Recommend me a flashlight for mounting on bike helmet for night mountain biking

superedge88

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Jul 22, 2010
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So I come to you with a heavy heart, my research that I had done that led me to finding the Manker U12 neutral white has been dashed by all the posts saying that it has major quality control and design problems. I am searching for a mountain bike helmet mounted rechargeable flashlight that is light weight, neutral white, and has a run time of at least 6-7 hours above ~400 lumens. In the mountain biking world the prices are INSANE for this type of light. Here is a link to one that is mountain biking specific that is around $250-$300 US cash.
https://exposurelights.com/diablo-mk10-black

So I am looking for
Under $150
Mode that has 6+ hours of run time at ~400+ lumens
Neutral white
Light weight (under 200 grams)
Built in Charging
Flood beam pattern

Efficiency at the ~400 lumen mode is much more important to me than having a ridiculous high turbo mode lumens.
Please let me know if there is anything out there that I should be looking at. The Manker U12 was exactly what I was looking for, and I was willing to overlook my poor experience with Manker's customer service ( had the button fall of my manker LAD and they refused to respond to my numerous emails asking to pay for another button) But I can't overlook all of the poor experience I find online with the Manker U12. Please help.
 
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adept1

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Feb 9, 2009
Messages
118
Honestly, anything that can run for 6-7 hours is going to weigh more than 200 grams because of the battery requirement. I don't think 6-7 hours is possible even at 400 lumens. Either way, 400 lumens really isn't enough for real mountain biking in my opinion.

Here's what I'm using:

On helmet: Convoy S2+ XPL HI. It's about 1000 lumens on high, so you would be fine running on medium and probably get about 3 hours of runtime. The light with battery (18650) weighs about 150 grams or less (in my opinion you don't really want anything heavier on your helmet). And they cost less than $20. Build quality and reliability is excellent. I think it's also preferred to have the button in the tail rather than the side. It's much easier to find and use in the dark with gloves. Just bring an extra battery, or an extra light with a battery in it. They're cheap, and you should have a backup anyway.

However, I also have a light on my bars (Solarstorm X2) - sometimes I even run with two of those using a splitter to power from a single 4x 18650 battery pack that I store in a Topeak "Fuel Tank" frame bag.

So I come to you with a heavy heart, my research that I had done that led me to finding the Manker U12 neutral white has been dashed by all the posts saying that it has major quality control and design problems. I am searching for a mountain bike helmet mounted rechargeable flashlight that is light weight, neutral white, and has a run time of at least 6-7 hours above ~400 lumens. In the mountain biking world the prices are INSANE for this type of light. Here is a link to one that is mountain biking specific that is around $250-$300 US cash.
https://exposurelights.com/diablo-mk10-black

So I am looking for
Under $150
Mode that has 6+ hours of run time at ~400+ lumens
Neutral white
Light weight (under 200 grams)
Rechargeable
Flood beam pattern

Efficiency at the ~400 lumen mode is much more important to me than having a ridiculous high turbo mode lumens.
Please let me know if there is anything out there that I should be looking at. The Manker U12 was exactly what I was looking for, and I was willing to overlook my poor experience with Manker's customer service ( had the button fall of my manker LAD and they refused to respond to my numerous emails asking to pay for another button) But I can't overlook all of the poor experience I find online with the Manker U12. Please help.
 
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superedge88

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Jul 22, 2010
Messages
37
Honestly, anything that can run for 6-7 hours is going to weigh more than 200 grams because of the battery requirement. I don't think 6-7 hours is possible even at 400 lumens. Either way, 400 lumens really isn't enough for real mountain biking in my opinion.

Here's what I'm using:

On helmet: Convoy S2+ XPL HI. It's about 1000 lumens on high, so you would be fine running on medium and probably get about 3 hours of runtime. The light with battery (18650) weighs about 150 grams or less. And they cost less than $20. Build quality and reliability is excellent. I think it's also preferred to have the button in the tail rather than the side. It's much easier to find and use in the dark with gloves. Just bring an extra battery, or an extra light with a battery in it. They're cheap, and you should have a backup anyway.

However, I also have a light on my bars (Solarstorm X2) - sometimes I even run with two of those using a splitter to power from a single 4x 18650 battery pack that I store in a Topeak "Fuel Tank" frame bag.

