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  1. #1
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    Best functional minimalist commute light setup

    Let's hear of your best "minimalist" commuter night lighting setup. This is actually a very common question for folks venturing into night commuting for the first time.

    We're talking for roads where you need "to see" lights, and not just "to-be seen" lights.

    I'd go:
    - Terralux 200 lumen flashlight 2 x AA ($28)
    - Mount on helmet with rubberband or inner tube (free)
    - Rear blinkie MARS/PBSF ($20-$25)

    I know you're thinking "Magicshine", but since I'm thinking minimalist, I'll choose the single flashlight (which is equal to a Fenix in spread and brightness) in this scenario.
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    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  2. #2
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I guess that you are defining "minimalist" as cheapest price.

  3. #3
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    No I'm not. I'm talking minimalist, in that it's small, compact, light, and comes/on off the bike quickly. The setup I've described fits these criteria and can be dismounted and dropped into a standard pants pocket in less than 5 seconds. It just happens to be low-priced, but if you've got a higher priced solution that betters these criteria, let's hear of them!
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  4. #4
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    P7 on the bars, PBSF on the saddle wedge loop.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    P7 on the bars, PBSF on the saddle wedge loop.
    I like this - although to be honest, the P7 is a bit bulky when you throw it in your pants pocket, whereas the Fenix is barely noticeable. But for brightness, I like.
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  6. #6
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    get bigger pockets!

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    ..

    The setup I've described fits these criteria and can be dismounted and dropped into a standard pants pocket in less than 5 seconds.


    ..

  9. #9
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    P7 on the bars, PBSF on the saddle wedge loop.
    Similar setup.. P7 on bars with Lockblock, Superflash clipped to seat pack and small Q5 flashlight on the helmet, more to be seen than seeing, works great..

    This is my new helmet light, very small works great in medium mode, beam can be focused from tight spot to wide flood, I use mine somewhere in the middle.. 70 grams total weight w/ battery

    http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-C6-II/Detail

  10. #10
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    200 lumens doesn't cut it for me. P7 is the minimum I'm going to ride with, but a P7 flashlight doesn't have the runtime I need in the winter, so the Magicshine is still the "minimum". Dinotte on the back.

    This IS minimalist to me. Previously I had an HID on the front, a DIY voltage regulator on the top tube, an amber strobe light on the back, all bolted to the bike, and a 14.4v bottle battery to power it all. It required tools and about 20 minutes to remove it all, and tools, tape and about 40 minutes to put it back on again. I only took it off in the summer.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  11. #11
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    I got the MTE SSC P7 900-Lumen 5-Mode Super LED Flashlight (sku 12060) for $34.05 from Deal Extreme and two rechargeable batteries for $8.00 - the TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery.
    also picked up a $7 battery charger.

    and one little handlebar mount that works perfectly.
    this thing is VERY bright in medium mode and STUPID bright in high mode. By far the best cheap light system out there.

    I can't tell you enough about how great this little flashlight is.

    it just take a full two to three weeks to get your stuff from deal extreme. But at least its all free shipping!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbchess View Post
    I got the MTE SSC P7 900-Lumen 5-Mode Super LED Flashlight (sku 12060) for $34.05 from Deal Extreme and two rechargeable batteries for $8.00 - the TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery.
    also picked up a $7 battery charger.

    and one little handlebar mount that works perfectly.
    this thing is VERY bright in medium mode and STUPID bright in high mode. By far the best cheap light system out there.

    I can't tell you enough about how great this little flashlight is.

    it just take a full two to three weeks to get your stuff from deal extreme. But at least its all free shipping!
    If starts bump shifting on you let it get hot and use 2 cresent wrenches carefully tightened to remove the head. Make sure the Philips head screws are tight and the brass heatsink holding the LED is tight.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SlimAgainSoon's Avatar
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    P-7 on the helmet -- that way, you don't have to take it off the bars, or put it in your pocket, and you can point the bad boy where you want it -- and a SuperFlash out back.

    Maybe an inky-dinky white blinky on the bars.

  14. #14
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    If starts bump shifting on you let it get hot and use 2 crescent wrenches carefully tightened to remove the head. Make sure the Philips head screws are tight and the brass heatsink holding the LED is tight.
    Thanks for the tip!
    you should post this advice over on the other P7 and Magicshine threads - there were a few other users with that exact problem with their SSC P-7 flashlights.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbchess View Post
    I got the MTE SSC P7 900-Lumen 5-Mode Super LED Flashlight (sku 12060) for $34.05 from Deal Extreme and two rechargeable batteries for $8.00 - the TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery.
    also picked up a $7 battery charger.

    and one little handlebar mount that works perfectly.
    this thing is VERY bright in medium mode and STUPID bright in high mode. By far the best cheap light system out there.

    I can't tell you enough about how great this little flashlight is.

    it just take a full two to three weeks to get your stuff from deal extreme. But at least its all free shipping!
    Is there an American merchant for this light? I don't like using PayPal or credit cards to China.

  16. #16
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbondale View Post
    Is there an American merchant for this light? I don't like using PayPal or credit cards to China.
    Credit cards I can see, but why nervous about PayPal? The merchant never sees your account, regardless of where he is. He just gets some money and an order that the money is associated with. No matter how crooked he is, he can't take more money than you authorized.

    He could just not ship your stuff and there's not much you can do (Paypal's pretty hard to get them to reverse charges, I hear). However, that's not really a problem with DX.

    The only problem I've ever had with DX is slow (sometimes GLACIAL) shipping. I ordered some stuff on Sept 11, and got an email last Tuesday that they were finally shipping. Hong Kong post says that tracking number didn't even hit the post office until Saturday, so I will probably see it real close to 2 months from when I ordered it.

