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  1. #26
    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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    The Fasttech light does seem like a good product and worth the $$. But what happens if you forget to recharge it the night before and half-way thru your commute the light starts to dim. It's not like you pull some spare batteries out of your pocket and your back in business.

  2. #27
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    My MagicShine works for me (http://magicshine.com/product_view.asp?id=69). It's bit pricey at $80-$90, but on high it is as bright as a car headlight (at least to my eyes). On low, it's more of a "be seen" light. Plus the light changes to let you know the charge level.

  3. #28
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Some good suggestions here. I'm going to get myself some new lights to replace my cheap-o Target ones. Since it's been Summer, I haven't really needed them much, but it's time for an upgrade.

    Related: What would you guys suggest for lights to be attached to / hung from a backpack? I don't often wear mine lately (finally got a rear rack) but on the occasions I do, I like to double up on lighting. I had some hipster cysts, but they didn't last long.

    M.

  4. #29
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
    The Fasttech light does seem like a good product and worth the $$. But what happens if you forget to recharge it the night before and half-way thru your commute the light starts to dim. It's not like you pull some spare batteries out of your pocket and your back in business.
    "Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this"
    "Then don't do that."

    There are a few steps that can be taken to avoid your scenario. First, don't forget to charge your batteries. Charging isn't that onerous.

    Second, carry a back up system or, better yet, get a second light. At $40 to $50 per unit for the double lamp and $25 $40 for a single lamp unit, having multiples isn't all that expensive.

    Third, carry an extra battery if you don't charge it every night when you get home.

    Fourth, decrease the output. Most of these lights have multiple settings. If the battery starts to go, you can squeeze out a little more time by going to a lower power setting.

    Fifth...boy, this options list is getting long...carry a backup to the backup. Even if you ride with dynamo lights, you should carry a backup of some kind. Stuff happens and it's a little known or, rather, a little appreciated, fact that it gets dark when the sun goes down.

    Sixth...and not necessarily finally...I almost guarantee that if you forget to charge your battery and it goes out on the way home, you won't forget to charge it again. Experience can be a harsh mistress.
    Stuart Black
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  5. #30
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    & consider how you will fix a flat tire, in the dark.

  6. #31
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
    The Fasttech light does seem like a good product and worth the $$. But what happens if you forget to recharge it the night before and half-way thru your commute the light starts to dim. It's not like you pull some spare batteries out of your pocket and your back in business.
    Good point. What's strange is I carry spare batteries for my digital camera. But not for my bike lights. Mine run on AAA NiMH batteries. It wouldn't be a problem to carry a spare set. Then again my morning commute is only 5.6 mi on semi lit streets.

  7. #32
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    I personally don't like having to deal with external battery packs and wires and such. I wanted a bright "to see by" light with integrated battery and USB charging, and the Cygolite Expilion fits the bill. I picked up the 700 lumen model on Amazon right after Christmas for right around $100 or so (I think it may have been on sale).

    It's been a great light so far. It uses an 18650 cell, which resides in a proprietary casing. That means you have to buy their battery if you want a spare, for around $30. But the cell is removable and you can swap out cells if need be.
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  8. #33
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    I recently bought this set http://www.menards.com/main/electric...022-c-6314.htm I think you can find them at Costco also. It comes with the first 9 batteries.

    I already have a bunch of rechargable AAA batteries and chargers so I used those instead. I put 2 on the handlebars using $3 handbar mounts. I put one on my helmet using velcro. That way I can direct one beam further up to see people and one down lower and to the right to see bumps in the road and scare off the rabbits/deer. The one on my head is great for making turns and warning cars/pedestrians as you can look in the direction you will be going before your handlebars turn to light up the way.

    I put them on low beam to conserve power because the 3 combined are bright enough when the light is directed where you want it. I use them as regular flashlights off the bike.
    Last edited by InOmaha; 09-09-13 at 09:51 AM.

  9. #34
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    How well do these external batteries do with the rain? And the coupling?

    M.

