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  1. #1
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    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding

    I live in Michigan and work an 8 - 5 /5:30 job. After the time change in November reducing available daylight after work, you either ride a trainer, ride the weekends, or ride in the dark. I do the last two. My riding is rural, mostly gravel roads and some snowmobile trails.

    I am keenly aware of the importance of proper "see and be seen" lighting. My lighting setup is as follows:

    See. Bike - Twin MagicShine 808 units with diffuser lenses on Marwi mounts on a Krex extender. Helmet - PrincetonTec Eos helmet mount. I carry spare batteries for both. I typically run the helmet light in strobe mode.
    Be Seen. Cygolite Hotshot taillight in strobe mode AND a PrincetonTec Swerve in Strobe mode w/ spare batteries. Night Ize red spoke lights in strobe mode.

    I also wear a hi-vis vest. Depending on the brightness setting I use, I can get 60 - 90 minutes per MS battery pack at 10 - 15 degrees. Hence the spares. I am pretty satisfied with this set-up.

    For those of you that ride regulrly at night in the winter, what lighting do you run? The cold temperature really lowers battery run duration. What kind of battery time do you get when riding at 10 - 15 degrees? Care to share?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I run a Cheapo CREE 1800 lumen bar mounted light, and a CREE 2000 Lumen Head lamp,

    in the summer i get about 3 hours out of the batteries and in the winter its only about 1.5 - 2 hours

  3. #3
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    I have been running a Supernova hub dynamo to power the Supernova E3 Triple lamp.
    900 lumens and no batteries. Top notch set up.

  4. #4
    i don't give a shift
    Reputation: collideous's Avatar
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    Two Magicshines up front and a Knog Binder on the seatpost. I usually just have one front light burning on flats and uphill. Picture below is from yesterday. I have a spare battery in my backpack, just in case.

    blogging at 29in.ch

  5. #5
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Average temperature on tonight's ride was 11 degrees. Using a NiteRider Pro 3000 on high, the first battery lasted exactly 1.75 hours.

    There are no worries about being seen with one of those on the bar and a NiteRider Pro 1800 up above.

  6. #6
    *R*O*W*Y*C*O*
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    Older Lupine Wilma (with wired remote) and 1100 lumen upgrade kit on the helmet and older Lupine Betty (with wired remote) and 2100 lumen upgrade kit on the bar. Lots of light.


    Sent from my Z10 using Tapatalk

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #7
    Fat & Single
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    Ayup's, 1 head mounted, the other bar mounted.

    At the rear i run a USB chargeable Serfas Thunderbolt.
    Ti O'Beast
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  8. #8
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    I have a Light & Motion Seca 800, a Magicshine, and a Lumentrek 1600. I run the Lumentrek on the bars and either the Seca or MS on my helmet for trail riding. For strictly urban riding, I'll run any one of those, depending on my mood.

    On the back I have a Road ID Supernova. It's cheap, tiny, bright, and it can be attached to just about any clothing or pack.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Front:
    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding-tools-led-light_157463.jpg

    Rear:
    Name:  Romantic-snowman-LED-Light-led-candle-Changing-color-LED-light-lamp-post-shipping.jpg
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Size:  7.7 KB

  10. #10
    turtles make me hot
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    I run Exposure Toro on my bars and a Diablo on my helmet. My night rides max at two hours and I've had no battery issues.
    I like turtles

  11. #11
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    A bit of an addendum to the original post. Alias responded about using the Supernova dynamo hub to power a companion light, and seemed to be quite satisfied with it. I don't have any "hands on" experience with that kind of set up. Heretofore I hadn't given much thought to using a dynamo hub as I hadn't considered them reliable/ready for prime time.

    But.... Are they? I tend to be cautious, especially with wintertime night riding. Hence my setup with dual lights and spare batteries. Are dynamo hubs a reliable alternative? Who here is riding them in wintertime cold, crappy conditions at night orver distances of 10 - 20 miles? Care to share? Is this you sole lighting arrangement, or do you use other battery powered stuff in addition to a dynamo hub?

