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Old 03-10-17, 01:42 PM   #26
rumrunn6
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I use a second generation Magicshine and it's great.
this winter I replaced my battery. charged it and used it for a short ride. haven't done anything with it since. hope I don't mess it up with bad charging habits
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Old 03-10-17, 02:48 PM   #27
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I noticed some bikers seem to have some kind of 'flash light' on the steering wheel of their bike. I believe these are specifically made for bikes. I'd like to add one in order to have a better view on the (distant) road in darkness. Safety concerns really. Something really reliable/durable.

Can anyone give me some advice, experience? Especially, which brand(s) do you recommand?
Rechargable battery or not? Luminosity? ...
I have a metro Cygolite Metro 550 lumen. I live in the city, and my commute goes through a couple miles of pitch black trail. It's way more than enough to see/be seen on streets, and adequate in areas with no other lighting.

550 lumen seemed to me to be the best point of quality/value. Stronger than that and they get expensive real quick.

If you do off roading, trail riding you might want stronger than 550...if not don't spend the extra money IMO.
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Old 03-10-17, 04:21 PM   #28
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Looks like it's rocket powered! :awesome:
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Old 03-10-17, 08:03 PM   #29
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I am a newbie so I don't know about other lights but I have a Bright Eyes, 1200 lumen's. Very bright in fact if you don't pay attention to how it is aimed it can be blinding to oncoming motorist. I use the wide angle lens at night and blinky dinky in the day.
Cycling Archives - Bright Eyes Products
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Old 03-11-17, 11:16 AM   #30
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MSRP hah, anyone who pays that is too gullible. The 850 is $90 or less all over the internet. I'm actually thinking of picking up a Metro 850 now that I see it for less than $60. It's basically the same as the Expilion with 2 fewer modes I think, which are 2 modes that I never use. An 850 lumen self-contained light with a great mount for under $60 is a smoking deal.
First, yes, you can find deals but when it comes to comparison, the MSRP is a place to start.

Second, as I said above, I have just north of $90 invested in my 3 main lights and I have more flexibility and capability for that money than I do for the 850 I own. If I want, I can run all 3 lights for about 2.5 hours of night riding, run 2 and keep one in reserve or run one each and push my run time out to over 7 hours of night riding if I want. That's on high output. If I were to ride with them at the lower setting, I can go for 14 hours if I wanted. I could ride from dusk to dawn on the winter solstice if I wanted.

Just to get the same run time and light...which is more important to me... on the 850 for my regular 2.5 hour run time, I'd need to spend another $180 on 2 headlights as well as 3 extra batteries at $45 each. That's a total investment of over $400 and, I have to fiddle with changing batteries possibly in the dark.

Let's see, $100 invested vs $400? Which is the better deal?
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Old 03-11-17, 11:21 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
this winter I replaced my battery. charged it and used it for a short ride. haven't done anything with it since. hope I don't mess it up with bad charging habits
That's one of the problems with all Li-ion batteries. People think that they are set and forget items. But Li-ion is rather delicate compared to other battery chemistries. They are easily damaged by overcharging and they will naturally age. Just sitting on a shelf, the battery will lose capacity and ability to be charged. Store them were it is hot and they degrade faster.

Thankfully, there are a ton of them being made now and the price is steadily dropping. Even good quality ones are relatively cheap.
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Old 03-11-17, 11:40 AM   #32
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I used to be pretty careful with battery charge but I found that it was too hard to tell when I should and shouldn't charge with time. At first I there was always something in the charger when I was trying to keep 6 NiMH batteries charged with a 4 slot charger and that didn't work too well. Now I'm using Li-ion batteries and usually charge after every ride or two and quit worrying about longevity due to huge increases in performance and decreases in replacement costs.
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Old 03-11-17, 09:53 PM   #34
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Bright Eyes

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
First, yes, you can find deals but when it comes to comparison, the MSRP is a place to start.

