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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    "Suitable" Lights

    It's that time of year again and those of us that are not snowed in will be thinking about Evening or night riding. I know I am but I am lucky in that I bought my lights years ago. No pics except for some old ones as it is too dark- wet and windy to go down the bike shed to take fresh pics- but Here goes on my thoughts.

    Up till 4 years ago- I rode offroad so good lights were needed. I had to do some road on the way to the hills so my priority was to be seen. I used two rear lamps. Both good and bright but the reason for two was just in case one failed- or fell off- or ran out of batteries in 3 months time. I never look at the rear of the bike once I got riding so could never tell if one was failing. Offroad lights have to be good. I mean good. We managed on a twin lamp halogen with a 5w and 10w buld. In fact these were not too bad except that battery life was not long enough- so for when the main light failed we also had a back up- in fact two as it was on the Tandem. We used helmet lamps. But that battery life was the problem. Nicads Or Nimmh batteries did not have a long enough life so I looked at a twin 5w LED with a Lithium Battery (L-Ion battery) The battery gave the life we wanted and 5w LED's are a lot more powerfull than the halogen equivalent wattage. Very expensive though but the Use Exposure lamp that I got was worth it.

    lights..JPG lights lit..JPG

    The lamps we used are as in the pics. The cateye was our backup lamp as it was just about powerful enough for road use at low speed but the others are self explanitory.

    But That powerfull twin led was too good for the road. I know you can never have enough light at night but cars were being blinded with it. It does have 3 levels of brightness buteven on low I kept being flashed by other cars and moaned at by other cyclists coming towards me.

    So it was time to look at a new lamp for the road. I know you have the Magishine over in the US but we don't. And I have been hearing a few "Poor" reports about battery and reliability. So looked at a few Quality lamps and they are still expensive- don't have the power or battery life or the wrong type of bulb. I wanted a lamp with a Powerfull Led- an L-Ion battery and a life of at least 3 hours of good light. Took a while but it arrived today. An RSP Asteri3. L-Ion battery- 3 watt LED and a 5 hour battery life.

    http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Bike+S...eri+3_2083.htm

    This lamp is small and self contained- no externall battery and is rechargable. It also comes off the bike mount so can be removed for other uses.

    Asteri3..jpg

    You can see how small it is in comparison to the Garmin. For the size of it- it is also powerfull. Checked it round the garden and I think it is going to be fine. How well this $75 lamp is going to stand up against the $450 Use is going to be down to a test ride. But I reckon for Road use- it will be good enough.

    This is not an advert for RSP but RSP stands for "Raleigh Special Products." The "Quality" Raleigh stuff used to be labelled as RSP before it got sold into some conglomerate or other but it does look as though the RSP name is one to look out for. Just hope it is.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  2. #2
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    Roughly how many lumens is this light putting out and, does the light remain relatively constant for the 5 hours (in other words, does it provide some regulation in the power supply)?

    By the way, the Magic Shines from dealextreme now have a revised battery pack with a nice holder and indicator. For about $80 its just plain hard to beat. And it reportedly puts out 6 or 700 lumens (its advertised at 900).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I have a Minewt 2 that puts out 150 lumen and that is good for riding in groups at night or solo. I purchased it 3 years ago for close to $200. Last fall I purchased a 900 lumen P7 light for $40, two rechargeable batteries for $8, a charger for $6 and two different types of holders for $3 each. I can use the holders for the bar or my helmet. My riding buddies call the P7 the "light cannon". On high power it last around 2 hrs. I liked the light so much I purchased one for each of my sons and an extra for myself to lend to someone needing a light on our rides. The P7 also is a great pocket flashlight.

    stapfam, for double the prices, I'll ship to the UK

    Here is a link to what I purchased: http://www.bestofferbuy.com/mte-sf22...0-p-26256.html
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  4. #4
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. My head and tail lights are good, and I was also reviewing options. I decided not to use passive reflective tape for the sides of the bike and the right cross/left cross problems. Instead decided to upgrade my side lights from simple cateye 150 to the much stronger LD-610. It comes with white lens, but the LED lights are actually red. This is perfect. The white will better match paint color and the red will stand out at night.

    Let us all know what your experiences and evaluation of this light is after a about a month of testing.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  5. #5
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    I do enjoy a mature discussion about lights, since I'm something of a "headlight weenie".
    In September, I "upgraded" to a Busch and Mueller Ixon IQ light. Two settings, 10 Lux, which works very nicely on streetlit roads, and 40 Lux, which is like having daylight in front of the bike. No really, cutting through a non-lit cemetery late is not a problem. Never realized there were so many raccoons that like to hang around cemeteries.

    Before anyone asks, the answer is no, I do not have figures on the output in terms of Lumens. Let's just say, the thing is bright. What attracted me to this light:

    -No battery bag. I can't explain it, but battery bags, or bottles, drive me nuts. If it doesn't bother you, good.

    -Rechargeable AA size NiMh batteries. They perform as claimed.

    -It's regulated, so it does not get progressively dimmer as the batteries run down. A flashing LED
    on top of the unit keeps you advised on battery life.

