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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 12-11-07, 10:00 PM   #1
agarose2000
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Any FENIX torch users commuting with it?

The FENIX flashlight / torches (AA-powered) have been getting lots of rave reviews. I just bought one, and it puts out an incredible amount of light (110 lumens) for $55. Impressive, and small.

Just wanted to hear if any folks are using this for their bike commute and if there are any hiccups / hangups, or good points they've noticed in the process of using it.

I'll probably run one on my handlebars and one on the helmet, but we'll see if anyone has better ideas.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:01 AM   #2
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I use the LD2 which puts out 180 lumens. I have one on both my handlebars and helmet. They are simply wonderful!

Last edited by Ziemas; 12-12-07 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:06 AM   #3
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Post some pictures please.

As an alternative Pelican do a rechargeable 130lumen mini torch and there are other brighter options out there too.

http://pelican.com/lights_detail.php?recordID=7060

edit: pics. of the LD2 especially please.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:26 AM   #4
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I have an L2T 2.0, which sounds very similar to the one mentioned in the first post. It is like riding with a car headlight on the bike. It scares pedestrians. In order to get a bike light that bright (about 120-140 lumens), I would have to spend a lot of money. Plus, the Fenix is useful off the bike, and it can easily be removed so that it can't be stolen when the bike is parked.

I highly recommend them, even better if you have two!

EDIT: I forgot a few things...

I use rechargeable batteries, which saves money. NiMH is the way to go, unless you want to shell out for rechargeable lithium.

Also, I should add that a bar mount is better than a helmet mount. Human eyes aren't really good at seeing shadows when the light source is coming from very close to the eyes, like on the head. You could totally miss a pothole even though it is illuminated. The best solution would be one light on the bars and another on the helmet, so that you could look into turns and so on.

I use the bike mounts sold on Fenix-store.com, which can easily be used on helmets, and are also useful for mounting U-locks and pumps that don't have brackets.

Also, some of the nicer Fenix lights have a strobe mode which some people might like.
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Old 12-12-07, 07:20 AM   #5
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I've been using a Fenix L2D Premium on my bike for commuting since August. I love it and will probably buy another to put on my helmet. I use the TwoFish Lockblock to secure it, but will probably get one of their new handlebar mounts as my light tends to move whenever I hit a bump. My only complaint -- and it's more of a suggestion for improvement -- is that the Fenix could use a low-battery indicator. NiMH batteries go dim pretty fast when they start losing their charge, and you can go from having good light to practically nothing in a matter of minutes. I always carry some spare AA batteries for that reason, and actually had to switch them out in the middle of my commute yesterday.

Go to the Electronics & Lighting forum here for more information about Fenix lights. There have been quite a few discussions there about them.
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Old 12-12-07, 07:23 AM   #6
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Running 2 P3D Premium, 215 lumen each. Brightness is great, runtime on Turbo is not as advertised. Maybe 70 minute instead of 100+.

Runtime on Hi (120 lumen each) is great and "enough" light for most situations. together, that's more light and longer runtime than a single Dinotte.

small drawback is they take cr123a, a minor hassle, but not bad. the AA lights are just a small step behind in terms of light output. AA lights are a bit bigger, too.

cheers
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Old 12-12-07, 07:30 AM   #7
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I use a Fenix L2D Premium. The first one I bought lasted 1-day before turning off and on intermittantly (shorting out). I RMA'ed it with Fenix. It took Fenix 2-months and several "reminder" e-mails to get my replacement light... very bad customer service.

As for the light, I couldn't be happier with it. It's actually a bit brighter than my Planet Bike Alias SC 15-watt halogen, but the whitish color of the LED light tends to get washed out more under streetlights.

What I love about the Fenix is I can easily remove it when locking up my bike. I use a twofish lock block. Installation and removal is easy - you just unattach the light with a velcro strap. It's perfect for urban commuting, when it'd be a bad idea to leave the light on the bike.

Battery life is good with NiMH recharageables, and really bad with alkaline. Definately go with rechargeable batteries. They're cheaper, the light will run longer, and they're better for the environment.

