New bikes = New Lights :)

Wurkkos

Aaron1100us

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Dec 3, 2005
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Havent rode a bike for several years. Now that two of the kids are old enough to keep up, my Wife and I bought new Trek bikes, an Xcaliber9 and a Neko. Our youngest Daughter is 4 1/2 so we also ordered a Trek Mountain Train to pull behind my new bike.


You will probably laugh but the last bike light I bought years ago was a Cateye incadescent that took two C batteries lol.

Being a flashaholic, I ordered all of us new headlights for our bikes. For mine, a Magicshine MJ880L with two Cree XM-L2 leds @ 2400 lumens :), Wifes bike a Fenix BT20 750 lumens and for the two oldest kids's bikes, each a Fenix BT10 350 lumens.

All bikes and the Mountain train will have normal blinky tail lights. For mine, its an Oculus Phaser tail light with two laser road markers:) That should be pretty cool. And of course I'll still have my trusty Nitecore SRT3 on me.

Will post pics when they get here.
 

Flamingtaco

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I used the old cateye doube c-cells at the start of the 90's, they did fairly well on long stretches of relatively unlit North Carolina coastal back roads.

I think you'll find the BT20 a good choice. Fenix has over-hyped the beam pattern, but its a decent spread and throw, and makes for a nice helmet light. Well worth the extra $20 over the BT10 for the loose 18650 case and higher power. Almost as nice as the bikes ;)
 

Aaron1100us

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I'm hoping the BT20 will be good enough for my Wife. And decided to get the BT10 for the kids just to see the difference. Plustwo BT10's were cheaper than getting two more BT20's. Only 350 lumens but I'm thinking that should be enough for the kids's bikes.

I can't wait to light up the night with the Magshine. Saw some youtube videos on the MJ880 2,000 lumens version and was pretty impressed. The one I ordered is the newest MJ880L 2,400 lumens. I'l have to compare it to my VN modded Solarforce K3 turbo head with an over driven MT G2. Runs off a 6600mah 6X18650 battery pack.
 

blah9

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Enjoy! I want to get back into riding one day, but I haven't done so in a long time. I need a new bike though (way too heavy for the bike I had growing up).

Anyway, those lights sound awesome. I bet riding at night is a really fun experience, especially for people like us!
 

Steve K

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Jun 10, 2002
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Peoria, IL
just a few comments...

first, glad to see you and the family out riding bikes together! I have happy memories as a kid out riding with the family.

Regarding the magicshine, please run it on a low level if there is anyone else around. Those were designed for off-road users and aren't designed to avoid blinding oncoming traffic or bikes.

A more subtle aspect of mixing bikes riding at night is that the person with the brightest light needs to be at the front. My experience has been that if I was followed closely by someone with a brighter light, my night vision was reduced by their bright light illuminating the road at my side, and making it harder to see the road with my light. Plus, I was distracted by my constantly changing shadow moving around.

The person at the front also needs to tone down their taillight to avoid blinding the person behind them. If the taillight has a narrow beam, it might be sufficient to mount it low enough that it doesn't shine into the eyes of the folks behind them.

and in closing, I still have my old Cateye that was powered by two C cells. I think it was rated as 1.25 watts. Just awful... except that there wasn't much else that was better. I'm working on modifying it with an LED. :) Totally impractical, but fun.
 

Aaron1100us

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^ Thanks and I totally agree with everythhing you said. I got the Magshine because well, its going to be really bright but in town, it will be on 25% or 50%. It should be here tomorrow. One thing I like is that running it on low and having 6x18650's, it will have awesome run time :) . Should be able to ride to work for a week or two without recharging. Bikes will be here next week, then we'll just need nice weather.
 

Flamingtaco

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I was digging through a box filled with cycling gear that had been packed away since 94 when I came across my old modded cateye lights. It suddenly popped into my head that I should use a front light to ride home from work since it was typically about 3am. I immediately started using one of my 300lm flashlights bungee corded to one of the cateye mounts. After a few weeks I mounted the cateye system as I desired the wider beam pattern, and was promptly reminded how fast it burns through c-cells. Modded it down to 5V as I have four 9800mah d-cell NIMH's, but eventually decided I was going to have to go all LED for the run time.

The 1.25w bulbs were beyond useless. I popped some 3w or something bulbs in after the first ride. Then bought the second light for the second 3w bulb that came in the pack ;) Bought a $30 light because I had a $0.15 bulb burning a hole in my brain. Certified flashaholic since 1991.

