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  1. #26
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    Re: Light recommendations needed

    Quote Originally Posted by The Understater View Post
    Trophy I though of another good option for you look into:

    Amoeba - The simplest "light" form
    I'll second the Amoeba.
    2 years & countless night rides thanks to Scars lights!

    Price, weight, durabilty. Pick all 3

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    that's a bit like saying when i used to race we raced horses. a horse has 1 horsepower. therefore if you're going to race motorcycles surely 2 horesepower is enough, so a moped will be more than you will ever need......
    Uhhh, no, its like saying one does not NEED thousands of lumen nor spend big money to night ride or race. It's not saying that more isn't nice. Have I moved on from those old days? Yes, my current setup has a combined output of around 3000 lumen (4100 theoretical but I generously account for optic and thermal losses). That said, it is only on fast downhill trail sections the I run them on high. Just don't need or really like that much light if only going 12-18 mph on a trail. 20+ and I like the extra light mainly for the throw.

    Real world measurable numbers here. I raced 24 hour events in 2000 and 2001 (hence the halogen lights). My night laps were 5-6 minutes slower than my best day laps on a 12-13 mile course. Did the ~350 lumen halogen cause this? Yes, partially. I recall riding the fast downhill sections, a couple miles in total, a bit slower at night. The rolling sections, flats, and climbs were all rideable as fast as I could in the day. Legs/lungs were more the limiting factor.

  3. #28
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    Not to take away form the Amoeba. I've always been really happy with my Niterider lights. About $200 for 2 lights. So you can run one on the lid and 1 on the bars. I typically run both on medium to get the best battery life / brightness tradeoff. I started with 2 Pro 600s and just bought the Lumina 700 because my wife just started "borrowing" 1 of mine. Or you could just buy 1 to see how it works and be around your $100 budget.

    Amazon.com: NiteRider Lumina 700 USB Rechargeable Bike Light: Sports & Outdoors

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Not to take away form the Amoeba. I've always been really happy with my Niterider lights. About $200 for 2 lights. So you can run one on the lid and 1 on the bars. I typically run both on medium to get the best battery life / brightness tradeoff. I started with 2 Pro 600s and just bought the Lumina 700 because my wife just started "borrowing" 1 of mine. Or you could just buy 1 to see how it works and be around your $100 budget.

    Amazon.com: NiteRider Lumina 700 USB Rechargeable Bike Light: Sports & Outdoors
    Look at the output & runtimes of those lights. You can't race effectively with them. I should know, I own two Lumina 650's. I gave both of them to my gf for road use. If you want to race or even just for regular training, you need a minimum of around 1,200 (real) lumens on your bars and 800 on helmet. Otherwise, you are going to be significantly slowed down by the lack of lighting on the trails.

  5. #30
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    Given that he's only be running them at the end of the race for a few hours from dusk to dark and wanted reasonably priced lights I think they fit. Start them on low at dusk and bump up in intensity as it gets dark. An armature racer (assuming this since he doesn't have any lights yet) doesn't need to jump into a 2000 lumen system to have fun in a 12 hours race. After 12 hours nobody's going to be riding at sprint speeds.

    Good luck in whatever you pick Trophy.

  6. #31
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    Guys, sorry it took a couple of days to get back. Been swamped with work and on top of that it was also my kidís 15th b-day!

    Iíve looked at each of these recommendations. Really good stuff! Iíll probably order from this action led place. They seem to be doing a great job in offering quality along with good prices and service.

    Iím thinking about increasing the budget a tad and going with a little more quality on the hat. Iím interested in the Gemini duo led light sys (local guy recommended this one) or maybe the Gloworm x2 1200. The glowworm has double warrantee and optional lenses but the Gemini is a little brighter and is gets pretty good reviews.

    For the bars, Iím thinking the $90 MJ-808-L2 that was recommended earlier would be a good choice.

    On the other hand, two of the MJís may be just fine. Bedwards is absolutely correct in assuming that Iím an amateur. Iím 46, been in and out of mtb since my 20ís. Iíve recently gained interest in xc endurance riding. May be getting in over my head but I really want to give this 12hr a try.

    Iíd really appreciate any thoughts in regards to the aboveÖ

  7. #32
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    Hey Trophy, I'm 46 and have been in and out of MTB since my early 20s. I just did a 100K race this summer.
    The Candid Cyclist: Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge 2013
    You should have fun. Keep up your calorie intake and electrolyte intake, that's my recommendation.

