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  1. #1
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    Hooked on night riding! Pick me a light :)

    So the last few weeks, my fiance and I have been going out on night rides with some friends (dirt/gravel roads on cross bikes). Well, we're of course hook now! and are in VERY bad need of some good lighting. We're also going to be doing a 24hr MTB race later this year.... and want to be able to do MTB night rides in general. So the lights need to work well for that too.

    Several of our friends (who work at our LBS) are riding Light and Motion Lion ARC ultras. MAN.... those things are bright. Of course, they all reccomend these lights.... since they use them personally and the shop carries them But, I'm also intriqued by the Dinotte 500L LED light. Although, I haven't had any personal experience with them... and I know the L&M light rocks the house.

    Anyreason we shouldn't just pick up a couple of the ARC Li-on lights? Maybe we'd just forgo the Ultra battery and get the regular Li-ion batter to save a little cash. Most of our night rides are under 3 hours and at the 24 hour race we'll be riding on a team... so we'll be able to switch off.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Grizzly
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    I am partial to the Switchback line of lights from Princeton Tec. Smaller, lighter, and almost as bright as the HIDs on the market, for nearly half the cost. I have used them in several different conditions, and am very happy with them. I have the SB2 and SB3.

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  3. #3
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    Get the Dinotte Ultra 5Watt (currently reborned as the 200L). It's superlight, small, and uses AA batteries, both Alkalines and rechargeables. I'm partial towards light systems that runs on commonly found batteries, so I won't be tied to a particular manufacturer and charger. I can just use rechargeables and keep a pack of alkalines in case I run of juice on the trail. Besides, 200lumens is plenty bright for you, and the 200L can provide regulated light for the duration of your rides.

    Do remember to bring a helmet mount light for backup and emergencies. You can probably get a Princeton Tec EOS on the cheap, or an Princeton Tec Apex.

  4. #4
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinier
    Get the Dinotte Ultra 5Watt (currently reborned as the 200L). It's superlight, small, and uses AA batteries, both Alkalines and rechargeables. I'm partial towards light systems that runs on commonly found batteries, so I won't be tied to a particular manufacturer and charger. I can just use rechargeables and keep a pack of alkalines in case I run of juice on the trail. Besides, 200lumens is plenty bright for you, and the 200L can provide regulated light for the duration of your rides.

    Do remember to bring a helmet mount light for backup and emergencies. You can probably get a Princeton Tec EOS on the cheap, or an Princeton Tec Apex.
    Agreed!

    The Ultra 5W (200L) is a great light and one of our most popular items with riders.
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  5. #5
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    You guys really think that is enough light for riding single track as well as the general gravel riding?

  6. #6
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    Lupine Wilma 6! Enough said!

  7. #7
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    Light & Motion ARC if you want one of the best and brightest. They are really nice and customer service is awesome from what I read and hear.

    The other option (cheaper) is the Jetlites Phantom or Starfire. They are not HID (though they make HIDs) but are really bright and very durable. On some trails, they almost work more effectively tham many bright HIDs by giving you better depth perception. The Jets are very solid and used by a lot of guys who either used HIDs and didn't like the white light or want the brightest without going to HIDs.

    Avoid Nite Riders. I have heard of and from too many guys who consistently have problems with them.

    If money is no object, get the Lupines. They are the very best.

  8. #8
    bumble
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    Here is my 2 cents, see if it makes sense to you.
    I have chosen the Dinotte Ultra 5. I run a pair of them, one on the handlebar and one on the helmet. For the same price as one HID on sale, I have two lights in the optimal configuration, backup if one fails, and almost as much light (400 lumens) as a HID sytem. If you read around, you will find out why most people prefer to have one light on the handlebar AND one light on the helmet.

    When the HID bulb goes, you are SOL if you have one light. Go ahead and see how much a replacement bulb costs, because you will be eventually getting them. With the LED lights, I know I will never have a bulb failure, and what else really goes wrong, other than running out of battery power? Then I just pop in another set, because I can afford to have as many AA sets of batteries as I want! No expensive proprietary extra battery costs.

