Bicycle Cycling light advice

jpm_cycling

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May 17, 2010
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Hi all, looking for a little advice here on which light is best to by for night riding. I've been pointed in the direction of an ultrafire but getting a little lost with all the technical jargon and the myriad of led/lens options. Any advice on this would be much appreciated.

Cheers

***Update
Thanks for the reply Jack - to give a little more info:
I am doing a 24hr MTB event in June which I did last year with some halogen lights. After getting overtaken many times by riders with far superior lights I'm going to try and get something with a little more "juice". One of my friends has a Hope Vision 1 that he is very pleased with, but another friend has an Ultrafire light which seems to have a similar power output, but which cost considerably less. The Hope is around £70 and the Ultrafire I think was around £15-20. Reading around the forum there do seem to be some concerns regarding reliability of the cheaper lights from DX etc and so I guess I'm looking for something in between the two in terms of price that I can reasonably expect to rely on.

Also as a bit of a noob, not sure what effect things like "throw" and "spill" have on the beam in terms of bike light usability.

Any further help appreciated!
 
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DM51

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Welcome to CPF :)

We have a dedicated Bicycle sub-forum, so I'll move your thread there.
 

Jack Reacher

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Hi there jpm_cycling... :welcome:

I cycle at night, but always on sealed bike paths or bitumen roadways, so I don't need a humungously huge light output.

I currently use a 5-LED el-cheapo with an integrated handlebar mount. If you can better define your night-riding style(s) whether it's around the 'burbs on dark back streets, along arterials with high volume vehicular traffic, dedicated, well-lit bike paths, downhill, cross-country etc then we can better offer you some advice.

You'll need to define a price range too, as bike lights can range from $10 all the way up to $500 or more. There's also different types of batteries; self-contained AAs (for example) within the light housing itself, or larger form factors in a separate casing clipped or strapped to your bars with a connecting cable. You can even have a dedicated front hub dynamo laced into your wheel.

One of the most common mounts for bikes is the Fenix brand as per:
http://www.fenixtactical.com/fenix-bike-flashlight-mount.html

You can also check out suitable Fenix flashlights at that site too so you can get some ides of the technicalities and pricing. Note that you can also use the Fenix mount for many other brands of flashlights as well.

Another useful handlebar mounting system is the TwoFish Bikeblock as per:
http://www.fenixtactical.com/twofish-bikeblock-bike-flashlight-mount.html

In my opinion, the TwoFish is more practical — by virtue of its simplicity — as well as being less susceptible to shifting and/or de-aiming across rough terrain.

For the moment, I won't suggest any particular brand or form factor, as I'm sure the other guys here will all have varied experiences to offer. With my night riding style, I don't need huge throw; a widish spill beam and a "warm" tint would be more important to me; probably around 80 to 120 lumens is enough for me.

And don't forget your taillight either; it's just as important as your headlight — to be "seen" rather than "to see". I've used one of these blinkys happily for a long time:
http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3034.html

Hope this helps, Jack. :)
 

pe2er

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Why not try a Magicshine MJ-808? Dx SKU 29489 - $78.48

Refer to this thread for more information:
Anyone played with the new DX P7 bike light?

Batteries will last for 3 hours on high, so you will need more batteries :p

Ordering at Dx for June is cutting it a bit close (in terms of shipping-time), but there are other vendors for this light.
 
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jpm_cycling

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Cheers, I had seen that light while I was browsing through the threads - does it come with batteries or do I have to order those separately? Doing the race in a team, so fortunately not riding round all night!:tired:

I was also considering the following with an appropriate handlebar mount if anyone has any views as to whether it would do the job? Maybe even two of them as I need a backup light anyway and the torch style would be great for camping and hiking as well?

Do these lights need any mods doing to them to improve their reliability or beam power? Looking through the threads it seems that people have been putting different lenses on them and putting in thermal paste amongst other things. Something that I could run stock and then possibly look to improve in the future when I have more time would be nice (as I do like to tinker!) although currently I have no clue about different LEDs, drivers(?!!) and the different battery options.

Thanks again

Jaime
 

pe2er

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I Just added some thermal paste between the LED and the heat sink, and in between the heat sink and the housing on my light. No further mods required.

The light comes with one battery pack and charger.
 

jpm_cycling

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Looks like 900lumens is the way to go then - thanks for the input guys, I will try and get hold of this magicshine light I think.

Jaime
 
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