Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR T, Trek SC
    Posts
    3,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What is life expectancy of lighting systems?

    Moved a battery cable and smoke, smoke, smoke. Wow, no even 14 months on battery. Both insulated lines are now showing massive exposed wires. This was a performance evo dual light set, not cheap at $150. But if just barely lasts over a year, not a good buy. Think of bitting the bullet and going for something like a Jet or L&M, but if they just last a year or so, it might be better to just think of lights as disposable and get a cheaper set.

    I ride year round, so need something that will work in the winter.

    So what's your experience, how long do lights/batteries last?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  2. #2
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Essex, MD
    My Bikes
    Ridley X-Fire (carbon, white)
    Posts
    5,174
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Moved a battery cable and smoke, smoke, smoke. Wow, no even 14 months on battery. Both insulated lines are now showing massive exposed wires. This was a performance evo dual light set, not cheap at $150. But if just barely lasts over a year, not a good buy. Think of bitting the bullet and going for something like a Jet or L&M, but if they just last a year or so, it might be better to just think of lights as disposable and get a cheaper set.

    I ride year round, so need something that will work in the winter.

    So what's your experience, how long do lights/batteries last?

    This may be a workmanship issue (unless you can determine whether you shorted the battery somehow.)
    See if Performance will take it back. They're usually pretty good about these things, especially if it's a workmanship issue.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  3. #3
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR T, Trek SC
    Posts
    3,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by NoRacer
    This may be a workmanship issue (unless you can determine whether you shorted the battery somehow.)
    See if Performance will take it back. They're usually pretty good about these things, especially if it's a workmanship issue.

    I understand. Yesterday they didn't have replacement batteries and there is the potential to offer credit. But salesmen were distracted by a gaggle of cute girls in store. I'll revisit the issue on friday when I pick up the bike there.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,968
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Moved a battery cable and smoke, smoke, smoke. Wow, no even 14 months on battery. Both insulated lines are now showing massive exposed wires. This was a performance evo dual light set, not cheap at $150. But if just barely lasts over a year, not a good buy. Think of bitting the bullet and going for something like a Jet or L&M, but if they just last a year or so, it might be better to just think of lights as disposable and get a cheaper set.

    I ride year round, so need something that will work in the winter.

    So what's your experience, how long do lights/batteries last?

    All parts of the system should, theoretically, last forever but stuff happens. It sounds like you shorted out the battery because of exposed wires. If your battery isn't a sealed lead acid, this shouldn't be too much of a problem especially if you didn't short the battery down to dead cells. SLA's don't like to be discharged like that (no battery really likes it ) and you may have ended up killing the battery.

    Fixes: If the wires are exposed, you either need to replace the wires or at least the area that is exposed. I don't know how these wires are connected to the battery but you could cut the wire out and put a connector in its place or you could just reinsulate the wires. You could just put shrink wrap tubing over the exposed wire (on both pieces) and put an extra piece...or two...over the new insulation to help avoid wear through again. But that would depend on whether or you can get access to the wires to put shrink wrap tubing over it (soldered connections to the battery, for example). If the wear area is in the middle of the cord, you might not be able to put on the shrink wrap.

    A less elegant way would be to wrap the bare wires (separately, of course) with electrical tape. It's way ugly but it works.

    If you killed the battery, i.e. it no longer takes a charge, you can get replacement batteries from Batteryspace.com. You might need a new connector but those are easy to come by. My favorite is called a Dean's Ultra Connector which is available just about anywhere that carries RC cars (not Radio Shack). You have to solder the connection but it is not hard.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  5. #5
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR T, Trek SC
    Posts
    3,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks and speaking batteries. Is there much difference between NiMh and Li-Ion? besides price.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  6. #6
    Ferrous wheel
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Orleans
    My Bikes
    2004 Gunnar Rock Hound MTB; 1988 Gitane Team Pro road bike; 1986-ish Raleigh USA Grand Prix; mid-'80s Univega Gran Tourismo with Xtracycle Free Radical
    Posts
    1,388
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a 1947 Sturmey-Archer Dynohub that still works quite well.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  7. #7
    Enjoy
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle metro
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    6,167
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver

    So what's your experience, how long do lights/batteries last?
    Most of the stuff you see at the bike shops are made for casual weekenders. Constant road vibs, rain and temperature changes really tank most bike accessories. If you want a light that'll last wire up one using auto parts. If might cost $150...but it'll last for years. And if something breaks the car shop has the replacement parts.

