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Old 11-07-12, 08:19 PM   #1
TexLex100
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Bike light recommendation

I like to do my short ride in the early morning before work, which now makes it a ride in the dark, in a mixed use trail. The light I have which I got from my LBS when I bought the bike (Planet bike 0.5 watt) is not useful. I searched this forum and the internet and I am completely overwhelmed with all the options, so I came here for a friendly advice Any suggestions?

I think I would like to get a strong light for the handlebar and a flashing light for the helmet (unless even this is the opposite of what I should get!). Thanks.
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Old 11-07-12, 08:54 PM   #2
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I use the generic version of the Spokegrenade 1000 for the handle bars and a Cygolite Expilion 350 on my helmet. For the rear I use 2 Cygolite Hotshots flashing at different tempos, one on the helmet and one on the saddle bag. I've had people tell that they thought I was a motorcycle braving the cold.

Have fun and be safe.
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Old 11-07-12, 09:09 PM   #3
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I've got this:

http://www.amazon.com/MagicShine-100...magic+shine+MJ

With it, I can ride on completely dark country roads, no problem. When there are oncoming cars, I have to tilt the light downward to keep from blinding them, as one would turn down the brights in a car. There are also even brighter versions.

The rechargeable battery life is fine for anything but an all-night brevet. - I can go 30 miles at the brightest setting and drain less than half the charge. Less if I'm using less-biright settings,.
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Old 11-07-12, 09:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I've got this:

http://www.amazon.com/MagicShine-100...magic+shine+MJ

With it, I can ride on completely dark country roads, no problem. When there are oncoming cars, I have to tilt the light downward to keep from blinding them, as one would turn down the brights in a car. There are also even brighter versions.

The rechargeable battery life is fine for anything but an all-night brevet. - I can go 30 miles at the brightest setting and drain less than half the charge. Less if I'm using less-biright settings,.
Pretty much the same that I use. You do have to be careful on how you aim it and at the 1k lumen setting it is super bright.
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Old 11-07-12, 09:26 PM   #5
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Many thanks for the suggestions. Now for those lights, do you actually have to keep it connected to the battery pack while you ride? I could not tell from the pictures. So, do you use a steady beam on the handlebar, and a flashing mode on the helmet light?
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Old 11-07-12, 09:27 PM   #6
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Check this link - it'll give you a good idea of lights, patterns, battery types, cost, etc.

http://tinyurl.com/cpfoka3
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Old 11-07-12, 09:27 PM   #7
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Also, do they connect readily on the thicket, 31.8, handlebars? Thanks.
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Old 11-07-12, 09:30 PM   #8
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Nice site Gerry. Too bad, however, that they are using confusing units: candlepower, watt, lumen, etc. I don't even wanna ask how to match those units in fear of getting even much more confused

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Check this link - it'll give you a good idea of lights, patterns, battery types, cost, etc.

http://tinyurl.com/cpfoka3
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Old 11-07-12, 09:39 PM   #9
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Don't let it throw you - use the light patterns shown and your budget to make a simple choice! I suspect a decent battery-powered unit will suffice.

For the rear, this is a hell of a value. Bright and the battery will days without any issue.

Good luck to you!
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Old 11-07-12, 10:35 PM   #10
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A bit of bungee or some plumbers tape to attach this to your handlebars and you are all set. A bit pricey. But this light lasts a long time, is very durable and lights up the area excellently. You WILL be able to see everything in front of you and those behind you will see your image in the reflected light.

http://www.diverightinscuba.com/cata...ht-p-3380.html

I've used this light in a wide variety of situations and have never been disappointed.
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Old 11-07-12, 10:58 PM   #11
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For the Magicshine, the light plugs into the battery pack, which has velcro straps to hang below your top tube or someplace else that's convenient. When the batteyr needs charging, you plug it into a charger (cords are long - you probably don't need to remove it from the bike, but if you do, it's easy). The model I have does not have a flashing mode - it has 3 brightness settings, from merely bright (good for when you can see anyway, but want to be seen), to blazing (as described above). The light does fit on a thick handlebar - it comes with several sizes of rubber straps to fit a range of bars.

I don't run with a second light in front - why bother when I've got something as bright as a motorcycle headlight? Also, I find it annoying when someone else is coming towards me with a bright flashing light.
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Old 11-07-12, 11:12 PM   #12
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Haha, just bought a light combo, Cygo lite Metro 300 and hot shot rear red blinkie. About $80-$90 depending on where you buy.

