I bought a bike to commute 5-mi (30min) to work on. I plan on doing it as long into the cold as I can, provided the roads are clear. Instead of buying expensive lights for the front of my bike, I bought this C8 XM-L off Ebay (I wanted US seller for fast shipment, the longer I wait for stuff, the more gas I burn commuting):
(I might of opted for the XM-L U2 if I knew about it prior to purchasing , but then it would of cost more for only 7% more output)
I wanted the 5 mode because of the different strobe/SOS modes for riding during the day. I thought for the throw, and need for single 18650 flashlight, these were a very good bang for buck. This particular C8 pulls:
1.75-2a on High
.9-1a on Med
.4-.55a on Low
Run time 2a = 45-80 minutes depending on the battery and health of the battery (used 18650 batteries from laptops)
(inferred this from these tests: http://lygte-info.dk/review/batterie...mary%20UK.html)
At first I was disappointed and was hoping the light drew 3a for more lumens, but when I think about it, I'd rather have ~some~ light for my entire 30min ride that ~more~ light for 2/3rds of it. Would suck to have to stop during my ride and swap batteries.
I still am not sure how low 18650s can be run down before damaged. I hear 3v, the batt tests above go down to 2.8v, I hear 3.5v....ugh. Well my light is unregulated (I think, haven't left it on to run down yet and see what happens) so however low it goes over 30min is what it is. If I draw it down "too low" over my commute, the life of my batteries will be shorted. Luckily I'm the IT guy at work and have access to many user laptops batteries.
I chose 2 x Xtar WP2 II Li-Ion Chargers (w/ a discount code), from:
....one for the office and one for home. W/ these used batteries, they should make it one way on my 30min commute, and I'll just recharge them in the office and then again when I get home. I really wanted a quality charger as I was worried about these unprotected cells going haywire and burning up my home or place of work.
I also needed blinking lights for the rear, and found a good deal on Planet Bike Super Flash rear blinking lights that draw .5w. I'll use two of the lights, w/ offset rechargeable Eneloop 800mah LSD batteries I got on sale for 8% off for Labor Day:
I opted for the tried and true Eneloops because the draw on these NiMH batteries won't be a ton, and run time isn't a big deal (can always recharge at work or home), but the # of recharge cycles the batteries will take was a factor.
To charge them I bought two different chargers. The Tenergy 01108 CH-V3150:
Smart charger w/ relatively quick charge times (don't want them left in my home/office all day while I am in and out in case there is a problem), lots of saferguards and good charging algorithm.
And the Titanium V4000 for 2 dollars more:
...so I can discharge the batteries every once in awhile if need be (still don't know a lot about that). Maybe I'll need to if there is a month of two where I don't commute much due to cold weather?
To round out looking light a nut on the street and (hopefully) people staying away from me, I purchased....
Hi-vis Bell Minu helmet w/ refelctive patches and lights on the back:
3m Reflexite sewable tape in yellow to sew to my backpack:
Clear safety glasses to kep the tears away, especially in the cold at night:
The lightest C02 Inflator I could find:
Threaded C02 Cartridges:
And an extra bike tube or two (faster to get back to riding that patching I hear):
(I had tire levers and patch kit already)
I also have fenders I need to throw on.
So as the orders arrive, I'll try to update and see how everything works out. I'm still worried about the unprotected 18650s and how low I can run them, and I'm not very educated on when I need to fully discharge the NiMH batteries, but otherwise I've gained a TON of info from this website and I really appreciate it.