  10. #35
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    In the cold, NiMH batteries, like the typical AA rechargeables, lose a good amount of voltage and longevity. My AA lights signal low voltage after a couple of miles. My winter commute is fairly short (4 miles) so the longevity isn't a problem for me. But on longer rides I've had them shut down before the rated amount of time. Inside, after warming up, everything's hunky dory again.

    It should be noted that the cold does not seem to have an effect on how long the charge lasts over the week. I don't have to charge any more often in the winter. It's just how long they can be outside before temporarily losing voltage.

    Should you decide to go AA NiMH, there are no better chargers on the planet than those made by Maha. I own a Maha MH-C800S. Electrically, it functions as eight separate chargers. Thus, you can spot and replace weak individual cells, rather than having to guess, or replace all four, and one bad cell won't spoil the charging cycle for all of them. It has three modes: Fast, "soft", and conditioning.

    IME, lithium-ion battery packs do not experience low-voltage or longevity problems in the cold. At least not at the temperatures we get around here. Our winters are generally in the teens and 20s with a week of single-digits.

    The baseline of my experience is using a NiteRider TrailRat with proprietary NiMH several winters ago, six winters with DiNotte 200L-AA headlights and their 140R taillight, and three more recent winters of using proprietary lithium-ion battery packs in Magicshine headlights and a DiNotte 300R. I still use the 200L-AA lights as DRLs.

    My experience is similar, I can tell there is indeed a difference in battery life just between 30-40f and 70-80f. NiMh just do not seem to hold up in cold weather, I can't imagine them in less than 30f. Yes, I am using LSD like Duraloops and Maha imedions.
    I recently switched to a Zebralight H600w (it uses a Li-ion [this light might be over your price range]) and the difference between 30-40f and 70-80f is unnoticeable to me. So, naturally, if you are going to be in cold environments, stay away from NiMh if all possible.

  11. #36
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    I personally don't like having to deal with external battery packs and wires and such. I wanted a bright "to see by" light with integrated battery and USB charging, and the Cygolite Expilion fits the bill. I picked up the 700 lumen model on Amazon right after Christmas for right around $100 or so (I think it may have been on sale).

    It's been a great light so far. It uses an 18650 cell, which resides in a proprietary casing. That means you have to buy their battery if you want a spare, for around $30. But the cell is removable and you can swap out cells if need be.
    That does seem like decent deal for a bike light. I still wonder why bike light companies still over charge for their lights and do not tell you if their ratings are ANSI, OTF/torch lumens or just emitter lumens. Heck, a lot of them just say water resistant, they won't even tell you their rating (i.e. IPx8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code )

  12. #37
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    & consider how you will fix a flat tire, in the dark.
    Number 7.

    I said that Reason number 6 wasn't the final one. That does bring up a good question for the dynamo crowd...How do you fix flats in the dark? Or make adjustments? Or check out a weird drive train sound? Or look at your speedometer? Or see if that growling sound is a lion, a tiger or bear? Oh my!
    Stuart Black
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  13. #38
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    How well do these external batteries do with the rain? And the coupling?

    M.
    Haven't had any problem yet. I don't get daily drenchings but I've ridden in the rain enough to test them and haven't had a problem.
    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'.

  14. #39
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I own a small Headband light , I got it for my touring kit decades ago, so it uses a 3v bulb . 2 AA batteries .

    How well do these external batteries do with the rain? And the coupling?
    my old NiteRider sport 6v 5C cell battery pack system, is also sold, by them as a Diving light.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-09-13 at 05:06 PM.

  15. #40
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I own a small Headband light , I got it for my touring kit decades ago, so it uses a 3v bulb . 2 AA batteries .

    new stuff would be LED .. REI source .. or any backpack camping place.
    REI source? Are you talking about the outdoor store called REI, their headlamps are overpriced and you can find better options, IMO.

  16. #41
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    knock your self out then ... you're on your own..

  17. #42
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    & consider how you will fix a flat tire, in the dark.
    This is why I don't like bike specific lights. I prefer headlamps or something that can clip onto my shirt.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Number 7.

    I said that Reason number 6 wasn't the final one. That does bring up a good question for the dynamo crowd...How do you fix flats in the dark? Or make adjustments? Or check out a weird drive train sound? Or look at your speedometer? Or see if that growling sound is a lion, a tiger or bear? Oh my!
    I carry a spare backup headlamp. My speedometer has a backlight, but I don't use the speedometer anymore.