So you're saying that the manker U12 was not stating an honest run time of 390 lumens for 6.5 hours? Please let me know if I am not to trust some of these run times, but I was under the impression that the lower modes could be trusted and only the higher modes of many lights were the ones that were a little fictional? I'm a bit of a rookie so I'm still learning a lot about flashlights.
I'm using a couple of great bar mounted lights that are powered by my usb powerbank which I am very happy with, but now I'm looking for a rock star helmet light to give me a flood pattern of light where I am looking instead of where my handle bars are pointed.
 

adept1

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Feb 9, 2009
Messages
118
Honestly it sounded pretty long to me, but I forgot it's not an 18650 light, but rather using 20700 battery. So maybe it can last that long. But as I said, 400 lumens is really not much. However, the side switch would be a deal breaker for me in this application. And yeah, Manker isn't the most reliable brand.
 

superedge88

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Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
37
Honestly it sounded pretty long to me, but I forgot it's not an 18650 light, but rather using 20700 battery. So maybe it can last that long. But as I said, 400 lumens is really not much. However, the side switch would be a deal breaker for me in this application. And yeah, Manker isn't the most reliable brand.

I'm not needing a TON of light from the helmet light, I have around 1500 lumens from my dual bar lights, so all I'm really wanting is supplimental light where my head is pointed. So far my only other option that I've found is the TX3G Pro from eagletac in neutral white. Comes in right at 200 grams with the battery, gives me 510 lumens at 5.7 hours. I don't know if there's anything else out there that would compete.
 

alpg88

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zebralight 600, i use myself it when riding, does great job. but so is skilhunt h02, but it's a bit more floody, yet still makes plenty of light for riding.
 

Mattz68

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Appleton, Wis
Z.L. 600 is great choice( I’ve used it) -but if you don’t mind a little extra weight, consider the Emisar d4S! Only costs 50 with battery and you get a great choice of warmer tints, which for M.B.ing is Key. I was surprised when I mounted this and the “handle bar wobble” was minimal because the light is stubby/balanced. Just 8yrs ago I paid 200$ for a 300 lumen bike light and now for 50$ -I have up to 3,500 lumens at my disposal!
 

superedge88

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Messages
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Z.L. 600 is great choice( I’ve used it) -but if you don’t mind a little extra weight, consider the Emisar d4S! Only costs 50 with battery and you get a great choice of warmer tints, which for M.B.ing is Key. I was surprised when I mounted this and the “handle bar wobble” was minimal because the light is stubby/balanced. Just 8yrs ago I paid 200$ for a 300 lumen bike light and now for 50$ -I have up to 3,500 lumens at my disposal!

zebralight 600, i use myself it when riding, does great job. but so is skilhunt h02, but it's a bit more floody, yet still makes plenty of light for riding.

I don't believe that any of these are rechargeable?
 
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superedge88

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I honestly may just give up and go with either the bontrager ion pro rt, or the eagletac TX3G pro. So ticked off that Manker can't be trusted.
 

alpg88

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I don't believe that any of these are rechargeable?

idk good question, they all use 18650, if you mean build in charger, than no, ZL has none, afaik, but skilhunt h03 does, and it comes with reflector now too.
 
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superedge88

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Jul 22, 2010
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idk good question, they all use 18650, if you mean build in charger, than no, ZL has none, afaik, but skilhunt h03 does, and it comes with reflector now too.

I do need a built in charger, so I can charge this when using a solar panel out on the trail when camping. I don't have a use for a perpendicular reflector that comes on the skillhunt h03.
 

alpg88

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I do need a built in charger, so I can charge this when using a solar panel out on the trail when camping. I don't have a use for a perpendicular reflector that comes on the skillhunt h03.

not sure what current your panel can supply, but inside the light you can only charge 1 cell at a time. and it is not fast, most campsites have electricity, i go camping about half a dozen of times every year. carry 4 bay charger and charge 4 cells in few hours.
not sure what perpendicular reflector you talking about, but h03 comes in 3 models, with tir, reflector, and reflector with diffuser, which is probably that perpendicular thing you talking about.

there is another very cheap, and surprisingly well made light that has build in charger, i have no clue who makes it, but i have few of them and they are awesome for 12 bucks. about 400-500lm, come with cold led, LB brand, which is a knock off xml2, but it is not inferior led, it has a bit smaller die, and cold led is not blue as some cold leds are. here is what it looks like.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61DNQZFEFaL._SX425_.jpg
 
