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  1. #1
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    sat nav and headlight that wont rob the bank

    ok i need a excellent front (led) light that doesen't cost the earth can you help me out folk's thanks.
    also what about an idiot proof ,like switch it on and tells me the way to go sat nav,is there such a thing
    i've no idea about satnav only ever seen them in car's never on bikes so any thoughts

  2. #2
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    switch and go gps navigation is what car units are. Here's one. You can identify a destination and tell it to use a bike friendly route.
    http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp=40526728
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    To the OP. How fast are you planing on riding? Road? Off-road? Pitch black roads? Semi-lite roads? Riding distance? Battery type AA or rechargeable pack? Budget? Etc please if you want others to help you.

    I myself hve dabbled on a DIY and store purchased lights. I think a 15W halogen equivlent LED power light is what you should be looking for. One with a dim mode on it so you can save power and also bump it up when you need to go faster.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49184877@N00/page3/ this is my DIY light which I used http://bikeled.org/ as my guide. Having done a double already the first time I plan on making a triple the next time. My first time around was a total PITA. I could not find my dremel so I had to improvise with a portable hand drill. Still it was createable (sp?) and some what decent looking.

    For a LED light in the 15-20W range expect to pay ~$100 min for such a light. DIY gives you more control and as I explore more of the DIY I am learning what I can do with the least amount of tools.
    Zero_Enigma

  4. #4
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    fair play to you for putting does lights together i can just about wire a plug so the diy option is out i'll go for the led's ,im thinking of doing a bit of night time training so roads would be pretty black i think the rechargeable battery would be best ill probly average 15mph thanks for the advice

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    fair play to you for putting does lights together i can just about wire a plug so the diy option is out i'll go for the led's ,im thinking of doing a bit of night time training so roads would be pretty black i think the rechargeable battery would be best ill probly average 15mph thanks for the advice
    You really should check out the follow pages to get an idea of some of the LED lights.

    http://www.gearreview.com/LEDs08_intro.php 2008

    http://www.gearreview.com/2007_led_lights.php 2007

    http://www.gearreview.com/2006_led_lights.php 2006


    So if I understand you correctly you're looking for a LED light for :

    -Night time training
    -15 mph average speed
    -Riding on roads
    -Pitch black enviroment
    -Rechargeable battery option


    How long do you plan on riding at night? 1-3hr? Dinotte is a nice light (I own thier tail light. Cars back off when I turn it on *evil grin*) but I've not seen thier front lights in person so I'm only going on my expeirence with the tail light and the unit is a solid little light that packs a lot of power/brightness into a small package which looking good during the day as well (the light housing that is ).

    I havehad experiences with the NiteHawk AL-X (2006 review) and it's not a bad light if you're on a budget. Given the generations of the LED lights right now the older lights are going at discounted prices which isn't bad to pick one up as an emergency light. There have been favorable reviews on the Nitehawk K2 (2007 review) and it uses the same rock solid positive locking mount which is not coming off the bike or the helmet unless you release and slide it off.

    You did nto state a budget so I guess you're searching for whats out there then work your price range. If you can find a NiteHawk K2 for cheap it has a number of modes for commuting/safety as well as the dimming modes for saving power. www.batteryspace.com -> Bike Lights in the battery section has 6v spare batteries you can buy pre-adaptored that work with the NiteHawk K2 so you can extend runtime and have a replacement should the battery die later. Also because Batteryspace has the NiteHawk plug adaptor you can buy that adaptor and solder that to a 6xAA battery holder (use 5 slots and use a wire or a dummy battery for the 6th slot) so you can use AA's when you want to get you out of a jam. AA battery holders can be found online or your local RadioShack for like $2.50 I think. The voltage regulators are inside the NiteHawk K2's head (confirmed by thier tech) so you can just swap a battery if you need.
    Zero_Enigma

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    40% off

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Front%20Lights

    NiteHawk K2

    www.dinottelighting.com and check thier store for some deals. There was an awesome deal last year in the last week of Oct/2007 where I think you could get a front and tail light for $200 ($99/ea) Saving like 60-70/ea. It was known as the infamous sale to those that bought it as we've not seen another one like it yet. Who knows... Oct/08 may have a repeat. If so I'm saving now.
    Zero_Enigma

  7. #7
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    thank's for that zero enigma i have seen the dinotte on chain reaction i'll have a look at that and cateye oneshot thanks again for all the help

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    thank's for that zero enigma i have seen the dinotte on chain reaction i'll have a look at that and cateye oneshot thanks again for all the help
    There is another option and this won't rob the bank account but there are some heavy trade offs you'll have to consider. MEC has a house brand item called The Shark 1W LED. It's mounting system seems solid (I've not done heavy testing on it but on the road it seems ok for the ~60km I've tested it on. I've not done jumps or potholes in it yet but seems like it can handle that but not a crash I think. The NiteHawk mounting can handle a crash and still stay positively locked. Lets just say I know this first hand ) on the mount.

    The trade off is 4xAAA which you can get rechargeables and it works just as good. It has two modes. Steady and strobe (not flash and I forgot what the flash per second count was. I'm taking a guess from memory as I dont have the item in my hand right now but it is somewhere in the 3-4 FPS range. Check my photos on my flickr page for the undermount and lights on. ).

    The mount is thin so you can mount it top or bottom and some narrow areas on your bar. Another user I think has gotten 3 of the units and mounted them. It will take up some real estate but with 3 you have 3W of LED power. It uses a reflector inside the light so it has a little range to it for throwing the light farther. I would not ride without two of them. The light beam is a spot. With 3 units you can get a spotty but wider pattern for faster riding. Each unit is about $12/ea but I recommend you get two battery chargers so you can charge 4xAAA x 2 at a time so you'll always have two lights at the ready while you wait for the third to charge. There is always a trade off with any light you pick. Unless you DIY you'll have to see what you can life with.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1205089163836

    I would recommend supplimenting the 2xMEC Sharks with a blinkie to get some side coverage as that unit is forward lighting only and I just remembered you're a road rider.
    Zero_Enigma

  9. #9
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    Don't forget a rear light, at least a blinky but better would be a Planet Bike Superflash or the Dinotte tail light (watch for sales, esp. if you have or can get a battery charger on your own). I have a Dinotte 200L headlamp, which works very well for my commute. I am on partly-lit suburban streets and trail so it's more of a be-seen light. Although during the darker winter months, it has come in quite handy spotting pedestrians and bike ninjas (local day laborers without any lights). I've seen another rider on my route with a Dinotte 140L taillight, a 200L headlamp, and a 600L ($$) on his helmet. The 600L is an LED cannon and really lights up things. A 200L might be good enough; I'd recommend at least something like a Cateye Opticube EL410 on your helmet as a backup and a spare set of batteries (I carry AA lithiums for their shelf life), too.

    As an out-of-box idea, many in the radonneuer community use bike generators - either bottle units that rely on friction with the tire, or hub generators. Plenty of light and no worries about batteries.

    For GPS, can't recommend specific models. I'd look at units designed for handheld use (they can bet mounted on handlebars or kept in a jersey pocket until needed). An automotive unit assumes you have plenty of 12V DC power.

    Good luck.

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