Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Road Light - Help!

Old 06-02-07, 07:47 PM
  #1  
portland376
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Planet Bike Alias vs The Others

I'm looking into buying a new commuting light for my girlfriend as a graduation present. She communtes to and from work quite often, many times during the late evening/early morning hours. I want a light that's both extremely bright and puts out a good beam, yet compact enough that it's not a hassle to constantly be taking it on/off the bike when she gets to work.

So far I've been looking closely at the Planet Bike Alias HID (mainly because of how compact it is/all in one unit) and the Jet Lites Starfire (friend has one, been very pleased with the both the product and the customer service). I know Light and Motion makes a good light as well, but don't have any experience with them.

Any advice would be VERY much appreciated. Thank you!

Last edited by portland376; 06-02-07 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 06-02-07, 11:26 PM
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portland376
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bump...anybody?
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Old 06-02-07, 11:42 PM
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powerglide
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I have nothing to offer....cuz I don't own a light. But there's lots of info about this in the commuter section.
Good luck
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Old 06-02-07, 11:46 PM
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i've used a cateye opticube. its a great light for being seen in traffic, but i wish it came with a clip-on mount.
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Old 06-03-07, 12:23 AM
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portland376
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Originally Posted by roadgator
i've used a cateye opticube. its a great light for being seen in traffic, but i wish it came with a clip-on mount.
thanks for the opinion roadgator. looking for something more on the high-end line of things....jet lites, light and motion, nite rider, planet bike alias hid, etc....
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Old 06-03-07, 12:40 AM
  #6  
DScott
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Dinotte is da bomb! Small, light, easy to mount, and quite bright. If money was no objet, I'd get her a 500L, but she'd do pretty well with the 5W AA or Lithium light...

http://www.dinottelighting.com//

And yes, the commuting forum has loads of info...
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Old 06-03-07, 12:43 AM
  #7  
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If you're gonna get a dinotte, try looking at a USE light. They're like the dinotte's but the power is self contained so it makes for a very easy and small package.
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Old 06-03-07, 01:26 AM
  #8  
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i have a Light & Motion HID headlight. good power output and no problems so far. battery life is pretty good too, about 2.5 hours.

boon
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Old 06-03-07, 04:21 AM
  #9  
SaddleBags
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+1 on the Dinotte. Compact, light, easy on/off and enough burn time for commuter.

Check out the Commuter forum. They have tons of info on lights.
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Old 06-03-07, 05:30 AM
  #10  
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Cygolite dual cross 300 li-ion battery, great output eqivalent 20watt halogen, twin beam, plus flashing functions, 3.5hrs duration on high, 4 power levels with battery level indicator, light head mounts in front of stem, battery under stem or under bar as I have. Extremely light weight 320gms.





some other reviews
http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Lights/product_127996.shtml

Last edited by kleng; 06-03-07 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 06-03-07, 08:00 AM
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The Light & Motion Vega would fill her needs nicely. I would not recommend it for use on trails or night riding solo on unlit country roads. But for commuting and convenience with the self-contained unit, it is hard to beat. The Dinotte is nice to and would work great if you already have a battery charger.
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Old 06-03-07, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
If you're gonna get a dinotte, try looking at a USE light. They're like the dinotte's but the power is self contained so it makes for a very easy and small package.
But it costs $500, doesn't it!
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Old 06-03-07, 08:23 AM
  #13  
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Check out the light selection guide in the commuting forum for ideas.
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Old 06-03-07, 08:31 AM
  #14  
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Hell, build her one out of pvc and save you about $300


I got less than 50 bucks in this light, and it will light up a stop sign at 200 feet. People think I'm a motorcycle when they see me comin.




20 watt quartz halogen 'MR-16' bulb - perfect for those midnight fast rides.

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Old 06-03-07, 08:38 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by portland376
I'm looking into buying a new commuting light for my girlfriend as a graduation present. She communtes to and from work quite often, many times during the late evening/early morning hours. I want a light that's both extremely bright and puts out a good beam, yet compact enough that it's not a hassle to constantly be taking it on/off the bike when she gets to work.

So far I've been looking closely at the Planet Bike Alias HID (mainly because of how compact it is/all in one unit) and the Jet Lites Starfire (friend has one, been very pleased with the both the product and the customer service). I know Light and Motion makes a good light as well, but don't have any experience with them.

Any advice would be VERY much appreciated. Thank you!
There is some good information here from ViperZ about his Alias HID and pleny of photos of the beam.
It's very easy to take off. Search the forum for it and you will find everything you need. What are you run time needs? That may eliminate the Alias from you choices.

Your problem will ultimately be that there are too many lights that will work for you and too many suggestions.
The possibilities are endless. You need to remember to consider run time needs for your GF. This changes the price and the selection of lights that will work for you. You will get plenty of recomendations that don't consider run time. If you don't consider it much of the information will be useless.

