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Old 10-30-07, 08:36 AM   #1
stbiker
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Lights for Night Riding

Before the snow starts in earnest, I want to get in a few night or early morning rides.

I would be riding on pitch-dark prairie roads, with no lighting to speak of.

I'll need a decent front lamp for sure, plus some good tail lights. Maybe a helmet light.

Any suggestions ? Looks like there are some good 20 / 15 Watt headlamps on the market. I'll need something with a rechargeable battery with about 1-1/2 hour runtime.

Friday / Saturday night will be out of the question, there are too many drunk p_sstanks screaming down the backroads in their hopped up megacab V-8 gasguzzlers, trying to drive in a straight line at the highest possible speed.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:38 AM   #2
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NR Evolution

Princeton Tech Switchback 2
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Old 10-30-07, 08:39 AM   #3
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Price range? If you have the money, buy a Light and Motion HID or something equivalent.

Also, there is a ton of threads already on the subject, you might want to just dig around.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:52 AM   #4
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I just picked up a $15 led head lamp from wally world. 2-3 hours batt life, 1 watt led, and it's brighter than any headlight i've had so far. I took the elastic strap, and strung it through the helmet. All and All, not bad for $15. Made it's first commute this morning, and I wasn't nearly as scared as I usually get. I also managed to stop a few cars with it.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:28 AM   #5
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Any suggestions ? Looks like there are some good 20 / 15 Watt headlamps on the market. I'll need something with a rechargeable battery with about 1-1/2 hour runtime.
Look no further. This is all the light you'll ever need with MORE than twice the battery life you're looking for. It's 20W halogen equivalent and works beautifully for me on my night rides. It's also noticeably lighter than it's NiteRider counterparts.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:31 AM   #6
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. . . I also managed to stop a few cars with it.
Call me Mr. Skeptical, but with a 1W LED? I think not.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:42 AM   #7
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Price range? If you have the money, buy a Light and Motion HID or something equivalent.

Also, there is a ton of threads already on the subject, you might want to just dig around.
Yup, I've been very happy with my L&M Li-ion HID headlight. I have no problem riding in complete darkness with zero street lights. The light is not cheap though.

For the taillight, check out the model by Dinotte.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:44 AM   #8
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One of the cheapest rigs around is use an appropriate sized conduit hanger to mount an outdoor 12v halogen lamp fixture, replace the stock bulb with a 12-degree, 20w spot bulb (ANSI code ESX), and wire it to a 4.5-5.5 amp-hr battery pack of your choice. A little loctite and silicone sealant to vibration-proof it, and you've got all the light you need for about half the cost of a "store-bought" rig.

For details, check the "Total Geekiness" sticky in the Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets forum.
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Old 10-30-07, 10:36 AM   #9
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I think there might be 1 or 2 threads about lights on here.

Princeton Switchback 2 rocks, but I need a little more light for twisty sections of the trail. i might be willing to part with mine for the right price. make me an offer in PM....
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Old 10-30-07, 10:43 AM   #10
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I have a 10W halogen Planet Bike Alias that was a good starter light. $100 on sale at Performance.
My L&M Li Arc Ion (HID) is significantly brighter, but it cost me $300 or so on eBay. I think it was worth the money, since I ride a lot in the mornings. I view it as a safety item. LED's are improving, but the cheaper ones are more about being seen than lighting up the road. The expensive ones reportedly are starting to rival the HID lights but I haven't seen this myself yet. As for a rear light, make sure you change the batteries frequently. It's amazing how much dimmer they get as the batteries wear out. (I like my Viewpoint for $15 at Performance, but there are a lot of good ones out there.)
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Old 10-30-07, 11:30 AM   #11
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I wouldn't recommend the PT Switchbacks at this point. Between the Dinotte 200L, the trinewt and Minewt x2 dual, and the cygolite tridentx, you can get a lot more light for less money. The one thing the sb2 and sb3 are great for is battery life. An SB3 can literally be run all night at medium power.

Another option is the multiple fenix flashlight option. Two fenix l2ds, plus 8 nimh AAs, plus a charger will set you back about $150, and give you 2+hrs of light on high with four AAs.
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Old 10-30-07, 12:05 PM   #12
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Look no further. This is all the light you'll ever need with MORE than twice the battery life you're looking for. It's 20W halogen equivalent and works beautifully for me on my night rides. It's also noticeably lighter than it's NiteRider counterparts.
Look a bit further at http://www.beyondbikes.com/bb/index.asp?t=2

The 300 can be had for the price of the 200 given the 10% sale...

