Flashlight and mount
I was reading some other threads about using flashlights as headlights and thought about using two $15-20 flashlights (I haven't decided on anything yet, and I'm not sure how to compare light outputs). Is it realistic to get something that would allow me to see debris on the road at/right before sunrise for this price? I could go higher but don't want to spend more than $30 per light.
As for the mount, most people recommended lockblocks, which seemed to be around $15 for two which seemed expensive considering the flashlight itself would only cost twice as much. Has anyone tried fashioning something out of velcro or rubber bands or something? Would something like this be stable enough for the light to not fall off or constantly shift while riding?
I'm sure you can jury-rig any sort of mount you want. But the Twofish lockblocks from the Fenix store/4sevens.com are hard to beat, imo.
They are easy to mount, secure and let you easily insert/remove the flashlight.
For ~$16 shipped for 3, I think that's a terrific value.
For your flashlight needs, it could be that one of the driving factors is the cost of consumables (batteries). If you already have a stash of rechargeable AA NiMH batteries and a good charger, that may influence your choice of flashlights.
I looked into this a few weeks ago and bought the Fenix L2DPremiumQ5. I'm extremely happy with it. Not to say that I wouldn't be happy with other solutions, but from my research, this was the AA powered LED flashlight to beat.
But it's not gonna make your $30 limit.
Would the Fenix be reliable enough that you'd regularly ride in the dark without a backup light? I had the impression that flashlights failed pretty often, but then again, I doubt my parents ever bought ones that were more than $10. If there's really no point in getting two lights, I'd probably get one more expensive one.
My other thought is, would this be better than two cheaper ones in terms of visibility and brightness and stuff?
I would depend on it, just be sure to carry a couple x-tra batteries.:thumb:
I'll second the Fenix.. (or would that be a third?) ... Good light. I use it as a back up on my Rivendell and as a primary on my Bike-Friday. This is in addition to a LED mounted helmet light such as the Princeton Tec "EOS-Bike". Actually the EOS is a good light too and could get you home if your primary light failed.
There are some other options, you should go over the candle power forums. There is a bike specific thread and lots of discussions about various flashlights in addition to some home brew stuff. Some even post beam shot pics ... very useful. But I'll save you some time, the Fenix is most popular.
Also check out this link. A good discussion on flashlights and a nice homemade mount utilizing two conduit clamps.
Rubber bands, such as cut out cross sections of old inner tunes have been used successfully too. Google "Kent Peterson" and look at his website. If you look closely at some of his pictures you will see he uses this method.
Another method is to just simply interlock two hose clamps and attach one to the handlebars and the other to the flashlight.
One option would be to consider something like a Fenix plus a similar but less expensive flashlight as a backup.
Originally Posted by degnaw
Also...if you're a helmet wearer, you'll have the option to put a light on the helmet or on the handlebar or both (both is what I prefer).
I think that failure rate on newer LED flashlights is probably a lot lower than with older style flashlights (the LED itself will last a LONG, LONG time compared to a bulb, typically tens of thousands of hours)...and most often failure is due to owner mistakes of leaving old alkaline batteries in for so long that they corrode and take the light with them. If you're riding regularly and using good rechargeable batteries and keeping up with your lights, you likely won't have failure problems (but I think it's always a good idea to have a backup light, even a small and inexpensive one as opposed to nothing at all).
As to lockblocks...they're secure and won't let a small flashlight fall off your bike. They're inexpensive, easy to put on and take off, and they do a great job for the price. Won't scratch up your bike or flashlight, either. ;)
Fenix lights are dead solid. I use one in the summer and two in the winter. I've had absolutely no issues with either of mine at all, and they also get use around the house too.
Originally Posted by degnaw
I dropped one (totally my fault) cruising over railroad tracks and the thing just bounced along the road for a little while. It still works perfectly to this day.
Go with the LockBlocks or BikeBlocks. They simply are the best thing out there.
Fenix flashlights are capable of running while fully submerged in water.
$15 for three lockblocks is not expensive. Bless the industrial revolution.