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  1. #1
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    Interested in what everyone is using for headlight/taillight on their commuter.


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  2. #2
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    Taillights:

    The Duchess:

    DIY Rear lights about 100-120 lumens each:



    With the Cygolite HotShot:



    The beams were aimed a little high:



    Now moved to rack mount and the HotShot lowered a bit:



    Cross traffic view from video, helmet light off:



    On the back of the helmet to clear shorter SUVs:



    Streaking by the camera at driver's eye height with the helmet light on:



    DIY Headlights, 1 Cree XML and 900 lumens each, New amber "snoots" and brake pad remount since pic:



    Beam:



    DIY narrow stacked beam Headlamp, 1 Cree XPC and 2 XPG's, About 500 lumens:



    Beam:



    All lights, no flash:

    http://imageshack.com/a/img689/4444/img0172uo.jpg

    Errand bike:

    DIY Dynamo headlight:



    Fresnel lens makes a nice cut-off:



    Sturmey Archer 90 mm Drum Brake & hub dynamo:



    Rear a Planet Bike Turbo on the fender and two PDF Radbot 1000s on seat stays.

    Did not turn the fender light on this video:

    Last edited by BrianMc; 10-20-2013 at 06:02 PM.

  3. #3
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    I use Gemini lights, mostly.

    Gemini Olympia on the handlebars. Gemini Duo on the helmet.

    Gemini Titan with a red beam shaping lens under the saddle, pointed rearwards.

    I also use a Blackburn Mars 4.0 rear mounted on the seatpost.

  4. #4
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    I'm a Bausch & Meuller fan. I have 2 sets of dynamo lights from them... The first set I got was the IQ CYO RT headlight paired with the Toplight Line rackmount tail light. The second set was the same tail light paired with the new Lumotec-B headlamp. The Lumotec is pricy, but VERY NICE.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    B&M Cyo in front, Seculite in back with a Superflash bungied to my helmet for backup, bad traffic, or bad visibility. Love it and no plans to change.
    Recalculating....

  6. #6
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    Was running a Superflash on the rear until it decided enough was enough and leapt from the bike...now running a cheapie Bell Walmart special. In the front using a MagicShine knockoff I picked up on Amazon. Nothing super fancy but it does the trick of seeing and being seen. Last winter the LBS ipiwner said he could see me >1/2 mie away between the two lights. Although I've been thinking about some upgrades/changes but there's other things I need I spend my cash on unfortunately.

  7. #7
    Natural Born Killer
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    I'm currently running a hodge-podge of lights, but I'm in the process of building a set of Cree XM-L handlebar mounted lights. I also just purchased a Lenser H7 LED headlamp that I've mounted on my helmet. I'm very pleased with it so far. It's got lever on the light itself to adjust for a spot or wide beam. There is also a lever on the battery pack to adjust intensity from 25-200 lumens. With the 3 AAA battery pack mounted on the back of the helmet it, balances out fairly well. Battery life on high is supposed to be about 5 hours. For $35 shipped, I think it's a great deal.
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  8. #8
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    Magicshine MJ-816E front, and 818 rear. Bright, and they share a battery (which is convenient but also a possible common point of failure).

  9. #9
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    Headlight: NiteRider MiNewt 600 for the commute and MagicShine MJ818 for longer night rides or mountain biking

    Taillights: NiteRider Solas on the seatstay and Planet Bike Superflash Turbo on the helmet

  10. #10
    jrm
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    L&M Taz 1200 up front and a cateye blinky in back. At first i was using the high or 1200L setting but it seems as if i get better response from drivers using the 500 L strobe mode instead.

  11. #11
    CheesyRider
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    Fenix BT-20 in front and Planet Bike Superflash Turbo in back.
    Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.

  12. #12
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    I've got a Princton Tec Apex headlamp strapped to my helmet, a chepo LED flashlight strapped to the handlebars to flood the trail or act as a front blinky. I've got two small red LED blinkers in back along with a Princeton Tec Swerve tail light in back. I am thinking that I need to move one of the blinkies up to my helmet, but apart from that, the combo has worked quite well for my fall, winter, and spring riding here in Alaska where we seem to need lights a bit more than many other places for much of the year.

  13. #13
    CB of the East
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Headlight: NiteRider MiNewt 600 for the commute and MagicShine MJ818 for longer night rides or mountain biking

    Taillights: NiteRider Solas on the seatstay and Planet Bike Superflash Turbo on the helmet
    Headlight: NiteRider MiNewt 600 on the bars, NiteRider Lumina 700 on the lid for trails.

    Taillights: NiteRider Solas on the helmet(flashing) and NiteRider Solas on the bike (solid)

    I've been more than happy with NiteRider products. Small USA company with great service.

  14. #14
    Fat!Drunk!Slow!
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    Front: Cygolite Expilion 800 USB
    Rear: Planet Bike Superflash

  15. #15
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    Lupine Piko's on the helmet and bars, Dinotte on the left seatstay & Princeton Tec Swerve on the backpack.

  16. #16
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    2 led flashlights from harbor freight mounted with live strong bracelets. Suprisingly bright lol Do i win most ghetto award?

