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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 10-20-04, 06:29 AM   #1
Ed Holland
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Oh the shame!

I was all set to travel home yestserday on a dark wet and foggy night untill.... Wheeled the bike out of work, saddled up and pushed off ony for the headlight to bounce out of its mounting and hit the concrete paving. Bloody thing only went out on the third bounce, bulb filament shocked to destruction. Of course, my spare light was warm and dry - and at home.
The first part of my journey (about a mile) is on a completely unlit country lane. I could barely see my hand in front of my face. The hedge-road boundary was barely visible as a guide and it was just posible to trundle along at (I'm guessing) 8-10mph. Terrifying .

The shame part of this story? Once I got back into town, an constant barrage of sarky "where's your lights" from every Tom Dick and Harry and a near miss with a motorist at a roundabout (similar comment included). I felt such a fool - wanted to explain the problem but of course who cares or is going to listen?

The happy ending:- Luckily, I just found an inexpensive source of near-replacement bulbs (almost 1/4 the price, so I ordered 10 ). They have a slightly higher current rating, but since I replaced the stock NiCads with high capacity NiMH cells I still have plenty of "burn time". I also will not be leaving home without the spare lamp....

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 10-20-04, 07:13 AM   #2
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yes it is a good idea to have spare lights- if you buy two of each light each with a set of batteries then you can just swap the lights over as well when the batteries run out rather than trying to swap the batteries over in the dark. I find it makes things a lot easier.
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Old 10-20-04, 08:58 AM   #3
colinm
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The trick is having (insert required spare part) exactly when you need it. I have one of those tiny one-led lights front and back as backup.
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Old 10-20-04, 09:33 AM   #4
kb0tnv
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Sorry to hear about the light death. I see a ton of drivers that don't even have their lights on. I try flashing them but they don't listen. I gave up. Only when we don't have light on do they complain... I plan on getting a spare light too. My batteries died one day and it was raining... not fun to have to change batteries... Or someday I hope to get a fancy light...but a second will work too.
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Old 10-22-04, 02:55 AM   #5
Ed Holland
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Thanks for the replies folks.

Update - the replacement bulbs arrived yesterday and the first test run was a complete sucess. The illumination pattern and brightness of my headlamp were much improved, with a less expensive bulb! On the unlit section of my journey, the roadway was lit clearly like never before

I now have two operational headlights with much improved performance and 9 spare bulbs!

For those interested, the light I use is a Cateye HL-1600G rechargeable and the bulb substitution is 6v 4.2 watt in place of the 6v 2.4 watt type with PX13.5S base. The compromise is run time which will be reduced to approx 60% of the original for a given set of batteries. As mentioned in the original post, I replaced the original NiCad batteries when they wore out with high capacity NiMH types, which puts me roughly back where I started.


Cheers,

Ed
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Old 10-22-04, 07:21 AM   #6
dobber
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I usually carry a Maglite and either a TwoFish or the appropriate velcro strapping for a helmet mounting with me as backup. The amount of extra weight is minimal.

If I bust em out for the ride, I usually replace the batteries just to ensure thier topped out.
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Old 10-22-04, 07:44 AM   #7
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Ed... big rubber band or adhesive backed velcro would be a good add to keep the light in its mount.

Glad you made it home in one piece.
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