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  1. #1
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Reliability of HID and efficiency of cold batteries

    I've been using a NR Rage for about a year now and it's definitely been a love/hate relationship. When it works, it's fabulous and it's difficult for me to believe that I actually thought a 10W halogen was anywhere near adequate for many years.

    However, especially when the light is cold, I sometimes have trouble firing it up, though eventually I always seem to manage to get things started. Also, the burn times I'm getting aren't nearly what were advertised. I sent the unit back to NR for evaluation where they bench tested it. The battery and charger checked out OK, but they said water had gotten through the gaskets and damaged the circuit board so the replaced it and resealed the gaskets. After the replacement, they said everything checked out and gave me what looked like a bench report affirming that.

    My wife thinks my expectations may be too high, but what is realistic? If I should theoretically get 4 hrs at 13W, how much time should I actually expect in cold wet conditions and the bike spends 9 hrs in an unheated space? BTW, there's no way in heck I'd want to ride my normal halogen anywhere near the advertised time either -- in real life conditions, I get really nervous when using the lights for half of their rated length.

    Do HID lights seem finicky to anyone else, and how do burn times compare with the advertised values? I love the light, but I wish it would be as reliable as the halogen.

    For those of you who think I should have sprung for the L&M, I originally didn't do this because I wanted one battery to power my taillight and headlight. Also, being able to adjust the light output and change the bulbs myself were factors.

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    What temperature is 'cold' where you find/notice lower operating time?

    Al

  3. #3
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    What temperature is 'cold' where you find/notice lower operating time?
    I rarely need lights when the temps are much above 40. When I called NR initially, they indicated that I should basically get the full time listed. Also, I don't know if this matters, but I also run the tail blinkie on the battery. The drain is very low, but since the circuitry looks for voltage drops, I was wondering if that could make any noticeable difference.

  4. #4
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I had a Nightrider repaired as well. This should solve the starting problems. If not just send it back again.
    They can fix it. If you ride in the rain expect to have this problem again someday, but nightrider wil fix it again.

    Different types of batteries have different results in the cold. It also depends on the temperature. Cold stops chemical reactions. Like batteries.

    One thing you can count on is that batteries will give you shorter run times in the cold. If you leave your battery in cold enough temps for that long expect to have short run times, or not work at all. It depends on the temp. The quoted run times are usually at about room temperature.

    Take the battery inside.

    Insulate the battery better and start with a warm battery from in the house. For a long ride put a chemnical hand warmer inside the insulation. If you get stuck on a long ride without light put the battery pack under your coat for a while. If the cord is long enough ride with the pack under your coat it works great.. Batteries work great at 98.6 degrees.

    Learn from my mistakes- unplug yourself from the light before you swing your leg over the bike to get off.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I have a section of street that's pretty much cobble stone that I take at around 15mph for 1/4 of a mile, the thing's jarring so much I can't really see clearly but the HID light keeps burning with the occasional orange flicker when I hit a really really big hole. Other than that, it's held up fine so far.

    As far as temperature is concerned, you lose 20% at freezing (32F) and it spirals downwards according to the chart.

  6. #6
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    I had a Nightrider repaired as well. This should solve the starting problems. If not just send it back again.
    They can fix it. If you ride in the rain expect to have this problem again someday, but nightrider wil fix it again.
    Just out of curiosity, how much did this wind up running if you had it done outside the warranty period?

    Actually, I don't mind the money as much as I mind being without my light. While my light was being repaired before, I was without my light for almost 2 weeks. It took a couple days to get to them, they had it for a few days plus a weekend, and sent it back. Once you've ridden with HID, nothing else seems OK.

  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    I have a section of street that's pretty much cobble stone that I take at around 15mph for 1/4 of a mile, the thing's jarring so much I can't really see clearly but the HID light keeps burning with the occasional orange flicker when I hit a really really big hole. Other than that, it's held up fine so far.

    As far as temperature is concerned, you lose 20% at freezing (32F) and it spirals downwards according to the chart.

    I could not figure out how to get that chart into the thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek
    Just out of curiosity, how much did this wind up running if you had it done outside the warranty period?
    Good thing you brought this up. If the repair is not something you caused they will fix it for free and pay the return shipping, they don't care how old the light is. They don't care where you got it.

    I had a starting problem, it was nothing I did, it was free. I have had more than one Nightrider light fixed for free.

    HID lights are used in 24 hour mtb racing, they take a beating just fine, the bulb is a little better against impacts than a halogen.

    slvoids L&M light and my Lupine HID lights have both been used by the same guy to win "The 24 hours of Adrenalin" 24 hour mtb race more than once. I emailed the guy before I bought my light, he got right back to me. mtbreview.com has tons of good light reviews and links.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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