  17. #17
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    No, because I'm running two Ozark Trail lights from Wally World attached with hose clamps from the plumbing section.

    It's a tie.


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  18. #18
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    Name:  9278767751_46a45f9acf.jpg
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    now run them under the bar since im now using trekking bars. $5 a pop so i cant complain

  19. #19
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    Nice.


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  20. #20
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    The $30 Magicshine knockoffs.

    A price-point at which a backup headlight remains a good idea.

    But damn, they're bright for $30.
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  21. #21
    since 4/10/2009
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    I have an early Magicshine on the front, around 500 lumens on high, and a Magicshine taillight on the rack, throwing I think around 200 lumens (both running on blink). Attached to a Geoman 6Ah battery pack for quite a long runtime. I also have a Blackburn blinkie I will use additionally. Sometimes attached to the pack, but I don't think it has a good visibility angle there. I have been using it on the seatpost, but that location doesn't make it easy to put things on top of the rack. Going to put it on my helmet next.

    I want to put some sort of self contained light/battery combo on the helmet for a front steady light, also. Something with a little bit lower output, but longer runtime. Maybe 200 lumens tops. The NR Lumina Flare, on low (roughly 200 lumens) claims a 5.5hr runtime, and the Lumina 350 claims 6hr on low (125 lumens). The Lumina Flare comes with a helmet mount. So does the MiNewt Mini 350, and it's got settings in the right neighborhood. Unfortunately, the Lumina 350 doesn't come with a helmet mount, so I'm not sure if I could get one as an extra accessory for that light.

    I also want one of those long, narrow lights to put on the non-drive chainstay (on steady).

  22. #22
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    I'm thinking of going with a Magicshine knockoff, two blinkies on front, a large steady red and a small blinkie on back, and I'm working on attaching a string of LEDs to my backpack, since I don't ride without it, and rarely go off road.


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  23. #23
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    Minewt 750 on the handlebar- this light has magically died on me during the day while working and suddenly does not work when I go to leave at night, so I carry a backup. I have contacted Niterider about this.

    Solarforce LP2 flashlight with a Two Fish bracket- backup light in case the Minewt fails.

    Tiny blinky zip-tied to the front of my helmet.

    Superflash x2, one on the seatpost and one attached to the back of my helmet by o-ring

    Cateye something... strapped onto the back of my rack.

    Knog Frogs- white one on my front hub and red on the back. don't know how much good these do, but they look cool.

  24. #24
    Bedwards Of The West
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    My single Superflash on the seatpost is plenty for my very rural commute. People that have talked to me about seeing me on my morning commute have consistantly brought up the fact that they saw me from so far out they thought there was a police car on the side of the road way up ahead

    In a rural environment you're not really competing with any other light sources, so I have never felt the need to be crazy about my light sources.

    I use a Planet Bike Blaze 2 watt headlight up front. I definitely want a nice 'trail-worthy' headlight for hitting the trail on the mountain bike though. The Blaze is great for the dark commute, but it doesn't cut it on the trail (I've tried).
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  25. #25
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    Serfs thunderbolt front and rear both set to flash then a exposure helmet light(900lm).

  26. #26
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    I use a B&M Luxos B (on at all times) and added a Cygolite Metro that I use in flash mode during the daytime, and either the flickering "Steadypulse" mode or steady-burn at night. The Luxos is a good light for dark rural highways, but it doesn't put a lot of light above the horizon, so the Cygolite's more indiscriminate beam pattern makes a good "see-me" booster and provides redundancy.

    If I'm on training commutes that involve fast rural descents with a threat of deer collisions, then I may switch from the Cygolite to the DiNotte 1200+ as the second light. But what's even more useful against deer, is a helmet light. The most visible part of a deer is its reflective eyes, and retroreflective stuff shows best when the light source is close to one's eyes. So for that role, I just rubber-band my S-Mini XP-G flashlight to my helmet and make sure to switch it on and sweep for deer on the descents.


    For the rear, I presently use a Hotshot hard-mounted to the seatpost so it's aimed right, and may clip a second one to my trunk bag. I also have a Fibre Flare I'll clip to my pannier for shopping trips... these are a fiber-optic omnidirectional light that use two AAAs (so rechargeables are an economical option). I got it off Ebay. They also come in other colors, including amber.


  27. #27
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Front on the bar - Niterider Lumina 350
    Rear on the seatpost - BlackBurn Flea 2.0

    I run the rear blinker all the time on the way in and home. Headlight only on the way home. I work the second shift, so leaving work at 11:30pm and you need that headlight. Both have USB charging and can charge off the cellphone charger I keep in my bag which is very convenient.

  28. #28
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    I use the Niterider 700, on the low setting since my commute is a city commute with street lights...but if I ever hit a dark stretch of road, the brighter setting are there.

  29. #29
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tan&Green View Post
    I use the Niterider 700, on the low setting since my commute is a city commute with street lights...but if I ever hit a dark stretch of road, the brighter setting are there.
    Do you ever get flashed by oncoming traffic with that 700? On the middle setting of my 350, I got flashed three times in one night. It's bright, but c'mon, it is just a bike light!!