Second, as I said above, I have just north of $90 invested in my 3 main lights and I have more flexibility and capability for that money than I do for the 850 I own. If I want, I can run all 3 lights for about 2.5 hours of night riding, run 2 and keep one in reserve or run one each and push my run time out to over 7 hours of night riding if I want. That's on high output. If I were to ride with them at the lower setting, I can go for 14 hours if I wanted. I could ride from dusk to dawn on the winter solstice if I wanted.

Just to get the same run time and light...which is more important to me... on the 850 for my regular 2.5 hour run time, I'd need to spend another $180 on 2 headlights as well as 3 extra batteries at $45 each. That's a total investment of over $400 and, I have to fiddle with changing batteries possibly in the dark.

Let's see, $100 invested vs $400? Which is the better deal?
I paid $45.87 with amazon prime no shipping fees. Pretty good MSRP IMO.
The police were blocking a road today (overcast) and as I approached I signaled that I wanted to go through, and they signaled to go, as I passed the police one of them said now that's a light. (blinky mode) 1200 lumins is a light. I just started riding so I'm only good for 20 or 25 miles and this light last a lot longer than me. The rear blinky included is brighter than the planet bike blinky which I also have, I want light, as one gets older night vision is not what it once was and I want all I can get. I want to be seen and see.
I am very happy with this light at this price. If you want to read all about my light here it is.
http://www.brighteyesproducts.com/in...bike_light.pdf
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Old 03-11-17, 10:41 PM   #35
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If it wasn't already mentioned:

https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/best/headlights/

Great reviews, check it out.

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Old 03-13-17, 04:51 PM   #36
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I have had the Chinese lights, they are plenty bright. My issues with those lights has been with them changing modes or going off when I hit the slightest of bumps. I've also had problems with battery packs and some the individual rechargeable lithium cells. Also, I found that the very bright light spills all over and can be annoying to oncoming riders or traffic.
I have 4 cheap Chinese lights and have not had that problem. You probably have a bad connection in there or a dodgy switch. Just the price of paying 1/5 as much I guess.

As for light spill, I buy the very spotty ones (I think any with a smooth reflector rather than orange peel will do it) then put on an aftermarket wide angle lens. This gives a nice low/wide pattern.

Cycling Bicycle Head Light Lamp Headlamp COMUNITE 1200LM CREE XM-L T6 LED Torch | eBay

plus

Wide angle lens for Cree XML T6 Bike Headlight, bicycle light, includes O-Ring | eBay

The battery that comes with a $25 light is likely to not be very good. But you can buy the light without a battery (be sure to pick up a charger) and get something like this:

New 8.4V 4x 18650 Waterproof Battery Pack Case House Cover For Bicycle Bike Lamp | eBay

Then go to Amazon and pickup 4 name brand Panasonic 18650 unprotected cells. You'll have a MUCH better battery and the ability to replace the cells eventually. And it will ACTUALLY be waterproof (few of the cheap ones really are).
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Old 03-14-17, 07:35 AM   #37
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So let's look at the cost of everything. By my calculations the light, lens, battery case, 4x 18650 Panasonic cells, and a charger capable of charging 4 cells at once is going to approach or even exceed the cost of a good self-contained light that charges with only a simple USB cable. Plus there will be more light modes, and it's almost certainly much closer to its actual stated brightness than that Chinese junk.

https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Metr.../dp/B01IO12B30
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Old 03-14-17, 07:40 AM   #38
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I was constantly doing some repair on the eBay lights. Now that it's out of the picture, all I have to do is charge the lights and forget about it. Much simpler. But I know some people like things complicated.
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Old 03-14-17, 08:08 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
So let's look at the cost of everything. By my calculations the light, lens, battery case, 4x 18650 Panasonic cells, and a charger capable of charging 4 cells at once is going to approach or even exceed the cost of a good self-contained light that charges with only a simple USB cable. Plus there will be more light modes, and it's almost certainly much closer to its actual stated brightness than that Chinese junk.

https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Metr.../dp/B01IO12B30
I don't think so, the junk light is $17 including 4-cell battery and charger, and the extra 6-cell pack that I like is $12. I bought a flood lens for one for $5. As opposed to $66 for the Cygolite. So the Cygolite might be a better or much better light, but it's 3x the cost.
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Old 03-14-17, 08:15 AM   #40
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More like 2x, but who's counting.

