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Need a light for night time riding

Old 11-12-21, 04:59 PM
  #26  
urbanknight
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I haven't been too impressed with bicycle specific lights. My favorites for 15 years now have been a tactical flashlight powered by a rechargeable 18650 battery on a simple handlebar mount. They usually cost less, weigh less, and last longer than the bike specific ones.
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Old 11-12-21, 05:21 PM
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Good lights make all the difference for trail riding. I find you get what you pay for with lights, the cheap ones stop working quickly. I'm a big fan of Magicshine for MTB lights as they seem to offer the best quality and beam patterns for the money. Lastly, I like to buy lights with more lumens than I need and run them on medium.

This light is absurd on high, run it on medium or even low for plenty of light:
https://www.amazon.com/Magicshine-Mo...ustomerReviews

MTBR review:

Supplement with a ~1500 lumen light on your helmet (I use one with an external battery that I carry in a jersey pocket) and you'll be very happy.
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Old 11-13-21, 03:27 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
I currently am having a hard time finding a decent light configurations that uses standard batteries rather than rechargeable built in's.
One of the things I like about the Fenix BC30 V2.0 is that it uses rechargeable batteries that are not built in. It uses a pair of 18650 lithium-ion batteries that are easily removed for charging. If I want to buy and carry a spare set of batteries, I can. One could also carry a set of non-rechargeable CR123A batteries (long shelf life) as an emergency backup.

As a bonus in my case, I also have flashlights, headlamps, and LED lanterns that run on 18650s.
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Old 11-13-21, 09:41 PM
  #29  
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For nighttime mtb you really want/need two lights. One static one mounted to the bar and another on your helmet which will provide the needed flexibility to use that light to scan the area and spot light features. I don’t know one night MTBer who doesn’t run two lights just from a safety perspective. Besides, when the big game comes for you out of the darkness, you will want to know who’s menu you are on.

I too have a Cygolite which is super bright but use it for road biking and on hikes when I am pushing running out of light.
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Old 11-13-21, 09:48 PM
  #30  
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I run Cygolites front and back. A Dash Pro 600 in front and a Hypershot 350 on the back. Have tried other brands but like these because of the high quality and made in America. I've had a few cars come up to me at a traffic light and ask where I got the red tail light because it was so bright....even in the day time.
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Old 11-15-21, 12:43 PM
  #31  
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I've been night MTN biking for a lot of years and the lights available these days are amazing in brightness, run time and price. Almost everyone in our group uses a Nite-Rider, and everyone uses both helmet and bar light. If you only have one light you want it on your helmet for sure. I have a Lumina 1100 on the bar, and a Dinotte 1600 lumen on the helmet (with the battery pack in my CamelBak). I run both a the mid-level most of the time and have zero problems seeing every little thing in the trail (and I ride at night with photochromic lenses that are not fully clear.
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Old 11-15-21, 12:47 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Stateguy View Post
Can anyone tell me a light to use to mountain bike at night
i want something very bright
Do I have to spend 300-400 on a good light
i think I want a handle bar mount about 6500 lumens
any suggestion appreciated
i have 4 niterider lights all are in the 1000 lumen to 1200 lumen range (2 1200 oled boost). I got one niterider on sale for $60. The rest were just under $100. I usually run 2 lights when mtn biking (er, snow biking) at night. One attached to the helmet and one to the bars. Provides more than enough light for the pace that i ride. Note, i seldom run any of the lights at max. So, less than $200 should get you a nice setup, imo. Several of my friends have quite similar setups for night riding.

i do lots of trail riding in the winter with this setup. Iíve had really good results. That said, i donít do any high speed downhills and my average speed is seldom over 12mph. So, if youíre faster or go down big hills/mtns, more light may help.

If you really insist on 6k+ lumens, iíd split the light between the bar and helmet. First, when one light goes out, youíre not totally dark. Second, bars arenít always pointed exactly where youíre going (ie understeer and oversteer both happen regularly). Finally, having a light on the helmet is very nice for making adjustments or trail repairs. If i could only have one light, it would definitely go on my helmet.
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Old 11-15-21, 02:10 PM
  #33  
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After way too much research, I purchased a pair of Gloworm X2s a few years ago. Bar light has a flood optics and helmet has spot optics. I use a camera filter to warm up the lights so things looks more natural and less harsh. I usually keep the lights low on climbs and then turn them up going down...that's good for about 3 hours. This is perfect for the kind of trails I ride: steep and technical where it helps to see all the drops, rolls, logs, ladders bridges, etc. in as much detail as possible since they come up fast. The lights are priced well for what you get...much better than the various Niterider or Light & Motion lights I've had in the past.