  30. #30
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    You might want to check where your light is aimed. It should be aimed down at the road, not up into the eyes of cars. If drivers are flashing you, you might have your light aimed to high. Check your municipality for the laws and codes that are applicable where you ride... It may be illegal to have your light focused to high.

  31. #31
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I have mine angled down slightly, to avoid drivers. I may need further adjustments.

  32. #32
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    I've not had any issues with my 1000+ lumen 3 XLM headlight, even when angled almost parallel with the ground. I have been bright flashed when walking around with my SureFire headlamp, which I didn't expect.


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  33. #33
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    ^^ I found it helpful to shine the lights at a garage door or wall to see how high the beam is going. (Second post, this thread.) I have also leaned the bike against something with the lights on and walked away from it and back at the same next lane distance a driver would be, both crouching down (Miata) and standing (Expedition), to get a sense of how these drivers would see me. I decided to rein in a bit of the side output with an amber pill bottle cut to fit. That gave me yellow side markers as well as cut the glare way down for oncoming but didn't sacrifice lighting in front of me. A video camera with decent night capabilities can also help sort out what works best while offending least. See thread on wheel tape for recent ones.

  34. #34
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    I’ve gotten a couple compliments on my lights recently. One lady had just parked her car and commented “I like your lights. There is no doubt about what you are”. The next was a pedestrian in the crosswalk when I stopped to let him cross. You’d think he would be annoyed by the helmet light at about his eye level and the flashing bar light, but he said “I like your lights”. I think there are enough unlighted cyclists around that people appreciate the effort at visibility.

  35. #35
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    I think I'm gonna head down to Hobby Lobby and buy some battery powered Christmas lights and wrap 'em around the frame. Then I'll be visible AND jolly.


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  36. #36
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    My wife came home rattled last week after nearly running over a ninja cyclist. Any lights are better than none.

  37. #37
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I think there are enough unlighted cyclists around that people appreciate the effort at visibility.
    I may not have had such outward compliments for my lights, but I make the same sorts of conclusions based on the amount of space drivers give me at night when I'm lit up. I think they do appreciate the effort I take to be visible when there are so many ninja salmon they have to worry about.

  38. #38
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    I think I'm gonna head down to Hobby Lobby and buy some battery powered Christmas lights and wrap 'em around the frame. Then I'll be visible AND jolly.


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    The battery compartments/controllers on those things are pretty wimpy. I had something similar actually designed to be put on a bike (Bike Glow) and it fell apart, in spite of being wrapped in a cushioned pouch and put under the saddle. I will use one for the occasional special ride, but not for regular use anymore.

  39. #39
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    I won't be doing it for any length of time, but I think it will be a fun way to bring about Advent and the holidays, especially now that my commute is both ways in the dark. It's hard to be mad at a fella with green and red all over his bike.


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  40. #40
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    AXA Luxx 70 Plus

    I recently installed the AXA Luxx 70 Plus dynamo light. Have not tested the USB charging function yet, but am overall pleased with the light output while commuting on mostly well-lit streets. The horizontal cut-off optics are nice -- the lens directs the light onto the pavement and doesn't blind on-coming cyclists. I got a few compliments on the light from fellow commuters this week. I don't believe dynamo hubs and lights are very common in Montreal.

    The automatic sensor functionality does not seem to be working, but I don't care, because I intended to have the light on at all times anyway. Since it's my first dynamo light, I don't have anything to compare the AXA to, but I also have a Herrmans H-One S in the mail for my "snow" bike, and I'll post my thoughts after I've used both.

    The installation was easy. I drilled the OMM front rack and passed the wire through it instead of using tie wraps. It worked beautifully. (Pardon the crappy cellphone pictures).

    What lights are you using for your commute?-photo-1.jpg

    What lights are you using for your commute?-photo-2.jpg

    What lights are you using for your commute?-photo-3.jpg

    What lights are you using for your commute?-photo-4.jpg

    What lights are you using for your commute?-photo-5.jpg

  41. #41
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    I like your bikes, Uberpower
    I usually don`t turn my lights off either. Never heard of Axa or Herrmans. Did you buy them from NA or ordered from Europe? And what hub is that? Nice idea routing inside the rack strut- I gave up trying to find hidden routing, eventually just went to taping computer and light wires to the fork leg. I do have a reatively slick routing method for my dyno powered tail light, which completely eliminated the snaggin problems I used to experience. I passed the wire through a piece of 1/4 inch irrigation line (black plastic that looks just like brake cable housing) and lay that tubing between two of the TT-routed cables, using a pair of plastic clips to keep it there. Did you make those skewer mounts on your racks youself?
    Recalculating....

  42. #42
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    Just picked up a new light yesterday - Cygolite's Expilion 680 USB. Nice light for the money, overall. My initial take is available here.

    I have to get some trail time with it to see what I really think about it, which I think I might try to do this weekend.

  43. #43
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    Regarding aiming it, you have to remember that bike lights don't have a cutoff like car headlights. Make sure the whole hot spot of the light is aimed at the ground. I have a NiteRider MiNewt 600 (predecessor to the Lumina series, almost exactly the same thing) and never get flashed when keeping the hot spot aimed about 10' in front of the bike.

