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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbround Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Gravel lights

Old 11-10-20, 09:15 AM
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Gravel lights

Which lights are you all using for night gravel riding? I'm in the market and looking for some feedback, good and bad, on lights you all have tried.
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Old 11-10-20, 09:41 AM
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These are what our high school XC team uses: https://lightandmotion.com/collections/bike

Expensive, but extremely reliable and hold a long charge, given the intense light they produce.

I should add I personally use cygolites, but if I wanted to do serious night trail riding (which my kid does, but I don't), I would put the LightAndMotion lights on the bike.

Last edited by wgscott; 11-10-20 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 11-10-20, 10:12 AM
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https://cygolite.com/product/dash-pro-600-usb/ - on medium setting, I get over 2 hours out of it and its plenty bright to see the road ahead and any potholes/washboard.

https://www.kryptonitelock.com/conte...ml?type=lights - the XBR model has an acceleration sensor setting so it lights up when you slow down suddenly. Its very light, compact, and the battery lasts for a bunch of rides so i rarely have to charge. I can see it from multiple blocks away in the burbs, so on a dark gravel road, a slow pulse light will be easily seen from afar.
I have thought about adding one to my left seatstay too, but havent yet. When I ride into work(when i went to an office!), I used a steady light on a bag on the left side of my rear rack plus a pulsing light on the seatpost. 2 is twice as good as 1.


I dont do a lot of hard riding at night, admittedly, so I dont have a need for a stronger or longer lasting lights. Most of my gravel riding at night comes from rides that start with the sun up and end after dusk, so its 50/50 and a 2 hour headlight light is plenty.
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Old 11-10-20, 11:27 AM
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The key is the mounting, needs to be hard mounted or it's going to bounce too much on rough surfaces. I use the gopro mount under my computer mount with an adapter for my Niterider 900, works great!

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Old 11-10-20, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Which lights are you all using for night gravel riding? I'm in the market and looking for some feedback, good and bad, on lights you all have tried.





In action:

https://youtu.be/Astu0kFqn70
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Old 11-10-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
Damn, that's like daylight!! I like the helmet mount, since sometimes you def need to be looking where your wheel might not necessarily be pointed. Prob really good battery life with the external batteries too.
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Old 11-11-20, 03:20 AM
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On the bike Fenix BC30R, 1,000 lumens for 2+ hours and the top of the beam is flat for road riding

https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...ix-bike-light/

On my head I wear a Fenix HL55 which has been discontinued, but the replacement looks even better

https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...able-headlamp/

If you ride in fog a light on your head is not effective, it bounces back, but any other time having both lights is great. Reasonably priced too
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Old 11-11-20, 07:24 AM
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I opted for a generator setup. While all of the lights I see recommended here look great, they annoy and often blind drivers. Nearly all generator lights have a high cutoff like a car headlight.

The best combo for gravel in my opinion is a generator light and a helmet light. The helmet light helps see low hanging branches and you can point it into a turn, which you cannot do with most mounted lights. For the occasional car coming the other way, you can simply point your head to the side of the road so you don’t blind the driver.

Gravel rides always take longer than expected, so riding with a generator doesn’t carry the stress of running out of battery. Using a headlamp also solves the problem of how to use a bike-mounted light for a road side repair.

The amount of light needed for most gravel rides is not as much as people think. Without light pollution from car headlights, signs, and street lights, I can run my headlamp o medium instead of high and still feel perfectly safe. Wet pavement and dirt is the exception, as it seems to “soak up” light easily.
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Old 11-11-20, 09:49 AM
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I have dynohubs on all my bikes. Road, mtb, fatbike, gravel. I find that gravel ride times are somewhat unpredictable, and it's nice to always have a light. If I know I'm going to ride at night, I have a back up Cygolite Expilion.
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Old 11-11-20, 02:02 PM
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I use the Gloworm X2 for riding in the dark on my mountain bike and gravel bike. Long battery life, great lighting, and easy to swap between bikes.
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Old 11-11-20, 02:13 PM
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I use a Sofirn flashlight (about 1200 lumens) strapped to my helmet for gravel and paved trails. When mountain biking I will add a bar light that has an external battery pack.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:16 PM
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+1 for anything Light and Motion
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Old 11-12-20, 08:22 AM
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Niterider Lumina 750 & 900 headlights. Niterider Solas 100 tail light.
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Old 11-12-20, 02:29 PM
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These are what our high school XC team uses: https://lightandmotion.com/collections/bike

Expensive, but extremely reliable and hold a long charge, given the intense light they produce.

I should add I personally use cygolites, but if I wanted to do serious night trail riding (which my kid does, but I don't), I would put the LightAndMotion lights on the bike.
Light in motion SUX!!! Didn't we just have a post on this?

They are great when they are new, but they don't last long
The USB cover comes off, making your light vulnerable to moisture
the mounting tab to mount to the bracket brakes, making the light unusable.

