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  1. #1
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    Exposure or Other Self Contained Lights or Not?

    I am trying to decide on a light set for bar and helmet. After reading and hearing how much Francis likes the self contained lights such as the Exposure Diablo ( and Lupine Piko TL) have been leaning towards trying to find a light set that would include either a self-contained bar light or helmet light.

    The decision has been complicated because of the Lupine Piko 3, the new Gemini Xera, and the Dinotte 1200L and Dinotte XML3 and the threads on these lights and beam shot photos that have been shared. Especially this thread on the Dinotte lights - New Dinotte XML-3, replaces 800L-Plus. With the photos and great information Randy shared in this thread it makes me seriously consider the Dinotte 1200L for the bar and the Lupine Piko 3 on the helmet BUT I am having a hard time giving up the idea of having one self contained light either on the bar or helmet.

    Of course I have looked at the light shootout beam shots. It looks like I could get something similar to the Dinotte 1200L for the bar in the Exposure MaxxD or the Exposure Diablo for helmet in lieu of the Lupine Piko 3 (although the beam pattern looks better with the Piko 3) or if I don't need as many lumens on the bar go for the Lupine Piko TL on the bar.

    Hoping ya'll might be able to shed some light on the subject.

  2. #2
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    I've never used the Lupine or seen one in person so I have no personal input on that line of lights. I recently bought an Exposure MaxxD, Diablo, and a Toro. Prior to these I've owned miniNewts, Magicshine, and Nightflux. This season I decided to spend a little more money and go with higher end units. I also wanted self contained. I couldn't be happier with the Exposure lights. The Maxxd looks big when on the bar but it's really not that big. Also the bracket that the maxxd and toro use is ingenious. It's so easy to change out lights, remove them from the bike, or put them back on and the the toro and maxxd use the same bracket. I've got a bracket on my geared mtn bike and my single speed. I simply grab a charged light and go. The helmet mount of the diablo is simply easy. I use it on night rides but also on road rides. When it gets dark I simply click the light into the mount and keep riding. Even on medium the Diablo is brighter than most of the roadies bar mounted lights. The toro and the diablo throw enough light to ride tight and twisty single track. The maxxd and diablo make night riding extremely easy. I haven't rode longer than 2 hours at dark so I don't know what these will be like in an endurance event but for what I do they are perfect.

    Self contained lights make night riding so easy. The bracket Exposure uses makes it that much easier for bar mounted lights. Snapping the Diablo into the helmet mount is incredibly easy. Simply throw the diablo in your jersey or pants pocket, ride, and when it gets dark snap it in to the holder and go.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Don,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the Exposure lights.

    Diablo sounds like a good light for road rides and singletrack. Not too wide of beam pattern to bother drivers for road rides. I anticipate using more for night singletrack riding. You mention the diablo and toro throw enough light to ride tight and twisty single track - How about the beam pattern? I assume they also spread the light enough near the bike and further away. And do they also throw enough light for fast single track downhill?

  4. #4
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    My primary objection to the self-contained lights is that they all sit above the crown of the helmet. Tree branches droop lower over the trail when heavy with rain. Catching the helmet light on a branch is a PITA.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    My primary objection to the self-contained lights is that they all sit above the crown of the helmet. Tree branches droop lower over the trail when heavy with rain. Catching the helmet light on a branch is a PITA.
    I guess it depends where you ride. The Diablo sits no higher on the helmet than any other light system I've seen. Riding here in New England, there's a lot of trees, it rarely happens that I get the light caught on any branches.

  6. #6
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    Just marking my place. I'm also interested in the Diablo or something similar.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber25 View Post
    I guess it depends where you ride.
    Absolutely. Some trails you would never hit anything. One trail I ride, I don't think you could avoid hitting in some stretches. Probably should go out some weekend with some loppers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Climber25 View Post
    The Diablo sits no higher on the helmet than any other light system I've seen.
    For a purchased light I would go with a Piko. Light mounted low and forward on the helmet with a short cable to the battery mounted on the back of the helmet.

  8. #8
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    I decided against the self contained lights as I wanted to maximize my run time & lumens per dollar.

    I'll just cut to the chase and recommend MY favorite light, the DiNotte XML-3. Yes, it is higher profile on the helmet than a true helmet specific light. But for the one or two times I've had to duck a little lower...the power, beautiful light output, run time and build quality of this light are simply unmatched for $260. I've used it several times now and appreciate it more and more each time.

