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Old 10-14-07, 03:45 PM   #1
JoshTalley
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What's the best lighting system?

Hi,

My wife, Michelle, and I rode the Bass Lake Powerhouse Double Century yesterday. During our past double centuries, we've always been lucky enough to begin and to end in minimal darkness, so we've always relied on bare bones, inexpensive headlights and taillights. But yesterday we spent the entire first hour-and-a-half of the ride and the final couple of hours in complete darkness and felt negligently ill-equipped. So I'm going to pony up the money for a couple of good lighting systems, but I want to know what other people prefer. As of now, I'm leaning towards the Nite Rider Trinewt. I figure it will work well with a simpler helmet light and taillight to provide optimal lighting. Also, it has a long burn life. Any other suggestions? Any input is much appreciated.

FYI, the Bass Lake Powerhouse Double proved great. It was our first ride with the Fresno Cycling Club, and they absolutely rocked. The course was beautiful. The volunteers were the most enthusiastic we've ever encountered, including those at the Terrible Two, many Planet Ultra events, the Mt. Tam Double and the Grand Tour. Don't get me wrong, all volunteers rock! I love every last person who sets aside their weekend to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and to hand out Cytomax to cyclists along deserted roads, but Fresno Cycling Club's volunteers had an extra level of enthusiasm. They really went the distance, which made riding the distance all the more fun for us. Thanks!

Luckily, as overcast and gloomy as it was most of the day, it never rained. And we saw lots of tarantulas on the roads. I never knew tarantulas lived in the Sierras. What a blast.

Thanks in advance for any input on lighting systems.

Josh
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Old 10-14-07, 03:59 PM   #2
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I know this isnt very specific, but a few long distance riders in my club have generator-hubs on their front wheels to power the lights. A rider I talked to yesterday about it says with 2 lights on the bike, he can see the road very well at night.

edit- Im not sure of the model but "Schmidt" is the maker of the hubs used by the rider I spoke to.
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt.asp
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Old 10-14-07, 04:38 PM   #3
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It really depends on how much you want to spend. If you really plan to spend a lot of time night riding, I would go with one of the HID systems. Otherwise, you might want to go with battery powered units.

When I did the triple crown this year, I used Cayeye HL-530 on my handlebar (which runs on a pair of AA), and it is bright ... 1500 candlepower. I also used a Cateye EL-410 on my helmet, along with as many rear blinkers that I can possibly get.

When we were stuck out in Davis, on roads that had absolutely no lights at all, it was nice to have other riders with bright HID lights. For next year, I just bought a Niterider MOAB, which is super bright (almost as bright as a car headlight). Got it from a guy off of craig's list.
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Old 10-14-07, 05:02 PM   #4
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+1 on what spingineer posted
Dinotte makes some good lights, I have one of their rear lights and it's extremely bright ... it's runs anywhere between 130-160.
If you want a complete front lighting systems check out Ay Up.
http://www.ayup.com.au/lighting.html their prices run around 240 -510 for their lighting systems.http://www.ayup.com.au/usa-shop-kits.html

Last edited by 0_o; 10-14-07 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 10-14-07, 05:10 PM   #5
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Niterider Trinewt is good for racing at night on a mountain bike

if you just stick to roads, a niterider MiNewt X2 is all you need.

both will do about 4 hours

those dinotte systems use rechargeable AA batteries, which is a huge hassle...niterider uses
proprietary battery packs and charging systems...which is a neater overall package. both work great I am just saying the dinotte isn't as cleanly executed as niterider


if you get a trinewt it will be ALL the light you will need, seriously
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Old 10-14-07, 06:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edzo View Post
Niterider Trinewt is good for racing at night on a mountain bike

if you just stick to roads, a niterider MiNewt X2 is all you need.

both will do about 4 hours

those dinotte systems use rechargeable AA batteries, which is a huge hassle...niterider uses
proprietary battery packs and charging systems...which is a neater overall package. both work great I am just saying the dinotte isn't as cleanly executed as niterider


if you get a trinewt it will be ALL the light you will need, seriously
Well that is half true but a little misleading, because Dinotte has both an AA batteries set up that comes with rechargeable batteries and a 2 cell lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack version.
I have the AA rear light set up.It's an extremly light weight system.
I chose this set up because I like the ability to be able to use off the shelf generic AA batteries in case my rechargeable batteries die on me while out on the road. Dinotte gives you two sets of battery holders. I normally have the battery pack tucked under my saddle and the light is resting on the side of my seat post I can also mount it on my helmet and put the batter pack in one of my pockets. So I kind of disagree with you on the system being a huge hassle.
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Old 10-14-07, 09:13 PM   #7
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For a helmet light, consider the bike-specific version of the Princeton Tec EOS.

