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  1. #1
    Senior Member greenstork's Avatar
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    Best headlight under $100?

    I dug around in the lighting sticky for 10 minutes and most of the recommendations for good lights were for lights over $100. Giving in to my laziness, I'll just put the question out there. What is everyone's favorite headlight for under $100?

  2. #2
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    I have had 3.
    1) Cheap bell headlight and tailight combo: $25--> slightly above worthless
    2) Cygolite night rover --> Good. Except that I abused it to death
    3) Cateye hl-el500 --> Barely adequate.

    I replaced #2 with #3. My current thought is that I should have replaced #2 with the extra version and treated it better.

  3. #3
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I got this, it comes with a handlebar mount as well as the helmet mount
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Front%20Lights

  4. #4
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    If you can drop the extra $25 bucks then this would be so far what I see a good product for the price. http://www.beyondbikes.com/bb/items.asp?cc=CygoLite

    http://www.cygolite.com/2-Products/1-DualCross200.htm Manufactuers site. Only difference from 200 and 300 model is the battery charger. The 200 is an overnight charger and the 300 is a 4 hour smart charger. IMHO I would go with the 300 for the smart charger. Next model up is Li-ion but most expensive. All models have the same functions.

    For -$100 (assuming USD) I'd go with a NiteHawk AL-X emitter from www.mec.ca for $69 CDN/ approx. $57 USD. You have the flexiblity of AA batteries and two modes of power 10%/100% and the beam is a spot. Package comes with both helmet and bar mount so you have the best of both worlds if you happen to have another light in the future you can helmet mount or dual bar mount.


    Zero_Enigma

  5. #5
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    I got the Cygolite Night-Rover NiMH Xtra 16 watt and it works very well. I've heard some people complain about the switches but that hasn't been a problem for me so far. I got it for $70.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Without music, life would be a mistake."
    -- Friedrich Nietzsche

  6. #6
    Member OldBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil
    I got the Cygolite Night-Rover NiMH Xtra 16 watt and it works very well. I've heard some people complain about the switches but that hasn't been a problem for me so far. I got it for $70.
    I have had a similar experience with this light. I'm now working on a home brew lighting system. If you're willing to do a little work and don't mind the extra weight of a lead acid battery, you can get yourself a 20W halogen light for about $60.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    I got this, it comes with a handlebar mount as well as the helmet mount
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Front%20Lights
    Chalk up another vote for the Planet Bike Alias. Bright light with thoughtful design features, NiHM battery and a smart charger.

  8. #8
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    +2 for the Alias...
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

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    Anybody had enough experience with the Alias to determine how long the bulb lasts being overvolted?

    I've had good experience with the Marwi Nightpro, I think it's 12w. Usually just over $100. Early versions from 5 years ago had weak connections with the cord, but they're solid now.

  10. #10
    Easily distracted...
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    I just picked up a Princeton Tec EOS headlamp for my helmet. It was about $30 and makes a great helmet/backup light for my Vega. I don't think I would run the EOS as my main light but it serves it's purpose very well.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  11. #11
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    One advantage of the Cygolite over the PB Alias is the run time.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Without music, life would be a mistake."
    -- Friedrich Nietzsche

  12. #12
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Cygolite.

    I had a switch issue after a year or so, but the whole light was replaced no questions asked.
    Bring the pain.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie
    I have had 3.
    1) Cheap bell headlight and tailight combo: $25--> slightly above worthless
    2) Cygolite night rover --> Good. Except that I abused it to death
    3) Cateye hl-el500 --> Barely adequate.

    I replaced #2 with #3. My current thought is that I should have replaced #2 with the extra version and treated it better.

    I really like the el500, although I ride in town where the lighting's fairly good. I'd love to run two, but then that gets you right up to $100 and maybe into a different category of product.

    BTW, I use mine with rechargeable NIMH batts, which have been great.
    Lemond Poprad / Jamis Dragon Race 29er / Surly LHT
    "the feel of steel"

  14. #14
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    If I was entirely in town it would be a decent light. It has issues in low lit areas. Plus, with all the water and ice lately it just feels inadequate.

