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Old 11-27-07, 11:51 PM   #1
guitardude7889
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Headlight recomendations

I already have a 3-LED light for my bike, which is good so cars can see me, but i would like to see the road, and my light isn't strong enough for that. What light recomendations can you guys give me so that i can see the potholes in the road BEFORE i run them over? Most strong halogen lights come with battery packs, but i am sort of a bike-locking saftey freak; i take no chances with my bike or anything ever getting stolen, so i take EVERYTHING off it. How easy is it to remove a battery pack, or the lights that come with it?
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Old 11-28-07, 07:03 AM   #2
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I have a dionitte on my helmet, easy to take on and off, lightweight and a good beam. I have the most recent cateye 5100?? on my bar, and I think I need one more. The catyeyes each take 4 AA and slide right off there mount. The are supposed to be waterproof, so far for me that is true. I say I am going to add another because I week ago I went over the bars because of a pothole.
Good Luck! Stay safe!
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Old 11-28-07, 07:35 AM   #3
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I picked up a Blackburn System X3 for about $85. Works great. Can see very well in the dark and it uses a smart charger.

FYI, there is a whole lighting forum under the main area. Might be more help.
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Old 11-28-07, 07:46 AM   #4
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Agree with the helmet mount suggestion. It allows you to put light where you need it. Additionally, if you take your helmet with you, you don't even need to worry about removing the light to prevent theft.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:04 AM   #5
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You didn't say what your budget is. Planet Bike has a totally self-contained HID with a rechargable LiIon battery built in.
http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3060.html
Should remove as fast as your current light.
Run time is 2.5 hours so you'll have to recharge it probably at least every other day, but since it's so easy to snap off and on that shouldn't be a problem.

It is a lot of money though.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:54 AM   #6
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Dinottes. Easy on, easy off whether on the bike or helmet.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:40 AM   #7
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Again, how is your budget?

I looked at http://nowbikes-fitness.com/itemdeta...gId=39&id=2206 with the guy I know there. We took it outside at night and he blinded me from across the parking lot.

It was kewl!! I just have a night rider lead/acid battery and light (about $110 a few years ago). Would love the new one, but it's not in the budget! Studded tires first... LOL
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Old 11-29-07, 03:36 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. My budget is about $150 tops. Would like to stay about $100, but i'd spend more if i thought it would make a diference in performance or ease to take off. I guess i never really considered a light on my helmet because i never thought they'd be as strong as lights for the handlebars. Is that wrong? Also, I know the difference between LED and Halogen, but what is HID exactly? And which style (halogen, Led) is in general stronger than the rest?
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Old 11-29-07, 04:02 PM   #9
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For $150 I'd pick up one of the $15 dollar LED headlamps that Costco/etc have, and then a good handlebar headlight (the 200L by Dinotte during their recent sale would have been perfect)
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Old 11-29-07, 04:12 PM   #10
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Dinotte is still having their sale on the 200L with a lithium-ion battery

http://www.dinottelighting.com/

I ordered one the other day for $159 shipped.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:25 PM   #11
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As others have said, Dinotte!

And I will add: Consider Fenix. for $150 you can get 2 lights, 2 holders, batts, etc. And very flexible: both on bars, one on the helmet, different power levels. great products.


https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=22_69_71
https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=22_65
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Old 11-29-07, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitardude7889 View Post
Thanks guys. My budget is about $150 tops. Would like to stay about $100, but i'd spend more if i thought it would make a diference in performance or ease to take off. I guess i never really considered a light on my helmet because i never thought they'd be as strong as lights for the handlebars. Is that wrong? Also, I know the difference between LED and Halogen, but what is HID exactly? And which style (halogen, Led) is in general stronger than the rest?
DIY. Look at some of my posts over on the Electronics forum or at the Singletrack thread here. I'll try to put together a cost sheet tonight.
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Old 11-29-07, 05:50 PM   #13
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Lamps

Optronics QC-777 $20 JC Whitney

Hampton Roads Pin Back track lamp $20 Home Depot

MR16 12V 12° bulb $3 each Battery Space

Wiring

Remote switches $4 Battery Space

Dean’s connectors $4 Hobby Town

Polarized Speaker wire $10/spool Radio Shack

Mounts

Helmet mount $10 Battery Space

Handlebar mount $ 10 ea Battery Space

Space Bar $20 Performance

1” aluminum tube (fits lights better ) for Spacebar $4 Local hardware store

Batteries

3.3 Ahr batteries $19 ea Battery Space

Cage Rocket holder $10 ea REI

Chargers Maha C777 Plus II $70 (I have 3! But you can get cheaper ones at Battery Space)

Misc

Velcro – sticky back and regular - $10 Local hardware store

Misc nuts and bolts $5 Local hardware store


For my 3 lights with all the stuff except the chargers, I have $294 in it plus shipping and tax.

In all honesty, however, I had the batteries, the Spacebar, the battery holders, the wire, connectors, the bulbs and, finally, the chargers. I have another full set of lights that are based around Niterider lamp heads (similar to TrailRats) but juiced to 14.4V. They put out around 700 lumens per lamp which is very respectable. The Death Rays are just a fun experiment in how far over the top I can go

Here's another DIY called the Pond Scum that's pretty slick too. Mine are a little more robust because they are metal housing. Price is about the same per lamp.
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Old 11-29-07, 07:25 PM   #14
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I've got a Night Rover that is pretty decent, although I haven't used other systems to compare it. The NMH battery goes in a bottle holder and the headlight clips to a little band on the handlebars, so it is easy to take off and take with you, leaving only the little band on the bike. It has a 6 watt wide light and 10 watt more focused light. Lighting level is okay for me for what I do (riding on suburban streets and paved bike trails at about 15 mph max). I haven't tried it, but I wouldn't want to use it for mountain biking at anything over a walking speed.

