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  1. #1
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    Finally Got Out On A Real Night Ride and I'm Hooked!!!

    Wow! I'm hooked! What a rush blazing down a trail after dark running lights! Gotta do this more often!

    Well after being such a poser for the past year plus I finally got out for a quick night ride. Wife and the kids were out for a mother-daughter banquet, so I took advantage of the opportunity. I actually started with some rails-to-trails riding as a test ride after all the work I've done on the bike (shifting, braking, adjustment of the new bars, etc. . .). This was actually only the 2nd ride I've taken on this new MTB. My first ride was last Fall before the weather turned bad (we get 6 months of winter here in west central PA).

    So after riding about 4 miles of rail-trail round trip I head up a jeep trail up into a site that I am very familiar with from work. At this point it was just starting to get dark, so I stopped and mounted my lights up. I had brought the Yinding which is stock and came with the "wrong" tint (which I actually prefer), my Pannova case with (2) 3/4 charged cells, and my newly built Convoy M1 flashlight-helmet light running an XP-G2 @ 2.2A (about as bright as a 2nd Convoy M1 I built up with an XM-L2 @ 3A but slightly less spill). The tint is very close to my Yinding's tint. I attached the M1 to my helmet (slightly off center due to not having a center "notch" like I thought it did before I bought it) with a "silicone band" like these. The silicone band wasn't quite tight enough but it worked. I'm going to have to find another better option. I put the Pannova case into this bike frame bag (note: my bag's top cell phone compartment is nothing like this pic and so small it's almost unusable). I wasn't totally prepared to night ride and so I had to grab stuff and go. I do intend to use GoPro style mounts for my bar lights. I also almost grabbed the NiteFighter BT40s, but decided the Yinding would work better on only 2 cells.

    So I started climbing up and got exhausted with my thighs burning LOL! I'm out of shape! I'll admit that I got off and walked the bike up the steeper section. (I've never walked a bike on a road ride and always pushed myself so as to not get off and walk.) So by the time I got as high as I wanted to go (road got blocked with downed limbs) it was getting quite dark. I took a break (letting it get a little darker) and then fired up the lights testing modes, outputs, and combinations of the two lights. The M1 has a programmable driver (this driver with "guppydrv" firmware), but the two mode I have it set to only gives me a 15% low which is WAY TOO LOW for biking. I finally fired both lights up on high and let her rip downhill!

    This road is an old (2 years old) mostly unused exploratory drilling road. It's just dirt with ruts, downed limbs, rocks, water flowing across low spots, etc. . . so I got a good feel for aiming my helmet light to see obstacles and find paths around them (granted, I had just rode and walked up past these too). Too bad the downhill run only lasted 5 minutes! It was such a rush! This is a perfect combination of my fascination with LED lights and love of cycling! I wish I could have ridden more in the dark, but I needed to get home. During the drive home though I was cranking up the most appropriate song I had for the moment - Thousand Foot Krutch's (TFK) "Light Up the Sky".

    I'm actually gearing up to ride the entire C&O Canal trail (184 miles, Cumberland, MD to D.C.) in less than 24 hours. I'm thinking my buddy and I should do most of it during the night just to throw in the awesomeness of night riding too! (Plus there would be less people on the trail in our way.)

    Oh, by the way, the Yinding worked fine. It was scorching hot after those couple minutes, but never dimmed down. Jury is still out on the beam pattern, but it seemed good for the most part. My 2.2A XP-G2 helmet light was washing out the Yinding's beam, but blended in nicely due to the similar tint.

    Hooked on night riding, and no longer a poser,
    -Garry

  2. #2
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    Couple Pics of my helmet mounted Convoy M1:







    Beam on High:


    Here is my M1 with 3A XM-L2 on high for comparison:


    -Garry

  3. #3
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    Awesome, sounds a cool ride! I usually use the XT40 on my helmet, which has some throw, so the beams don't overlap too much. Maybe a better mount for the M1 would help. What was your impression of the tint? Was it bright enough or did you run on high the whole time?

  4. #4
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    I left both on high during the riding. Hard to say on the tint without trying other lights with other tints. I'd like to try a 3C and a 4C. My "5x" tint did make surroundings look realistic, but it does look a little dim.

    -Garry

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    Wow high the whole way, no wonder the Yinding was so hot. Jokaankit rides with the 5C Yinding and it does seem slightly dimmer than my 3C. I think 3C is a nice balance of color vs perceived brightness.

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    Nice! Just got out for my first real night ride tonight as well. Now I can't wait to go again. Was one of those nights where the conditions were perfect...once you have that you get the motivation to do it again as soon as possible

  7. #7
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    I was actually going to sneek out, went and checked out new trails that are really close to home (7 mins drive, 20 min cruising by bike) and IT STARTED RAINING. Those trails kicked my ass anyway today. Laid on the ground in front of my car at trailhead for like 10 mins. Body wasnt in it today either but FFS. I need to take camera out next time, got some beautiful views from up on top of the bluffs overlooking the river.

    But thatll be my night riding spot, tomorrow if we dont get too much rain im going to go scout the section on the other half (club hasnt connected the 2 halves yet, and I cant help yet) wince its where Ill be for night riding.

