I was all set to buy a Blackburn System X8. Cant get it in time. Now considering an HID. You are going to buy one light - what is it? HID? LED? Helmet mount? Handlebar Mount? Share your knowledge.
Definitely a helmet mount with over 600ish lumens. Any of these will work:
LED- Betty/Wilma/600L $(900/600/425/400)
HID- Light & Motion ARC (no readily available HID is as nice- starts at $315-$325)
Halogen- Jet Lites Phantom (starts around $200 or $225)
I have owned the Jet Phantom and L&M ARC and now use the Lupine Wilma and Betty.
If light weight on the helmet is priority, the Wilma is great. If you want the brightest light, the Betty is it.
These are probably some of the very best or best value lights out there. I'll let others sway you while I give you the basic info
Last edited by Flyer; 12-11-2007 at 08:45 PM.
Do some searching... nothing worse than having champagne tastes with a beer budget. I don't feel there is a bike light out there that's worth the kind of money the top lights sell for.
Show some compassion for your fellow night riders if your light is a bazooka in the lumens department. Ride alone, instead of screwing up their ride with your overpowering light.
My fellow riders use Jet Phantoms, NR HIDs, Tubocat Halogens, L&M Stella, and we space out far enough to where nobody is drowned out or shadows cast. However, since I have the brightest setup, I usually ride in front of the main group while the couple of riders faster than me are usually 30-50 yards ahead. We have worked out a good system to where nobody gets affected in a bad way. Also, on slow and long climbs where we are packed close for 30-40 minutes, I dim my lights to around half brightness BUT nobody has ever said anything about shadows even when we are packed close together.
Can other Betty users comment on this?
Not too many riders run the lights I do so I'm a bit extra careful. That said, I had a surprising experience last week. I rode with a buddy who was only using a L&M Stella and I had my Betty and Wilma at full brightness behind him. I asked if his shadow was bothering him and was ready to dim down but he said he liked seeing the entire trail lit up in front. Now we were climbing at that point so maybe it would not be as good on flats and descents but I did not find out- he was too fast and stayed 20-40 yards in front at all times.
I think the lights that really drown out others are the ones that have really focused beams. The Lupines diffuse the beam very well. On the other end of the spectrum is a light like the Niteflux Photon Max which has a really focused center beam. I wonder if that would cast more shadows than a diffused beam.
Good point though, Randyboy. I think we avoid this by spacing out 10-15 yards but I ride with 2-5 others each time and I don't really notice any dark shadows when I'm in the back of the group.
Where does Flyer night ride?
My understanding is that you live/ride in the Front Range area of Colorado.
Where do you do your night riding?
3sigma- if I'm riding alone, it's usually Green Mountain with the Hayden trail always thrown in but I start from either side.
I also ride Lair O The Bear but it's quite spooky when alone though it's a great test for a light. It has really been those two but I am going to start going to some of the Evergreen trails (quietly) though they are snowed in right now. I have to be somewhat low-key anywhere but GM so when I go elsewhere, it's usually 2-3 of us.