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Old 12-07-08, 12:24 PM   #1
Beaker
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Favourite lights?

Looking at the fog out my window this morning, I realized that the one thing that is really missing from my growing cycling gear collection is a headlight of some description. Now I'm well aware of the night riding scene that is blooming in NorCal, so thought I'd ask you guys what your favourite lights were? I'm not really thinking of a DiNotte type deal ($$), or looking at serious riding at night just now, but something good for visibility in the fog and some extra light around dusk.

I'm looking to spend <$100, for something that's fairly sleek, easy to attach/remove. What's the best bang for the buck from your experiences?

R

Edit: could also be good for starting centuries early in the AM
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Old 12-07-08, 12:31 PM   #2
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NiteFlux. J&B Importers just picked them up. We have some "demo" sets in the shop, and they are very, very impressive. Better than any I've ever used.

http://www.niteflux.com/Products_photon4Enduro.aspx
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Old 12-07-08, 01:02 PM   #3
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It's more than you wanted to spend at about $200, but I really like my Light and Motion Vega.

We tried a bunch of cheaper lights and just weren't happy with the amount of light they put out. I'm very comfortable descending in the dark with this light.


For taillights, my husband who does SAG for some crazy long rides, says the Planet Bike ones are some of the most visible to him as a driver.


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Old 12-07-08, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
I'm looking to spend <$100, for something that's fairly sleek, easy to attach/remove. What's the best bang for the buck from your experiences?
You can actually get a Dinotte for very close to your price range -- $105.00.

The catch is that you'll have to supply your own batteries/charger. That's not a bad thing, though, as the charger and batteries that Dinotte includes in its complete set aren't anything special.

With lights, my experience is that the way to get the best bang for your buck is to spend more than you want to spend, because if you start out with the cheaper lights, you won't be satisfied and will end up upgrading eventually. (I started out with $30 lights, went up to $50 lights, then up to a $200 light that was heavy, took too long to charge, ran down too quickly, etc; then to Dinotte.)

The Dinottes aren't perfect. But they are extremely light-weight, easy to attach/remove, and they provide a lot of light for the $100 price point.

You can probably get something that provides a similar amount or even more light for cheaper by going the Cree/Fenix flashlight with bike mount route; I don't have any experience with them though.
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Old 12-07-08, 03:54 PM   #5
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Thanks guys -- looks like we're getting closer to my $ range! Keep 'em coming
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Old 12-07-08, 04:18 PM   #6
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Some don't like it, but I've had great success with Viewpoint at Performance.



It's on sale for $14.99. I think that's way within your price range.
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Old 12-07-08, 05:20 PM   #7
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For "to be seen" lights, I am quite happy with my Planet Bike Blaze/Superflash combo. The superflash rear is particularly bright. You might have seen it on one of our rides together (I often run it during the day). The Blaze is also decent for the money. Long battery life for both. http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3040.html $55 for the combo and available at REI (and other places, I'm sure).
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Old 12-07-08, 11:31 PM   #8
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Thanks Ron/Justin - that was the kind of info I was looking for.
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Old 12-07-08, 11:47 PM   #9
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it is hard to bead dinotte for price and amount of light. a little more money then cheapo setups but less then high end brands but usually you get more light. my only complaint is that you have to unplug the battery when your done using the light.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessZippy View Post
It's more than you wanted to spend at about $200, but I really like my Light and Motion Vega.

We tried a bunch of cheaper lights and just weren't happy with the amount of light they put out. I'm very comfortable descending in the dark with this light.
I have this same one and like it a lot, except for it suddenly dying when the battery runs out. That's been the only downside.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:52 AM   #11
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I have the PB Blaze 1W (the white one) with the Superflash rear, and they work really well with impressive battery life, even running steady on/max brightness. For me, the mounts have been solid, and I like that the front is a single unit rather than a light with a separate battery pack.

But I agree with one of the previous posters who advised to spend more now instead of buying something cheaper only to find you're wanting more. As for me, I'd kinda like something a bit brighter for the front. If only there were a PB double 1W Blaze, that'd be about ideal.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:54 AM   #12
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Light and Motion Vega is only 120 lumens and myself a built in battery means you can't carry a spare battery. my last homemade setup I could not carry a spare and of course the battery fails in the middle of the ride.
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Old 12-08-08, 07:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msincredible View Post
I have this same one and like it a lot, except for it suddenly dying when the battery runs out. That's been the only downside.
It doesn't quite suddenly die... the little light on the back does start flashing rapidly first.

That is why last year we upgraded to Dyno hubs and if I know I'm going to be out in the dark/rain for more than two hours I take the bike with that set up. I had been using the Vega and a Jett light on my ridiculously long nighttime rides.

But the OP did not want to go that route.

