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What Front Light Should I Get?

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What Front Light Should I Get?

Old 07-24-12, 11:15 PM
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What Front Light Should I Get?

Hi all,

I'm fairly new here and to cycling in general. I currently use one of those cheap 9-LED flashlights mounted to my handlebars via and elastic band to light my way home from work.... I'm looking to upgrade and I'm not sure what to get. I bought a couple of MEC 1-Watt lights that I'm going to mount to the forks or to the handlebars, but I want BRIGHT. I considered a Petzl Tikka XP 2 Core headlamp mounted to the bike, but never seen one in action. Nite Ize also sells a front lamp for about $45 and it's quite bright.

What are people using these days? I want bright and I want it decently priced - maybe about $100. Less is ok, but not much over $100. I'm not made of money, but where my safety is concerned, I don't mind shelling out SOME cash.

Thanks for any info you can throw my way
Mysta02
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Old 07-25-12, 07:19 AM
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A NiteRider Minewt 600 cordless is now on sale for $100 at my school's LBS (PDX.edu's Bike Hub). If I didn't have one already, I'd snap that up in a New York minute.

My belief is that you always go with the brightest (rechargeable) light you can afford as a primary light, and then have a battery powered backup as a fall back (oops, forgot to recharge or other problem) and you won't be the guy riding a bike with a firefly in a fireworks display kind of rider.
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Old 07-25-12, 07:29 AM
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What Front Light Should I Get?

I'm ordering the USB Cygolite 350 from Amazon by the end of the week. I love my USB Cygolite taillight, so I am hopeful that the front light has the same quality.
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Old 07-25-12, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mysta02 View Post
Hi all,

I'm fairly new here and to cycling in general. I currently use one of those cheap 9-LED flashlights mounted to my handlebars via and elastic band to light my way home from work.... I'm looking to upgrade and I'm not sure what to get. I bought a couple of MEC 1-Watt lights that I'm going to mount to the forks or to the handlebars, but I want BRIGHT. I considered a Petzl Tikka XP 2 Core headlamp mounted to the bike, but never seen one in action. Nite Ize also sells a front lamp for about $45 and it's quite bright.

What are people using these days? I want bright and I want it decently priced - maybe about $100. Less is ok, but not much over $100. I'm not made of money, but where my safety is concerned, I don't mind shelling out SOME cash.

Thanks for any info you can throw my way
Mysta02
I haven't used it yet (still injured) but my Light and Motion 360 is around $100 on Amazon and it throws out a LOT of light in a focused beam. My wife is loving her's, though she complains it looks dorky (helmet mounted). It also has amber side lights and a blinking rear. I bought mine @ REI for a bit more because I like their warranty policy and because I like supporting REI.
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Old 07-25-12, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mysta02 View Post
Hi all,

I'm fairly new here and to cycling in general. I currently use one of those cheap 9-LED flashlights mounted to my handlebars via and elastic band to light my way home from work.... I'm looking to upgrade and I'm not sure what to get. I bought a couple of MEC 1-Watt lights that I'm going to mount to the forks or to the handlebars, but I want BRIGHT. I considered a Petzl Tikka XP 2 Core headlamp mounted to the bike, but never seen one in action. Nite Ize also sells a front lamp for about $45 and it's quite bright.

What are people using these days? I want bright and I want it decently priced - maybe about $100. Less is ok, but not much over $100. I'm not made of money, but where my safety is concerned, I don't mind shelling out SOME cash.

Thanks for any info you can throw my way
Mysta02
Petzls and Nite Ize aren't all that bright. If you want bright, go for this one for your head and this one for the bike. You'll be right at $100 for both. I'm really not sure if there is a difference but I bought the first one recently and it is damned bright and has a higher capacity battery. Either would be roughly 10 times brighter than the Petzl or Nite Ize at the same cost.
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Old 07-25-12, 08:35 AM
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Best to go with two lights up front. One on the helmet and the other on the bars. I have the Cygolite Expilion which comes with mounts for both places. Light weight, so no issues on the helmet, and very bright with great run times. In rain, snow, and fog, a helmet light reflects too much light back into your eyes, so you want to have the option to move to the bars.
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Old 07-25-12, 08:54 AM
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I like my hub dynamo set up. LED Head and Tail lights, wired..
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Old 07-25-12, 09:00 AM
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NiteRider is updating their lineup so last year's models are going down in price. The MiNewt 600 Cordless (which is being upgraded to a 650 for next year) is everywhere for about $100+ and is very good (as mentioned by K'Tesh). Actual measured lumens is in the high 400s and quality is very high. Click here http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-lights-shootout to see some comparisons with it and other lights. I'm using a NiteRider Pro 1500 which is a flamethrower, but it's more than you want to pay . . .
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Old 07-25-12, 09:05 AM
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I use Cygolite Expillions, I feel they are great lights for the money.
http://www.cygolite.com/products/expilion350.html
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Old 07-25-12, 09:23 AM
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Old 07-25-12, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I like my hub dynamo set up. LED Head and Tail lights, wired..
+1 - I have a dynohub and LED lights on my commuter, never have to worry about remembering to charge batteries - it is always there, always on.
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Old 07-25-12, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Petzls and Nite Ize aren't all that bright. If you want bright, go for this one for your head and this one for the bike. You'll be right at $100 for both. I'm really not sure if there is a difference but I bought the first one recently and it is damned bright and has a higher capacity battery. Either would be roughly 10 times brighter than the Petzl or Nite Ize at the same cost.
This. The newer versions of the Magicshine are what you're looking for.
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Old 07-25-12, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mysta02 View Post
Hi all,

I'm fairly new here and to cycling in general. I currently use one of those cheap 9-LED flashlights mounted to my handlebars via and elastic band to light my way home from work.... I'm looking to upgrade and I'm not sure what to get. I bought a couple of MEC 1-Watt lights that I'm going to mount to the forks or to the handlebars, but I want BRIGHT. I considered a Petzl Tikka XP 2 Core headlamp mounted to the bike, but never seen one in action. Nite Ize also sells a front lamp for about $45 and it's quite bright.