    In my experience, riding tight technical singletrack, fast fire roads and everything in between, I can say I do have enough light. Read my article with photos of the Dinotte light in action here: Review: Dinotte Ultra 5 vs. Dualcross Li-Ion

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumble
    Here is my 2 cents, see if it makes sense to you.
    I have chosen the Dinotte Ultra 5. I run a pair of them, one on the handlebar and one on the helmet. For the same price as one HID on sale, I have two lights in the optimal configuration, backup if one fails, and almost as much light (400 lumens) as a HID sytem. If you read around, you will find out why most people prefer to have one light on the handlebar AND one light on the helmet.

    When the HID bulb goes, you are SOL if you have one light. Go ahead and see how much a replacement bulb costs, because you will be eventually getting them. With the LED lights, I know I will never have a bulb failure, and what else really goes wrong, other than running out of battery power? Then I just pop in another set, because I can afford to have as many AA sets of batteries as I want! No expensive proprietary extra battery costs.

    In my experience, riding tight technical singletrack, fast fire roads and everything in between, I can say I do have enough light. Read my article with photos of the Dinotte light in action here: Review: Dinotte Ultra 5 vs. Dualcross Li-Ion
    Thanks for the info and personal experiences. I might get a Dinotte for a headlamp and an HID for the bars... that might be the best of both worlds Cost isn't a huge concern, I always try and buy the best I can possible afford... as it seems to save me money in the long run, by not having to go buy an upgrade two months later

    I really wish someone around here had a Dinotte light for me to try out... it's hard to purchase something sight unseen.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab
    Thanks for the info and personal experiences. I might get a Dinotte for a headlamp and an HID for the bars... that might be the best of both worlds Cost isn't a huge concern, I always try and buy the best I can possible afford... as it seems to save me money in the long run, by not having to go buy an upgrade two months later

    I really wish someone around here had a Dinotte light for me to try out... it's hard to purchase something sight unseen.
    If cost isn't a big concern go Lupine! One Wilma is all you would need. You can mount it on either your bars or your helmet, and it's all you need. The battery that comes with the Wilma 6 will get you through a 24hr race.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd@gretnabikes
    If cost isn't a big concern go Lupine! One Wilma is all you would need. You can mount it on either your bars or your helmet, and it's all you need. The battery that comes with the Wilma 6 will get you through a 24hr race.
    Quote me a decent price for two of them and we'll see


    I can get the L&M for a very good price through our sponsor shop... that's what would allow us to also get a head lamp, such as one of the Dinottes.

  12. #12
    GMF
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab
    Quote me a decent price for two of them and we'll see


    I can get the L&M for a very good price through our sponsor shop... that's what would allow us to also get a head lamp, such as one of the Dinottes.
    L&M is coming out with a new LED light similar in output to the Dinotte, starting to ship late August. I had the good fortune of playing with a proto unit on one of my laps in the 24 hour race at Laguna Seca, and found it an excellent match to the ARC. Color temperature and beam pattern worked well as a helmet mount. As with any single LED systems, it could be brighter, but it was a nice combo. I only mention this as you brought up getting a L&M bar light. You would then have battery and charger cross-compatability, which is obviously a nice thing.

    Lots of good lights out there, though. Good luck...

  13. #13
    GeoMan
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    As you can see, there is a lot of passion in night lights.

    Better try some out. You'll find a good fit for your needs and style.
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  14. #14
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    hear's my 2 cents I own dinotte 500L & 5W both are upgraded they kick @%$*$# well over 800 lumens for two lights need I say more !

  15. #15
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    I'd go with the two 5w Dinottes (200L). I just bought one and I'm going to buy another- amazing beam pattern (do a search, someone posted beam shots). ONE provides more usable light than my 30w halogen system. I don't really need a second, but when it comes to light I do want redundancy. The 500L will provide a bit more light, but like I said, when I'm out and it's pitch black I don't want one faulty cable or bad battery cell to leave me in the dark.

    That said, I've never seen any light (including HID) that I'd trust to do a screaming decent on either road or mountain bike- had a horrible experience on my road bike when I thought the 30w halogen was more than bright enough for anything, going down an unlit road at 35MPH, more than confident that I'd be able to steer around anything that loomed into the beam, and up popped a piece of metal flashing the size of a 2x4 about 7 feet long laying right across the road. Even with a bunny hop I whacked it but good- I can still feel it, but I stayed upright- very lucky.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  16. #16
    GeoMan
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    Idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by California L33
    I'd go with the two 5w Dinottes (200L).
    Me too (and it's not because we sell 'em). They are great lights - reliable, durable, light weight, and effective.
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  17. #17
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    Geoman - do you carry the long corded version?

