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Need front light for night riding

Old 05-19-22, 09:55 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
...this was my first time using a cutoff beam and frankly, it isn't my cup of tea. ...
Cutoff beams aren't for you. They're for everyone else.
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Old 05-19-22, 02:40 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Cutoff beams aren't for you. They're for everyone else.
But everyone else is behind me.

And seeing many randonneurs hit curbs or ride off the road on corners, now I understand why. The Fenix's lens does an acceptable job by my reckoning keeping the light out of other's eyes.
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Old 05-19-22, 03:20 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I haven't found a battery powered light that I like better for randonneuring than the B&M IXON IQ Premium. I run mine with a fork-crown-mount so it's out of the way and carry as many batteries as I need for the ride so I never have to recharge. I carry an IXON pure as a backup since it's smaller and uses the same mount and batteries, but it looks like they stopped making the pure.
I have this light too as the secondary/backup light, a dynamo light is the primary. It will run about 4.5h on high. It's not super-bright so on a steep downhill it would be possibl to over-drive the headlight. I use a handlebar mount and carry extra AA batteries with me. I don't try to recharge it on the road as I have to carry the charger and EU>USA adapter as I don't have a US charging cable for it.
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Old 05-19-22, 03:23 PM
  #29  
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I have the Fenix BC30 V2.0, though on my commuter/utility bike not my rando bike. For rando I use a dyno, but I plan to use this light for unpaved bikepacking on my MTB. I bought three sets of batteries, and for weekend jaunts would not intend to charge on the road. The charger is bulky.

I don't have experience with the V1, but I find the V2 battery carriage a good design. The mount is ok, but I find in rough terrain it tends to rotate forward no matter how much I tighten the clamp. I also think it's heavy as sin, but I guess that's relative.

I've not used this light outside of town, or for any long duration, so I can't comment on its light performance for rando.
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Old 05-19-22, 03:40 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
I have this light too as the secondary/backup light, a dynamo light is the primary. It will run about 4.5h on high. It's not super-bright so on a steep downhill it would be possibl to over-drive the headlight. I use a handlebar mount and carry extra AA batteries with me. I don't try to recharge it on the road as I have to carry the charger and EU>USA adapter as I don't have a US charging cable for it.
If I need it to last all night I keep it on low most of the time and switch it to high when I need a bit more light. I've never noticed over-driving the headlight, but I suspect I don't need as much light as a lot of people since I'm fine with 15 lux most of the time. The only issue for me with such a dim light is that I can't ride in the front of another rider with a brighter light because it will cast shadows that make it much harder for me to see where I'm going.
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Old 05-20-22, 05:52 AM
  #31  
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A helmet light might be needed now that RUSA is littering the routes with gravel paths. Going down a rocky trail with branches all over the place at midnight is not only not fun, but a real danger. A helmet light might help mitigate that risk.
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Old 05-20-22, 10:32 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
But everyone else is behind me.

And seeing many randonneurs hit curbs or ride off the road on corners, now I understand why. ....
​​​
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
A helmet light might be needed now that RUSA is littering the routes with gravel paths. Going down a rocky trail with branches all over the place at midnight is not only not fun, but a real danger. A helmet light might help mitigate that risk.
I recall a few years ago on this forum seeing someone posting about using a friction shifter to mechanically raise and lower the angle of a light, thus while riding they could effectively get the equivalent to an automotive high beam. I think it was strictly a DIY mechanism, I have never heard of one sold for that purpose.

There are a few lights that have different light beams at slower speed, I am not sure how it determines speed but I suspect that it reads the frequency out of the AC power from the dynohub. I used to use an AXA Luxx 70 Plus, at slow speed that lit up additional LEDs that improved close and side lighting for maneuvering, but would not save you from hitting a curb at high speed if that is your concern. That light had a few things that I did not like about it including the narrow beam at higher speed, I eventually replaced that light with a different one. Some that owned that AXA did not like the suddenness of those additional LEDs turning on or off as your speed changed, but I got used to that characteristic. I just looked at their website, they no longer make that light. I think the Luxos U has a similar set of closer LEDs, but it is much more subtle and almost unnoticable.

