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Old 10-13-11, 11:13 AM   #1
asiamj
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Bike Headlights

It's getting dark out there in the early mornings now. I have a Blackburn Flea which is almost useless in the dark especially riding off road. Can someone recommend a reliable headlight that does not require a separate battery pack? My average speed is approximately 16-18 mph.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 10-13-11, 11:18 AM   #2
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I use 2 LED flashlights (each ~90-100 lumens) that run on rechargeable AA batteries. I use the "two fish lock blocks" to hold them -- very cheap and effective.

200 lumens is a bare minimum I'd say for commuting in the dark, but I'm usually with my wife and her bike has a very nice Ixon LED headlight. 3 of these flashlights would probably be sufficient, but I'm too lazy to rig up another one. Purpose-made lights for bikes are generally more expensive, but probably are more effective. I prefer battery powered lights regardless, but some folks really like hub generators. Some even still use tire generators.

Just my $0.02
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Old 10-13-11, 11:21 AM   #3
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http://www.cygolite.com/products/index.html

^^^This. The One-Piece Technical series lights (Expillion) are excellent performers. Internal battery, come with the wall and USB chargers, all mounts, etc. for a decent price. I use the Expilion 250 (no longer made) and have had zero issues with it.
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Old 10-13-11, 11:29 AM   #4
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it's own category http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...ng-amp-Gadgets

Planet bike has several wattages, but, battery lights , it's a direct relationship.
the brighter the light the shorter the battery life that it will run.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-13-11 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 10-13-11, 01:40 PM   #5
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Short answer: Take $350 to your LBS and be prepared to part with it.

Long answer: Every reputable bicycle light manufacturer has models with very bright, very wide beams for off-road use. I don't know which one's best for you, but I figure if you have a problem with something you buy from your LBS, they can handle warranty service (if needed). If you're going off-road at night, I suspect you'll want something designed and built to be rugged, waterproof, and to fit well on your bike. That last is why I'd go with a bike light, rather than the brightest flashlight you can find and bungee cords.

And take the Flea along, just in case you need to walk out of the woods.
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Old 10-13-11, 04:04 PM   #6
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Consider upgrading to a dynohub. Lots of great lights that can be powered by one of those, in fact you can even run a couple of lights for extra lighting. FWIW I typically run B&M Cyo or IQ Fly headlights on my bikes.

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Old 10-14-11, 08:30 AM   #7
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Just bought a Nite Rider Minewt 600 cordless for $125 shipped. Plenty bright for your speeds even at medium setting. All internal without a separate battery pack.
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Old 10-14-11, 09:54 AM   #8
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Consider upgrading to a dynohub. Lots of great lights that can be powered by one of those, in fact you can even run a couple of lights for extra lighting.
I've got the Cyo on my bike, but I tend to keep it on the road. Off-road, something like the Supernova symmetrical lights might work, but only if you're moving fast enough. That's why I recommended the battery-powered lights.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:11 AM   #9
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Standlight , a capacitor feature, in the circuit design,
keeps the light on when speed , briefly, slows down.

Quote:
OP "My average speed is approximately 16-18 mph."
if it's true, thats fast enough ..
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Old 10-17-11, 01:44 PM   #10
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Over the weekend I went to the LBS and purchased the NiteRider MiNewt.250 Cordless LED Headlight for $90 on sale. I used it this morning, and it got me through 14 miles of darkness before the sunrise took over. It's a bit bulky and wished it was a little brighter, but overall it works fine. Thank you all for your helpful comments.
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Old 10-17-11, 10:39 PM   #11
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+1 for Cygolite Expilion 250. Makes all the difference. They have the 350 lumen on sale (for less than I got my 250) on Amazon right now. It's well worth it, in my opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Expil.../dp/B005DVA37Q
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Old 10-18-11, 04:13 PM   #12
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+1 for Cygolite Expilion 250. Makes all the difference. They have the 350 lumen on sale (for less than I got my 250) on Amazon right now. It's well worth it, in my opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Expil.../dp/B005DVA37Q
I have the 350 lumen model and this morning it was just a bit foggy. The 350 lumen works well enough for me on a road bike and going 20 mph.
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Old 10-18-11, 09:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by asiamj View Post
Over the weekend I went to the LBS and purchased the NiteRider MiNewt.250 Cordless LED Headlight for $90 on sale. I used it this morning, and it got me through 14 miles of darkness before the sunrise took over. It's a bit bulky and wished it was a little brighter, but overall it works fine. Thank you all for your helpful comments.
My wife and I have the same light and i think it works great. I've only used it 4 or 5 times (too many damn bugs at night), but it's worked perfectly every time. There's a long stretch of road that has nothing but cornfield on one side and vacant land on the other with no light and I had no problems riding at 20mph with the light. I even turned it off completely to see how dark it would be and it was pitch black. I got it on sale as well. For the price i paid, i definitely can't complain...
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Old 10-18-11, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asiamj View Post
Over the weekend I went to the LBS and purchased the NiteRider MiNewt.250 Cordless LED Headlight for $90 on sale. I used it this morning, and it got me through 14 miles of darkness before the sunrise took over. It's a bit bulky and wished it was a little brighter, but overall it works fine. Thank you all for your helpful comments.
This is what I'm running. I usually use it during dusk or early evening and set it on low or medium and it's fine for anything up to about 18mph. Higher output reduces runtime rapidly. Unfortunately I've had it for a while and paid a full $115.
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