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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 12-20-10, 11:30 AM   #1
MileHighMark
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More thoughts about lights and food...

Apologies to the Talking Heads.

I am a light junkie. It started innocently enough with the purchase of a Dinotte system, and then escalated into dynohubs, helmet-mounted lights, and secondary lights. I make no apologies for my addiction, however, as it enables me to ride more safely under the cover of darkness.

After much experimentation, I've determined that my favorite head light is the B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo R. This generator-powered light lays down a very useful swath of light that works beautifully for my commute. Said commute is 11.5 miles (one way), and consists of city, backroad, and suburban roads. It's efficient enough that it puts out enough light even when chugging along in the granny 'ring, and offers enough throw that riding at 25mph is comfortable. It's not cheap (approx $110)--especially when you add in the cost of a dynohub--but it requires no batteries, no charging, and is available at the turn of a switch. For those who don't have (or want) a dynohub, the battery-powered Ixon UQ has an almost identical beam, and can be recharged without removing it from the bike.

When motorcyclists and other cyclists comment on your tail light's brightness, you've found the right one. Dinotte's 140L has been my first choice for both daytime and after-dark visibility. The three flashing modes work great for my morning commutes, and the three steady modes offer enough firepower to illuminate guardrail reflectors half a mile behind me. The o-ring mounting system may seem funky at first, but it's versatile and more secure than many competitors' plastic clamps.

As much as I like my Dinotte lights, I found them a little too heavy for helmet use. Enter Princeton Tec's EOS. Tipping the scales at a svelte 105g (with batteries), it's light enough that I don't notice the extra weight on my helmet (by comparison my Dinotte's battery pack weighs over 140g). On low, it puts out enough light to illuminate street signs and make adjustments to the bike. And on high, it's bright enough to use as backup should my main headlight fail. And for those times when I want a little extra protection against inattentive morning commuters, I set it to blink mode.

Sources, etc:
Shimano makes the dynohub (DH-3N80) that I use, and Universal Cycles laced it to a 32h (700C) Velocity Dyad rim. I purchased lights from Dinotte, Peter White Cycles, Longleaf Bicycles, and eBay, and didn't receive any compensation or discount for blathering on about these products.
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Old 12-20-10, 12:38 PM   #2
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"Too much of everything is just enough" also applies to lighting for a lot us, deadheads or not.
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Old 12-20-10, 01:05 PM   #3
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The bus came by and I got on...
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Old 12-20-10, 01:30 PM   #4
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Have you tried the Niterider MiNewt 250 light? I ordered it for Christmas and it had some good reviews, but I would be curious to know what a light junkie thinks about it compared to other lights.

http://www.amazon.com/NiteRider-MiNe...2873380&sr=8-1
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Old 12-20-10, 01:48 PM   #5
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I see the information about lights, but what about the food? Are Brownies a diet food? Are Twinkies a food supplement filled with nutritious goodness?

Oh by the way, I'm a clyde, and that is a very cruel title ;-).
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Old 12-20-10, 01:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crdean1 View Post
Have you tried the Niterider MiNewt 250 light? I ordered it for Christmas and it had some good reviews, but I would be curious to know what a light junkie thinks about it compared to other lights.

http://www.amazon.com/NiteRider-MiNe...2873380&sr=8-1
I'd actually considered the 150 to fill in the area directly in front of my front wheel. I wanted something with conventional AA batteries, though, so I went with a Planet Bike Blaze 2W for that application.

I've not used/tried the 250, but the photos I've seen of the beam lead me to believe that it's fairly similar to my Dinotte 200L. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I actually prefer the German lights that put out less "raw" light. I've done some back-to-back testing with my Dinotte and IQ Cyo, and I prefer the latter. The super high-powered lights seem to "spill" a lot of light, and my eyes prefer a less intense beam that's a little more "focused." That's for pavement, however. When I ride off-road (read, singletrack), I definitely prefer super-bright lights like my Amoeba (bar- and helmet-mounted) units. In those conditions I actually want the light to illuminate more than the 40'x10' in front of my wheel.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.
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Old 12-20-10, 01:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by exile View Post
I see the information about lights, but what about the food? Are Brownies a diet food? Are Twinkies a food supplement filled with nutritious goodness?

Oh by the way, I'm a clyde, and that is a very cruel title ;-).
My wife spent most of Sunday baking. Cookies, fudge, and some type of marshmallow treats. To say that I'm on a sugar buzz would be a gross understatement.
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Old 12-20-10, 02:01 PM   #8
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My wife spent most of Sunday baking. Cookies, fudge, and some type of marshmallow treats. To say that I'm on a sugar buzz would be a gross understatement.
Remember, "Sharing is Caring" MileHighMark. And that is a very cruel response ;-).
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Old 12-20-10, 03:42 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply. I might post a review, although I really don't have anything to compare it too.

Food note, those Honey Stinger waffles are good, but so, so expensive.
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Old 12-25-10, 09:27 PM   #10
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Just got back from testing the Planet Bike Blaze 2W light. I have it mounted on the side my Tubus low-rider rack, and it's positioned so that the beam augments my main headlight (dynamo-driven IQ Cyo R). The Blaze's beam is on the tight/narrow side, so positioning it took a few more attempts than, say, a Dinotte would require. But with the Blaze on the low setting, it puts out enough light to make a difference in how well I can see what's almost directly in front of my wheel.
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