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Any recommendations for a daytime / dusk / overcast front light?

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Any recommendations for a daytime / dusk / overcast front light?

Old 04-22-20, 08:22 AM
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NoWhammies
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Any recommendations for a daytime / dusk / overcast front light?

I was out riding my bike yesterday in overcast conditions. Not dark/night conditions, but definitely not bright sunny conditions either. This started me thinking that a front light (I had the Garmin Varia on the back of my bike) would be a good idea.

Can anyone recommend a good front light for a road bike? Preferably one that interfaces with my Garmin 520 head unit? On one of the other threads a user said they like the Bontrager Ion 200 RT. Does anyone have experience with this light?

Thank you.
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Old 04-22-20, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I was out riding my bike yesterday in overcast conditions. Not dark/night conditions, but definitely not bright sunny conditions either. This started me thinking that a front light (I had the Garmin Varia on the back of my bike) would be a good idea.

Can anyone recommend a good front light for a road bike? Preferably one that interfaces with my Garmin 520 head unit? On one of the other threads a user said they like the Bontrager Ion 200 RT. Does anyone have experience with this light?

Thank you.
The Bontrager Flares are really good and really punch above their weight in terms of visibility. Even though they are 200 lumens which is relatively low for a front light, the optic that they have really concentrates the beam in the right place so you get lumens on target. It's also compatible with ANT+ light networks for battery status and wireless light control. The thing is tiny but it's got decent battery life and works well as a daytime riding light too. If you get an extra mount for the rear (because of the seat tube angle) you can flip it around and put it around your head tube facing forward. There are also GoPro mounts available.

We have a couple of these and use them all the time.

J.


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Old 04-22-20, 10:28 AM
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I agree with the Bontrager Ion 200 RT.


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Old 04-22-20, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by August West View Post
I agree with the Bontrager Ion 200 RT.
Who makes that GoPro mount for the light?
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Old 04-22-20, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I was out riding my bike yesterday in overcast conditions. Not dark/night conditions, but definitely not bright sunny conditions either. This started me thinking that a front light (I had the Garmin Varia on the back of my bike) would be a good idea.

Can anyone recommend a good front light for a road bike? Preferably one that interfaces with my Garmin 520 head unit? On one of the other threads a user said they like the Bontrager Ion 200 RT. Does anyone have experience with this light?

Thank you.
See or be seen? How long does the battery need to last? Garmin UT800 (800 lumen) interfaces with 520 (I have one). You can manage through the edge, see remaining battery. Here it is with the Garmin mount it came with (the "urban" edition. The "trail" edition comes with a helmet mount). . The UT800 has several intensity modes, including flashing and low output slow pulsing.
Frankly I wouldn't get anything that didn't put out 800 lumen or more for seeing at dusk or night or being seen in the daylight.



Here it is on a k-edge combo mount.:



Last edited by GeneO; 04-22-20 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 04-22-20, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Who makes that GoPro mount for the light?
Trek. Obscenely priced for what it is but I liked the clean look so bit the bullet and bought it anyway. Super easy to remove/install for taking the light off for charging.

Bontrager Blendr Universal Light Mount
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Old 04-22-20, 05:38 PM
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Good recommendations everyone. Thanks.

GeneO I want to be seen. I don't think I'll use the light very often at night/in complete darkness. DC Rainmker writes highly of the Garmin light.

Sounds like the Bontrager is a good option too. I'll have to investigate prices/availability/etc.
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Old 04-22-20, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by August West View Post
Trek. Obscenely priced for what it is but I liked the clean look so bit the bullet and bought it anyway. Super easy to remove/install for taking the light off for charging.

Bontrager Blendr Universal Light Mount
Thanks for that. I had looked at those and itís nice to see how they look on the stem itself. But I think that means I need to use the Bontrager stem too.

Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Good recommendations everyone. Thanks.

GeneO I want to be seen. I don't think I'll use the light very often at night/in complete darkness. DC Rainmker writes highly of the Garmin light.

Sounds like the Bontrager is a good option too. I'll have to investigate prices/availability/etc.
Hereís the light run times from the Bontrager/Trek website. In my experience, this is pretty accurate.

200LM-1.5hrs, 100LM-3hrs,5LM-14.5hrs, Night Flash-30hrs, Day Flash-12hrs
When I used to ride after work, and since I early in the spring and late in the years, I have spent a lot of time riding at night. So I have everything from the top end Lupine lights (5000 lumens anyone - amazing) down to daytime riding lights like these. If I were to pick the most effective lights, it wouldnít be Garmin - typically too expensive for the light output given. Itís not just a lumens game, it turns out that the optic in from of the LED is pretty much just as important.

