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NiteRider lights really suk, suggestions?

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NiteRider lights really suk, suggestions?

Old 11-03-04, 09:26 AM
  #1  
graydon
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NiteRider lights really suk, suggestions?

Hello all, I've had it with my expensive NiteRider light system, and am looking for opinions from others on other more reliable systems.

I bought a NR system (Extreme) about 5 years ago, as well as their headlamp system. Invariable, both systrems now loose their connectiosn during my commutes (road rides, no majpor bumps) which either resets the battery charge memory, or puts the light into battery saver mode. I've complained, and sent the lights into NR twice, at my expense, and the problem stills exists. Last night, the first of many night time ride hoime commutes due to the time change, the light went out, and would't come back on. This is a great feeling (not!!), completely unsafe, and pisses me off to no end that I paid bigs bucks for a proportely great system to find it fails when needed. I will now be forced to carry extra lights (more weight) because my main system is unrealiable.

I like the features of the NR, battery safer mode, steady and flash options, selectable wattage, long lit times. Has anyone have good experiences with their systems that have one or more of these otopions?
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Old 11-03-04, 09:50 AM
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I was underwhelmed with NiteRider, also, but in fairness I guess every company has a few lemons. I paid huge bucks for a NiteRider Blowtorch HID light only to have the stupid switch go out after just about 6 months of not-punishing street use. I was furious that the most basic electical part on an expensive light system failed. Luckily I had purchased through Performance who has superior customer service. They gave me credit with no problem. After that I made my own system with inexpensive, easy to obtain parts. No more proprietary parts, $30 cables, $50 batteries, etc., thank you very much.
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Old 11-03-04, 10:01 AM
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I've heard good things about the viewpoint gen3's and such.
If I needed a more powerful light it would probably be my choice as I like the idea of having the battery attached to the light instead of taking up space for water bottles.
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Old 11-03-04, 10:46 AM
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sounds like you have the old, mechanically weak digital cables

problem has supposedly been fixed

I will find out in time, I suppose

bought Digital Evolution this year
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Old 11-03-04, 10:57 AM
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I used to have a Nightrider Trailrat which worked for about six months before it started to flake out on me and finally stopped working altogether. I was just about to give up on it when I noticed if I jarred it in a certain way the light would come on. So I got my multimeter and tested out all the components and it turned out the light, switch and charger were fine but the battery was showing zero voltage - so I concluded that the battery pack had a loose connection. Problem was the battery pack is secured with tamper proof screws. After some looking I finally tracked down the appropriate screw driver bit to open up the pack and sure enough one of the batteries in the pack had a bad connection which I fixed and now it works fine. The thing is that after taking the whole thing apart I realize how easy it would be to make my own - especially in light of the fact that replacement battery pack is 80$-100$ and you can get the batteries themselves for on the web for $20-$30.
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Old 11-03-04, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by xylog
you can get the batteries themselves for on the web for $20-$30.
Or at Batteris Plus stores (if you have them) for the same.
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Old 11-03-04, 11:53 AM
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That's why I like these
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Old 11-03-04, 12:38 PM
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I guess I can be glad I have the cheapest Niterider system. It's the water bottle battery with one light. Nothing fancy. No problems at all. Seems bombproof. The light was a Christmas gift at least five years ago.
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Old 11-03-04, 12:46 PM
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Hello I have commuted for many years 15+. I have tried all sorts of lighting systems in those years. The best I have found is a shimano generator hub. While not as bright as the battery systems I have used it is still bright enough for communting. I have been usuing one now for 3 years and use it every morning rain/snow and never have had to do anyting but turn it on and off. I do not think it would be bright enough for mountain bike riding but fine for communting. dcd
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Old 11-03-04, 12:47 PM
  #10  
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I too have an old, ni-cad system from NiteRider, going on 7 years old with no problems...Well, the on/off is sometimes a bit cranky, otherwise working just fine for recreational and commuting.
Bless the simple stuff.
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Old 11-03-04, 12:51 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by xylog
I used to have a Nightrider Trailrat which worked for about six months before it started to flake out on me and finally stopped working altogether. I was just about to give up on it when I noticed if I jarred it in a certain way the light would come on. So I got my multimeter and tested out all the components and it turned out the light, switch and charger were fine but the battery was showing zero voltage - so I concluded that the battery pack had a loose connection. Problem was the battery pack is secured with tamper proof screws. After some looking I finally tracked down the appropriate screw driver bit to open up the pack and sure enough one of the batteries in the pack had a bad connection which I fixed and now it works fine. The thing is that after taking the whole thing apart I realize how easy it would be to make my own - especially in light of the fact that replacement battery pack is 80$-100$ and you can get the batteries themselves for on the web for $20-$30.
You mean that huge bottle battery wasn't filled with foam?
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Old 11-03-04, 01:06 PM
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It wasnt a bottle battery - it was one that you strap on to the frame.
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Old 11-03-04, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dobber
That's why I like these
I looked at these lights too. Sounded really cool, I just didn't like the warranty. 14 days at his disgression. Doesn't cover the bulbs if they burn out in a couple of minutes of new. And all sales final.

They are probably a good value as far as price/quality goes, but for something I can't physically inspect before I purchase it I require a better warranty or at least be able to return it if it wasn't as advertised.
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Old 11-03-04, 01:24 PM
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Ditto.
I'm finished with my Digital Pro12 LCD. It has been an unreliable POS.