    Of course, the lure of a self contained light is understandable. Come to find, luckily, the wires just don't bother me. Once I start pedaling the light/wire/battery absolutely disappears.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80sbmxkid View Post
    You mention the diablo and toro throw enough light to ride tight and twisty single track - How about the beam pattern? I assume they also spread the light enough near the bike and further away. And do they also throw enough light for fast single track downhill?
    I was riding fast twisty single track (average speed 13mph) when I commented on this. I would be comfortable riding with this combo as most other light combo's I had. I had a larger Magicshine (3 lights) and a regular one on my helmet and the exposure Diablo/Toro combo throws the same amount of light (my perception.) The Maxxd/Toro throws as much light as my big Niteflux w/ the small magicshine on my helmet. On the road or on a firetrail the toro alone or the Diablo alone are more then enough - again that's my opinion. Downhill, I don't know much about that. I'm not sure night downhill is for me nor are there any bright enough lights (maybe stadium lights?) for me to attempt that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    My primary objection to the self-contained lights is that they all sit above the crown of the helmet. Tree branches droop lower over the trail when heavy with rain. Catching the helmet light on a branch is a PITA.
    The Diablo is lower profile on my helmet than the small magicshine. I'm 6'3 and have just learned to duck, a lot... Even with a light on my helmet I typically don't have many strikes.
    Last edited by dontheclysdale; 11-09-2011 at 09:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    The Gemini XERA (800 lumens) with the 2 cell battery pack on the helmet works just awesome, it's size is tiny, and is very light. With a lux rating higher than the Piko, reports of better beam and less than 1/2 the price it's a bargain. While I love the Piko, it's look, and beautiful build quality I'm loving the XERA every time I head out for a ride. Great little helmet light for the price. You can also use Magic Shine battery packs with it and there is now an optional reflector to change the beam pattern.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber25 View Post
    I guess it depends where you ride. The Diablo sits no higher on the helmet than any other light system I've seen. Riding here in New England, there's a lot of trees, it rarely happens that I get the light caught on any branches.
    I'm with you. I ride all over New England including very brushy unmaintained trails and it's never been a problem. I'd say the Diablo is right in the middle as far as height goes.

  12. #12
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    I'm a big fan of the Exposure lights. I have the Diablo and use it as my only light for mountain bike rides. On rides that require lights for the full ride I'll mount the tampon battery to my helmet saving me from having to run wires into my pack. The brightness and spread of the light, with the light on high, is more than enough for my needs. Medium is pretty bright but only use it when I'm conserving or on the road. I have to say I really like not having to deal with wires and connectors and such.

  13. #13
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    Light and Motion Urban 500?

    After studying the backyard shots, reading the review, considering price, and the local bike shop sells - For these reasons I am starting to take a look at the Light and Motion Urban 500 as an option for my helmet light.

    For the bar light I am not sure I can justify paying double for a self contained light.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80sbmxkid View Post
    After studying the backyard shots, reading the review, considering price, and the local bike shop sells - For these reasons I am starting to take a look at the Light and Motion Urban 500 as an option for my helmet light.

    For the bar light I am not sure I can justify paying double for a self contained light.
    My big gripe with that light and the NR MiNewt 600 is the non replaceable battery. Once it's dead it needs to be recharged with a USB connection only. That's an issue IMO for a light that runs only 1.5 hours on high. The new Lyzene Power Drive 450 has an easily changed standard 18650 battery so just carry a spare(s) to double, triple, etc. the run time. No helmet mount yet but they are working on it. See this thread New Lezyne LED lights coming soon Now the Serfas TSL-500 True 500 Lumen Headlight does have a replaceable battery but it's a Serfas proprietary 18650 so that rules it out in my book (but it is helmet mountable). I'd also be questioning their 1.75hrs. run time on high. Driving a claimed 500+ lumen light on a single 18650 battery for 1.75hrs is a tough job unless you have the highest quality cell. My 3100mAh Callies Kustom battery (Panasonic cell) drove the Lyzene Power Drive for 1hr and 46 min. on high but that's one of the best 18650 batteries you can get. The standard Lyzene battery lasted 1 hr. 36 minutes. And BTW the proprieatry Serfas battery will set you back $30. A standard Callies Kustoms 3100 is $16

    You might also consider a really high quality 18650 torch light mounted with a TwoFish mount. Like this Zebralight SC600 which is an amazing light and has a flashing mode also.
    Zebralight SC600 (1x18650, XM-L) Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSHOTS, comparisons & more!