For your main lights, I'd say that whatever system will make you feel safe and happy twelve hours into a ride is ultimately a bargain no matter how much it costs. I've gone the budget route on several occasions now and have ended up spending around $500 probably, without really getting the set-up I want. If I were starting from scratch, I'd get the Dinotte Endurance Lighting set. More than enough run-time to get you through the toughest double century (and probably enough to do a 600K), relatively fast charge time, and the lights themselves are very light, fast to put on, fast to take off, easy to carry in your saddlebag. I currently have the Dinottes that use AA batteries, and like everything about them but the short run-times.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:12 AM   #8
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I run a Li-Ion Light and Motion halogen that is super bright and comes with a rapid charger that won't damage the battery if you leave in the charger. I run two planet bike blinkies n the seat stays and a planet bike superflash on the seat post. Got a great deal on the light and motion light but it would have been worth it at full price. I also have a five led nite rider light as a back up.
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Old 11-07-07, 08:25 AM   #9
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ok, update on what i wrote. I now own a dinotte 140L

dinotte AA driven systems are not as clunky as i expected. yes, it is a hassle to
deal with the aa battery pack, but it's quick and they provide 2 aa holders, so I keep
one filled with alkalines on standby in my camelbak, and use the other for daily
use and swap out MiNH....and i rotate between 3 sets of 4 MiMH cells so i always have
some ready to go.

I like the dinotte and niterider rubber mount system. it is far quicker than using
the thumbscrew mounts, and it you crash the light just takes the hit and bounces
back or falls off, lessening the damage to the system.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edzo View Post
Niterider Trinewt is good for racing at night on a mountain bike

if you just stick to roads, a niterider MiNewt X2 is all you need.

both will do about 4 hours

those dinotte systems use rechargeable AA batteries, which is a huge hassle...niterider uses
proprietary battery packs and charging systems...which is a neater overall package. both work great I am just saying the dinotte isn't as cleanly executed as niterider


if you get a trinewt it will be ALL the light you will need, seriously

+1 on the MiNewt X2. I just got one of these little dandy lights. Small, light and very bright. I really like the flashing mode for making drivers aware.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:32 AM   #11
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I just got Dinotte AA 200L front and 140L tail lights. They work well with the 2500Mah rechargeable AAs and I just ordered a MAHA MH-C801D 8-cell smart charger for all my AA/AAA recharging needs.

The 200L is so much brighter than the 10watt halogen it's replacing and with the MAHA, recharging takes 1 hour instead of overnight (with the proprietary NiMH Performance/Nite Hawk charger).
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Old 11-07-07, 12:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlastRadius View Post
I just got Dinotte AA 200L front and 140L tail lights. They work well with the 2500Mah rechargeable AAs and I just ordered a MAHA MH-C801D 8-cell smart charger for all my AA/AAA recharging needs.

The 200L is so much brighter than the 10watt halogen it's replacing and with the MAHA, recharging takes 1 hour instead of overnight (with the proprietary NiMH Performance/Nite Hawk charger).
I just bought a set of lights from Dinotte as well. Works great. The AA batteries was a selling point for me. I have plenty of batteries at work and home. They are bright, I can tell you that.
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Old 11-07-07, 12:34 PM   #13
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Here are two sites that show a comparison on the lights, beams, weight, etc.

Lactic Acid Threshold Blog

Eddy's Bike Shop

BR
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Old 11-07-07, 01:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I just bought a set of lights from Dinotte as well. Works great. The AA batteries was a selling point for me. I have plenty of batteries at work and home. They are bright, I can tell you that.
I got the same setup from Nashbar a few weeks ago during one of their 20% off sales. Light is plenty bright and very compact. The lower settings (there are three brightness levels) are usually enough for riding around on streets with street lights.
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Old 11-08-07, 10:20 AM   #15
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hehe I now have a TriNewt along with the X2 and lets just say I def no longer miss my HID system.

the trinewt rocks. also paid 300 for it at bikeman, instead of the usual 400 price.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:03 PM   #16
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I am getting the Dinotte 200L as well.
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Old 11-08-07, 03:21 PM   #17
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I'm building a triple Seoul LED bike light, my LEDs just came in from Hong Kong, so gotta get going on that. I'm going to model it after this one but probably not using that style of housing. It should be almost as bright as an HID for a total cost of about $100 including the battery, $120 with a charger.

http://myfwyc.org/bikeled/DIY_LED_Bi...ing_Guide.html
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Old 11-09-07, 12:22 AM   #18
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I just upgraded from the Nite Rider MiNewt to the MiNewt X2. This is just fine for even the part of my commute that goes along an unlit bike path. But, because it is handle bar mounted it doen't illuminate around curves so I just ordered a Dinotte 200L for the helmet.
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