I am looking into getting a light system for my bike, enough to see on suburban streets (I commute and want to continue even when it's dark, and maybe do some fun night rides too). I plan on night-time rides of 30-60 minutes (maybe occasionally up to 2 hours), probably 3-5 times/week.
I have perused and searched the forum and have made some general conclusions, but have several questions. I apologize in advance if some of these are basic and/or ignorant.
It seems the best, cheapest system involves one or two high-powered LED flashlights. Understood. The connectors are intimidating to the uninitiated, however.
Here are my questions, as of now:
1. Is it really worth going to dealextreme for low cost high powered flashlights, or can one do as well (or nearly as well) at wal-mart??
2. Battery confusion AA vs CR123. Some lights accept either one. Others not. Obviously each battery type has its strengths and weaknesses, but what are they? Also, for my purposes does it make sense to use rechargables or disposables?
3. My road bar mounting sites are already used by a computer and a "be-seen" cateye light. I would like to mount the flashlight(s) on my stem (it's an old fashloned quill stem with about 3 inches showing....anyone have experience with this? Will the lockblock or other "handlebar" mounts work on a stem?
4. This one is more philosophical....if the technology for high-powered LED flashlights is so good and (relatively) inexpensive, why haven't the bike light manufacturers caught on and modified it for bike-specific lights??
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!