  44. #44
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Regarding aiming it, you have to remember that bike lights don't have a cutoff like car headlights. Make sure the whole hot spot of the light is aimed at the ground. I have a NiteRider MiNewt 600 (predecessor to the Lumina series, almost exactly the same thing) and never get flashed when keeping the hot spot aimed about 10' in front of the bike.
    That's about the same aiming strategy I use for my Magicshine. Never flashed by a car once I started aiming it that way.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I like your bikes, Uberpower
    I usually don`t turn my lights off either. Never heard of Axa or Herrmans. Did you buy them from NA or ordered from Europe? And what hub is that? Nice idea routing inside the rack strut- I gave up trying to find hidden routing, eventually just went to taping computer and light wires to the fork leg. I do have a reatively slick routing method for my dyno powered tail light, which completely eliminated the snaggin problems I used to experience. I passed the wire through a piece of 1/4 inch irrigation line (black plastic that looks just like brake cable housing) and lay that tubing between two of the TT-routed cables, using a pair of plastic clips to keep it there. Did you make those skewer mounts on your racks youself?
    Thanks!! Great idea for the rear light wiring - I have been too lazy to install one mainly because I couldn't think of a good method to not have exposed wire running along the frame. I will consider the irrigation line trick.

    I bought the AXA light from Germany, since it's the only one I knew about that had the USB charger built-in, aside from the prohibitively expensive Luxos U. I like to use European bike lights, since most lights available here is North America are really just glorified flashlights that spill light in all directions and are horrendously annoying to oncoming motorists and cyclists alike.

    The hub pictured is the Sanyo H27 -- a popular inexpensive commuter unit.

    Finally, the rack is a rock-solid OMM Pioneer unit that came with the quick-release attachments. It's an overkill for this bike, but I also use it for the occasional dirt-road tour if I want to use a suspension fork.

  46. #46
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    FWIW, A few years back I had a BMW driver tell me to "get that ****ing light out of his eyes" when using a non-flashing 1990s-era headlight that was maybe 25 lumens.

    So... not every driver flashing headlights should be taken literally.


    And these days if someone flashes the high beams at me, I usually flash my high beams back.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    FWIW, A few years back I had a BMW driver tell me to "get that ****ing light out of his eyes" when using a non-flashing 1990s-era headlight that was maybe 25 lumens.

    So... not every driver flashing headlights should be taken literally.


    And these days if someone flashes the high beams at me, I usually flash my high beams back.
    I'll add some comments on the subject. I commute in a couple environments: city arterials (including high-turnover parking), and rural highways.

    On the rural highway, with no other lights around, I take thought of my impact on oncoming traffic (pedestrians, cyclists, motorists). I know what it's like to have my night vision blasted, so I'll switch off my "high-beam" lights and run just the Luxos B or Cyo until they've passed. I've still been high-beamed even then, so... whatever. Sorry that my German-spec 250-lumen light is too much for your royal highness's eyes...

    Unfortunately, because bicycles have short wheelbases, even small heaves and humps in the road can send my super-awesome German-engineered cutoff beam aimed right up into peoples' eyes, so there's a limit to what you can do. Other scenarios have the same effect, e.g. cresting a hill. I could shoot some illustrative videos on the subject. This one is sort of relevant, comparing some non-cutoff lights to a common American minivan:

    Bike headlight versus car headlight: impact to oncoming viewer - YouTube

    In the city, I don't worry about annoying anyone. I need to do everything practical to get noticed at all. 500-lumen strobe in the daytime? Sure, maybe people can see that in their fogged-up mirror before they throw their car door open into my path.

    Here's a sample of my route, for perspective:



    One environment I avoid is multi-user paths, which I view as a no-win situation. Pedestrians with no lights of their own will be blasted by any light you can reasonably ride 15mph with, and you're passing oncoming people at near-collision courses. I'll happily take an arterial, thanks.

  48. #48
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    I just picked up a pair (red and white) of these suckers. First time I've ever ridden with lights on my bike.

    Bontrager: Glo and Ember Multi-Use Lights (Model #11364)

    The only reason I'm using lights is because ...ughhh... its the law ... and there have been a couple hit and run deaths recently in my area. I've realized in my 6 years of commuting that accidents and dangerous circumstances don't come up from a lack of visibility, they come from a lack of a driver attention, and no legal amount of lights will ever change that.

    Sure I'll strap these lights on when it gets dark out, but there is no way in hell that I'm getting a bell. SORRY COPPERS!!!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyamBoi View Post
    The only reason I'm using lights is because ...ughhh... its the law ... and there have been a couple hit and run deaths recently in my area. I've realized in my 6 years of commuting that accidents and dangerous circumstances don't come up from a lack of visibility, they come from a lack of a driver attention, and no legal amount of lights will ever change that.
    Guess you've never nearly run over a ninja salmon before, have you? Drunk ninja salmon? Didn't think so. Lack of visibility absolutely is a factor. If I see a bicycle with enough warning, I give them more space. And I've noticed the same when riding. When drivers see me, they give me more space, because they don't want to hit me, either. Amazing concept, really.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Guess you've never nearly run over a ninja salmon before, have you? Drunk ninja salmon? Didn't think so. Lack of visibility absolutely is a factor. If I see a bicycle with enough warning, I give them more space. And I've noticed the same when riding. When drivers see me, they give me more space, because they don't want to hit me, either. Amazing concept, really.
    Well, to add an anecdotal rebuttal, I've been hit 3 times in broad daylight, and "visually ignored" countless other times during the day (the classic car turning right who doesn't check bike lane left before pulling into your lane). Never had one scuff at night and all I've ever had is a rear reflector. As always, when you are on a bike, if you aren't more aware than everyone else on the road, you are in danger.