Veronica
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Old 12-08-08, 12:31 PM   #14
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I just bought my commuting MyLilPony an early Christmas present. A Light and Motion Stella 200. Man is that puppy bright, and the light is really white. It cost 200+, but was on sale at Performance with an additional 15% off.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:35 PM   #15
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I have a 12W JetLites set-up. Great light but probably about twice as much as you want to spend.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:37 PM   #16
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I picked up a Blackburn Flea set a few months ago, which are easy to remove, tiny enough to fit in jeans pockets, have a cool magnetic recharging system (pictured below), and were $60 locally. They're perfect for commuting if you don't live in the sticks (I come home about two hours after sunset right now), but definitely not for serious (or not-quite-serious) descents.

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Old 12-13-08, 12:16 PM   #17
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NiteRider Minewt, $100 retail, ~120 well focused lumens, ~3hrs runtime puts out enough to see fairly well. IMNHO, this type of unit is standard equipment on the frontside.

It's on my wife's bike now, as I "moved up" to Minewt 2x, two "speeds," ~90 or 140 lumens, ~3.5 and 7 hrs runtime, respectively, over $200 retail, Performance sale + 15% off day, about $130, well worth it IMO, as predawn darkly dressed, no lights, middle of the path D.A. people are right dangerous, eh? Some of them are on bikes even!! The unit should last a long time, and casts a beam waay down the road.

I run mine anytime I'm in traffic; please do the same.

The to be seen types are better than nothing; I bought them for my siblings, because they carried no lights whatsoever.
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Old 12-13-08, 12:25 PM   #18
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"Favourite?"

Heh, what's your favourite colour Beaker?

Having attended First Form/Year One in Barrow, I still spell color colour; our Pop was working in the shipyards there in 1962, building nuke subs for y'all.

We wore longsleeve dress shirts. My tails were constantly hanging out!
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Old 12-13-08, 01:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
I'm not really thinking of a DiNotte type deal ($$), or looking at serious riding at night just now, but something good for visibility in the fog and some extra light around dusk.
There's a range of budgets available for this sort of thing and I understand there is a limit on what people can afford. Of all the money I've spent on cycling, lighting is one that I thought was most expensive, but turned out to be the best investment. It greatly expands the time I can truly enjoy cycling and it also amplifies how safe I can be at night. For me, it means 3-4 extra hours a day that I can ride in winter (short days) and summer months (hot days). It means the difference of riding or not on many days.

So take the money you were going to spend on all the foo-foo stuff and put it where it counts - a good saddle and lighting.
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Old 12-13-08, 05:18 PM   #20
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I just bought this from PerformanceBike last week. Its still on sale for $79.99.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4320
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Old 12-13-08, 06:29 PM   #21
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I think you get the best value by using something like a Twofish Lock Block with one of the many high-powered LED flashlights, like this for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=390008833919
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Old 12-13-08, 06:48 PM   #22
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Thanks everyone - some great ideas here. I'll be following up on these suggestions for sure.

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"Favourite?"

Heh, what's your favourite colour Beaker?

Having attended First Form/Year One in Barrow, I still spell color colour; our Pop was working in the shipyards there in 1962, building nuke subs for y'all.

We wore longsleeve dress shirts. My tails were constantly hanging out!
I'm amazed that it took 18 posts before someone called me on that. I've been out of the UK for over 10 years now, but there are some things I can't (won't) change. Favourite colours being good examples. I will admit that I have not rebadged my Specialised bike though. S for Z is about as much a concession as I can make.
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Old 12-13-08, 07:15 PM   #23
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i have two lights that are rather versatile and work very well:

1. ~$100 - it's USB rechargeable, and very bright (110 lumens) for its size and weight http://www.niterider.com/prod_minewt.shtml

2 ~$60 (fenix flashlight l2d) + $15 (flashlight mount):
-The 2 AA flashlight is a beast (180 lumens at max output) and is fairly cheap considering how good it is. I believe it outperforms the maglights 4D even though it's the size of a mini maglite! This is an amazing device and can be used for camping or whatever else you want ot use it for. It's waterproof. A good review:
http://video.google.com/videosearch?...ix%20l2d&emb=0

-You can mount the flashlite to either helmet or handlebar using:
http://jensonusa.com/store/product/L...ck+Blocks.aspx
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Old 12-13-08, 07:47 PM   #24
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I just got a early b-day/Christmas gift. It was on sale, +20% coupon, +10% team performance points.
A Cygolite Trion 600.
600 Lumen, self-contained Li-Ion battery.
I was OK with the Dinotte 200L-AA but was getting tired of always removing the battery holder to recharge the AA batteries. Also I wanted an easier way to move the light to another bike and extra mounts do the trick with this self-contained unit. A brighter light is nice too.

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Old 12-13-08, 07:51 PM   #25
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I just bought this from PerformanceBike last week. Its still on sale for $79.99.
How do you like it?
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