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  1. #1
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    Need advice on lighting in $350-450 range...I think I've narrowed it down to two...

    I'm looking to get my first lights for my bike to try some nightriding with a buddy. I think I've narrowed it down to two possibilities, but your advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated (e.g., are there others I should consider?).

    I'm looking at the Ay-Up MTB set (about US $300) versus the Dinotte 800L/400L combo sale (US $450 right now). My price range is about $350-450, so those both fall in the range.

    I've ruled out Niterider b/c it sounds like everything's proprietary. I've read a little about the Tesla and Wilma and Betty, but I think they're all out of my price range, and I definitely want two lights (one handlebar, one helmet). It seems like both the Ay-Up and the Dinotte fit the bill.

    I've read the reviews on MTBR for both, and they both seem very solid. People generally seem happy with both. For that reason, I'm leaning towards the Ay-Up since it's about $100 cheaper and has longer run times - sounds like the Dinotte maxes at about 2.5 hours, yeah? It also sounds like the two Ay-Up lights (~33 lux each) are almost as bright as the two Dinotte lights, as well (like ~55 lux and 25 lux, respectively, from MTBR's reviews). And it sounds like they both have great customer service and build quality.

    So I guess my questions are these:

    (1) Any compelling reason to go with one over the other? I can't clearly figure out other differences.

    (2) Whichever one I go with, anything I should consider getting additionally that they don't come with? (Sorry if that's vague - for example, I've read that you need an extension cord for the head lights so the batteries don't have to be stored on the helmet, yeah?)

    (3) Anything else I should consider?

    Thanks in advance for any help! I'm brand new to this, but very excited about getting into it.

  2. #2
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    Of that choice, I'd go with the dinotte - it's a lot more light. I'm think the Ayup might be a slight bit better on the helmet, but the 800L on the bars would be a ton more than the Ayups in the same application. I've been toying with the idea of trying out the Ayups on my helmet to replace the 400L, but so far no one tells me they are better (ergo - about the same).

    J

  3. #3
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    Have to do some props for Exposure. Check out this combo. Bar and helmet lamp. It's still in your price range.
    Joystick and Enduro Maxx. Good burn time, plenty bright. No cables

    http://estore.websitepros.com/193951...and/Detail.bok

  4. #4
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    I second the Exposure setup. I have the Maxx D and Joystick. Love these lights as they are so easy to attach to my bike. No wires or battery pack setup to contend with either, that is a big plus. Not to mention the 3 hour run time on the brightest setting.

    The folks at IBEX Sports are great to work with as well. James and Steve are best at keeping customers happy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinda
    I'm looking to get my first lights for my bike to try some nightriding with a buddy. I think I've narrowed it down to two possibilities, but your advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated (e.g., are there others I should consider?).

    I'm looking at the Ay-Up MTB set (about US $300) versus the Dinotte 800L/400L combo sale (US $450 right now). My price range is about $350-450, so those both fall in the range......

    So I guess my questions are these:

    (1) Any compelling reason to go with one over the other? I can't clearly figure out other differences.

    (2) Whichever one I go with, anything I should consider getting additionally that they don't come with? (Sorry if that's vague - for example, I've read that you need an extension cord for the head lights so the batteries don't have to be stored on the helmet, yeah?)

    (3) Anything else I should consider?

    Thanks in advance for any help! I'm brand new to this, but very excited about getting into it.
    I think both systems are pretty good. For the extra $100 you would pay for the Dinottes you would have a far brighter system. The 800L alone should blow away the duel Ay-ups. The Ay-ups though look to be built for people who would like to do endurance events. They have long run times and are light in weight. It's been a while since I've taken a look at the newer Ay-up systems. The older ones didn't even have an on-off switch and had no dimming or quick release features. I think they now offer an on-off switch ( on the battery? ) but I'm not sure if the mounting hardware is any different from the older stuff. ( Please correct me if I'm wrong about that..) Dinottes, on the other hand, are very user friendly...at least as far as the bar mounting systems go. With the 400L ( helmet mounted )it might take a little more effort to put on or take off but so far I've not read of too many people complaining about the mountings. Dinotte also offers a couple different choices of battery size when choosing batteries just as I believe Ay-Up does as well. Just keep in mind that the Dinottes can be dimmed for extended run times. If you want simplicity go with the Ay-Ups. If you want a max of 1200lm that can be dimmed down to your choosing than go Dinotte.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the thoughts everyone. It's a tough decision. All three systems (including Exposure system suggested) sound very good. *Sigh* After reading up on all three, including Francois' very helpful reviews, they all sound pretty good. I'll have to think on it some more. Thanks guys.

    It seems like the ideal would be a 800L on the bars, an Ay-Up on the helmet, and all without cables like the Exposure systems.

    If any one else has any thoughts suggestions in the meantime, they're still appreciated! I'm not going to order until later on in the week, so I'll keep checking back...

  7. #7
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    It really isn't that tough. We haven't reached the point where systems produce too much light, so it's generally best to get the choices that produce the most. In this case, that is the Dinotte's. I second what Cat has said.