  15. #15
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    I picked up a Turbocat S10 brand new on ebay a year ago for $90 and am pretty happy with it. My gf got an S15 for just under $100.

    To the OP - I think Counterbalance in lower Queen Anne carries these systems (though for more $$$) if you want to check them out.

  16. #16
    Senior Member greenstork's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendations all, it is much appreciated! That PB Alias light at $75 on sale from N***bar seems like a deal that's too good to pass up.

  17. #17
    Banned.
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    I think the Cygolite Night-Rover NiMH Xtra that Daredevil mentioned is the best deal out there.

    This light has dual beams, a 6 watt flood and a 10 watt spot either or both (total 16 watts) can be running; and if you run just the 6 watt flood it will run up to 6 hours on a charge. The only problem with this light is that it doesn't come with a smart charger; but you can buy a cheap $8 lamp timer and estimate the amount of charge time you need; for example if you ran the light for 3 hours on low and it takes 8 hours to charge a dead battery then you need to charge for 4 hours-not rocket science. The battery is pretty forgiving so if you miscalculate the charge time and over charge by an hour or so you won't hurt the battery.

    I have the cheapest Cygolite they ever made called the Metro (no longer made); and I've owned it for about 5 years and have had no issues with the switches, even after being exposed to rain on occasions.

  18. #18
    Certifiable Bike "Expert"
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    I saw a basic halogen Light & Motion NiMH single beam setup at the local REI Garage Sale for about $50. It got snapped up pretty quickly.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  19. #19
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    This $14.99 LED is the best buy, in my opinion. I use it as a backup to my HID. You don't want to barrel down a pitch-black path at 20 mph with it, but it has a nice diamond pattern for traffic cycling (spot in the middle, four spots in a diamond pattern around that).

    Performance ViewPoint Flare 5 LED Light:

  20. #20
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    i have the nite rover xtra as well and i've been pretty pleased with it. its put up with some nasty wet wweather, sub zero (F) temps, me accidentally leaving it on the charger for a whole weekend, and seems unfazed by any of it. i've heard people complain about the switches too, i never touch them, i just un plug and plug in the light as needed and leave it on full power (morning commute in the dark is only and hour, and afternoon commute is daylit)

  21. #21
    It's true, man.
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    bst deal going right now on lights is this deal on a NiteRider HID light...$300 for a helmet mount setup complete.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...-Lights&cm_em=

    A NiteRider HeadTrip 6v, 10 watt halogen system. $90. That's about the cheapest you're going to find for a new, decent light system. This stuff is suitable for offroad riding at night.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...-Lights&cm_em=

    Be sure to click thru one of the Bikeforum links to Performance, if you decide to order.

  22. #22
    back in the saddle bent-not-broken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenstork
    Thanks for the recommendations all, it is much appreciated! That PB Alias light at $75 on sale from N***bar seems like a deal that's too good to pass up.
    I picked this light up from performance for $69 DELIVERED during one of their pre xmas $20 coupan and free shipping promotiions. It performs very well.

    Bent

  23. #23
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Believe me, I don't work for Cygolite but it might seem so. I too have used mine in rain, snow and very cold temps.

    Additionally there is a gravel rail trail near here that includes tunnels. There is an outfit that rents bikes for that ride and they have dozens of these Cygolites and have had no complaints at all. I researched this quite a bit myself to be cost effective and the Cygo is what I came up with. I don't think you could go wrong.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Without music, life would be a mistake."
    -- Friedrich Nietzsche

  24. #24
    Banned. Elusor's Avatar
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    so for cygolite night rover xtra, cygolite explorerr, or plenetbike alias, or for? http://www.arequip.com/Products/Cygo...20Explorer.htm

  25. #25
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Absolute best bang for the buck: Nighthawk Raptor. You can get them on sale at Performance for $35. 10W halogen. Only downside is the lead acid battery which is not "light" (as bicycle batteries go). Decent runtime though.
    Treasurer, HHCMF Club
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    But working at a job where I can't surf BikeForums all day any more...

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