What are people using these days? I want bright and I want it decently priced - maybe about $100. Less is ok, but not much over $100. I'm not made of money, but where my safety is concerned, I don't mind shelling out SOME cash.

Thanks for any info you can throw my way
Mysta02
I use this light from Light and Motion. It plugs into a cell phone charger. I like it, but it's kind of expensive:

http://www.lightandmotion.com/bike/urban550.html
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Old 07-25-12, 08:28 PM
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I've been using a Magicshine for the past couple of years, which is around 900-1,000 lumens and I swear by it. One unexpected and welcome side effect is that when cars pass me, they give me an additional 2-3 feet more than normal. I have to use it on its lowest setting when on group rides because the people in front of me think a car is behind them.

There's basically two types of headlights: the cheap low-watt/low-lumen types are made for the bike to be seen by other types of traffic, they aren't really meant to light the way. The high output lights, however, are made to illuminate the path in front of the rider.

There's one caveat to the high output lights: they attract bugs at night so there's a good chance you will get hit in the faced by bugs...more than normal, anyway.
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Old 07-25-12, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
There's one caveat to the high output lights: they attract bugs at night so there's a good chance you will get hit in the faced by bugs...more than normal, anyway.
Hahahaha! True! I always have to brush my teeth after night rides
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Old 07-26-12, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
There's one caveat to the high output lights: they attract bugs at night so there's a good chance you will get hit in the faced by bugs...more than normal, anyway.
Very true! I've been commuting at night and I swear I have wiped out half of the moth population around here.
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Old 07-26-12, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by CANiHaveGasCash View Post
Very true! I've been commuting at night and I swear I have wiped out half of the moth population around here.
On the plus side, I have become very familiar with the local bat species. I think they view me as a rolling buffet.
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Old 07-26-12, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
NiteRider is updating their lineup so last year's models are going down in price. The MiNewt 600 Cordless (which is being upgraded to a 650 for next year) is everywhere for about $100+ and is very good (as mentioned by K'Tesh).
I looked this up and I'm glad I did. It looks like NiteRider finally has a screw-tight handlebar mount, replacing the ratcheting version that I could never quite get tight enough. Hopefully the new mount will be compatible with the MiNewt 600 because I love the light and would happily plunk down $20 or so to get a better mount for it.

If I were buying new, I'd spend the extra money for the new light (Universal Cycles has the 650 listed at $139.99, but not in stock yet).
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Old 07-26-12, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mysta02 View Post
Hi all,

I'm fairly new here and to cycling in general. I currently use one of those cheap 9-LED flashlights mounted to my handlebars via and elastic band to light my way home from work.... Thanks for any info you can throw my way
Mysta02
You need 2 bright lights, one on the bar, plus the most important one being on the helmet. When driving on city streets, the closest I have come to getting creamed at night was from traffic (cars and even worse: other bike riders) who do California stops on residential streets. These are idiots approaching you from the side, and only do rolling cursory checks for oncomings. It was only when they had 1,500 lumens focused right at them causing the back of their eyeballs to boil did they actually stop at the big obvious sign that said STOP. I can't count the number of times my big headlamp saved me.

Lights to get: Magicshine.
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Old 07-26-12, 02:22 PM
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I'm waiting for a manufacturer to make a light that has a built in, one shot, 20 MW (or so...) laser. Just enough to burn a hole in a think piece of sheet metal (like a trunk), or leave a nice word in the paint of that brand new Audi that almost ran you off the road.....
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Old 07-26-12, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I like my hub dynamo set up. LED Head and Tail lights, wired..
+1. Spend the money and do it right...once. SON hub, E-delux headlight and B&M Toplight tailight. No batteries, no worries.
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Old 07-26-12, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
I'm waiting for a manufacturer to make a light that has a built in, one shot, 20 MW (or so...) laser. Just enough to burn a hole in a think piece of sheet metal (like a trunk), or leave a nice word in the paint of that brand new Audi that almost ran you off the road.....
LOL. Still need to lug around a few kJ of capacitors to fire the thing.
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Old 07-26-12, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Best to go with two lights up front. One on the helmet and the other on the bars. I have the Cygolite Expilion which comes with mounts for both places. Light weight, so no issues on the helmet, and very bright with great run times. In rain, snow, and fog, a helmet light reflects too much light back into your eyes, so you want to have the option to move to the bars.
I agree with the two-light system. You are also more likely to be seen. If those around you don't see one light, they will likely see the other.
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Old 07-26-12, 05:29 PM
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Aw heck, just go to Walmart and get the 3million candlepower halogen spotlight. Just cuz they weigh about 8 pounds is nothin'.....
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Old 07-26-12, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I looked this up and I'm glad I did. It looks like NiteRider finally has a screw-tight handlebar mount, replacing the ratcheting version that I could never quite get tight enough. Hopefully the new mount will be compatible with the MiNewt 600 because I love the light and would happily plunk down $20 or so to get a better mount for it.

If I were buying new, I'd spend the extra money for the new light (Universal Cycles has the 650 listed at $139.99, but not in stock yet).
My 1500 Pro has the screw-tight mount and it is indeed a great improvement over the MiNewt's ratchet (which never quite gets tight enough)
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