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  1. #1
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    A Quad Fenix Setup (QuadraFenixa?)

    In the last few days, I obtained a couple of extra Fenix L2D flashlights so that I can easily set up another family member or friend to ride with me in the evenings.

    But...since I have them available, I figured I might as well play for a bit.

    Thus....the "QuadraFenixa" (or something to that effect).

    I've got two spacebars on the front of one of my bikes, which gives me enough room to attach four L2Ds via lockblock. This evening, I'll give it a ride and see if it was worth the effort or was overkill or was a bad configuration...or whatever.

    Here are a few photos:









    Testing it against a backdrop in my home showed that it might give an interesting kind of "wall of light" effect (although that's probably overstating it in a relative sense). Maybe just a "picket fence of light" rather than a wall. Or...maybe a wall.



    From the head-on view, it will actually be much more blinding than in the photo below if you were to look straight into the lights...but I wanted to take a shot in such a way that you could see the position of the lights (thus, this rather crappy photo).




    Actually, with my helmet light, this will make five of them (I'm starting to lose track)...

    If it doesn't work out or isn't at least a bit of fun, I'll let the thread die an easy death.
    Last edited by varuscelli; 08-22-08 at 07:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    V, you are cleared for takeoff.
    "harder" is not a very good safeword.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mr York's Avatar
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    My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Varus,

    I am concerned if the Fenix will cause 'phantom' milage on the wireless bike computer? I have found that whn the flash light is on strobe mode and also cycling high/low modes the bike computer would rack up milage and sometimes you'll see your speed shoot from 0 - 60+kph (yah I wish it was true ). Can you check on this for me? What bike comp are you using? I'm using a Schwinn I think 13 mode bike comp.
    Zero_Enigma

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Varus,

    I think it's time to upgrade next time to a dedicated bike light then the 5 x Fenix's. Given you're this far into the lighting it would be probably better to go with a dedicated bike light like a Dinotte 200L. I'm surprised the little one hasn't taken all your lighting and claimed it hers yet. Good job on keeping it on your bike.
    Zero_Enigma

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    I need to come down sometime and check you out.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&saddr...28.125&t=h&z=5
    Zero_Enigma

  7. #7
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    Varus,

    I am concerned if the Fenix will cause 'phantom' milage on the wireless bike computer? I have found that whn the flash light is on strobe mode and also cycling high/low modes the bike computer would rack up milage and sometimes you'll see your speed shoot from 0 - 60+kph (yah I wish it was true ). Can you check on this for me? What bike comp are you using? I'm using a Schwinn I think 13 mode bike comp.
    My computer showed that I rode over 100 miles tonight at an average speed of 45 mph...not bad for a mountain bike. Or for me.

    You know, that's something I'll have to check out. I hardly ever use the strobe mode, with most of my riding being neighborhood trails and bike paths very late in the evening. I use a Sigma 1606L.

  8. #8
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    I need to come down sometime and check you out.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&saddr...28.125&t=h&z=5
    It will be easier if you wait until we visit my wife's family in Chicago. Much less of a ride for you, even on your superfast phantom bike.

  9. #9
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    Varus,
    I think it's time to upgrade next time to a dedicated bike light then the 5 x Fenix's. Given you're this far into the lighting it would be probably better to go with a dedicated bike light like a Dinotte 200L. I'm surprised the little one hasn't taken all your lighting and claimed it hers yet. Good job on keeping it on your bike.
    Don't worry, I'm not planning on making the 5x Fenix my regular setup. I just did it because I could. The other two will most likely be held in reserve for my wife and daughter so we can ride together. My daughter keeps TRYING to claim my lights, so it is indeed an ongoing battle. I might designate one of them as "hers"...symbolically...

    That stuff aside, I loved the ride tonight. Using the four L2Ds on the spacebars did indeed give me somewhat of a wall of light to work with. I switched a few times from a two-light mode to four for certain stretches of road, and stopped a couple of times to go from two to four without riding (so I could look carefully without the road changing) and it was a heck of a difference. In fact, my helmet light went largely unnoticed (by me), being mostly lost in the light from the others except for certain turns and look-asides. The entire ride was actually quite a bit of fun.