    Never heard that term though, but I've definitely been a drunk salmon (sans ninja) many a times. But I stand by my comment. If people aren't looking, they wont see.

    The guy who died in my area was a hit and run. Do you know how they found him? Someone saw his lights at 630 in the morning in the ditch. He was killed by a negligent driver that didn't see a well lit bike late at night on an empty road. With all the drivers on their cell phones, I'm not putting any more eggs in my safety basket now that I'm rocking lights. Like I said, I'm only putting them on at night cause its the law. I'll continue to use my ears, peripheral vision, and body language to keep me safe. Pretending every driver is your grandma works too. Visions of SouthPark, at least there are no Country Kitchen Buffets close to my house.

  51. #51
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    Obviously, being lit up isn`t a guarantee, but being invisible is just plain stupid.
    Recalculating....

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    obviously, being lit up isn`t a guarantee, but being invisible is just plain stupid.
    yup

  53. #53
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    People don't see a guy in a gorilla suit in a lobby if they are looking for a guy in a white suit. People have turned right missing the bright red dump truck. They have left hooked in front of a yellow and black school bus. I they are looking for cars, they see cars. But not motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians, and apparently in severe cases, even big red trucks and bumble bee school buses. So we help 80% see us and avoid us and look out for the 20% who can't see the elephant in the room.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyamBoi View Post
    I just picked up a pair (red and white) of these suckers. First time I've ever ridden with lights on my bike.

    Bontrager: Glo and Ember Multi-Use Lights (Model #11364)
    What I don't like about those, and other companies' equivalent micro-lights, is how expensive it is to replace the batteries as time goes on. Four CR2032s (for two lights) isn't a great value proposition compared to either a USB-rechargeable micro (Knog has a variety) or something that takes AAAs, where you can use NiMH rechargeables.

    If you find the battery expense turns out to be an issue down the line, there's options out there.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    What I don't like about those, and other companies' equivalent micro-lights, is how expensive it is to replace the batteries as time goes on. Four CR2032s (for two lights) isn't a great value proposition compared to either a USB-rechargeable micro (Knog has a variety) or something that takes AAAs, where you can use NiMH rechargeables.

    If you find the battery expense turns out to be an issue down the line, there's options out there.
    Well, dollar store sells those batteries. obviously they will suck, but if they last half the time they are supposed to I'm still happy. Likely from the amount of times I'll use these lights, they'll last me over a year on the stock batteries

  56. #56
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    As both a rider and a driver, my biggest concern is visibility. As a rider, I want to be seen and not run over. As a driver, I want to be able to see what is out there and not run over someone. I have found that when considering lighting for a bike, more is not always better. The higher intensity lights are great for seeing where you are going, but if aimed wrong or in the flash mode at night, they can acually be more of a hazard on the roads. They can blind people, the very ones you want to be able to see you and safely avoid hitting you, or just simply distract them so much that they miss seeing some other obstacle (other car/bike/pedestrian/pole/etc...) that they should be avoiding. The brighter lights are great for day and night on a steady mode. Flashing of the brighter lights is good during the day as the contrast with daylight conditions is such that it doesn't blind others looking your direction. At night, limit any flashing to a low intensity light if any and supplement with a steady burn brighter light aimed properly.

  57. #57
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    ^^ I see no good reason to run front lights in flashing mode at night, either. In fact, it seems to mess up my night vision when I tested it. Some have claimed that a steady rear light makes distance and speed easier to discern. A flashing light demands attention in a driver-information-overload situation, and in areas where night cycling is more common, has become more recognized as indicating a cyclist. So a combination of steady and flashing lights is wise. One on the helmet and one lower gives redundancy in case of battery failure or a light malfunction. Some lights seem to like to auto-shut off and charging can be forgotten.

  58. #58
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    I've now wired two magicshine head units to one battery.

    On dark trails I have them both on low, on quiet streets I have one on low, and this one idiotic stretch of road with condo driveways, I have one on full and one on rapid-flash.

    People are still pulling out in front of me there, even though the headlight combo is almost comically bright.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  59. #59
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    ^^ Yeah. I know. That is why I have a narrow bright beam on the helmet to aim straight at them! Stopped four in their tracks! Tonight in Indianapolis a driver of a compact pulled out of a private drive into the path of a Fire Truck which had flashing lights ablaze and siren wailing on its way to a call. So some won't see us if we were buck naked and juggling baby elephants with a rock band on a flat bed behind us at 130 dB. So in my book it is OK to fight dirty when they are clearly blowing the stop sign/line. Too many are not checking to see if they must stop as required but if they can just go.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Tonight in Indianapolis a driver of a compact pulled out of a private drive into the path of a Fire Truck which had flashing lights ablaze and siren wailing on its way to a call.
    If a compact is too big, try a compacted?
    Recalculating....

