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Old 05-29-09, 02:22 PM   #1
jeffecation
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Bright light w/ decent battery life and fairly priced

Anyone have any recommendations for a decent light I should buy for touring? I don't plan on riding much at night, but in case of emergencies I'd like to have something that would do a pretty good job at lighting up my path. I'm not looking at spending over $50-80, unless its necessary. I've tried searching for a light on my own, but it seems the majority of the lights I see are for "being seen" or city riding.
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Old 05-29-09, 02:54 PM   #2
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I'm using this one: http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...CREE-Q5/Detail

The battery run time is pretty limited (about 1.5 hours with a CR123a) but since you can also run it on AAs and only want it as an emergency light it should be fine. The price-value ratio is hard to beat at 24 bucks. A handlebar mount you can buy at dealextreme, IIRC for 90 cents or so.
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Old 05-29-09, 03:24 PM   #3
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I prefer to take a headlamp and have it do double-duty. Although normally used in the tent, I can strap it on my helmet if I find myself out after dark on the bike. REI has several to choose from. I like a wide range of brightness settings or else it's too bright in the tent and too dim on the road.

The Black Diamond Spot is what I use. It has a very bright center light, and smaller side lights better for reading. Battery life is up to 200 hours on 3 AAA batteries. There are other similar lights by Black Diamond and Petzl.

http://www.rei.com/search?query=headlamp
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Old 05-29-09, 03:41 PM   #4
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I use a flash light from Lowes for my morning commutes to school. I leave the house around 5 and put in a training ride of about 12 miles. It is a Task Force model that is labeled 60X. I think I paid around $30 for it. I use a electrical conduit clamping system while attaching it to my handlebar and aero-bars systems.
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Old 05-29-09, 05:02 PM   #5
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I use a flash light from Lowes for my morning commutes to school. I leave the house around 5 and put in a training ride of about 12 miles. It is a Task Force model that is labeled 60X. I think I paid around $30 for it. I use a electrical conduit clamping system while attaching it to my handlebar and aero-bars systems.
+2, that is an awesome flashlight for the money - really bright - I have two. Same clamping system.
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Old 05-29-09, 05:37 PM   #6
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I bought a couple of these from amazon. I paid $25 each with free shipping.
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Old 05-29-09, 09:21 PM   #7
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I've been very satisfied with a 1 watt headlamp that I bought in the hunting section at Wal Mart for about $20. Great for around camp and night riding. Throws a nice spot with adequate side flair. Fits fine on my helmet using the elastic strap, or can be screwed directly to the helmet if desired. Not LED.
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Old 05-30-09, 01:38 PM   #8
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+2, that is an awesome flashlight for the money - really bright - I have two. Same clamping system.
I wonder if we both up-graded our lighting systems at the same time. The forum member's knowledge that springs forth will have a ripple effect on purchases etc.
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Old 05-30-09, 01:45 PM   #9
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I use this Fenix light. http://www.fenixgear.com/store/viewI...2DBlack600.jpg
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Old 05-30-09, 02:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jeffecation View Post
Anyone have any recommendations for a decent light I should buy for touring? I don't plan on riding much at night, but in case of emergencies I'd like to have something that would do a pretty good job at lighting up my path. I'm not looking at spending over $50-80, unless its necessary. I've tried searching for a light on my own, but it seems the majority of the lights I see are for "being seen" or city riding.
The other products mentioned thus far are good products I'm sure, but I have never used any of them. What I HAVE used is is a Niterider Trailrat 2.0. They're around 100.00US and give a solid 90 mins of 10W Halogen lighting though they're rated @ 2:20. They're being 'phased out' by NR in favor of the Mi-Newt LED sytem(s) at more expense. One can purchase an 8 hr bottle cage battery, but a connector adaptor is required. The bc battery is around 150.00, I believe. I purchased my wife a Cygo-Lite duel 12w halogen system for 70.00. One 6w light is focused short and one long. Compared to the 10W NR Trailrat it was a complete waste of money. Would've been better served to have spent an extra 30.00 for the TR. Live and learn.

