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Old 01-13-14, 11:33 PM   #1
LiteraryChic
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Touring Lights

Going on my first tour this August/September (see here). I would like some advice on lights. Currently, Lola is set up with the Reelight 770's, and the Knog Blinder 200. I am considering taking down the Reelights, and getting a dynamo set up (built in), but I have a VERY tight, practically non-existent budget, so I was looking into this, but I am not sure what to do.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-13-14, 11:45 PM   #2
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You can never really have too much... I like my Cygolite 300 but on the moonless bike path it can seem a bit dim. If you are on well traveled roads you want to be seen and that probably means blinkers and solids of some noticeable power.



I guess I think of lights as a commuting thing, not touring, I'd plan to be finished for the day by the time it got dark. Especially way up there in the middle of summer where the sun barely sets before it rises again. Still want a light for a holdout.

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Old 01-13-14, 11:49 PM   #3
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Are you planning on doing much night riding on your tour? I like dynamo lights for commuting, but when touring I rarely do much night riding and I like to have a decent headlamp along for use in camp. So I just have a battery tail light on the bike plus the headlamp if I do find myself riding after dark.
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Old 01-14-14, 12:20 AM   #4
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I guess I think of lights as a commuting thing, not touring, I'd plan to be finished for the day by the time it got dark. Especially way up there in the middle of summer where the sun barely sets before it rises again. Still want a light for a holdout.
+1
A good battery operated taillight, and white light light for visibility are all we have ever carried. We use our headlamps if we need to ride in the dark. The taillights are more important for fog rain, tunnels, and other low visibility situations.

IMO- the taillight is the most important, along with reflective panniers, jacket, and helmet. Personally, a dynamo hub would be too much trouble and expense for the few times it would be used. One set of 2A batteries for my tail light will last for a 3 month tour.

This was about midnight in Vancouver, BC where we were planning on starting our ride. Our train was late and we needed to ride from the train station to the B&B we were staying at. Luckily, we stayed at the same place on a previous trip, and thought we could get there in the dark.


My wife uses a Night Rider head light for commuting. It will blind oncoming drivers.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:15 AM   #5
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Are you planning on doing much night riding on your tour? I like dynamo lights for commuting, but when touring I rarely do much night riding and I like to have a decent headlamp along for use in camp. So I just have a battery tail light on the bike plus the headlamp if I do find myself riding after dark.
Same here. Miner's headlamp and small battery tail light.
I wrap the headband round my handlebar bag.
On tour I find I have lights on more often in rainy/foggy conditions than after dark. I put a hi-vis reflective vest on too when I consider visibility requires it.
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Old 01-14-14, 04:56 AM   #6
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Same here. Miner's headlamp and small battery tail light.
I wrap the headband round my handlebar bag.
On tour I find I have lights on more often in rainy/foggy conditions than after dark. I put a hi-vis reflective vest on too when I consider visibility requires it.
Yes me too. I go very minimal with lights when on tour. I have been using a high visibility vest also. Last couple tours I didn't even take the headlamp. Most of my night riding on tours is on empty roads with very few intersections, long sight lines, and very light traffic. When it is one car an hour and you can be seen over a mile off I wouldn't be worried even with no lights, and a little $6 blinkie definitely seems adequate to me.

If riding in areas with lots of traffic and lots of other lights to get lost in it can be a different story, but I usually just avoid those situations rather than take more elaborate lighting. For me this is a bigger issue around town at home than on tour.
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Old 01-14-14, 07:07 AM   #7
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Yes me too.
...and me. Petzl headlamp does double duty on the bike and around camp and I have a simple red blinky for the back
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Old 01-14-14, 07:45 AM   #8
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...and me. Petzl headlamp does double duty on the bike and around camp and I have a simple red blinky for the back
...and +4. I use them so seldom, and with LEDs the battery life is so long, I don't even bother carrying spare batteries.
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Old 01-14-14, 08:22 AM   #9
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The tour you are planning is short I remember from another post. A headlight is probably unnecessary. What you have now is fine. However, as a long term investment for your Dutch style bike, a dynamo hub lighting would be a great idea especially if you use it to commute.
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Old 01-14-14, 08:59 AM   #10
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...and +4. I use them so seldom, and with LEDs the battery life is so long, I don't even bother carrying spare batteries.
My Petzl Tikka takes 3 AAAs, my Planet Bike rear blinky takes 2 AAs and my radio 1 AAA, so I carry 6xAAAs. I make sure that I install new betteries before every tour and replace any spares I use at the first opportunity.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:26 AM   #11
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Back packers headlights are handy , seeing in your supper pot, cooking after dark, and setting up camp..

Other than that , realistically,
summer daylight is long enough to get a long ways between dawn and dusk ..
so Your lights needs will be from running late to a reserved lodging , and Tunnels .

As to your link to a dynohub, I use mine year round so all i have to do is move turn the wheel..
to have light .. I am not a Cell phone Owner.

Non existant budget , you may be stranded when things Break
and you cannot afford to Repair them food places to sleep any of that . are costs.
as will be that cell Phone ..

.. are you able to entertain crowds Busking on the Town Square , for Tips?

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-14-14 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:14 PM   #12
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, but I have a VERY tight, practically non-existent budget, so I was looking into this, but I am not sure what to do.

Thanks for the help.
Very tight budget and you already have lights. Stop right there, no need to spend more.
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Old 01-14-14, 03:02 PM   #13
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I even use my tail light during the day. If foggy or hazy I use both tail lights.



Agree that most touring is during daylight hours. I have needed a bike headlight if I was late pulling out of the pub after dark or a tunnel. But otherwise have not used a headlamp for touring.

I am more concerned about being seen than seeing.
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Old 01-14-14, 03:03 PM   #14
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Do you plan to ride a lot at night? I can't envision a scenario where I would be touring extensively in the dark, although I might ride my bike in the dark if going out to eat at night. If you already have rechargeable lights, it seems like it would be a simple matter of recharging your lights at the end of each day. ... or perhaps I'm missing something. When I go on bike tours, I usually carry a simple light-weight rechargeable light in case we go out to eat and get through after dark, but I usually don't ride more than 30 minutes max.
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Old 01-14-14, 06:04 PM   #15
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...and +4. I use them so seldom, and with LEDs the battery life is so long, I don't even bother carrying spare batteries.
...me, too. And batteries are available everywhere.
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