So, what Iíd recommend, is order them both out and then put them on your bike and see how they look. Youíre looking for visibility but you also want to keep the weight down. Thatís why the Bontrager Ion lights were my pick. They beat out my Light and Motion Urban 800. Trek has put a really good optic in front of that light and that, coupled with the 12 hour run time in day flash mode (which I run all the time including at night) is kind of amazing.
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Old 04-22-20, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Good recommendations everyone. Thanks.

GeneO I want to be seen. I don't think I'll use the light very often at night/in complete darkness. DC Rainmker writes highly of the Garmin light.

Sounds like the Bontrager is a good option too. I'll have to investigate prices/availability/etc.
IMO, if you want to be seen in the daylight, the more power in flashing mode the better.

The focusing of the Garmn is fine. I have used it on my commute in complete dark (through wooded and prairie trails as well as lit streets).

If dusk and daylight to be seen is all you need, then light pattern doesn't matte - just get a cheap high-output cree light with a flashing mode.

Another high quality brand I can recommend is Lezyne.

Last edited by GeneO; 04-22-20 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 04-22-20, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Thanks for that. I had looked at those and itís nice to see how they look on the stem itself. But I think that means I need to use the Bontrager stem too.
No, you can use it with any GoPro combo mount. In the picture I'm using a Garmin VIRB mount but have also used it with a K-Edge combo mount. There are generic ones on Amazon and Ebay too. The Blendr system uses the std. GoPro spacing to mount the accessories to their Blendr bases (the part that does require a Bontrager stem) which is handy since you aren't locked into using their system.

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Old 04-22-20, 10:01 PM
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Check out the Blackburn to-be-seen lights. Very underrated, excellent performers. I use 'em on my helmets.

There are some good deals in the two-packs of the 2'Fer and 2'Fer XL (40 lumens red/rear, 200 front, brighter than it sounds). Better side visibility than most comparable to-be-seen lights, without the weight and bulk of a proper headlight.

I've used a 2'Fer since 2015. Still works, still lasts almost as long per charge as when new. Very versatile. Four modes: steady white, flashing white, steady red, flashing red. A single palpable pushbutton cycles between modes and remains in the last mode used when switched on again. I mostly use it on the back of my helmet.

Also good is the Blackburn Click, which has a more frantic flash mode than the 2'Fer. I use one on the front of my helmet. Definitely gets driver's attention. Only drawback is the entire panel must be pressed to turn on, off and switch modes, and it's mushy and imprecise. But I got it for less than half price at REI and it works so well I put up with the panel-button. The Click is also available in two-packs, white only (steady or flash) and red only (same), no multi modes like the 2'Fer.

Ideally I'd like the white/front equivalent to a Cygolite Hotshot, by far the best bang for the buck in a taillight. Small, lightweight, ridiculously bright, reliable, long running per charge. Only weakness with Hotshots is the batteries last about two years with regular use before they won't hold a charge. But there doesn't appear to be such a beast in a white light.
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Old 04-23-20, 07:26 AM
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I use the garmin 800UT light, its awesome! Very please with it. I use it all the time for day and night.
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Old 04-23-20, 08:02 AM
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Great feedback everyone. Thank you.

Thanks for the photos of the mounts too. That is something I am just starting to think about. How will I mount this sucker to my bike. In the feedback section on DC Raimaker's site, people have commented that the 800UT mount blocks the sound/beeps from the 520. As I am running the Varia on the back, the blocking of sound kind of defeats the purpose of the Varia. GeneO Are you having this experience/feedback too?


augustwest How does your mount interface with the Grarmin mount? Or am I missing something here? Thank you.
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Old 04-23-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
augustwest How does your mount interface with the Grarmin mount? Or am I missing something here? Thank you.
Any of the combo mounts, be it Garmin, K-Edge or generic, have a 1/4 turn mount on top for your Garmin (or Wahoo) computer and a GoPro style mount underneath. The Bontrager mount attaches to combo mount since it uses the GoPro standard and the light mounts on the other end.

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Old 04-23-20, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Great feedback everyone. Thank you.

