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  1. #1
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    My Report: Fenix L2D CE Premium Q5 & Bikeblock

    I went out for a few minutes this evening and compared this to my Light & Motion Vega. I wish I could compare it to my Princeton Tec Switchback 3 but I had to send it in for warranty service Friday. Luckily this light came in the mail.

    There really is no comparison. This little flashlight makes a great helmet light. If it is turned on I cannot even tell if the Vega is on or off. Nice wide spot and lots of even spill to light the way. You could easily use this little flashlight by itself and ride in the 16-18 mile range. I will have to test it on descents next Tuesday night.

    Trying it inside my garage the Light and Motion Vega looks pathetic compared to this flashlight. The Light and Motion Vega has a smaller spot and spill and is not as bright or white. The flashlight beats it in every way and by a lot.

    I have the Zefal Doodad and the Bikeblock. The bikeblock works much better since it conforms well to the shape of my Bell Sweep. I did my best on the pictures but could not get the flash to work. The Doodad will fit underneath the flashlight as mounted but just barely so the profile is low.

    Sorry, camera work is not my forte.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by dekindy; 11-06-07 at 06:50 AM.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  2. #2
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    I just saw a comment in another thread saying it is brighter than a Cateye Doubleshot.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    I just saw a comment in another thread saying it is brighter than a Cateye Doubleshot.
    I confirmed it in the nighttime darkness too. It is indeed brighter than the Double Shot, with a better light pattern.

  4. #4
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    I went 26 miles last night with the helmet configuration shown above.

    I put the lanyard on and attached it to the helmet in case the mount came loose. The mount is sturdy but I am going to keep the lanyard anyway because it prevents the Tailcap from falling on the ground during battery changes. Trying to locate a black object on the ground at night without light or using the bar light would be frustrating.

    This light is bright! The beam is twice the width of a 2-lane country road. The spot is not large, but adequate and bright. I aligned it during a short test run in my neighborhood. Out on the road I found that the spot was too close in front of the bike. I will realign it and get much better illumination down the road and the spill will still light up the road very close to the bike. This is one great, economical helmet light.

    I was using Ray-O-Vac 2000 mah batteries. I am not sure of their age and I do not have an analyzer to determine capacity status. The light was turned on and off briefly prior to the start of the ride. I got about 65 minutes run time on the ride before the light dimmed noticeably. I was on a group ride but I think I noticed the fade almost immediately. Changing batteries with the lanyard attached is tricky because the strap twists as you unscrew the Tailcap. But as I already noted I will definitely keep the lanyard because it keeps the tailcap from falling and getting lost.

    This flashlight is absolutely ideal for supplementing a bar light for road rides.

    If you were not riding fast and were careful down descents, I think it could actually be used solo if you were on a restricted budget. It has already been noted that it is brighter than the old style Cateye Doubleshot.

    This light would also be ideal for commuters that are using the cheap, be seen bar lights. You would be more visible and have useful light to boot for not a lot more money.

    The delivered price for flashlight and mount using the cpf8 coupon code was $63.93.

    I was quite skeptical when I first started reading about using these type flashlights for cycling. I am still skeptical about mounting two on the bars as has been prescribed with the fishlocks. But if the mounts are sturdy enough and do not cost too much you could have an amazing bar/helmet configuration for $192 plus the cost of the mounts, access to advancing, affordable, non-proprietary battery source, and the flexibility to use them as flashlights while not biking. The only think that I have seen currently that would compete on price for the amount of light you get was the recent Dinotte sale where you could get two lights for $200.

    I am going to have to investigate newer, higher capacity batteries. Changing flashlight batteries on a cold wintry ride is not much fun and would be time consuming if you had 3 flashlights.

    I am wondering why Fenix does not make these flashlights in 3 or 4 battery capacity configurations like another major manufacturer?
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  5. #5
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I've been using a Fenix L2D flashlight mounted to my handlebars for about 3 weeks now. They mistakenly sent me the CE version, although I had ordered the Premium, so I was able to compare both models. The CE light quality is much "whiter" while the Premium has a yellowish cast, but the Premium is definitely brighter. I have no trouble at all using the Fenix as my sole commuting light, and I don't even use it on turbo mode. Generally I run it on the 2nd or 3rd level of brightness in the non-turbo mode. I've mounted the flashlight to my handlebar using a Twofish Lockblock. One of the real advantage to the Fenix is being able to remove it and switch to another bike very easily and quickly. It is also very, very light. I had been using a Cygolite Niterover that I bought years ago and was very reliable, but the Fenix is much brighter, lighter and has a longer run time for comparable levels of brightness. If I needed another light, I might get another one to mount on my helmet, but I have no trouble seeing with the one light.