    GOD IM JEALOUS RIGHT NOW,lol.

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    Glad to hear it and good on you!
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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    Great story. I'm glad you got out for a ride.

    Now the only hard part is explaining to people why you want to ride at night. Most people think we are crazy!

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    It will give you a much better perspective on the lights when you review them.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    It will give you a much better perspective on the lights when you review them.
    Yeah, I was thinking of your comment "put down the soldering iron". Well I did just that. I could have easily spent my free time modding some lights, but it was such gorgeous weather I couldn't pass it up!

    I also see what all the fuss is about on the stock Yinding mount. There's not much "meat" there for the rubber band to grab! The rubber band did suffice though - light didn't move unless I forced it (though I wasn't changing modes while moving).

    -Garry

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    Garry, that convoy has a really nice tint. What emitter does it use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by manbeer View Post
    Garry, that convoy has a really nice tint. What emitter does it use?
    The XP-G2 is a 5A2 (R4 bin) and the XM-L2 is a 4C (T6 bin). More info on the builds here: Helmet mounted single cell wide throwing light suggestions? | BudgetLightForum.com

    Im working on learning to program/flash my own drivers (ATtiny13a MCU's only: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/36216 ). This way I can setup the modes I want at the levels I like. I have my programmer and clip wired, just need to connect and setup the PC side of things. I'm probably going to use Dr. Jones "lucidrv" firmware. Here is a post I did over at BLF back in 2013 (I still haven't used that custom driver): What is a good Driver (or Custom Program) for Cycling Use for a Standard Flashlight | BudgetLightForum.com

    EDIT- Dr Jones driver new link: http://drjones.nerdcamp.net/#lucid

    -Garry

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Yeah, I was thinking of your comment "put down the soldering iron". Well I did just that. I could have easily spent my free time modding some lights, but it was such gorgeous weather I couldn't pass it up!

    I also see what all the fuss is about on the stock Yinding mount. There's not much "meat" there for the rubber band to grab! The rubber band did suffice though - light didn't move unless I forced it (though I wasn't changing modes while moving).

    -Garry
    I love night riding and really got hooked on it circa 1995 when in college and working at a shop. Late at night was the only time I had time to ride. Vista Lites back then (1 10w on the helmet and a 10 and 15 on the bar)...they were v. powerful for the time but had super big/heavy NiCad batteries that took FOREVER to charge. The lights today are crazy small/light to me and so much brighter. But you know what? The fun factor hasn't changed a bit!

    The stock Yinding mount (and all of the rubber band "MS-type" mounts) works perfectly fine to me with such small lightweight lights. My only beef with them is on my helmet it tends to move slowly downward as I ride and I have to reach up and adjust it every so often to keep it way out in front of me. Because of this and a new helmet this year (POC), thinking I will try one of the custom GoPro mounts as I already have plenty go GoPro mounting gear.
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    I'm probably going to have Jay build me up an amoeba for the helmet which will be xp-g2. Gonna try to shoot for the same tint that you have, I'm really liking it

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    I got my XP-G2's from Mountain Electronics. I will warn you though that the tint is a bit "rosy", at least on a white wall. I think I might prefer the 4C, but I'll have to try it out (that's the XM-L2 above). Not sure if the XP-G2 comes in a 4C or something close.

    -Garry

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    5pcs CREE Xlamp XPG2 XP G2 Nature White 4000K 4500K LED Light 1W 5W on 16mm PCB | eBay

    Just ordered these to replace the horribly blue XP-G emitters on my two MJ 816 lamps. 4000-4500K doesn't sound too bad. Will be a while before I recieve them because China, but will report back then.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Wow! I'm hooked! What a rush blazing down a trail after dark running lights! Gotta do this more often! Hooked on night riding, and no longer a poser-Garry
    That's a riot, I figured you could be seen from the space station several nights a week, hah!

    Yep, hang up the soldering iron and get a Gloworm XS/X2 Combo, pedals down @ dusk!!!!!!!!

    Welcome aboard.

  19. #19
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    It's funny but I have a hard time justifying sometimes waiting until it's dark to head out, but once you get others to try it they are hooked. A lot of my friends from more populated areas won't give it a chance because they are scared of the woods at night though

  20. #20
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    I will say it was a little spooky being out there by myself and hearing noises in the woods around me. And I know there are bear in those woods too. Do wish I had a partner to ride with.

    -Garry

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    Garry, you get used to it after a while. I guess I always kind of wandered around the beach or woods at night but the only thing different is that I never ventured too deep. Now I just make sure that I am well prepared with tubes, pump, tools, extra chain links etc. I had a bad crash 5 years ago during the day and almost didn't make it out so I try to be extra cautious too. Up until last year i would actually ride with headphones at night, but I stopped doing that cause I decided it was foolish. Sometimes I do listen to music on my phones speaker though

  22. #22
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    Two plus for sure, the mountain lions get the first guy and the coyotes get the hindmost....

    Here in the Folsom Lake SRA I've seen just about everything except a bear. In Auburn I've seen everything plus a bear.