1:42 into the video you can see Gina coming up the mtn with the headlight on. We were up in the darkness of the mtns and the video does not do the light justice.

I had a Cateye ($60) and a Planet bike ($30) on my bike and her new light totally blasted mine away. Other had more expensive lights but Gina's was dominant. Throughout the video, where ever you see my big shadow on the grrund, it was because she was a little behind me. 6:20 into the video she's side by side with another rider sporting a more expensive light and you can see the difference. On the ride there were a few comments from other riders saying "we got to get a light like Gina's". All comments were from riders carrying battery packs. Only 300 lumens but seemed like much more!

She liked it so much she went back after the ride and bought me one too.

Both front headlight (5 modes, 2 strobes) and rear red blinkie (5 modes) are charged by the USB cable that comes with the set. So no carrying battery packs or cables. Plus the clamp fits OS 31.8 bars or smaller bars with shims provided.

5 out of 5 stars from the 4 that reviewed the light.

http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/lt006.htm

I put the pen in as a reference to size


cygo by mrbeanz1, on Flickr



[video=youtube;FwLoG8lhAlw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwLoG8lhAlw[/video]

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 11-08-12 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 11-08-12, 01:58 AM   #13
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The unit used to measure the light output of a lamp can be confusing. Candle power- watts- lumens---and how do you compare the various measurements with output. You don't. You go for one that is measured in Lumens. This is the measurement that is now recognised as beeing the correct one and all good manufacturers use this.

Two types of lamp- ones to be seen and ones to see with. If you are on well lit roads then a lamp to be seen is all that is necessary but even they vary.

Most lamps now are LED's and to be seen then around 100 lumens is enough. But I would say the minimum to see is 300 lumens. That will give enough light to throw the light far enough ahead to see the road and up to around 100 yards. As you go up on lumens- more light will enable things to be seen clearer and for further. I have a Use Exposure lamp and that is probably over the top for normal use and has 600 lumens (Last years model)

http://www.exposurelights.com/produc.../#.UJtjU8XZZ8F

This lamp is more than adequate for road use and is quite suitable for offroad where more light is required. Others around that are just as suitable and the Magicshine has proved to be adequate for most riders.

But you do get what you pay for. I recently started a few night rides with our local club. Not all had adequate lights but those that were good enough were at least 300 lumens- had a Lithion Ion Battery and a good strong steel case for when it was dropped.

I also on serious rides use a helmet lamp. only a small one but adequate for reading road signs and doing bike repairs. That helmet lamp also acts as the emergency lamp if the main one packs up.

It does depend how serious you are and how much you want to spend but make certain you get a lamp powerful enough for your use and with a battery life that is long enough.
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Old 11-08-12, 06:33 AM   #14
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What Stapfam said and Mr. Beanz's suggestions are top drawer, too. I use a flashing white light on the front and a flashing red light on the rear, but I want to add an additional steady state to the back and make all of them a much stronger Lumen rating with the early darkness, now. I plan to get rechargeable units with UBS links for this. I ride with flashing lights in the day time and would only be riding in the dark if I get caught out later than usual. Rural roads are really dark and people tend to drive a bit faster when they get on them, around here.

Best of luck with your choices and please let us know what you choose.

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Old 11-08-12, 08:16 AM   #15
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I've gone through about as many lights over the years as I have seats....too many. These days I don't use cycling specific lights for the front at all. I've moved to using Fenix ld20 flashlights. For commutes home this time of year, I use one on the helmet with a solid beam and one on the handlebars set on flashing mode. For longer darker rides, I put two on the handle bars and one on the helmet. I went this route for several reasons. First, the lights have multiple use. During hurricane Sandy here on the east coast of the US, my total of five Fenix ld20's got a lot of use off the bike. Second, they are relatively small and light weight. Finally, you can get very inexpensive mounts for them to secure them properly to bike or helmet. So, two links offered below. 1st one for the lights themselves. 2nd one is for the block mounts.

http://www.fenixlight.com/viewcnews.asp?id=31
http://www.amazon.com/Two-Fish-Unlim.../dp/B001F307JK