On this morning's commute it crapped out again, this time due to moderate cold temps, if that's possible (mid 20's F). Works fine warmed up in my office.

And I'd surprised if NiteRider is not legally liable for their poor connector design. More than once the wires have come undone on a busy street at night engaging me in immediate stealth mode.

So, I'm also in the market for a different system.

juane
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Old 11-03-04, 02:19 PM
  #15  
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I've been very happy with the TurboCat S32 system with NiMH bottle battery, four years now.
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Old 11-03-04, 04:37 PM
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I have had no problem with my 3 niterider systems. I use them 8 hours per day on bike patrol and they work great. Even the HID kits work nice... hmmm interesting
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Old 11-03-04, 06:52 PM
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My Digital Pro Classic NiMH battery is toast after a couple of years and $150 to replace. Honestly love the light the system puts out, 32w at peak, but that battery replacement cost bites!

I have their flashing tail light and a small battery backup blinker... so I really glow on the road.

I used to have a backup Sanyo generator that hit the top of the wheel... was a great little generator, but over time, the road grit just ate it up, and they don't seem to be available anymore.

Now I have just an older two C cell Cateye light for backup.

I'll check out the battery places... for $150 from Niterider... well there has to be alternatives.
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Old 11-03-04, 07:20 PM
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Regarding that Sanyo generator... I just did a web search and I don't see it anywhere... It was designed to take the place of a kickstand... used a little clamp to fit into that slot on a bike. I later had a braze-on added to my bike so I could get to the "engage lever" while riding. It put out a ton of power if you wired past the limiting diodes they had on the thing. I kept wondering if there wasn't a better way to use it for lighting that was "responsive" to the rider's needs.

For instance, if I was riding slow, I only generate a bit of power and also only need a bit of light to see ahead, but if I am zooming downhill or on a great spinning flat, I generate more power and want more light.

It could probably be done with digital circuitry today and those super bright LEDs... Man a nearly bullet proof lighting system that you never have to recharge.

The darn thing was just a bit ahead of it's time.
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Old 11-03-04, 07:42 PM
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Hmm, what type of batteries does that velcro mount niterider battery take? I might want to rebuild mine someday and that could be of very very good use....heck I could possibly make a seatpouch battery with some hardcore battery life...I just lack the security screwdriver to open up my batt
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Old 11-03-04, 09:48 PM
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I have the 10w single light Performance clone of the Niterider.... the Veiwpoint I think. Nothing fancy-- frame mounted battery, off/on switch, little bar mounted light... around 75 bucks U.S. I think.

I get by with mine OK, but understand some folks might need more light/longer run times. So buy two of the simple cheap ones. Go to Batteries Plus and get extra batteries made. I'd keep it simple.
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Old 11-03-04, 10:28 PM
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My Niterider Classic Pro has been indestructable for about three years of commuting year-round in Pennsylvania. It's a no-frills, dual-beam model that uses NiMH water-bottle battery to drive the 12w spot and a 20w flood bulbs. A simple push switch toggles through the bulbs combinations (off / one bulb on / both bulbs on / other bulb on / off). I've had no problems at all with it and would buy another without hesitation.

This light works great for my commutes, but pales in brightness to the HID models. (I opted against the HID lights primarily because of cost, but also because they were single bulb lights. My commute is about 17 miles one way, and I was afraid of having the bulb fail while I was far from home.

I remember hearing a few years ago that some of NR's digital lights had problems. Not sure if they worked out the bugs or not.
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Old 11-04-04, 12:38 AM
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I have a cheapass Cygolite Metro I paid $48 new now for a year and the switches work great! Try a Cygo HID, their Z-Force 40watt HID is only about $208 for a NiCad or $270 for a NiMh! http://www.cycletechinc.com/night.htm

I also did not want to trust a single bulb unit, so I have a dual beam in case one bulb burns out, plus it gives you a choice of lights to fit your needs, from flood to spot to combined, also a choice of battery run times depending on how much power you want to use.
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Old 11-04-04, 11:13 AM
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Well since my Niterider NiMH battery is dead, I thought I would find out what is inside... so I found the seam in the water bottle, removed the seal and the thing just screwed apart. There was some glue holding the top to the bottom, but not much. Inside are sevearal single cells embedded in what looks like two part expanded foam.

Having seen NiMH 4500mAh 12 V battery packs on the net for about $30... I think I will go that route before I fork over $150 to Niterider. Sure they have nice packaging... but sheesh, 120 bucks for a fancy water bottle shaped "box?"
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Old 11-06-04, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RainmanP
After that I made my own system with inexpensive, easy to obtain parts. No more proprietary parts, $30 cables, $50 batteries, etc., thank you very much.
Rainmain, please discuss how you made your own system. Where you got the parts, any issues in putting them together, etc. Thanks
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Old 11-06-04, 05:31 PM
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I'm reading all these posts nodding hopelessly frustrated 'cause the switch on my
CygoLite Explorer NiCad just went after only three times of use, I spoke to c/s they said to send it for repairs because "it sounds like I have a bad switch".

Is there any bomb proof reliable lights out there ?!!!

In the meantime I'm Light-less.....

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