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  1. #1
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Cygolite Expilion 680 vs 720 vs 850 ???

    So, I've pretty much decided on Cygolite's Expilion. I like the ability to swap batteries easily and while none of this stuff is cheap, i think Cygo actually does a fair job of keeping prices midstream.

    Cygo uses the same exact pic for light output on the 680 and 720. However, the 850 is *barely* brighter.....at least in the pic. The only thing I can assume is the lumen reading is still significantly improved.

    The 680's (and 720's for that matter) claimed output pic ----> http://www.cygolite.com/images/expilion3/2bnew.jpg

    The 850's output pic ------> http://www.cygolite.com/images/expilion3/2new.jpg

    I'll spend a few extra bucks if the 850's that much better but if not, I think at $80 the 680 makes a good argument since they're otherwise the same friggin' light???

  2. #2
    Randomhead
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    I didn't road test the lights, but to me in the store the 850 was a lot brighter and the fresnel lens did a good job of spreading the light so it's in a more useful spot. I thought the 720 had that and the 680 didn't, but since they have the same beam for both I guess I'm wrong.

    They need a better explanation of what the difference is, I can't tell from the specs. Ok, so looking again, they seem to have derated the 720 since it has the same emitter. Is there a difference in the battery?
    Last edited by unterhausen; 12-26-14 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I didn't road test the lights, but to me in the store the 850 was a lot brighter and the fresnel lens did a good job of spreading the light so it's in a more useful spot. I thought the 720 had that and the 680 didn't, but since they have the same beam for both I guess I'm wrong.

    They need a better explanation of what the difference is, I can't tell from the specs. Ok, so looking again, they seem to have derated the 720 since it has the same emitter. Is there a difference in the battery?
    Hmmmm....I think you're finding more info than I am. Are you looking somewhere besides the Cygolite site?

    It appears they both have the XM-L2 LED but outside of that, I can't tell jack between them. For that matter, the 680 says "2nd Gen XM-L but doesn't necessarily say XM-L2 and not visiting candlepower forums daily, I'm not sure if that's not the same as L2 or not.

    I'd like to *assume* that the 850 truly *has* to have more light output, but to me, it certainly relates as much to perception as anything else.

    (shrug)

  4. #4
    Randomhead
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    I just looked at the Cygolite site under specs for each light. I didn't find anything about the 680 at all. Both 720 and 850 say they have XM-L2. I used to follow emitters a little more carefully, but I don't really remember the second generation XM-L at all.

  5. #5
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I just looked at the Cygolite site under specs for each light. I didn't find anything about the 680 at all. Both 720 and 850 say they have XM-L2. I used to follow emitters a little more carefully, but I don't really remember the second generation XM-L at all.
    Ahh, Ok. Ya, 680 was 2013-2014. The last couple years has been ridiculous with the CREE evolution. I might just bite the bullet & go with the 850 & see what happens. I really do like the ability to swap batteries. I don't like the prices but oh well. It'll beat the (probably 200-300 lumens) advertised 1,000 lumens 18650-cell light I'm using now. It's "ok" but I run over stuff that I absolutely don't see there at night & I notice other folk's Cygo/Serfas/NiteRider lights are much brighter than mine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loimpact View Post
    ... I really do like the ability to swap batteries. I don't like the prices but oh well. ...
    Buying an entire second Cygolite isn't much more than just buying a spare battery. That's what I did, bought two. You got a lot of flexibility with two lights.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  7. #7
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Buying an entire second Cygolite isn't much more than just buying a spare battery. That's what I did, bought two. You got a lot of flexibility with two lights.
    Indeed, that's a great suggestion, though we are talking significantly more money. At that point, it might be better to buy 3 or 4 Cree/Magic Shine type generics off amazon, no?

    Another thought somewhere between an Expilion 850 and bare-bottom generic is a ThruNite TN12 on my standard mount. It's a 1-cell 18650 light that is apparently ridiculously bright. At $50, it's a strong argument, minus its approximate 6" length.

    ???

