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  1. #1
    Senior Member mulchie's Avatar
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    dinotte still the best?

    I'm a rabid Dinotte fan. They're bright, reliable and handsome, too. Elegant design and super performance.
    But having been out of the lighting loop a year or so.... I'd like to hear from others. A lot changes out there while one is just happily cycling away....
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    It all depends how you, personally, define 'best'.

    Nowdays you can easily get dinotte levels of brightness from a P7 torch combined with a red LED torch.

    You don't sacrifice any reliability or runtime either.

    My 2 x P7 torch outruns most dedicated cycle lights and puts out a lot of lumens.



    So, if VFM is any part of your definition of 'best' you'll find a lot of happy P7 users.

    Making a Pilom Triple LED Headlight ? I have parts available :)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member mulchie's Avatar
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    well, just to answer myself... I just looked at their website (updated since I last looked about a year ago) and found the 400L series. Things do change.
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  4. #4
    AEO
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    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    light and motion seca 700
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  5. #5
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    I bought a 800L/400R set about 2 weeks ago, and made a thread about it. Absolutely worth every penny, and after just a few night rides with them I've decided to purchase at least one more set. If not two more.

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    myself i would not place a cheap p7 with cheap batteries and a cheap charger in the reliability scale compared to the dinotte. or the practicality level where you have to change batteries all the time readjust the light and don't have the nice indicators the dinotte light has.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lutz's Avatar
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    The price difference between a P7/R2 flashlight headlight/taillight combo and a dinotte set is sooooo ginormous that a few compromises are certainly in order. Further, the flashlight solution is inexpensivley upgraded once the next breakthrough comes around.
    OK the flashlight solution looks comparatively ugly, has no nice indicator LEDs, and requires a battery change after an hour and 15 minutes (on full power) for the headlight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lutz View Post
    OK the flashlight solution looks comparatively ugly, has no nice indicator LEDs, and requires a battery change after an hour and 15 minutes (on full power) for the headlight.
    I get 2 hrs 16 mins (continuous benchtest) on high and 5 hrs 43 mins (continuous benchtest) on low from my Aurora P7 and 4 hours from the red LED torch I'm using as a rear.



    Runtime = no problem
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  9. #9
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    I agree the flashlight is not a bad thing. but I got tired of homemade lights and the hassles of cheap batteries and wacky problems. plus I could not fit a flashlight on my bent anyway it was too long.
    plus I have found you only need so much light for the most part and anymore will just start causing problems.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    This looks like a potential competitor to Dinotte:

    http://www.exposurelights.com/index.php

    Check out the Maxx-D; 1000 lumens, and the battery is contained in the light; No cords.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Check out the Maxx-D; 1000 lumens, and the battery is contained in the light; No cords.
    No offence, but you might as well buy a torch ?
    Making a Pilom Triple LED Headlight ? I have parts available :)
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  12. #12
    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    I am a Dinotte user too. I upgraded my older 200L to the 400 this year and switched my 140 to Li Ion for better run times and easier battery maintenance. Have not regretted my decision to stick with Dinotte.

    I am not slamming the torch option as I use a Fenix with my bike-friday when I am traveling. But if you ever have a problem with your torch, will the seller back their product? I say this because Dinotte's service has been first class. Customer service is something that you need to consider when your about to plop down several hundred dollars.
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

  13. #13
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    I was just about to post a thread about this -

    I own 2 lighting systems for 2 bikes.

    My road bike has Dinotte. I had a 600L - I found it didn't throw the light out far enough in front of me. Other disagree, but that was my opinion. The nice people at Dinotte were nice enough to exchange it for 2 400L lights. They throw light out far enough - finally! Actually, I was playing around with it last night and I don't really need the 2nd one so 1 400L was enough. It's a fairly tight beam, so I'm considering putting a more spread beam on the 2nd one (another nice feature of the 400L is that you can switch lenses to get a different beam pattern). For road riding, I would highly recommend a 400L or 2 400L's over an 800L. The difference is that the 400L lets you go with a long narrow beam, or you can switch lenses to get a wider beam - plus you can turn one light completely off to save battery power. You can really customize how much light you have where. With my 600L (I assume the 800L works the same way) a lot of time what I wanted was more reach but less spread, but the light wouldn't let me just turn one or two of the LED's off. It *definitely* didn't have enough light for high speed riding on Low (it was kind of a "be seen" light at the level).

    HOWEVER - my other winter bike with a Dynamo hub has a Lumotec Cyo. The Cyo cost me $110 (though I already had the dynamo hub). It has a specially shaped beam that only puts light on the road where you need it. It doesn't shine light off to the very sides of the road (well it does a tiny bit so people can see you), and it doesn't waste light lighting up the trees above me. The beam is also very even - it's a brighter beam at the top and dimmer at the bottom, so when it hits the road it's very uniform (obviously the part of the beam that shines farther needs more light to be just as bright farther out).

