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Thread: Lights

  1. #1
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    Lights

    I'd like to start doing some night riding however, i need to get a good light. i'd like to be able to see every little rut or bump in the trail as i'm not a huge fan of crashing. after looking at lights for a while, i feel a little overwhelmed by my options. tell me what to buy please?


    LED or HID??

    What's the difference? What would you get?

    Most of them mount onto the helmet right?

    help

  2. #2
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    Given you wish to "see every little rut or bump in the trail" you should look at HID. either way you are going to spend some big coin. The really powerful LEDs and HID set ups are pretty pricey.

    The only experience I have with modern lighting systems is with my new MiNewt single LED I use for road riding. I plan to try it out on the trail soon in combination with a high powered LED flashlight attached to my helmet. Though I kind like the rush of not being able to see everything on trail I know well. It adds a little extra challenge.

    Good luck with your search. You really should spend some time on the Lighting board. Most of your questions can be answered over there pretty quickly.
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  3. #3
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    "See every little rut" makes a helmet mount unlikely, since that destroys your depth perception. Try to borrow a friend's light for a ride or two, and remember, lumens are your friend. As 'fiend notes, the lighting board will have more info, but the main thing you should consider is that you need to spend more money than you want to. It will hurt at first, but the difference in light output between a $100 light and a $400 light is impressive.

  4. #4
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    I ride at night quite alot and I use the Nightrider Flight. It works great for the wider handle bar stems and it centers directly in the middle of the bars. So far the light has been reliable but you only get about 3 hours of high power. The Moab I read gives you 7 hours but weighs more. The bike shop helped me pick some out. Best place to start. Mine is HID and LED and lights up the trail quite well.

    Good Luck
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  5. #5
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    I ride at night too.... Current best bang for the buck is the Trail-Tech HID... $200, about 550 lumens. I run a 13 degree flood on my handlebars. I bought the NiMH battery package, I'm not a weight weenie. I mount the battery with velcro between my front forks. I bought a camera bag at Best Buy for $10 to pad and protect the battery, and some velcro tabs at the 99 cent store.

    http://trailtech.net/3122-FX-NB.html



  6. #6
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    I run a halogen ... Jet Lights Phantom single. 12 watts, very natural light. Works great. Can be had for under $200 at the right place.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    I ride at night too.... Current best bang for the buck is the Trail-Tech HID... $200, about 550 lumens. I run a 13 degree flood on my handlebars. I bought the NiMH battery package, I'm not a weight weenie. I mount the battery with velcro between my front forks. I bought a camera bag at Best Buy for $10 to pad and protect the battery, and some velcro tabs at the 99 cent store.

    http://trailtech.net/3122-FX-NB.html

    Mtn fiend is right. You'll get some great insight from browsing the lighting/GPS/computer message board. Some of the guys are pretty big on LEDs, and some LEDs now have comparable lumen output to HIDs but they cost over a grand (unless you do a homebrew).

    I also agree with Randy Boy about Trail Tech offering the best package. I purchased the Trail Tech's MR16 HID through Battery Space before Trail Tech sold the package directly. Battery Space was pairing a battery with the light that was too powerful as my light would overheat and shut off without warning. It totally sucked and getting a refund from Battery Space was a pain in the neck.

    If you don't mind carrying a little weight on your bars or helmet I'd go with this package in a heartbeat 1,850 Lumens The MR 16 is like strapping a friggin car headlight to your helmet in terms of lumens. It's the brightest light you will find for a reasonable price.

  8. #8
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    I've done so much night riding I actually dread it now ( I used to look forward to it; the novelty and all) so I've learned a few things:

    First, start with a bar mounted light. A 'flood' beam pattern is best. This will give you the best depth perception and allow you to react naturally to trail hazards.

    Second, a helmet mounted 'spot' beam is a must for tight or twisty singletrack. It allows you to "look ahead" on the trail to anticipate turns, hills, etc. Used alone however, it shows no shadows so no concept of depth, angle, etc. AND if following anyone, all you will see is their dust.

    Third, buy a lighting system that is simple and bright. The more bells and whistles, the more to go wrong. I like my older Nightrider HID: on/off and bright as he**. Runs for 5 hours, even though just thinking about a 5 hour night ride makes me puke (Generally, 3 hours is more than enough). Also, stick with major brands. Check the reviews for the best ones out there. LED and Li-Ion batteries are the latest and lightest, but HID's and Ni-Mh bats are still bright and dependable.

