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Headlight recommendation??

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Headlight recommendation??

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Old 10-25-09, 01:09 AM
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datepalm3@earth
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Headlight recommendation??

In two days my commute is changing from 8 miles/day to 38, and it only now occurred to me that much of it is going to be on hills and paved trails out in the country that won't be lit. I've commuted in the city for years with LED blinky headlights and they've been great for being seen, but I'm really going to need a proper headlight going forward.

I typically research things ad nauseum, but I'm afraid I need to just order something immediately and I know nothing about good headlights. I see some people here like the "Magicshine" and it looks like some are even just mounting powerful flashlights on their bikes, but any recommendations would really be appreciated given my time constraints.

Thanks so much for your time and help.

Last edited by datepalm3@earth; 10-25-09 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 10-25-09, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by datepalm3@earth View Post
In two days my commute is changing from 8 miles/day to 3, and it only now occurred to me that much of it is going to be on hills and paved trails out in the country that won't be lit. I've commuted in the city for years with LED blinky headlights and they've been great for being seen, but I'm really going to need a proper headlight going forward.

I typically research things ad nauseum, but I'm afraid I need to just order something immediately and I know nothing about good headlights. I see some people here like the "Magicshine" and it looks like some are even just mounting powerful flashlights on their bikes, but any recommendations would really be appreciated given my time constraints.

Thanks so much for your time and help.
The Magicshine is well regarded and quite bright. If your looking for something you can find over the counter have both the Nightrider MiNewt Mini-USB and the CygoLite Pace 135 LED Headlight that can be found at Performance Bike (if you have one close by).
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Old 10-25-09, 03:12 AM
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romisen rc-n3 $17-25 from dealextreme or shiningbeam. you'll likely get your light from shining beam within 3-5 days compared to random dealextreme that may take 3+ weeks. shiningbeam's version is also brighter. http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...CREE-Q5/Detail

one of the best "bang for your buck" lights. lasts about 4 hours on high and 10+ on low (depending where you buy it from as they have different modes).

next best light for your money would most likely be the magicshine. i don't own one but countless people love it.

i'm comfortable with the rc-n3 even in areas where light is absent, but it's really up to you on whether you'd like to see more.
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Old 10-25-09, 04:11 AM
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The Magicshine is worth the money and the wait, Geomangear seems to be selling them as fast as he can get them in stock, hence the wait.
Before I got my Magicshine I was using three Maglites (LED,3 watts ea.). I had used them for about a year, on a 12 mile round trip commute.
I was using them because:
a) I already had them around
b) I wasn't pleased with the Marwi 12 watt system I had purchased from my LBS.
c) I couldn't afford/justify buying another bike specific light set.

I found the Magicshine thread, here on BF, read all fourteen pages, followed the links, pulled the trigger and have been a happy camper since. The Magicshine really lights up the road.
My wife said,when she saw how much light it puts out, " I don't know what you paid for it, but it is worth it."
I commute at night so I have to have good lights.
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Old 10-25-09, 11:46 AM
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I have a MilIon light that works great for dark stretches of road. rechargeable, self contained, durable (fell off and got ran over my first day with it, in the first 30 feet - my fault)
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Old 10-25-09, 11:59 AM
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I'm afraid I need to just order something immediately and I know nothing about good headlights.
http://www.dinottelighting.com/Products.htm

Not cheap, but excellent quality. I have the 800L and it's really bright. Perfect for unlit country roads.
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Old 10-25-09, 12:18 PM
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I purchased a Romsen RC-N3 (G5) flashlight from Deal Extreme a couple of months ago along with a couple of Twofish cycleblocks. It's a good light for the price, but there are some drawbacks.

I ride on rough paved asphalt that is unlit in several places and with high air pressure tires the vibrations can cause the light to blink as the batteries get jarred around inside the flashlight. No amount of tightening the batteries or flashlight itself has totally eliminated that problem. The best solution I found was to slightly lower the air pressure in my tires so the flashlight wouldn't get as much shock.

The other problem I noticed is that the light wasn't quite bright enough for me to discern troublespots in the asphalt far enough ahead of time to adjust my line accordingly - which didn't help the vibration problem. The light is bright as far as flashlights are concerned. The Romsen with 2 AA's completely outshines my old halogen Maglite running on 5 D Cell batteries. In fact, if you take the Maglite on spot mode and shine this little Romsen on the same spot, you can't see the Maglite hotspot at all. So if you're in a pinch for a quick light, the Romsen will fit that bill.

In the end, I decided on buying two Magicshine lights from Geoman a few days ago. Still waiting for them to arrive and can't wait to try them out.

By the way, was this asked over in the Lighting & Gadgets forum? That's where they usually talk about lighting.

I hope you enjoy whichever one you decide on.

Last edited by Bezohh; 10-27-09 at 01:11 AM. Reason: Fixed some spelling
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Old 10-25-09, 01:39 PM
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With a distance like 38 miles every day, I assume that you'll be on the bike for a couple of hours. How much of it will require lighting to see by? Because if you're riding the whole time depending on your headlights... batteries will be a pain.