People's night vision can vary, so your results may vary.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:36 PM   #15
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That's a pretty nice setup cyccommute. What's your average runtime between charges?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Lamps

Optronics QC-777 $20 JC Whitney

Hampton Roads Pin Back track lamp $20 Home Depot

MR16 12V 12° bulb $3 each Battery Space

Wiring

Remote switches $4 Battery Space

Dean’s connectors $4 Hobby Town

Polarized Speaker wire $10/spool Radio Shack

Mounts

Helmet mount $10 Battery Space

Handlebar mount $ 10 ea Battery Space

Space Bar $20 Performance

1” aluminum tube (fits lights better ) for Spacebar $4 Local hardware store

Batteries

3.3 Ahr batteries $19 ea Battery Space

Cage Rocket holder $10 ea REI

Chargers Maha C777 Plus II $70 (I have 3! But you can get cheaper ones at Battery Space)

Misc

Velcro – sticky back and regular - $10 Local hardware store

Misc nuts and bolts $5 Local hardware store


For my 3 lights with all the stuff except the chargers, I have $294 in it plus shipping and tax.

In all honesty, however, I had the batteries, the Spacebar, the battery holders, the wire, connectors, the bulbs and, finally, the chargers. I have another full set of lights that are based around Niterider lamp heads (similar to TrailRats) but juiced to 14.4V. They put out around 700 lumens per lamp which is very respectable. The Death Rays are just a fun experiment in how far over the top I can go

Here's another DIY called the Pond Scum that's pretty slick too. Mine are a little more robust because they are metal housing. Price is about the same per lamp.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:19 AM   #16
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That's a pretty nice setup cyccommute. What's your average runtime between charges?
For the 3.3 Ahr battery, it's around 2 hours. That's enough for my commute in the darkest part of the winter with a little to spare. I have a 3.5 Ah and a 4.2 Ah pack that give me a bit more time.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:45 PM   #17
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cyccommute,

I completely respect your abilities but I have to tell you that not everyone is as mechanically inclined as yourself. I wish I was.
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Old 11-30-07, 12:54 PM   #18
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As others have said, Dinotte!

And I will add: Consider Fenix. for $150 you can get 2 lights, 2 holders, batts, etc. And very flexible: both on bars, one on the helmet, different power levels. great products.


https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=22_69_71
https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=22_65
I don't understand what so hot about the Fenix light besides that it is small and now has a bar mount available. It is certainly a great little flash light for being seen but it is too weak to light up the road. The P2D's maximum output when not in S.O.S or strobe is only 40 lumens.

I bought a NiteRider TrailRat with a 15w halogen bulb and that put out probably 300 lumens. And it's on sale at Performance for $109.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4320

But the thing is it only last for 1:45 hours.

Last edited by yamcha; 11-30-07 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:57 PM   #19
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I doubt very seriously that the Trail Rat (or any 15 watt halogen) puts out that kind of lumens.....I could be wrong. I just bought a Cygolite Dual Cross Li-ion (not the pro) and it puts out around 125 lumen for each light....and it absolutely blows away my 15 watt Marwi Nightpro.
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Old 11-30-07, 05:35 PM   #20
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cyccommute,

I completely respect your abilities but I have to tell you that not everyone is as mechanically inclined as yourself. I wish I was.
I'm not a real mechanic, I just play one on TV

Not much involved in it at all. The hardest thing was the wiring...and that's pretty simple. The light units are premade, the battery holders are off the shelf, the switches are prewired and the mounts are all commercial units. All that was involved in putting them together was attaching some bolts. Really simple. If I can do it, so can anyone.
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Old 11-30-07, 05:49 PM   #21
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I doubt very seriously that the Trail Rat (or any 15 watt halogen) puts out that kind of lumens.....I could be wrong. I just bought a Cygolite Dual Cross Li-ion (not the pro) and it puts out around 125 lumen for each light....and it absolutely blows away my 15 watt Marwi Nightpro.
A 15W 6V MR11 puts out 300 lumens at 6 V. A 10W MR11 puts out 180 lm. Increase the voltage to 7.2V and the output about doubles.
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Old 11-30-07, 05:52 PM   #22
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Sam's Club is selling two waterproof 80 lumen LED flashlights for $28. No flashing capability, just on or off. They use 3 AAA batteries rather than what I prefer, AA. They have fairly narrow beams but using two seems adequate.

Get two fully adjustable (so you can aim them just how you want to) flashlight mounts with quick releases for your handlebars.
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Old 11-30-07, 06:52 PM   #23
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A 15W 6V MR11 puts out 300 lumens at 6 V. A 10W MR11 puts out 180 lm. Increase the voltage to 7.2V and the output about doubles.
How do I increase the voltage to 7.2? Would that kill the battery life and bulb? As you can see, I am like a woman when it comes to technical stuff.
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Old 11-30-07, 06:57 PM   #24
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How do I increase the voltage to 7.2? Would that kill the battery life and bulb? As you can see, I am like a woman when it comes to technical stuff.
You build a pack with 6 cells in series instead of 5. Bulb life is shortened but bulbs are cheap for the amount of light you gain.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:29 PM   #25
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What about battery life?
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