    Quatro, get a good BRIGHT rear blinkie. Most night rides can include some road, and if nothing else, it's a good beacon for your buddy you dropped. It might even make the kitties think twice about you as a bedtime snack.

    Cinco, pack a small LED flashlight in your pack/pocket for trail side fixes and emergencies.

    Last but not least, ride in LEGAL areas with buds. A good way to get started is the docent led rides in OC or Thursdays at the Fully Loop (lots of people). Taking on something early like the San Juan Trail will only put you off to the idea, and riding illegal areas can be costly.

    Also, if you live in OC, The Path bike shop is having a big sale this Sunday so it might be a good time to save some coin on a good set-up.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbchik25
    I'd like to start doing some night riding however, i need to get a good light. i'd like to be able to see every little rut or bump in the trail as i'm not a huge fan of crashing. after looking at lights for a while, i feel a little overwhelmed by my options. tell me what to buy please?


    LED or HID??

    What's the difference? What would you get?

    Most of them mount onto the helmet right?

    help
    Hi mtbchik25,
    I have been looking into lights as well. I kind of narrowed it down to 2 choices:

    Nite Rider Sol LED on Sale at Beyond Bikes for 129.99 down from 150.--
    Nite Rider MiNewt X2 Li-Ion at Beyond Bikes for 159.99 down from 190.--

    I think both of them are usually handle bar mounted. I think going cheaper will not be a good choice in the long run. Check it out, let me know what you think.
    Lets get some lights and hit Calaveras .....

  10. #10
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    I night ride a lot and I've been really happy running two Niterider HIDs. They're the "Eduro" model that available here and there online for a really good price. Somewhere around $280. But it's designed as a helmet mount light. You can run in on your bar just fine but you have to pay $25 extra for the bar mount and either buy a battery bag to hang the battery on your frame or bungee the battery into your bottle cage. In other words, the battery doesn't come in a handy package ready to be strapped to your bike.

    One more piece of advice that was touched on earlier: if you run one light, run it on the bar, if you run two, then bar and helmet is good. But you don't want to only run one light as helmet mount. Since the light comes from your viewing angle, you won't see shadows, which helps you read the trail better.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbchik25
    I'd like to start doing some night riding however, i need to get a good light. i'd like to be able to see every little rut or bump in the trail as i'm not a huge fan of crashing. after looking at lights for a while, i feel a little overwhelmed by my options. tell me what to buy please?


    LED or HID??

    What's the difference? What would you get?

    Most of them mount onto the helmet right?

    help
    Do you have riding buddies with lights? If there's a group of riders you know, or a local shop with a night-riding scene, there will always be older Halogen lights in peoples' parts bins. Mountainbikers tend to evangelize the night--it's a safe bet you can find someone to loan lights to you so you can try a single-bulb helmet light, a dual-bulb bar-mount, etc... and see for yourself. You can also check out the gnarly, eye-searing HID lights, the new uber-LED rigs that run all night, etc...

    If you're just getting into it, a used Halogen dual-bulb bar mount set will be great! They put out great light, run for 2+ hours and sell for low prices.

  12. #12
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    Get the Topeak HID Moonshine at $278 at Sunrise Cyclery in NY, free shipping and no tax. It has about 500 lumins and my brand new pathfinders headlights are not as bright as the Moonshine. Comes with remote, head band strap, bar mounts for light and a mount that replaces your stem cap with one the has a connector for the lithium ion battery. it runs for 2 hrs, and i have not yeat seen it use the half hour reserve battery yeat.

    Mount the moonshine on your bars and buy a cheaper but decent helmet or headmount led for running the single tracks that have quick turns, you need to be able to look around corners and a bar mount light cant do that. I shut off my hid when on a long climb and run the headmounted led to save battery time.
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  13. #13
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    I use the Niterider Mininewt X2 Dual for the handlebar and a Niterider Solmate for my helmet. I like being able to adjust the dual light patterns to fit conditions and the helmet light to see ahead of you around corners. You really need both in order to do anything other than straight ahead or slow curves. I got both on Ebay for less than $300 total.
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  14. #14
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    Performance is offering the Niterider Enduro for $239 thru Saturday 12/8. (299-20% sale). That gives you a helmet mount so you would have to buy a bar mount seperate. It's still a low price to get into a HID....Also, it's a bit heavy since it's still the NiMH battery. The newer Li Ion batteries seem to be about 1/2 the weight.