If you're going to spend 80.00 spend 20.00 more and get a good light. You're worth it. The NR TR 2.0 are available at a variety of online stores, many w/no shipping for over 50-75.00. Try http://www.amazon.com and put Trailrat 2.0 into the search engine and see what comes up. I've seen them as cheap as 75.00US w/no shipping. Good luck.
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Old 05-30-09, 06:03 PM   #11
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the problem is that a light that is adequate for safe riding in pitch dark at 12+mph will need to be over 3watts,,if you are actually using that much energy you will go through batteries in a couple hours worth of riding. The 1watt lights are barely adequate for going 10mph in pitch dark situations and good for being seen on blink mode but it doesn't make much sense to burn up batteries if you will need those batteries later. In city riding I've used a helmet mounted Eos a lot.

My suggestion is to be honest about the likelyhood of night riding and what kind. I did lots of touring with a two AA battery incandescent light camplight. I had good night vision and didn't ride at night. Once you start thinking you have to have the capability to ride at night you're carrying a half pound to a pound of lighting and batteries.

Consider a Princeton Tec Eos for light weight and slow speed riding, carry spare lithium AAA in multiples of three. Princeton Tec Apex for longer battery life and regular speed riding. Both can be used for reading at night without going through batteries when set on the lowest setting. Disposable lithiums will give you the longest burn time. The Apex is better for actually riding at 12-15mph and seeing the road, you can switch to low output peripheral leds for uphill climbs and the center highoutput for flat/downhills. For camp use the low output leds will burn forever. Switching to low output on climbs will save batteries.

Both these should fit under budget.

http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/67

http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/65
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Old 05-31-09, 05:51 AM   #12
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I think that it is overkill to carry a light much brighter than the typical headlamp that runs off of 2 or 3 AAA batteries for a tour, unless there are some special circumstances that warrant it. I always found that even when it got dark on us when we were on the road later than expected that riding in the dark was no big deal. A $5 blinkie and a tiny LED head lamp are all I ever felt the need for.

It is rare that you wind up having to ride when/where it is really dark anyway. Usually there is at least star light. Also how often do you really need to ride earlier than 2 hours before sunrise or later than 2 hours after sunset?

For tunnels or those rare times when it is really dark when you are riding the head lamp is fine.
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Old 05-31-09, 07:17 AM   #13
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Check out this thread: The best headlights under $50 thread
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Old 05-31-09, 08:20 AM   #14
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I forgot to mention that the Lowes, Taskforce 60X, C cell, has a Cree Emitter. It's really bright, and also very handy as a very good flashlight.
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Old 05-31-09, 10:27 AM   #15
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B and M dymotec6 sidewall dynamo for 50 bucks and a 3 watt halogen B and M headlight for about 20-30. or get an LED for about twice that...

always works, never needs batteries. weighs less than that brick of a bottle cage battery. really worth consideration i think.
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Old 06-01-09, 11:01 PM   #16
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On your tour jeffecation will you be able to charge batteries or buy batteries if you need them? I commute at night but it only takes me about 20 minutes. I am looking to tour in the future and I know what lighting I would take off my current set up, or what lighting I think would serve me well enough.

For the rear I would take my Planet Bike Super Flash Stealth. I might also take my Mars 3.0. The PB on flash and the Mars on steady. Both have pretty long run times on AAA batteries. It would be easier changing the batteries on the PB (just pop off the cover). The Mars requires a small screw driver however.

For the front however I would take my MTE P7. Its definetly bright even on the medium setting but it would require bringing extra batteries and probably a charger for longer rides at night. Otherwise I would probably look at the Fenix lights that require AA batteries that give a decent amount of light for the runtime. The good things about them is that they are flashlights and have a multitude of uses (and modes). I would also look into the headlamps mentioned.
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