Dynamo hub and LED lamp. I can't tell you how nice it is to never worry about batteries going dead out on the road. Check out the Electronics and Gadgets forum for more info.
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Old 10-25-09, 03:10 PM
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While there are some good recommendations here, have you also posted in the "lighting" forum here? You may get more hits there.
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Old 10-25-09, 05:13 PM
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Are you talking about 38 miles roundtrip or 38 miles one way? Also, like another poster asked, how much of it will be in the dark, the whole 38 miles or just one way? At 38 miles one way or roundtrip in the dark I would look into a dynohub. Otherwise the Magicshine seems like a good buy. I have two MTE P7's from dealextreme, but my commute is nowhere near that distance, oneway or roundtrip.
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Old 10-25-09, 09:42 PM
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The P7 Flashlight thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=464765
The P7 Flashlight thread: Part II http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=551283

For about $50 you can run a P7 on your handlebars that puts out as much light as bike-specific lights that generally cost $$$ more. I have been running a P7 for about a year now, works great for after dark commutes.
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Old 10-25-09, 11:11 PM
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Do a search for "bicycle headlight comparison"< or something similarly worded..

Here's one selection that came up in .008sec.

http://eddys.com/page.cfm?PageID=493

Enjoy.
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Old 10-26-09, 06:18 AM
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Seconding the recommendation for the Cygolite Milion.
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Old 10-26-09, 06:24 AM
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Another recommendation for the Dinotte 800L.
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Old 10-26-09, 07:02 AM
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If your commute distance will be that long, make sure you get a light with good battery life. P7 flashlights have much shorter run times than dedicated bike lights. My Magicshine will run 3+ hours on high and 8-9 hours on low. The MS is probably your best option for an inexpensive light (eg, less than $100). If you don't mind spending $200-300, there are lots of good options from Dinotte, Light & Motion, etc.
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Old 10-26-09, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bander View Post
The P7 Flashlight thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=464765
The P7 Flashlight thread: Part II http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=551283

For about $50 you can run a P7 on your handlebars that puts out as much light as bike-specific lights that generally cost $$$ more. I have been running a P7 for about a year now, works great for after dark commutes.
Only drawback being run time since he has a long commute.
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Old 10-26-09, 10:10 PM
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If you need something ASAP...stop by Walmart and pickup a Duracel Daylite or Coleman MAX LED flashlight. Both pretty decent...
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Old 10-26-09, 10:13 PM
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For the 30 dollars I really like my Blackburn Quadrant. 4 LED Headlamp. It lasts a damn long time too. hundred hours or so, probably more like 50 on the road.
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Old 10-26-09, 11:03 PM
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You won't beat the Magicshine for price/performance. Period. All the above are decent recommendations, but none will match the MS. Do the math and read the reviews - you'll see.

It will kill every single bike-specific light listed on that "eddys" link posted above. And likely every other light listed above regardless of price. (Ok, MAYBE the Dinotte 800 will be slightly brighter, but it will be slight, and will cost 4-6x as much!)

And the MS is <$100 and has a 3hr runtime on the highest setting.

I can't even see any room for debate here.
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Old 10-26-09, 11:12 PM
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I've got dinotte, MTE P7 flashlights, lights from fenix, and magicshine. The magicshine is the best value and also seems the brightest. The MTE P7 lights are good but only last an hour in high mode. Some have said that the P7 flashlights change modes if they get jarred around. The dinotte is the best engineered but you'll pay a premium for it.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:29 AM
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My DX P7 didn't change modes when shaken until one morning. I inspected it to see that the sharp tail spring had worn a small hole in the Trustfire battery, making contact somewhat intermittent. Later, I took a small file to the tailcap spring in an attempt to not have this happen to the other batteries. I was afraid I'd have to toss the battery, but it seems to work fine now. I do have the battery rattle other people report; I suspect if I taped the batteries so they didn't rattle so much maybe they wouldn't wear a hole so fast.
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Old 10-27-09, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
For the 30 dollars I really like my Blackburn Quadrant. 4 LED Headlamp. It lasts a damn long time too. hundred hours or so, probably more like 50 on the road.
I've got a Quadrant too, but it's definitely NOT sufficient for nighttime riding on unlit roads. I had to limp home with it once because I forgot my primary light (see below) -- it wasn't fun only going 10-12mph in order to stay within the light's range.


As for the primary light, I've had a Fenix L2D Premium Q5 for a couple years and it's been great. (I don't think they make it any more, but it's similar to the L2T.)

Pros:
-uses AA batteries, which are sold everywhere and are easily replaceable (I use rechargable ones)
-it's not bike-specific, so it's easy to hold and use as a regular flashlight
-rugged metal construction and water-resistance
-fairly small and lightweight

Cons:
-somewhat short battery life on brighter modes (using 2400 mAh batteries)
-big (really big) bumps can jar it enough to change the mode while it's mounted on the handlebar

Last edited by hairyman; 10-27-09 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 10-27-09, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hairyman View Post

-big (really big) bumps can jar it enough to change the mode while it's mounted on the handlebar
I like to wear my Fenix on the helmet attached with rubber bands. No jarring then. I'm surprised you had that problem though. I have run mine on the bar before and it worked fine.
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Old 10-27-09, 06:03 PM
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Fenix L2D is still being made and is going strong:
http://www.fenixlight.com/flashlight/fenixl2d.htm

However, for the more cost-conscious, I'd recommend the Terralux, which has the identical brightness, runtime, and beam pattern, and costs 1/2 as much. It's maybe a few millimeters bigger, but it's bulletproof as well.

http://www.zbattery.com/Terralux-3W-...ight-220-Lumen
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Old 10-27-09, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
With a distance like 38 miles every day, I assume that you'll be on the bike for a couple of hours. How much of it will require lighting to see by? Because if you're riding the whole time depending on your headlights... batteries will be a pain.

Dynamo hub and LED lamp. I can't tell you how nice it is to never worry about batteries going dead out on the road. Check out the Electronics and Gadgets forum for more info.
+1. Wait -- I mean, +1.

Start here:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=597294

Then get something like a Busch & Muller Cyo or Supernova E3, along with appropriate taillights, and never think about batteries again.
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