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  1. #1
    Burnin' and Lootin' ggg300's Avatar
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    Exclamation PLZ help...I don't want to die

    Me and about 3-5 others are planing on doing a weekly night bike ride. The ride will be on back roads with very little lighting and rolling hills. We want to ride at 16-25 mph and ride for about 2-2 1/2 hours.

    What head light should we be looking at?

    I like the ideal of the high power flash lights you all talk about, but all of us don't a battery charge or rechargeable batteries. Based on what I think I have learned here, it sounds like it would be cost effective to get a charger and batters. If this is the best way, which light,charger, and batteries should we go with?

    I also like the idea of getting a bike light system designed for a bike that includes everything, so all we have to do is buy one thing and head out. It seems like the advantage with these systems is more battery life and a better bike beam (i.e. not as bright but wider/good spill than the flash light path)

    For a tail light, I think we should be fine with two blink-es each...that would be at least 6 of em for out group...

    I have been assigned to role of finding a light at a good deal for around 200 bucks total...light, batteries, charger, mounting wigit...

    I am you humble pupil, plz help me and my group stay seen and alive...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggg300 View Post
    Me and about 3-5 others are planing on doing a weekly night bike ride. The ride will be on back roads with very little lighting and rolling hills. We want to ride at 16-25 mph and ride for about 2-2 1/2 hours.

    What head light should we be looking at?

    I like the ideal of the high power flash lights you all talk about, but all of us don't a battery charge or rechargeable batteries. Based on what I think I have learned here, it sounds like it would be cost effective to get a charger and batters. If this is the best way, which light,charger, and batteries should we go with?

    I also like the idea of getting a bike light system designed for a bike that includes everything, so all we have to do is buy one thing and head out. It seems like the advantage with these systems is more battery life and a better bike beam (i.e. not as bright but wider/good spill than the flash light path)

    For a tail light, I think we should be fine with two blink-es each...that would be at least 6 of em for out group...

    I have been assigned to role of finding a light at a good deal for around 200 bucks total...light, batteries, charger, mounting wigit...

    I am you humble pupil, plz help me and my group stay seen and alive...
    Get a good strong halogen headlight system with at least 15 watts and preferably TWO lamps in it. Then purchase a few good rear blinkies like the Planet bike ultra flash, Cateye's new LDwhatever, a lightman strobe or similar.

    Spend the rest on reflective materials, like a reflective vest, leg straps, reflective tape, etc. This is the least glamorous part but probably the most important. It is critical to be able to be seen from all angles. Cars have very bright lights, so inexpensively shining them back at the driver, is a great plan.

  3. #3
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    Planetbike Superflash ($16.95 at Amazon + free shipping on orders > $25) and Blackburn Mars 3.0 ($16.99 at LBS) seems to be the best combination of redundancy, combined day/dusk/dark of night and side visibility.

    Dinotte 200L is on sale this weekend at Dinotte's website for $100 + $3 shipping. Excludes battery and charger and helmet mount. Assumes you already have AA rechargeable batteries and battery charger.

    Fenix Digital L2D Premium Q5 and a bikeblock is $63.93 at Fenix-Store.com if you use coupon code cpf8 for a 8% discount. Assumes you already have AA rechargeable batteries and battery charger.

    $34 + $103 + $64 = $201. Man, am I good or what!

    Princeton Tec Apex headband light is a good alternative to the flashlight. $64.95 at brightguy.com

    Put your wheel reflectors and bike reflectors back on and get some reflective ankle straps (Nathan's are $6.99 per pair - orange and yellow are equally highly reflective)

    Reflective tape on helmet and clothing or bike is great also. Some jackets/jerseys have good reflective outlines.
    Last edited by dekindy; 10-26-07 at 03:32 PM.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  4. #4
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    Get a Ray-O-Vac PS3 charger for $19.27 at Amazon (gets you over $25 for free shipping) and some Duracell rechargeable batteries (8-pack of 2300 mAH NiMH's AA's is $15.99).

