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

NiteRider Gripes & cold weather light suggestions

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 Gripes & cold weather light suggestions

Old 12-28-04, 09:27 AM
  #1  
DogBoy
No one carries the DogBoy
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Upper Midwest USA
Posts: 2,317

Bikes: Roubaix Expert Di2, Jamis Renegade, Surly Disc Trucker, Cervelo P2, CoMotion Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I bought this light (digital evolution halogen) in october on sale. It was working fine until a week or so ago when I rode in very cold temps (5 degrees) for an hour. All of a sudden the fuel gauge switched from the regular gauge to one red dot and the green flashes across the rest of the levels and the light dimmed to its low-light setting. I figured this was due to battery charge, but after I charged the battery, the same thing happened. Then when I got home, the clip to get the light out of the handlebar mount broke. Grrr. I called niterider and I'm sending it back to them for repair, but this is frustrating.

Can anyone suggest a light that works in the cold (<10 degrees F)? Cygolite z-force? I need a light to use while the niterider is away, and I figured I'd upgrade to a HID. I want to steer clear of Niterider due to the plastic clip and the likelihood that it will break. I ride on rural roads with no lights so I need something bright and something with run times around 2 hours. I'm pretty set on NiMh batteries vs LA or NiCad. Is there anything else?
DogBoy is offline  
Old 12-28-04, 09:57 AM
  #2  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,205

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2359 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by DogBoy
I bought this light (digital evolution halogen) in october on sale. It was working fine until a week or so ago when I rode in very cold temps (5 degrees) for an hour. All of a sudden the fuel gauge switched from the regular gauge to one red dot and the green flashes across the rest of the levels and the light dimmed to its low-light setting. I figured this was due to battery charge, but after I charged the battery, the same thing happened. Then when I got home, the clip to get the light out of the handlebar mount broke. Grrr. I called niterider and I'm sending it back to them for repair, but this is frustrating.

Can anyone suggest a light that works in the cold (<10 degrees F)? Cygolite z-force? I need a light to use while the niterider is away, and I figured I'd upgrade to a HID. I want to steer clear of Niterider due to the plastic clip and the likelihood that it will break. I ride on rural roads with no lights so I need something bright and something with run times around 2 hours. I'm pretty set on NiMh batteries vs LA or NiCad. Is there anything else?
I have several Niterider lights but I always use the nondigital ones. I've read several reviews of the digital series from Niterider and they seem to be nothing but trouble. You can get some nondigital products from Niterider like the Trailrat or Road Rat or their commuter light (NR-50, I think) that work well without all the fancy stuff to go wrong. Simple switches and simple connections are best. If you need more light than the 10W, 10W and 6W provided by these lights, you can always replace the bulbs with 15W which I've found to be bright enough for offroad use. You can easily replace the battery in the Road Rat or the NR-50 with a commericial battery like a 7.2v, 3 Ahr battery pack for RC cars from Radio Shack. These cost about $30 and, by overvolting the bulb, you can get a lot more illumination out of them and a slightly longer run time.

As for the clip, I've always found them to be very rugged. Which part did you break, the slider on the back of the light or the handlebar mount? Niterider will replace either free of charge, just call them.

On to batteries: Do your self a favor and go look at Battery University or http://www.buchmann.ca/ for information on batteries before you decide against NiCd in favor of NiMH. I've found that NiMH (and lead acid, for that matter) is a poor cold weather performer. The battery chemistry is more sensitive to temperature than NiCd and it doesn't like to be discharged at the rate that lights draw power. I know that NiMH is lighter and carries a greater charge density than NiCd but if it won't power a light, all the charge density in the world won't help.

Stuart Black
"Nickel/cadium is in my blood."
cyccommute is offline  
Old 12-28-04, 01:18 PM
  #3  
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 15,762

Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
L&M has a plastic handle bar too. But I find their clipping in and out mechanism pretty secure, it uses a ball bearing to lock it in once you slide the light onto the mount. Plus the lights have a break-away disc that snaps the light off if you crash and hit it beyond a certain force so the light doesn't get damaged (9/10 times the bulb itself will still break).
You can pick up the cygolite for $320 or so on performance and the light and motion HID nimh for about $370. Fork over $450 and you can get the l&m lithium ion HID. With lithium ion, you get 4 hours with a battery that's about the size of a pack of cigarettes plus you only lose about 25% in the cold as opposed to 50-60% with nimh. I trashed my l&m light the other day and they sent replacement parts for free.
slvoid is offline  
Old 01-01-05, 11:27 AM
  #4  
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,501

Bikes: 2 many

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 976 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
If you get an hour out of your light at 5 degrees, you are doing much better than I did. I think you are doing well actually, considering the temp. This is normal or better than normal.

I also have several Nightrider lights. I have a similar problem with my digital pro 6. I think this light preceded the digital evolution. It is a good light in the summer. The cold has always given me short run times and les than what you got in that temp. The non digital Nightrider lights I have work better in the cold. You always need to get extra capacity beyond your needs for the cold. I think if you were to ride with the battery inside your coat and the cord going down to the light you would be fine. I have done this successfully many times. Be sure to unplug first before getting off the bike (don't ask!).
My nightrider classic is a great light but did not have enough capacity in the cold. My Nightrider blowtorch HID has an over four hour run time in the summer. It goes less in the cold. I have not had an opportunity to ride in 5 degree temps yet.


HOWEVER, read up on the temperatures that your type of battery will operate at. there are many places on the web for this. I think it's normal for that temp.. In that case keep your light and put the battery in your coat. 98.6 is warm enough.


Did you tell Nightrider about the cold? I have had excellent results from Nightrider service
2manybikes is offline  
Old 01-02-05, 03:54 AM
  #5  
Leo C. Driscoll
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kinsale, Ireland
Posts: 155

Bikes: Trek 7300 FSX, Jamis Exile, Jamis Coda Sport, Raleigh Technium, Dahon Vitesse, Dahon Matrix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
CygoLite 25w Night Explorer (10w wide beam/15w narrow beam) has been problem-free for my short ~30 min/ and sometimes arctic <-15F commutes. But for insurance, I also I pack an insulated spare CygoLite 6-volt NiCad in a Topeak trunk that attaches to rails on a Topeak beam rack. I also keep my commuter bikes in an office with southern exposure during the day ;-)

You might consider the 16w CygoLite Night Explorer (6w wide beam/10 watt narrow beam). The total run time is reportedly 6 hrs. on single beam and 2 hrs. on double beam.

Next summer. I plan to continue (frigid) touring in Donegal on my newly acquired (and upgraded) Matrix (Dahon 26-inch folder). For that adventure, I plan to install a Schmidt Nabendynamo system on the Matrix. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt-lumotec.asp This could also prove to be a practical and worry-free solution for your long, frigid rides in rural Wisconsin.


Last edited by Leo C. Driscoll; 01-02-05 at 04:17 AM.
Leo C. Driscoll 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

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.