im wasting too much gas money driving to work and back. started riding my bike, but im not happy with the headlight im currently using...because drivers out here pay no attention to the road. if it were up to me, i would attatch my surefire. but i dont know of any reliable mounts that will fit. please help me and suggest lights i can use. rechargeable would be a plus, since the light would be in use about 3 hours a week, possibly more. (i know i can just get somethin from any bike shope and it would be fine...but cmon ONCE YOU GO HIGH LUMEN, YOU NEVER DIM OUT)
I am using the Cycleblock and a SF host with M61W. It works great.
You could use the Lockblock XL for a bigger light. Fenix TK35 isn't bad, and neither is the SR51 from Olight.
Or you could do both. That or the Fenix TK21 U2 x 2.
Like CPFBiology, I use a Fenix TK21 but on a Klarus cycle mount. If I used my Olight SR51 on London roads I think I would be run down in retaliation! But I would put in a good word for the Jetbeam ST Cycler, which has a beacon flashing mode-slow flash at 500 lumens, and a pulse mode-constant 270 lumens with 500 pulse, both of which are used with my aforementioned Fenix.
It's often not mentioned, but rear lights and reflective strips are just as important as front lights. I use at least two rear lights - one on my bike and another on my backpack with a third helmet mounted in heavy traffic. You are just as vulnerable from behind.
Also I cannot stress the amount of potential threats I have avoided by having a helmet front light in addition to any on the handlebars. You can warn oncoming motorists who are about to pull out into your path from side roads. I use a Fenix HP11 with the battery pack strapped to the back of the helmet. Generally the brightest I need it is on level 2 for traffic alerting.
.......... It's often not mentioned, but rear lights and reflective strips are just as important as front lights. I use at least two rear lights - one on my bike and another on my backpack with a third helmet mounted in heavy traffic. You are just as vulnerable from behind.
Also I cannot stress the amount of potential threats I have avoided by having a helmet front light in addition to any on the handlebars. You can warn oncoming motorists who are about to pull out into your path from side roads. ...............
Thumbs up to both of the above comments from Nyctophiliac. Have a look at my old set-up linked below for more details. Reflective tape, even a cheap (few £/$) helmet light works wonders to help bring traffic approaching from the side to a halt, instead of T-boning you.
............ Some of them must be a potential danger to other road users though, all those lumens in the faces of oncoming traffic! It's more like warfare than safe cycling.
I agree, lots of lumens pointing ahead, uncontrolled, can be a problem to other traffic and pedestrians. High power lights like the Magicshine and various "torches" are great in some circumstances where there is no one else to annoy, but need careful use and/or adaptation for road use. I abandoned the Tesco torch (mentioned in link above) for that reason, it was only an experiment anyway to try the potential of LED lighting. My current LED lights have carefully aimed and individually switched main and dip beams with hoods to minimise annoyance, even so, my next lights will improve on that.
You do need to consider the reflector geometry and not just output. If it is all output focussed on the oncoming traffic driver's eyes, then that is another issue.
I have another light that pumps out a ton of lumens, but it also has a diffuser on it, so there is tons of spill. This is so that drivers approaching have a better chance of spotting me. It is vastly different from having the light throw the light in a tight beam at a driver's face. I have it pointed down slightly so that it is more for illuminating my path, but it is still visible.
I like helmet mounts for seeing the road and don't mind spending my money there. The angle from the helmet is better for spotting potholes and the like and I can aim the light quickly by moving my head. I've been using a 4Sevens Quark with a twofish lockblock for the past several years, but I long for a Zebralight H600w. I run it with a steady beam and angle it down to the pavement about 15-20 feet ahead of me. So far, no complaints from drivers.
The only real drawback to a helmet mount is fog and snow. It can be blinding if the fog/snow is thick. I suppose another drawback is that weight and size is important since it's on your head.
I also mount a handlebar light set on slow flash to catch drivers' attention. Literally anything will do, and since weight doesn't matter much, it doesn't have to be expensive. I'm using a Nextorch mytorch because I wanted to play with it and anything brighter would tick off the oncoming traffic. They can see my cheep-o light just fine.
I know I'm in the minority, but I would only go with a light and battery pack connected by a wire as a last resort. My experience is that the damn wire always breaks (and at the most inconvenient time). The only reliable corded light I've had was one I fixed with a coiled guitar wire from Radioshack. I only need about 90 minutes of light for my commute, so carrying around some hurking battery doesn't make sense anyway. I simply recharge the batteries every night.
Oh, and I didn't point out a couple of the benefits of biking with two lights: 1) I always have a spare if one breaks or the battery dies and 2) cars seem to have a better idea of how quickly they approach me as the apparent distance between the lights gets wider (think about when you approach a motorcycle compared to a car)