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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 08-16-07, 10:14 AM   #1
onthevirg
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Need some advice on lighting

Figured the commuter forum would be the best place to get some advice on lighting. Since winter's rolling around and school is getting ready to fire up again (UGH!) I'm going to have to switch most of my riding to the morning. Since it's pretty much pitch black when I'll need to go (5 am) I'm wondering if you guys/gals out there have any advice on lighting. Is it better just to try and find streets that have a decent lighting or are there any products out there that can throw sufficient light to provide good illumination of the road/trail? Appreciate the tips.
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Old 08-16-07, 10:24 AM   #2
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Try searching first. Light selection guide.
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Old 08-16-07, 10:30 AM   #3
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There are a ton of choices out there when it comes to lighting. You will need a very bright light like the Niterider to see where you are going if you are commuting mainly in streets without street lights. But those can get expensive quick. Or you can use an LED light, what I use, if you have plenty of street lights. The LED lights will not give you enough light to see the streets but its main purpose is for you to be seen by drivers. Also don't forget tail lights. You will want to be seen from behind too. A good tail light is just as important as a good headlight.

Look here for some ideas.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/..._computers.cfm
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Old 08-16-07, 10:34 AM   #4
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D'oh...thanks Knobster. n00b strikes again!

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Try searching first. Light selection guide.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:07 PM   #5
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Why don't you tell us how much you want to spend first so you don't get the range from $40 to $1,400!! And tell us if this budget is just for the front or do want some of the budget spared for a rear.
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Old 08-17-07, 12:14 PM   #6
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The LED lights will not give you enough light to see the streets but its main purpose is for you to be seen by drivers.
Most LED bicycle specific lights donít put out much light. For whatever reason there made for being seen and not seeing where you're going, unless you're prepared to spend $75 or more. A cheap alternative is the Mag-Lite 3-watt LED mini-mag flashlight. This LED light does provide enough light to actually see where you're going. You get a focusing head so you can dial-in the beam pattern you need, 2.5 hours of burn time on 2 AA batteries, and it's easy to mount using plastic blinkie clamps and EMT conduit hangers. You can just use Conduit hangers bolted back-to back as well. You can also use it as a very bright flashlight around the house as well. My Wal-mart has them on clearance sale for $19 but others are reporting a $7.99 price at some stores.
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Old 08-17-07, 07:45 PM   #7
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That Mag light 3 watt LED is a piece of crap. I bought one after some poster named Froze bought one after he read about it on this forum, and his broke I think he said 2 or 3 times, and mine broke 5 times in 7 months! I used mine while touring as a camp flashlight, I don't know what Froze used his for. Sometimes the head on mine would get loose with no way to tighten it, at other times the bulb would only light for about 5 to 30 seconds then shut off automatically. I had to keep finding Walmarts to get free replacements!!! finally I gave up and exchanged it for a Mag Xenon light that cost about $12 less and is built much better?!! Go figure. On top of all of that, that 3 watt LED was not that much brighter, if any, then the Xenon anyways!!!
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Old 08-18-07, 05:11 AM   #8
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Riding on very dark roads with good lights makes you much more visable than riding in conditions with more light. I'm not just saying you'll be more visable than you would be under say street lights, but you'll actually be more visable than you would be in full daylight. When it's completely dark then the only thing a driver would be able to focus on would be what apeared right in their head lights and your bike lights. In daylight there is just so much more for a driver to take in than they have to in the dark.

It will safer, but only if you have good lights that can reach far enough back to be seen by the driver in time for them to alter their course if they need to. I recomend a Dinotte tail light, it is powerful enough to be seen from a good distance.

I love my Lupine LED headlight but I understand that not too many non commutrs will be into spending the cash for this system.

I think you will find that you love riding early in the morning, not many cars and (as I said) the drivers really see you, an added benifit is that you can use the whole road much like a pro rider does during a race because the few cars you encounter will make themselves known to you well in advance of their arival. Your personal life may take a hit though as you will be going to bed much earlier.
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Old 08-18-07, 09:47 AM   #9
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That Mag light 3 watt LED is a piece of crap. I bought one after some poster named Froze bought one after he read about it on this forum, and his broke I think he said 2 or 3 times, and mine broke 5 times in 7 months! I used mine while touring as a camp flashlight, I don't know what Froze used his for. Sometimes the head on mine would get loose with no way to tighten it, at other times the bulb would only light for about 5 to 30 seconds then shut off automatically. I had to keep finding Walmarts to get free replacements!!! finally I gave up and exchanged it for a Mag Xenon light that cost about $12 less and is built much better?!! Go figure. On top of all of that, that 3 watt LED was not that much brighter, if any, then the Xenon anyways!!!
I've got over 1,000 "night miles" on the one pictured and never a problem encountered. How have you been mounting it?
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Old 08-18-07, 08:02 PM   #10
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LED lights can be plenty bright- check Dinotte, Princeton Tec, or Lupine
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Old 08-19-07, 07:00 AM   #11
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Hey, N4Zou, I like your rig! Thanks for the pic of how you added the perch to your handlebars for all the lights and stuff.

I have been using an LED light from Nashbar that I really like. It has five LED lights and runs for 20 to 150 hours on three AAA batteries. It has seven LED lights. This set includes a rear blinkie as an added bonus.

This light is brighter than my Nighthawk light that runs on 6 heavy and expensive D-Cell batteries.

If the Nahbar LED doesn't have enought light, use two of them. At $30 bucks each, you can use a couple of them if you want.

See http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Light%20Combos
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Old 08-20-07, 10:25 AM   #12
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Hey, N4Zou, I like your rig! Thanks for the pic of how you added the perch to your handlebars for all the lights and stuff.
The "perch" is 1/2" PVC plumbing pipe covered with electrical tape just in case I had an accident, which shattered it. I used EMT conduit hangers bolted back to back to mount it to the handlebars. Cheap, easy, and works very well.
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