    In Hidden Falls we had a whole family of Wild Boar racing through the woods parallel to us, what a racket, we couldnt' see anything, they crossed the trail just ahead of us, crazy!

    Feel better?


    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    I will say it was a little spooky being out there by myself and hearing noises in the woods around me. And I know there are bear in those woods too. Do wish I had a partner to ride with.

    -Garry

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    We don't have many scary animals here. I did see a raccoon last night but they are fine as long as they aren't rabid. One thing we do have = tons of ticks. They are tiny but can cause serious misery and because of the conditions are hard to spot at night. Only scary night situation I've had was out in the middle of nowhere one night around midnight there was a van in the trail at the bottom of the hill I was bombing down. I remember just passing and hauling ass cause it weirded me out, no idea how he made it back there to this day, and I know the area well.

  24. #24
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    This site I was riding on last night is one where I was walking in the woods 2 weeks ago for work and flicked 23 ticks off my pants in about 4 hours time. Guy with me also had about 20 on him.

    I'd be weirded out too running across a vehicle back in the woods. I've wondered if I'll ever run across atv riders (illegal) back in these woods. I do know the main gate is dummy locked with a stick (lock on the bottom end looks official, but the top end of the assembly only requires removing a stick). Not too far you can get in a regular vehicle.

    -Garry

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    Oh I just realized you're in PA, not too far! The ticks in the northeast are serious. Many people will never know. Had lyme about a year ago and it sucks more than I could ever imagine. Walking a block felt like I just ran a marathon. Luckily we caught it early. Make sure be be careful...

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    Quote Originally Posted by manbeer View Post
    We don't have many scary animals here. I did see a raccoon last night but they are fine as long as they aren't rabid.
    Broke my collarbone just past this sign a few years ago, 7mi ride out, batteries were getting low.... ugly...

    Finally Got Out On A Real Night Ride and I'm Hooked!!!-img_3012.jpg

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    Wow that's a bad situation...that's the kind of thing I worry about

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    Quote Originally Posted by manbeer View Post
    Wow that's a bad situation...that's the kind of thing I worry about
    No sjit, happens again I'm going to need a divorce lawyer...

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    Lol. I'd be in the same boat. I've already given up on riding bike from the house cause I have to pass the "hood" and a busy road with lots of drunk drivers in the summer. Promised the mrs that I wouldn't ride there anymore even though it's a quick 2 miles to the trailhead. Sometimes I hate the inconvenience of taking the car but she's probably right

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    Yikes!
    By the way, am I one of the only ones riding a MTB with toe clips? I don't want clip pedals and need special shoes, but I can see it being hard to bail with toe clips. (Been riding toe clips on my road bike since '90.)

    -Garry

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    Lol I used them for a while. They did the job but yes, so hard to bail! Once you try clipless you'll never go back and the shoes have gotten much more livable that the old clown shoes that were as stiff as boards

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    Clipless are easy to bail with?

    -Garry

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    Yes, much more so than toe clips. At least well maintained ones. When people are using ancient cleats or the cleats loosen up on the shoe and just rotate all bets are off though

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    When you first get clipless pedals you are practically guaranteed to fall over once without being able to unclip. You just can't remember to rotate your foot and you panic. It happens to everyone I think. After that you always remember.

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    Wednesday is ride night! a group(or i go by my self some times) of us normal get out and about we have some nice tracks that drain well so in Winter it gets busy as riding a road bike in the rain is not fun apparently

    i am using a set of these one on the bars one on the helmet
    Bicycle 1500lm Cool White 2-LED 4-Mode Bike Front Head Light - Black - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

    i would take the Chinese lumens with a grain of salt......closer to 800-1000 IMHO
    the battery pack is the really important part i have been thinking of building up a pack with Panasonic batteries but the standard ones will still last for 4hr's

  36. #36
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    Shimano Pedals have a release adjustment, you can see it here: PD-M780 XT Race Pedal

    Great price on the PD-M530 MTB SPD

    You can make them super easy to release. Crank Bros don't have an adjustment and I find them hard to get out of.


    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Clipless are easy to bail with? -Garry

  37. #37
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    Clipless pedals are easier to get out of then toe clips/straps (when cinched down). Give them a try, you can get into a set of Shimano 525s for $35 online and a pair of entry-level shoes should keep you around $100. Worse case, sell them if you don't like them. A bazillion people use them..they wouldn't if this was a huge issue.
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    it's about time Garry :-)

    velcro strips work great for helmet mount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by siata94 View Post
    it's about time Garry :-)

    velcro strips work great for helmet mount.
    I was going to ask you what you were using. Sounds simple enough.

    -Garry

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    or try some decent platforms and decent shoes. Great deals on Teva Pinners on amazon $27 if they have your size. I have both Pinners and Links, they're practically the same shoes to me, slightly diff uppers but same soles. I also have 5.10s waiting in the wing but my Links seem indestructible for my use, on Spank Spikes, that I use the Pinners as casual shoes.
    Last edited by siata94; 05-07-2015 at 11:43 AM.

