Dipping my toe into night riding - what do you think of this light plan?
I'm going to try out some night rides on singletrack, I don't have any aspirations of riding more than 1-1.5 hours.
I need a single AA pocket torch, and I've been looking at something like the jetbeam PA10 or Fenix LD12 So I was thinking I could mount that to my helmet (any suggestions for mounts?).
For the bike, I was thinking a Magicshine MJ-872 or MJ-808E for the bike. After browsing the forum a bit, it seems like the Magicshine lights are the best bang for the buck around the $100 level, which is the most I want to spend on the bike light.
Is this plan feasible? I realize that using an AA torch for the helmet light is not the ideal setup, but I was going to get one of those anyway, and if I get more into it I could run 14500's for more juice.
I have seen the Jetbeam ST Cycler, but that uses CR123 / 18650 batteries. I really want to stick with the AA platform for the torch since it'll get camping/general use too, and the convenience of AA's can't be beat.
With one of those two Magicshines on your bar, you'll have plenty of light to be able to use the flashlight only as an emergency backup/camp light.
One more note: when helmet light is significantly weaker than bar-mounted one, its beam becomes essentially invisible. Eyes are adapting to the brightest light, so IMHO small AA-powered torch will be useless if used in conjunction with real bike light on your bar...
Just run one Magicshine on your helmet, then get a second one for the bar when you can afford it.
I run a Stella 500 on my helmet and a Seca on the bar usually set to 450. Which is bright enough for most situations and the brightness is nicely balance between the two lights.
Remember when you're looking ahead the lights are adding up, so when you look to the side with just the helmet light it needs to be bright enough to compete.
Some people run the brightest light on their helmet and a lower one on the bar.
+1 on this.
Originally Posted by canuck_tacoma
If I had to choose where to run a single light, I would go with a helmet setup. Prep your backup torch to fit the helmet too.
Years ago when I could only afford one light, I went with a bar light first. Rode a couple of 24 hr races with it. I found that having only a bar light did not really slow me down much as my night laps were within 5 or 6 minutes of my day laps on a 12 mile course. What I later found was that only worked because I had already done laps in the daytime and was quite familiar with the course by the time night fell. Riding an unfamiliar trail, the helmet light lets you scan around as the trail twists and turns.
I wouldn't buy the 872, it has heat problems. It dims after a few minutes. They make another light that has huge metal fins that looks just like the 872, but has better heat removal. I think it's called the 856.
A couple of us are using a 872 clone that works well. Read the thread called cheap Chinese flood light, or something like that.
I have one of the clones you're talking about, and I love it. I only got the light though, I use Geoman (magicshine) and other batteries.
Originally Posted by varider
I have the MS clone XML T6, I like it.
I think depending on how fast you're
going you should be ok.
SINGFIRE SF-90 BIKE LIGHT REVIEW - YouTube
For $100, you can get:
2 bright azz bike lights (one for helmet, one for handlebars).
1 bright azz backup flashlight
Check out Dealextreme.com or FastTech.com (and there are certainly others, but I like those two).
But whatever you do, don't put a 125 lumen torch like the Fenix on your helmet and a full-on bike light (750+ lumen) on your bars. The bike light will totally wash out the torch light.
What he said...^^^^. Single cell AA torches make great pocket/EDC torches. I wouldn't however use one on a helmet except in an emergency.
Originally Posted by -Archie-
Nothing wrong with using a torch for the helmet as long as the helmet you have will allow you to mount it without any problems. However I do suggest you use something that will compete with the output of your bar lamp. I use the cheap Ultrafire 501-B torch platform and use a 3-mode XM-L drop-in inside the host. It does use an 18650 type battery though. If you want significant run time and significant brightness you will need to use the 18650 cells. Not as convenient as AA's but in the long run the better option.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't get an AA torch. I carry one with me everyday. They make great EDC pocket torches.
i have that LD12 Fenix believe me it is not a good bike light. i bought it for one purpose only - to have a light that can run on AA batteries in case of Hurricane, Flood, WW3, Nuclear Holocaust etc. i bought it right after we got flooded by Hurricane Sandy and were trapped inside for three days with no electricity ... and plenty of AA batteries but no flashlight that can take them.
for actual flashlight i use Fenix LD22 which is much better, but won't take AA batteries and sometimes that's all you have.
if you just want LD12 to like look for holes in your tube then it will be fine for that. but it's not powerful enough as helmet light or as a tactical light. it only is really powerful enough for walking with, or for reading a book or something like that.
frankly with LD12 you're paying a lot for not much light. now Fenix TK22 is a different story - with the TK22 you get plenty of light so the price in that case doesn't sting because you're getting your money's worth. also the cap on the LD12 is quite tight - i don't like it - hard to get the battery in and out. TK22 doesn't have that problem.
all in all i wouldn't recommend LD12, although TK22 is awesome. there is now an XML2 version of TK22 so if you can get it for a good price ... but the regular TK22 is also awesome. just don't get the TK21 it wasn't as nice, or as bright.
Thanks for the input, looks like my plan was bunk! Since more lumens are clearly needed for the helmet light, I think I'll go the Chinese clone route so I can run dedicated bike lights on both the helmet and bar within budget, and keep the pocket torch in my pocket.
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