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Old 09-30-08, 11:50 AM   #1
jcook1989
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Let there be light.

So on most days I can't get out to ride till about 6 and as some of you may be noticing the days aren't getting any shorter. So basically what I'm asking is who out there has lights? What kind of lights are they? And how do you like them? I'm not talking the little lights that can get you around town. I need some lights for the running trails away from city lights. Thanks.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:03 PM   #2
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I am actually just thinking about new lights too... I have some old Specialized lights with batteries that fit in the bottle cages. They were okay, I'd carry two batteries & swap them out as necessary.

I like the idea of helmet mount lights, but they just seem so heavy, maybe the technology is better these days. Seems like the more you pay, the better quality you get, but there has to be some middle ground - lights can get really pricey.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:09 PM   #3
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http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/

That said, I have L&M Arc, which I use as a helmet light. You should have at least a helmet mounted light, IMO, for mountain biking.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:17 PM   #4
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I have a CygoLite Night Rover. It's a dual-beam 6w/10w with a water-bottle NiMH battery. I got it because it was economical; but it is just barely adequate for trail riding. For very fast trail riding, you can easily over-ride it. It really is more of a commuter light. But if you are in a group and between a couple riders with more powerful lights, there is enough infill to keep your speed up as long as you're looking ahead of the rider ahead of you .

Go bar-mount as your primary light; if you want helmet mount, make that your secondary. I've found that helmet-mount only severly limits your depth-perception, especially when it's pitch-black out.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:28 PM   #5
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NiteRider TriNewt. Expensive, but lasts long and is worth it.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:41 PM   #6
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NiteRider TriNewt. Expensive, but lasts long and is worth it.
+1


great light

awesome product support despite what you may read on the intertubes

they are sold everywhere, mainly because they are a great light.


NOTE: after using on a cold day, let the battery warm up to room temp before charging for best results
they don't say this in the manual (which is lacking)
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Old 09-30-08, 01:08 PM   #7
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I run 20 watts halogen (flood beam) on the bars, 15 watts halogen (spot) on the helmet.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:11 PM   #8
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I run a NR HID Helmet mount . I forget the name but it the basic HID. 4 hour run time. Really does turn night into day.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:04 PM   #9
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I've got a NiteRider MiniNewt x.2 LED with a helmet mount. Works just fine for single track, although the hot spot at the center, which works great for distance, is a bit blinding when you focus close up. With only one light I'd suggest a helmet mount for single track. But I can definitely see the advantage of having a bar mount as well, the helmet mount doesn't cast shadows (since you're looking down the axis of the beam) and makes it hard to judge how big some trail obstacles (roots, rocks) are.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:08 PM   #10
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I DIY'd 4 Cree Q5 LEDs into an aluminum casing with a dual spot and dual flood. I get 4+ hours on a 4400 mAh 14.8V Li-ion pack. It's brighter than the 13W HID system it replaced, but at least I can dim it down to a reasonable level. I have found that unless I'm on a long fire road, a 10W helmet mount does the trick on most trails. One of the sweetest DIY lightsets I've seen is here. It's an epic thread, but the result is a cheap, very effective setup that can be custom built to suit your needs.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:23 PM   #11
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Anyone know much about those cheap 52/76 led lights from china off ebay? Ive seen Led lights before and thier preety bright, pretty cheap too.

Anyone got one?

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Old 10-04-08, 04:59 AM   #12
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Myself, i have a few lights which include HID, LED & Halogens . Nothing at all wrong with a 10 watt halogen. In fact, that is my main 'go to' light.
If you don't mind weight,a Nitehawk Raptor which is a 10 watt halogen powered by a sealed lead acid battery can be had for like $35/$40.
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Old 10-04-08, 06:10 PM   #13
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I like the AYUPs. Light weight, great run time and 600 lumens from the pair. DIY is the best bang for your buck though.
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Old 10-04-08, 07:05 PM   #14
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If you're going to ride fast, off-road, in tech terrain skip the LEDs and halogens.

An HID on the helmet and an HID on the bars cannot be beat for that kind of riding.
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Old 10-04-08, 08:48 PM   #15
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^ exepsion to that rule is the trinewt, It has like only 50 less lumens than the HID light and motion light i've used (i own a trailrat) and wow was that light bright, i could go as fast on technical cross country as I could in the day (well almost)
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Old 10-04-08, 09:43 PM   #16
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I have been using two Fenix aa lights, they work great. One on the handlebars and one on the helmet. Right around 110 bucks for the two. I went ahead and bought some aa nihm batteries and a decent charger.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:04 AM   #17
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The main light sources available that I know of are HID, LED, and Halogen. In my opinion, they each have their own niche.

Please add to my thoughts, anyone.

HID...provides a real "wow" effect. Think Death Star with the right setup. Depth perception?

LED's: Some of the newer stuff is very bright. I have not used any of the higher end stuff though. Some of the guys I work with use the NiteRider MiNewt and like it.

Halogen: no recent experience. But the yellow light should provide good contrast.

