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Thread: Best headlight?

  1. #1
    Juniors can be good too.. Ian560's Avatar
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    Best headlight?

    For Roadcycling, Something with a small mount so I dont have to take it off while racing. Relatively compact but the more lumens the better. What do you guys use? I live in NYC so street lights are around but may move to syracuse soon for college. No light in the rural areas. Thanks

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    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    Lezyne Super Drive: small, uses generic 18650 rechargeable, can be recharged through mini USB, four modes (3 solid & one flashing), 450 lumens, $100.
    Merlin Titanium Classic / Campagnolo Record 10 Speed
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    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    Actually, it's $70 including shipping. A real steal @:

    http://www.artscyclery.com/descpage-LZOVDR5.html
    Merlin Titanium Classic / Campagnolo Record 10 Speed
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    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    This Bike Lights Shootout has reviews and beam photos for lights from inexpensive to high end.

    You probably want a brightness of at least 300 lumens. More lumens are good if you want to ride fast, over 20 mph. And mixed streetlights with darker areas, combined with car headlights, mean your eyes don't adapt to the dark as well, so you actually need more light. A very dark trail or rural road doesn't need as bright a light.

  5. #5
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    I recommend either the Gloworm X2, or the Gemini Xera. Both have a very small foot print for mounting and both lights are very compact. The Gemini Xera produces 800 lumens OTF and the Gloworm is about 1200 lumens OTF. Weight wise the xera is about 50 grams and the X2 is about 80 grams. The price might be higher than what you want since you did not mentioned the price range. Since you mentioned road cycling and racing, you may also want to look at a thrower light to use in conjunction to the bar light. The best thrower light I have so far is my Bikeray Speed II. It has an intense hot spot that throws a pretty mean beam. Bikeray did send me a light unit to do a review at MTBR and I was surprise to see how well the tight beam can perform as a helmet light.

    I have all three light mentioned above and is very happy with them. Each has it own unique offering. The Xera is nice in the fact that it has intuituve programing allowing intensity programming in all mode and it is very bright for it's tiny little size. The Gloworm is a double XML and give a more rectangular shape beam which is not bad for on the road useage. The Speed II offers a long throw where most light cannot reach and very usefull on high downhill speed run. If you need even more lumens than the 1200 lumens of the Gloworm, there is the Gemini Olympia using three XML in a relative small package. The size is similar to a Magicshine 808. The rated output of 1700 lumens is too much for road use but the light is also intuitive programming and can be set for whatever suite your needs.
    Last edited by colleen c; 07-01-12 at 11:16 AM.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
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    Senior Member TrailViewMount's Avatar
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    I recently bought the Cygolite Expilion series 350 and 400. Both are identical. Major bright. $75 and $100 respectively but quality products. I tried cheap. Never again.
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    Any suggestions for a cheap spotlight under $30? I don't bike at night normally, but have found myself riding home at sunset twice. So I need something thing that is more of a spotlight than just a light so others can see me. I ride about 10 mph I believe. I have a little one so I dont ride that fast. I need something like a spotlight that would light the way so I can see any debris or cracks on the road/side walk.

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    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfomenko View Post
    Actually, it's $70 including shipping. A real steal @:

    http://www.artscyclery.com/descpage-LZOVDR5.html
    Thanks for the heads up on this light. Just picked one up. Exactly what I was looking for- cheap, standalone and USB.

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlusVeggie27 View Post
    Any suggestions for a cheap spotlight under $30? I don't bike at night normally, but have found myself riding home at sunset twice. So I need something thing that is more of a spotlight than just a light so others can see me. I ride about 10 mph I believe. I have a little one so I dont ride that fast. I need something like a spotlight that would light the way so I can see any debris or cracks on the road/side walk.
    I have one of these, and it's plenty bright for 10 mph...in fact, one of the cheaper Q5 models in his ebay store may also be bright enough. They are easy enough to helmet-mount using zipties.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/CREE-XM-L-XM...item1c248dd7b9

  10. #10
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    1200 lumens? How much current is that? A XML T6 @ 3A will only generate about 900 lumens.
    Last edited by jsdavis; 07-08-12 at 12:28 AM.

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    Chinese Lumens: XM-L puts out anywhere from 1100 to 1500.
    Actual Lumens: 400-700

    It is very difficult to get an XM-L to put out even 1000lm, there's a good set of graphs somewhere on BLF that show an LED has to be overdriven to about 4.2A for that to happen, as efficiency rapidly falls off after the 3A mark due to tremendous amounts of waste heat.

  12. #12
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of wires and battery packs. They take up space. This light has been excellent for me: http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S009844. I have that on the bars and a ligher, straight barrel one on the helmet: http://www.manafont.com/product_info...t-18650-p-6925.

    These lights aren't regulated so they put out less light over time. I can get 1.5 hours (two commutes home for me) on a single battery charge. Check out the "Best light under $50" thread (it's stickied). Also http://budgetlightforum.com is the best place to find reviews on cheap flashlights. There are tons of these cheap flashlights out there and some of them suck. I only buy ones that BLF folks recommend.

    You'll need to attach these to your bike/helmet. I've tried several and like these best: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...nt-8274?item=2,
    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...-12000?item=24.

    YMMV. You should be able to get lights, charger (XTAR WP2II) and batteries (4 Trustfire flames) for under $100. BLF is your friend.
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  13. #13
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    IMO, a small "be seen light" gives drivers a target to aim at and your estate's lawyer the ability to argue you met the legal minimum for riding at night (contributory negligance states). Get something bright enough to see where you're going.

    Not cheap but compare cost of light to repairing a front wheel, bike, or you (!) after you hit something! Exposure Lights Joystick. Stupid bright, good runtimes, and small enough to stuff in jersey pocket when not using. Has a rubber-band handlebar mount and a decent helmet mount (yes, I look like a dork on group rides but become everyone's friend when the dark monster comes out!). Options include a very bright taillight that comes in 2 versions (not interchangable) - one clips onto the Joystick (helmet mount) or seatpost (long cord). You can also use it as a regular flashlight and I think they sell a headband option. My other choice would be Dinnotte (I have a 200L with the AA battery pack, because single-use lithium cells have excellent run time and storage life) - I think their XML-1 is current equivalent. Not self-contained but reasonably small & light weight and every convenience store on the planet sells AA batteries. At almost any college, you want to be able to remove everything of value when the bike is parked/unattended.

    For night riding, don't forget a taillight (PBSF, etc.) and a reflector if NY State requires it (my state does and I do enough commuting that my late fall/winter bike has one).

    I would not worry about being "small enough for racing" unless you're doing endurance rides with intentional nightime riding. I may be mistaken (not a racer), but I thought the rules prohibited items like lights or cameras that might fall off during a race (I guess computers and water bottles got grandfathered in).
    Last edited by ks1g; 07-09-12 at 10:37 AM. Reason: Obsolete product info, taillight info.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TrailViewMount's Avatar
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    I bought two cheap lights. Horrible. Not bright at all. I spent more to get more. The Cygolite 350 is incredibly bright. Rechargeable w/usb or AC connectivity. 350 lumens. I highly recommend.

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    Best? one of the Lupine Pikos. Tiny. 750 lumens. Mount is completely removable in a second.

    J.

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