Several years ago I bought the light in the photo to use for bike touring. No battery, plug the USB cable into a powerbank. It has a flashlight type of beam, most of the light in a small circular pattern, but like a flashlight some of the light was not aimed by the reflector and cast light over a wide area. You could use something like that for those times you want additional light in addition to an always on dyno powered cut off beam light, think of it as an auxiliary light. When bike touring, I almost never use a headlight so I just wanted one I could strap on with an elastic for occasional use, bought it for that and it is great for that. I doubt that the waterproofing is any good, that could be a concern. It draws over an amp at high power from a power bank, the smallest powerbanks do not put out enough power for it. Low power is roughly a third of an amp, but when you turn it on the first setting is the high power beam and if the powerbank is too small to supply the power, you can't get to the lower power setting.



Maybe you just need an auxiliary light to turn on for corners and gravel sections. Or a mechanism to raise or lower your light beam while riding. But I doubt that the slower speed LEDs that some lights offer would make you happy.
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Old 05-21-22, 06:19 AM
  #33  
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I received the new Fenix BC26R and am rather disappointed. The light construction is first rate as is the clamp.

There are two issues. First, Fenix seems to have gotten rid of the lens design that shaped the beam. In other words, the output is spherical dumping light everywhere unlike the BT20 and BC21, which had a lens that did a nice job shaping the output keeping much of it on the road with a nice broad pattern up close and then a very long spot giving a long throw. The second is the emitter, the light quality it is a little harsh but most would not object. It is very noticeable when run side by side with other lights.

I am going to give the Lumintip B01 another chance, it has a lot going for it. Its first real test was a bit of an outlier WRT turns, the official cue sheet had over 300 turns. So much info on the FIT file that a couple Wahoo users experienced crashes having to navigate the old fashioned way and my 1030 oddly went into a debug mode deep into the 400k and I had to power it off and back on. So, I had a lot of turns in the dark and the close in lighting combined with the cutoff beam made all this turns much, much more challenging than normal. Perhaps, a different mounting height would help. In any case, the Fenix rather disappointingly has not dislodged this one in the running. Also, the B01 has better throw at similar power consumption (naturally).
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Old 05-21-22, 01:45 PM
  #34  
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Is it possible the Fenix has alternate lenses? I forget what has happened in this thread, did you ever look at Outbound lighting?
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Old 05-21-22, 03:37 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Is it possible the Fenix has alternate lenses? I forget what has happenThe led in this thread, did you ever look at Outbound lighting?
The lens looks different than earlier Fenix bike lights. I am not talking of the reflector, but the clear plastic or glass part. The earlier ones had lines on the top of the lens. I compared by lining up the light onto my lawn thru two tall Linden Trees and then using my hand to see the cutoff. It throws light up and onto the tree and does not illuminate my neighbor's driveway but the B01 does while not torching the tree, if that makes sense. I do not have much training or experience in optics but it is very clear the BC26R throws light upwards much more than the Fenix BT20 and B21 AND markedly more than the Lumitop B01.

I forget why I did not buy the Outwardbound light. Something to look into. But.....if someone is looking for an easy and cheap backup, the $35-40 B01 is pretty darned good on all measures especially with a 21700 battery. I would guess with one battery in the light and one backup, I could do PBP on it with no complaints because PBP does not have a million turns to it.
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Old 05-22-22, 11:32 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I have the Fenix BC30 V2.0, though on my commuter/utility bike not my rando bike. For rando I use a dyno, but I plan to use this light for unpaved bikepacking on my MTB. I bought three sets of batteries, and for weekend jaunts would not intend to charge on the road. The charger is bulky.

I don't have experience with the V1, but I find the V2 battery carriage a good design. The mount is ok, but I find in rough terrain it tends to rotate forward no matter how much I tighten the clamp. I also think it's heavy as sin, but I guess that's relative.

I've not used this light outside of town, or for any long duration, so I can't comment on its light performance for rando.
I have a Fenix BC30 v2 as well. This past weekend was my first all night ride with the Fenix (400K brevet). I did carry one set of extra batteries but managed to ride all night on just one set of the more powerful Fenix 18650 batteries (3500 mAh).

I estimate about 8 hours or so of actual riding in the second dimmest setting most of the time. I bought batteries with micro USB so an extra charger is not needed. By the way, they won't fit in an older 18650 charger that I had as they are slightly longer.

I also have a helmet mounted light for long descents and to spot out wildlife on the side of the road.

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Old 05-22-22, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
The lens looks different than earlier Fenix bike lights. I am not talking of the reflector, but the clear plastic or glass part. The earlier ones had lines on the top of the lens.
That's what I thought you meant. The Cygolite headlights have vertical cutoff using a fresnel lens, the reflector is round. It does a really good job of cutoff, and it also spreads the light wider. Back when I was paying more attention to lights, there was someone selling fresnel lenses for lights, but I'm not sure if Fenix was one of them. I see they used to have something people called the "bifocal" lens.
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Old 05-23-22, 06:32 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
That's what I thought you meant. The Cygolite headlights have vertical cutoff using a fresnel lens, the reflector is round. It does a really good job of cutoff, and it also spreads the light wider. Back when I was paying more attention to lights, there was someone selling fresnel lenses for lights, but I'm not sure if Fenix was one of them. I see they used to have something people called the "bifocal" lens.

Run times are very short on the cygolight fronts and the battery is integrated.


I find that 0.5 amps driving a modern LED is perfect for most riding but downhill, I want to be able to drive it with about 1 amp. On an overnight brevet, I would probably need three Cygolites. With one 21700 battery in the B01, I would make it thru the night and with one cell as a spare, I would be covered in case I needed to burn the lights during the day or if I needed the higher power at night, say if it rained.


Fenix used a Fresnel lens previously. I would guess it directed 80% of the light down onto the road and maybe 20% pollution. At 250 lumens output, that would be a mere 50 lumens lost. Since many LED head lights on motor vehicles are 2-5,000 lumens and when they come over a rise, I get blinded, I am not terribly concerned with my wimpy 50 lumens in their eyes to be quite frank. I can only remember once in all my years having to deal with randonneur's spherical headlights into my eyes and that was my return on PBP. Normally, we all go in the same direction.


The Lupine SL series is probably the best beam pattern but at a huge cost in money and amps. The low setting is 600 lumens with medium 1000 lumens plus I do not think the daytime running lights can be disabled but not sure. It uses an external battery and they sell spares. This is what I would use on a velomobile and would carry spare batteries.


The Supernova minipro B54 is another really high end German spec battery light. It has a switchable high beam, 2 hours of reserve light, adjustable light sensor (say for tunnels), and a more reasonable 450 low beam. One could make it thru the night with one battery pack. Very expensive like the Lupine, maybe a little less. The zebra like online beam shots were not impressive and too risky for me to buy unless I saw one in the wild.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:26 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
...
I find that 0.5 amps driving a modern LED is perfect for most riding but downhill, I want to be able to drive it with about 1 amp. On an overnight brevet, I would probably need three Cygolites. With one 21700 battery in the B01, I would make it thru the night and with one cell as a spare, I would be covered in case I needed to burn the lights during the day or if I needed the higher power at night, say if it rained.
....
At 1 amp, if that is from a Li Ion battery, that is roughly 3.8 watts. If that 1 amp is measured on a USB cable, that is 5 watts. I assume you mean at Li Ion battery voltage at roughly 3.8 watts.

If you wanted the half amp for 8 hours and one amp for 2 for one night, that would be 6 amp hours, or roughly 22 watt hours.

For bike touring I carry a powerbank that is rated at 44 watt hours of power. It weighs 300 grams, or about two thirds of a pound. If you could extract every bit of power out of that (I suspect a big if) it would last two nights. Batteries alone would weigh less because they lack the case and circuitry of a power bank. But you still are looking for a lot of power and a means to store and carry that power if you stick with batteries.
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Old 05-23-22, 04:59 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
At 1 amp, if that is from a Li Ion battery, that is roughly 3.8 watts. If that 1 amp is measured on a USB cable, that is 5 watts. I assume you mean at Li Ion battery voltage at roughly 3.8 watts.


If you wanted the half amp for 8 hours and one amp for 2 for one night, that would be 6 amp hours, or roughly 22 watt hours.


For bike touring I carry a powerbank that is rated at 44 watt hours of power. It weighs 300 grams, or about two thirds of a pound. If you could extract every bit of power out of that (I suspect a big if) it would last two nights. Batteries alone would weigh less because they lack the case and circuitry of a power bank. But you still are looking for a lot of power and a means to store and carry that power if you stick with batteries.

The LEDs are driven by 7.6 volts minimum nominal. One could use 3S instead of 2S. I drive them with 2S. Each Panasonic 18650 delivers about 13 watts in an hour whereas one of my 21700 cells gives close to 20 watts in an hour. The charged voltage is 4.21V. My 2s3P pack of 18650 cells gives me almost 80 watt hours (a little less....some of my cells are 8 years old). I had to make this overkill pack because the light on my recumbent was so far away that I could not adjust the power level unless I grew 80 inch arms, so, I had to burn a much higher lumens than needed for most riding. In other words, my setting was defaulted to what I needed on a fast descent or around 500 lumens.
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Old 10-17-22, 03:23 PM
  #41  
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Resurrecting the old thread...Interesting info above, thanks all for the information. I d like to share my experience with the lights plus need an advise.

Since battery lights now last a long time and give enough light to ride on the road I was trying to get rid of my long distance set up ( dynohub/lights) to save weigh and wiring that runs along the frame.

I had Fenix BC30 V2 that I lost this summer. I was not impressed with it, because when hitting larger bumps the light would turn off suddenly leaving me in a dark(usually on descends), also the remote switch did not work in cold weather(40deg.) The light was also heavy and bulky. Batteries would need to be removed to be charged, no USB port in the light. the light pattern was too wide(nice for off road), but not enough throw for fast road riding. Running time was impressive though. Anyway I do not regret loosing it.

Now I am experimenting with my newest set up. I m using the Lumintop B01 as a primary light and Fenix BC26R as a back up and to light up corners and read the signs or ride off road. B01 on medium is just enough riding alone on the road, if not raining or foggy. So far this set up works nicely enough and I suspect with a couple of extra 21700 batteries both lights will run for a long time (enough for PBP, I hope).

I also have a older dyno-hub wheel that I built back in 2010 with B&M IQ-X light and B&M IQ Premium lights. A couple of days ago I compared both systems back to back.
Dyno-hub with B&M IQ premium or IQ-X lights have better beam patterns and brighter than B01 and BC26R ran simultaneously "on" both on medium. I was hoping to use the battery lights for the upcoming PBP to get rid of the heavy dyno-hub wheel/wiring, but both battery lights give me less light than any of my dyno- hub lights
I am still planning to use battery lights on longer 300-600k brevets to qualify for PBP to see how they perform but after the recent tests I m leaning towards the dynohub and IQ premium light.( I prefer IQ Premium light pattern over the IQ-X, although IQ-X is brighter).

What set up would you recommend to ride for 3 nights at PBP, B01 and BC26R or a dyno-hub with one of the B&M lights? Decisions decisions
Thanks.
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Old 10-17-22, 03:57 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Cutoff beams aren't for you. They're for everyone else.
I can't tell if you are trying to be funny or are ignorant.

My bike light has about 10% of the output of a car light. All car lights are blinding. None of my bike lights have the effective blinding effects of a car light. I have a much bigger issue with hot white dynamo led light behind me than my light. Nonetheless, I understand your concern. It is exceedingly rare for another cyclist to be coming the other direction when I am riding at night and I do not care about the oncoming motorist who is spilling far more light into my eyes than I am into theirs. F em.