  61. #61
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    Schmidt New Son 28 dyno hub wired to a Supernova E3 Pro 2 headlight & Supernova tail light, a pair of Bruce Gordon battery-powered "bullet" tail lights, and the triangular Serfas TL-HLMT helmet tail light (which integrates so perfectly into my XL Giro Aeon it could have been custom designed and factory installed!)

    I also wear reflectorized clothing and the Schwalbe Big Apple 29x2.15 tires have white reflective sidewall striping.

  62. #62
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    What lights are you using for your commute?

    I use a Light and Motion 500 USB led for the front and a PDW aether daemon for the rear. Works well for me.

  63. #63
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    Light & Motion Stella 200L in front, Cateye Reflex and Princeton Tec Swerve in back. Since the Princeton Tec has a slightly flaky switch the Cateye is part backup and part light show.
    I normally run everything flashing in daylight or under streetlights and switch my headlight to high or medium when I'm running through the park in darkness. So far my close calls have been in broad daylight so I guess the lights work.
    2009 Redline Conquest Pro, 2008 Trek Fuel Ex8
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  64. #64
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    I run a niterider lumina 600 main front, portland design works danger zone rear, and a light an emotion vis 360 on the helmet. I am sure it's not enough, the folks in DC are insane. Once I get to Alexandria it's better.

  65. #65
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    my "flashlight bike mount" rack

    I was looking for a bike-specific light, but found a "P-Clamp" on my bench that makes the front rack into a flashlight holder to fit this UltraFire XG-V3 / UniqueFire UF-F8 nicely. (ghetto version of the GatLight) Its stainless and o'ring construction should withstand the elements well. It's tight, doesn't move at all, but it's got like this inherent suspension, with the slight flex from the stainless brackets and rubber mounted clamp. It's way tighter than my Fenix flashlight mount.







    Luckily, it doesn't stick up past the rack's platform, even when aimed very far down. This front rack is worth it for the light-mount alone. Getting the light in front of the front tire's arch, so I'm not casting my own shadow by the tire, is a beautiful thing. No more shadows from the cables, like when I had my light on my handlebars. The rack also acts like crash-bars, prottecting my "fancy" light. The length of this flashlight makes it only slightly awkward to change out the batteries, but it works.

    There seems to be a premium we pay for "bike-specific" lighting, which is understandable if we're talking about generator lights, but lithium chemistries are a different class. LED flashlights are exponentially evolving, and when you add a "factory bike mount / system" it gets very expensive, for the latest, brightest, most cutting-edge lights out there.

    I'm just saying . . . There's a Two-Fish mount for flashlights, and I have a Fenix handlebar/flashlight mount that is a little too jiggly for my tastes - and there's this front rack. It's a beefy light mount, but also holds panniers and a trunk or basket. It provides a protective roll-cage for the light at the same time (with that surrounding plate, that further guards the scene). I don't work for their company or anything, I'm just really stoked on this set-up.

    I'll also let you know, that this front rack doesn't really enjoy living on suspension corrected forks. I tried to rig it to my SURLY Ogre, and since that fork crown is so far above the front tire, the rack was waaaay up there, and I didn't like it. You'd have to get complicated with some brackets to lower it and it would be too much hassle to even bother with. For non-corrected forks, this rack is seriously pimp-sauce.

    This flashlight has a fast strobe for daylight brights, and its 350 lumens does me fine for commuting in the city. It's a cheaper and older light, but being powered by 18650 cell makes very long run times.
    Last edited by Gritter; 12-24-2013 at 01:16 PM.
    Soma, Surly, Salsa, Schwalbe, SRAM, Sun-Ringlé

  66. #66
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    I guess mine is overkill lol. 1800 lumens, powered by a 10ah SLA in a triangle frame bag, which I remove when not in use. This bike is currently be converted to a 29" SS mountain bike, so I will move the light to the hole in the handlebar crossbar.


  67. #67
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    A 10-amp hour Sealed Lead Acid Battery? Are you serious? Geez, that must way twenty pounds! Yeah, overkill - not for the brightness, just what you're going through to make that happen. Dang! You should really check out the newer Lithium technologies!
    Soma, Surly, Salsa, Schwalbe, SRAM, Sun-Ringlé

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gritter View Post
    A 10-amp hour Sealed Lead Acid Battery? Are you serious? Geez, that must way twenty pounds! Yeah, overkill - not for the brightness, just what you're going through to make that happen. Dang! You should really check out the newer Lithium technologies!
    It weighs about 7lbs, and I don't notice the extra weight. (bike only weighs 22lbs) Besides, it was free

    I originally planned to use my Dewalt Nano batteries, but wired up the SLA in a pinch for a night ride. And never changed it.

  69. #69
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    I have a Cree head light. And then two spoke lights per tire. They may be a bit goofy, however the make me easy to see from the sides... And then I have three back lights. A Cateye Zefal and then a Bell? I'm going to get a few more of the Cateye ones. I figure three is enough.

    Oh I also have a front flasher for back up if my headlight dies. (This is the second cree I have had. the other one would short out on me randomly, and at times I have to go a aways before I can stop to fix it.... So I have it for back up just in case kinda thing.