They usually have a sale around Black Friday and Christmas. I think it was 25% off in the past.
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Old 11-15-21, 02:35 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I haven't been too impressed with bicycle specific lights. My favorites for 15 years now have been a tactical flashlight powered by a rechargeable 18650 battery on a simple handlebar mount. They usually cost less, weigh less, and last longer than the bike specific ones.
I like your idea but I can't think of a way of attaching it to the handlebar.
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Old 11-15-21, 05:21 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by daniell View Post
I like your idea but I can't think of a way of attaching it to the handlebar.
If you search "handlebar flashlight mount" in the rain forest, multiple options come up. My current headlight and mount actually came as a set, which was nice because I knew the mount would fit the flashlight. Unfortunately, I don't see it there anymore, and everything like it runs on AA batteries instead of rechargeable 18650s.
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Old 11-15-21, 05:34 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by daniell View Post
I like your idea but I can't think of a way of attaching it to the handlebar.
Two Fish Lockblocks Flashlight Holder , Black
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Old 11-15-21, 05:39 PM
  #37  
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You make some good points
I gathered that most riders prefer two light for night time
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Old 11-15-21, 05:39 PM
  #38  
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So the most important thing to bicycle lighting it beam pattern, a good STvZO complaint light will generally have an excellent beam pattern which will illuminate the road quite nicely without blinding people. If you are off road you will probably want to look at mountain bike specific lights but you probably won't need anything that bright. I have known some 24hr MTB racers and downhillers who said 2400 lumens is a bit much 6000+ is kind of irresponsible unless of course you are only buying it for the lower lumen levels to last longer and don't plan on going all the way to 6k and up.
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Old 11-15-21, 05:41 PM
  #39  
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Riding at night

Originally Posted by WinterCommuter View Post
i have 4 niterider lights all are in the 1000 lumen to 1200 lumen range (2 1200 oled boost). I got one niterider on sale for $60. The rest were just under $100. I usually run 2 lights when mtn biking (er, snow biking) at night. One attached to the helmet and one to the bars. Provides more than enough light for the pace that i ride. Note, i seldom run any of the lights at max. So, less than $200 should get you a nice setup, imo. Several of my friends have quite similar setups for night riding.

i do lots of trail riding in the winter with this setup. Iíve had really good results. That said, i donít do any high speed downhills and my average speed is seldom over 12mph. So, if youíre faster or go down big hills/mtns, more light may help.

If you really insist on 6k+ lumens, iíd split the light between the bar and helmet. First, when one light goes out, youíre not totally dark. Second, bars arenít always pointed exactly where youíre going (ie understeer and oversteer both happen regularly). Finally, having a light on the helmet is very nice for making adjustments or trail repairs. If i could only have one light, it would definitely go on my helmet.
Thank you for responding,I make some good points about the two light system
i see that from what others do when riding at night
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Old 11-15-21, 05:45 PM
  #40  
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Thanks everyone for responding to my post
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Old 11-16-21, 05:31 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Stateguy View Post
Can anyone tell me a light to use to mountain bike at night
i want something very bright
Do I have to spend 300-400 on a good light
i think I want a handle bar mount about 6500 lumens
any suggestion appreciated
I have this light, and it does a great job. I can see a good distance down the road, AND see the road surface. It's ike a motorcycle light.... Well, in your budget, and they have one model that's probably brighter.
https://ride.lezyne.com/collections/...-drive-1600xxl
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Old 11-16-21, 09:48 PM
  #42  
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For MTB riding, I like a wide flood light spread from the bars for short to medium range, and a more focused spot beam from the helmet for distance.

As a general observation, I find light from the bar to be much more useful on the trail than light from the helmet. The reason is that since it is hitting the trail surface at a different angle than you are looking at it, you see shadows, and this helps with depth perception and being able to see features and texture. In comparison, I find light from my helmet to light things in a way that seem more washed out and 2 dimensional.

So the ideal setup IMO is to have bar light (or lights) handle as much of the short-mid range lighting as possible. This means a wide beam.

Why not have distance lights on the bar as well? Because that light is bright and narrow, and only works well when the trail is straight. When the trail curves, not only is the light not lighting the trail, bit it is instead lighting up the trees off to the side brightly, which makes everything else harder to see in the relatively dimmer light.

Going with a helmet light for distance keeps the narrow bright beam pointed where you want it.

