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Need advice for (cheap) headlight solution

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Need advice for (cheap) headlight solution

Old 11-05-12, 10:54 PM
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nonlinear
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Need advice for (cheap) headlight solution

Hello,

I have a very short (10 minute) but sometimes very dark commute home each day. I am looking for a headlight solution that wont beak the bank. (I do have the budget for an expensive light, but being as my commute is so short and my bike is only worth like $300, I don't want to drop a ton of cash on a light unless absolutely necessary.)

What can you guys recommend for cheap headlights? Someone recommended this thread, what do you all think? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post14043976

Another option is the NiteRider Lumina 650 Light for about $120 on Amazon.com. However, that is about 4 times the price of the DX setup I linked above.

Thanks!
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Old 11-05-12, 11:13 PM
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zacster
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That DX would work just fine. However, DX has a reputation for being very slow, so expect to wait about a month, which may make the light purchase moot, depending on where you are. I'm sure the NiteRider would be a fantastic light, but that's a lot more money and I doubt you'd think it was worth it if using them side by side. I bought a Lezyne light and then a cheap Keygos light and I actually prefer the Keygos. Keygos ships faster than DX, but you are still taking a chance on the ship time.
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Old 11-06-12, 12:14 AM
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nonlinear
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Is this the key goes light you have by any chance? http://www.keygos.com/product_info.php?products_id=1156
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Old 11-06-12, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nonlinear View Post
Hello,

I have a very short (10 minute) but sometimes very dark commute home each day. I am looking for a headlight solution that wont beak the bank. (I do have the budget for an expensive light, but being as my commute is so short and my bike is only worth like $300, I don't want to drop a ton of cash on a light unless absolutely necessary.)

What can you guys recommend for cheap headlights? Someone recommended this thread, what do you all think? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post14043976

Another option is the NiteRider Lumina 650 Light for about $120 on Amazon.com. However, that is about 4 times the price of the DX setup I linked above.

Thanks!
I got everything that was on that list from DX except for the charger (backordered) back in April. It works. That being said, the Keygos light that zacster uses looks like a pretty good deal as well.
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Old 11-06-12, 07:10 AM
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Burton
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Originally Posted by nonlinear View Post
Hello,

I have a very short (10 minute) but sometimes very dark commute home each day. I am looking for a headlight solution that wont beak the bank. (I do have the budget for an expensive light, but being as my commute is so short and my bike is only worth like $300, I don't want to drop a ton of cash on a light unless absolutely necessary.)

What can you guys recommend for cheap headlights? Someone recommended this thread, what do you all think? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post14043976

Another option is the NiteRider Lumina 650 Light for about $120 on Amazon.com. However, that is about 4 times the price of the DX setup I linked above.

Thanks!
Lights on a bike are supposed to be a safety issue. Claiming you have the money and just don't want to spend it because it isn't an expensive bike and its a short commute is just ...... strange. What do you figure your safety's worth?

If its really only a 10 minute commute and you really are that reluctant to part with some cash seriously suggest you leave the bike at home and ..... walk. And wear light colored clothing.
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Old 11-06-12, 07:24 AM
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+1 Your economic analysis is light's cost vs. medical costs, not repair/replacement of bike! Advantages of a good & reliable light are more than runtime - you want enough light to illuminate debris, obstacles, and the clueless people who dress ninja style and don't realize they are invisible. Reflective arm/leg bands and vests are cheap additions. In many states, vehicular code requires rear reflector. Also, get a good taillight. Standard (cheap) blinkies, in my opinion, are inadequate except on multi-use trails and maybe subdivision side streets - on roads where cars are moving, they don't provide enough warning. I'd get at least on Planet Bike Superflash or equivalent.
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Old 11-06-12, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by nonlinear View Post
Hello,

I have a very short (10 minute) but sometimes very dark commute home each day. I am looking for a headlight solution that wont beak the bank. (I do have the budget for an expensive light, but being as my commute is so short and my bike is only worth like $300, I don't want to drop a ton of cash on a light unless absolutely necessary.)

What can you guys recommend for cheap headlights? Someone recommended this thread, what do you all think? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post14043976

Another option is the NiteRider Lumina 650 Light for about $120 on Amazon.com. However, that is about 4 times the price of the DX setup I linked above.

Thanks!
IMO, that is a good cheap setup that would work well. However, I would add another light to the front making TWO lights UP front. The other one would back up. The second light and mount would still keep you within your budget.. As you can see, I have two of those mounts too. However, for the 18650 lights I prefer the U clamp mounts you see on the other bikes.. Each double setup on each bike is under $50




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Old 11-06-12, 01:23 PM
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Yes, that was the Keygos light. I'm very happy with mine. You'll want to ride further just because you can see at night, and EVERYBODY will see you.