  15. #15
    keep the shiny side up!
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    nothing beats a good halogen light. sure the HID's offer a bright whiter light and longer burn times, but it washes out the details on the trail. i have been night riding for the better part of a decade and have gone through many sets of lights, including HID's. the big draw of the HID is that it is super bright, but because it is such a bright white light, u lose the contrast and details in the trail. u can actually see contrast on the trail much better with a halogen light than the brighter HID lights. when i was riding the HID light, especially when used as a helmet light, i found myself hitting bumps that i never saw. all of a sudden i would feel a good jolt that surprised me because the HID made everything look smooth. if u want to see every detail on the trail, get a strong halogen.

    i am currently using a jet starfire halogen light with the smart switch. the smart switch allows u to either run the light at full blast, a medium setting, or a lower setting so that u can save on battery life. the 20W bulb gives plenty of light and since it isn't a bright white light, it does not wash out the terrain.

    seriously try to check out some other ridders light first and determine for yourself what u prefer.

  16. #16
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    That heavy bulky battery is a downside. The Topeak Moonshine has a wallet size litium and unlike the Enduro a remote can be mounted by your grip like a motorcycle. The niteriders button is on the light. get the moonshine, its awsome and has good reviews. $287. I got 2 words for that! "Nice".

  17. #17
    MTP
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    I've had several lights, only type I can recommend is a good bar-mounted HID. I have a NiteRider I got on sale at BeyondBikes a few years ago. Still works great, though battteries have gotten lighter since then.

    Review: Bar mount
    HID
    Find a good sale
    Since you're female, don't ride alone at night. I've had some crazy experiences and I'm no small guy. I now carry pepper spray at night.
    If not biking, then what?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTP
    I've had several lights, only type I can recommend is a good bar-mounted HID. I have a NiteRider I got on sale at BeyondBikes a few years ago. Still works great, though battteries have gotten lighter since then.

    Review: Bar mount
    HID
    Find a good sale
    Since you're female, don't ride alone at night. I've had some crazy experiences and I'm no small guy. I now carry pepper spray at night.
    thanks. what kind of crazy experiences? i don't plan on riding by myself at night.......i do have pepper spray.
    Last edited by mtbchik25; 12-07-2007 at 02:21 PM.

  19. #19
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    The craziest involved a very large, unleashed dog that chased me down. As I was defending myself with my bike, I told the owner I would take care of it if I had to by any means available. She responded with profanities, screaming "Why am I riding my bike at night?!" (in an open space park, where it is legal) and then mooning me (yes, pulling down her sweat pants and assuming the position) twice! She was completely unhinged. I am convinced she was a mental patient of some sort and was off medication. Her male friend ran to the scene and had to pull her away, all the while she was screaming and going berserk. He was apologizing profusely for having the dog/beast off a leash.

    I would have peppered her and her dog if that guy wasn't there to pull her away. She was in my face and she was not restraining the dog.

    I've also come across less than savory characters doing things they shouldnt' be doing. Not concerned as a guy, but if I were female, there is no way I would want to come across those situtations. Be careful out there.

    If you want to ride Black Mtn. in PQ on Monday nights, let me know. I never miss it unless it's raining or I'm working.
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  20. #20
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MTP
    The craziest involved a very large, unleashed dog that chased me down. As I was defending myself with my bike, I told the owner I would take care of it if I had to by any means available. She responded with profanities, screaming "Why am I riding my bike at night?!" (in an open space park, where it is legal) and then mooning me (yes, pulling down her sweat pants and assuming the position) twice! She was completely unhinged. I am convinced she was a mental patient of some sort and was off medication. Her male friend ran to the scene and had to pull her away, all the while she was screaming and going berserk. He was apologizing profusely for having the dog/beast off a leash.

    I would have peppered her and her dog if that guy wasn't there to pull her away. She was in my face and she was not restraining the dog.
    This version of the story isn't nearly as interesting as when it ended with "Name and Address Withheld by Request."