    It is AMAZING. I simply cannot believe how great it is. I can see the ground *so* much better. It's a result of 2 things -
    1. With the flashlight pattern of my Dinotte there's a bright spot in the center of the beam. I've found, from a great deal of trial and error, that when I can see the bright spot on the ground it affects my night vision. What I mean is - the bright spot is so bright my eyes adjust to a bright light and I cannot see the less-lighted portions of the trail and my surroundings as well. You know how your eyes adjust to dark when there's little light, and how if it's semi-dark and you're staring into a flashlight you can't see anything else? It's kind of like that. I also end up aiming my Dinotte just above the horizon, wasting like 60% of the light because putting the hotspot part just above the trail let's my eyes see the maximum distance.
    2. The bright line of the Lumtotec *really* lights up the ground to an amazing level without killing my night vision. I don't know how to describe it - it's really amazing and frankly, surprising to me.

    The only drawback of the Lumotec is that it puts out so little light to the sides that I feel a little paranoid there's going to be something there I won't see when I'm biking through the woods. But I also like to be able to see around corners, so I wear a 200L Dinotte helmet light. The Lumotec Cyo on the bars and the Dinotte 200L (on medium) really provide the ideal amount of light for me - I havne't felt like I was outrunning my light so far.

    I know Lumotec sells battery powered light with shaped beams, to, just like the Cyo - I've read they actually use exactly the same lense:
    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m.asp

    I believe the Ixon IQ Speed is the brightest, but if you're looking for something cheaper the Ixom IQ is close to as bright but much less expensive. According to the Peter White site, if you pay shipping he'll send you a light to let you demo it.

    The Light an Motion Secca 700 also has a shaped beam but in addition to being extremely expensive, it seems like one of those "yeah, you can totally use this for moutain biking and road biking" kind of lights that blinds oncoming pedestrians (not as much of an issue on roads, perhaps, but a real issue on bike trails with oncoming bike traffic). But I haven't tried it myself.

    I just can't believe how much I love the shaped lense over the non-shaped lense...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    HOWEVER - my other winter bike with a Dynamo hub has a Lumotec Cyo. The Cyo cost me $110 (though I already had the dynamo hub). It has a specially shaped beam that only puts light on the road where you need it. It doesn't shine light off to the very sides of the road (well it does a tiny bit so people can see you), and it doesn't waste light lighting up the trees above me. The beam is also very even - it's a brighter beam at the top and dimmer at the bottom, so when it hits the road it's very uniform (obviously the part of the beam that shines farther needs more light to be just as bright farther out).

    It is AMAZING. I simply cannot believe how great it is. I can see the ground *so* much better.
    Great comparison, very helpful
    Making a Pilom Triple LED Headlight ? I have parts available :)
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  15. #15
    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    The only drawback of the Lumotec is that it puts out so little light to the sides that I feel a little paranoid there's going to be something there I won't see when I'm biking through the woods.
    One of my early light sets was a dynamo headlight called the "Bisy" that I ran off a battery pack. which had the same optics as the more expensive E6. The beam was a trapezoid pattern that cast light only on the road in front of you. Like you mentioned, the dark areas to the sides were really, really dark. I have had raccoons, house cats, and deer pop out from those sides. So I like my 400Ls' so called "wasted" light to the sides. Like you I also employ a helmet mounted light, a princeton tec EOS.

    If you like dyno powered LEDs you should read this article...

    http://www.blayleys.com/articles/lights/page3.htm
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicycleflyer View Post
    One of my early light sets was a dynamo headlight called the "Bisy" that I ran off a battery pack. which had the same optics as the more expensive E6. The beam was a trapezoid pattern that cast light only on the road in front of you. Like you mentioned, the dark areas to the sides were really, really dark. I have had raccoons, house cats, and deer pop out from those sides. So I like my 400Ls' so called "wasted" light to the sides. Like you I also employ a helmet mounted light, a princeton tec EOS.

    If you like dyno powered LEDs you should read this article...

    http://www.blayleys.com/articles/lights/page3.htm
    I think either my post was confusing or you were confused by what I wrote. My 600L put way to much light off the the sides, which I felt was a complete waste for road riding. The 400L has a narrower beam and does not - I think the amount of light spray off to the sides from the 400L is close to ideal - enough to see stuff to the sides and be seen, but no more. If anything, it might be nice to have a tiny bit more more side light on the 400L, that's why I'm considering throwing a wider lense in my second 400L. That's also why my Dinotte 200L headlamp + Lumotec Cyo front light is the perfect combination - the 200L throws off the lights to the side, the Cyo throws really good light down on the path/road where I need it.

    My problem with the 400L is that the shaped beam of the Cyo does a better job of illuminating the road than the 400L. The Cyo lights the road up with a consistent beam that's just as bright 10 feet from you as it is 20 feet from you. The 400L throws a hot spot down on the road where I'm forced to either look at the hotspot (which affects my night vision and makes it more difficult to see less lit up stuff) or aim the hotspot just above the road, which wastes a lot of light as it's point above the road. When I go by trees I can see the light is pointed a little to high, but when I move it down the hotspot shows up on the road and is so bright in one spot (but not on the rest of the area) that my night vision is affected and I can't see outside that spot as well.