  10. #10
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    Just when you thought Varuscelli could not top his previous configurations, he comes through again!
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  11. #11
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    Just when you thought Varuscelli could not top his previous configurations, he comes through again!
    Ha! Next up: Eight Fenixes in an over/under configuration on two spacebars...

    Actually, I'm really glad I got to play with that four-light handlebar configuration. I doubt I would have bought two extra L2Ds for this, but since I wanted to set up my wife and daughter to ride with me, this seemed like the perfect time to get some matched lights and then to play around with using them on ONE bike.

    I really did like the experience of having those four L2Ds going at once. You might be able to see that on my handlebar, the lights are fanned out slightly to left and right, which did light up a broader swath in front of me, but still kept them all relatively tight. It was a very solid lighting effect. And when I paused by some wooded/field areas and turned the handlebar/lights out toward the field (and up a bit from road height) the four lights together really lit up the field areas. I was very pleased with how much light the setup put out and the way it hit the road ahead of me with the slight "splaying" of the lights because of the slightly angled-back handlebar.

    I'm accustomed to riding with three L2Ds (two on handlebar, one on helmet) but this could really spoil a guy. Maybe my wife and daughter will have to get their own lights...
    Last edited by varuscelli; 08-22-08 at 10:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    Just when you thought Varuscelli could not top his previous configurations, he comes through again!
    Howabout it? When's his picture going to be on the Fenix website?

  13. #13
    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    Varus,

    I am concerned if the Fenix will cause 'phantom' milage on the wireless bike computer? I have found that whn the flash light is on strobe mode and also cycling high/low modes the bike computer would rack up milage and sometimes you'll see your speed shoot from 0 - 60+kph (yah I wish it was true ). Can you check on this for me? What bike comp are you using? I'm using a Schwinn I think 13 mode bike comp.
    I've had no trouble at all with my Fenix L2DQ5 in strobe mode with my Garmin Edge 305 HR/CAD.

  14. #14
    Senior Member yeamac's Avatar
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    Awesome varuscelli!

    Reminds me of those dudes with KC bar lights on the top of their truck for when they go off-roading at night.


  15. #15
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    Howabout it? When's his picture going to be on the Fenix website?
    Yes, maybe I'll be in the running for the coveted "Fenix of the Week" award.

  16. #16
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeamac View Post
    Awesome varuscelli!

    Reminds me of those dudes with KC bar lights on the top of their truck for when they go off-roading at night.

    Ha! I knew it reminded me of something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Something of a cross between that and airliner wings with jet engines jutting forward (as I think busted knuckles was suggesting).

  17. #17
    pedalphile
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    I'll bet UFO sitings in texas are up.

  18. #18
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    Yes, maybe I'll be in the running for the coveted "Fenix of the Week" award.
    You're going to run out of places to mount them pretty soon! I was at a friends place a while ago, and another guy showed up on a Vespa he'd set up like the one in Quadrophenia. It looked pretty cool, with mirrors and lights plastered all over the front of it. And a separate electrical system to power the extra lights. Are you going to start adding mirrors to go with all those lights?

  19. #19
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    Are you going to start adding mirrors to go with all those lights?
    I already have a pretty funky mirror setup on that particular bike...and not one that anyone riding a bike designed for speed would like, but this is just a mountain bike that I ride around casually (my "police patrol style" around-the-neighborhood bike). The mirror setup on it is probably as aerodynamically inefficient as you can get (well, maybe not quite that bad...but pretty bad). You can sort of see them in the backdrop shot in my first post (they're folded back a bit).

    The mirrors look like a couple of fruit-bat ears sticking up off my handlebar...and you couple that with the L2Ds and the front of my bike looks rather insect-like. A large UFO-airliner-fruit-bat-eared-insect bike with eyes that flash brightly in the dark.

    (And a tiny little bell that goes ding-ding-ding...)

  20. #20
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    I tried the four-L2D setup on another bike last night and took more photos of this different setup that used only lockblocks (no spacebars on that bike).