Blah9, riding at night is so much more than a fun experience. If you can ride in a safe area, it offers an experience completely different from cycling during the day. It's as if your senses have improved, because so much of the noise is gone. It can be extremely peaceful and relaxing. I find I can get a much better workout in because I am more in tune with my body in not having to constantly concentrate on traffic. I can safely use earbuds, and will sing along at times.

My favorite night activities that don't happen during the day:

Riding back country roads with the lights shut down, on a moonlit night.
Singing aggressively with my music. Earbuds on the bike is so never a daytime activity.
Listening to snow hit my jacket and helmet.
Updating Facebook in the middle of a ride to see friends post "WTF, are you crazy?".
Taking a break and chatting with the cops. Ain't nobody got time for that during the day.
Early morning wildlife. Early, as in when the deer are munching people's yards at 4am.
 

Aaron1100us

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I love being out at night. Thats one reqson I work 3rd shift. So much more peaceful at night. Plus I get to use flashlights at night. Can't wait to be able to ride my bike to work at night. Hoping to save gas $$ too.

Last year when only the kids had bikes, we'd often go to a park and play. I'd always have a flashlight to light the way home if we were out too late. Now e'll all be set with bikes and lights. Plan on doing a bunch of riding this year. Would sure love to do RAGBRI again some time too. Been over 20 years since I did that lol. Exercise will be great too, I sure don't get enough of that.
 

Aaron1100us

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Got the Magicshine and one Fenix BT10 in the mail today. Brought them to work to play around with.

Mounted them in my tool cart for now.
uze8aze6.jpg


I like the looks and the solid construction of both lights. The Magicshine is pretty small for how much light it puts out. Will see if I can get some beam shots soon.

The Magicshine battery is big. But thats ok, it has 6x18650's. Solid construction and two rubber straps.

The Fenix battery is obviously smaller and holds 4xAA. That battery pack is in a pouch that has one velcro strap.

The cables and connections seem solid on both.

abe3edyd.jpg

e9ury7at.jpg
 

Aaron1100us

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I like how he Magicshine glows green with the battery plugged in. It starts to dim, then slowly flash and will eventually shut off. I heard the green glow is to let you know that the battery is plugged in so you don't forget to unplug it.

hemesypu.jpg


umatesyp.jpg


heqa6uta.jpg


yga8uded.jpg


usapezyb.jpg
 

Aaron1100us

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Indoor shots @ 20 feet. Galaxy SII camera set at 100 iso.

BT10 low
ugusahaj.jpg


BT10 High
yqehe7ag.jpg


Magicshine 880L 2X XM-L2 leds Low
y5uhady7.jpg


High
ytuhy2y6.jpg



These pics don't do them any justice. The BT10 is decently bright and very usable. The 880L is just crazy bright
 

Aaron1100us

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
My Solarforce L2P with 18650 extension and VN modded K3 turbo head with an overdrived MT-G2. Supposed to be 3,000 otf lumens. The 880L doesn't seem too far behind. The 880L is rated at 2,400 lumens.

There is a 2,000 lumen 880, 2,200 lumen 880U and the 880L is the most recent version with the two Cree XM-L2 leds.

rynu8ype.jpg
 
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Aaron1100us

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Down a 70 yard hallway.

BT10 Low

Doesnt look this bad in real life. Dark carpet and dark brick walls don't help.
uhuba7ah.jpg


High
e8yvevy7.jpg


880L Low
ery5umem.jpg


High
ery2a5e6.jpg


VN Solarforce
suvygybe.jpg
 
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Aaron1100us

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Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
So far, the only thing I don't like is that the 880L is easy to move up or down while pressing the buttons. Will have to see if thats any different once I get it mounted to my bike. Other than that, its very solid, looks nice and is way bright. Good difference between the 4 levels.

Nothing bad to say about the Fenix so far. Its hard to tell from the pictures but the dual beam is noticable and does a great job of lighting up both areas. Impressed for only a 350 lumen light. Will be fun to see what the BT20 is like.
 

Flamingtaco

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Feb 26, 2008
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Bad mounts are typically easily solved with the asian lamps as they tend to have no special milling in the hosing under the mount, just a flat surface and a screw hole. You can find various aluminum pieces that work on Amazon and elsewhere like water bottle mounts (for handlebars). I use a JMT mount for GoPro cameras.
 

TREKIE

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Mar 28, 2014
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Thanks for all the pics! Threads like this are exactly why I finally decided to join CPF and come out of the cyber shadows LOL

I just started riding a recumbent tadpole trike and have been directed to this site many times while searching.

Again, thanks for the pics!
 

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