Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Senior Member divecon2k4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Grange Park, IL
    My Bikes
    07 Schwinn Peloton, GT Pantera, PDG Series 3
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    headlight for commuting?

    Ok, the last thing on my list so I can start commuting on my bike is headlight. I'm looking to spend around $125 maybe $150. I have a 11 mile ride and will be leaving home around 400 to 415AM the route for the most part is lit by street lamps but the part that's not is almost pitch black. The LBS has a NR USB, not sure if that is the model name or not, light with 115 lumes for $120 but was dead when I stoped in so I couldn't really see how bright that is. So I'm looking for some opinions on this light or other lighting options.
    Schwinn Peloton
    GT Pantera
    PDG Series 3

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,986
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by divecon2k4 View Post
    Ok, the last thing on my list so I can start commuting on my bike is headlight. I'm looking to spend around $125 maybe $150. I have a 11 mile ride and will be leaving home around 400 to 415AM the route for the most part is lit by street lamps but the part that's not is almost pitch black. The LBS has a NR USB, not sure if that is the model name or not, light with 115 lumes for $120 but was dead when I stoped in so I couldn't really see how bright that is. So I'm looking for some opinions on this light or other lighting options.
    Cheapest and brightest you can get are the P7 MTE lights from DealExtreme. Get the 2 mode since the 5 and 7 mode have weak drivers and tend to switch modes due to road impacts...at least mine does. You'll need an 18650 battery and charger and some kind of mount. Look here for details on what I did and other ideas.

    The draw back for the P7 is that they won't last long...about an hour...on high with the 18650 battery. Get multiple batteries or go with Turboferret's external system.

    Two lamps (one on the bars and one on the helmet), batteries (at least 4), and mounts will cost you about the $120 that the Niterider system costs. You have to add a little sweat equity but you'll still end up with a much better system for that money.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  3. #3
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,820
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The NR USB is a decent choice. I went with a Dinotte 200L myself, and liked it so much I eventually bought a 140L taillight, though a PB superflash is "good enough" on the back. I just got the 140L because I want a searchlight on the back for fog and heavy rain.

    The Dinotte goes on sale on their website for $100 (if you supply your own rechargable batteries and charger) occasionally. Try looking at their website at 6AM - for some goofy reason when I was shopping they'd put it on sale only until like 7AM.

    I tried the flashlight route but found it very much lacking. I bought $25 flashlights and they both crapped out within a couple of months, the first one in 2 weeks. I determined that I'd have to spend $80 or so to get reliable, and since I can get a proper bike light for $100 I didn't feel that the kludgy method of using flashlights was sensible, for me.

    You can get a heck of a lot of light from flashlights for $80, but I've never needed more than 200 lumens, in fact I am almost always running the 200L in 50% or even 25% power mode.

    Also the runtime on the flashlights was pretty bad, I really wanted 3 hours.

    I also didn't like that the flashlights cycle through all kinds of strobe modes and such. If I'm on low power and want to kick it to high (or vice versa), I don't want to have to cycle through 4 strobe modes to get there. The Dinotte sensibly separates steady and strobe modes, so when you're in steady mode, pushing the button just changes power. You have to hold the button for 6 seconds to switch to strobe modes, which totally makes sense to me.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  4. #4
    nashcommguy
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    nashville, tn
    My Bikes
    Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300
    Posts
    2,500
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    The NR USB is a decent choice. I went with a Dinotte 200L myself, and liked it so much I eventually bought a 140L taillight, though a PB superflash is "good enough" on the back. I just got the 140L because I want a searchlight on the back for fog and heavy rain.

    The Dinotte goes on sale on their website for $100 (if you supply your own rechargable batteries and charger) occasionally. Try looking at their website at 6AM - for some goofy reason when I was shopping they'd put it on sale only until like 7AM.

    I tried the flashlight route but found it very much lacking. I bought $25 flashlights and they both crapped out within a couple of months, the first one in 2 weeks. I determined that I'd have to spend $80 or so to get reliable, and since I can get a proper bike light for $100 I didn't feel that the kludgy method of using flashlights was sensible, for me.

    You can get a heck of a lot of light from flashlights for $80, but I've never needed more than 200 lumens, in fact I am almost always running the 200L in 50% or even 25% power mode.

    Also the runtime on the flashlights was pretty bad, I really wanted 3 hours.

    I also didn't like that the flashlights cycle through all kinds of strobe modes and such. If I'm on low power and want to kick it to high (or vice versa), I don't want to have to cycle through 4 strobe modes to get there. The Dinotte sensibly separates steady and strobe modes, so when you're in steady mode, pushing the button just changes power. You have to hold the button for 6 seconds to switch to strobe modes, which totally makes sense to me.
    Niterider Trailrat 2.0 and Universal taillight combo. 10w Halogen w/90-100 'functional' minutes. This combo is around 150.00. http://www.brandscycle.com has them for free shipping. Also, check http://www.amazon.com or http://www.pricepoint.com I've seen the HL for as little as 75.00 and the TL for as little as 42.50 on either of those sites. I run 2 TRs on the front as my commute is 17.5 mi and I work 2nd shift, so every homeward leg is in the dark. Erring on the side of caution I use the taillight off of the TR I DON'T use for my HL. I swap out batteries/lights every week. In addtion to the UVTL I use 3 PBSF blinkies, too. MY wife says I look like a low level UFO, but I take it as a compliment.