  8. #33
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    A recommendation I made for friend who was looking for light was this:

    Action-LED-Lights ? Magicshine MJ-808-L2, 4 Mode 1200 lumen* Bike Light

    Action-LED-Lights ? Add a Magicshine MJ-6028 Helmet Mount Kit

    Action-LED-Lights ? Upgrade to MJ-6030H 5600mAh Battery Pack x2

    Action-LED-Lights ? Magicshine MJ-808U, 4 Mode 1100 lumen* Bike Light

    Subtotal $208.90 + shipping

    Ive personally never used these lights, however Ive heard good about them.
    Two light setup, and under your maximum of 300 dollars. Adjust items as needed of course.
    Slightly faster than a speeding snail.

  9. #34
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    Thank for the race tips. Nice documentary! Most I've done in a day is 105mi. It was 60 percent trail 40 tough road. Not a race, just a fun ride. I rode 75mi of trail one day last week trying to get ready. Twelve hrs of "race" will be interesting for sure!

    Anyone with info on the Gemini duo led light sys or Gloworm x2 1200 as mentioned above would be greatly appreciated.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    Thank for the race tips. Nice documentary! Most I've done in a day is 105mi. It was 60 percent trail 40 tough road. Not a race, just a fun ride. I rode 75mi of trail one day last week trying to get ready. Twelve hrs of "race" will be interesting for sure!

    Anyone with info on the Gemini duo led light sys or Gloworm x2 1200 as mentioned above would be greatly appreciated.
    if you have enough endurance to go for 12 hours you should really pay close attention to batteries that come with whatever system you purchase. Lupine is really the best choice when it comes to batteries right now.

  11. #36
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    Appreciate all the info!!!

    Placed my order today. Action put Gemini's on sale this morning. After talking with Jim, I decided to go with a Duo/Xera combo. He said this combo gets a lot of good feed back. With the reduced price I was able to get them both by going just a bit over my original budget.
    Note: He also recommends the Olympia/Duo and X1/X2 for a nice set. Unfortunately, these two were were even more over my budget.

    Jack Archer, thanks for the info. If I'd hit the refresh button I would have gotten it before now!

    Jim says placing the duo on the bars and xera on the hat does well. If anyone's familiar with this set-up please let me know how it preforms?

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    Jim says placing the duo on the bars and xera on the hat does well. If anyone's familiar with this set-up please let me know how it preforms?
    When the Duo/Xera's first came out they got a lot positive feedback. Both lamps offer programmable light modes so for an endurance race they should be perfect. Set the modes so you get the maximum run time for each mode. For what you'll be doing you'll need to get the most out of your batteries.

    I strongly suggest figuring out your battery/run-time strategy BEFORE doing your ride. Personally I can get by with about 300 lumen off the bars and 200-300 off the helmet for most trails. Less for long climbs, more for that long fast down hill.

    If you're concerned you might not have enough run time to get you through the night I suggest either carrying a back-up 2 - 4 cell or buying a bigger battery ( > 6000mah ) for the bar lamp. Never hurts to cover all your bases. Best bang for the buck is with 4-cells. You can buy a decent quality 4-cell for around $30 USD. Xeccon also has some good prices on high capacity 6-cells.

  13. #38
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    Thanks catmando. I did get the 4-cell to help out with just that. Will begin the batt eduction process asap!

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    Thanks catmando. I did get the 4-cell to help out with just that. Will begin the batt eduction process asap!
    Are you running a 4cell for each light?

  15. #40
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    Are you running a 4cell for each light.
    Yep. You doing a 4/6 cell combo with the xera mounted to the helmet I suppose?

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    Yep. You doing a 4/6 cell combo with the xera mounted to the helmet I suppose?
    Actually 2/4 set up. I'll see how it works out. I'm new to the bike light world. My rides are usually 1.5-2 hrs max.

  17. #42
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    I considered 2 cells for weight/cost advantage but getting more into the xc stuff these days. Entering my first 12hr this weekend. I've done 12 before but it wasn't a race, just a fun torture. Geez man, you should be golden for 2 hr rides with that set-up!

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    I considered 2 cells for weight/cost advantage but getting more into the xc stuff these days. Entering my first 12hr this weekend. I've done 12 before but it wasn't a race, just a fun torture. Geez man, you should be golden for 2 hr rides with that set-up!
    Wow 12 hrs that does sound like torture.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    I considered 2 cells for weight/cost advantage but getting more into the xc stuff these days. Entering my first 12hr this weekend. I've done 12 before but it wasn't a race, just a fun torture. Geez man, you should be golden for 2 hr rides with that set-up!
    ummh....12hrs, that's tough. Not all 12hrs stuff is the same though. If this event is on loop course then the battery/run time issue is not so big a deal, depends on the size of loop. Just have spare batteries waiting at the pit area and you should be good to go.

    On the other hand if its a total unsupported grueling grind-out than you need to carry everything. Right now where I live the total dark hours are about 11-12 hrs every night. I have no idea how much of the night you will be riding but your first job is to set the Duo up with the minimum amount of light acceptable to you and then find out how long it will last with one of your 4-cells. If you can milk 7-8hrs out of a 4-cell battery you've done well.