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    I'm with siata, not a fan of clipless personally, but toe clips are imo rather dangerous for mtbing.



    Platforms from clips are an adjustment because requires more technique but makes life much easier when you need to bail or simply put a foot down.



    I use cb 50/50 pedals (have big feet need the platform size) and still just using some soft soled skater shoes from target that are like $25.

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    What do you guys think of the Shimano PD-M324 combination pedal?

    Seems it would make a nice first clipless pedal to being universal.

    -Garry

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    Hmm . . . seems the greatest expense is in the shoes, not the pedals (i.e. clipless setup). Need to find a good closeout deal or something on shoes.

    -Garry

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    These shoes maybe, Pearl iZUMi Men's All-Road II Cycling Shoe

    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Hmm . . . seems the greatest expense is in the shoes, not the pedals (i.e. clipless setup). Need to find a good closeout deal or something on shoes. -Garry
    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    What do you guys think of the Shimano PD-M324 combination pedal?
    Seems it would make a nice first clipless pedal to being universal.
    -Garry

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    What do you guys think of the Shimano PD-M324 combination pedal?

    Seems it would make a nice first clipless pedal to being universal.

    -Garry
    Hmm. . . friend of mine said don't go dual platform, just buy the "adaptor" to convert from clipless to platform.

    -Garry

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    Problem with that pedal is that it's single sided, much handier/safer to have dual sided so you can get into them easy without looking down...

    Here, this one's unisex.. Shimano Unisex PD-M520

    Prime shipping, Shimano PD-M530 Mountain Pedals

    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Hmm. . . friend of mine said don't go dual platform, just buy the "adaptor" to convert from clipless to platform.-Garry
    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    What do you guys think of the Shimano PD-M324 combination pedal?
    Seems it would make a nice first clipless pedal to being universal.
    -Garry

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    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    Problem with that pedal is that it's single sided, much handier/safer to have dual sided so you can get into them easy without looking down...
    There's another option that allows clipless or platform on both sides: Shimano PD-M424 Mountain Pedals. Not sure how I feel about those though (i.e. the "resin" cage).

    -Garry

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    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    Here, this ones' unisex.. Shimano Unisex PD-M520
    Yeah, I found it cheaper here: Shimano M520L Mountain Pedals . It's on my list.

    -Garry

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    Garry you might want to step up to this model, the 540
    Amazon.com : Shimano PD-M540 SPD MTB Pedals : Bike Pedals : Sports & Outdoors

    From the reviews it seems to be worth the upgrade. If you get the right pedal, they will last forever.

    Clip-in system are way better than toe-clips. I didn't mention it before as others had already said it. It makes you feel like you are really part of the bike and in total control. They are pretty easy to get out of with a bit of practice. Like I said earlier, there is a bit of learning curve.

  50. #50
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    Hey garry, I get your feeling now. I haven't gotten a chance to hit dirt at night yet. But last night I went out to compare bt40s,mj880 clone, and ss x3 and realized the longer I was out, the more fun I was having even though it was on pavement.

    Can't wait till next weekend, high winds,wind advisory here was fun, 30-40mph gusts are great for stopping u dead in your tracks pulling my little one in the trailer behind me, will dry the trails out good so they should be gtg next weekend!!!

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    I have a little one too with a trailer I pull her on. I usually only pull her on the rails-to-trails, but perhaps I should try it on the off-road trails too. (I'm kidding.)

    Been two weeks since that night ride and I haven't been back out since. Busy time of year for me. I was fortunate enough to have a kind MTBR member ship me a pair of Shimano SPD pedals he didn't need. I don't have shoes yet, but these happen to be dual platform type. Spindles on them even seem a lot smoother than the pedals I've been using.

    -Garry

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    Nice. My bike path here, well the part you see that i do my night shots on for light, is rails to trail but paved. a couple section of the I want to say now about 60 miles of the path (north to south along river) still has rails in the way so have to take country road and residential through one small town. Its great cause tons of scenery (yet to ride the whole thing but Ive driven the road that runs next to it plenty).

    Glad your getting set up on pedals, going clipless can get expensive fast, other riders helping out is always a plus!

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    Thanks patski!

    -Garry

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    During the drive home though I was cranking up the most appropriate song I had for the moment - Thousand Foot Krutch's (TFK) "Light Up the Sky".
    -Garry
    Nice... When I am driving to the trailhead I play Thousand Foot Krutch's "Smackdown"

    "Get ready for the smackdown! ...Cause there's no turning back when you're facing the smackdown..."

    "..come on, lets rip it, lets push that limit, if you don't feel pain, then you can't be winnin'...c'mon!"


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    Yep! Another fitting awesome song!

    -Garry

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    So went out tonight with my oldest son (leave it to him to choose the solarstorm lights over others, thankfully ssx2 and x3 both already have full mods)

    But I was AWESOME. And that's after us putting several miles in today on trails down near his moms. Love the new freedom of can literally ride WHENEVER because we have enough light and long runtimes!