  21. #21
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    Do check out the GPS/Lights forum. There is more info there than you will be able to read during a full workday

    I used the Jet Phantom, moved to the Light & Motion ARC, and now use Lupine LEDs. All fantastic lights but I moved to Lupine LEDs for the runtime, ability to dim them effectively, durability and quality of light.

    I run a lot of light with my Wilma and Betty but I have never enjoyed nightriding so much either so it's worth the $$ I spent. HID- the ARC is currently the best one out there. I think Jet makes the best Halogen except for Turbocat but TC batteries have such low runtime.

    The big downside to HID is the cost of the bulb- $125ish each and they do burn out pretty quickly sometimes. Halogen bulbs cost around $20 and LEDs are supposed to last thousands and thousands of hours and are upgradeable.

    Check out the Lights forum though- tons of good info there.

  22. #22
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    2008 Nite Rider MiNewt X2 Li-Ion, LOVE IT! I use it for commuting and it's way brighter then most peoples setup on the road.
    It wasn't me

  23. #23
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    I'm running the Cygolite Tridenx...got brand new on ebay for 230, claims to be HID bright, 4 settings, 12 hrs on low, about 3 hrs on high...quite bright.

  24. #24
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    I been using the L&M Arc Li-Ion HID and it's great but my friend recently picked up the Niterider MiniNewt X2 dual LED and it's almost as bright, half the price, and half the weight. Ofcourse my run time is like 8 hours but who really needs 8 hours unless you're doing 24hr races?

    He bought the single MiniNewt X2 at first but was definitely not as bright as he'd liked and upgraded to the dual and now is very happy. That'll be my next light unless I can afford the TriNewt.

  25. #25
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    Not so technical when it comes to lights, but I used to be a full time pro photographer so I have some nice tools hangin around. yesterday I recieved a Cateye Tripple Shot LED rechargeable light and today I compared it to my Nite RIder Enduro HID using my Minolta light meter and they both gave the almost identical readings - ISO 100, 1/60 @ F8 - the readings were all within a 1/3 of a stop so basically identical.

    You want to know where I'm going with this, well here goes.............The NR Enduro HID costs around $280 US and the Cateye TS costs around $230, the TS battery is smaller and lighter, the connectors are better, housing is better and yet it still has the same run time and recharge time but costs less.

    So if you're looking for a nice light weight LED system consider looking at the Cateye oferings. One major advantage of LED over HIS is that the LED won't suffer as bad if you stop for a while and leave it on - to fix a flat etc - where as the HID's tend to heat up.
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  26. #26
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    I've been night riding in Los Angeles for the last 8 years with a group on the west side .
    I've seen lights improve a lot in that time. Lights have got stronger and run times have improved dramatically.

    My recommendations are based on two to 4 hour rides in a group situation from someone who rides once a week....

    Get one good (250- 400 dollar ) light- HID's have a lot of illumination and a tight throw so they produce good strong light from your tire to about 30 - 40 feet in front of you.
    That way you can comfortably ride at full speed and see far enough ahead and see what you are about to ride over.
    Make your strongest light a bar mounted light with the battery on the frame. by being lower you get better definition of the trail and not as many problems with fog or dust from other riders (compared to a helmet mount).
    300 plus dollars is expensive but if you use it a lot it will be well worth the money.
    I'm currently using a Night rider Moab and can recommend it although Lite in motion is also recommended and preferred by friends of mine.
    I'm sure there are others that are also good. The strength of cables and connectors is important in a crash... the battery mount system and the light mount system is also important to long term performance and satisfaction so I would recommend paying more for a light from a company that builds them for biking.

    If you want to buy a second or cheaper , less illuminating light make that your helmet mounted light. It will help you look around corners when your handle bars light hasn't made it there yet and it wont over power your handle bat light and diminish the trail definition. Also when you are in tight corners you tend to be slower so the distance or throw of the light is of less importance than when you are charging straight down a trail

    So that's my 5 Cents... i want to add that the night rides I do allow me to ride all through the summer heat and get in rides after work which is a huge benefit to me in winter.
    The group night ride I do also is very social so its a great way to meet other riders and stay motivated about riding when you might otherwise loose motivation and stay in or work longer. I often drag my self to night rides when I'd rather just drop in front of the TV but half way up the mountain I remember why I got into riding in the first place. Under these circumstances its not hard to believe that I've made some of my best friends from my long association with my night ride group. (the beer and pizza after every ride tends to help).
    So by a light and get out there, you wont regret it

    cheers
    matthew
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  27. #27
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    Cateye Tripple Shot LED rechargeable light and today I compared it to my Nite RIder Enduro HID using my Minolta light meter and they both gave the almost identical readings - ISO 100, 1/60 @ F8 - the readings were all within a 1/3 of a stop so basically identical.


