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Thread: bike headlight

  1. #1
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    bike headlight

    I need an inexpensive headlight. I don't need it to see where I'm going, but to allow the imbeciles who back out of their driveways and blow stop signs to see me. I am considering a lower end Cateye hl ld 135 because it has a pretty good battery life and is brighter than anything I am using now. Battery life is important because 4 aa batts once a week becomes expensive and a pain to keep in stock.
    Any ideas or opinions would be appreciated.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    How much $$$ do you want to spend?
    I have a $3 one on my helmet that when I look at a driver the light hits him and he knows that I am there.
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    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    I have that Cateye model and a few others. I've used it as a flashing secondary light and currently have it stashed in my seat bag just in case my Dinotte headlight has a problem. It would do the job for you, but if you are able to spend a few dollars more, Cateye has some lights which are a bit more powerful if it will be your only light.

    As far as batteries are concerned, I've switched to rechargeable AA and AAA batteries with great success. you will pay more up front of course. I have not calculated the savings, but I have not had to buy any AA or AAA batteries in over a year.

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    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Also check out the Electronics, Lighting and Gadgets forum for a ton of information.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Tie wrap to your helmet. I turn it off when not needed.
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1119
    Be sure to look at all the lights. No Shipping on anything.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  7. #7
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Looks like that would fit the bill for the OP.

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    Senior Member limeylew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    I need an inexpensive headlight. I don't need it to see where I'm going, but to allow the imbeciles who back out of their driveways and blow stop signs to see me. I am considering a lower end Cateye hl ld 135 because it has a pretty good battery life and is brighter than anything I am using now. Battery life is important because 4 aa batts once a week becomes expensive and a pain to keep in stock.
    Any ideas or opinions would be appreciated.
    I have some of these on order:-

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F3W2TO

    Thirty seconds of cranking gives 2 hours of light.

    It looks like to good of a deal to pass up.
    Lewis.
    A cyclist is a cyclist's worst enemy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by urban_assault View Post
    Looks like that would fit the bill for the OP.
    That's a cheap PoS. Do not buy that.
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    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1203301630134

    This inexpensive? If you have an MEC membership, this is a seriously good product for the price. I just use rechargeables with mine.

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    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    Use rechargeables, I use Sanyo Eneloops and they come in AA and AAA size. Then you can use any AA or AAA light without worrying about the cost of batteries. The EL135 is a pretty decent blinker (but not too bright in steady mode).
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    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    That's a cheap PoS. Do not buy that.
    I originally suggested that the OP get something better, but it did seem to me that the OP was being cheap, so...


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    Consider mounting a flashlight.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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    Moving this to Electronics, Lighting and Gadgets (from General Cycling). Shine on!

    --J, a Forum Mod
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    Urban-
    It's not a question of "Being cheap". It's a question of need and application. I am not a roadie. I ride around my neighborhood for exercise etc.

    Trust me, I can easily afford anything in the Nashbar catalog or any other catalog for that matter. I do not need a $400 headlight for what I do.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Bobn,

    Not sure where you reside but if you have a Walmart (AKA nickname Wallys) around check out thier battery section. I hail from Canada and my local Wallys has a sale on the Rayovac Low-self-discharge NIMH batteries for ~$9.xx/package of 4xAA or AAA if I recall right. Mind you the battery capacity is 2100mAh but thier claim is 60% battery retention in 1 years time if you don't use that. Normal NIMH cells would be near dead or dead already in a years time. So what that means is if you're a recreational rider you can charge once then keep in your lights and keep riding for some time and charge your batteries like every 2 weeks or every month because of the low discharge.

    Now if later you find you're wanting more speed on the ride at night and use a brighter light that sucks more juice then get the higher capacity NIMH batteries and charge them once a day or every few days pending your usage.

    Now onto the headlight. I own the MEC Shark and it's a nice light however there is no side visibility. Some people have put reflective tape on the sides of it to give more side visibility. The MEC Sharks are good bang for buck! $11ish CDN which is pretty much par with the US now a days. It comes with 4xAAA's put the box and for that price you're best to get two units and mount them on the handle bars or under mount them on the handlebars. If they break later one (I broke one but that was because I wanted to see the reflector and broke the contacts on the board) can take the reflector out and the reflector is sized well for a Luxeon LED or Luxeon clone (ie. SSC LED's ).
    Zero_Enigma

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    I want to thank everyone for their input. Rechargeable batteries do make a lot of sense and lessen the concern about battery life. Thanks again.

  18. #18
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    Urban-
    It's not a question of "Being cheap". It's a question of need and application. I am not a roadie. I ride around my neighborhood for exercise etc.

    Trust me, I can easily afford anything in the Nashbar catalog or any other catalog for that matter. I do not need a $400 headlight for what I do.
    Sorry, I was not taking a shot at you. I should have stated that differently.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    I want to thank everyone for their input. Rechargeable batteries do make a lot of sense and lessen the concern about battery life. Thanks again.
    Rechargeables being the nature that they are will have more a self discharge over alkaline and lithium batteries any day. However to keep more money in your wallet and cut down on the charge times I think LSD batteries are the way to go. Granted they are in thier infancy stage right now and the highest LSD batteries I know of are 2100mAh which Rayovac and Maha have right now. If there was a 2500mAh LSD it would be a no-brainer to get that.

    Just go to the dollar store and get a el cheapo pack of alkaline batteries or a cheap bulk pack at your store of choice and keep a few alkalines in the pocket or seatbag so you're covered if/when you forget to charge your batteries and they run out on you later so you can still be safe with light to return home and charge your cells then.

    Right now I'm using two http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3036.html which I got at www.mec.ca when they first came out. They work well as turn signals on the road as well. They use 2xAA and when you run both on flash mode (if you time it right when setting the flashmode you can have it flash one after the other) which really gets peoples attention on the residential streets. However it can also get the odd prick once in a while commenting that it looks like a sucky motorbike setup but hey in my experiences it worked well with lots of positive comments even from a driver that slowed to the red light while I was in the left turn lane waiting for the left turn signal (I road ride) and she commented on that she could see me back a block away and asked where she could get some for her kids.

    The model I have is EASY to take off and mount on if you're in a hurry making it good for stop over trips to the groceries/snacks/errands while riding. I just noticed there is a 1W model coming out in Feb/2008 but no image yet. It also runs on 2xAA but it has high/low/flash modes which if later you ride more and adopt a turn signal setup like I do it can be annoying to cycle 3-modes to get to the flash mode so a car knows you want to turn left. Yes I still use arm signals but when using arm signals in combination with light signals I've had nearly 95% compliance with all drivers on the road as they can see the light or the arm first then register the arm or the light second to know that I want to make a turn. Most drivers here don't know the arm signals at all. I find motorbike people of half the ones I spoke with know of the hand signals. Then again they are just a level or two above a bicycle but only with a motor and can truely relate to when a cyclist talks about a driver not seeing them at times.
    Zero_Enigma

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