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    Learned a lesson on Monday's family bike ride. ALWAYS carry a light on you of some kind, EVEN IF you are riding during the day and going through a tunnel that you know/expect to be well lit! We ventured on a 5 mile stretch (10 miles round trip) of the Great Allegheny Passage which goes through a 1/2 mile long lit tunnel and pops out to a gorgeous overlook. Well a bunch of the lights inside the tunnel were out leaving you riding through some pretty dark stretches (yes I remembered to take my sunglasses off!). My wife was not happy! My 10yr old was ok once she acclimated to it and my 2yr old was a little fussy until we got out. I was kicking myself for not bringing a light! DOH! I could have lit that tunnel up brighter than daylight if I wanted to! Some other riders passed us with lights on. I tried to get a look at what they were using but couldn't tell. Looked like self-contained single emitter lamps maybe 700 lumens and stark cool white.

    Anyway, here are a few pics:

    Photo of the tunnel from my 2011 Pittsburgh to Washington DC trip (yes that's me on top):



    Inside:


    Panoramic Shot from 2011:


    This past Monday at the Scenic Overlook:




    -Garry

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    Almost forgot to post this! Came across this name on a bench. I had to do a double-take, turn around and get a pic.



    Think he got made fun of in school?

    -Garry
    Last edited by garrybunk; 05-28-2015 at 10:33 AM.

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    Omg that poor guy with a name like that....

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    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxhad View Post
    Nice... When I am driving to the trailhead I play Thousand Foot Krutch's "Smackdown"

    "Get ready for the smackdown! ...Cause there's no turning back when you're facing the smackdown..."

    "..come on, lets rip it, lets push that limit, if you don't feel pain, then you can't be winnin'...c'mon!"

    Another great song to get pumped up with is Disciple's "Game On".

    -Garry

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    I came here today to start a thread with the same title! A friend was trying to convince me to get a light last season when I got my first new bike in years... I said next year. So springtime came and with two very young kids, it's pretty challenging to find daylight, even in June in New England when it's light until 9pm.

    Anyway I bought a nice commercial light (NiteRider 770 Pro) and haven't looked back. While I like electronics and building things myself, it comes back to having free time, which I kinda don't. So a gift certificate from my sister put me over the edge and I went to the local bike shop and got a good light. Done. Maybe in the future I'll build something with the fantastic resources here.

    I am able to ride directly from my house up a great local network of trails on a small mountain (~2000 ft @ summit, up from my house which is @ ~900 ft), so I can really get in a 90 minute ride in 90 minutes, zero transit time. Last week I went up another mountain nearby with a friend on the night of the full moon. We pushed hard to get to the summit in time, but we witnessed an amazing orange full moonrise before the clouds got the better of the moon and we headed back down. The trail is extremely technical near the top, then opens up a bit along a ridge. It finishes down a short mountain road that you could get up in a (modified) jeep or similar. Fun to ride down, it's like a muddy, rocky halfpipe.

    On that particular night, my friend brought Heady Toppers to have after the ride, which was a perfect way to end the night.

    Anyway, riding at night has really opened up the possibilities for me in terms of having a relaxing time on the bike, not watching the clock to be back in time for... whatever. It also lets me relax more on weekends or let my wife do whatever she wants while the kids are napping. I realized that I hardly XC skied in daylight this winter at all.

    I have always loved being outside at night, so this is just ideal for me. I cannot believe how simple, light, and powerful these new lights are, compared to what I remember having as a kid, pretty much as a novelty.

    Cheers all.

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    Great story; glad you shared! Along with you, I'm learning that nowadays sometimes it just pays to spend more money and save time rather than go cheaper and require DIY effort.

    -Garry

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    yep, I usually do all my own work on my cars, too. But I've had to really change my thinking on that. I'll still try to DIY, but I'm much more likely to hand over the car to a trusted shop for bigger stuff. It pains me to do that but I just don't want to trade time with kids for time working on the car, which leads back to night time work. I also like to spend time with my wife, and there are only so many nights in a week!

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Almost forgot to post this! Came across this name on a bench. I had to do a double-take, turn around and get a pic.




    Think he got made fun of in school?

    -Garry
    Well, it appears dick is stiff now. RIP Dick, whatever happened to you.

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    Garry definitely hooked now, hit the new trail that's really close to home, even though up till last night I hadn't ridden the whole thing, I was still having a blast and cleared a black rated descent in one piece. Didn't ride it on purpose just had no idea where I was going lol.

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    I've done a handful of night rides... Wouldn't say I enjoy it more than daytime riding, it's just different ^^

    Better half gave me green light (excuse pun) on getting some decent lights.

    Think I may enjoy it (night riding) a little more once Spring comes around...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Well, it appears dick is stiff now. RIP Dick, whatever happened to you.
    http://articles.dailyamerican.com/20...-veterans-club

    Well here is his obituary for anyone who cares to read it. Seems like a good guy. His late sister's name kind of of cracks me up. If I didn't know better I'd think I was reading the cast of an x rated film

    r.i.p.

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    Ok it bad, sounded like a great guy, but I see your point manbeer. dick stiffy, harry stiffy, betty Cummings.....

