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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-24-06, 09:22 AM   #1
Scorer75
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Got my new Light & Motion ARC NiMH HID Light!!!!

So, I was finally convinced by an engineer I work with to go with HID. He's fairly conservative and in a recent conversation he told me that on a dark descent, he cannot outrun the light at 45mph!!!

So, I bit the bullet. $300 for the Light & Motion ARC NiMH HID Headlight.

Charged the battery and hooked it up to the bike.

First impression, nice mount for the battery, easy thumbscrew mount for the head. No tools = nice. People complained that the wire is to long, I don't have a problem with that.

On the bike, about halfway home it's dusk. Not dark, but not enough light to clearly see small cracks and dips in the road, time to turn the light on.

First thing I notice is that cars are waiting for me to pass at stop signs while I am half a block away. Clearly, I am being seen and noticed. Keep reminding my self to not assume they still will not pull out in front of me. No false sense of security for this rider.

As it continues getting darker, I can clearly see cracks, potholes, imperfections, and debris with plenty of time to get around them. I am noticing however that it’s not as bright as I thought it would be, but certainly brighter than anything else I’ve tried.

So, I finally get home and pull into the garage. It’s still not “dark” out and I’m not 100% sold on the light. I’m thinking about this while I start undressing and take off my helmet and sunglasses. Yup, I had started the ride while it was still light and had never taken off my sunglasses!!!

I can’t wait to take this light out again to see what it’s really like but it worked acceptably even while wearing sunglasses and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she can do when used properly.

Is it worth the $300? I'm still not sure but I'll follow up and let you know.
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Old 10-24-06, 09:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorer75
...I am noticing however that itís not as bright as I thought it would be, but certainly brighter than anything else Iíve tried.

So, I finally get home and pull into the garage. Itís still not ďdarkĒ out and Iím not 100% sold on the light. Iím thinking about this while I start undressing and take off my helmet and sunglasses. ...
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Old 10-24-06, 09:37 AM   #3
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Where'd you buy yours? $300 is a good price!
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Old 10-24-06, 09:43 AM   #4
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I really like mine. If you combine it with a Denotte helmet lamp you'll be real happy. I am.
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Old 10-24-06, 09:45 AM   #5
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Nice, that's one thing I've noticed too is cars, people, everyone will wait uncomfortably long for you to pass. It's pretty bad since it creates a false sense of security. OTOH, its pretty cool too.
Where in NY's your commute? You're in the city no?

At first I was like, engineer? recommended? can't out run light? Oh s**t, you're someone I work with!
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Old 10-24-06, 10:11 AM   #6
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mech: Nashbar matched Performance at $349 and then I took 10% off so it was actually 314. Hope I didn't mislead anyone with $300. It was an aproximate and that's how much my wife thinks it costs .

slvoid: We rode together in the NYC Century. My ride is from the South Shore of Long Island (near JFK) to Flatbush (near Brooklyn College, the Junction).
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Old 10-24-06, 10:19 AM   #7
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Er.. which one were you?
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Old 10-24-06, 10:30 AM   #8
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So you work near my old neighborhood? You work at Brooklyn College or one of the banks at the Junction? I just wanna know where to wait so I can get a free headlight.
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Old 10-24-06, 10:47 AM   #9
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slvoid:
We started together and split at the Brooklyn Bridge when I got a flat. Big white guy on a red Cannondale cyclocross with disc brakes.

jvossarian:
I work one block south of the junction, Avenue I. I cruise down Flatbush Ave. at 20+ miles per hour so first you need to catch me and I'm 6' 3" 235lb. and I really don't want to give this away for free, so you'd better REALLY want it if you plan on coming to get it.
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Old 10-24-06, 11:38 AM   #10
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Ahhh that's you. I have an odd feeling if Jyossarian tried to get in front of all that mass going 20mph, you're gonna flatten him like a pan cake...
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Old 10-24-06, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Ahhh that's you. I have an odd feeling if Jyossarian tried to get in front of all that mass going 20mph, you're gonna flatten him like a pan cake...
Looking forward to it.
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Old 10-24-06, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon
Where'd you buy yours? $300 is a good price!
beyondbikes had them for $289 when I bought mine. I think they were closing out the 06s. Not sure though.
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Old 10-24-06, 06:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorer75
jvossarian:
I work one block south of the junction, Avenue I. I cruise down Flatbush Ave. at 20+ miles per hour so first you need to catch me and I'm 6' 3" 235lb. and I really don't want to give this away for free, so you'd better REALLY want it if you plan on coming to get it.
I have a car. I think it weighs more than 200 lbs.