If you don't post your budget and run time, there will be more useless information than you want. This thread could literally go forever.
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Old 06-03-07, 08:41 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by dekindy
But it costs $500, doesn't it!
Is that a problem?
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Old 06-03-07, 11:05 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Is that a problem?
Yes, considering that a perfectly adequate 5W Dinotte that uses AA rechargeable and replaceable batteries sells for $169. In fact, you could purchase the 5W flood, 3W helmet spot, and 3W taillight combination for less than $500.
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Old 06-03-07, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wino Ryder
Hell, build her one out of pvc and save you about $300


I got less than 50 bucks in this light, and it will light up a stop sign at 200 feet. People think I'm a motorcycle when they see me comin.




20 watt quartz halogen 'MR-16' bulb - perfect for those midnight fast rides.


thats awesome. do tell how one can make one of these for themself.
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Old 06-03-07, 11:55 AM
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+1 on 2manybikes' comment. We need more info on your budget and your GF's lighting requirements to make any recommendations. There are a lot of different combos of lights that may work for her. Lighting gets discussed a lot in the commuting and long-distance (raddoneuring) forums and I'd search those discussions for reviews and reports.

If she rides on well-lit streets and paths, she needs more "be seen" lighting and less "I need to see" lights. Riding in a lit-up city requires a brighter beam that will stand out better against traffic and building lights. Long rides on darker roads may require a combination of a flood for general lighting and a spot beam. It's also a matter of riding styles - some people prefer helmet-mounted, some prefer self-contained. Some riders will give up a bottle mount to hold the battery, others won't. Finally (whew!), if she has to leave her bike during the day in an unattended/unprotected location (like a bike rack at a train station), a light she can quickly remove from the bike and take with her is going to be preferable to one vulnerable to theft all day. I would recommend two lights (perhaps one on bike and a smaller "be seen" light on the helmet as a back-up), also two tail lights (one is backup) as a reasonable general-purpose commuting setup.

My situation is a short commute (max 30 min each way), suburban streets (mostly well-lit) and secure storage (bike rack in a very access-controlled area). I've opted for a combination of a self-contained helmet light (usually set to flash) as a "be seen" light and either a self-contained large Cateye handlebar light or one of the mid-range Planet Bike lights with external battery as my "see it" light. My selections would be different if I needed more light, or long run time, or quick-removal from the bike due to insecure storage.

Happy shopping!
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Old 06-03-07, 12:07 PM
  #20  
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+100 on Dinotte

Great lights, even better company to deal with.

I currently run the 5W front and their rear flash. I have an aging 15W halogen helmet light. I am considering getting their 500L, and moving the 5W to my helmet.

I took a ride yesterday morning and started before dawn. I just took the 5W, left the helmet light at home. It was fine on its own. In total pitch black at night (country roads with no lights) I like the addition of the helmet light since it follows where I am looking.

The biggest reasons I got the dinottes were their size (very small on the handlebar), the mount (super easy on and off since I don't like to keep my lights on when I don't need them) and AA batteries, which I already have plenty of AA rechargables.

Money no object I would consider the new Lupine Wilma. I would personally not bother with HID anymore. The new LED's coming out are just as nice and are more durable, and shouldn't need expensive replacement bulbs.

-D
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Old 06-03-07, 03:21 PM
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a few more details for those who asked...

the commute will be approximately 30 minutes each way, unlit back roads for the most part (very dark). that in mind, something bright with a good flood beam would be nice. portability is important to, as she'll need to be taking the light on and off the bike quite often (she'll have take the light off at work to avoid any potential theft issues). budget approx $300, could stretch a bit more if needed.

as i'd mentioned before, so far taken a look at the planet bike alias hid, jet lites, light and motion, and dinotte. don't have tons of experience in the market, so those with first hand use of any of the above (or others) is really appreciated. the advice so far has been great, hope my further input helps!!
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Old 06-03-07, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by portland376
a few more details for those who asked...

the commute will be approximately 30 minutes each way, unlit back roads for the most part (very dark). that in mind, something bright with a good flood beam would be nice. portability is important to, as she'll need to be taking the light on and off the bike quite often (she'll have take the light off at work to avoid any potential theft issues). budget approx $300, could stretch a bit more if needed.

as i'd mentioned before, so far taken a look at the planet bike alias hid, jet lites, light and motion, and dinotte. don't have tons of experience in the market, so those with first hand use of any of the above (or others) is really appreciated. the advice so far has been great, hope my further input helps!!
That helps a lot. The L&M has been discussed a lot and is widely approved and well made. The Planet bike has been reviewed and seems great, but has not been around long. Less than a year I believe. For some reason jet lights don't seem to come up often.

If you compare one light to another output in lumens is about the only way to measure brightness from one light to another. There is a thread here titled "light selection guide" The very first post has a chart that helps compare lights and even has links to the different makers. It also has links to night time beam comparsion photos so you cane see what the light will do for you at night (approximately). Also the very first post explains the pros and cons of the three major types of bulbs in bike lights very well.

Don't bother to read the whole thread unless you just want to, but do spend time to read the very first page. It's one of the best places on the internet to compare and research bike lghts. It was put together by slvoid. If you have a question about the info there just ask him. Both the Planet bike and the L&M would work for you, but the L&M takes longer to take off the bike. slvoid has one, he may now address putting it on and taking it off the bike.

If I were the one shopping I would get the L&M myself and put up with just a little more time to put it on and off. I know the thing is going to work for a long time and is nice and bright. It will handle bad weather.
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