    Diablo should blow the Urban 500 and the above mentioned out of the water and you also have the option of the small and easily mounted piggy back battery (either to the light itself or the helmet) to double your run time. I've seen it and played with it and it's a slick setup. I would go that route before the Urban 500. A little bit of height yes, however should the light catch on something it will release from the mount and not take your head off and probably saving the light from damage as well (install a teather).
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    My big gripe with that light and the NR MiNewt 600 is the non replaceable battery. Once it's dead it needs to be recharged with a USB connection only. That's an issue IMO for a light that runs only 1.5 hours on high. The new Lyzene Power Drive 450 has an easily changed standard 18650 battery so just carry a spare(s) to double, triple, etc. the run time. No helmet mount yet but they are working on it. See this thread New Lezyne LED lights coming soon Now the Serfas TSL-500 True 500 Lumen Headlight does have a replaceable battery but it's a Serfas proprietary 18650 so that rules it out in my book (but it is helmet mountable). I'd also be questioning their 1.75hrs. run time on high. Driving a claimed 500+ lumen light on a single 18650 battery for 1.75hrs is a tough job unless you have the highest quality cell. My 3100mAh Callies Kustom battery (Panasonic cell) drove the Lyzene Power Drive for 1hr and 46 min. on high but that's one of the best 18650 batteries you can get. The standard Lyzene battery lasted 1 hr. 36 minutes. And BTW the proprieatry Serfas battery will set you back $30. A standard Callies Kustoms 3100 is $16

    You might also consider a really high quality 18650 torch light mounted with a TwoFish mount. Like this Zebralight SC600 which is an amazing light and has a flashing mode also.
    Zebralight SC600 (1x18650, XM-L) Review: RUNTIME, BEAMSHOTS, comparisons & more!

    Diablo should blow the Urban 500 and the above mentioned out of the water and you also have the option of the small and easily mounted piggy back battery (either to the light itself or the helmet) to double your run time. I've seen it and played with it and it's a slick setup. I would go that route before the Urban 500. A little bit of height yes, however should the light catch on something it will release from the mount and not take your head off and probably saving the light from damage as well (install a teather).
    Thanks for the advice. I look at the Diablo beam shot and it seems to have great throw but the spread is not as wide as others and it makes me wonder if that makes it less effective for a helmet light to help you see around tight turns to light the areas you won't see with the bar light?

  16. #16
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    Other Considerations - Ability to Upgrade, Longevity, Etc.

    How about other considerations such as the ability to upgrade, longevity, replacement of components?

    Upgrades? - Reading other threads I have heard a lot about light upgrades but I am not sure I have read anything about upgrading self contained lights. Does Exposure or other self contained lights offer upgrades?

    Longevity and Replacement? - How long do the batteries or other components last and is there a difference between self contained and other lights? Are there differences in the ease or cost of replacement of components if they need to be replaced?

  17. #17
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    I have the lupine betty 7 and the piko 3. AWESOME light combination i cant fault it! lighst the trails like is day light! Not cheap though!!

    Where have all the MTBR light reviews gone from youtube??? Anyone know?

  18. #18
    RTM
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomx0_1 View Post
    Where have all the MTBR light reviews gone from youtube??? Anyone know?
    Yes. In the shoot out thread Francios mentioned that the mtbr videos were mistakenly deleted. They are working to restore them ASAP.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

  19. #19
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    A significant disadvantage of self contained lights is that the batteries are exposed to the heat generated by the LEDs. Even if the outside of the housing stays relatively cool, it's gets pretty warm inside the housing. Li-ion batteries don't like heat, and it shortens their life. This is the same reason that li-ion batteries in laptops have a fairly limited life.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbMacgyver View Post
    A significant disadvantage of self contained lights is that the batteries are exposed to the heat generated by the LEDs. Even if the outside of the housing stays relatively cool, it's gets pretty warm inside the housing. Li-ion batteries don't like heat, and it shortens their life. This is the same reason that li-ion batteries in laptops have a fairly limited life.
    Bummer Something to keep in mind. Anyone have a personal experience with this?

  21. #21
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    I have a Lupine betty 7 on my bars at 2100 lumens and have just bought the Lupine piko 3 it arrived today. My betty kicks the arse of any other light I ve seen on the trails and the piko is so tiny the light it puts out is amazing. The good thing about Lupine is that they are upgradable so you can keep up with the latest LED's. The other good thing about Lupine is the Lumen ratings are tested and true to what they say. Other lights may claim 1200 lumens but infact are putting out a lot less. This includes exposure lights,

    I have had the exposure Maxx d and joystick which I sold to buy the lupines. They were good lights dont get me wrong and having no wires etc is a good thing. But really once my lupine lights are mounted you forget they have a battery!. The Lupine lights are much much better in my opinion and if you can afford to buy them you will not be dissapointed at all. I love mine.

  22. #22
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    Have an Exposure Joystick. The helmet mount is the best. Almost daily I'll use it as a flashlight and then put it back on the helmet for a ride. As for a branch knocking the light off you're helmet, not a problem if the light is on.
    agmtb

  23. #23
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    I just have a hard time paying what they're asking for some of the self contained brand name systems. I'm using an XML torch from Dealextreme that I got for 18 dollars. With a pocket full of 18650 batteries I can ride all night if I want and I'm less than 40 bucks into the entire system including batteries chargers and mounts.
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