  6. #6
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    I've been using a Fenix L2D flashlight mounted to my handlebars for about 3 weeks now. They mistakenly sent me the CE version, although I had ordered the Premium, so I was able to compare both models. The CE light quality is much "whiter" while the Premium has a yellowish cast, but the Premium is definitely brighter. I have no trouble at all using the Fenix as my sole commuting light, and I don't even use it on turbo mode. Generally I run it on the 2nd or 3rd level of brightness in the non-turbo mode. I've mounted the flashlight to my handlebar using a Twofish Lockblock. One of the real advantage to the Fenix is being able to remove it and switch to another bike very easily and quickly. It is also very, very light. I had been using a Cygolite Niterover that I bought years ago and was very reliable, but the Fenix is much brighter, lighter and has a longer run time for comparable levels of brightness. If I needed another light, I might get another one to mount on my helmet, but I have no trouble seeing with the one light.
    The light color has to do with the LED, the original premium had the Rebel LED and now you can also get it with the Cree LED which is a whiter light. I ride pretty good roads with bike lanes and a single L2D Q5 is all I need for brightness and the price is right too. I just picked up a Cateye TL-LD1100 for the rear and now I'm plenty visible for my rides. If I commuted I would be inclined to go with a more expensive solution but for nightly 20mi training rides this combo works great and was <$100
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  7. #7
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    One set of Duracell 2650 mah capacity batteries ran 2hrs and were still going strong when I finished last night. It was the first charge for the batteries so it should only get better. I proclaim the Fenix a winner!

    I encourage anyone considering a light purchase to mount one of these on their helmet and use it before acquiring anything else. These lights are awesome.

    A fellow rider that has Vista lights is needing to replace them. He looked at the flashlight last night and compared it to a 10W halogen. The Fenix spot was as good or better with vastly wider spill. LED technology development is exciting right now.

    Look at this Cannondale product on my LBS's website. Flashlight technology/options should catch on pretty fast now with good mounting options.
    http://bgindy.com/itemdetails.cfm?catalogId=1&id=9937
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  8. #8
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    How difficult was it to align the beam properly on your helmet? Mine Fenix is mounted on my handlebar, so aligning the beam is a simple matter of rotating the LockBlock on my bars. It seems like it would take a lot of trial and error to get the mount right on a helmet.

  9. #9
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    It is not difficult, at least on my helmet. I adjusted it the first time on a test ride around my neighborhood. On my first ride after the short test adjustment ride I realized that the spot was too close. This was probably because there was too much light in my neighborhood to evaluate it properly. I loosed the strap and slid it back on the helmet a little. It is now in good position. Nothing to it really unless your helmet venting prevents it from being mounted in the proper position. But you can always compensate by shimming if needed. Now that might be a pain if you had to shave it down multiple times to get it right. It should not be difficult at all for most helmets. I have not heard anyone complain about not being able to align properly. I was skeptical myself before trying it. Now that I have it I would not trade it for anything except for something like a Joystick Max that costs 4 times as much.
    http://www.exposurelightsusa.com/
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  10. #10
    Senior Member diesel_dad's Avatar
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    I have the same helmet, light and mount. Works great. I have tried multiple lights on my helmet including my Dinotte 600L, Rexlight, Fenix P1D-CE, Jetbeam C-LE ...

    The Fenix L2D works best so far. Weight is not objectionable. Good beam pattern with lots of spill. Cheap, easily rechargeable batteries. Strobe mode for daytime commuting. A real winner.

  11. #11
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    I am currently using the Fenix L2D on my helmet. I used the bikeblock from fenix to attach it.

    At first I had a hard time getting it aimed where I wanted it. Then I just strapped it back on the helmet and wedged a small piece of plasctic between the helmet and block to lift the beam. Worked like a charm.

    I did find that, although the light is plenty bright, that cars still tended to ignore me and pull right out in front of me. I switch the light to strobe mode when I'm in traffic and now cars give me plenty of room. I've even seen traffic on the opposite side of the road slow down and pull over until they realize I'm a bike and not an ambulance or something.

    I will probably pick up a second L2D Q5 version from fenix to put on the bars that I can leave on constant and on a lower setting so I can get a full 3 hours out of it for my commuting round trips. Two 2650mah batteries get about 2 hours on turbo, but a lot more on just the high setting. The high setting is plenty so see the road clearly at up to about 10-20mph depending on the lighting environment.

    Another option is the Fenix P3D. It is brighter (215 lumens compared to 175) but uses CR123A batteries, which can be expensive if you don't buy online and in bulk. Local stores will charge $6+ for one of these cells and the P3D uses 2. The P3D will also drain them in about 1.5hours on turbo. There are rechargeable CR123A options, but they don't run as long on a single charge. If your commute is short or you don't need to run it at full (120 lumen mode runs almost 5 hours) power very often, this would also make a great bike light.

    Be sure to get the Q5 model as it has the highest light output and has the same run times as the other non-Q5 versions of the Fenix lights.

    Now get out there and ride.

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