  8. #8
    Easily distracted...
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Decatur, Ga
    My Bikes
    Surley Cross Check
    Posts
    1,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by spider-man
    I have a 1947 Sturmey-Archer Dynohub that still works quite well.
    I have a 2004 Shimano generator that is great. I replace the Lumotec bulb once a year, though.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  9. #9
    Ferrous wheel
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Orleans
    My Bikes
    2004 Gunnar Rock Hound MTB; 1988 Gitane Team Pro road bike; 1986-ish Raleigh USA Grand Prix; mid-'80s Univega Gran Tourismo with Xtracycle Free Radical
    Posts
    1,388
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by GTcommuter
    I have a 2004 Shimano generator that is great. I replace the Lumotec bulb once a year, though.
    I run a Shimano on another bike. Once you've had a generator hub, you never go back.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  10. #10
    Easily distracted...
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Decatur, Ga
    My Bikes
    Surley Cross Check
    Posts
    1,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Uh oh, I feel a thread hijack...

    But yes, I agree. I can't think of one complaint about my generator.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  11. #11
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    W. Sacramento Region, aka, Nut Tree
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR T, Trek SC
    Posts
    3,259
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Number one problem of generator lights, they are simply not bright enough. We need North American lighting and not euro lighting, as bikes are not as common here.

    I had an old generator light. Adv- no batteries to give out, or to have to discharge. Disadv- did I mention unsafe to ride fast at night?

    LED lights and less than 30 watts are not sufficient. So halogen is barely serviceable. HID is great but cost is the big problem here. If you spend $400 for a light, you need to really ride at night and not avoid it.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  12. #12
    Easily distracted...
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Decatur, Ga
    My Bikes
    Surley Cross Check
    Posts
    1,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Number one problem of generator lights, they are simply not bright enough. We need North American lighting and not euro lighting, as bikes are not as common here.
    That's probably true. Not really an issue for me, though.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    23,045
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Thanks and speaking batteries. Is there much difference between NiMh and Li-Ion? besides price.
    Yes, they have different voltages and charging charateristics... however if you are buying a battery with a charging system, the charger should be designed for the battery. Don't try to charge a battery with with a charger built for different type of battery... at best it won't charge, at worst you may end up with "rapid disassembly" a trade term for "explosion."

    Now all that said, lets suppose that you need a 12 volt battery, for your 12 volt lighting system... well chances are your lights don't care about the actual source of the power, so any battery that delivers the right voltage and has the right milliamp-hour rating should work. A bit of a caveat to that... if you don't have the right milliamp-hour rating, again you may find your battery failing unexpectedly.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    northern California
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
    Posts
    5,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My home-brew systems last for years until I break a bulb or upgrade the power level. I have smoked two sets of wires. Both times using cheesy Trailor hitch connectors.
    This space open

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,968
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Thanks and speaking batteries. Is there much difference between NiMh and Li-Ion? besides price.
    Yes, there is. One of the best sources I've found for battery information is 'Batteries in a Portable World'. It's got lots more information than you might need but all the information is spot on. In particular read Chapter 2 on battery chemistries. Look at the charts for advantages and disadvantages of each battery chemistry.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,968
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    My home-brew systems last for years until I break a bulb or upgrade the power level. I have smoked two sets of wires. Both times using cheesy Trailor hitch connectors.
    I use heavy gauge speaker wire (from Radio Shack) and the Dean's Ultra Connectors. The Dean's will carry just about any current you can throw at them. And they are relatively cheap.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,968
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Number one problem of generator lights, they are simply not bright enough. We need North American lighting and not euro lighting, as bikes are not as common here.

    I had an old generator light. Adv- no batteries to give out, or to have to discharge. Disadv- did I mention unsafe to ride fast at night?

    LED lights and less than 30 watts are not sufficient. So halogen is barely serviceable. HID is great but cost is the big problem here. If you spend $400 for a light, you need to really ride at night and not avoid it.
    You'd be amazed at the increased output of a halogen system by just changing from a 6 V system to a 12 V system. Overvolt the bulb (I run a 14.4V battery with 12 V halogen) and you have intense lights for a cheap price.

    I use Niterider heads with my own batteries. The Niterider Sport (d-cell powered systems) are really cheap right now. I think I saw some at the Westminster Performance for less than $40 per unit. Three of them, with new bulbs and batteries would cost roughly $200 and the time to put it all together. The EVO system you currently have might take a 12V MR11 20W bulb too.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •