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Need a light for night time riding

Old 11-11-21, 08:38 PM
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Stateguy
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Need a light for night time riding

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
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Old 11-11-21, 09:01 PM
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Litespud
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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
6500 lumens? Are you planning on lighting up the entire state?
edit - I take that back - I just found an 8000 lumen bar-mounted light. Makes your 6500 plan seem reasonable by comparison 😟
found this on Amazon: 7000 lumens for $50
https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-...31360410&psc=1

Last edited by Litespud; 11-11-21 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 11-11-21, 09:25 PM
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I've been using this on a road bike for several years. 3 levels of brightness. Pretty bright.

https://www.amazon.com/Bright-Eyes-W...-goods&sr=1-75
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Old 11-11-21, 09:45 PM
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Russ Roth
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
6500 lumens? Are you planning on lighting up the entire state?
edit - I take that back - I just found an 8000 lumen bar-mounted light. Makes your 6500 plan seem reasonable by comparison 😟
found this on Amazon: 7000 lumens for $50
https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-...31360410&psc=1
False advertising, not certain the true extent but there's plenty of reports of the cheaper Amazon lights catching fire which can happen with lithium batteries if heat isn't properly regulated. Its concern about catching fire that has kept me from getting one, I love lithium batteries but I don't trust them for anything and don't trust random, untested manufacturers.

OP: you don't need some ridiculous number of lumen to see. First ride was with an 1100 and 550 lumen set of lights both set to medium for 3hr run time. Riding with a group they were more then adequate. In areas where the group stretched out it became a problem when the curves happened, you need a helmet light for those. My 1100 is a boost version so at medium setting it put out 500l while the smaller does 275l, you want two intensities, the lighter to shine just a little before the wheels, while the brighter to see further ahead. I've got a second 1100 boost light for the helmet now but I find it's too heavy. I plan to order a 900l light and a helmet mount, although brighter could be better for the helmet, the 900 is lighter which matters when bouncing through the woods and at medium setting is 450l so close to the 500 the boost puts out. So far everyone I've ridden with in the woods has done this type of 3 light set up, and everyone went to the 3hr run time. Most lights at full setting are good for 1-1.5 hrs and we planned for 2hr rides, so medium was a comfortable setting.
If you want lots of light, go with a light & motion 2000l light and a niterider 1100l boost and the 900l micro plus helmet mount. The niteriders are on sale. for 3hr run time you'll have 1000l high, 500l low, and 450l on the helmet. The biggest light I've seen anyone with was a 3400l and that was kept on low for a good run time with dual beams.
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Old 11-11-21, 09:52 PM
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Russ Roth
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Wish there was a more complete version but this gives a good perspective on light differences
https://www.modernbike.com/bicycle-l...mparison-guide
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Old 11-11-21, 10:09 PM
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I've been very happy with the Gloworm Alpha (Plus for greater battery life). In my research it was the best compromise between battery life, brightness, and overall quality. For road use the single beam setups like Aroyobob listed (Brighteyes Helios) are plenty nice but I found for offroad the dual beam (spot/wide flood) is really helpful (you can see the corners that are coming better)
https://www.action-led-lights.com/co...ireless-remote
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Old 11-11-21, 11:36 PM
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I'm out of the loop on what are the new bang for the buck lights so
https://www.mtbr.com/forums/lights-a...ht-riding.165/
those guys are pretty serious about it so read up.

6500 is a LOT!!! and you need two lights and yeah to get a good 6500 light that actually puts out 6500 means $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Mine are a floody 1600 bar light and a spotty 2400 helmet light. The cheapo chinese lights generally overate their lumens amounts but are fine to start off with.
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Old 11-12-21, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Wish there was a more complete version but this gives a good perspective on light differences
https://www.modernbike.com/bicycle-l...mparison-guide
I second this - that's what I used to eventually choose a Cygolite. I have been happy with it.

Strongly recommend helmet mounting.
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Old 11-12-21, 06:00 AM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/electroni...hting-gadgets/
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Old 11-12-21, 06:38 AM
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and see Peter White's site: https://www.peterwhitecycles.com
in particular you find https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/lightingsystems.php quite informative
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Old 11-12-21, 07:24 AM
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I like @Russ_Roth's post #4. Three lights---or two, one bar and one helmet, is the best set-up---particularly off-road.

Light pattern is as important as lumens---if you can see every detail of a three-foot diameter circle thirty feet ahead you will crash before you get there. You need to see what's close and what's far away and rapidly upcoming---and a helmet light is essential because you want to see what's around the corner before you hit it.

I haven't had good luck with those ultra-cheap Chinese lights---not as bright as promised sometimes, not good patterns, and not durable. Some folks have had excellent results. Take your chances.

