Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Niterider Issue - Any Ideas?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Niterider Issue - Any Ideas?

Old 11-16-04, 05:16 PM
  #1  
520commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey guys.

My Niterider Road Rat quit working yesterday, and I rode home with no front or rear lighting. From now on I will atleast carry a back up blinky.

Anyway, from what I can tell the battery is fine (lead acid). The connection from the charger to the battery is good, since I can check the voltage during charging and ensure that the battery is getting power. I am not sure about the connection from the battery to the light however, or the "splitter" connection that splits the current to send to the headlight and taillight. Both lights were not working last night, so I figured it was a battery issue, or atleast the connection with the battery. On the ride home the headlight came on very briefly (1-2 seconds) a couple times going over bumps (I think the taillight came on too). Could it just be the headlight bulb? If the bulb was burnt out would that also prevent the taillight from getting power?

I have called Niterider on this, but they want me to send it in for them to look at. The light only costs about $50 new, so it would be better for me just to figure it out on my own. Any ideas, guys?

Thanks for any help!
520commuter is offline  
Old 11-16-04, 05:40 PM
  #2  
520commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ok, so I checked the three "pronged" plug from the battery. It has current too, but the light still won't come on... Atleast I'm narrowing it down.
520commuter is offline  
Old 11-16-04, 05:46 PM
  #3  
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Posts: 28,353

Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts
This probably isn't going to help, but how did you like that light anyways?
operator is offline  
Old 11-16-04, 05:58 PM
  #4  
520commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I liked it, especially the price. 10W is just at the edge of enough in town, and plenty on dark streets. I also thought it would be nice to have something simple that I could fix instead of Niterider... I don't care much about weight on my commuter anyway.

It looks like battery voltage is dropping pretty quick just sitting around. Maybe it is the battery, but then why didn't the light work right after charging when the battery was fresh. My wife has the same system, so I am going to use her battery and see if my light works on it..

The saga continues.
520commuter is offline  
Old 11-16-04, 07:41 PM
  #5  
Jean Beetham Smith 
Slow Moving Vehicle
 
Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Norwood, MA
Posts: 1,068

Bikes: Felt F-70, Terry Madeleine, Novara Safari fully customized by me

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you have a voltmeter, or know someone with one, you can check the wiring harness. Most manufacturers don't supply enough velcro to keep the cables from "slapping" the frame, and that can lead to breaks.
__________________
Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area https://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about
Jean Beetham Smith is offline  
Old 11-17-04, 09:01 AM
  #6  
520commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply. Well, last night I used my light with my wife's battery (identical setup to mine), and the light worked! Ok, so it is definitely the battery now.

I charged the battery over night (6V, 6ah), and after 15 minutes off the charger this morning it is only at 2.9 volts! It looks like the battery may be toast, but would that cause complete blackout? I would think that I would atleast get a brown glow from the 10W bulb... BTW, there are 3 wires in the cable from the battery, the positive and negative, and then a yellow wire that is not connected to the battery at all. Any idea what that one does?

Sorry for all the questions, I really appreciate the help.
520commuter is offline  
Old 11-17-04, 09:21 AM
  #7  
520commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
According to a friend of mine, half of the battery is dead (thus the 2.8 volts), probably due to a connection between cells broken from vibrations. He also said that a halogen bulb would not light at this decreased voltage, since it is not the 6v it was designed for. Time to go battery shopping. Anyone know where Niterider buys their LA batteries? It'd be nice to get the same one to fit in the pouch.
520commuter is offline  
Old 11-17-04, 09:22 AM
  #8  
jazzy_cyclist
Senior Member
 
jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Central Massachusetts
Posts: 1,281

Bikes: Cannondale R600

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not an expert on these things, but do you have a "smart" charger? I think it's possible to zing the batteries by overcharging. I believe that you are correct in that lead-acid would normally be dimmer, while a NiCad would shutoff as low power.

BTW, I'm looking at the trail rat if anyone has opinions - more for occasional night rides and commutes, not hard core daily commuting.

-Jim
jazzy_cyclist is offline  
Old 11-17-04, 09:25 AM
  #9  
520commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The charger is the one from Niterider, but I don't think it is that smart.
520commuter is offline  
Old 11-17-04, 12:41 PM
  #10  
520commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, I am now using a 6v, 5ah SLA battery that I had laying around the office for use with a datalogger. The Niterider battery "says" that it is 6v, 6ah, but I am not sure if I believe it. The batteries are the EXACT same size and shape, probably built in the same factory, they just have different casings on them. I wouldn't be suprised if Niterider just rates theirs a little higher than it actually is. The Niterider charger is currently charging up this "imposter" battery just fine...

So the light works fine now with the new battery. Niterider wants about $38 for a replacement, but you can get the same (I believe) battery at a local shop for $17. It just won't say Niterider on it.
520commuter is offline  
Old 11-18-04, 12:45 PM
  #11  
kf5nd
Senior Member
 
kf5nd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston, TX 77095
Posts: 1,470

Bikes: Specialized Sequoia Elite, Schwinn Frontier FS MTB, Centurion LeMans (1986)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Battery voltage is determined by chemistry. A lead-acid cell will always have a given voltage, the manufacturer cannot jimmy with it. The only way they can alter voltage is by changing number of cells hooked up in series. Also, if it's the same size, same shape, same chemistry, and same price-point, they probably have very much the same capacity, within spittin' distance of each other.



Originally Posted by 520commuter
Well, I am now using a 6v, 5ah SLA battery that I had laying around the office for use with a datalogger. The Niterider battery "says" that it is 6v, 6ah, but I am not sure if I believe it. The batteries are the EXACT same size and shape, probably built in the same factory, they just have different casings on them. I wouldn't be suprised if Niterider just rates theirs a little higher than it actually is. The Niterider charger is currently charging up this "imposter" battery just fine...

So the light works fine now with the new battery. Niterider wants about $38 for a replacement, but you can get the same (I believe) battery at a local shop for $17. It just won't say Niterider on it.
__________________
Peter Wang, LCI
Houston, TX USA
kf5nd is offline  
Old 11-18-04, 02:27 PM
  #12  
Corsaire
Dancing on the Pedals
 
Corsaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,021
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I got a week ago the Niterider Trail Rat 2.0 as a back up light for my Cygo Explorer.
I had to send the mounting clip back for repair/exchange because it failed at first try-out, a really faulty design.
The 10W beam on the Trail Rat doesn't compare to the Cygo 10W beam, Cygo's is way much brighter and potent.

Corsaire
Corsaire is offline  
Old 11-20-04, 09:10 PM
  #13  
PaulBravey
Senior Member
 
PaulBravey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: San Rafael, CA
Posts: 532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I got a Trail Rat on Thursday. I agree about the mounting clip - mine didn't fail but it seemed unnecessarily difficult to attach, requiring a fair amount of brute force. I've not had much to compare the light to but it's a lot brighter than the old cat eyes I've used in the past and just about enough for the 17-18 mph I'm normally going at. The only time I wished I had more light was on a couple of pitch black downhill sections.
PaulBravey is offline  
Old 11-20-04, 09:14 PM
  #14  
cyclezealot
Senior Member
 
cyclezealot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fallbrook,Calif./Palau del Vidre, France
Posts: 13,212

Bikes: Klein QP, Fuji touring, Surly Cross Check, BCH City bike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1454 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 57 Posts
On a serious night ride I carry two batteries...Also, I have the Cateye Model 300.Puts out pretty good light for that little light..Also, I carry some extra AA batteries for my backup...RIding in the night out in the pitch dark country..THink I would freak out.
I do not do cell phones , either.Not yet at least.
cyclezealot is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.