The 300 can also be modified later (after warranty runs) for 20 bucks, with these.
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Old 10-30-07, 12:37 PM   #13
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I wouldn't recommend the PT Switchbacks at this point. Between the Dinotte 200L, the trinewt and Minewt x2 dual, and the cygolite tridentx, you can get a lot more light for less money. The one thing the sb2 and sb3 are great for is battery life. An SB3 can literally be run all night at medium power.

Another option is the multiple fenix flashlight option. Two fenix l2ds, plus 8 nimh AAs, plus a charger will set you back about $150, and give you 2+hrs of light on high with four AAs.
+1000 for the battery life. I have a 50 mile round trip commute and I only charge the battery about every 4-5 trips. Much longer life than advertised.

...and still a great buy when you buy it used from another BF member
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Old 10-30-07, 12:39 PM   #14
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Beyondbikes has terrible customer feedback http://www.resellerratings.com/store/BeyondBikes

I ordered a small item from them - it took MONTHS to arrive.
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Old 10-30-07, 12:49 PM   #15
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Beyondbikes has terrible customer feedback http://www.resellerratings.com/store/BeyondBikes

I ordered a small item from them - it took MONTHS to arrive.
That is not good. They are located where I am, so I can go to thier location...I have called a few times and they always pick up...I have yet to get anything from them so I can's say. At the very least, you can take this price and have a price match at another place...
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Old 10-30-07, 01:50 PM   #16
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Light and Motion Solo Logic, great light and service. I have used mine through several bulbs and years and also replaced the break-away plastic in a couple of crashes. They are personable and helpful on the phone in diagnosing the problem. It's worth the bit extra!
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Old 10-30-07, 02:10 PM   #17
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See my new night time light setup. HERE.
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Old 10-30-07, 02:14 PM   #18
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Old 10-30-07, 02:40 PM   #19
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For tail lights, Blackburn's Mars 3 is pretty darn bright and quite inexpensive.
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Old 10-30-07, 02:53 PM   #20
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For tail lights, Blackburn's Mars 3 is pretty darn bright and quite inexpensive.
It is and I like the several I run. But the Planet Bike Superflash is truly remarkable.
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Old 10-30-07, 02:58 PM   #21
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Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets forum - consult here.

I looked at lights forever and got a PrincetonTec SwitchBack 3 at 45% off on close-out at Colorado Cyclist.
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Old 10-31-07, 03:59 PM   #22
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Look a bit further at http://www.beyondbikes.com/bb/index.asp?t=2

The 300 can be had for the price of the 200 given the 10% sale...

The 300 can also be modified later (after warranty runs) for 20 bucks, with these.
$155 for the DualCross 300 ain't bad. The best I've seen prior to this post is $165 through Pricepoint.com.

The head unit of the 200 and 300 are identical as far as I can tell (the battery and/or quick charger - can't remember which - is different). What candella do those replacement LED's bump it up to? It's already 20W halogen equivalent. Does it get the boost to the equivalent of 25W or even 30W? I'm very interested to say the least.
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Old 10-31-07, 07:33 PM   #23
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Dinotte!

I am amazed no one has yet mentioned Dinotte lighting for any bike lighting needs. I've been very happily running their 200 lumen headlight for almost a year--I use it 3 days a week from Sep to April, twice each day, and it works very well. I literally just finished mounting a new Dinotte taillight on my Trek Pilot 5.2, and that's a huge improvement over any taillight I have ever seen. Check out:

http://www.dinottelighting.com/index.html

There just aren't better lights anywhere near the $$$'s spent, from what I've seen.
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Old 10-31-07, 07:40 PM   #24
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I am amazed no one has yet mentioned Dinotte lighting for any bike lighting needs. I've been very happily running their 200 lumen headlight for almost a year--I use it 3 days a week from Sep to April, twice each day, and it works very well. I literally just finished mounting a new Dinotte taillight on my Trek Pilot 5.2, and that's a huge improvement over any taillight I have ever seen. Check out:

http://www.dinottelighting.com/index.html

There just aren't better lights anywhere near the $$$'s spent, from what I've seen.

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Old 10-31-07, 07:40 PM   #25
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