    interesting... what distance from the source did you meter the light?
    I'd love to know the readings at a couple of distance, say 6, 12 and 24 feet...
    I would suspect the Hid would be stronger a longer distances but I've never done a side by side..... care to humor me?

    matt
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  28. #28
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    Trail Tech Dual HID

    I got mine from Batteryspace.com. Trail Tech Dual HID flood helmet mount. I have velcro mounts on my bike helmets and my motorcycle helmets. Very bright and burn long.

    You will see people doing strange stuff outdoors at night that you never knew went on. Lots of wildlife too. I'm not small, easily shocked or frightened, but I have been weirded-out on a couple of night rides when I was riding late, cold and alone

    Good luck, be safe and have fun.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duzitall
    You will see people doing strange stuff outdoors at night that you never knew went on. Lots of wildlife too. I'm not small, easily shocked or frightened, but I have been weirded-out on a couple of night rides when I was riding late, cold and alone

    Good luck, be safe and have fun.
    Okay, you have to expound on that!

  30. #30
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    Was actually thinking on this as I was laying in bed last night. Initial tests was just to see if light output was staying constant on the TS as it had been in stock for a while and the damn thing kept getting a green charge light after 10mins so I left it on all night and then just had it sitting infront of a fan to see how long it would run. Pulled out the Enduro for a comparo, but only took readings like 8" away. Will prob make sure the Enduro's properly charged tonight and then do some testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew
    interesting... what distance from the source did you meter the light?
    I'd love to know the readings at a couple of distance, say 6, 12 and 24 feet...
    I would suspect the Hid would be stronger a longer distances but I've never done a side by side..... care to humor me?

    matt
    As to preference for lights, got to say 1 bar and 1 helmet is the best scenario and I was hoping the TS was more of a flood for the bars. Another note (that I have experienced, but might just be my light) is that HID's on bars when on rough tend to have small colour shifts that annoy the bejesus out of me, so I prefer them on the helmet - I'm a photographer and artist by nature I see minute colour differences easily.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  31. #31
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    Why start by experimenting with "Near Beer", when you can take the quick plung with what you're after; the heroin.

    I ride a lot at night and have owned most of all the top 4-5 light brands. I bought the Lupine Betty 6 and it is by far the best light I have ever owned or seen. It's not expensive. $600 is hard to swallow for some on a bicycle light. I ride 4-5 nights per week so It's worth it to me..

    BTW, I have owned the Jet Phanton, Night-Sun Dual XC, NightRider Flamethrower and 2 Topek Moonshine HID.
    "So long as I can have the sex, and the drugs...I don't really need the rock and roll" -Spinal Tap

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagaredama
    Okay, you have to expound on that!
    People having sex at Marion Bear, Florida canyon and Mission Bay.

    In Tecolote Preserve a young man with a large axe sent his really big (and mean) dog after me. Dog almost got me too. I told the ranger the next day but he seemed more concerned about the paintballers that took a few shots at someone else.

    Homeless people are everywhere. They are usually harmless but just kinda appear when you stop to pee or change a flat.

    I saw a large group of people standing in a circle having a worship ritual or something.

    I have seen large packs of coyotes and wondered how hungry are they? I've seen mountain lions in the day and hope never to see one at night.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting the best ones. I guess the fog and cold of winter nights just makes my imagination take hold when I'm riding alone. I should not be out riding alone but sometimes I have no choice. It's a busy world we live in.

    Lynx is correct about the HID color change when the lights bounce. It's not a problem on your helmet but I can see how it might be if using a handlebar mount.

  33. #33
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Tests........

    .........so I did some testing @ 6ft, 15ft and 25ft and here's what I got.