    Just keep in mind the Trailrat and UVTL are being 'phased out' and replaced by the 'Minewt' HL, but as yet there's no adaptor for a taillight for this unit. Lots of people don't think 10w of brightness is enough, but I find it adequate for my needs. Admittedly, sometimes I add the 2nd one for a 20w beam and it IS much better, but more than I require at my cruising speed.

    Oh yeah, I use a Cateye Sport Opticube 1.0w led w/blink or steady mode. I run it on blink mode for daytime riding along w/a PBSF, too.

    In my riding experience I've seen and spoke w/people who have lights out of the Dinotte collection and they are AMAZING. As my lights fizzle all my replacements will be the Dinottes. The HL or TL are SO bright they're irritating...and that's a GOOD thing. And you can use rechargable AA batteries w/them.

    Good luck w/whatever you choose.
    Last edited by nashcommguy; 04-27-09 at 10:44 AM.

  5. #5
    Go Navy, Beat Army gac1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Springfield VA
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very happy with my Cygolite Rover II LED, I think I paid around $125 on sale at REI last fall. Very bright, rechargeable battery goes better than a week between charges.

  6. #6
    Senior Member divecon2k4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Grange Park, IL
    My Bikes
    07 Schwinn Peloton, GT Pantera, PDG Series 3
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Performance has the NR trailrat select 15w on sale for $109 I'm leaning towards this one but I will look into those other ones mentioned. I have a cateye blinky mounted on the bike and planning on a PBSF on the mess bag.
    Schwinn Peloton
    GT Pantera
    PDG Series 3

  7. #7
    Senior Member cycle16v's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    DFW
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Giant, Specialized
    Posts
    172
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I start out in the dark and sometimes make it back in the dark too. I'm very happy with my Cateye Supershot Plus. It's bright enough for me that I see what is up ahead and is a self-contained unit that just snaps in and out of the mounting bracket. It's in your price range too.

    Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

  8. #8
    Senior Member divecon2k4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Grange Park, IL
    My Bikes
    07 Schwinn Peloton, GT Pantera, PDG Series 3
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    The Dinotte goes on sale on their website for $100 (if you supply your own rechargable batteries and charger) occasionally. Try looking at their website at 6AM - for some goofy reason when I was shopping they'd put it on sale only until like 7AM.
    did you use the batteries that comes with it, or get your own if so what ones do you use. now that I looked into DiNotte it sounds like just the think I'm looking for thanks for the info.
    Schwinn Peloton
    GT Pantera
    PDG Series 3

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    1,380
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with cyccomute above. The P7 flashlights and handlebar mounts are the way to go. You would have to pay $200+ to get anything as bright that was made specifically for a bicycle. Follow Cyccommute's link to the thread.

    When my old bike light that my wife got me as a gift dies, I'm going to get a P7 myself. I've personally seen them in action, and they are BRIGHT and rugged, and much less expensive than something like a Dinnote or NiteRider light with similar brightness.

    My Bike Blog
    ------
    1987 Trek 1000 Aluminum
    1993 Cannondale M300
    2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact

  10. #10
    Senior Member divecon2k4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Grange Park, IL
    My Bikes
    07 Schwinn Peloton, GT Pantera, PDG Series 3
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the help. I ordered the DiNotte 200L AA last night, they were on sale so that pretty much sealed the deal for me also nice to know that if the batteries go I can stop just about anywhere and get fresh ones. I'll be glad when it arrives so I can almost forget about Chicago traffic! Thanks again to everyone who posted
    Schwinn Peloton
    GT Pantera
    PDG Series 3

  11. #11
    Senior Moment bikegeek57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 4.0
    Posts
    1,004
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    about the AA batteries for the Dinotte. strongly suggest rechargeables. you will go through a ton of batteries otherwise. I have 200L as my headlight on helmet. Commute daily and go through the battery in short order every other day to recharge. AA's are about 1.5 hours run time for me YMMV. Regardless what everyone says about do it yourself lights I went with Dinotte. yes $$ but I don't care. I had a Trailrat 2.0 and the battery died twice in the year I had it. They did replace it the first time but 2+ weeks waiting for a new battery was not acceptable. I did not bother this last time I replaced it. I now have a new Dinotte 400L dual on my handlebar to replace the Trailrat and wow does it light up the night. Even my Dinotte 200L was several times brighter than the Trailrat this 400L is truly amazing. Now I can ride at any speed on my commute and see the road clearly. My safety is more valuable than skimping on cheap lights.

  12. #12
    Senior Member divecon2k4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Grange Park, IL
    My Bikes
    07 Schwinn Peloton, GT Pantera, PDG Series 3
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bikegeek57 View Post
    about the AA batteries for the Dinotte. strongly suggest rechargeables. you will go through a ton of batteries otherwise.
    Yeah I saw that on their website but I was but I ment as a last resort. What brand of rechargeable batt are you useing I have some energizer rechargeables that we use in the digital camera that should work for now but would like to have a couple sets handy.
    Schwinn Peloton
    GT Pantera
    PDG Series 3

  13. #13
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    My Bikes
    2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 1999 Kona Muni Mula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Posts
    7,023
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use this Sony charger:



    It does a very good job. I use the batteries that came with it, a set of Energizers and a set of Duracell. They all seem to work well.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •