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Night Riding Light Recommendations

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Night Riding Light Recommendations

Old 10-27-15, 10:24 AM
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Night Riding Light Recommendations

Not wanting to hijack my New Yorker friend's thread, I've been thinking about taking up some night riding and that kinda got me pushed into doing something about it.

What I don't know much about are lights. What location/power combo are you using? Satisfied? Too dim? Too bright? Rules of thumb?

Thanks, night owls.
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Old 10-27-15, 12:39 PM
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My group and I regularly ride with night lights... first off what are your plans? What I use for the road/bike trails is totally different than what I would use for mountain biking. For road/path I generally use one lamp (Night Rider 700) and a rear blinkee light.

Off road, where I live the trails are away from city lights and get really dark. I will use either two lamps (700 each) on my handlebar and one on my helmet or one larger lamp (1500) on the bar and one smaller on my helmet. I really like the helmet/bar combo... the handlebar is a transfix light... shooting light out ahead. The helmet light I can use to scan to the side or around corners/switchbacks. As you know, using a light at night you are blind to anything the light doesn't hit.

I would like to have a larger lamp and many riders use them but almost think they are overkill. I have often thought folks with the larger lamps are motorcycles or cars until then get closer. About 1200 - 1500 on the handlebars and 500 - 700 on the helmet is a good combo. Also make sure you use rear blinkee lights... or your buddy or another rider could hit you from behind. It also let's your riding buddies know where you are...

PS there are lot sof good lamps out there... I like Night Rider - good local company that stands behind its product. I give them nothing but "kudos"...
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Old 10-27-15, 12:57 PM
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Good tips. Thanks.

It will be single track mountain biking. There will be no assistance from any other light source but me.
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Old 10-27-15, 02:05 PM
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The new hot lights over on mtbr.com's light and night riding forum are the Nitefighter bt21 1800 lumens helmet light and bt40s 1600 lumens bar light which are Chinese lights. The only real problem people are having with them is getting them. The only place to order them for now are Chinese websites like gearbest and kaidomain both of which are bad about saying things are in stock when they aren't. It took me a month to get my bt40 from kaidomain because it wasn't in stock despite saying it was and I got lucky with my bt21 from gearbest and it only took 2 weeks because it actually was in stock. Anyway if you can get them they are freaking awesome. I also have a pair of the real cheapo $20 chinese clone lights and they are a great way to get your feet wet and find out if you really want to get into night riding or not. I'd go spend time over on mtbr.com and the lighting forum here reading about lights. There are tons of options from cheap to insanely expensive.
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Old 10-27-15, 02:36 PM
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I've been in the woods with my Bar mounted Night Rider Lumina 550 set on medium, for three hours run time.
I dialed in the speed, made it a more casual ride. I felt safe, had two spare Cateye's In my Camelbak
just In case~~~~~~

Riding alone I could see fine,

If I was riding with a group I'd want more Lumins,,
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Old 10-28-15, 07:39 AM
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My group and I regularly ride with night lights...
Is that dual 700 setup common in your group? Most guys satisfied? Do any/you actually need more power? I'd like to keep it simple by utilizing two fully contained units rather than one of them having an external battery. My night rides won't be long. 90 minute run times should be sufficient.


The new hot lights over on mtbr.com's light and night riding forum are the Nitefighter...
That seems oddly like a cult gathering based around the Nitefighter brand. I'll dig around and see what I can find. Thanks for the reference. I didn't know it got that specific over there.
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Old 10-28-15, 10:04 AM
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I bought a Cygolite 850 lumen on e bay for $90. I liked it so much that yesterday, I ordered another one. Plenty of available light, affordable and light enough to mount on my helmet.
I have a weaker light on mounted to my handlebars but that will be replaced once the new light comes in. I would also get a cheap battery operated tail light. The tail light is so people behind you can see you up ahead, even if you are way up ahead and turned onto a different trail.
I will try to attach a night ride pic, I am in the middle with my handlebar light turned off.
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Old 10-28-15, 02:26 PM
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I have a lupine wilma 7 light. I run it on my helmet only. I rarely run it at full brightness (3.2k lumens) . i usually run it about 2k lumens which is all the light i need on the helmet. I find it unecessary to use a bar light. I have a backup in the backpack.
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Old 10-29-15, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikernator View Post
Is that dual 700 setup common in your group? Most guys satisfied? Do any/you actually need more power? I'd like to keep it simple by utilizing two fully contained units rather than one of them having an external battery. My night rides won't be long. 90 minute run times should be sufficient.
Sorry for late response - yes my group generally uses one or two lights on the bars and one on the helmet. I never if ever, use the lights on the top setting - for instance if using two 700 lumen lights I will have them both on 500 or maybe one 700 and one 500. Also I generally direct one light out and one to the right side (ie towards the bush) to help spot night life etc. The helmet light is to catch all the turns and corners and actually direct light on a specific item. You could easily get away with on the bar and one on the helmet. I would actually like to find a lighter/smaller light for my helmet. My 700 NR is quite heavy and I feel it after an hour... I can't imagine what a 1800 lumen light feels like!

I do have friends that ride with 1800 lumen lights - they did much gnarlier stuff at night than me. I tend to stay with fireroads and familiar flowy singletrack.
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Old 10-29-15, 04:49 PM
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I know there is another night light thread... I wanted to add, if riding at night, all of the lights should be on a steady setting, not blinking. Blinking is for day use or heavy traffic. The blinking is annoying otherwise and difficult to follow.
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Old 10-29-15, 11:47 PM
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The nitefighter bt21 that I'm using on my helmet is 1800 lumens and is pretty small and light of coarse that is because it has a separate battery. I just throw the battery in my camel back. I usually run it on medium since I have it hooked up to a cheapo battery and it is still damn bright on medium. My bt40s bar light has a really good battery so I run it on high most of the time because I can and it is better to have too much light than not enough.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post
I bought a Cygolite 850 lumen on e bay for $90. I liked it so much that yesterday, I ordered another one. Plenty of available light, affordable and light enough to mount on my helmet.
I have a weaker light on mounted to my handlebars but that will be replaced once the new light comes in. I would also get a cheap battery operated tail light. The tail light is so people behind you can see you up ahead, even if you are way up ahead and turned onto a different trail.
I will try to attach a night ride pic, I am in the middle with my handlebar light turned off.
I have same light on handlebar and helmet (so two simultaneously and I have a spare charged internal battery in pack). Seems to be sufficient for night group riding (fire road) so far. Although it lasts around 1h 15m in full blast mode so you may need to carry spare batteries.
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Old 11-25-15, 09:43 AM
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Sort of forgot about this.

For any interested, I went with two NightRider Lumina 750s. No complaints. First time out had the helmet on full blast and the bars on like 350. Second time out with a guy who is way faster than me and pushed a bit harder had me using both at full power.

I don't think I need more light, but I definitely wouldn't go less. Just personal preference.

Riding at night is quite a trip. Creatures making noises all around and the odd shadow games kind of adds another mental aspect to it. Lots of fun.

Thanks for the input, all.
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Old 11-25-15, 05:13 PM
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Riding at night is definitely a trip. It makes that trail you've been riding new again.
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Old 11-28-15, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
The new hot lights over on mtbr.com's light and night riding forum are the Nitefighter bt21 1800 lumens helmet light and bt40s 1600 lumens bar light which are Chinese lights. The only real problem people are having with them is getting them. The only place to order them for now are Chinese websites like gearbest and kaidomain both of which are bad about saying things are in stock when they aren't. It took me a month to get my bt40 from kaidomain because it wasn't in stock despite saying it was and I got lucky with my bt21 from gearbest and it only took 2 weeks because it actually was in stock. Anyway if you can get them they are freaking awesome. I also have a pair of the real cheapo $20 chinese clone lights and they are a great way to get your feet wet and find out if you really want to get into night riding or not. I'd go spend time over on mtbr.com and the lighting forum here reading about lights. There are tons of options from cheap to insanely expensive.
This is the way to go for an entry level light, and as a good backup/supplemental if or when you decide to upgrade. To the novice barn owl, the chinese knock-offs (cree specifically) are a good bang for the buck. I got a couple extra battery packs, too. Probably want to avoid the single lamp and just go for the triple. I've used them for full on 3 hr long night rides, and carry them in the winter and slap them when the sunlight gets dim. Been using them for a few years, and the battery packs are still in really good shape. This year I found a good deal on the L&M Taz 1500, and that has been my go to for the last few rides. Definitely an improvement as far as beam, but I really wish the battery weren't integrated.
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Old 11-29-15, 04:57 AM
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words

Actually shows some of the light patterns on the ground,,

Bicycle Light Comparison Guide - Modern Bike

In the woods, on the trails, at the speeds a sane person would ride at in most trail conditions, on a solo ride I found that 250-550 lumens is plenty on the handle bars for me, with a cateye at about 50 lumens on my helmet. But on group rides of three or more I'd want to have 550 to 750 lumens on the bars.

On all rides mount your most powerful light on the handle bar, your second most powerful on your helmet and carry a third backup light in your pack for that bad crash where you could loose one and damage the other..

Finding the one that popped off your handle bar with the helmet light broken, In the dark,, fun fun

My Primary light:
http://www.modernbike.com/niterider-...headlight-2015

Last edited by osco53; 11-29-15 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 11-30-15, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
Finding the one that popped off your handle bar with the helmet light broken, In the dark,, fun fun
A cheap $5 LED flashlight tucked into your camelback helps here
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