To continue the thread, Has anyone run an HID and a quality LED for night riding that would compare to that of an endurance event (pitch black)? What is your opinion of the dual HID vs the HID/quality LED combo?
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Old 10-07-08, 03:14 AM   #18
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I've run various halogen setups, a dual HID setup, a HID+LED setup, and now run a dual LED setup. The dual NR HID's were pretty good and gave a decent amount of light. I bought a ~800 lumen LED light next and used that on the helmet along with one NR HID on the bars and the color difference between the HID and LED was noticeable, but still worked out ok. I finally ditched the HID's all together and went with two LED lights and never looked back. The HID looks quite blue when compared to LED light color. The HID also needs a warm up time to get to full brightness and has limited dimming options. In short I find the LED lights to be superior to the HID lights except maybe in cost. And it is most effective to use a bar mounted as well as a helmet mounted light.

It's been a while since I used halogen, but halogen is good b/c they are fairly inexpensive the light color is not harsh like HID, and the replacement bulbs are cheap. I used a 10 watt, 15 watt, 20, 30 , and 35 watt halogen setups and you really need at least 20 watts to see worth a darn.

I use my lights in the woods where it is very dark and no other source of light so I need to have bright reliable lights. Some areas of the trail are very fast going and some areas slow and technical, but you need bright lights for both. The trails I usually go night riding on have a variety of surfaces to ride on. I ride on mud, deep sand, rocks, packed trail , pine needles, roots, logs, wooden bridges, grass, etc. Without a good helmet light I would most likely end up impaled on a tree branch as in some sections I have to duck and maneuver around a lot to avoid them so it is critical to have enough light, but even so I still catch branches that leave some good marks on me.

I recommend you look at a dual LED setup such as Dinottes dual 400L setup for combined 800 lumens or better setup. As far as HID lights, the only thing I would consider, if you can get them cheap enough, would be a couple Light & Motion ARC lights. There are also a lot of do-it-yourself setups that can be made cheap and can rival the very expensive lights. Do yourself a favor though and don't skimp when it comes to trail lights.
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Old 10-07-08, 09:01 AM   #19
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The main light sources available that I know of are HID, LED, and Halogen. In my opinion, they each have their own niche.

Please add to my thoughts, anyone.

HID...provides a real "wow" effect. Think Death Star with the right setup. Depth perception?

LED's: Some of the newer stuff is very bright. I have not used any of the higher end stuff though. Some of the guys I work with use the NiteRider MiNewt and like it.

Halogen: no recent experience. But the yellow light should provide good contrast.

To continue the thread, Has anyone run an HID and a quality LED for night riding that would compare to that of an endurance event (pitch black)? What is your opinion of the dual HID vs the HID/quality LED combo?
I have had a 13W HID out on the trail, and it is fargin' bright. In fact, it was too bright sometimes. When it's pitch black, your pupils open up really wide to pull in all the light they can. With ambient light [streetlights, car headlights, etc.], they close a little more, and I find I need a brighter light. Regardless, with the throw from the HID, I felt absolutely fine hitting 50 km/h down fireroad. On technical singletrack, I just looked where I wanted to go. It was like having the sun in a can. In fact, it took away a lot of the challenge of night riding. I used to do the same trails with a 6W halogen bar-mount - that was pretty dicey, but made things more fun.

Recently, I've made the switch to LED. I get more light out of my DIY LED setup, the beam pattern is better, and the colour of the light is less blue, so rocks, dirt, trees, etc. look a little more natural. One of the best parts is that it's dimmable in 7 steps from 100% down to about 10%. This means that off of a fully charged battery, I could get 20+ hours of low-speed light or 3+ hours of retina burning illumination. To duplicate my light would cost you $55 for a battery, $25 for a charger, $10 in aluminum, $5 in JBWeld and $40 in electronics. About $150, assuming you have a soldering iron and a hacksaw. I've read about quite a few DIY Dinottes that come in around $50 including a mini battery pack for 2 hours runtime at 200 lumens. Now that the new Cree MC-E is finally out, folks are getting into the 700 lumen range from a light that's about the size of a roll of quarters but only around 100 grams. One on the helmet, two on the bars = 2000 lumens for under $300.

I wouldn't bother running HID and LED together. Run whatever you can get cheapest. I also wouldn't discount halogen lights entirely. You can over-volt halogen bulbs for huge light, they're dimmable and they're cheap. Unfortunately, they're not as efficient as LED or HID, but you can simply run more batteries.
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Last edited by pinkrobe; 10-07-08 at 09:06 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-07-08, 09:29 AM   #20
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light is good
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Old 10-07-08, 09:40 AM   #21
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Trinewt on the bars + Minewt on the helmet = near perfection. Not cheap like DIY but oh so easy.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:15 PM   #22
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HID is the tops but some are not as equal as others Very expensive and can be too much light. (Think riding back on the road and blinding car drivers)

The newer LED's are still expensive and I use the Exposure Enduro turbo and is a good light. This has been improved on But this has been used on 6 hour night rides without running out of battery. Low power for most of the ride and High power when needed (Downhill)

http://www.use1.com/exposure/product...urbo/index.php



Halogen is cheaper and if above 20watts will be good enough for offroad.

Problem with all lamps is battery life. Pointless having lots of light for 2 hours on a 4 hour ride so think of that.


And the most usefull lamp on any night ride is a helmet lamp. The light where you are looking and if repairs are necessary- they are more convenient than trying to hold a hot HID in the mouth while trying to do repairs.
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