I just ordered a new Fenix L2D for my girlfriend. It looks like they changed the LED they were using... used to be the Luxeon Rebel, now it's a Cree Q5. A review on the candlepower forums found that the Q5 is substantially brighter. I look forward to testing the lights side by side. I also ordered the plastic light mount.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:53 AM   #8
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I have the L2D with the Q5. I run it in turbo mode with a separate blinky around the suburbs where there is less light and in flash mode around the city where I don't really need a light to see. The flash mode really makes motorists pay attention to you. I went with the Fenix because I take it on and off the bikes daily and because it is a great deal for what you get.
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Old 12-12-07, 09:45 AM   #9
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I got a L2D for both my wife and I. We both use them on helmet lights and they work great. We both have a Dinotte 200L as bar lights which have a wider flood but the Fenix really lights up whereever you are looking so they make a pretty good combo. The fenix strobe is really bright and attention getting during the day and turbo is great in really dense fog otherwise I usually run it on medium or high to overlap the dinotte where I'm trying to look.

Up until last weekend I was certain I'd switch to dual fenix bar lights instead of the dinotte if I could choose but the fenix seems to be running out of battery power really quick on turbo in the winter. It might be the cold really taking a toll on the NIMH. The batteries sitting in a cold metal tube up there in the wind surely make sure they get frozen really quick. The dinotte lights stay warmish and out of the wind in my front bag.

My wife takes her fenix off her helmet and puts it into the belt holder for her job as an animal control officer and found it very useful. Lots of times the police officers or residents offer her a flashlight when they see that tiny thing but shutup really quick when they see the light output. I pull it off my helmet all the time for around the house use.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:17 PM   #10
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I use a Fenix P2D with Twofish block on my handlebar. Works well. I run it on rechargeables. When the batteries die, they die fast so having a couple charged on hand is advisable.
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Old 12-13-07, 10:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by relyt View Post
Also, I should add that a bar mount is better than a helmet mount. Human eyes aren't really good at seeing shadows when the light source is coming from very close to the eyes, like on the head. You could totally miss a pothole even though it is illuminated. The best solution would be one light on the bars and another on the helmet, so that you could look into turns and so on.
That doesn't match my experience - with the light far enough up on the helmet, my eyes are completely shielded from incident light by the helmet, allowing good contrast for picking out road hazards and such. The only time I have trouble is in fog/rain when the moisture in the air creates backscatter of the light into my eyes. Other than that, no trouble. For what it's worth, I do try to switch my light to the bars when it rains.

Not to mention - if the bar light is a spot (like most LEDs), it's pretty useless for seeing anything that's not right in front of you. Great for potholes, terrible for spotting the idiot rodents that seem to be the biggest hazard on my particular route. Also, on sharp turns it's nice to be able to see where you're going, by using your head to point the light.

I think the best solution would be a flood on the bars and a spot on the helmet. I currently have a fairly weak light on the bars which I may upgrade next year to a halogen or something. For now, I think the Dinotte on my helmet is working great.
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Old 12-13-07, 10:49 AM   #12
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Man these Fenix threads are crazy! I know that lighting is an important commuter issue, but there are currently 5 or more active Fenix threads in the Electronics/Lighting section... Are these really the find of the year?
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Old 12-13-07, 11:04 AM   #13
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There really is a FENIX craze going on - a bunch of online places had sold out of 'em already last week. I'm not enough of an expert like the true electronic forums guys to say which is the real best, but enough of those guys are swearing by it that I had to get one to try it.

It really is impressive. It's tiny, light, built well, and throws TONS of light. It's so small that I now use it when I'm running at night as well strapped to my head.

I was hoping people had good experiences with the Twofish lockblock, and it sounds exactly like what I'd use it for - easy on/off from the bike after a commute. I think the main complaint with the Fenix is runtime, which is a little over an hour in turbo mode, but for my commute, that'll work fine. I was going to go with a dedicated bike light setup, but the Fenixes just seem so flexible - if you've got two, you can go helmet/bar, or bar/bar, or one or none. And AA batteries!

