View Poll Results: Do you carry a backup light

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  • Yes

    26 60.47%
  • No

    17 39.53%
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  1. #1
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    If you ride at night, do you carry a...

    If you ride at night, do you carry a backup light of some type? For example, a flashlight, in case your main light dies.

  2. #2
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    As I will be commuting soon, my plan is my cheap low lumens light on my bars flashing at all times then a (? Undecided ? ) helmet mounted light. If the helmet mounted dies I will have something. For trails, I may plan a bit better.

  3. #3
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    I used to always use a bar and helmet light combo totlaled about 550 lumens (300 on head 250 on bar). So I would by defaulat always had 2.

    Just recently picked up a 1300 Lumen cygolite running on the helment, it is supposed to last 3:30 hours at 1300 lumens and 5 at 900 lumens, and is plenty bright eithier way, if I am riding in a group that is likely all I will take. If I am riding solo will take a small bar mounted light that would get me out of the woods, just in case of a crash or other issue with the light.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  4. #4
    AZ
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    A light on the bars and one on the helmet.

  5. #5
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    I use one on the helmet and one on the bars. Both are a little older and I dont ride terribly often at night so i'm not fully confident in knowing how long the batteries will last.

    Last week I stupidly went out without fully charging them. The headlight died and when I looked down at my handlebar light i noticed it was flashing. I turned it down to a lower setting and booked it towards the car.

    From now on I know i will always fully charge before I go and I'm thinking about throwing a camping headlamp in my bag.

  6. #6
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    Also one on the bar and one on the helmet. I always ride with my wife who has the same setup. 4 lights between the two of us.

  7. #7
    Gor'n Ridin'!
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    I like two lights on my bars. I've been blinded one too many times by guys with helmet lights who look directly at me and I don't want to return the favor. I ALWAYS have a flashlight in my pack with me riding day OR night.

  8. #8
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    Ok so im the only NO so far.... i plan a ride and know what "power to put the light on", im not going for a 2h burn on a 3h ride.

    Got a 2h on my helmet and a 4h on the bike.

    No spare.... but sometimes i get a bit dim.
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  9. #9
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    Like Hawg. Although I don't often ride at night, I always have a small Mag-light in my pack no matter where I go. There are certain things I have with me at all times. Knife, light, fire, string and duct tape.

    ...

    Jeez, it sounds like I also black out the windows of my van.
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  10. #10
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    I have 3 lights.
    Bar mount wide angle, Helmet mount spot and mini-light in my pack. Plus I have been only riding pre-dawn so if my lights die... I wait for the sun to come up.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    If I am riding with others, I don't worry too much about a backup light. I have no problem riding behind someone with a light if mine goes out.
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  12. #12
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    One light - no backup. plan accordingly. worst that happens is it gets dark and I need to walk or wait a bit for the eyes to adjust to (hopefully) moonlight. Not much in the way of tees in San Diego, so if it's a bright night, it's still pretty bright on the trail.

    I've gone running at night before, both on trail (unintentionally) and on road (intentionally - remote location, no cars, good road), to no ill-effect.

  13. #13
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Yes. I carry a small Petzl camping head lamp just in case.

  14. #14
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    Also one on the bar and one on the helmet. Not worried both would go out.

  15. #15
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    I guess I'll answer my own post...
    When I first bought my now 10 year old, old school HID light I used it off and on for a few years, then went a long time without using it at all. This fall I've begun riding once a week, during the week... just to get in that 2nd day per week (in addition to the weekend). I do about an hour and a half ride on my weekday ride. An out-and-back. So I'm about 7-8 miles into the woods, total darkness, no moon... wouldn't help anyway with the dense canopy... and it dawns on me that I have no backup light!!
    Sooooo, I started carrying a small flashlight, and some electrical tape, to tape it to the handlebars :-)

    I'm surprised how many people here have a light on the bars and helmet. I see that where I ride, but it's a fairly low percentage.

  16. #16
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    Like others, one on the handlebars and one on the helmet, and they back each other up. Not concerned so much with running out of batteries - my after work rides are typically less than 1 1/2 hours - but more with technical failures. Crash damage, broken connections, things like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnb View Post
    I'm surprised how many people here have a light on the bars and helmet. I see that where I ride, but it's a fairly low percentage.
    I can't speak for others, but for me it's because they serve slightly different purposes. The floodlight on the bars does a good job of lighting up the whole width of the trail, but my home trail is mainly tight, twisty singletrack through a dense forest, so the bars aren't always pointing where I want light. The helmet spotlight lets me direct a beam of light right where I need it.

    (FWIW, I voted no. While the two lights back each other up, that's not the primary reason for two and I don't carry a dedicated spare.)
    Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.

  17. #17
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    If you ride at night, do you carry a...