    Cateye TS = 1 Sec @ F11.8. 5.68 & 2.88
    NR Enduro = 1 Sec @ F11.9, 5.69 & 4.0

    So basically less than 1/3rd a stop difference and the LED did not fall off like maybe you were thinking. True test will be when I get a chance to do a proper night ride with both of them - TS on bars, enduro on helmet - that I will visually be able to tell which has better colour, beam etc. Right now from initial testing it would seem the Cateye TS has the spotier beam @ 25ft, but just by a fraction.


    Quote Originally Posted by matthew
    ................interesting... what distance from the source did you meter the light?
    I'd love to know the readings at a couple of distance, say 6, 12 and 24 feet...
    I would suspect the Hid would be stronger a longer distances but I've never done a side by side..... care to humor me?

    matt
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    .........so I did some testing @ 6ft, 15ft and 25ft and here's what I got.

    Cateye TS = 1 Sec @ F11.8. 5.68 & 2.88
    NR Enduro = 1 Sec @ F11.9, 5.69 & 4.0

    So basically less than 1/3rd a stop difference and the LED did not fall off like maybe you were thinking. True test will be when I get a chance to do a proper night ride with both of them - TS on bars, enduro on helmet - that I will visually be able to tell which has better colour, beam etc. Right now from initial testing it would seem the Cateye TS has the spotier beam @ 25ft, but just by a fraction.

    damm... nicely done, i would have sworn the HID would hold the edge by a lot more especially at longer distances.
    Guess I'll have to look at a lot more options next time i hav to replace my light.
    cheers
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    I see a huge trend with people recommending an HID setup for you, HID's are awesome I raced with a nightrider HID setup at 12 hours of temecula this year and it was a great light, plenty of light output and decent burn times. However there are drawbacks to HID,
    1) the bulbs are much more fragile than an LED or halogen setup a good hard crash on your light could kill the bulb and leave you in the dark, 2) the replacement bulbs are quite expensive the average replacement bulb cost for a nightrider HID is arounf $100, 3) turning on and off your light and operating the light decreasing bulb life, so eventually (it may be a couple or several years depending on how much you ride) you'll have to replace a bulb. They do provide a crisp white/bue light that provides graet visibility, and definatley go with a bar mounted setup it sits lower and hence produces shadows so you can see the terrain. Ideally I'd also reccomend a small helment mount light so you can see around corners better, check out this company Denotte (i'm not 100% on the spelling) they make a great little helment mount that is super light and reliable not to mention very bright considering its size. If you're looking for an awesome barmount light I'd reccommend the Niterider Tri-Newt, its an LED light that has a 500 lumen output and its the brightest light niterider has ever produced. it uses a li-ion battery which is quite lightweight and it straps to your toptube. It has a high and low beam and the runtimes are 3.5-7 hours respectively. It also has a four hour smartcharger. LEDs are fantastic because of the bulblife, durability, and light output. They produce a very bright white light. The trinewt's beam also covers a very wide area and is incredibly bright. I work in a shop and we took both the niterider trinewt and the niterider enduro (which is HID) out back and did a side by side test. The both seem equally as bright but the trinewt definatly had a far broader beam which is ideal for seeing around singletrack corners at night. Hope I didn't ramble on to much or throw too much tech info in there, good luck picking out a light and have fun nightriding, its an absolute blast.

  36. #36
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    Forgot to mention for those that are not photogrpahically inclined, the F-stops run like this...........f 1.8, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11,16, 22. So when you see f2.88 it's basically f4, that's 2/10ths of a stop off - last digit is tenths.

    Yup, surprised me too in a very pleasant way. As mentioned the LED's don't cost as much to replace and their life isn't dependant on how many times you turn them on.

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew
    damm... nicely done, i would have sworn the HID would hold the edge by a lot more especially at longer distances.
    Guess I'll have to look at a lot more options next time i hav to replace my light.
    cheers
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    Regarding Dinotte, the 600L is a very well designed light with independent circuitry so if one LED malfunctions, the others stay on. It's quite a bit lighter than the Trinewt and that is helpful if you want to mount it on the helmet. The bar mount is fantastic, with a QR type mount. Dinotte also has very good customer service and the LEDs are upgradeable as brighter ones come in. With NR, I was told you simply have to buy a new lighthead. Of course, I'm not sure how much either way would cost so that may be a wash. The 600L is $400 shipped with two Li-Ion batteries.

