Wow, what a long thread. Here's what I know:
1. The Phillips light is relatively cheap at around $100 on amazon
2. It has a shaped beam, like a car headlight, for night riding. For a number of reasons, if you're riding on the road or a bike trail, this gives it better effective light than most lights with more lumens (not great for mountain biking though)
1. The reason why it's relatively cheap is because it's being discontinued.
2. As people have mentioned, you need to buy better batteries separately, and even then the run time only seems to be somewhere between 1-2 hours.
3. And apparently you cannot just hook up another battery via the usb port - there's some sort of circuitry in it that turns it off after a certain amount of time.
4. Busch and Mueller may or may not be making another better battery light. It's hard to figure it out.
If you actually had a dynamo front wheel, that makes things a little easier. The Lumotec IQ Premium Cyo seems to be the best cost effective dynamo light you can get right now. (As in it's noteably better than anything cheaper, and there's nothing more expensive that's substantially better). I'm buying one if Peter White ever puts up beamshots and it still looks good. I have a dynamo light on my commuter - it's *way* easier than a battery light.
1. Your light is always with you on your bike.
2. You never have to spend time charging it
3. You never accidentally leave it behind while it's charging
4. You never accidentally end up with a dead battery in the middle of your ride, because the battery just got old and doesn't keep a charge (it's happened to me - twice)
5. It's permanently affixed to your bike, like anything else on your bike, so you don't have to take it off. (It's both a plus and a minus - if you leave your bike locked in really sketchy places, the kind of places where they might steal your saddle or your derailler off your bike, you might have a problem, but I don't really leave my own bike anywhere like that, so it's more convenient than a light that's easy to take on and off that I always have to take on and off).
6. If you're biking in the winter, you don't have to deal with the battery not lasting as long because it's cold out with a dynamo.
7. Almost all dynamo lights have a shaped beam like a car headlight, that only puts light on the road in front of you. It doesn't waste light going up, but far more importantly, it doesn't make your eyes adjust so you can't see outside the headlight beam (any more than using a dimly light cell phone would).
You might want to seriously consider just buying a dynamo light and front wheel.
Phillips is not discontinuing the Saferide, it's still on their web site. See: http://www.mea.philips.com/c/front%2...bcat_asc_group
Because this question came up I sent an e-mail to Phillips regarding the battery question and the discontinuing issue.
I have the dynamo version. I like it very much. So far, no failures. It's very reliable, as is my Sanyo dynamo hub. I use the hub to power a tail light, too.
I use the dynamo version, with a Shimano DH3N80 hub dynamo. And for the second winter in a row it is my favourite light. [I can compare it to two different B&M IQ Cyo lamps, I have on other bikes]. Together with the hub it creates a slight vibration though, in my front fork and handlebar, when I ride 34 km/h.
If I were you I would try running the batteries to exhaustion, and fully recharge for 24 hours, then repeat that 3 times and see what happens, it won't hurt to try it. I did mention in an earlier post that my first light came with a bad battery and all I could get was about an hour of run time, Phillips replaced the entire light with new bats and since then it runs as their specs say.
If your light is still under warranty and you can get near 2 hours then contact Phillips for a warranty adjustment. Then when you get the new light do the recharge stuff I outlined.
Why would they send me a new light when I just need some good batteries?
The SafeRide 80 is one of my favorites for on-road riding.
See my review here:
I really would like to get the Philips light, but the thing switching in to low power setting after 1 hour means that for me, runtime is 1 hour. There are times on my ride when I absolutely need all the light I can get - I'm coming down pretty steep hills where I'll be doing 30 MPH at the bottom unless I ride brakes, and they're gravel roads where massive arrays of potholes can just spring up overnight.
I was really just about to pull the trigger just now, but I think I'm going to go get something else.
Don't tell them you suspect the bats, act like you don't know anything and let them decide to make whatever decision they want.
I was looking at the MJ-880 and similar lights yesterday, but it really seems to me that at that intensity, I really don't want an unshaped beam. But the lights with shaped beams all have issues (to me) like the light deciding that I would rather have 30 minutes more run time than a bright light. *I* will damned well decide when I will turn the light down - if the light wants to start flashing the power level at me telling me I'm running low, and *I* will decide whether to drop to lower power, that's fine.
And the run time is not 1.3 hours it's 2 hours on high and 8 on low, trust me, unless you suffer from severe night blindness your not going to use high often at all. If you do run on high after 2 hours it auto switches to low and will run for 2 more hours, so you won't be left in the dark.
I do see on their website that it says "Battery: 4 AA Li-ion batteries" - but there's no such thing as an AA Li-Ion battery. There is a 14550 cell that's the same size as AA but LiIon chemistry provides a 3.7 volt per cell voltage. You could certainly not remove a 14550 and put in a regular AA cell which are 1.2 to 1.5 volts per cell. LiIon in there would put the pack voltage at about 14.8 volts which would require pretty sophisticated charge circuitry to charge from a 5v USB plug.
The MTBR review says "Uses standard ‘AA’ batteries sot it’s easy to replace and carry spares"
Honestly I'm more inclined to think that the Philips page is wrong. It just doesn't make any sense that they would be LiIon cells.
I'm seeing reference to a "generation 2" light - are there two versions? How do I know what version I'm getting?
On my route I have 4 miles of gravel road including descents where I frequently hit 30 MPH. It's tree covered and pitch black, animals frequently bound out in front of me so I actually like to have a little light spilling up into the surrounding bushes, and there are whole minefields of potholes covering half a lane for dozens of feet
that can just spring up overnight. I like to have a WHOLE LOT of light and when I want it, it's because I need it. I don't care if kicking to high will result in me only having 5 minutes of runtime left, because on my way home when I really need it, I'll be home in 5 minutes.
I already asked this but it's buried in a wall o text so:
Are there two versions of the Philips Saferide 80? What are the differences? How do I know which I'm getting?
AFAIK, case color. and whether it's for Dynamo Power , or Batteries.
& (site link above) , 40,60 or 80, lux. you say you got a Philips Saferide 80? , I Suppose its 80 LUX
Maybe they mean they are ok with lithium AAs (1.7v). Not all AA gadgets are happy with them.
However, Li-ion generally means rechargeable. Lithium primaries are generally just Li, not Li-Ion.
I just popped open my SafeRide 80, and it contained four Philips-branded NiMH 2450 mAh AA batteries.
http://www.mea.philips.com/c/bicycle...specifications. But regardless the NiMh is rated for the same 2 hour/8 hour run time.