  70. #70
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    I've got a Niterider Lumina 700 on the helmet and a Serfas Thunderbolt on the back. Thinking about getting another Niterider for the handlebars but don't want to drop another bill!

  71. #71
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    Re: What lights are you using for your commute?

    I use a Princeton Tec apex rechargeable on my helmet and a Gemini Titan on an accessory mount, mid-blade on the fork.

    The Apex is only 200 lumens, but has a very tight beam pattern (no more than 15 degrees in spot mode) which lets it easily out perform the throw of the 850 lumen Titan.

    I run a single Princeton Tec Swerve on the rear. I've lost two PBSFs due to the short clips, so probably won't be going back to them. Even buying them at cost, that gets expensive.

  72. #72
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    I'm currently riding with a Supernova E3 Pro dynamo headllight and a Light and Motion Vis 360 helmet head/taillight combo, with three(!) taillights. Ya, that is overkill on taillights, but I wanted to try a couple different ones out mainly for curiosity. One is a permanently mounted dynamo taillight, the other two are the PDW Radbot and the Cygolite HotShot, both of which are very good. The Light and motion vis 360 helmet-mounted combo is intriguing as it offers some side visibility as well, I've got a pretty detailed write-up of it (with pics) on my blog at santafebikecommuter.com.

    I'm becoming more convinced that a lot of uber-bright headlights, if they aren't attenuated in some manner at the high end, are NOT making us safer - imagine all the cars on the road driving with their high beams on all the time… seems I need to get euro-marketed lights in order to find products which address this issue. I've got an Axa 70 (dynamo light) and a B&M Luxos B on order, which should arrive soon. I'll probably add detailed reviews of them to my blog as well. I'm also interested in getting my hands on a Herrmans and a Phillips Saferide for dynamo use. Can you tell I'm a bit obsessed with lights? LOL

  73. #73
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    ^^ I made my own with 5 degree lenses and shrouds to cut the outer (blinding) part of the beams and provide strong side lighting. That lwet me have most of the 1800 lumens on the road and in my lane.

    Beam is lane wide at 25 feet:



    Side output:



    Early version of snoops:



    On the crown there isn't much glare, so I just run a 3/4" electrical tape done the top, now.

    I have less than $100 in them and another $60 in a 75 Whr light bottle pack (3.75 hr runtime on full). They also have fresnel lenses for the Magicshines to tame them a bit more for street use.

  74. #74
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    after taking into consideration recommendations and salient points i found in forums throughout the web, including this site, i went with a dinotte 300r for the rear and a light and motion urban 700.

    day light, the 700 is on pulse (~175 lumen) and the dinotte is in one of the three flash modes. dusk/evening i use the low or medium steady with both lights. i add two rear blackburn flea lights attached to the back of my shoulder bag in staggered flash mode commuting in the dusk/evening.

    i've noticed a big difference in the attitude of drivers. before i just had two sets of front and rear fleas. cars that approach from behind now give me space when they pass and don't pass and then suddenly turn right in front of me. i'm waving with my middle finger a lot less.

    i was looking for a setup that would fulfill a main priority: make me seen by drivers, but not blind them. they also needed to be rechargeable and easily removed. with both front and rear lights i wanted something with more spread than spot. i feel like i've successfully achieved all of this. i'm extremely happy with both lights and i like that the dinotte came with enough hardware to mount it on 3 bikes. the quick release and mount feels sturdy and secure. only a little force is needed to lift the clip and remove it. i think other users have been heavy handed with it and ended up bending the quick release. the spread and brightness of the light and motion is excellent.

    if i were to nitpick the dinotte: i'm not thrilled with the charging port cover but i live in an arid climate so i'm not too worried, and the silicone button to turn it on and switch modes gets clumsy in cold temperatures.

    the side markers on the light and motion are pointless, i highly doubt a car will notice them. the mounting strap is effective but takes some effort to hook and unhook. i like the concept, but i think there's good room for improvement. the first few days i thought the pulse was ineffective, i didn't think i could discern it between the 'low' mode. i think that was the effect of observing it close-range. when riding with it near dusk the other day i observed that the pulsing in the reflection of a street sign in the distance was more noticeable than i originally thought. though, i still think the pulse could use a little more tweaking.

    i'm extremely satisfied with this setup and would highly recommend both. they meet my needs perfectly. some gripe that they're expensive, but i think they'll last a long time.

    good lights are worth the $$, i think your family and friends would agree.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    ^^ I made my own with 5 degree lenses and shrouds to cut the outer (blinding) part of the beams and provide strong side lighting.
    That's cool. Do you have a feeling for how much difference the shroud on top makes/made? I just recently had the experience of meeting a fellow cyclist on a bike path at night, and his lights almost made me drive into the ditch they were so bright. I'm not exaggerating! While he is certainly visible, I can't help but think it's not making him safer (compared with a better designed light, not compared to no light at all of course) when in traffic on the roads.

  76. #76
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    I used to light up the driver's startled face, now the car is in the dark. They are now difficult to remove. If I remember correctly I was middle of the oncoming lane to well into the ditch (about twice as wide, though the hot spot was the same). A longer tube cuts off more so it is can be customized.

