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  1. #1
    night riding enthusiast
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    The Lupines of the world...

    I'm just curious, but with all this super cheap lighting going around:

    Spoke Grenade, Gemini, Dinotte, Gloworm and of course Magicshine and all the Chinese clonage...

    ... does that leave any room for the more esoteric stuff like Exposure, Full Beam, Nightrider Pro and of course, the king of them all: Lupine?

    Is there anyone here considering a new/replacement Lupine or other $500+ system?

  2. #2
    Bicycle Obsessed
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    I just bought a Lupine Piko 6. Yes, it wasn't cheap, but you know what you're getting, it's beautifully made and it does what it says. I guess I could have bought something cheaper, but sometimes beauty trumps cost!

  3. #3
    Church of the Wheel
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    There will always be a market for premium products, as there are always people willing to pay more for the best. I've bought Chinese lights with the attitude that they're so cheap they're disposable, but I also own Lupine and Light and Motion, which are superlative lights, exceeding the cheapies in every aspect except price.

    Lights are just like mountain bikes - there isn't one that's best for everyone. Different lights are better for different requirements.
    "I thought you'd never love me without my Mojo." -Austin Powers

  4. #4
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    I'm sure there will be a couple, but the specialty cycling lighting market isn't large enough to sustain many premium/glorified overpriced flashlight brands. Its certainly smaller than regular form factor premium flashlight market which is also a very tiny fraction of total flashlight sales.

    Don't forget as the companies overseas mature they will likely surpass hubris brands (see Japanese and Korean car brands move up the ranks in the past and the coming of Chinese makers). Apple actually said China is doing it better than the first world can (though Nokia proves that wrong as they build their smartphones in first world nations - Finland and Hungary and compete at iPhone pricing):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/bu...pagewanted=all

    It isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad. Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.

  5. #5
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    I have a XPG Wilma/Betty set up, and yes have considered upgrading to 100% Xm-L's. I would have gone for it by now if i could sell my lamp heads for a reasonable $$$ and get new lamp heads with the higher output drivers. This would help me recover costs so i could get the full monty. As it is, i'm still on the fence on if it would be worth the cost to upgrade just the leds.

    Gemini/Gloworm/ seem to be closing the gap towards the ultra high end products like Lupine/Exposure/L&M. That been said, we'll see in a year or so if their products hold up in reliability. Dinotte i think is very close and with just a couple of improvements like higher capacity battery's been the main one would keep them well in the hunt.I still think their XML-3 is probably one the best values from any company.

    Without getting my head bit off here, it's really nice to see company's coming out with what seems to be high output more reliable products than some of the MS products that have had some QC issues,in the very affordable price point. I have two Gemini's and no problems with either one so far.

    As far as Lupine goes, i'm using a set up that is almost two years old. Two years in the ever evolving led bike light industry is a long time as technology is improving weekly. My point is, it's not a big deal for me to upgrade right now, as unlike most other two year old products i'm still riding with almost 3000 lumens. So for me the investment was well worth it.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    I just bought a Betty 12 set a little over a month ago, its only money! So yes, I will continue to support Lupine in the future.
    '08 Turner Highline
    '00 DBR X6

  7. #7
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    There will always people that will buy the "best" of anything regardless of price, whether sales volumes are enough to sustain a company is another question though....

  8. #8
    night riding enthusiast
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    @syadasti & @tb123

    Quote Originally Posted by tb123 View Post
    There will always people that will buy the "best" of anything regardless of price, whether sales volumes are enough to sustain a company is another question though....
    I'm sure there will be a couple, but the specialty cycling lighting market isn't large enough to sustain many premium/glorified overpriced flashlight brands. Its certainly smaller than regular form factor premium flashlight market which is also a very tiny fraction of total flashlight sales.
    Yes, I agree with these two comments.

    I think one or two may have misinterpreted my initial question as a "WTF $900" type statement. Not at all, I love esoterica, always have done, always will. I spent a whole lot on B&W Nautilus speakers, Denon amplifiers and other "expensive $h!t" during my time in Hifi. (Never wasted ought on silver cabling though!!!)

    I have a number of Apple products, which some see as Apple taxed pointlessness.

    I also have a Nikon SP rangefinder camera with the fabled Nikkor 5cm F1.1, which performance wise is inferior to any $100 digital camera, so I understand the value of "collector items, too."

    However, my question still stands. These are lights, just lights, and a tiny part of a tiny market.

    Can the likes of giants such Lupine compete with not only the mediocre yet rapidly improving Asian efforts but also smaller, newer and more aggressive company efforts (Dinotte 3 XM-L was given above, Gloworm X2 - untested but popular, it seems) and even homegrown, handmade products ala Troutie, Designshine et al.) that seem to be coming in with increasing regularity, performance and quality, or will they end up like IBM's Personal Computing Division?

    At what price/performance point do you see yourself in the future?
    Or, how would you prioritize your demands when it comes to bike lighting?

  9. #9
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    I always bought the best, just because it was the best, maybe I liked to show it off a bit, but certainly didnt really "need" it. In the last few years, I'm not really sure what has changed, but now I'm happy to buy only what is required to get the job done. I recently bought a torque wrench, instead of spending $400 like I would have, i only spent $80. Still a well made accurate and functional tool, just not the big name brand.

    Same with lights, most cheapish lights these days provide more than enough light than i will ever need, i wont buy rubbish, but value for money is important. I've just ordered a Gloworm X2 as well, and although untested in the real world, companies such as this seem to strike a balance between functioal design and quality while keeping things at a realisic price.

    Nice speakers by the way, I've always wanted a pair of 802D's.

  10. #10
    night riding enthusiast
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    @tb123

    I, too was a bit of a show off. I liked to buy the best... Indeed, when it comes to camera lenses, I still do, if only because they last a lifetime.

    Same for speakers, I decided that these were the last speakers I would buy for at least a decade so put money down. The 804s with 805 rears and an HTM2 Center is all I need (and could afford) for my modest Japanese house.

    These days, I do tend to think a bit more before plunking down the hard-earned, though.

    Still, I don't buy crap, and after the Cateye 530 debacle I decided to get a "real" light. I usually get a "semi pro" option to test the waters before going into the full-on obsessive compulsive phase with any hobby and bike-lighting was no different. I bought the MJ-816 after reading about the road-friendly flood lights and it being better than the 808.

    Thus now, being satisfied that "I want in," I've decided on a couple of Gloworm X2s. Which on paper at least seem to satisfy all of my criteria: waterproofing, XM-L s, 8.4v operation, separated independent flash mode, over/under the stem placement, and most importantly elliptical lens options for additional road tweakage fun.

    did I mention that I think they look cute, too? No?

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