    That's the worst they've ever done for me. Usually they ship about a week after I order, and I get stuff a week after that.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Credit cards I can see, but why nervous about PayPal? The merchant never sees your account, regardless of where he is. He just gets some money and an order that the money is associated with. No matter how crooked he is, he can't take more money than you authorized.

    He could just not ship your stuff and there's not much you can do (Paypal's pretty hard to get them to reverse charges, I hear). However, that's not really a problem with DX.

    The only problem I've ever had with DX is slow (sometimes GLACIAL) shipping. I ordered some stuff on Sept 11, and got an email last Tuesday that they were finally shipping. Hong Kong post says that tracking number didn't even hit the post office until Saturday, so I will probably see it real close to 2 months from when I ordered it.

    That's the worst they've ever done for me. Usually they ship about a week after I order, and I get stuff a week after that.
    Google "Paypal" and "Hacked" and you'll see why I'm worried. Plus, earlier today I logged into PayPay (I have an account, but have never used it) and I guess I used the wrong password and the whole site changes to Chinese language. Had to remove cookies in the browser to get back to English.

    Also, those phishing emails have been shown to come from Chinese government servers. Creepy, I tell ya.

  18. #18
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbondale View Post
    Google "Paypal" and "Hacked" and you'll see why I'm worried. Plus, earlier today I logged into PayPay (I have an account, but have never used it)
    The Google results refer to individual accounts being hacked not Paypal itself. Either way, just HAVING a PP account exposes you to as much risk whether you use it or not.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbondale View Post
    Is there an American merchant for this light? I don't like using PayPal or credit cards to China.
    Not exactly the same, but in the same class and brighter much better build quality than the DX light.

    http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...C-dsh-E/Detail

    Batteries and charger can be found here - http://www.lighthound.com/

  20. #20
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbondale View Post
    Google "Paypal" and "Hacked" and you'll see why I'm worried. Plus, earlier today I logged into PayPay (I have an account, but have never used it) and I guess I used the wrong password and the whole site changes to Chinese language. Had to remove cookies in the browser to get back to English.
    I didn't find any instances of paypal being hacked. I found cases where people had their weak-assed passwords stolen, or perhaps their computers were infected, and the botnet controllers keylogged their passwords. That can happen to any service, and it is NOT more likely to happen when you're buying from a chinese website - it's not the website that's doing the theft or is even involved with it. It's people not using proper care in using their own computers that gets them in trouble.

    Also, most of the people who use the word "hacked" don't know what it means.

    MANY people on this forum have had their credit card compromised in the last year. It happened to them when they bought from NASHBAR, a US based bike parts company.

    Lots of people also have their credit cards stolen when they hand them to a waiter at a restaurant.

    The best way to not get your credit card compromised is to not have one.

    But really, it's not an issue anyway because legally you can only be held liable for $50 in case of fraud on your card, and of the 3 times I've had a card compromised, my card company never charged me a dime of it.
    Last edited by ItsJustMe; 11-03-09 at 02:15 PM.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  21. #21
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    That can happen to any service, and it is NOT more likely to happen when you're buying from a chinese website - it's not the website that's doing the theft or is even involved with it.
    And using a credit card sans PayPal and dealing with US companies is no guarantee. Just about everytime I buy something from Nashbar anymore I have to replace the credit card used. It might be a problem with them or as in many cases, it could be a problem with the company which processes the credit card purchases for them.

    Damned inconvenient, though.

  22. #22
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonix View Post
    And using a credit card sans PayPal and dealing with US companies is no guarantee. Just about everytime I buy something from Nashbar anymore I have to replace the credit card used. It might be a problem with them or as in many cases, it could be a problem with the company which processes the credit card purchases for them.

    Damned inconvenient, though.
    Paypal is pretty good protection. When you use a credit card directly on a website, that website, possibly their shopping cart vendor, and the credit card clearinghouse all handle your credit card info, and all probably retain the info, so if any of them are ever broken into, you're probably boned.

    If you use paypal, your card info never goes past paypal (well, also to the clearinghouse, but they already have your info). The website just gets your money dumped into their account.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  23. #23
    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    Do you folks use a blinking light up front during the day to increase visibility for drivers?

    I use a Super Flash on the back and now pretty much run it day and night. I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to have something blinking up front during the day either, especially with the greyness of fall/winter setting in.

    Would like to hear light you use up front that are just for the purpose of being seen during the day.

  24. #24
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Do you folks use a blinking light up front during the day to increase visibility for drivers?

    I use a Super Flash on the back and now pretty much run it day and night. I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to have something blinking up front during the day either, especially with the greyness of fall/winter setting in.

    Would like to hear light you use up front that are just for the purpose of being seen during the day.
    Up front only if the conditions are really bad, but for me that's because almost all of my ride is rural and I really do not have any sort of danger from the front.

    On the back, I run a Dinotte. I just don't believe that a Superflash is really noticeable in the daytime.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  25. #25
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    I can't believe I'm the first person to say this, but if you want really minimalist I can't imagine anything better than a dynamo hub and a dynamo front and tail light. You can't get any more minimalist than that - no batteries to change, no taking the light on and off the bike - heck, you don't even have to go to "all the trouble" of turning the front or rear lights on or off (and if you do like to turn on/off the front light, the rear light turns off automatically with the front light)!

    And if 200 lumens is adequate, you're definitely covered. From http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/headlights.asp





    The drawback is that it's somewhat more expensive - $150 for a wheel with a hub built in, another $110-$220 for the front light (depending on model), probably $40 for the rear light plus extra wire. So we're talking...$300 before tax, if you can do the installation yourself.

    But you can't get any more "minimalist" than that. :-)

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