For the rear I use two Planet Bike Superflash. One set to blink and the other on steady.
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Old 11-08-12, 08:54 AM   #16
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I have had great success with the 900 lumen P7 flashlight. I put one on the bar and one on my helmet when I ride on the mtb trails at night. On the road only one P7 on the bar is needed. Mounts for the flashlights that use velcro closures are about $3 each. I also have a $200 -Minute 2 light that is a good liight but not in the $40- P7 class.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/900lm-Lumen-...item2a2139657d
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Old 11-08-12, 09:09 AM   #17
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Many thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I am wondering whether the flash lights would be too bulky on the handlebar and especially on the helmet. Since I already have a Planet Bike blaze 0.5 watt front light on my handlebar, I am thinking of moving this to be mounted to my helmet, and get one of those very bright lights for the handlebar. The problem is that this light only came with the handlebar mounts. Any suggestions on how to mount it to my helmet?

I came across NiteRider 650 Lumes. Have you had any experience with it? how does it stack up to the others? I like its small form factor. Thanks.
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Old 11-08-12, 09:48 AM   #18
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Here are some headlight comparisons with beam shots:

http://www.modernbike.com/light-comp...singleshotplus
http://reviews.mtbr.com/2011-bike-lights-shootout
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...ghtBuyersGuide
http://road.cc/content/news/46538-bi...ghts-test-data

FWIW, my most recent light is a Cygolite Expilion 700.
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Old 11-08-12, 10:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLex100 View Post
Many thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I am wondering whether the flash lights would be too bulky on the handlebar and especially on the helmet. Since I already have a Planet Bike blaze 0.5 watt front light on my handlebar, I am thinking of moving this to be mounted to my helmet, and get one of those very bright lights for the handlebar. The problem is that this light only came with the handlebar mounts. Any suggestions on how to mount it to my helmet?

I came across NiteRider 650 Lumes. Have you had any experience with it? how does it stack up to the others? I like its small form factor. Thanks.
P7 SSC flashlight mounted on my helmet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGpBHbEYqeo&feature=plcp
[video=youtube;gGpBHbEYqeo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGpBHbEYqeo&feature=plcp[/video]
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Old 11-08-12, 10:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLex100 View Post
Many thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I am wondering whether the flash lights would be too bulky on the handlebar and especially on the helmet. Since I already have a Planet Bike blaze 0.5 watt front light on my handlebar, I am thinking of moving this to be mounted to my helmet, and get one of those very bright lights for the handlebar. The problem is that this light only came with the handlebar mounts. Any suggestions on how to mount it to my helmet?

I came across NiteRider 650 Lumes. Have you had any experience with it? how does it stack up to the others? I like its small form factor. Thanks.
No, the flashlights I use are smaller than anything else I've ever put on my bike or helmet. They are very compact... about the length of a pencil and only about twice as thick.
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Old 11-08-12, 10:54 AM   #21
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try out the PB 2W.. ( I have the 1w, I use it on weakly lit MUP and rural Road Shouldered roads)

you will have spare mounts as they use the same one..

They improved the -wired to the Hub Dynamo- version, now there is an inline plug,
to pop it off the handlebars.like the battery lights ,
but needs no battery,with the Hub Dynamo (front wheel upgrade).


I have not used a battery light since getting my bike fitted
with a wired head and taillight, run off the front hub dynamo..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-09-12 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:41 AM   #22
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I have a Cygolite Expillion 700 on order, I have a 350 and I really like it but I wish it were a little brighter and the 700 looked like the answer
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Old 11-08-12, 11:46 AM   #23
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Pretty much the same that I use. You do have to be careful on how you aim it and at the 1k lumen setting it is super bright.
The SpokeGrenade knockoff ,yes. The Cygolite's have a built rechargable on board battery.

http://www.amazon.com/SpokeGrenade-S.../dp/B004WME71K
http://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-350-L.../dp/B005DVA37Q
http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...FRBgMgodvCEARQ
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Old 11-08-12, 12:14 PM   #24
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Bought the PB 2W and was disappointed for the money. I can get three flashlights at Costco for $20 that have better light. I use a inexpensive light to be seen and the Costco ones to see. They are about 150 Lum. and do a good job when it is dark. The "halo" from the the main beam is enough with the main reaching way out beyond what I need. Need to be careful about blinding oncoming traffic.
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Old 11-08-12, 06:00 PM   #25
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Now that it is very dark when I get home from work, I placed an order earlier today for a NiteRider Pro 3600 LED light. 3600 lumens! Kind of expensive, but I'll be able to get in a few miles in the evenings now, (or at least once it arrives in a week or so).
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