    Ant

  18. #18
    GeoMan
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    The long cord is an accessory for the Ultra 5W - easily obtained if you want one.

    If you mean the Lithium 5, yes we carry those.
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  19. #19
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    Terrain plays a BIG part in light selection and location.

    A sharp east-coast switchback will look like a dead end with a handlebar light, while a helmet light will allow you to see the upcoming turn.

    BTW, Bumble has excellent advice.

  20. #20
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    Niterider Flight

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Light & Motion ARC if you want one of the best and brightest. They are really nice and customer service is awesome from what I read and hear.

    The other option (cheaper) is the Jetlites Phantom or Starfire. They are not HID (though they make HIDs) but are really bright and very durable. On some trails, they almost work more effectively tham many bright HIDs by giving you better depth perception. The Jets are very solid and used by a lot of guys who either used HIDs and didn't like the white light or want the brightest without going to HIDs.

    Avoid Nite Riders. I have heard of and from too many guys who consistently have problems with them.

    If money is no object, get the Lupines. They are the very best.
    I would not say to avoid Niterider....remember that they are one of the largest so due to higher volume of numbers they will have more problems.
    I have the Niterider Flight and really like the setup. Light battery and switch between HID and LED is great if you stop and need to fix a flat. Once again the battery is really light and small.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alizbee
    I am partial to the Switchback line of lights from Princeton Tec. Smaller, lighter, and almost as bright as the HIDs on the market, for nearly half the cost. I have used them in several different conditions, and am very happy with them. I have the SB2 and SB3.

    http://www.switchback321.com/
    Wow those look like really nice lights!
    I've always used MarwiUSA and have had good luck so far but I am still on a 12/20 incandescent system and battery life is a bit of a problem for sure... I like the looks of those!
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  22. #22
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    Dinotte

    I just did my first 24 hour race using Dinotte lights (500L on handlebar and 200L on the helmet) and can highly recommend these lights. My pace slowed only slightly for my night lap at Big Bear and I passed a lot more people on my night lap than any of the day laps. The short of it is I could see well enough with these lights to match my pace at night.

    There are several options out there that are good, but for the money I think Dinotte is offering a very good lighting system. And this company is working hard to keep pace with the fast-evolving pace of LED diodes and to get customers the right setup and make them happy.The 500L has a broad flood beam that can be used by itself for commuting and even for most trail riding. The 200L is a great spot that can also be used by itself on a road bike and some trail riding. Together they worked great for a mountain bike race where the goal is fast times - one lit up the trail in front of me and into some corners, the other allowed me to look ahead into turns and into dark spots at twisty spots in the trail. I've already used these lights together and apart for numerous night mountain bike rides and for some late evening road rides. I will carry these lights through the winter commuting season next year as well.

    My only prior experience was with a Cygolite 15w halogen, which hardly qualifies as a light in comparison. But I did research every available option. Although I was wary of the high cost of both LED and HID, I'm glad I didn't make a decision based on cost (although the price for LED lights is bound to come down with time). I skipped the HID options because of the bulb life/cost issue, halogens seemed dated with HID and LED out there. I skipped a couple cheaper LED options because they didn't seem as bright as the Dinotte (see the light reviews cited often on this website) and I skipped the Lupine LED because of the high cost and it seems to be getting beyond what is needed. Indeed, the Dinotte on high already blinds oncoming riders on the road even as it provides way more than enough light for me to ride fast at night on the road or the trail.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnscoop
    Indeed, the Dinotte on high already blinds oncoming riders on the road even as it provides way more than enough light for me to ride fast at night on the road or the trail.
    Angling the lights down a bit will give you more light where you need it, anger fewer people on the trails, and lessen your chances of getting pulled over on the road. Depending upon road/trail conditions, if you can safely let go with one hand you can shield people in the beam while still keeping most of it on the road. It never hurts to be a good citizen.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  24. #24
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    Oh come on man. Build your own Triple Seoul P4 or Cree XR-E LED light. You'll be glad you did! Tons of info here on how to do it.

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