  20. #45
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    Anything over 3 hours of darkness means I'd go the dynamo route.

  21. #46
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    Jesus I'm confused now.
    ​mountain biking is fun.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by docter_zab View Post
    Jesus I'm confused now.
    - You need a light on your bars and helmet to see where you are going and where you want to go
    - About 350 lumans each is adequate. 700+ for faster downhill sections, 1200+ if you are a serious racer.
    - Self contained lights are convenient and light but can't achieve more than 1.5-3 hours run time at racing light outputs so you need to go with something that has an external battery pack.

    Personally, I've used the Niterider cordless 600 and now 700 for a few years now and find them to be an excellent compromise. If I had to do a race that had a few hours of night riding I wouldn't hesitate to use them. But I also know their runtime/brightness limitations and I only race for fun.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    -
    Personally, I've used the Niterider cordless 600 and now 700 for a few years now and find them to be an excellent compromise. If I had to do a race that had a few hours of night riding I wouldn't hesitate to use them. But I also know their runtime/brightness limitations and I only race for fun.
    I'm more confused about options than anything else... spare batteries, different types of lights, etc... I know A) I need to buy a 600+ light and B ) I work for a non-profit (ie, my budget is limited) and C) I have a 2-day adventure race in (Double Dare in Pisgah National Forest, NC) November and the first day is noon to midnight so I'll need five hours of output.
    ​mountain biking is fun.

  24. #49
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    +1 for Gemini Olympia and Action LED

    +1 for Gemini Olympia lights -- and Jim at Action LED who sells them. See here.

    I spent a lot of time researching various solutions and these are quite possibly the best bang for the buck if you are interested in a BRIGHT light, of high quality for under $300. The build quality and programmability of light levels sets Gemini Olympia apart from my second choice (slightly cheaper) Magic Shine, which Action LED also sells.

    It puts out 1,467 (actual) lumens and the light quality is truly remarkable -- nice and broad, with no hotspots. Picture a floodlight on your head that weighs almost nothing!

    If you go with the upgrade from 4 batteries to 6 (which I did) you can ride at 100% for 3 hours and 40 minutes. However, this much light is actually more than you need. Riding at 50% (or 734 lumens) you can go 8 hours and 20 mins. Because you can customize the percentage light that you want, it's easy to create three different settings that will maximize your light level and the time needed for various outings.

    I rode on the medium setting for general trails, then turned it on high for fast downhills. After the ride, the seven other people I was riding with all had to check this light out. One of the guys had a really nice light that was almost double the price and supposedly higher lumens (1800 claimed). The Gemini Olympia put out light that easily matched it in terms of quality and brightness, and was far more adjustable.

    The unit comes with a sturdy helmet mount, handlebar mount, and for after your rides you can even put the light on a sturdy set of headlamp straps. Sweet...

    I only have two tiny quibbles, which are hardly worth mentioning and are not in any way deal-breakers.

    1. If you push the button too hard, the silicone actuator may slip off the mechanical switch inside the light. The light still works just fine, but you have to keep pushing the button a little harder than before. Jim, at Action LED, told me to simply pop the silicone button off the back of the unit and reinstall it. Took all of 5 seconds -- and it worked perfectly again. I suspect if one has a heavy hand and causes the button to slip often, a little dab of high temp RTV sealant inside the switch would probably cure this.

    2. The helmet mount is a plastic piece with slots and rigid straps. These work better if the slots in your helmet are parallel. However, most helmets have slots which are sort of splayed out, in a "V" shape. This causes the strap to be a bit non-uniformly tight. Looking at it, I think a stretchy strap, or cutting the rigid strap in half lengthwise might do the trick. Jim is also going to send me another solution to try out. If you order, ask him what works best.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by docter_zab View Post
    I'm more confused about options than anything else... spare batteries, different types of lights, etc... I know A) I need to buy a 600+ light and B ) I work for a non-profit (ie, my budget is limited) and C) I have a 2-day adventure race in (Double Dare in Pisgah National Forest, NC) November and the first day is noon to midnight so I'll need five hours of output.
    Stand back and look at what you need. Don't get hung up on lumen numbers. Important thing is to get the right tool for the right job. A) You said it's an adventure race so you need a light that's neither too spotty or too floody. You may need that light to be helmet mounted and headstrap mounted unless you're riding with caving/spelunking helmets. Look for something that's lightweight and possibly wired because of headstrap and runtime need. B) State your budget so others can recommend or suggest. C) Work on minimum 8 hours of lighting. It gets darker earlier nowadays and being in the forest it gets dark quicker than in the open. What is involved in the nights of those 2 days ? Riding on fireroads, running or orienteering? This determines what type and how much lighting you need.
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