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superedge88

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Messages
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not sure what current your panel can supply, but inside the light you can only charge 1 cell at a time. and it is not fast, most campsites have electricity, i go camping about half a dozen of times every year. carry 4 bay charger and charge 4 cells in few hours.
not sure what perpendicular reflector you talking about, but h03 comes in 3 models, with tir, reflector, and reflector with diffuser, which is probably that perpendicular thing you talking about.

there is another very cheap, and surprisingly well made light that has build in charger, i have no clue who makes it, but i have few of them and they are awesome for 12 bucks. about 400-500lm, come with cold led, LB brand, which is a knock off xml2, but it is not inferior led, it has a bit smaller die, and cold led is not blue as some cold leds are. here is what it looks like.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61DNQZFEFaL._SX425_.jpg

I can't mount a right angle type of flashlight on my bike helmet, but thanks for the recommendation. I don't go to campsites with electricity, I like to camp off the beaten path. Charging the single cell within the flashlight is all I need to do. I use the solar panel in conjunction with a power bank (26,000 mAh) as a cache battery. So all I need to do is charge the power bank during the day and have the bike helmet flashlight hooked up to the powerbank.
 

X83

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Jul 31, 2016
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You're going to have a hard time finding something in a compact size with a high capacity battery that will work for a helmet mount.

I'd recommend keeping the battery pack separate so the helmet wont be top heavy.
 

Keitho

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CO, USA
The most efficient (as measured by lumen-hours-per-gram at cycling brightnesses) that I've found is the zebralight sc64 (I use the c version, less lumens but higher CRI and 4000k, my personal preference). At the 579 lumen level, an 18650ga gives an amazing 1:45 or so. Beam is a decent helmet light for me, just enough intensity to see down the trail, and a gentle fall-off to the spill. I used an earlier version of the Diablo, and it was awesome (efficient) but way over priced, and is now useless since the cell is worn out. I still use the exposure helmet mount for my sc64.

I tried the emisar d4, decent beam at a good price, but noticeably less runtime than ZL.

I much prefer replaceable cells to a built-in cell with onboard recharging, because I can make my light last as long as I want by bringing extra cells (each cell adds <50g and another ~12 Wh: compare that to your solar panel weight for any given trip). For solar charging and battery bank functions, I use a fololov a1, only a few grams.

Good luck, and safe riding!
 

usdiver

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@Superedge88
Only just saw this post and wanted to let you know my thoughts from experience. Exposure lights made in the UK are excellent lights. Not cheap, but many not unobtainable either. Lifetime warranty, etc. I have a couple which I ve done videos on YouTube and 1 really good helmet light (was stolen out of my pocket by a low life at a recent parade in London) was an excellent choice. Be aware that Lumen output now days isn’t the main factor. Beam quality, lens, reflector, etc.
exposure do serious gear and it’s very well made. Also Bontrager Ion 800 and 800 rt are excellent which I ve had but bontragers plastic construction on the bottom side.... of it breaks which is fairly easy to do will render the light useless and it can’t be fixed unless you can epoxy it together with the mount.
If it’s a simple stops working problem the warranty is very good. Then the other is the klarus BK20 which is a very good light but external pack makes it sorta impractical.
HDS systems also does a bike light configuration in their edc line not cheap but lifetime warranty out of the good ol USA. Should you choose to stop riding one day you can have it reprogrammed to an edc carry light.
 

Bazar

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Dec 2, 2016
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Location
Colorado
]
What about using an actual mtb helmet light like the gloworm alpha? I haven’t used the alpha but my x2 and xs are awesome.

https://www.action-led-lights.com/c...ucts/2018-gloworm-alpha-1200-lumen-bike-light
I love the light output, but don't want the battery bank and cable that comes with it.[/QUOTE]

I am a cyclist. I can't imagine the need for this amount of lighting. You would have to be a 24 hour pro or live close to and above the arctic circle. 7 h with 400 lumens? Nah. Just adjust your eyes.
 

Bicycleflyer

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Cincinnati, OH, USA
I still use the EOS “bike” by Princeton Tec. I know it seems outdated, but it still does the job. I ride a road bike at night with around 400 lm on the bar and my PT on my helmet. The beam pattern is a tight one, but it allows you to look into turns, fix your bike, read road signs, and maps. It is just bright enough to get you home should your main bar light fail. Just go easy. Best of all, no cords.

I think the EOS bike is still available.
 
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