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Old 01-24-06, 08:53 AM   #1
bjlaw
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Who turned off the lights?

Just had my 53rd birthday. It's still very dark in the mornings and my headlight doesn't seem to work as well as it used to, or is it my eyes? I just can't see the road as well, especially on unlit bike trails.

I'm looking for suggestions on a new headlight. Lets assume price doesn't matter. What is the best light you all have tried? LED is a joke. I have tried many. The price is good but you get what you pay for. I've heard Niterider makes great lights. BUt I need confirmation from others who have actually used the lights. I've seen prices on "good' lights from $50 to $500. I care about safely commuting, not night mountain bike riding. I need about 3 hours of ride time in the winter.

Any help would be appreciated.

BJ
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Old 01-24-06, 09:50 AM   #2
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Check this thread.
Light selection guide.
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Old 01-24-06, 10:20 AM   #3
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Thanks Ron. That is a great thread. It will provide some very interesting reading.

BJ
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Old 01-24-06, 11:15 AM   #4
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I have one of these. http://www.bikelights.com/Products/arc_liion_ultra.htm# Depending on what angle you have the light, cars will flick thier high beams at you. It's also one of the lightest. If you search around you can get it for around $500 maybe a little less. Burn time is anywhere from 5 hours to 6+. Honestly I can barely tell the difference between the 13.5 or 11.0 watt setting. I run it on 11.0 watts most of the time. MSRP I think is around $600.
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Old 01-24-06, 12:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlaw
Just had my 53rd birthday. It's still very dark in the mornings and my headlight doesn't seem to work as well as it used to, or is it my eyes? I just can't see the road as well, especially on unlit bike trails.

I'm looking for suggestions on a new headlight. Lets assume price doesn't matter. What is the best light you all have tried? LED is a joke. I have tried many. The price is good but you get what you pay for. I've heard Niterider makes great lights. BUt I need confirmation from others who have actually used the lights. I've seen prices on "good' lights from $50 to $500. I care about safely commuting, not night mountain bike riding. I need about 3 hours of ride time in the winter.

Any help would be appreciated.

BJ
Will agree about LED's---BUT-- There are two LED's that work. one is the cateye EL500 and the other is the cateye EL300. These both have around 25 hours life to 4 AA batteries and work well enough, when used together, to be good enough for offroad. When we go offroad we use these but also use a SMART lighting system that has a 10w spot and a 2.4w flood lamp. The Smart lamps only gets switched on when it gets technical as they only have a life of 3 hours and our rides go over that. Those cateyes are good, but as I have said, do get supplemented by another lamp when it gets tricky.

Now if we are talking about the best lamp around then it has to using one of the "New" Luxion bulbs and Lion batteries. I did a ride in October that was 40 miles offroad, but the folohardy did 80 miles. I know it was sponsored by this light manufacturer, but their lights were great. Web site of http://www.use1.com/exposure/ Compared to other lights about, these are a bit cheaper, but every bit as good. That high power by the way puts car headlights to shame.

Now Helmet lamps--- The best light you can have from my experience. Not legal on their own, but everywhere you look is lit up. No dark corner where you have just passed. If I had a choice it would be a helmet lamp-- with the strongest bulb going and a lion battery, and a legal lamp for the bike.

I have tried the cheap rechargables. Bulb strength of 10w is a minimum but one 10w is not the same as another 10w. I broke the EL500 cateye (Only a 1w led) and replaced it with a twin lamp by Niterider. 10w spot and a weaker flood and a rechargable battery. The weak flood is useless, the 10w spot is ok, but not as good as the EL500, and battery life is only 1 1/2 hours. From my experience-- Cheap lamps will always have a draw back. That is why I am hoping that Lion batteries will get cheaper by next Autumn. I will persevere with my current lights this winter, even If I do look like a christmas tree when going over the hills.

Hiyosilver posted a link at the bottom of the above link. Almost missed it with all the other links but it is
http://www.mtbr.com/spotlight/lightshootout/ This is the one to look at as it has prices and beam levels.
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Old 01-24-06, 11:15 PM   #6
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I bought a Nite Rider Trail Rat this year, so I could continue my evening training rides, and it works great. It has a lighter battery pack than the Road Rat, but still lasts for about 2+ hrs. I have the 10w lamp and was shocked at how much light it throws on the road or path compared to the little LED lights I had before. I can't outrun it until over 25mph so for all intents it is enough light. Plus, cars really see you. I thought it was a great deal for what i needed, for around $110 at my LBS, they are cheaper online, though..

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Old 01-24-06, 11:40 PM   #7
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Based on the good experience Linda and I had with Niterider's Trail Rat, we picked up a couple of NOS Niterider Flame Throwers last fall. Talk about bright! They are phenomenal. They use a 12 watt Metal Halide HID bulb and the batteries last 4-6 hours. They're not cheap, but I've seen them on close-out (this model has been superceded) for around $300. Some of the newer NR's have emergency backup LEDs, which is a nice feature.

Take care,

Steve
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Old 01-25-06, 08:37 AM   #8
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Boy!!! I can tell it is going to be one of those days. I thought this thread was going to be about eyesight in one's 50's. Glad to know that there are simple answers to some situations. I'll think I will look into the lights also. Bob
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Old 01-25-06, 09:29 AM   #9
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There are plenty of quality lights that will do exactly what you want. The “light selection guide” thread is a huge help.

Nightrider is good I have owned three.
Light and Motion may be a little nicer. The beam pattern is a lot nicer.
Cygolites are a good value. I ride with a friend who has the HID. It's a nice light. All of these lights are well used (meaning plenty of miles on the light) by forum members.

"Lupine" are some of the best in the world and the US distributor will take great care of you. My Lupine is great and well used. If you really don’t mind getting what you pay for and going top notch, consider Lupine. Probably all around the best. More light on high than the above lights. More $$$ too.

The US distributor.

http://www.gretnabikes.com/category.asp?cat_ind=7

If a three hour maximum is good enough You can go with the Edison 4

http://www.gretnabikes.com/category.asp?cat_ind=7

If you have a three hour commute I say get a light that goes longer just in case ( 4hours-20 min.), the Edison 5

http://www.gretnabikes.com/category.asp?cat_ind=7
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Old 01-25-06, 03:52 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone. I will be making my purchasing decision this weekend.

BJ
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