As to specific recommendationsÖ

Lumens are only part of the story. Beam pattern is just as important, and is what actually differentiates good lights from crap.

2000 lumens with a really good pattern is way better than 6500 lumens with a crappy beam pattern.

The problem with cheap lights as well as any tactical flashlight Iíve seen is the beam patterns suck for mtb. Lighting some spots super bright making everything else harder to see.

I recently bought the Outbound Trail Evo for my bar and it is amazing. The coverage at close and mid range is wide and even. No hot spots. Just an evenly lit carpet of light that extends off to the sides of the trail. Wide enough that you can see around most turns without needing to point the spot down.

My old set of Chinese Amazon lights are noticeably brighter than the my Trail Evo. But I can see way better with the latter.

I run it with a 850 lumen Cygolite Metro on the helmet to take care of the distance.

This is the first lighting system I have used where I did not feel like I was riding in a tunnel on the trail.

Read the reviews on the Trail Evo. They are outstanding.

A final note: lighting needs for Road and MTB are rather different. What works great for the road may be crap for the trail and vice versa.

Last edited by Kapusta; 11-17-21 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 11-17-21, 04:36 AM
  #43  
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I've tried a number of lights over the years; sadly, I've come to the conclusion that you do get what you pay for. Also, not all lumens are created equal. I'm currently riding with Exposure Strada RS (1,200 lumen) front light and Exposure Blaze Reakt rear light. Both of these are relatively expensive and I've not had cause to regret spending the extra for them. The Strada is a road specific light, however. I don't know if Exposure lights are available across the pond (they are a British make), but if they are, take a look at the SixPack. Not quite the 6,500 lumens you were asking for but, I suspect, plenty good enough for what you want. Lupine is another excellent European make.

I have a NiteRider Lumina 750. Whilst it's a good light I find the battery life wholly inadequate for my needs. It also turns on with a single short press, making it too easy to switch on accidentally, and is rather fiddly to get into flashing mode.
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Old 11-17-21, 04:57 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by dkatz1 View Post
I have this light, and it does a great job. I can see a good distance down the road, AND see the road surface. It's ike a motorcycle light.... Well, in your budget, and they have one model that's probably brighter.
https://ride.lezyne.com/collections/...-drive-1600xxl
impressive for the size & self contained battery
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Old 11-17-21, 08:40 AM
  #45  
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I currently run one 4000l helmet light on the low or med setting. Flow track, nothing hardcore. I used to have a handlebar mounted light but found that it bounced too much and never seemed to be pointed where I needed it, so I just went with the single helmet light. I have two remote battery packs so if one does manage to die, I can switch them out and at least get pack to the parking lot. My night rides are usually only two hours though.

Someone else mentioned the Exposure Six-pack and I believe one of my group riders has it. Variable light output based on speed with a battery display on the housing. Exceptional lighting with great battery life but yeah, super expensive and a bit bulky in size. That would be a handlebar only light.
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Old 11-17-21, 09:02 AM
  #46  
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For the helmet...Cateye with a helmet mount...

https://www.cateyeamerica.com/ampp40...o-kit/8900971/

For the handlebar...Fenix BC30

https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-bc30-v2-0-bike-light/

Handlebar is not always pointed where you look so the helmet light is nice to have for that reason. Plus if one light breaks you have a back up.
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Old 11-17-21, 11:09 AM
  #47  
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Ive got a Lezeyne 1300xxl and it is really good. The light pattern is wide while still projecting up the road. I usually run it on medium and I would guess I get 6-8 hours out of it. On high it can burn through quickly, but I dont ever need that much light.

I also had an L&M Taz 1200. That thing would overheat itself (even on 40F mornings) after 15 minutes on the top 2 settings and drop down to the lowest light which was generally when I entered a wooded path. If it didnt do that I would have stuck with it. I found the light to be much wider, but didnt project as far as the lezeyne.
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Old 11-20-21, 08:45 PM
  #48  
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You donít need a light, donít underestimate your natural night vision.
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Old 11-21-21, 06:28 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by das8929 View Post
You donít need a light, donít underestimate your natural night vision.
Close your eyes. Use The Force. It worked for Luke Skywalker ......
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Old 11-21-21, 09:58 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by das8929 View Post
You donít need a light, donít underestimate your natural night vision.
As we told the teenager who has lived to see his 50+, "You may not need the lights to see but others need the lights on your bike to see you." And that's not to talk about the cracks and potholes that can swallow a bike wheel with no effort if not seen soon enough.
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