Ask other night-time MTB riders what they use (or use the dedicated page on this site, tor any of the those others recommended here.) Take your time, and while you don't want to waste money by buying too much, you don't want to waste money by buying stuff that won't work and won't last and needs to be replaced. Plenty of places to scrimp, but lighting is pretty important. Hit a tree at 20 mph and you might need to repair more than lights.
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Old 11-12-21, 07:53 AM
  #12  
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If you go with any of the big boys, lezyne, nightrider, light & motion, dinotte, cygolite, you'll end up with an excellent product.
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Old 11-12-21, 08:25 AM
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I've been very happy with the Niterider Lumina 900...$53 on Amazon. YOu mentioned a mountain bike. I don't know if this is bright enough for single track riding at night, but its more than enough for commuting in town.
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Old 11-12-21, 09:30 AM
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another vote for cyglolite
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Old 11-12-21, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I've been very happy with the Niterider Lumina 900...$53 on Amazon. YOu mentioned a mountain bike. I don't know if this is bright enough for single track riding at night, but its more than enough for commuting in town.
It's a great light. My rides usually start before sunrise and I keep it on the medium mode most of the time. The high mode would blind oncoming cars.

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Old 11-12-21, 10:28 AM
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I use a Light&Motion Taz 1500 mounted on my bars and an Outbound Lighting Hangover on the helmet. Works great...I don't want for light when riding at night with this combo.
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Old 11-12-21, 10:55 AM
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Question: What kind of riding are you going to do? If you’re going to do some hilly single track on a moonless night you need an absolute minimum of 1500 lumens IMAHO. It needs to be really bright so you can see far enough ahead such that you don’t overrun the light on a fast downhill section.

And sorry, but you need to spend some bucks to get a high quality light. Consider if your light fails in back country it will be 100% black and you’ll have trouble getting out of the woods without getting lost or hurt.

I would look at Lifeline Pavo Motion 2400 or the Niterider Lumina Dual 1800. They look decent for under $200

If my budget was unlimited I’d get the Exposure Six Pack. It will adjust the brightness based on the speed you’re going, up to 5000 lumen, and has some nice features like displaying how many minutes of runtime you have left. Note: This light is too expensive for most BF members.
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Old 11-12-21, 10:56 AM
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Outbound Lighting. The Evo and Hangover set. Expensive but hard to beat.
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Old 11-12-21, 12:00 PM
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We hash out these light threads frequently. Its a good thing as the Lights, Lumens, and Batteries have changed drastically over the past few years. I currently am having a hard time finding a decent light configurations that uses standard batteries rather than rechargeable built in's.

Ridding at night is something I rarely do. I have noted that I need at a bare minimum 300+ Lumens. I like a beam that is wide enough to include both sides of the road at least 40 to 60 meters out so 500 Lumens fits the ticket. Where I ride there is a fair amount of medium size game so I am more comfortable with a Helmet configuration. Oddly some people have difficulty with helmet lights but I guess my Spelunking days trained my body to have good proprioception with them. I use two ChiCom 500 Lumen flash lights that use AA batteries. They are strapped to the top of my helmet and are easily adjustable by moving the straps back and forth. Using two gives me more security in case of failure and illuminates both sides of the road. When not needed they are narrow enough to stick into my tool carrier.
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Old 11-12-21, 12:09 PM
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I've been happy with a few lights from Magicshine; https://magicshine.com/
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Old 11-12-21, 12:19 PM
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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
What is your Buget?
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Old 11-12-21, 12:19 PM
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I definitely second the two-lights approach---I usually use one at a time so I have one left in one fails/burns out/whatever, and if I need max illumination ... well I need it so I have to have it so I do.

I don't do the helmet thing because I am not used to it .... my regular lights (various Urban Light and Motion headlights) have a wide enough pattern that I can see where I am going--I have never felt the need for a helmet light. On another hand, I have not tried nighttime MTB.

Amateur Tip---you can send Light and Motion lights back for a new battery when they wear out .... or you can (void the warranty, and) replace the battery, which is what they do if you send it back.

I used Waaay too many batteries back before rechargeable were worthwhile ... I am sure there is a whole landfill leaching all kinds of toxic waste filled with nothing but my old batteries from my regular commuter days. Rechargers are the only way I go .... in my cameras and flash units I use removable rechargeables .... you can get AA and AAA rechargeables which actually work really well. I know 30 years ago rechargeabels were carp, but nowadays they are the only ecologically responsible course, IMO.
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Old 11-12-21, 01:01 PM
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I know itís not what most would do, but for nighttime road riding I finally just got a 3000 lumen LED flashlight for $20 and velcro strap it to the top tube right at the head tube (or sometimes to the stem). I use a thin piece of foam between the tube and the flashlight to help keep it secure. It really never comes loose.

Dan
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Old 11-12-21, 02:51 PM
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for MTB'ing you might want something w/ a broader beam pattern than road riding. I've read that experienced MTBers like 1 lite on the bars & 1 on their helmet. I've tried that but personally I think just 1 on the helmet is fine. but it's easier & cheaper to get 1 lite on the bars

Last edited by rumrunn6; 11-13-21 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 11-12-21, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
I know itís not what most would do, but for nighttime road riding I finally just got a 3000 lumen LED flashlight for $20 and velcro strap it to the top tube right at the head tube (or sometimes to the stem). I use a thin piece of foam between the tube and the flashlight to help keep it secure. It really never comes loose.

Dan
I tried on of those .... I got the cheaper (??!!) version. It didn't last.

One another hand, I saw a guy enter a 12-hour MTB race on a whim, and since the rules specified lights, he duct-taped a $3 Walmart flashlight to his helmet---and won or podiumed in the rigid-fixie class. So maybe we are all overthinking this.
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