I wouldn't buy 2 of those however as you'd be buying redundant parts. If you're going the double light route, buy the flashlights separately and get a good charger and a good set of batteries.
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Old 11-06-12, 01:30 PM
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I bought a generic CREE LED headlamp from Amazon for under $40, here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006QQX3C4/

It's INSANELY bright and has an excellent light pattern, nothing but good things to say about that. However, it doesn't get anywhere NEAR the claimed 150 minutes of run time on the high setting. I can only get about half an hour out of it. That's probably the biggest difference between this super cheap light and the expensive ones, run time. But on a short commute, it's a moot point, and probably worth the tradeoff. Battery charges back up really quickly, and it comes in a nice velcro pouch so it's easy to take on and off for charging every other day or as needed. I'm happy with it, for the price.
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Old 11-06-12, 01:38 PM
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I ended up going with the following:


Flashlight ($12.20):
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-55241
18650 cells ($7.99 for two)
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfi...pack-blue-5790
Charger ($6.90)
http://dx.com/p/dsd-18650-cr123a-charger-black-936
Handlebar mount ($2.20)
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/cycling...-holder-105213




I actually doubled the order so I have 2 lights, and can use both at once or use one as backup. It ended up costing me $44 for both lights, which I think is a killer deal considering I have such a short commute.
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Old 11-06-12, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by nonlinear View Post
I ended up going with the following:


Flashlight ($12.20):
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-55241
18650 cells ($7.99 for two)
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfi...pack-blue-5790
Charger ($6.90)
http://dx.com/p/dsd-18650-cr123a-charger-black-936
Handlebar mount ($2.20)
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/cycling...-holder-105213




I actually doubled the order so I have 2 lights, and can use both at once or use one as backup. It ended up costing me $44 for both lights, which I think is a killer deal considering I have such a short commute.
Good move there, and IMO, a good start and nice budgeting too.

Your commute is short, so long runtimes don't matter. Better batteries would give you longer runtimes. But, since yours is short, you don't need to go there. There is another option to help with your runtimes, and doesn't cost. Have your charger at work, and it just takes a couple minutes to unscrew, and recharge your batteries at work. When you leave work, you have fresh batteries again. That is just an option..

I keep a universal battery charger at work. It can charge 3aaa all the way up to 26650. Also, I think you got the right mount for 18560 lights.Let us know how your first night/morning run turns out!
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Old 11-06-12, 07:23 PM
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zacster
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That sounds like a great combo. Two of those at once will really light things up. Even one will do that.

Do you have a relatively safe place to ride besides your commute? Give them a good test ride at night. Charge the batteries first!
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Old 11-07-12, 12:01 AM
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The best experience I've ever had with a bike headlight is this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1800-Lumen-C...item3ccba1e3ee

There are many varieties on ebay, they're all knock-offs of a magic shine light. Basically you buy one of those and get this spreader to get the best light ever:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wide-Angle-L...item415e27aa23

The more expensive knock offs have more metal, and therefore better heat dispersion with the cost of weight. These are amazing lights, and I'm astounded by the quality considering the fact that they're knocked-off in China. I have two, one for me, a less expensive one for my sister (her's gets hotter faster). They are REALLY DANG BRIGHT. Comparable to a car light. Keep in mind though that the lumen rating is definitely a lie, but it's still DANG BRIGHT.
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Old 11-07-12, 02:30 AM
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^ That's the exact same one that I got from Amazon, linked above. The battery life is really hit or miss, some people report getting a few hours per charge, but a lot (like me) only get ~30 minutes per charge. Supposedly they're sending me a replacement battery, though... we'll see if it works better.
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Old 11-07-12, 12:17 PM
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You definitely should be getting more than 30 minutes. I've never heard of the batteries being bad. Mine lasts for 2-3hours on high.
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Old 11-07-12, 12:22 PM
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Also, you'll want to buy the lens's i mentioned. They really help.
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Old 11-07-12, 12:31 PM
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I still stand by that post, though I have gone to Magicshine lights myself because I have zero risk of theft and I like running many days without charging, and I can run the MS taillight off the same pack.

If I had a risk of theft and had to remove my lights, or if I had a 10 minute commute, I would totally just go with flashlights. You just can't beat them if you are removing your lights every time - 10 seconds on and off.

I would recommend getting two lights though. Cheap lights can be flaky and I have been caught in the dark with a dead light before (in my case due to the battery dying).
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