    That family obviously had a perverted sense of humor

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    Just sharing that I finally got out on the local club's trails this afternoon. Nice singletrack riding for about 3 hours. My first true singletrack experience and I LOVED it! What a thrill! Then topping it off with an awesome long twisty downhill gave it a great finale.

    I did get the toe clip pedals off and put on a set of "dual platform" (platform one side clip less the other). I rode without cleats and it was s bit of a pain to get the pedal rolled over to the platform side if my foot popped off.

    Hope I can get out again and maybe even ride it at night.

    -Garry

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    Finally got a chance to go on a group ride with the local club (same location as previous post - twisty rocky rooty singletrack). Rode for 2 hours, at least the last half hour in the dark with lights. I chose to run my custom HD-016 on the bars with modded Fenix 2 cell case with my Convoy M1 XM-L2 flashlight on my helmet (which btw I got mounted really nicely combining a "silicone band" and a velcro strap - I recommend picking up those cheap velcro straps from GearBest). I found that the HD-016 on high still didn't feel like much light. I also feel like I could use a wider flood since the trails are so twisty. Helmet light worked great on high, low (10%) nearly useless unless stopped. Everybody else had nasty cool white lights. Thought I'd blow them away, but really didn't.

    -Garry

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    How were you expecting to "blow them away"? Lights or riding?

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    Lights. Just thought my gear would blow away the "retail" lights many had, but mine didn't appear to be THAT MUCH brighter than theirs. I thought maybe I'd hear some "Ooo . . . ahhhh . . . wow . . ." but nope.

    Tell you what - backyard beamshots standing still don't compare to real world usage! I expected to flood the trail with light, but it wasn't like that at all. There were people right in front of me too so that blocked some light and possibly made it seem like I was putting out less light.

    -Garry

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    ^^^Exactly. What you find when you do a lot of night riding is that really...all of these minor bits that are discussed here are really irrelevant to the end use of just riding on trails at night. Probably the biggest one is battery life and spot vs. flood. Cool white or natural tint? Nobody notices/cares except light enthusiasts/people on these boards.

    What kind of "retail" lights were folks using? I use Gemini's and have been told several times how much brighter they were by folks using SSX2s, MS 808s, etc.

    Interesting comment about backyard beam shots etc. but yes...you really need to use them in the real-world to see how they perform at speed, in the woods, around corners, etc.
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    I heard people saying "MagicShine" (I saw what looked like 808's or maybe clones) and "Jet Light" (I think that's what it was).

    -Garry

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    All those things we discuss actually matter a fair bit. But just like anything else, some people dont know, some just dont care till what they have fails.

    Garry, when your in a group ride against a bunch of cool white lights, there isn't going to be much too see. The glare off all them is going to drown your light. Remember cool white appears brighter than it is and all the other bad things that come with them. Plus you did go out pretty "low powered" compared to what you own for lights.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    I heard people saying "MagicShine" (I saw what looked like 808's or maybe clones) and "Jet Light" (I think that's what it was).

    -Garry
    MS is what I see the most here...the 808s were wildly popular it seems. I had a set too a few years ago and they were my first nice modern LED lights...couldn't believe how small and bright they were compared to what I had ('90s stuff). I still ride with folks that have those original 808s with the SSC P-7s and they are happy as clams..but they do comment that my Duo/Xera (and Yinding) are much brighter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    All those things we discuss actually matter a fair bit. But just like anything else, some people dont know, some just dont care till what they have fails.

    Garry, when your in a group ride against a bunch of cool white lights, there isn't going to be much too see. The glare off all them is going to drown your light. Remember cool white appears brighter than it is and all the other bad things that come with them. Plus you did go out pretty "low powered" compared to what you own for lights.
    Fair enough...its really an issue that they simply aren't interested enough to care..but to my point..they still ride and have fun and aren't suffering b/c of these small things. I ride with folks like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Plus you did go out pretty "low powered" compared to what you own for lights.
    Huh? My custom HD-016 is dual XM-L2 @ 2.4A each on high. The Convoy M1 helmet light was an XM-L2 @ 2.8A (I'm pretty sure).

    I want to try the BT21 on the helmet, but I didn't have enough time to get it mounted up and knew I could mount the flashlight quick. Oh, the BT21 would have also required another battery pack and I don't have a 2nd pack ready to dish out high current (need to mod my 2nd Fenix case). I forgot to mention that many of the other riders had their battery packs for their helmet lights mounted on their helmets.

    -Garry

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    Ya that's like anything else. Except for guys that are all about looking cool by having the coolest gear, if it works why spend money on something new. Sort it out when it breaks. Like with bike components, ive demoed bikes and though they cost 3x what my bike did, I see nothing that is worth it over mine.

    If it ain't broke dont fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Huh? My custom HD-016 is dual XM-L2 @ 2.4A each on high. The Convoy M1 helmet light was an XM-L2 @ 2.8A (I'm pretty sure).

    I want to try the BT21 on the helmet, but I didn't have enough time to get it mounted up and knew I could mount the flashlight quick. Oh, the BT21 would have also required another battery pack and I don't have a 2nd pack ready to dish out high current (need to mod my 2nd Fenix case). I forgot to mention that many of the other riders had their battery packs for their helmet lights mounted on their helmets.