  12. #12
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    Only problem with strobes that people don't talk about is it is hard to tell where a flashing light is. Your eyes can tell the distance to a steady light much better. FWIW.

  13. #13
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    Therein is one of the challenges of effective "be seen" lighting, particularly at night from the rear (less so from the side). How to get a driver approaching from the rear to both notice/be aware that you are there AND to be able to guage the distance.

    The irregular flashing (a form of strobe) is quite effective at getting noticed by the eye/brain. That is the purpose of the PrincetonTec in that mode. The Cygolite has a mode (kinda like stobe) in which is is constantly on but varies its brightness/intensity (dim, brighter, brighter, brightest, dimmer dimmer, dim, brighter etc.). That allows the driver's eye to track the light's location until the vehicle's headlights pick me up and its driver can see me/my bike.

    Strobe mode of my helmet light is only for getting noticed by drivers approaching from the front. The twin MS units are already on.

  14. #14
    Light freak
    Reputation: scar's Avatar
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    Hello from a fellow cyclist and long time MTBR member. I do over 98% of my riding in the dark, year round and on the trails in Colorado. I could never find a light that fit my needs or was reliable over time so I started to build my own. I have been building high performance "made to order" LED bike lights on the weekends now for over 6 years.

    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding-urban-assault.jpg

    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding-ffffifo-ride.jpg

    My lights are very small (light head is 1 1/2" wide x 2 1/3" long x 3/4" tall and weighs only ~60 grams) and are very bright ( 800-2000 lumens), using the latest LED's. I am currently using Cree XM-L2's for bar lights, Cree XP-G2's for helmet lights and Cree Red XP-E2's for rear tail lights. I have also recently modified the way I do the front lens so that it gives of great side and rear visibility.

    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding-amoeba-side-visibility.jpg

    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding-amoeba-side-visibility-white-2.jpg

    I can do single mode (on/off) or multi mode (dual or three mode) with strobing.

    Here is a link from doing a search here on MTBR for Amoeba lights. Lots of different threads with info, questions and pics of my stuff. You can also check out my blog (link in my signature) for some ride pics and videos. Send my an email (address in my signature also) if you would like me to send you some info. As my title says under my screen name, I am a light FREAK!!!

    *****

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Ayup's, 1 head mounted, the other bar mounted...
    +1

    There are now brighter lights, but it's still hard to beat these as a system.

    I've just used mine in a 24 hour race (17 hours of darkness). I've had other lights fail, so I'm all for reliability.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  16. #16
    Frt Range, CO
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    re: hub dynos
    here's SP's facebook page, they sponsored a Ride the Divide racer that finished 2nd, he used an SP hub dyno to charge all his electronics and lighting as he rode. Pretty extreme conditions:
    https://www.facebook.com/SpDynamoSystem

    Here's an article written in German that documents testing of all the various hub dynos side-by-side and gives relative performance data:
    Neue und exotische Nabendynamos im Test | Fahrradzukunft - Ausgabe 14

  17. #17
    SpoK Werks Handmade Goods
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    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding

    I run a Supernova dyno hub and a Supernova E3 Triple along with the Plug II to charge my power cells.

  18. #18
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    What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding

    I run a nite rider 600. A cryolite hotshot for rear and Princeton tech vizz ind on the helmet they work great in the cold of alaska and the warmth of idaho.

  19. #19
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    Re: What lighting do you use - winter nighttime riding

    Quote Originally Posted by gdb2b View Post
    A bit of an addendum to the original post. Alias responded about using the Supernova dynamo hub to power a companion light, and seemed to be quite satisfied with it. I don't have any "hands on" experience with that kind of set up. Heretofore I hadn't given much thought to using a dynamo hub as I hadn't considered them reliable/ready for prime time.