    4 batteries would give you 2 hours on high or 2-4 hours (combination of medium & High) on the Dinotte and 3.5 hours or more on the Fenix in turbo mode (would have to stop and change batteries).

    That would bring the total to $235. With the PS3 you can put the batteries in the charger and leave them until the next ride so that they will be topped off.

    If I was starting from scratch this is what I would do.

    If you can work it into the budget you should consider the new hybrid rechargeables.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

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    Weekend Dinotte sale. Taillight $100, 200L headlight $99. 2 sets of AA rechargables with chargers ~$30. A little over your budget, But the only problem you will have is blinding the paceline with your taillight when you take a pull.

    -D

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    Don't even think about the Dinotte tail light for group rides. It is blinding even on low and pointed downward. I have personal experience. A friend of mine rides with our veteran group of night, winter riders. They liked the brightness and safety aspects of the light but promptly exiled him to the back of the group. I might change my view if I were riding solo, but with redundancy using inexpensive LED tail lights and I have a blue Knog Frog on the back of my helmet, is more than adequate for rear visibility IMHO. I would rather put more money into a bar/helmet front light combination so that I can point the helmet light into turns. I went with a bar only light last winter and recently purchased a helmet mounted light. I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It is so nice to see into turns and to be able to look for that dog you hear barking and other critters.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  7. #7
    Burnin' and Lootin' ggg300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    Planetbike Superflash ($16.95 at Amazon + free shipping on orders > $25) and Blackburn Mars 3.0 ($16.99 at LBS) seems to be the best combination of redundancy, combined day/dusk/dark of night and side visibility.

    Dinotte 200L is on sale this weekend at Dinotte's website for $100 + $3 shipping. Excludes battery and charger and helmet mount. Assumes you already have AA rechargeable batteries and battery charger.

    Fenix Digital L2D Premium Q5 and a bikeblock is $63.93 at Fenix-Store.com if you use coupon code cpf8 for a 8% discount. Assumes you already have AA rechargeable batteries and battery charger.

    $34 + $103 + $64 = $201. Man, am I good or what!

    Princeton Tec Apex headband light is a good alternative to the flashlight. $64.95 at brightguy.com

    Put your wheel reflectors and bike reflectors back on and get some reflective ankle straps (Nathan's are $6.99 per pair - orange and yellow are equally highly reflective)

    Reflective tape on helmet and clothing or bike is great also. Some jackets/jerseys have good reflective outlines.
    why one Dinotte over two Fenix Digital L2D Premium Q5?

    I also don't have a charger...

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    I'd recommend the DiNotte Ultralight LED Headlight which is on sale at Performance for $149.99 and a Planet Bike Superflash, from Amazon or some other place, Performance doesn't list them. Currently for today (Friday) and tomorrow, there is an ascending discount at Performance (10% off $75, 15% off $125, or 20% off $200 or more). That's a pretty good buy if you can score these for $120 incl charger etc. If one of you is a Team Performance member, you can snag some serious points with a big buy. The codes are 6002386 ($75), 6002387 ($125), and 6002388 ($200). There are several other lights available as well. I'd go with the LED lights, but that is just me, Halogens are so yesterday.

    I bought a Task Force 3 watt LED from Lowes that's powered by 2 "C" cells for $29.95 and strapped it to my stem with an add on frame pump strap. I use it as a backup and that sucker shines about 150' out. Make sure you get the new version that says "60 times brighter" on the pkg. Not all stores have them yet.

    Zagnut
    Last edited by zagnut; 10-26-07 at 06:17 PM. Reason: correction

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggg300 View Post
    why one Dinotte over two Fenix Digital L2D Premium Q5?

    I also don't have a charger...
    I can't speak from experience because I have not used them. From what I have read here you just cannot keep the flashlights stable on the bars and they are easily jarred out of alignment. Besides, two flashlights will cost you $127 + $19 for the charger + $16 for batteries = $162.

    A Dinotte on sale is $103 shipped + $19 for a charger plus $16 for batteries = $138 and you will have something that is expertly made for bicycles. IMHO at this sale price this decision is a no-brainer. Get your guys notified and grab it while you can. It is only on sale this weekend.