    I like small things. This is my back up headlamp. The size of two AA battery.
    dx.com/p/trustfire-z1-cree-xp-e-q5-3-mode-280-lumen-memory-led-flashlight-1-cr123a-1-16340-39671

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    I personally don't like having to deal with external battery packs and wires and such. I wanted a bright "to see by" light with integrated battery and USB charging, and the Cygolite Expilion fits the bill. I picked up the 700 lumen model on Amazon right after Christmas for right around $100 or so (I think it may have been on sale).

    It's been a great light so far. It uses an 18650 cell, which resides in a proprietary casing. That means you have to buy their battery if you want a spare, for around $30. But the cell is removable and you can swap out cells if need be.
    That's a high markup considering 18650 cells are $5 a piece or less. Then again, that light you have is just a flashlight with a fancy bike mount. I have a 26650 flashlight that does the same thing, they cost $20.


    For folks recommending AAA batteries for front lights, this is the second decade of the 21st century. There are way better choices than AAA batteries.

  19. #44
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    With a good light setup, I also find helmet lights or headlamps unnecessary on the road, different story on trails though.

  20. #45
    High Plains Luddite
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    Post deleted - not relevant to the topic of this thread.
    Last edited by Squeeze; 09-09-13 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Too off-topic.

  21. #46
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Number 7.

    I said that Reason number 6 wasn't the final one. That does bring up a good question for the dynamo crowd... How do you fix flats in the dark? Or make adjustments? Or check out a weird drive train sound? Or look at your speedometer? Or see if that growling sound is a lion, a tiger or bear? Oh my!
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I own a small Headband light , I got it for my touring kit decades ago, so it uses a 3v bulb . 2 AA batteries .

    new stuff would be LED .. REI source .. or any backpack camping place.
    I have a small headband torch for stuff like that in my tool kit. I also have another pocket torches that I use for doing my first use vehicle checks when I get to work (actually it is dual purpose, it has UV LED's in it too so I use it for checking currency to make sure I don't get hit with dud notes).
    Not as green as I might be cabbage looking!

  22. #47
    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    I like these nightrider lights. USB rechargeable, solid mount and easy to remove for charging or use as a flashlight if you need to change a flat or stop and still be seen. I don't like dynamos as they usually go out when you stop. Last many hours on a single charge. I charge mine off my laptop when I arrive .51Mu1GSJLuL__SX385_.jpg
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    My experience has been that O-rings work just fine on the oversized clamping area of road bars, and the area covered by bartape. In the bare sections of standard diameter bars, I agree.
    agreed. you just have to get the right size ones for your bar.

    commuting light? L&M Taz 1200. All in one, lots of light, great beam, Li-ion battery internal, side lights.

    J.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    How well do these external batteries do with the rain? And the coupling?

    M.
    No problems with mine. The plug has a long, tight-fitting sleeve around the actual connection, so no water gets in that way. The batteries themselves are fully encased in rubber.

  25. #50
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    I think the first thing to think about is the see light, vs. the be seen light.

    Be seen lights are fairly easy. Your red rear light is a be seen light. I really like the pretty wheels with colours, but I don't think I will do them right now.

    Your SEE light is a different matter. Some people who are riding in the country can get by with very little light because your eyes will dilate and you will be able to see in the dark. Those in the city need to be able to look at a car's lights on bright and still be able to see the road in front of you.

    Photography is not the way to judge a light because you adjust the Fstop and ISO and good lights look bad and bad lights look good. Only judge the lumens.

    I was riding the other night with a Fenix headlamp. I am not sure how many lumins. It was one of the original batches so maybe 250?. This was find on a dark trail, but pretty useless when I was beside the road.

    Last week I was riding with a 1000 lumin flashlight. This was nice. I could see the path even with cars pointing lights at me. The on coming bicyclists hated me because I ruined their night vision, but then again they were riding with be seen lights, not see lights. These flashlights use 18650 cells or 2x123 batteries. Great setup.

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