    My regular dual L2D setup on that bike:




    A "tight" setup of four L2Ds on the handlebar:




    A more spaced apart setup on the handlebar (this was a better configuration, I think, for the handlebar on that bike and the way the light hit the road in a slightly broader swath...again, because of the handlebar being angled back and having the outermost lights angled out just a slight bit by virtue of the handlebar angle):




    Side view and rear view:


  21. #21
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    The neat thing about using the four lockblocks/L2Ds on this second bike is that by sliding the outermost lights farther to the outside of the handlebar, they gradually angle outward more because of the slightly curved/slanted outward handlebar. So, you have both up and down tilt (as you always have with lockblocks) plus the ability to angle the lights a bit farther left and right to get a wider light swath.

    With two lights, I like them pointed to almost the same spot. With four, you can get much better lateral coverage while keeping good intensity across the light swath. It's pretty nice to have so much control over the way the lights hit your path with all the up/down and left/right control that four separate heads give you. Using the spacebars as shown on the bike shown at the start of the thread gives me the same up/down movement of the lights, but limits the left/right movement.

  22. #22
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    I think it's time to upgrade next time to a dedicated bike light then the 5 x Fenix's. Given you're this far into the lighting it would be probably better to go with a dedicated bike light like a Dinotte 200L.
    You bring up a good point, and even though I have considered that before, I still like what I've got (given my particular needs and uses). A few of my personally compelling reasons to stick with flashlights -- for the time being, in any case -- are:

    • Hassle Factor: I don't particularly want to have to deal with separate battery packs and cables (I really like that flashlights are self-contained units).
    • Versatility: I like the extra real-world use I get from the flashlights as flashlights (my family and I use them all the time for their normally intended purposes), so the flashlights realistically provide me and my family better (more versatile) all-around tools to have at our disposal.
    • Financially: I don't really want to invest in a separate system at this point since I have been slowly investing in the Fenix flashlights (which means I either sell the flashlights at a loss to get money to spend on bike lights or spend quite a bit more than I've already spent (on flashlights) to invest in a dedicated bike system).
    • Number of Bikes Accommodated: With five of the L2Ds total, I can potentially rig of as many five separate bikes for family and friends to ride with me -- at least casually in the neighborhood. I can rig up two bikes very nicely with both handlebar and helmet lights, and I can rig up enough lights to quite easily accommodate me, my wife, and my daughter riding together. It would take a heck of a lot more investment in DiNotte to get me the equivalent in accommodating family bikes (even enough to accommodate two bikes would be a much larger investment than what I've spend on the Fenix lights).


    Again, you do bring up a good point, and I think if it were just me and I was looking only at accommodating my bike riding, I would consider something like the DiNottes. But as it stands, I still think the direction I've stayed with is giving me more bang for the buck and more versatility of use. That's the way it seems to me, in any case.

  23. #23
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    You have the flashlights pretty far back in the holder. Don't you get extra vibration because of the imbalance? I have to have my mounted right where the fore/aft balance is or else they won't be steady.

  24. #24
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronsmithjunior View Post
    You have the flashlights pretty far back in the holder. Don't you get extra vibration because of the imbalance? I have to have my mounted right where the fore/aft balance is or else they won't be steady.
    These could probably be slid back about one-quarter to one-half inch to be exactly on the balance point, but for whatever reason I don't seem to have any trouble with imbalance or lack of steadiness when I use them as shown (with the lockblock strap bumped right up the the head of the L2D). The lockblocks clamp so well to the handlebar and the lights that it seems like there is quite a bit of leeway as to where I can tighten them into the blocks and have them stay steady.

    Are you also using lockblocks and L2Ds? If so, are you actually having problems with them staying in place if you don't have them exactly centered (or getting excessive visible light vibration)? Just curious. I'm wondering what might be the difference in the way you are set up and the way I am. Maybe the roads/paths we ride...or maybe differences in the suspension on our bikes combined with where and how we ride?

  25. #25
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    In case I want my daughter to go blazing through the neighborhood.




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