Will the $35 setup last 4+ years of year-round all weather commuting?
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Old 03-14-17, 08:46 AM   #41
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More like 2x, but who's counting.

Will the $35 setup last 4+ years of year-round all weather commuting?
$35 with the extra 6-cell battery pack, $22 without. Which should probably be in your parts list - I'm a believer in having a spare.

The batteries are lasting me 2-3 years, regarding the lights themselves I haven't had one fail yet. I generally commute ~ 230 days, using lights on maybe half of them. My oldest light is, I think 4 or 5 years.
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Old 03-14-17, 10:33 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
So let's look at the cost of everything. By my calculations the light, lens, battery case, 4x 18650 Panasonic cells, and a charger capable of charging 4 cells at once is going to approach or even exceed the cost of a good self-contained light that charges with only a simple USB cable. Plus there will be more light modes, and it's almost certainly much closer to its actual stated brightness than that Chinese junk.

https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Metr.../dp/B01IO12B30
Yes. I have a Metro too. But the Metro doesn't last 3.5 hours on a charge, and the battery pack doesn't also run my MagicShine taillight.

And I can't just pop a new battery in the Metro if it does give out mid ride. If I need a backup I will need a whole other light.

And though "Junk" is often applied to cheap Chinese lights, I've had almost no trouble with mine over the course of 6+ years now.

I really don't care what the "stated" light is. I really don't care if they say it's a 450,000 lumen light and it actually is putting out 600. I care that it puts out 600. I think all of my Chinese lights are brighter than my Metro 550. One might be only as bright.

I really don't care about modes in the winter. I just need "light"

In the summer I run the Metro exclusively because it's just a "be seen" light and I just use the strobe in daylight.
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Old 03-15-17, 08:18 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
So let's look at the cost of everything. By my calculations the light, lens, battery case, 4x 18650 Panasonic cells, and a charger capable of charging 4 cells at once is going to approach or even exceed the cost of a good self-contained light that charges with only a simple USB cable. Plus there will be more light modes, and it's almost certainly much closer to its actual stated brightness than that Chinese junk.

https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Metr.../dp/B01IO12B30
Your calculations are wrong. The Magicshine clones are $20 to $40 all inclusive. The one I linked to includes the battery pack, charger, mount and a case for the battery pack. A better mount is additional...about $10...but the stock mount is completely usable and used by many.

And, while I agree that the output is overrated for the clones, it is brighter than the Cygolites. I have them for direct comparison and would estimate that the Cygolite I have is from 85% to 90% the brightness of the light I linked to.

And, finally, there is the run time issue. The clones run about twice as long. I suppose I could charge the Cygolite at the office for the ride home but that quickly reduces the convenience of the self-contained nature of the light. I'd have to have the cord and ability to charge it and remember to do it. I have done it at work and didn't find it to be all that convenient.
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Old 03-15-17, 08:23 AM   #44
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More like 2x, but who's counting.

Will the $35 setup last 4+ years of year-round all weather commuting?
Well, it has so far.

On the other hand, LED lights may have slowed down a little in output over the last couple of years but before that, the market was changing rapidly. Paying $60 to $120 for a light that has half the output of next year's model for 2/3 the price can make one feel a bit foolish.