    -Garry
    I don't get the battery on the helmet thing...so heavy and noticeable up there. Always have tossed mine in my jersey pocket and run the cord down my back under my jersey. When I was still using a pack, I just tossed it in there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Couple Pics of my helmet mounted Convoy M1:





    -Garry
    I am looking for a flashlight that I can mount in a low profile manor on my helmet.

    How did you mount this light? I see some black straps of some kind
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

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    We run a 2 cell pack on the helmet. Works well, to me weight becomes unnoticeable pretty quick. But I grew up around dirt bikes, atvs, motorcycles etc, and even a 4 cell pack with a 100+g light maybe weighs the same (probably less) as a full face dirt bike helmet.





    Oh and I dont wear xc jerseys. Im a big guy, dont need my "curves" more defined lol. So I use dh/fr type jerseys.



    Garry. Didn't realize what your pushing. Ya that would a "wow" factor if you didn't have a group of cw 808s. Bunch of cool white spot lights (I know your pain riding with ppl using cw lights, drives me nuts). Dont sweat it, your still pushing more light then they will and soon enough everyone will be running NW emitters . I got my "wow" factor riding with one buddy. But have a first night group ride Saturday, sadly my prototype wont be ready

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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    I am looking for a flashlight that I can mount in a low profile manor on my helmet.

    How did you mount this light? I see some black straps of some kind
    can't do much better than zebralight as far as low profile

    this here is a 18650 powered high cri h600w mark II
    I get >2 hours runtime at ~710 lumens on one 3400mah 18650
    at 1000 lumens I get .9 hours. don't need it that bright though

    I carry spare 18650 on longer rides, easy peasy to swap batts I did it one handed while riding once (but yeah was tricky)


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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    I am looking for a flashlight that I can mount in a low profile manor on my helmet.

    How did you mount this light? I see some black straps of some kind
    That black strap is this "silicone bandage": Multifunctional Flexible Silicone Fixed Bandage Small Gadgets Torch Holder Mount for Bicycle Handlebar - 2Pcs-2.83 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

    Get some of these velcro straps too: 10pcs Battery Hook Loop Velcro Reusable Cable Tie Down Straps (28cm)-2.28 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com

    Just find a way to wrap through the vent holes in a way that keeps the light aimed where you want it.

    -Garry

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    my helmet light

    Like your setup Garry!

    My helmet light: Solarforce L2P, quad XP-L 2C, 2800 lumens at 14+amps on high

    Finally Got Out On A Real Night Ride and I'm Hooked!!!-helmet-light.jpg

    I carry spare batteries but I haven't needed to swap battery as my typical rides are =<15miles.

    Last night I tried a single XP-L 3C (1600 lumens) on the helmet w/ the L2P on the bar, I thought the 3C was too rosy compared and they did not illuminate well together. It's probably a personal preference but I liked it better when the tint was the same for bar/helmet. For the terrain we have here, I don't like neutral tint, makes the dirt redder than it really is.
    Last edited by siata94; 10-12-2015 at 09:57 AM.

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    I can't quite see how you mounted that L2P. Looks like there's two mounts to get the right angle?

    -Garry

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    Those flashlight mounts are pretty cool..I can see where this isn't a bad setup vs. a separate battery.
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    The pic just looks weird but it's just two Velcro straps, nothing else propping up the light. I used 16" strips and connect them up to make them as long as nec.
    Last edited by siata94; 10-12-2015 at 10:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    can't do much better than zebralight as far as low profile

    this here is a 18650 powered high cri h600w mark II
    I get >2 hours runtime at ~710 lumens on one 3400mah 18650
    at 1000 lumens I get .9 hours. don't need it that bright though

    I carry spare 18650 on longer rides, easy peasy to swap batts I did it one handed while riding once (but yeah was tricky)

    I still haven't had a chance to get out and do a night ride trying my Zebralight h600w mark II on the helmet. My current work schedule is nights so it actually makes it easier for me to me out riding first thing in the morning at 07:30 so lights aren't needed. I see the new H600 Mk III have a Higher CRI and choice of 4000k or 5000k. When I can run 1,000 lumens with a 2 hour runtime on one of these single 18650 lights, with neutral hi-cri then I won't need to look any farther for a helmet light at least. The H600 is a nice beam with the reflector. It's has a spot, but not super spotty and blends well into the flood. Some flashlights have a super bright spot and weak flood which could be distracting and give you that spot bouncing around in front of you effect, but the Zebralight makes a nice beam. I use my Zebralights daily and use it at work each night. Before I found Zebralights, I bought a lot of flashlights this year looking for a good EDC light, and like many others once I found Zebralight my search stopped for my perfect EDC and all purpose light. Funny opening the box on my first h600 light and realizing how tiny and light weight this thing was at 39g without battery. Anyway flashlights can work pretty good for a helmet light, I just look forward to getting longer runtimes in such a small package.