    J.

  8. #8
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    One click and my Exposure Maxx D is mounted and ready to go. One snap and my Exposure Joystick is helmet mounted. No wires and battery pack to velcro. Both are very light weight and bright enough for street and trails. Both have enough juice to stay powered for 3 hours on the highest brightness setting.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinda
    It's a tough decision. All three systems (including Exposure system suggested) sound very good. *Sigh*
    Let's have a look on the bright side: we've reached a point where you can't go really wrong with lights in this price range. So it doesn't really matter which one you choose: you are going to have a great time riding at night. Cheers! ;-)

    I'd wait 'till the P7 or MCE makes it into the Joystick... that will be the best helmet light ever for sure. Maybe in the autumn...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    Let's have a look on the bright side: we've reached a point where you can't go really wrong with lights in this price range. So it doesn't really matter which one you choose: you are going to have a great time riding at night. Cheers! ;-)

    I'd wait 'till the P7 or MCE makes it into the Joystick... that will be the best helmet light ever for sure. Maybe in the autumn...
    No pun intended, of course.

    J.

  11. #11
    GeoMan
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    We can swing you a deal on a Tesla 4 or NiteFlux...

    GeoMan
    We Ride!
    www.geomangear.com

  12. #12
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    Hey geoman,
    I am also in the market for some lights. I purchased my 705 from you and could not be happier with it. Can you pm me with the deals you can make on any of your lights. Looking in the same price range price range.
    Thanks Ben

  13. #13
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    Nite Flux Extreme no doubt

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    s...I'd wait 'till the P7 or MCE makes it into the Joystick... that will be the best helmet light ever for sure. Maybe in the autumn...
    Well...with a P-7 or MC-E it would cut down the Joystick's run time considerably. However, outfitted with one of the new XP-G's ( when they become available ) the Joystick would definitely rock. When the XP-G's come out I was thinking an upgrade to one of my Dinotte 200L's could rock as well. I sure other manufactures will have their eye on the XP-G but as usual the bike light industry moves slow.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Well...with a P-7 or MC-E it would cut down the Joystick's run time considerably. However, outfitted with one of the new XP-G's ( when they become available ) the Joystick would definitely rock. When the XP-G's come out I was thinking an upgrade to one of my Dinotte 200L's could rock as well. I sure other manufactures will have their eye on the XP-G but as usual the bike light industry moves slow.
    No it wouldn't, in fact, it's the other way round ;-) You see most of the time I'm running my 600-700lm lights at half their power. I'd do the same with the Joystick, ~350 lumens would be OK, and it would be more efficient with 4 leds than with just 1 or 2. So I'd guess the runtime would remain almost the same, if not more. Heat dissipation would also be solved.

    Who said you MUST run your super-power lights at super-power all the time? ;-)
    Just like the Niteflux Extreme. One gets 1.5 hours at the max setting, which is not much, but if I run it at half the power - or even less - runtimes are much-much better. So there is the power when I need it, but I'm running eco most of the time. That's the best about LED lights IMHO. If I didn't have my Tesla I'd go for the Extreme today.
    btw. the Tesla is another fine example. It's a P7 based light. Runtime on max is about 2.5 hrs. But turn it down to 35 percent, and light output is halved (it's still quite nice actually), but the runtime jumps up to 8-9 hrs. Now that's my thing.
    Too bad the Tesla is not "all-inclusive" (light+battery in one body) - I don't understand why Lupine can't do their P7 Joystick (though I'm curious about their upcoming flashlight).

    I haven't heard much of this XP-G, but they say it's gonna be available q3 (which usually means q4), so no lights based on that this year ;-(

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    No it wouldn't, in fact, it's the other way round ;-) You see most of the time I'm running my 600-700lm lights at half their power. I'd do the same with the Joystick, ~350 lumens would be OK, and it would be more efficient with 4 leds than with just 1 or 2. So I'd guess the runtime would remain almost the same, if not more. Heat dissipation would also be solved.

    Who said you MUST run your super-power lights at super-power all the time? ;-)
    Just like the Niteflux Extreme. One gets 1.5 hours at the max setting, which is not much, but if I run it at half the power - or even less - runtimes are much-much better. So there is the power when I need it, but I'm running eco most of the time. That's the best about LED lights IMHO. If I didn't have my Tesla I'd go for the Extreme today.
    btw. the Tesla is another fine example. It's a P7 based light. Runtime on max is about 2.5 hrs. But turn it down to 35 percent, and light output is halved (it's still quite nice actually), but the runtime jumps up to 8-9 hrs. Now that's my thing.
    Too bad the Tesla is not "all-inclusive" (light+battery in one body) - I don't understand why Lupine can't do their P7 Joystick (though I'm curious about their upcoming flashlight).