As you can see, I'm a fan. There's a great website by a dedicated user than shows all the nitty gritty as well (see electronic forums for the link) - I think that guy should get a commission - that website probably has singlehandedly sold HUNDREDS of those flashlights! (It's an excellent website.)
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Old 12-13-07, 11:10 AM   #14
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Man these Fenix threads are crazy! I know that lighting is an important commuter issue, but there are currently 5 or more active Fenix threads in the Electronics/Lighting section... Are these really the find of the year?
Fenix
FenixEverytime Fenix weFenix say FenixFenix Fenixwe Fenixshould FenixgetFenix 5% FenixtowardsFenix a Fenixnew Fenixflashlight. Fenix

It has been getting really cold lately so I make sure to carry extra batteries in case I use turbo mode and need to switch mid commute. It is really quick to do. Actually when I rode from double oak to plany cycling and then to the gym with my wife last week (a little more then a metric century) I ended up changing batteries twice because the cold seems to be hitting my nimh pretty hard. They throw out tons of light. Are easy to mount and use. Strobe is great during the day for attention getting. My only issue is the turning of the bezel to go from high to turbo with my cold weather gloves on.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:23 PM   #15
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Fenix
FenixEverytime Fenix weFenix say FenixFenix Fenixwe Fenixshould FenixgetFenix 5% FenixtowardsFenix a Fenixnew Fenixflashlight. Fenix

My only issue is the turning of the bezel to go from high to turbo with my cold weather gloves on.

yeah.... this is the best kind of advertising there is - free! they must have a decent product

for turning the bezel, try this: strap the light down on the light head, and twist the body instead. looks a little odd but works fine, light is still quite secure in my Fishblock
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Old 12-13-07, 01:52 PM   #16
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I have a Fenix L2D on my helmet and a Planet Bike Alias on my handle bars. During a rainy night 2 weeks ago I was commuting home, no faster than 13 MPH and ended up driving right into a large pile of leaves that flowed into the side of the road. I tumbled over the handle bars. My problem was not enough light. I find the Fenix a bit too narrow even though it is strong and projects light into the distance. While the reain on my glasses and lights from the on coming cars hindered my sight quite a bit, the Fenix and the Alias were not enough light for me. I now added a Dinotte headlight ($159) to the arsenal on my handlebars.

While better, I think I could still use more light. One day I will add another Dinotte to the handle bar and probably get rid of the Alais. I love the small rechargeable Litium battery on the Fenix vs. the large rechargeable on the alias. fenis is a great bargain but not sufficient for difficult conditons.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:57 PM   #17
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I have a Fenix L2D on my helmet and a Planet Bike Alias on my handle bars. During a rainy night 2 weeks ago I was commuting home, no faster than 13 MPH and ended up driving right into a large pile of leaves that flowed into the side of the road. I tumbled over the handle bars. My problem was not enough light. I find the Fenix a bit too narrow even though it is strong and projects light into the distance. While the reain on my glasses and lights from the on coming cars hindered my sight quite a bit, the Fenix and the Alias were not enough light for me. I now added a Dinotte headlight ($159) to the arsenal on my handlebars.

While better, I think I could still use more light. One day I will add another Dinotte to the handle bar and probably get rid of the Alais. I love the small rechargeable Litium battery on the Fenix vs. the large rechargeable on the alias. fenis is a great bargain but not sufficient for difficult conditons.
hang on - the Alias is not enough? is this not a 10w HID???
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Old 12-13-07, 02:23 PM   #18
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I find the Fenix a bit too narrow even though it is strong and projects light into the distance. While the reain on my glasses and lights from the on coming cars hindered my sight quite a bit, the Fenix and the Alias were not enough light for me.
I was in the Mist/Fog this week and I found the fenix did well. I don't think I would have been able to see with glasses on though no matter how much light I had. I removed the lenses so I could still use my eyeglass mirror to see lights from oncoming cars, of which there were almost none.
If I had to wear 'script glasses so I could see I'd try out those antifog coatings but some of them I don't think are friendly to the lenses in my riding lenses.
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Old 12-13-07, 02:42 PM   #19
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I was in the Mist/Fog this week and I found the fenix did well. I don't think I would have been able to see with glasses on though no matter how much light I had.
same here - foggy a few times recently, to the point where glasses just coated over & would not clear. Lights worked great
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