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    Im actually very curious because zebralight seemed too good to be true. The lumens rating for a 4c tint emitter (was diggin up your light out of curiosity, by going NW emitter you gain higher cri over cool white, nothing out of the ordinary there) puts drive current at 3A to the emitter to achieve this prior to losses from reflector/lens. So that drops down to 900. And that's peak. After heating up and as cell goes through its cycle, that amount will decrease greatly.

    Just want you to be aware of the rest of the technical things your going to realize as even the best driver is going to pull 2.5A off the battery, best available battery is a Sanyo/panasonic 3500mah. If using an ncr18650ga 3500mah cell, you'll get the best out of your light but still that last 30+mi s of run time your going to start dimming rapidly as voltage provided by cell decreases.

    That said, specs are freaking awesome for that light, add a top end cell and that light is going to make you one very happy person. Just wanted you to understand what's to come, it happens with all led lights and seems zebra is doing well to make the best of it.

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    Yes I don't expect the light to maintain full brightness throughout it's whole runtime. Just like every other flashlight or bike light it will lower brightness with time. Zebralight does a good job at controlling output based on temp. As my understanding goes the higher the temp the lower the output and longer runtimes, while the lower the temp the higher output and shorter runtime. Realizing that we aren't there yet, I look forward to when we can get a maintained 1,000 lumens for a ~2hr runtime in this size light. Still the Zebralight is excellent for such a small package I like the programming mode options, the fact that they think of the details and the electronics in the head are potted etc.

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    Ok so I got my first massive group ride in at night tonight. Holy crap a lot of lights. Just a massive train of 30 bikes (pre-race day party). Niteriders are the favorites around here atm. Im corrupting ppl though lol. Got hollered at a couple times "OMG THOSE LIGHTS ARE BRIGHT" by people up on what we call the "moon deck" which is a big deck out in the woods that's ride though on an advanced section loop (accessible by foot from main loop too). Was headed to it, crossing well below/out from it on the hill side and they were asking who it was etc lol. I looked up at them with my bt21 on the lid and just lit the hole deck up lol.



    Came around and up the climb to it, had a beer and a swig from the "FORC Flask" (big flask with club logo,FORC, with unknown but strong alcohol). First rule of taking the flask, dont ask what's in it. Dont think, drink. Made the rest of the ride interesting. Hadn't eaten much today lol.



    I love night riding but doing it with all my fellow club members and other area riders, nothing like it. Day time group rides are fun, but sun goes down it get crazy.

    Also, one guy recognized my bt21, sparked a convo, he's like the other people waiting the 3-7 days for a bt21 and bt40s kit to come in stock. I had my bt40 with me in the car in case someone needed a light. So i had him check them out when we got back. Was cool to have someone local to have a "light geek" type convo with lol.

    Best night ive had in a while.

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    pic of L2P, next to it is the triple XP-L and single XM-L2:
    Finally Got Out On A Real Night Ride and I'm Hooked!!!-img_0979.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    Yes I don't expect the light to maintain full brightness throughout it's whole runtime. Just like every other flashlight or bike light it will lower brightness with time. Zebralight does a good job at controlling output based on temp. As my understanding goes the higher the temp the lower the output and longer runtimes, while the lower the temp the higher output and shorter runtime. Realizing that we aren't there yet, I look forward to when we can get a maintained 1,000 lumens for a ~2hr runtime in this size light. Still the Zebralight is excellent for such a small package I like the programming mode options, the fact that they think of the details and the electronics in the head are potted etc.
    yeah cannot run it on full for 2 hrs

    but on one step down from full and packing a 3400mah zebralight branded ncr18650 it goes over 2 hours so that is ~700 lumens and fine enough for me. a spare 18650 in a little sweatproof baggie or pocket is easy enough to carry if I want to extend it

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by siata94 View Post
    Like your setup Garry!

    My helmet light: Solarforce L2P, quad XP-L 2C, 2800 lumens at 14+amps on high

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I carry spare batteries but I haven't needed to swap battery as my typical rides are =<15miles.

    Last night I tried a single XP-L 3C (1600 lumens) on the helmet w/ the L2P on the bar, I thought the 3C was too rosy compared and they did not illuminate well together. It's probably a personal preference but I liked it better when the tint was the same for bar/helmet. For the terrain we have here, I don't like neutral tint, makes the dirt redder than it really is.
    Where did you get the L2P and how much was it? I'm interested in trying a torch on my helmet, I have having a wire hanging off my head.
    Negative rep, please.

  97. #97
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    Check out the Convoy M1. Much better thermal path and quality components. Cheap too and available from Mountain Electronics in tint of your choice and even a choice of customach driver.

    Best place to buy L2M is direct from Solarforce. The L2M is quality but uses a P60 which has terrible thermal path.

    -Garry

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    my quad L2P (and others) is custom modded but you can get similar offerings such as:

    "S3" EDC Flashlight V2 - Triple LED - 18650

  99. #99
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    My brother and I went for a night ride for the first time today too. We had more fun than we anticipated.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshevilleMtBiker View Post
    My brother and I went for a night ride for the first time today too. We had more fun than we anticipated.
    That's really great to hear. Most people I ask to go riding at night think I'm crazy. They don't realize how fun it is because they refuse to go out that first time and you can't force them.

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