My Perfect Bike Light
I'm in the market for a bike light and I have identified a couple of very qualified contenders, specifically the Fenix BT20, the Niteye B20 and the Gloworm X2. Each one of theses lights has a particular aspect that I'm very interested in but none are the complete package. Unfortunately, none of them are my perfect bike light.
The Fenix BT20 has a battery pack that uses standard, rechargeable 18650 cells. I'm not sure how often I would use the light in the middle of winter when it's too cold out to ride or in mid-summer when it stays light longer. Having an expensive, dedicated battery sitting around collecting dust seems like a waste. Being able to use the same batteries in other devices would be beneficial. Also, being able to carry a couple extra cells for when I do go on that occasional looooong ride would be great. The BT20, however, seems to be a bit large for the lumens and the mounting hardware doesn't seem as use friendly or robust as the Niteye or Gloworm.
The Niteye B20 has a mount that can remain on the bike while the light head detaches for easy removal. You can also detach the large remote switch and cord and use the button on the light head reducing a potential failure point. I'd much rather send for a replacement remote switch while still being able to use the light head than have to send the entire light in for repair. The B20, however, is less customizable than the Gloworm and doesn't seem as efficient (using one light at full power for medium instead of both lights at half power).
The Gloworm x2 seems to have a fantastic user interface, a great beam pattern, and a decent helmet/bar mount, and a small remote switch. The large dedicated battery and non-removable, non-replaceable remote seems like potential failure points that could put the light out of commission for a significant amount of time if needed to be sent in for repair.
So, my perfect light would easily detach from the handlebar mount, have a battery pack that used standard, rechargeable 18650 cells, have a small light head with a full functioning button, a small detachable remote, a decent beam pattern (customizable optics are a bonus), and at least 1200 lumens.
I think, short of having my perfect bike light, that I'd be most happy with the Gloworm. But, if someone reading this does make a light that fits my criteria I would buy it in a heartbeat.
Go to the DIY lights forum and learn a bit. Then build what you currently think is your "ideal" light.
@ OP....My thoughts, The Niteye B-20 is over priced. I have no idea why you think the mount is so great. If you buy a lamp that uses a standard O-ring mounting system it is simple to replace. If the mount breaks or you lose an O-ring, these are sold in many places for just a couple bucks.
If something happens to the B-20 mount ( or adjusting strap ) You are pretty much done unless there is a place to buy just the mount.
Gloworm X-2 has multiple mounting options..( including an optional quick release mount ). About the remote switch: All lamps have switches, switches can fail whether they are internal or external. Either way if it fails you have to return it or buy a new one. Check the Gloworm thread. Great customer service. IMO, this is one of the more popular bike lights made. If you're going to spend over $150 for a duel emitter lamp I'd get the Gloworm X2, hands down.
The cheaper option would be to go with a Solarstorm X2. Won't be as nice as the Gloworm but it has a comparable output and acceptable UI. For less than $40 it's hard to beat.
I wouldn't trip-out so much over the battery issue. If you're going to use a dedicated bike light you need a battery that will give you a decent amount of run time. It just goes with the territory. At least these batteries are getting easier to afford and there are more after-market value deals if you need a replacement.
My Perfect Bike Light
Thanks Cat-Man-Do. I read through the whole Gloworm X2 thread last week and your comments were very influential in convincing me to go with the X2. I'm was actually just about to place an order this week but read somewhere that they might release an update in the near future. If I read something in the next couple of days that convinces me to wait for the new rev, then I will—it's stays light long enough right now for me to get in a decent ride after work.
Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
I haven't bought a bike light since I bought a set of halogen (I think) JetLites about 12 years ago. I was looking into getting a new handheld flashlight, seeing how far they come along since I bought my 6D Maglite. Thinking about attaching it to my bike (and looking at the available flashlight mounts) led me to look at dedicated bike lights.
None of my criticisms above we're deal breakers for me. Just observations and my ideas that, for me, would make the perfect bike light.
The mount for the Niteye intrigued me because I could detach the lamp from it but leave it attached to the bike. That's probably a bigger deal with some of the larger lights and the sturdier mounts they require than with the tiny X2, though. Your point about replacing the mount is a good one (that's why I come to forums like this). And I did see the new quick release mount (looks promising) for the X2 but haven't read any reviews on it yet.
Having a more modular design also intrigued me because that only requires fixing the one piece that failed. I seem to recall in the X2 thread there was some concern as to the sturdiness of the remote switch connection to the light head. Not that it was an issue, just some concern.
The battery thing for me makes sense in that I'm also looking at getting a new handheld flashlight and being able to use the same batteries as the bike light would mean they are not sitting idle during mid-summer/winter, less batteries I need to buy, if one of the 4 cells has issues I can replace the one cell (the modular argument again), and they are easier to purchase and replace.
Those are all just nice-to-haves and if fenix or gloworm made a light like that I would be very happy. That being said, I'm still going to get the X2 and I'm sure it will fulfill my needs. I was just curious if anyone else shared my preferences. If so, then maybe there would be a market for such a light.
My Perfect Bike Light
Unfortunately, I was never much if a tinkerer and don't have the time right now. The idea, however, of DIY-ING my own light is intriguing. Maybe some day.
Originally Posted by Vancbiker
QR for X2
I pre-ordered the quick release and have loved it since I received it, it is very sturdy and holds the lighthead perfectly still never budging. I would highly recommend getting one to go with your X2. Enjoy your new light.
Originally Posted by Darth Rider
Just go buy something and ride.
Here's the quickrelease Ozzy was talking about:
Action-LED-Lights ? Gloworm Quick Release Mount
I haven't come out of the closet here yet, but I recently became the new owner of Jet Lites.
Since you've said you want to use 18650 batteries that you could use in other devices and flashlights, and you asked for recommendations, please check out our F-U2 light.
Jetlites :: Complete Systems :: F-Lite Series: F-U2 Bicycle Light
As a bike light it's great by itself or paired with another sub 1000lumen light. As a flash light it's overkill, but as Sheldon Brown used to say, nothing exceeds like excess. The half power setting is useful, and toddlers enjoy blinding you with it.
It's 825 lumens, burns for 1:40 (2 hours with the new 3400mah battery) and you can swap out the batteries on the trail and charge two at a time in the charger.
I don't want to sell too much on here, but this product is pretty much what sold me on the company.
Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites
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