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Old 04-28-11, 04:36 PM   #1
radshark
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Best Buy for 50$.

Hi,

Dropped in to get some advice on lights. Apparently I need em to ride at night here.

There are so many offerings it gets hard to separate the crap from what works well and what represents good value. I'm tired and my head hurts.

Willing to offer an opinion to help out a lighting newbie? What is the best front&rear light kit available for about 50$? Hmmm ... assuming that there is such a thing. Am I looking at twice that amount?

I'm planning on riding at night in a number of lighting conditions varying from bright street lighting to pitch black cycling trails. I'm thinking 1W LED on the front but I really have no idea.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-28-11, 10:42 PM   #2
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Dinotte. expensive but you won't regret it.
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Old 04-29-11, 07:35 AM   #3
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While well over your price range, I agree with the recommendation for Dinotte - watch for sales on the AA-powered models; especially if you already have a charger. Get the helmet mount kit for the headlamp - allows you to point the beam where you need it (dark corners, drivers about to cross your path, etc.). A much cheaper but quite good taillight alternative is the Planet Bike Superflash (PBSF). In strobe mode, rear visibility is quite good and it comes with several mounting options for saddle bag, seatpost, and seatstays (or zip ties for a DIY helmet mount). Again, watch for sales. As we move into summer, the demand for lights falls way off. Performance Bike sells what looks like a PBSF clone that works well, too. Don't bother with cheap blinkies unless you are riding exclusively on trails - in my experience, you need something visibile from further away/against less than fully dark backgrounds to give overtaking motorists adequate warning. Depending on where you live & ride, a good reflector may be required by state law for night riding/a good idea. Hi-viz vests, leg bands, etc. may also help and don't cost/weight much.

I picked up a Planet Bike headlamp (forget the model) on an end of season close out I use as a spare with the dinotte for commuting (I don't want to rely on a single light). My non-calibrated eyeballs assess it at about 1/2 the light output of a Dinotte 200L. Works well for me as a "be seen" light, marginal for illuminating road/trail surfaces unless there's a decent amount of ambient/street lighting. YMMV - I like LOTS of light when I am riding at night; I also use the Dinotte or PB headlamps in flash mode as daytime running lights for sections of my commutes with heavier traffic.
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Old 04-29-11, 07:54 AM   #4
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I just got one of these: http://www.departmentofgoods.com/lig...view_200106733

It's a pretty good light. The mounting system is a little suspect but you can reinforce it by wrapping a large hairband around it dinotte style or O-ring. It's about half as much light as my Supernova E3 pro. Get two and you're set.
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Old 04-29-11, 11:30 AM   #5
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How did you miss the sticky with nearly the same title? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nder-50-thread
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Old 04-29-11, 12:19 PM   #6
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If I had to keep the price down really low, the following items comes in at $42.77.

This flashlight
These batteries
This charger
This handlebar mount
This taillight

I'd actually get two of the taillight. That light is very similar to the Planet Bike Superflash. I have one and it's held up well for me. I feel that I want TWO taillights because you never know when one has failed unless you have eyes in the back of your head.

This setup is nearly identical to what I have except I have a P7 flashlight by MTE which is about twice as much money (and is about twice as bright) but the flashlight I linked to above is quite good for the price, about as bright as a Dinotte 200L (for 6x the price).

This is a very good setup for < $50, I don't think you can really beat it.

The caveat is that this WILL take 3 to 4 weeks to arrive from China. You can get this stuff from closer sources but it will drive the price up into the $80 to $100 range for the whole package.
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Old 04-29-11, 08:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
If I had to keep the price down really low, the following items comes in at $42.77.

This flashlight
These batteries
This charger
This handlebar mount
This taillight

I'd actually get two of the taillight. That light is very similar to the Planet Bike Superflash. I have one and it's held up well for me. I feel that I want TWO taillights because you never know when one has failed unless you have eyes in the back of your head.

This setup is nearly identical to what I have except I have a P7 flashlight by MTE which is about twice as much money (and is about twice as bright) but the flashlight I linked to above is quite good for the price, about as bright as a Dinotte 200L (for 6x the price).

This is a very good setup for < $50, I don't think you can really beat it.

The caveat is that this WILL take 3 to 4 weeks to arrive from China. You can get this stuff from closer sources but it will drive the price up into the $80 to $100 range for the whole package.
^^^ I agree. I own similar flashlights and a Dinotte. While it is an excellent light, the Dinotte gathers dust because it is more of a pain to use. I prefer high intensity flashlights and a flashlight holder on the bars.
Many places like Lowes, Radio Shack, and Home Depot carry ~200 lumen AA flashlights. If I was being careful with money and didn't want to wait for DX I would get one of those high intensity lights that they keep by the checkout counter, some rechargeable AA's and a charger.
Some folks may differ, but anymore I hardly ever ride with my lights on high mode. Medium works fine and my batteries last much longer between charges.
Get a PBSF for the back. DX has a high intensity red flashlight for $10, but some people say it has no side spill, which could be a problem in heavy traffic. Also, it takes 18650's. http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...2-cr123a-20333 Mine has been nothing but a joy and it works well on rural roads with cars coming up behind.

Last edited by sknhgy; 04-29-11 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 04-29-11, 09:27 PM   #8
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Thanks gentlemen.