I liked my first one so much I bought a second. Bad move. They both fail in tandem though.

Meanwhile my older cygolite and nightrider lights are still going strong.
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Old 11-12-20, 02:59 PM
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Shoot(a), I just follow someone with brighter lights...



That was last night - given that bike was powered with a dynamo - he had no problems running full power lights for a 40 mile ride, where I ended up swapping lights out half way through.
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Old 11-12-20, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mmassey338 View Post
If you ride in fog a light on your head is not effective, it bounces back, but any other time having both lights is great. Reasonably priced too
Agreed. Certainly a helmet light is indespensible for single track, however.

Helmet lights totally washout any shadows making rocks and obstacles hard to see. And, they can be blinding riding by white street signs (i.e. speed limit). Not to mention they are a nightmare if you are riding with anyone else.

So, I tend to put a brighter light on my bars, and about 1/2 the power on my helmet (and turn it off if I really need to see road texture).
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Old 11-13-20, 08:59 AM
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Great suggestions all. I was able to re-solder the battery cables back on inside my Niterider yesterday. So, I guess I'll be rocking that and a Bontrager Ion 700 in tandem on my night rides this year.
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Old 11-13-20, 09:19 AM
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3 Light and Motion lights... no problem. The plastic mounting tabs have not broken.
I might add... it's darn spookie riding at night in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 11-13-20, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
3 Light and Motion lights... no problem. The plastic mounting tabs have not broken.
I might add... it's darn spookie riding at night in the middle of nowhere.
You mean the plastic tabs have not broken...yet.

I would avoid Light & Motion at all costs. After having owned three of them, I finally learned my lesson. And they are far from water resistant, too. Like I said before, they look very cool, but they do not last.
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Old 11-14-20, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
You mean the plastic tabs have not broken...yet.

I would avoid Light & Motion at all costs. After having owned three of them, I finally learned my lesson. And they are far from water resistant, too. Like I said before, they look very cool, but they do not last.
I would not avoid Light and Motion.....at all,. after owning 3 of them. I am not HAM fisted and have not broken the plastic tabs. The lights are very water resistant. Like I said before, they look very cool and last many years.
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Old 11-14-20, 12:17 PM
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I have four L&M lights, the eldest of which is over five years old. I dunno what people are doing to break that tab off, but it must be pretty serious.

(Very) recently upgraded to a Lezyne 1600XXL (complete with remote switch) and while it's too early to make a statement about longevity or survivability, it sure is bright. The handlebar switch is a fantastic luxury.
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Old 11-14-20, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I would not avoid Light and Motion.....at all,. after owning 3 of them. I am not HAM fisted and have not broken the plastic tabs. The lights are very water resistant. Like I said before, they look very cool and last many years.
It's not an issue of being ham-fisted. The tabs can only be opened by bending them back on themselves. They are made of hard plastic. Eventually, through repeated bending, the plastic fatigues, cracks and breaks at the hinge. It's been well documented. Unless you are using some other type of tab (maybe made of silicone or rubber) or just don't use your light the much, the plastic will eventually detach.
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Old 11-14-20, 09:13 PM
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I kinda like riding with a helmet light in the woods in the summer. The bugs fly around your head, which is bad, but it attracts bats, which I like.
So far no bats have hit me.
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Old 11-15-20, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
3 Light and Motion lights... no problem. The plastic mounting tabs have not broken.
I might add... it's darn spookie riding at night in the middle of nowhere.
I’d much rather ride in the middle of nowhere than in a city; the four legged animals are much mor predictable than the two legged animals. Except for squirrels.
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Old 11-15-20, 12:23 PM
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Here's the problem with the Light & Motion Urban light series design.

The dust cap for the charging port is made of hard plastic polycarbonate, not flexible rubber or silicone. If you have a visor on the front of your MTB helmet- that's the same material form with this cap is made. It's fixed to the metal housing at one end. In order to open it one must bend it back along a horizontal crease or "hinge" (circled in red). In the photo you can appreciate that the plastic crease has begun to fray and deteriorate from fatigue due to repeated opening and closing. This is to be expected if one repeatedly bends a hard material at the same spot - we've all done with with a paper clip.


On this-particular light the crease / hinge has nearly degraded, due to fatigue, and only a small bit of it remains intact. After a few more charges, it will completely beak off and I will have to replace it with a fresh one. Which might last me six months (I ride every day to work and always use a front light).






An additional problem with this design and choice of material for the cap (hard plastic versus soft rubber) is that it cannot possibly provide a water-tight seal against the lamp's metal housing. The plastic cap edge does not conform to the charge port opening as tightly as it should - two hard surfaces won't seal against each other as well as a hard and soft surface would.

Until Light & Motion changes the design of this charge port cap, I advise against them. You'll be waiting for the cap to break off and then will need to replace it with a new one. Over and over again.
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