Thanks for the photos of the mounts too. That is something I am just starting to think about. How will I mount this sucker to my bike. In the feedback section on DC Raimaker's site, people have commented that the 800UT mount blocks the sound/beeps from the 520. As I am running the Varia on the back, the blocking of sound kind of defeats the purpose of the Varia. GeneO Are you having this experience/feedback too?


augustwest How does your mount interface with the Grarmin mount? Or am I missing something here? Thank you.
I haven't noticed any muting, but I do not have a varia taillight.
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Old 04-24-20, 08:14 AM
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Thank you August West Very clear. Much appreciated. Looks like I'll need to pick up a new mount too if/when I pick up a daytime running light.

Good feedback GeneO
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Old 04-24-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by August West View Post
No, you can use it with any GoPro combo mount. In the picture I'm using a Garmin VIRB mount but have also used it with a K-Edge combo mount. There are generic ones on Amazon and Ebay too. The Blendr system uses the std. GoPro spacing to mount the accessories to their Blendr bases (the part that does require a Bontrager stem) which is handy since you aren't locked into using their system.
Thanks for clarifying that. I had forgotten that you also need to buy the piece that integrates with the Bontrager stem that turns it into a GoPro interface. Youíre right, then you can use any GoPro mating side to make it work. Nice.

J.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:06 PM
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My thoughts; I think what you chose for daytime visibility ( in the front ) depends on whether or not you plan to continue and ride into the night. If you're only planning on riding in the day or dusk then something like the Bontrager Ion 200 which is small, bright and unobtrusive would be the way to go. I like that it has the GoPro mounting option as well, a big plus.

On the other hand if you typically start rides in the early dusk and then into the night I would tend to recommend a larger self contained lamp with more output and more run time. I like my Raveman CR-900 for many reasons but as a daytime running light it offers a very nice "On low/pulse mode". The pulse is so bright that I see it reflect on signs hundreds of feet away even in full daylight. It has a standard flash mode as well but I like the pulse mode if I'm riding on a busy road during the day.

Lately with a lot people being laid off due to the Corona virus I'm seeing a lot of people ride their bikes on the road during the day light hours. More people are beginning to realize how useful a bright front ( and rear ) light can be if you want to be seen sooner when riding in the day.

@john...nice recommendation on the Ion 200
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Old 04-27-20, 08:17 AM
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01 CAt Man Do My plan isn't to ride in to the night. If anything, I'll get 'caught' in dusk as I'm heading home on my ride. Sounds like we have a winner with the Ion 200.

August West Do you have a link for the 520 / Ion 200 mount? Thank you.
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Old 04-27-20, 08:46 AM
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I like solar lights.



Solar bicycle lights
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Old 04-29-20, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
01 CAt Man Do My plan isn't to ride in to the night. If anything, I'll get 'caught' in dusk as I'm heading home on my ride. Sounds like we have a winner with the Ion 200.

August West Do you have a link for the 520 / Ion 200 mount? Thank you.
Trek has a family of mounts called ďBlendrĒ and they fit with a mating piece on their specific stems. While they donít out and out say it, itís a GoPro style friction mount. So if you get the Blendr piece and have a GoPro mount on your bike, then the light attaches to those.

There are a number of ways to get a GoPro mount on the front of your bike. Many of the computer mounts have them or can add them. I use the K-edge mounts and they works great but BarFly and others also offer them.

I did find a really neat GoPro mount that replaces one of the spacers on your steer tube. You can get that from Lupine Lights or else there is one from Amazon too.

But one of the easiest ways to use the Ion on the front is to get an additional REAR mount, flip it upside down to fix the angle (head tube angle and seat tube angle are the same), and then put it around your head tube. That puts it at the correct angle facing forward and will get you up and running the fastest. Thatís also available from the Trek website and from your local Trek dealer.

Last edited by JohnJ80; 04-30-20 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 04-29-20, 10:55 AM
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I am also looking at a Cygolite Ranger 1400 lumen or a Metro for riding at night (to avoid congested daytime bike path and because it is fun). The thing about the Cygolite is you can use them while they are being charged - allowing the use an external battery pack to extend the time. They have a go-pro adapter you can get.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W72VRQS...v_ov_lig_dp_it

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Old 04-29-20, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
August West Do you have a link for the 520 / Ion 200 mount? Thank you.
I'm using the Garmin VIRB mount. I also have a K-Edge XL Combo which I prefer but the are arm attaches to the mount at the bottom and interferes with the hyd. brake lines on my bike so I switched the Garmin since the arm attaches at the top and clears the brake lines.

Garmin VIRB Mount

Bontrager Ion Mount
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Old 04-29-20, 09:48 PM
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Awesome. Thank you August West

Also, thanks for the info JohnJ80 Good to know. I wasn't aware of the Trek mount.
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