  77. #77
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by socorroloco View Post
    I'm becoming more convinced that a lot of uber-bright headlights, if they aren't attenuated in some manner at the high end, are NOT making us safer - imagine all the cars on the road driving with their high beams on all the time… seems I need to get euro-marketed lights in order to find products which address this issue.

    I'm also interested in getting my hands on a Herrmans and a Phillips Saferide for dynamo use.
    Wow, four years since registering and you finally decided you had something you wanted to say! Belated welcome
    No personal experience with the uberbright lights, but I wouldn`t mind trying some out. For most of my riding I can see the road surface aheard of me well enough, but I`ve been surprised a few times by dark things on the sidelines. Thinking that just maybe that would be better with non-German spec lights (like your SN). Not a whole lot of options for them in dyno lights, though.

    Got to ride with a Saferide/bottle gen combo once. I was impressed by the width of the beam compared to my non-nearfield Cyo. Not so impressed by the weight and bulk of the Phillips.

    Quote Originally Posted by koudja View Post
    good lights are worth the $$, i think your family and friends would agree.
    I agree too.
    Recalculating....

  78. #78
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    Front used to be the Chinese import Solarstorm X2 early version with the "good" construction. Lately the Gloworm X1, which is being replaced with a Piko TL Minimax.

    Alternating in the back the Niteflux RZ8 and Dinotte 300R.

  79. #79
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    I've got two NR Lumina 700s. One on the handlebars pointed in front of my tire and one on my helmet. I also have a Serfas Thunderbolt on the back.

    Got all 3 on Amazon for $220ish. Pretty pricey but I'm very happy with the set up.

  80. #80
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    I upgraded to a NR1200race this winter because my ancient HID was super-dim and no battery life left! Very happy with it so far, bright as all hell and decently light weight system, I went for this system since I do a ton of night riding and hopefully some more night races in my future! My old Princeton Tec 600 had died for a 2nd time about 2 years ago so I shelved it but I found it recently when cleaning up my old crap. Decided to charge it up and see what happens... it fired up!!! Now I will have 2K lumens on my next ride!!!
    Feel the Bern!!!

  81. #81
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    posted in wrong area.

  82. #82
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    I dropped a lot of money on lights this year to prep for winter commuting and my temporary work change which puts me on an unlit mulit-use trail. Up front I have a L&M Urban 700 (bright as heck, but I hate those silicone straps) and a Cygolite Metro 500. Both are very bright, I like how they have more subtle flash modes that other lights. The Urban 700 has a pulsating mode and the 500 has a flash mode that is best described as a rippling affect. I also have a few knog lights that I carry as a back up or use on other bikes.

    On the back I have a L&M Vis 180. Super bright red light, with flashing yellows which are directed off the side and back. I also have a run of the mill battery powered light that I have flashing.

    Like a lot of you guys, I have an urban commute so I have to compete with a lot of stray light.

  83. #83
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    Do any if you happen to have any experience with any Cateye lights or combos? If so which lights or combos?
    Thanks
    14 years, 6 bikes, 1 ambulance ride, 12 medals, 4 ribbons, 2 trophies, and some cool scars = BIKING ADDICTION!!!!

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by sc10pc View Post
    Do any if you happen to have any experience with any Cateye lights or combos? If so which lights or combos?
    Thanks
    I have use one koolertron cateye lights, it's the best Chinese cateye I have used, about $80.
    Be yourself.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Wow, four years since registering and you finally decided you had something you wanted to say! Belated welcome
    No personal experience with the uberbright lights, but I wouldn`t mind trying some out. For most of my riding I can see the road surface aheard of me well enough, but I`ve been surprised a few times by dark things on the sidelines. Thinking that just maybe that would be better with non-German spec lights (like your SN). Not a whole lot of options for them in dyno lights, though.

    Got to ride with a Saferide/bottle gen combo once. I was impressed by the width of the beam compared to my non-nearfield Cyo. Not so impressed by the weight and bulk of the Phillips.

    I agree too.
    You definitely have to try out the new Cyo Premium. I just created a thread on bike forums about the Ixon IQ (the AA battery version of the Cyo Premium) and it's beam is much, much wider -
    http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...l#post16654673

    What lights are you using for your commute?-ixon_iq_premium_2.jpg

  86. #86
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    I use a 500mW Cree LED light using an 18650 battery (bottom) attached to my handlebar pointed forward and a 200mW Cree LED light using a 14500 battery (top) attached to my helmet pointed to the rear. I also have a pair of bar-end lights and a red LED blinker on the back of my helmet.

    The 500mW is useful on trails at night but on strobe, it announces my approach 100-200 meters ahead. Before, without it, a car will not give a second thought crossing my path, with the strobe on, cars would wait for me to pass.

    The smaller LED light pointed rearwards on my helmet is a recent addition because I noticed that even with red LED blinkers on, cars still tailgate and honk at me when I'm taking the full lane. Now with the LED on strobe, they can't even get near. I only use it though when the traffic is moving at a fast pace.

    The bar end lights I found useful when traffic is not moving and there are a lot of pedestrians on the road.

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