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  1. #1
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    Need some cheap front and rear lights - ebay?

    Just got my new bike and I'm loving it.
    Need some lights for it as I dont want to get busted for not having any and also might occassionally be doing some night time riding.
    Not likely to be out doing any trails or off road at night, probably very little rain riding as well.

    Figure some cheap lights would probably be fine for me so looking on ebay.
    I dont see much point buying some for $30-$40 in a shop for their cheap ones vs the cheap ones on ebay (are they much better from the shops for their $30-$40 ones?)

    Anyone got any first hand exp with ebay cheap lights vs shop cheap ($30) ones?

    Any recommendations for cheap lights also welcome - wouldn't mind some that adequately light up the road infront of me if its not street lit.

    Thanks guys Smile

  2. #2
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    cheap rear lights from dealextreme.com or kaidomain.com, free shipping, about $3-4 a light, big selection. i like the 9-LED lights. expect 2-4 weeks for arrival from hong kong

  3. #3
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    As I tell people, it's far more important to have lights that work, rather than obsess with which ones to get. Be sure to mount them properly (taillights should be pointed STRAIGHT back).

    For headlights, I would say that it's fair to divide them into two categories. Those that let you see in the dark, and those that merely let others see you. For the latter, there are many, many cheap and not so cheap lights available. Ones running white LEDs have long runtimes. Those with conventional bulbs tend to cost less, but have shorter runtimes.

    The ones that would actually let you see in the dark tend to cost more. Some models cost significantly more. They tend to run off of attached battery packs that fit in your water bottle cage, or fit on your top tube. Those lights can be LED based, or high-powered halogen bulb based (HIDs also exist, but they're becoming rare and they cost a fortune).

    What I currently use is a slightly modified Sigma Sport Ellipsoid that's no longer in production. It's in-production cousin is the Sigma Sport Cubelight. The mod is the switching out of the stock 2.4 W halogen bulb (adequate for being seen, not so great for seeing), with a Maglite 5-cell Magnum Star. It let's me see OK in the dark, although I am not a fast rider and it's probably not sufficient for trails. I have also used the Cygolite Night Rover a few years ago for seeing in the dark. It was an excellent light. The Light and Motion Vega I also used; it's OK, but I would say that it's "bang for the buck" is not so great due to its high price.

    Shop lights for $30 or so (for a single headlight, and/or a pack with both front and rear lights) are adequate for being seen. Ebay often has the same for less. The only concern that I have is the question of whether the Ebay lights are stolen or not. It's probably a good idea to insist on the lights being in their original packaging (no guarantee there of it not being stolen, but at least if it were it was probably shoplifted - shoplifters eventually get caught).
    Same roads, same rights, same rules.
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  4. #4
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper Grinder View Post
    cheap rear lights from dealextreme.com or kaidomain.com, free shipping, about $3-4 a light, big selection. i like the 9-LED lights. expect 2-4 weeks for arrival from hong kong
    +1
    The local Trail Watch group passes out free lights and batteries to anyone found riding the rail trail after dark without lights. Some of these cheap lights kits have been in use for a couple of years now. All are purchased in bulk from dealextreme.com.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=57360&dateline=1197386754[/SIGPIC]
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  5. #5
    Got another new bike
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    $9 bell taillight from walmart is nice, a cheap halogen headlight from walmart too, get one that take AA's and get rechargables, that will keep you under $20 total. driving or riding to walmart is a little faster than dealextreme. I had a walmart halogen a long time ago and it lit up the road in front of me on MUP unlit. My new 20W MR16 spot is a ton brighter, DIY though and about $50.

  6. #6
    Senior Member maximushq2's Avatar
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    For a rear light the Planet Bike Superflash is good and it's cheap. For a cheap headlight though I wouldn't know what to recommend. That is one thing I don't cheap out on. If you need a cheap headlight to actually see where you are going worth a darn you probably would have to build your own halogen light. Or go the flashlight route that a lot of folks here seem to have good luck with.