    P.S. ThruNite TN12 info if anyone cares to read ----> http://www.thrunite.com/thrunite-tn12-2014/

  8. #8
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    Which lite did you end up getting. I need a lite really bad as there are zero lights on my country roads and i want to continue riding in the dark when I get home. I'm not sure if getting a 850 for the bar and a 720 for helmet will be enough to see. Is it better to buy a Wilma or a Betty light with 2400 or 4200 lumens respectively ? They are huge amount of money but being able to see at 30-40 mph would be worth it

  9. #9
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    I have both the Cygolite 550 and the Cygolite 850, on two different commuter bikes. I love both products and am happy with my purchases. I was mildly surprised the 850 didn't seem hugely more powerful. It's great, but unless you really need the extra brightness I'd buy the lower lumen version.

    Here's what I like about the 850:
    -There are three main brightness settings on the steady light mode, which helps manage battery consumption
    -Battery status is portrayed on the on/off button. This is nice.
    -Size is great, and USB charging is a snap.

  10. #10
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Those Cygolites look good. Sensible designs.
    Please put your location in your profile. It makes things so much more interesting.

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  11. #11
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    Got a 720 last night. Not that impressed. The light will only be useful to me on high and it just barely attaches to my handlebar. I have an 850 coming in today that i will mount to my helmet. Hopefully between the 2 i will have plenty of light to ride dark non lighted country roads near my home. Hope they last for 25-30 mile rides of darkness

  12. #12
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatbroke View Post
    Got a 720 last night. Not that impressed. The light will only be useful to me on high and it just barely attaches to my handlebar. I have an 850 coming in today that i will mount to my helmet. Hopefully between the 2 i will have plenty of light to ride dark non lighted country roads near my home. Hope they last for 25-30 mile rides of darkness
    Sorry I didn't reply to you sooner. I actually *still* haven't bit the bullet just yet. However, it makes me lean more & more toward something in the 1200 lumen range or even higher because I just can't stand the thought of being underwhelmed. (I'm just "so so" satisfied w/ my ebay light right now, well, for what it is...but $10 is cheap)

    I don't think there's any want for more light than this....

    Lupine Betty R 14 - Mtbr.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by loimpact View Post
    Sorry I didn't reply to you sooner. I actually *still* haven't bit the bullet just yet. However, it makes me lean more & more toward something in the 1200 lumen range or even higher because I just can't stand the thought of being underwhelmed. (I'm just "so so" satisfied w/ my ebay light right now, well, for what it is...but $10 is cheap)

    I don't think there's any want for more light than this....

    Lupine Betty R 14 - Mtbr.com
    I'm charging the 850 right now and hopefully tomorrow night I can take photos with the 720 on the bat and 850 on the helmet . I'm 200 in to lights and thinking about getting the nightrider 3600 pro dyi. The 3600 is a lot less expensive and probably plenty for my needs. After reevaluating the 720 with the 850 side by side and fully charged I am thinking these may work for a 18-20 mile loop in all dark paved road I do.

    Ive also considered stopping 20 miles from work and riding the bike in during the early mornings but the route is on the shoulder of a heavily traveled hwy and I don't want to end up in someone's windshield.

  14. #14
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatbroke View Post
    I'm charging the 850 right now and hopefully tomorrow night I can take photos with the 720 on the bat and 850 on the helmet . I'm 200 in to lights and thinking about getting the nightrider 3600 pro dyi. The 3600 is a lot less expensive and probably plenty for my needs. After reevaluating the 720 with the 850 side by side and fully charged I am thinking these may work for a 18-20 mile loop in all dark paved road I do.

    Ive also considered stopping 20 miles from work and riding the bike in during the early mornings but the route is on the shoulder of a heavily traveled hwy and I don't want to end up in someone's windshield.
    Indeed, I think you'll have plenty w/ a 720 & 850 together. (Considering my ebay 1000 lumen "liar, liar, pants on fire" cuz it's more like 300 lumens light has gotten me thru 1 winter already) But, I also certainly understand the desire for more light. (Thus my desire to overshoot & have too much light than too little).

    And thanks in advance for any pics of both lights from your own perspective. (every little bit helps)

    (I'm reading up on that nightrider 3600 pro dyi right now)

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