Based on the above I checked out the LBS and they had a Planet Bike SuperFlash 1W set with a 1/2 W back light. The strobing for both the front and back seem really good. So I grabbed it and have it ready to go. Just gotta get out there and see how many snakes I can avoid

I'll be keeping an eye out for Dinotte sales too. It does look like a nice piece of gear.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-29-11, 09:30 PM   #9
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How did you miss the sticky with nearly the same title? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nder-50-thread
.. another forum nazi spewing sarcastic rhetorical questions. I guess we all have our calling.
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Old 04-29-11, 09:40 PM   #10
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^^^ I agree. I own similar flashlights and a Dinotte. While it is an excellent light, the Dinotte gathers dust because it is more of a pain to use. I prefer high intensity flashlights and a flashlight holder on the bars.
Many places like Lowes, Radio Shack, and Home Depot carry ~200 lumen AA flashlights. If I was being careful with money and didn't want to wait for DX I would get one of those high intensity lights that they keep by the checkout counter, some rechargeable AA's and a charger.
Some folks may differ, but anymore I hardly ever ride with my lights on high mode. Medium works fine and my batteries last much longer between charges.
Get a PBSF for the back. DX has a high intensity red flashlight for $10, but some people say it has no side spill, which could be a problem in heavy traffic. Also, it takes 18650's. http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...2-cr123a-20333 Mine has been nothing but a joy and it works well on rural roads with cars coming up behind.
I got lights for now but I like the idea of multi rear lights. The SuperFlash rear is pretty bright and strobes like mad - pretty hard to ignore. Strapping another one to my helmet would make them impossible to ignore.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Last edited by radshark; 04-29-11 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 04-29-11, 11:19 PM   #11
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.. another forum nazi spewing sarcastic rhetorical questions. I guess we all have our calling.
Haha alright dude, sorry for answering your question with years of good information.

Check out the PDW Radbot 1000 if you look for a second rear light. Same form factor and intensity as the Superflash, but twice as much light output that goes into a much wider hotspot.
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Old 04-30-11, 08:12 AM   #12
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This: http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-He.../dp/B001G7Q24Y
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Old 04-30-11, 10:48 AM   #13
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In Canada, don't forget to check out MEC.ca
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Old 04-30-11, 11:23 AM   #14
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I have the Ultrafire 501B with the xm-l LED and it is a very bright light. Brighter than my MTE with the p-7 LED. Lasts about 1.5 hours on high. I use the flashing mode in the day time and it lasts 3 to 3.5 hours.
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Old 04-30-11, 04:05 PM   #15
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In Canada, don't forget to check out MEC.ca
I'm currently in the US. MEC is usually my go to place for stuff like this ..

Cheers,
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Old 05-01-11, 02:44 PM   #16
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In Canada, don't forget to check out MEC.ca
This: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...45524442627107

and

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...34374302889375
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Old 05-01-11, 04:19 PM   #17
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A nice flashlight is the romisen C8 - flood to throw.. You can use a variety of cells - aaa - cr123 and 18650.. This is a nice transition light if you are not ready to jump up to 18650 cells..

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...8-II-R2/Detail

http://cgi.ebay.com/TwoFish-Flashlit...#ht_1234wt_907

I would estimate about 200 lumens and you can adjust the beam to your liking.. Get a twofish lockblock and some AAA's and you are ready to go.. all for about $40.00 shipped.
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Old 05-01-11, 05:14 PM   #18
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While I do fine with a medium bright headlight, I think a searing bright rear light is a must. Here's my thinking: You are on a two lane 55mph road with a car coming at you and one coming up behind. The oncoming car either fails to, or does not dim it's brights. Both me and the driver coming up behind are blinded. I want the car coming up behind me to see my taillight and know I'm there. I won't use anything dimmer than a Dinotte taillight if I'm going to be on a high speed road.
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Old 05-01-11, 10:12 PM   #19
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Thanks gentlemen.

Based on the above I checked out the LBS and they had a Planet Bike SuperFlash 1W set with a 1/2 W back light. The strobing for both the front and back seem really good. So I grabbed it and have it ready to go. Just gotta get out there and see how many snakes I can avoid

I'll be keeping an eye out for Dinotte sales too. It does look like a nice piece of gear.

Thanks for the help.
check this headlight: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...9_10000_202550

or if you want a higher lumens but higher price: http://www.rei.com/product/805894/li...ht-09-closeout
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Old 05-08-11, 02:07 AM   #20
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Is this the best for $50 or what? http://www.lightake.com/detail.do/sk...9352010ZYPYDSF
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Old 05-08-11, 01:27 PM   #21
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A Q series emitter can't put out 320 lumens, even measured at the emitter.
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Old 06-10-11, 05:44 PM   #22
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It was about 18 months ago when I first began reading this forum. I bought the equipment I needed for three bikes. I did so based on what I learned from you folks. I still check this forum every time I click into this site.

Let me tell you a secret. I think all of the lights offered here are pretty much top quality if recommended by two or three different people. It comes down to cost and maybe specific application of the need for the light.

The OP got some really good advice from you people. As did many of the viewers that stopped in.

My wife will soon here this one, "Honey, I need another bike so I can test the latest in light technology."
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