    I was just playing with the order form. The price for the headlight is $99 so I was off $1 on my previous calculations. Order 2 and the shipping is free.

    $198 for 2 Dinotte + $34 for taillights + $19 for charger and $32 for 16 batteries = $283. You did say that you don't want to die didn't you?!

    Since you are going to be in a group you could get by with one tail light and still be highly visible for a total of $266.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  10. #10
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    It appears upon closer inspection that the Performance lights are listed at 120 lumens whereas the DiNotte website lights are listed at 200 lumens. That's a significant difference and I would go with the Dinotte website light. Sorry if I misled anybody.

    Zagnut

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    Now that I think about it more, if you are going to do only group riding here is what I would go with.

    $103 for one headlight + $15 for a helmet mount
    + $17 for a tail light - the Mars has side visibility and the PBSF is better for total darkness. My LBS has the Mars so that is what I went with. But I have 2 for redundancy and a Knog Frog on my helmet. But I am also thinking of riding solo at night.
    + $19 for a charger
    + $16 for batteries
    =$170.

    If everyone in this group had this setup and you are disciplined and stay together as a group, this would work fine even on the darkest unlit rural road.

    I was supposed to bring a light for one of my fellow riders the other night. In my effort to have a maximum charge I forgot and left it at home on the charger. She used her $20 be seen light and rode for 2 hours in the group with out a headlight and was fine. I did make a concentrated effort to shine my light so that we both could see, but she had a fine time.

    So you now have a range of $170 to $283 of options. That is about all I can tell you without you actually having some night experience.
    Last edited by dekindy; 10-26-07 at 08:16 PM.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  12. #12
    Senior Member chtorr's Avatar
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    Here's another vote for the Dinotte 200L which is on sale this weekend for $99. I paid $169 for mine (but it included charger and batteries). You can get the charger and batteries much cheaper than $70. Also, the Planetbike Superflash is a great tail light choice. Add some type of helmet mounted light for seeing around corners and you'll be very happy with this setup.

    As for batteries, you might consider some of the newer rechargables that don't self-discharge fast like many normal rechargables do. Rayovac makes some called "Hybrids" and Sanyo makes some called "Eneloops". They would be very good for the tail light since it uses so little power. And if you're only using the headlight once a week it may be worth getting the slow self-discharge batteries too. They're normally about the same price as regular rechargables.

    You'll get around 2 hours of light on High with the AAs in the 200L. If you're going on longer rides, you can get another battery holder for a couple bucks at Radio Shack (of I think Dinotte sells them too). It would only take about five seconds to replace the batteries this way during the ride.

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    Actually you could get an 8-battery holder and extend the run time to 4 hours and not have to change batteries during the ride. Good thought, chtorr.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  14. #14
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I have the Blackburn X3 and it works great for me. Has 4 settings and last anywhere from 3 hrs on high to 12 on low and 15 on flash. Battery recharges in about 3.5 hrs and automatically go to low when when it has 20 mins left. I have never run out of battery time as I typically ride in medium. My longest night ride was about 4 hrs and it was still in the green zone.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2003 Trek 7300 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  15. #15
    Burnin' and Lootin' ggg300's Avatar
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    thanks my wife has just chimed in too...she is telling me to listen to dekindy and everyone and go with the 200L X 2

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    One pair of Wolf Eyes 6MX with the Q2 Cree, at 190 lumens each for 380 lumens, and hook up a Fenix L2D CE Q5 180 lumens BAM!!! for the helmet. And get 4 handlebar mounts for $3.50 each from mec.ca and put them together thusly:
    Finally -- A Really Solid Bicycle Flashlight Mount with Photos
    Finally -- A Really Solid Bicycle Flashlight Mount with Photos

    The Wolf Eyes will take a beating, and they are bright little suckers.
    (They will take a beating, the Dinotte will not.) What happens if you crash and your Dinottes fail? The Wolf Eyes can withstand weapons mount, strike and recoil.

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    Just for the record. I live out in the country, so my night riding is on dark (no streetlight) roads. I run dual 200L's on my handlebars and a 140L taillight. I have had on one occasion so far outrun a car on a windy downhill where I hit 43mph.