    -It will also run on AA alkaline batteries if need be. The charging system is designed to prevent accidental charging of non-rechargeable batteries.

    -The clamp design is a relatively simple affair.

    -The manufacture quality very good. Everything seems to have a nice "feel" to it.

    I have been using it quite a bit, and I'm happy. It does not have a flash mode, as did my planet bike blaze, but I have found I don't miss it.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    My primary headlight is a Cygolite Dual Cross 200. I don't know how many lumens it puts out, but I often get cars flashing their high beams at me (I then lower it to the lowest level). I generally get fours hours of consistent run time out of it. I also carry an Inova Bolt 4.6 watt high intensity LED flashlight with a handlebar mount as a back up. For rear lights I use 2 PlanetBike Super Flash lights.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  7. #7
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I agree - a product that is built around a P7 LED is the way to go. That is what the Magic shine is, geomangear.com will ship to the UK but you must pay the import fees. You can also get it on ebay - the seller says they will ship world wide. It does have the battery bag (that apparently some hate). I have used mine last winter, then in the spring after the ice melted and so far this fall - riding at 6AM two days/week. Never a problem, seems great quality to me. My only complaint is you have to disconnect the battery pack from the light to charge it and when you are not using it and the connector on mine is stiff.
    I have heard of people who have adapted P7 flash lights to the bars or helmet and gone that way. BTW - you can get a helmet adapter for the Magicshine, I am considering that for night hiking.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NealH View Post
    Roughly how many lumens is this light putting out and, does the light remain relatively constant for the 5 hours (in other words, does it provide some regulation in the power supply)?

    By the way, the Magic Shines from dealextreme now have a revised battery pack with a nice holder and indicator. For about $80 its just plain hard to beat. And it reportedly puts out 6 or 700 lumens (its advertised at 900).
    I do wish that all the manufacturers would measure light out put in Lumens- then there would be one measurement for the output of each lamp. The Use Exposure was listed when I bought it at 300 lumens. That is around the power of their small helmet lamp now. The Asteri 3 is 200 lumens.

    But beware- My mate has a 6 LED lamp that is listed at 900 lumens. May be but each led is only 150. It does not have the power or range of a 900 lumen single bulb. It throws out plenty of light but not much of it in the area you want it to be. That is the definite advantage of my Use lamp. I can see 200ft ahead clearly and the beam also come to about 20 ft in front of the wheel.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    The Magic shine is now available in the UK- Your $80 price tag is 120 over here--About $180.

    No wonder I can't afford anything nowadays.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  10. #10
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Off-Road:
    Amoeba flood on bars.
    Amoeba spot on helmet.

    On-Road:
    B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo R on the fork crown (powered by Shimano dynohub).
    Dinotte 200L (amber) on the bars.
    B&M DToplight XS on the rear rack.
    Dinotte 140L (red) on the rear rack.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I'm entering into my second season with a MagicShine. It provides plenty of light on middle of three output settings, even out in the country with no street lights etc. I carry a 120 lumen flashlight in a jersey pocket just in case. Three PlanetBike Super Flash on the back of the bike... seat post, wedge bag, and seat stay. I wear a reflective band around each ankle, so hopefully a motorist will see all manner of commotion ahead and wonder what he/she is about to encounter. So far, so good.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ItsJustAHill's Avatar
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    Currently using a Magicshine on the bars, about to add a Minewt 350 on the helmet. Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 on the rear (or PB Superflash). Seriously considering Dinotte's new self-contained taillight.

    I also usually have a Planet Bike BRT illuminated strap on each ankle and a Planet Bike red Spok LED on the rear of the helmet.

  13. #13
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    The Magic shine is now available in the UK- Your $80 price tag is 120 over here--About $180.

    No wonder I can't afford anything nowadays.
    I guess we are still collecting on lend-lease
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Dionette.

    They come in various versions. The first one that I saw was a tail light on a recumbent. In bright daylight it was easily visible for maybe 1/2 a mile. I've since had the opportunity to talk with the owner and he is sold on the company. They aren't cheap but they're not hyper expensive like some night mountain biking rigs that I've seen.

  15. #15
    Senior Member curdog's Avatar
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    Is there a good rear light which can be attached to a rear rack? I don't have seatpost available, because of a large trunk bag that I leave on my commuter all of the time.
    Cannondale Synapse, Electra Townie, Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Indy Fab Factory Lightweight, Co-Motion Cascadia

  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curdog View Post
    Is there a good rear light which can be attached to a rear rack? I don't have seatpost available, because of a large trunk bag that I leave on my commuter all of the time.
    The careyes come with a multidude of clamps to fit to small tubes. My rack had a Special mounting to fit a cateye-till it fell off taking the lamp with it. But those clamps for small tubes- I managed to fit round the seat stay and it is still on the Tandem.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  17. #17
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Snapped a pic of my B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo R:


  18. #18
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    For a rear light, I'm presently using a Planet Bike superflash. Damn good light for the money.
    Has anyone tried, the Blackburn Mars 4? Supposed to be even brighter and more robust, and has the amber flashers on the side. Any thoughts or opinions?
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

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