    But.... Are they? I tend to be cautious, especially with wintertime night riding. Hence my setup with dual lights and spare batteries. Are dynamo hubs a reliable alternative? Who here is riding them in wintertime cold, crappy conditions at night orver distances of 10 - 20 miles? Care to share? Is this you sole lighting arrangement, or do you use other battery powered stuff in addition to a dynamo hub?
    Dynamos kickass if you dont mind the weight penalty. I have an alfine that has been flawless

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    SpoK Werks Handmade Goods
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb2b View Post
    A bit of an addendum to the original post. Alias responded about using the Supernova dynamo hub to power a companion light, and seemed to be quite satisfied with it. I don't have any "hands on" experience with that kind of set up. Heretofore I hadn't given much thought to using a dynamo hub as I hadn't considered them reliable/ready for prime time.

    But.... Are they? I tend to be cautious, especially with wintertime night riding. Hence my setup with dual lights and spare batteries. Are dynamo hubs a reliable alternative? Who here is riding them in wintertime cold, crappy conditions at night orver distances of 10 - 20 miles? Care to share? Is this you sole lighting arrangement, or do you use other battery powered stuff in addition to a dynamo hub?
    After some 15-20 years of on/off again night riding and always frustrated because of the batteries, I bit the bullet and got the Supernova E3 Triple. When I got the first version of the Supernova E3 Triple I was thrilled. The quality is great with an all metal housing and really nice design. Having ridden it on the Grenzstein Trophy (arguably tougher than the Tour Divide) it worked flawlessly. Coincidentally, I also have an Alfine hubbed wheel (for sale, by the way... message me) which is being replaced with the Supernova Infinity S which is not only beautiful but only weighs 399 grams. Also, Having no batteries to worry about is fantastic! I found that batteries are crazy heavy, problematic when it's cold, run out of power and eventually die and are then expensive to replace... if you can.

    Now, having said all that, I also bought the Airstream for my helmet light which I can charge with a power cell that I have charged with the Plug II. You could say that I'm a huge fan of Supernova.

  21. #21
    Fat & Single
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    +1
    I've had other lights fail, so I'm all for reliability.
    The only warning is they go dull... then black out.

    Absolutely love the lights, just need to work out the burn times.

    I upgraded my 2008 lights to the 2013 package, then needed to reload my burn time with the higher LM's lights.
    Ti O'Beast
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    Dirty Disco CX

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    The only warning is they go dull... then black out...
    Yes, but that's a better warning than I get from another light. At a certain state of battery, it just turns itself off.

    When you get de-lighted on a pitch black night, you don't feel delighted.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    Lezyne all the way. Mega Drive on the bars and Super Drive as a helmet light. Perfect enough. Have to watch out for low branches, though. Battery time in -15 is somewhat the same as the manufacturer claims, no noticeable loss.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb2b View Post
    snhip Heretofore I hadn't given much thought to using a dynamo hub as I hadn't considered them reliable/ready for prime time.

    But.... Are they? I tend to be cautious, especially with wintertime night riding. Hence my setup with dual lights and spare batteries. Are dynamo hubs a reliable alternative? Who here is riding them in wintertime cold, crappy conditions at night orver distances of 10 - 20 miles? Care to share? Is this you sole lighting arrangement, or do you use other battery powered stuff in addition to a dynamo hub?
    I have three wheels with the Son hub. Oldest is about 5 years..which is the warranty on them. Alaska winter, fall & spring, snow, rain, commuter. no issues. I put one on my fat bike use with Supernova E3 triple and a Piko on my helmet. B&M has better beams than the supernova, imho.

    The dynamo lights are not the crazy bright of the battery powered lights, which over power everyone else on the trails. (rant)

  25. #25
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    I run a Gloworm x2 on the bars and x1 on the helmet. The X1 is small enough that I can run the light and battery all on my helmet.

    Plenty of light for any situation.

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