    You certainly have a fair point that it's a lot more pleasant to have at least a little light off to the sides.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicycleflyer View Post
    One of my early light sets was a dynamo headlight called the "Bisy" that I ran off a battery pack. which had the same optics as the more expensive E6. The beam was a trapezoid pattern that cast light only on the road in front of you. Like you mentioned, the dark areas to the sides were really, really dark. I have had raccoons, house cats, and deer pop out from those sides. So I like my 400Ls' so called "wasted" light to the sides. Like you I also employ a helmet mounted light, a princeton tec EOS.

    If you like dyno powered LEDs you should read this article...

    http://www.blayleys.com/articles/lights/page3.htm
    P.S. Here's the E6 (from the Peter White site):


    Here's the IQ Fly, the same lense as the Cyo only not as bright of an LED:


    I just wanted to be clear - the Cyo does throw *some* light off to the sides, just not much. But it's still some, which is far better than the e6 which really throws absolutely none off to the sides.

    P.P.S. I wanted to add that I find the Cyo puts out more light to the sides than this picture shows. Like - noticeably more. I feel completely comfortable with it's spray to the sides where the bike path I use goes through flat land with grass on the sides. It's where I go through a narrow path with trees where I'd like to be able to see if there's a person 50 feet ahead hiding behind a tree (perhaps I have an overly active imagination) that it's not enough to the sides.
    Last edited by PaulRivers; 04-28-09 at 02:40 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member lutz's Avatar
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    The light distribution of the Cyo is extremely impressive !!!
    I hope other bike light vendors will figure out a way to arrive at a similarly useful design. I can easily imagine how advantageous such an even distribution is - (until then flash lights are an often brighter, almost equally good, and way more cost efficient alternative to the bike lights with under-engineered beam patterns).

  19. #19
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    The only drawback of the Lumotec is that it puts out so little light to the sides that I feel a little paranoid there's going to be something there I won't see when I'm biking through the woods. But I also like to be able to see around corners, so I wear a 200L Dinotte helmet light.
    This is a significant problem in lighting design, what works extremely well on straight roads is much less useful on corners. I think only knog offers a dual beam light at the moment(wide/narrow).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    This is a significant problem in lighting design, what works extremely well on straight roads is much less useful on corners. I think only knog offers a dual beam light at the moment(wide/narrow).
    Yeah, the Cyo is plenty wide enough for curves, but not for a 90 degree turn (not that I would want it to be in exchange for less light forward or for blinding people). You would have to put out a *lot* of light to handle sharp corners...

  21. #21
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    I like the beam patterns of those B&M lights. I was going to use a flashlight but I am not sure now! Either way I think dinotte is the king of rear lights and I'll be picking one of those up, but for front lights there are many many out there (I have been looking for some myself and there are LOADS!) but generally the best seem to be those B&M ones with respect to cost and output.

  22. #22
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    hmm, nobody has mentioned the Schmidt Edelux.... this is prolly the very very best of all the dynamo lights and comparable in brightness to many battery systems.
    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey, UGADA Tikit

  23. #23
    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiapasFixed View Post
    hmm, nobody has mentioned the Schmidt Edelux.... this is prolly the very very best of all the dynamo lights and comparable in brightness to many battery systems.
    Actually, I did. That link at the bottom of my last post will lead you that way.
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

  24. #24
    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    I just wanted to be clear - the Cyo does throw *some* light off to the sides, just not much. But it's still some, which is far better than the e6 which really throws absolutely none off to the sides.
    I see your point. Yea, the E6/Bisy did have some very tight beam patterns. I just did not realize how much till you posted those pics.
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Blue Roads's Avatar
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    I'm running a Lupine Wilma 5 up front and DiNotte 140R-AA-R tail light.

    The Lupine Wilma 5 is rated to push out 920 lumens for 3 hours on the maximum 17 watts setting (anecdotal, but I think mine lasts a little longer than 3 hours on maximum), is very bright, and is quick to deploy on and off the bike. The latter is important to me as I often run errands and don't leave the light unattended on the bike. It will also run at the default lower setting of 9 watts for 5.5 hours, which is still plenty bright. See Lupine output comparisons here. The battery mounts on my stem and the entire set-up is very clean on the bike. The design, quality of materials, and manufacturing of all components seem excellent. Even with a discounted price of around $520 at GeoManGear, it ain't cheap, but it's worth every penny to me.

    The DiNotte 140R-AA-R tail light is also great. I enjoy looking in my mirror and seeing everything behind me flashing red -- the trees on both sides of the road, the backs of street signs, and the people's faces in cars waiting behind me. I always run it on the maximum flash setting (along with two solidly lit Planet Bike Superflashes). The design, quality of materials, and manufacturing also seem excellent. I already had rechargeable AA batteries and a good charger and have no problem with them.

    I've read where some say the DiNotte tail light is too bright, especially on flash. The same can be said for the Lupine Wilma 5. I disagree. Since getting both lights, cars give me noticeably more room and ultimately that's what counts. The extra margin of safety and peace of mind both lights provide makes the money I've spent seem trivial.
    Last edited by Blue Roads; 04-28-09 at 09:18 PM.
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