    I'm mainly a commuter and daily rider, with trails few and far between. I have a high intensity bar light, and carry several, either as backups or because I'm going to work. I EDC a SureFire Stratum, and keep an Ozark Trail 150 LM and a cheap headlamp in the rack pack. I also carry several cheap red blinkies in my pack just in case my thunderbolt goes out (because I can't remember to charge the thing), or I'm in some heavy traffic and want to add more lighting.
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  18. #18
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    I've ridden behind someone when my light went out or broke.
    I've cut short and ridden back "in the dim".
    I've over-ridden my run time and ridden back with a small spare light.
    I've gone out with unknown run time remaining and forgot to check my spare light - they go out invariably when you are at the farthest point of a completely leaf-obscured trail that was hard enough to find in the daytime. I could actually hear all the animals making fun me blundering around: "Ha ha! Stupid blind weak human!"

    So yeah, I carry an extra light - but it only does me any good if I carry some batteries, too.

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  19. #19
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    I do carry a backup light in my pack. I've been on rides where lights did randomly go out for other riders.

    I use a 1500 lumen Serfas light on the MTB. I carry the 500 lumen one that I use on my road bike as the backup.

  20. #20
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    Two. I ride with a DIY 1500 Lumen bar light that has both wide angle and spot built into the same head. Back up light is in the backpack. I also carry a spare battery, I never use a helmet light. It washes out the trail features too much for me.

    I strongly recommend a back up light for trail riding at night. It is probably no fun walking back to the car in the dark.

  21. #21
    the half breed devil
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    one on the bars, one on the helmet and a flashlight in my pack.

  22. #22
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    I have two on the bars and one on the helmet. Hard to believe they would all go out on one ride.
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  23. #23
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    I carry a handlebar light and backup cheap one on my commuter. I commute at night often. I carry a helmet light with backup handlebar mount and a cheap light with my mountain bike (though I don't ride that one at night)

  24. #24
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    Bars and helmet. No back up, if both go out in one ride ill buy lottery tickets and win.

  25. #25
    James.Hamilton
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    Bars and helmet with a just in case flashlight in my camelbak. I have actually found uses for it when out riding with a pack. One time we had a taco'd rim that would have ended in a bunch of miles hiking out. As we had our headlamps ready to illuminate I decided to give them a break and bust out the old flashlight for the 1/2 hour repair session. If we used the headlamps we would have been draining them and could have faced issues.

    Is it necessary, no but having a 150 hour run time flashlight in the pack gives some security if needed.

    I once went for a quick night hike with friends and it turned out to be a night lost in the Sierras with each flashlight quickly dying until we only had one functioning one for the pack. If I had planned properly a back up light would have made that journey more bearable.

  26. #26
    Ska
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    Bars and helmet. No back up, if both go out in one ride ill buy lottery tickets and win.
    Old story but true as it happened to me.

    On the trail, riding solo and it was AWESOME.

    Moments later.........

    slammed and bar mounted battery flew from my bottle cage holder (this is back in those days - remember those?) and pulled itself from the cord. Light......out. Helmet mount light had died about 10-15 minutes before hand.

    Ever been in the woods at night with no light or even moonlight? If you have than you know what I mean. It is the definition of pitch black. You can't even see your own hands in front of you.

    No worries. Reach into my camelback and pull out my mini light I had as a spare and use it to find my battery (which I had taped strips of reflective tape thanks to a random tip I heard from a 24hr solo pro). Thank goodness for that as I'd have been in big a$$ trouble.

    Plug it all in and off I go.

    Point is.........you never know.

    ALWAYS carry a small spare light.

    p.s. if you're ever going to go with just one light (in terms of either bar or helmet) helmet mounted is the better of the two.
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  27. #27
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    cheap campers head lamp in hydration pack for situations like Ska described.
    I also carry derailleur hanger, combat dressing, blood cloting powder, space blanket as well.
    yeah my pack is heavy but I'm not racing so I don't care.
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  28. #28
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Ok so im the only NO so far.... i plan a ride and know what "power to put the light on", im not going for a 2h burn on a 3h ride.

    Got a 2h on my helmet and a 4h on the bike.

    No spare.... but sometimes i get a bit dim.
    You might change your tune the first time you get a battery, bulb, or wiring failure. And you are (like we usually are) miles in the backcountry in Grizzly/Cat terrain.
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  29. #29
    the half breed devil
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    "yeah my pack is heavy but I'm not racing so I don't care."

    x2

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnb View Post
    If you ride at night, do you carry a backup light of some type? For example, a flashlight, in case your main light dies.
    Essentially yes. My lighting system has redundanies, helmet headlight, forward flashing light, fender tail light and another tailight mounted on my large saddlebag. Much of the year I'm also running a powerful flashlight mounted on my handlebars to spot light the road and also increase my visibility to drivers when it is dark out.

    Should one of my lights fail, there is at least one other one aimed the same direction, but I'm quite diligent about swapping batteries between the lights and the charger, so that very rarely happens. I like for the lights to be as bright as possible, so I usually change them out after only a few days running, less for the flash light.
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