The variety of lighting solutions these days and the knowledge base to go with it are truly staggering. I've researched the issue for a few months. Rather than ask about descriptions of various lights and $$, info which is plentiful enough, I've pretty much decided on what setup I think will work for me. Before I pull the trigger, tho, I'd just like to get a few opinions from you guys with real-world experience in night riding.
My riding habits: This will be my first season to ride at night. I ride both road and mtb, pretty much equally. I ride alone, I don't race, and I don't commute. I ride the road 3 times a week, for 1-2.5 hours, sometimes on a state park road(slow and safe), sometimes on a mixture of neighborhood and rural highways. I ride the MTB twice a week, on trails that are not too busy, partly technical, partly fast fire road, with the typical loop being 16 miles at 1.5~2 hours. Any rides other than these would be special occasions, which i could schedule during the day, or simply skip.
My light factors(as I see them), in order of priority:
1) safety - i wanna be able to a)SEE, and b) be seen when i'm on public roads
2) runtime - i don't wanna have to carry spare batteries, and i don't wanna run out on my typical rides.
4) weight and bulkiness
5) durability - i break stuff a lot
After much research, I'm thinking of getting the Cygolite DualCross 7 Li-Ion for the bars, and the L&M Stella 180-L to mount on the helmet. This combo seems to suit my needs in all categories, at least from my reading and research. The LED/Li-Ion combo seems to solve weight and runtime issues. This is close to the top end of my price range...i.e. It'll hurt, but I'm willing to invest if it works and will last a while.
So, I'd simply like to know if those with night riding experience would share their opinion of whether or not this setup would work for my needs? Anyone care to share?