Now I'm jealous. I think I need a HID, but everytime I think about the cost, I shiver cuz it costs as much as my bikes.
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Old 10-24-06, 07:46 PM   #14
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I might be naive but is a HID absolutely neccessary in a city such as new york. In my little farmtown the main drag is all lit up I really don't need the headlight so I set it to flash. It seems like in the city you have more lights then a small town
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Old 10-24-06, 08:01 PM   #15
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You don't need gears or a brake either.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
You don't need gears or a brake either.
...............
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Old 10-24-06, 08:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Nice, that's one thing I've noticed too is cars, people, everyone will wait uncomfortably long for you to pass. It's pretty bad since it creates a false sense of security. OTOH, its pretty cool too.
Where in NY's your commute? You're in the city no?

At first I was like, engineer? recommended? can't out run light? Oh s**t, you're someone I work with!
I've noticed the same thing since mounting a HID, especially cars waiting to run right on a red light.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:23 PM   #18
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Careful, it's no bargain getting last year's close out light. Lion batteries last about 3 years from date of manufacturer, regardless of charging/discharging cycles.

So OP, what's your impression now????
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Old 10-24-06, 08:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Careful, it's no bargain getting last year's close out light. Lion batteries last about 3 years from date of manufacturer, regardless of charging/discharging cycles.

So OP, what's your impression now????
That's when the L-ion batteries start to lose storage capacity, not when they die. But your advice is good in either case. Good thing to bring up.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:46 PM   #20
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Just Replace the battery when it dies? Or is that impossible?
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Old 10-25-06, 06:30 AM   #21
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The batteries will start to loose capacity after about 500 recharge cycles and also with age (years). With regular use (1-2 hours, 5 days/week) you should get at least 50% capacity after 2 years. Yes, it is easy to replace the battery.
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Old 10-25-06, 09:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
I have a car. I think it weighs more than 200 lbs.
If you have a car on Flatbush Avenue you have 0% of catching me. I get from my office to Kings Plaza in 6 minutes, it's 15-20 by car during rush hour.
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Old 10-25-06, 09:38 AM   #23
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UPDATE:

3 items:

1. Price!!!
Nashbar dropped their price to $327 and after 10% coupon that equals under $300!!! They have a price guarantee if they sell it less than you bought it for in the last 15 days. Waiting for them to confirm price change.

2. ryanparrish:
You make a valid point. While you do not need lights on parts of my ride, when I get into Queens and ride along the ocean, there are stretches without lights. Also, I doubt your roads have nearly as many serious imperfections that would cause you to take a spill if you were not prepared for them. These include, significant potholes, construction cutouts, glass, dead animals (ok, not dangerous, but nasty) Could my ride be done without an HID? Yes. Safely at 20+ mph? No way. Nothing else has given me the confidence to ride knowing I will see things in time to aovid them. Even high cost LED's are very narrow beams which miss a lot. As a matter of fact, the guy who convinced me to go HID in the first place asked about my backup. He lives where there are no street lights. I told him if I lost the HID I have a blinkie for safety and could safely do my commute at 8-10 mph. Not practical daily, but workable in an emergency.

3. Second impression
My impression now is awesome. You see anything in the road that you might want to avoid. It's weird, I was riding last night and trying to identify items in the road while judging if I have enough time to aovid them. Absolutely no problem. I was not "blown away" as others have been by the brightness so much as I was by the fact that everything is clearly visible well in fron of you.

The clock changes this weekend and my riding season would have ended abruptly Saturday. Now I can continue for as long as I'm comfortable with the temperature. Is the price steep, absolutely. It's half what I paid for my bike. I am still trying to justify the cost, but in the meantime, I'm still riding and that's what's important to me.
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Old 10-25-06, 09:47 AM   #24
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My impressions exactly. I actually feel safer with the HID at night than I do during broad day light because the HID makes me a lot more visible.

The difference between a low powered or LED blinker and the HID is that the HID allows me to ride at full day light speeds at night.

Plus, have a friend look at a standard 10 watt halogen or cateye blinker through a windshield in the rain and it's near invisible. The HID is just about the only thing that makes you stand out through the windshield of a car in the rain.

If one can afford it, why not? I can't wait for day light saving time.
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Old 10-25-06, 09:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
That's when the L-ion batteries start to lose storage capacity, not when they die. But your advice is good in either case. Good thing to bring up.
and somewhat moot. OP bought NiMH.
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