Paying $20 for a light that may not be built to last (but does anyway), is a lot less painful to replace when a newer, better light comes along.
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Old 03-15-17, 08:31 AM   #45
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I'll stick with dyno lights.
Greater initial effort and cost, but the piece of mind of never having to worry about them has a real intrinsic value. They're always on without effort, and there are lights available that have the effective output of a 500-600 lumen light. For the few times I need more light I also have battery lights.
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Old 03-15-17, 08:49 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
And, finally, there is the run time issue. The clones run about twice as long. I suppose I could charge the Cygolite at the office for the ride home but that quickly reduces the convenience of the self-contained nature of the light. I'd have to have the cord and ability to charge it and remember to do it. I have done it at work and didn't find it to be all that convenient.
Gosh how long are you out in the dark needing a bright light? For a round trip commute in winter where it's dark for most of both commutes (about 2.5 hours total ride time for 31 miles), I use my Cygolite on the steady pulse mode, which is about like the Medium light setting, but it also pulsates. I can easily make that whole commute without even triggering the low battery indicator. No charging at work required. And if I do have to charge one or two of my front or rear lights at work, I have a couple of mini-USB cables next to my PC workstation and I just hook them up. It doesn't get much more convenient than that.
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Old 03-15-17, 11:44 AM   #47
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This thread shows that the various designs suit different kinds of needs. There's a light for everyone, and there's a reason for each design, including self-contained, cheap clone, dynamo, and whatever else.
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Old 03-15-17, 12:03 PM   #48
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I've owned a set of the eBay/Chinese CREE lamps with the separate battery pack. While they were quite bright, the battery didn't last very long, requiring a charge twice a day (once at work and once at home). That in itself was a PITA, but then there was the charging wire that failed which required minor surgical splicing, and then the cable from the battery failed, and again, more surgery. The mounting was also a hassle. In the end I just gave up, or rather, it gave up.

I'm currently running two 'self-contained' units. One requires charging once a day as I run that one at full power. The other at night time flash, and then day time flash. Much simpler.

In terms of how much power you need, more is better.
I have a Cree from Amazon, $20. Battery pack unplugs/unstraps from the bike. The ONLY issue I've ever had with the unit was the absence of the low-charge feature, which promised to switch to low-light mode when the battery was near discharge. The light is bright enough to make cars flash their brights at me, I recharge it 1x/week, no problems for 3-4 years.
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Old 03-15-17, 02:09 PM   #49
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Gosh how long are you out in the dark needing a bright light?
As I stated above, 2 to 2.5 hours.

Quote:
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For a round trip commute in winter where it's dark for most of both commutes (about 2.5 hours total ride time for 31 miles), I use my Cygolite on the steady pulse mode, which is about like the Medium light setting, but it also pulsates. I can easily make that whole commute without even triggering the low battery indicator. No charging at work required.
If I ran my lights at the medium setting, I could probably run for up to 4 hours, if needed. However, as I also stated above, I run my lights...all 3... at the highest setting whenever they are on. I have no use (nor need) for flashing lights. If I can see where I am going, people are going to notice my lights.

Pulse or flashing modes save battery life but they come at the cost of illumination. I see people riding in the dark with their light flashing away and can't for the life of me understand how they see a damned thing on the roads.

And, yes, I've tried flash mode. Didn't do anything for me except give me a headache.

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And if I do have to charge one or two of my front or rear lights at work, I have a couple of mini-USB cables next to my PC workstation and I just hook them up. It doesn't get much more convenient than that.
What's more convenient than that? Not needing to charging them for the ride home. If you need to charge them, you have to remember to charge them. I charge all of my lights at home at the end of the ride so that I have fresh batteries for the next ride. I'd rather not include having to charge them at the half way point as well. I doubt many people would find it convenient either.
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Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
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Old 03-15-17, 03:29 PM   #50
PatrickGSR94
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Location: Memphis TN area
Bikes: 2011 Felt Z85 (road/commuter), 2006 Marin Pine Mountain (utility/commuter E-bike), 1995 KHS Alite 1000 (gravel grinder)
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That's the thing, I forget stuff. I usually remember to charge lights, but every now and then I don't. If a rear light happens to die on the way in, or front light is low, I just throw them on the USB cables and they're ready to go by the end of the day.

I also can't understand people who use flash modes in the dark. It's definitely not very safe. That's why I like the Night Pulse mode on the Cygolite, just a quick pulse but the light stays on at all times. If I can see the light on the ground, then I run it on that mode. Once the daylight gets bright enough to no longer see the light on the ground, I switch it to the Day Flash mode. That mode can last me up to a week in the summer when my whole commute is in daylight hours.
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