.tw/product_det...?product_id=12
    http://www.owleye.ch/produkte/ruecklicht/highlux-5r

    I really like the white version, but the product I tried at the store was defective - only 4 of the 5 LEDs were lighting up. So, I got the black version. More pictures below:

    http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/3764/03112011505.jpg
    http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/4822/03112011506.jpg
    http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/5769/03112011507.jpg
    http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/3001/03112011509.jpg
    http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/4526/03112011513.jpg
    http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/3946/03112011514.jpg
    DOOM_NX

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Schmidt, Dyno hub, E6 halogen headlights, and a B&M 4D toplights,
    one with a Tubus rear rack has a wired in one,
    the one without a rack, I use the battery one,

    It's on my Bike Friday.. I kludged a method to bolt it on
    behind the seat post waterbottle cage.
    with some old Zefal mudguard struts.. .

  24. #24
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    You would not believe how much of a difference the 400-lumen light is compared to the Beamer 5. It's like night and day... no pun intended. Ok maybe it was a little intended. But yeah, the 400 lumen light has given me a gigantic boost in confidence in night riding. I can only imagine the 750 light I've got coming soon will help even more.
    i avoid the darkness at all possible, but even then i live in an urban area that is well lit. but i may look into the 400 if i end up enjoying winter riding.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    For those of you who have more than one bike: how many of your lights do you move from ride to ride, and do you leave any of your lights always on one bike? It can be a pain to move them around, depending on how they mount, but they aren't cheap, either. So I'm curious what other people do.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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