    These lights rock. I would love a 600L, maybe next year...

    -D

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    Or get a pair of such for $45 each ($90 total) and some batteries from AW, and BAM! light your way!
    like each one is about as bright as 2X Wolf Eyes, so like 4X Wolf Eyes on your bars! And ping up the L2D CE Q5 from Fenix, and Wham-o!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    One pair of Wolf Eyes 6MX with the Q2 Cree, at 190 lumens each for 380 lumens, and hook up a Fenix L2D CE Q5 180 lumens BAM!!! for the helmet. And get 4 handlebar mounts for $3.50 each from mec.ca and put them together thusly:
    Finally -- A Really Solid Bicycle Flashlight Mount with Photos
    Finally -- A Really Solid Bicycle Flashlight Mount with Photos

    The Wolf Eyes will take a beating, and they are bright little suckers.
    (They will take a beating, the Dinotte will not.) What happens if you crash and your Dinottes fail? The Wolf Eyes can withstand weapons mount, strike and recoil.
    What a HUGE contraption. No thanks. The small size and great mounting of the Dinotte lights was a big reason I went with them. When I take the lights off, nothing is left behind.

    And how do you even know the Dinotte's cannot take a beating? I have yet to hear of one failing in a crash. They are a solid machined piece of aluminum, quite solid. And I am sure they would outlast anything else on my bike in a crash.

    -D

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    Fenix / Approximately a Dinotte 200L


    Wolf Eyes M300 (A Different light from one mentioned)

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    Grun,

    I don't know that I buy your argument that your fenix shot above is "Approximately a 200L"

    Here is a comparison shot of the Dinotte (old and new) vs some other lights. I know in my usage my light is brighter than your fenix shot above.


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggg300 View Post
    thanks my wife has just chimed in too...she is telling me to listen to dekindy and everyone and go with the 200L X 2
    If I may be so bold, I would suggest you all get different lights. That way you get to try out a lot of the excellent offerings from different manufacturers. You'll probably discover also that everyone has his or her own preferences and you'll be able to swap the lights among each other.

    Some suggestions:

    Halogen
    Old-fashioned maybe, but these are still very valid light sources. Some actually prefer the color and contrast rendition of halogen to HID or LEDs. One possibility here is the Turbocat S19.

    HID
    Probably the lowest dollar per lumen option of all three, especially with Trailtech's $199 13W system (from batteryspace.com). Very bright and more than enough runtime for you. Members here really like it.

    LED
    Dinotte has already been mentioned; the dual 200L is very interesting for the weekend sale price. LED lighting tends to be a little over-priced industry-wide at the moment since they're in the midst of a meteoric rise that IMHO will soon eclipse the other two options in terms of lumens output and runtime.

    Bottom line: when somebody asks for non-DIY low-cost lighting, I have to lean toward the cheap Trailtech HID system at the moment. Next year, it'll probably be a LED system.

  23. #23
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    derath^what is this supposed to show?

    unless you have seen direct comparisons with dinotte 200L and fenix, you can't say they are that different

  24. #24
    Burnin' and Lootin' ggg300's Avatar
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    grun I love bam factor but I dunno about the run time of flash lights...I think one for the helmet may be tits but I dunno as a main source for long-ish night rides...

    I do like that they would help if a flat happened...

    I also dunno of the group will be into diy clamps...I would love to, but dunno about the group...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggg300 View Post
    grun I love bam factor but I dunno about the run time of flash lights...I think one for the helmet may be tits but I dunno as a main source for long-ish night rides...

    I do like that they would help if a flat happened...

    I also dunno of the group will be into diy clamps...I would love to, but dunno about the group...
    not really do it yourself per se, it would take about 2 minutes per flashlight and all it takes is one screw

    if not that, you can use two zip ties, and that will take 35 seconds

    if you use a 18650 from AW the run time will exceed 2.5hours on maximum!
    if your battery dies, you can switch out a new one

    the battery is about the size of your pointer finger give or take

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