    I personally do not like NR products. My friends and local shops have too many bad experiences with them regarding realibiity of the lighthead and faulty chargers as well with the Trinewt. However, the markup is very generous so many shops still carry them. You can get a Trinewt for $300 or even less. I cheack when shopping for my lights recently. However, I still would not buy one. I'll pay more and get a reliable and well-designed setup that will not leave me stranded in the foothills somewhere with some hungry mtn lions lurking about. The Trinewt charger indicated fully charged while there was less than half charge in the battery. NR has recalled (formally or informally) many of these chargers- not sure how the latest ones are doing. As far as the most reliable brands I know of go, Light & Motion, Jet Lites, Dinotte, Lupine, are the ones that come to mind.

    HIDs still produce very good light but the L&M ARC and the Lupine Edison were the best among those we could/can get here. NR was among the dimmest but again, the high markup helps them sell well. A couple of Aussie ones are also very bright. However, replacement bulbs are really expensive so stick with a reliable brand. Halogens are still a really good value. Read some of the reviews and chk out the mtbr light shootouts done each year. All the beam patterns are pictured.

  38. #38
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    Dinotte all the way 600l on the bar and a 200l on the helmet.. http://www.dinottelighting.com/index.html

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Regarding Dinotte, the 600L is a very well designed light with independent circuitry so if one LED malfunctions, the others stay on. It's quite a bit lighter than the Trinewt and that is helpful if you want to mount it on the helmet. The bar mount is fantastic, with a QR type mount. Dinotte also has very good customer service and the LEDs are upgradeable as brighter ones come in. With NR, I was told you simply have to buy a new lighthead. Of course, I'm not sure how much either way would cost so that may be a wash. The 600L is $400 shipped with two Li-Ion batteries.

    I personally do not like NR products. My friends and local shops have too many bad experiences with them regarding realibiity of the lighthead and faulty chargers as well with the Trinewt. However, the markup is very generous so many shops still carry them. You can get a Trinewt for $300 or even less. I cheack when shopping for my lights recently. However, I still would not buy one. I'll pay more and get a reliable and well-designed setup that will not leave me stranded in the foothills somewhere with some hungry mtn lions lurking about. The Trinewt charger indicated fully charged while there was less than half charge in the battery. NR has recalled (formally or informally) many of these chargers- not sure how the latest ones are doing. As far as the most reliable brands I know of go, Light & Motion, Jet Lites, Dinotte, Lupine, are the ones that come to mind.

    HIDs still produce very good light but the L&M ARC and the Lupine Edison were the best among those we could/can get here. NR was among the dimmest but again, the high markup helps them sell well. A couple of Aussie ones are also very bright. However, replacement bulbs are really expensive so stick with a reliable brand. Halogens are still a really good value. Read some of the reviews and chk out the mtbr light shootouts done each year. All the beam patterns are pictured.

    Flyer,

    Was wondering why you have not tried a Trail- Tech MR11 HID for $200? I've had zero problems with mine, and it is designed for motorcycling, so it's crash worthy at the measly speeds most of us ride single trails at.

    They are able to offer it at this great price because of their direct marketing, thereby eliminating one of the many middlemen that heap their profit onto the price you pay for a simple light and battery. It's not rocket science or fancy engineering.

    Maybe expensive bulbs will provide people with incentive to not crash. Since the OP has indicated to me that she doesn't like crashing and is careful when riding at night, I think it's a non issue. The bulb is rated for 1000 hours. If you do 2 hour rides at night, that's 500 rides. A $90 bulb over 500 rides is less than 20 cents per ride. Most of us spend beaucoup bucks on gas to drive just to our riding areas to ride. So in the grand scheme of things, the cost of a bulb is insignificant. Heck... I payed over $50 for a Schwalbe Fat Albert that I get 300 miles out of tops, about 20 to 25 rides. That's $2.00 or more a ride, every time I take it out.

  40. #40
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    Well, I have always been so content with my Jet and more recently, my ARC. The base (NiMH) ARC was around $300 and most of my riding buddies were using NRs at the time. One was using the ARC and had for a couple of years. I was so impressed with the beam pattern that Ibought one. Not only was it brighter than the other HID I had seen at the time but it had an incredible peripheral width which dwarfed the others as well. So I ended up buying the ARC.

