Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-28-08, 01:54 PM   #1
Fleetdog
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Fleetdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Madison WI
Bikes: Gary Fisher Wingra
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Barebones Flashlight Setup

I've been commuting by bike all summer and I'm not looking to give it up when the days get shorter so I'm going to need some lighting. I'm a total newb when it comes to fancy flashlights so I get really lost in the monster threads comparing the different models. It seems clear that if you're OK with spending $100 on your headlights that a pair of Fenix will do you well. Unfortunately, my budget is not that high at the moment.

My normal commute is 4 miles each way mostly on suburban streets (street lights but many partially obstructed by trees). Occasionally I go 6 miles on mostly unlit streets so if the setup can handle that too it would be a plus. Either way, all riding will be street or MUP so no need for the amount of light MTB would require.

So assuming I would spend $60 on lights (not including mounts since lock blocks appear to be the clear winners) and that I don't care a bit about having mode choices aside from on and off, what should I be looking at? I would think 2 $20 range single mode 2xAA lights would be a better choice purely for lighting up the street to ride than a single Fenix but among the lights that meet that description I don't know how to tell what would be better than anything else. (note that I'm not really opposed to additional modes, just not willing to pay for them)

Any tips on what to look for? CREE? Q5? Most of these don't seem to list lumen ratings. If they did it would be much easier.
Fleetdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-08, 02:13 PM   #2
datlas
Senior Member
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix
Posts: 18,776
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 268 Post(s)
See the "best headlight for under $50" thread.

I am in pretty much the same boat, just bought an UltraFire flashlight from dealextreme. Seems to be the best light for less than $25. If I like it I will get a second one, or if I have some extra $$ I would pick up a Fenix.
datlas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-08, 02:35 PM   #3
Fleetdog
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Fleetdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Madison WI
Bikes: Gary Fisher Wingra
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did look through that thread but I got pretty lost in all the arguments about different battery types and whatnot. Since I'm pretty sure I want to stick with AA (at least to start) and I don't care about extra modes, I thought that made my question a bit easier to answer. From what I can tell, this one looks like a good fit Romisen RC-N3 Q5 but I'm not sure if there is more bang for the buck out there.
Fleetdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-08, 03:13 PM   #4
chewybrian 
"Florida Man"
 
chewybrian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: East Florida
Bikes: '66 Raleigh Superbe, 80 Nishiki Maxima, 07 Gary Fisher Utopia, 09 Surly LHT
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleetdog View Post
I did look through that thread but I got pretty lost in all the arguments about different battery types and whatnot. Since I'm pretty sure I want to stick with AA (at least to start) and I don't care about extra modes, I thought that made my question a bit easier to answer. From what I can tell, this one looks like a good fit Romisen RC-N3 Q5 but I'm not sure if there is more bang for the buck out there.
This one from deal extreme looks like the same thing for a little less:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.10727

I use 3 q5's. 2 would do ok. You should get 200-225 lumens from each. Most of the deal extreme listings show lumens, if you want to compare. I like the AA batteries. You can get them everywhere + cheap, easy, dependable. 2 lights from DX, charger and batteries from Wal-mart = about $65.
chewybrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-08, 06:06 PM   #5
datlas
Senior Member
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix
Posts: 18,776
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 268 Post(s)
Brian, which batteries/charger are you using? There is too much techie talk about batteries, I would appreciate some simple suggestions!
datlas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-08, 09:43 PM   #6
Cave
Slowpoach
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Melbourne, AU
Bikes: Cannondale T800, Northwood tandem, 1970s Gitane fixxed 45x16
Posts: 1,088
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Re batteries - get ones with a high mAH rating. I've been fine with 2450 mAH NiMH bought from the supermarket (either Duracell or Energiser, I forget which; I think Energiser.) but some people here seem to have problems with the Energiser brand after a while.

So simple and available = highest-capacity Duracell NiMH rechargeables you can find. 2400-2500 mAH is readily available.
Cave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-08, 10:37 PM   #7
varuscelli
The Fenix Shillboy
 
varuscelli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: League City, Texas
Bikes: Raleigh F500 mountain bike and an exceptionally old (mid-60's) Schwinn Collegiate 5-speed.
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On the Duracell versus Energizer, I've had bad overall experiences with the Energizers and at one time had 20-something of them. Too many of them went bad or lost ability to hold a good charge too early. They've performed very inconsistently for me.

The Duracell 2650 mAH NiMH batteries are my favorites as off-the-shelf (that is, available at retail stores and not requiring internet ordering). Those are the ones that Cave means, I'm pretty sure. But, they tend to be very expensive if you don't find them on sale. They can run as high as $13 for four of them retail priced. But, over the internet, you can usually find eight packs for about $19 (check with Amazon.com).

My personal favorites over the internet are PowerEx from Thomas Distributing (www.thomas-distributing.com/). Expensive, but worth it for the great performance.

On chargers, I advise not to get a cheap one. They tend to charge batteries in such a way as to shorten the battery life span. Spend more on a good charger and get more life out of the batteries. Good chargers more than pay for themselves.

The La Crosse BC-900 is a good one. For a great deal at Thomas-Distributing on that charger including a bunch of batteries, check this: La Crosse BC-900 at Thomas Distributing. Use that EXACT link and don't just search for the charger on the site or you might end up with one that does not include the eight Eneloops. This is a fantastic deal via that link (with eight Eneloop AA, four La Crosse AA, and four La Crosse AAA batteries accompanying a really good charger) and I highly recommend it.
varuscelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-08, 12:05 AM   #8
PHT 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gloucester MA
Bikes:
Posts: 216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleetdog View Post
I did look through that thread but I got pretty lost in all the arguments about different battery types and whatnot. Since I'm pretty sure I want to stick with AA (at least to start) and I don't care about extra modes, I thought that made my question a bit easier to answer. From what I can tell, this one looks like a good fit Romisen RC-N3 Q5 but I'm not sure if there is more bang for the buck out there.
That looks like a safe bet. I have the non-updated version and it's plenty bright- also, it's worth noting that the built-in clip is very useful.

(I have the updated version you linked to on the way, however, and I cant wait for it to arrive. Yay, more light!)

Anyway, I very simply clipped it to my helmet visor and added a rubber band for security.





My cheap, old 2200mAh NiMH batteries last for a couple hours. I keep 3 sets charged to be safe, but I dont ride for more than 2 hours at a time at night so I havent had to use my backup sets.
PHT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-08, 02:44 AM   #9
chewybrian 
"Florida Man"
 
chewybrian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: East Florida
Bikes: '66 Raleigh Superbe, 80 Nishiki Maxima, 07 Gary Fisher Utopia, 09 Surly LHT
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Brian, which batteries/charger are you using? There is too much techie talk about batteries, I would appreciate some simple suggestions!
I use energizer 2500 Mah w/ quick charger, from Lowe's. I like the 15 minute charge. I can charge at work and run them down again at night if it rains. I have had no problems, but only using for a few months.

The whole set-up is cheap + easy to use, and quickly replaced. If I end up needing new batteries in a year, no big deal($20 for 8); worth it for the convenience, I think. I could not dispute if other people say they had issues over time. If they do krahp out early, I might try the duracells next time.
chewybrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:37 AM.