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Thread: Lights

  1. #1
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Lights

    Does anyone know of a decent light that actually lasts more than three months? For seemingly the umpteenth time I've had a light fail in that time (or less) and consequently had to can my pre-dawn ride this morning. Needless to say I am less than amused by this.

    Sure, the light was under warranty, but generally warranties aren't worth the paper they're written on in this country unless you're prepared to take them to court (which would end up costing me more money than the light originall cost me anyway, and is thus hardly worth the effort).

    Should I just by cheap lights in future and just save money on the costs of replacing them as they die?

    And before anyone asks, no, that light didn't go through my crash last Sunday, it was sitting at home safely attached to my other bike at the time.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  2. #2
    Has opinion, will express
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    I've just taken delivery of a Schmidt dynohub as my primary energy source (back-up is the old S6 sidewall dyanamo I've been using for 12 months). I've been hanging out for this little beauty for a long time (and beautiful in craftsmanship it is for sure).

    Match the Schmidt it to one of the new E6/Bisy lights or an Ovalplus, and you'll have reliable light with almost ideal spread and you won't have to worry about batteries dying or having to be recharged. The lights also are effective in alerting motorists to your existence. Just take a spare bulb to cover yourself.

    If your other bike has the same sized wheel you can interchange between the two without too much trouble.

    Only problem is cost and source -- around AUD$350 including standard Lumotech light ($25 upgrade to Ovalplus), and they are imported into Australia, I believe, only by St Kilda Cycles in Melbourne. Plus you'll need to get the wheel relaced with different-length spokes.

    The problem with commercial, off-the-sheld battery lights is not the system design necessarily, but the lousy charger that is supplied. If it is not a smart charger, then no amount of care in calculating recharge time will help extend battery life. It's even worse if you are forgetful and leave the charge on for an overly extended period. Welcome to cooked batteries. It all has to do with the crystal structure inside them.

    Sealed Lead Batteries (SLA) are a good way to go if you can connect it up to your old light system. Again, a smart charger specific to SLAs is needed, but SLAs are generally much more resilient. Their only drawback is weight... but for a guy who loves wind and hills, a little extra weight should mean nothing.

    FWIW

    R
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  3. #3
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    Chris, what kind of problems are you having and what lights are you using? I've never had the problems you are having with headlights. I'm currently using the Cateye opticube LED headlight and I'm quite satisfied with it.

    I've heard of lots of problems with the Niterider digital systems. apparently, the digital circuitry is the weak link.
    "only on a BIKE"

  4. #4
    60mph in the 42 ring! Dave Stohler's Avatar
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    Lumotec makes lights that actually last.
    Cycling Addict
    **************
    (techinical questions gladly answered via AIM)

  5. #5
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    If only stupid old me would think before posting! I'd say more than likely it was just the bulb that died in my light this morning - that was all. If I'd had a spare it wouldn't have been an issue. For the second time in nine days, I feel like a complete dropkick!

    Having said that, keep the light suggestions coming! It still could be more than that - otherwise it might just make this thread worthwhile.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  6. #6
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    I'll second the Cateye LED vote, LED life is better than bulbs if you don't mid less light to see by...
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I often need more light. I head away from the urban areas on my pre-dawn rides. I have to say this is the first time I've ever actually had a bulb go - normally the battery or the charger goes first.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  8. #8
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    I use a cateye rechargeable 5W/10W light and it has lasted a couple of years. Ditto my LED's.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I just bought one of those 5 LED headband lights to use as a backup in case the mains go. They are surprisingly bright, nearly white, incredibly light (this is turning into a poem!) and have have a long burn time.
    vini... vidi....bici

  10. #10
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    I use the Light & Motion Solo Logic and have had very good service from it. I also use a charger that is designed for the RC model hobbys that is adjustible for many different settings. If you use NiCad or Nimh battries you realy should use a charger with delta peak detection for the type of battery you are using in your system. The worst killer of bulbs is jaring and vibration, and who gets that on a bike? I can never have too many spairs!

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