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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ultra Magnus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Pros and Cons for Helmet and Bar Mounted Lights?

    I've noticed the plethora of bar mounted ligthes, especially with the homebrew projects, and wondered what the cons are to a helmet mount system?

    I'm building some pondscum lights for me and my friends, and I'm in thre process of making helmet mounts right now, mainly because it's a lot easier to make than a bar mount. I've got the parts laser cut and I'm waiting for our press brake guy to bend them up for me... We just did an aerospace job (one part, just one part and they sent in a full sheet) and we had some scrap .050" thick 2024-T3 that I greedilly snatched from the scrap bin!

    Last edited by Ultra Magnus; 07-29-2009 at 10:08 AM.
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I see no real cons if you have one light. I like bar-mounted lights if I use them as a second light. You want the light to go where you look so unless you're riding straight or slightly curvy trails, it's safer to stick with a helmet light. I'd crash quickly if all I had was a bar light.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    helmet mounted lights

    Pros - light goes where you look

    Cons - heavy on your head, can affect the helmet. Where do you carry the batteries, its a pain having them in your pack and being attached to it. Also because the light is close to your eyes you cant see shadows which can cause the ground to look very flat.

    Bar mounted lights

    Pros - convienient, no weight on body or head. You can see shadows so get a better indication of depth

    Cons - light doesn't always shine where you need it to (hairpins/switchbacks)

    Helmet lights work well with pretty tight spot lights where as a bar mounted light is better as a flood

    I always use bar mounted and get on fine

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    It depends a lot on the type of riding you do: the terrain, the speed, the climate. Also, on the type of light youre using: if it has a decent beam with some hot spot and lots of spill (like my L&M ARC has - excellent spill almost to 180), using it on the bar is enough for 90% of the rides I do, exception made to the most technical and twisty ones of course.

    If its foggy/dusty or raining, I wont even put a light on my helmet: it usually does more harm than good to my vision, with the glaring and all. Regardless of the conditions, Im a big fan of bar-mounted lights: they cast a nice shadow that gives the most realistic sense of the trail and obstacles. They stay firm, out of the way and tight on the bike. But then, as I said Im using a nice and powerful HID with an excellent beam.

    If I need some "extra, directional photons" to light up switchbacks and tight, twisty singletracks, or even to perform some wrenching on the bike, Ill use a compact, lighweight hi-power LED like the MyoXP or a Dinnote. Both have a rather focused beam with adjustable and dimmable output to save batteries (common ones, handy in long rides or trips). It doubles up as a good backup in case something goes wrong with my HID as well. Both weight next to nothing and you wont even notice theyre there untill you need it.

    But my main light always go on the bars...

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