    Occasional night riding can lead to more than occasional night riding if you find it as fun as I do. One night ride in particular stands out the most for me. It was on last Halloween. There was hardly any traffic to be seen and the atmosphere was great with the Fall leaves blowing across my path and jack o lanterns on porches and the breeze blowing the skeletal looking branches of the trees. I even went through a graveyard. It was one of the best rides I can remember day or night. I find night riding extremely addictive in case you didn't realize.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mr York's Avatar
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    I use the bell LED tail light and two 1 watt LED brinkmann AA flashlights (looks like a mini-maglite but cheaper) that I mounted to the handlebars using zip ties and one on my helmet. I use NiMH batteries. Cheap and effective enough for me right now. Picked it all up at walmart. I night ride at least once a week.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions guys

  9. #9
    Junior Member katycat's Avatar
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    <b>I bought a used recumbent trike which is VERY low to the ground and therefore harder to see. Therefore I am very conscious about making my trike very visible - especially at night when I am coming home from work or grocery shopping.

    I bought a pair of lights at a great price on Amazon.

    I bought the Blackburn Quadrant headlight (4 halogen LEDs), and the Mars 3.0 rear light (7 small halogen LEDs), for only $19.99. They have over 70 great customer reviews and average 4.5 stars out of five from customers.

    http://tinyurl.com/2fom35

    It's true what they say -- the Quadrant headlight is more for being seen than being able to see ahead. I bought this set because both are designed to be seen from the sides (as important for your safety as front and back!) as well as front and back. I can see only a little ahead with the Quadrant - for instance when I needed to find a gate I knew was straight ahead of me at the end of a cul-de-sac, I needed to get off my trike with a Mag-lite flashlight and look for it. For now, it does what I want - which is make me more visible from the front and sides, and has steady and flashing modes.

    I was a little disappointed that the Mars 3.0 is rather small for having 7 LEDs, but it is quite bright as advertised - bright enough to hurt my eyes staring straight at it. I spotted a bicyclist with the same light and watched the light as he rode into the distance. I could see it at least a block a way, maybe more - pretty good, I thought!

    Some of the red LEDs stick out a bit, so it can be more easily seen from the side. It also has an orange LED on either side which flash if the light is in flashing mode. It is not as visible from the side as well as I had hoped. But I am putting 3m Scotchlite highly reflective tape all over the bike which should make it easier to see from the side. Diamond grade is supposed to be the best.

    The lights are detachable so you can take them with you whenever you leave your bike so they don't get stolen. However if you forget to take them off, that does make it easier for someone to steal them! That's why I'm adding the reflective tape: so that I'm still visible at night even without lights.

    A pretty good deal from a manufacturer who seems to have a good reputation.

    Also, if you spend $25 or more on the Amazon site, you get free shipping.

    You could get the Planet Bike BRT straps which are reflective arm bands with built-in flashing lights:


    Planet Bike BRT Strap Multi-Use LED Bicycle Safety Light

    http://tinyurl.com/2bwls9

    Plus I bought a totally fabulous reflective safety flag and pole on eBay for about $20 + tax + shipping was about $28.50 total - by BeSeenWear.com. I can't believe they even **sell** any bike flags without a reflective strip!

    http://www.beseenwear.com/flag.html



    Think about getting a safety vest with reflective strips. I feel like a real nerd, but I feel safer riding at night!

    P.S. I don't use the arm bands because with the vest it seems like overkill!

    </b>

  10. #10
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    "halogen LED", sorry, no such thing. It's just plain LED. Despite the review saying the Blackburn Quadrant and Mars are very bright, I disagree (I've seen these in action, not very bright). Then again, I have very very high expectations for bike lights. The lights I run (which I made myself) are comparable to $400 lights on the market and my rear blinkie, just picture 30+ Mars 3.0. That's how bright my rear blinkie is.

  11. #11
    cat person GlassWolf's Avatar
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    nashbar has a combo house brand set of tail and head light, LED, for $12.
    GlassWolf
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