    Then I recently started to look at the LEDs because my rides were getting longer and I ride alone sometimes. Sometimes, my night rides take me to a point where I'd have to walk for hours to get back (Colorado trails). I also go on epic rides in unknown areas where a mechanical issue could cause me to need hours in non-populated and pretty wild areas (well, a decent population of mtn lions and bear). With the LEDs, I can dim to a 12% level and slowly ride or walk with upto 40 hrs of burntime. I can dim to 40%-60% and get 8 plus hours. So I needed that burntime if I ever got into a position like that.

    My trails can also be really rocky and fast so a crash would have much less of a chance of busting up a LED light. So since I was looking at the LEDs, I switched. I was extremely happy with my ARC- never a complaint. I just needed something more robust and with a significant burntime when dimmed. I often ride alone in the Upper Rockies and though I know the trails, a bad mechanical could easily leave me a 5-6 hour walk/jog from the trailhead. So I use two lights now and use LEDs only. I spent a lot on the Wilma and Betty but I have no regrets. I saved up and sold a couple of other things lying around to finance them. The brightness, beam pattern, and quality are amazing and thee will be the last lights I need to buy.

    I also ride pretty carefully actually but here in the Rockies, some sections can trip you up at night. I had a pretty hard crash the other day that ruined my helmet but the lights were fine. This happened in a slow rocky section that I have gone through dozens of times easily. The line looked a bit different during the turn and I got my front wheel caught and I went down in a split second with no chance of reacting or unclipping. I hit my knee, shoulder and helmet on rocks and I was pretty lucky.





    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    Flyer,

    Was wondering why you have not tried a Trail- Tech MR11 HID for $200? I've had zero problems with mine, and it is designed for motorcycling, so it's crash worthy at the measly speeds most of us ride single trails at.

    They are able to offer it at this great price because of their direct marketing, thereby eliminating one of the many middlemen that heap their profit onto the price you pay for a simple light and battery. It's not rocket science or fancy engineering.

    Maybe expensive bulbs will provide people with incentive to not crash. Since the OP has indicated to me that she doesn't like crashing and is careful when riding at night, I think it's a non issue. The bulb is rated for 1000 hours. If you do 2 hour rides at night, that's 500 rides. A $90 bulb over 500 rides is less than 20 cents per ride. Most of us spend beaucoup bucks on gas to drive just to our riding areas to ride. So in the grand scheme of things, the cost of a bulb is insignificant. Heck... I payed over $50 for a Schwalbe Fat Albert that I get 300 miles out of tops, about 20 to 25 rides. That's $2.00 or more a ride, every time I take it out.

  41. #41
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    night lights

    I just raced at the 12hrs of Temecula in November and the brightest light I found was the TriNewt by Night Rider. I bought it the day before the race. I was also lucky enough to win a 2008 Nite Rider MiNewt X2 after the race. The TriNewt is super bright all by itself weighing 519 grams and having a 3 1/2 to 7 hr burn time. I used mine for almost 5hrs with no lapse in brightness. I use the TriNewt for my MTB and the MiNewt is perfect for the rode ride. I havent used them together yet but I plan on it later this year.
    Night Rider seems to have a product for every need and price range.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTP
    The craziest involved a very large, unleashed dog that chased me down. As I was defending myself with my bike, I told the owner I would take care of it if I had to by any means available. She responded with profanities, screaming "Why am I riding my bike at night?!" (in an open space park, where it is legal) and then mooning me (yes, pulling down her sweat pants and assuming the position) twice! She was completely unhinged. I am convinced she was a mental patient of some sort and was off medication. Her male friend ran to the scene and had to pull her away, all the while she was screaming and going berserk. He was apologizing profusely for having the dog/beast off a leash.

    I would have peppered her and her dog if that guy wasn't there to pull her away. She was in my face and she was not restraining the dog.

    I've also come across less than savory characters doing things they shouldnt' be doing. Not concerned as a guy, but if I were female, there is no way I would want to come across those situtations. Be careful out there.

    If you want to ride Black Mtn. in PQ on Monday nights, let me know. I never miss it unless it's raining or I'm working.
    I had a neighbors dog chase after me and bite at my feet after i got done riding from my apt in costa mesa through El Morro canyn and back. I kicked this dog on top of its head and it yelped like a puppy. I had to get off my bike and use it as a shield, also running towards the dog scared it and made it run away, this technique is probably good for mountain lions as well. Oh yeah and this dog was freaking big and mean.

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