    I haven't heard much of this XP-G, but they say it's gonna be available q3 (which usually means q4), so no lights based on that this year ;-(
    Darn...I'd really like to comment on this but I can't seem to pull up the spec. charts from the SSC website. My Adobe reader won't open their links for some reason. Tonight I'm too tired anyway...had to work a double shift tonight... ...plus I have to attend an early meeting tomorrow..*sigh* I see your points but without being able to bring up the Lm to ma chart on the SSC's I'll have to take your word that it is more efficient. Still, the problem still exist of finding the right reflector for the P-7's. Only Lupine so far seems to have mastered a usable spot reflector for the P-7. However, the Joystick with say a triple xp-e would still be small and maybe more efficient than the P-7. The Crees seem to offer a nice choice of optics as well that might work better for spot throw helmet use.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    However, the Joystick with say a triple xp-e would still be small and maybe more efficient than the P-7. The Crees seem to offer a nice choice of optics as well that might work better for spot throw helmet use.
    Well, the P7 was just an example anyway. The point is that the more LEDs you use to achieve a given brightness the more efficient they are going to be.
    Get me a Joystick with ~400 lumens and at least 2 hours of runtime at this brightness and I won't care about the LEDs used ;-)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    Well, the P7 was just an example anyway. The point is that the more LEDs you use to achieve a given brightness the more efficient they are going to be.
    Get me a Joystick with ~400 lumens and at least 2 hours of runtime at this brightness and I won't care about the LEDs used ;-)
    Hmm. Hadn't thought about it in this way. Why is it more efficient to use more LEDs?

    J

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    Hmm. Hadn't thought about it in this way. Why is it more efficient to use more LEDs?
    Check the datasheet of any LED product (Cree, SSC...), and have a look at the "Forward current vs. Relative Luminous Flux" graph. It is a logarithmic curve.

    For example, for the SSC P7 the 1.0 (=100%) value is at 1400mA. If you double the current you get noticeably less than double output (~1.7). If you halve the current you get about 0.6 (=60%) of the output.

    Btw. the P7 is rated typically around 700 lumens @2800mA. Which means that @1400mA you get ~410 lumens instead of the expected 350. If you go to 700mA you get ~250 lumens instead of 175. Which is already noticeable.

    I have to admit that I expected larger differences, but still, the statement above holds true.
    (I hope I made no errors in the calculations above...)

    Now you can run a single-die led at high currents to get that 250 lumens (almost), BUT it will cost you significantly more heat and power to do so (a U-bin P4 would give you about 160-170 lumens @700mA...according to the datasheet). Btw. heat also costs lumens, so it is important to have a well-cooled light body. All my respect goes to Niteflux for designing their Extreme head!

    Of course a P7 is more expensive than a P4, it may be hard to find proper optics for it and the driver must be redesigned, so I understand why light manufacturers are reluctant to abandon their old designs...

  20. #20
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    Ah, got it. Makes sense. Thanks for documenting that.

    Heatsinking and cooling is going to become a huge issue going forward. I just wish Niteflux made their battery more trim. The head is great (although odd looking) but the battery definitely did not benefit from the same thoughtful engineering.

    J.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    ....Get me a Joystick with ~400 lumens and at least 2 hours of runtime at this brightness and I won't care about the LEDs used ;-)
    Yes, that would be nice. That thought got me think'in...The Aurora 2-mode MC-E torch I use on the helmet outputs close to 700lm on high with a fresh 18650 Li-ion cell...which, as you have pointed out before, you don't need the high output all the time...The low mode on mine is only about 80lm but is still useful on slower/less tech. terrain. If someone would only make one of these torches with a low mode in the 175-200lm range, then the output on low would look very much like a Dinotte 200L ...which, is very, very useful on moderate terrain... then save the 700lm high setting for the fast hills. A torch like that would certainly rule and provide nearly 3hrs in low and maybe near 2-2.5hrs in all around conservative high/low use with just one 18650 Li-ion cell.

  22. #22
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    Hey guys, thanks for the help - ended up going with the Dinotte. Tried 'em out the other night and they were great, except the 800L keeps slipping on my handlebars, and now the foam strip has slipped out. What's the best way to mount that sucker? My handlebars aren't uniform in their diameter, so it keeps slipping outward. Maybe this should be a separate post...

  23. #23
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    Hey Geoman, just wanted to say thanks for being willing to work with me on a deal. I ended up going with some Dinottes for now, I'll keep you in mind for the future. (Plus, I've got some buddies now looking into lights - I'll refer them your way.) Best of luck.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinda
    Hey guys, thanks for the help - ended up going with the Dinotte. Tried 'em out the other night and they were great, except the 800L keeps slipping on my handlebars, and now the foam strip has slipped out. What's the best way to mount that sucker? My handlebars aren't uniform in their diameter, so it keeps slipping outward. Maybe this should be a separate post...
    Search is your friend:
    Dinotte bracket help
    You should use the rubber band on the inside to keep it from slipping.

  25. #25
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    Well, sometimes search is my friend, other times search is a giant can of suck. Thanks for the link though, it's true I didn't try searching this time. Maybe this will be the solution - I'll try when I get home.

    Anyone have any suggestions on what else can I use for shims? The one I had came out somewhere on the trail...

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