With a cut beam, you cannot see street names and you cannot see tree branches on the gravel routes RUSA now loves. This is the issue to me.
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Old 10-17-22, 05:28 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I can't tell if you are trying to be funny or are ignorant.
Do you talk like that to people in real life too?
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Old 10-17-22, 06:27 PM
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if you carry a backup power bank do you mount it next to the primary battery & swap the wire when needed, or keep the backup battery in a backpack or rack trunk etc, then stop & unmount the 1st & mount the 2nd? I'm leaning toward mounting them all, so just wires have to be switched
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Old 10-18-22, 02:18 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
Resurrecting the old thread...Interesting info above, thanks all for the information. I d like to share my experience with the lights plus need an advise.

Since battery lights now last a long time and give enough light to ride on the road I was trying to get rid of my long distance set up ( dynohub/lights) to save weigh and wiring that runs along the frame.

I had Fenix BC30 V2 that I lost this summer. I was not impressed with it, because when hitting larger bumps the light would turn off suddenly leaving me in a dark(usually on descends), also the remote switch did not work in cold weather(40deg.) The light was also heavy and bulky. Batteries would need to be removed to be charged, no USB port in the light. the light pattern was too wide(nice for off road), but not enough throw for fast road riding. Running time was impressive though. Anyway I do not regret loosing it.

Now I am experimenting with my newest set up. I m using the Lumintop B01 as a primary light and Fenix BC26R as a back up and to light up corners and read the signs or ride off road. B01 on medium is just enough riding alone on the road, if not raining or foggy. So far this set up works nicely enough and I suspect with a couple of extra 21700 batteries both lights will run for a long time (enough for PBP, I hope).

I also have a older dyno-hub wheel that I built back in 2010 with B&M IQ-X light and B&M IQ Premium lights. A couple of days ago I compared both systems back to back.
Dyno-hub with B&M IQ premium or IQ-X lights have better beam patterns and brighter than B01 and BC26R ran simultaneously "on" both on medium. I was hoping to use the battery lights for the upcoming PBP to get rid of the heavy dyno-hub wheel/wiring, but both battery lights give me less light than any of my dyno- hub lights
I am still planning to use battery lights on longer 300-600k brevets to qualify for PBP to see how they perform but after the recent tests I m leaning towards the dynohub and IQ premium light.( I prefer IQ Premium light pattern over the IQ-X, although IQ-X is brighter).

What set up would you recommend to ride for 3 nights at PBP, B01 and BC26R or a dyno-hub with one of the B&M lights? Decisions decisions
Thanks.
A dyno hub adds about the same weight as a large battery pack without the hassles of mounting and charging.

I have quite a nice battery setup with a gloworm alpha and kai domain 6 cell battery pack (they do an 8 as well). It's comparable to my IQ-X, a bit too bright right in front and doesn't have the same throw. It's still a pita to be messing with changing light levels over rolling terrain in the wee hours. And charging in the middle of a multiway ride is just another thing to waste time on.
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Old 10-18-22, 10:07 AM
  #46  
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I know someone who rented a room in Loudeac so they could charge everything and blew the circuit. Hotel wasn't happy.
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Old 10-20-22, 11:14 AM
  #47  
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I have yet to do more than the 300k but In upgrading my lighting from my pretty nice bottle dyno, I went for a hub dyno for less drag. I thought about the B and M battery light because I prefer that German light pattern but big bucks $$ for the B and M. The SP hub plus spokes is cheaper.
Maybe later: https://www.rosebikes.com/b-m-ixon-s...dlight-2654936
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Old 10-20-22, 04:28 PM
  #48  
unterhausen
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I want that Ixon as my backup light. I like the fact you can use it as a power bank.
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Old 10-20-22, 11:45 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I want that Ixon as my backup light. I like the fact you can use it as a power bank.
Magicshine RN900 for me for that reason, it's a third the price.
https://www.aliexpress.com/i/1005002014707360.html
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