Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    46

    One light - bar mount or helmet mount?

    Looks like I may only have one light for the next couple of weeks (per previous post ). The question now becomes, am I better off with the light mounted on the bars, or on my helmet? I'll try both, of course, but is there a general consensus?
    Cheers
    Barry

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    108
    If I only had one, I'd go with a light on the helmet.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rakuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    729
    Depends on what terrain you ride tight single track I would prefer the noggin, but for fast open fireroad type trails the bars to highlight and shadow all the rough.
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    3,734
    Quote Originally Posted by BarryGXNZ View Post
    Looks like I may only have one light for the next couple of weeks (per previous post ). The question now becomes, am I better off with the light mounted on the bars, or on my helmet? I'll try both, of course, but is there a general consensus?
    Cheers
    Barry
    I'll second what Rakuman said. Additionally a lot depends on what kind of lamp you have and what beam pattern it produces. If it produces a very wide flood such as Bikeray lV, MS 872 or Gemini Olympia I would tend to favor bar mounting. On the other hand a typical MS or other ( single emitter XM-L ) lamp I'd likely helmet mount. Now if you have something like a Gloworm X2, Gemini Duo or Lupine Piko; One of those can work really well on the helmet for single lamp usage.

    Whatever you do, don't be a fool and only ride with one light source. Go down to the local auto parts store and buy a cheap mini multi-LED flashlight for a couple bucks and carry it with you. If something happens to your bike light you'll be damn glad you have it.

  5. #5
    Light freak
    Reputation: scar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Characteristics of where you place the light

    Light on the bars – With the light being below your eyes, it produces “shadowing” of obstacles. The downside of the light being on the bars is the light is always pointed in the direction that you bars are pointed. Can be a problem on tight, twisty switch backs where you want to look around the corner. The other thing is having to make a repair in the dark with your light bar mounted. Almost have to remove it to get the light pointed where you need it

    Light on your head – With the light above your eyes, it tends to “flatten” out obstacles as it doesn’t produce as much “shadowing”. The upside is that your light is always pointed directly where you are looking. Making repairs in the dark in much easier with the light on your head. The downside to a helmet mounted light only is that when you are looking to the sides or around a switchback, you don’t have lighting on the ground (which could be actually visible in your peripheral vision). In snow, fog, and rain, a helmet only light can be difficult. The light reflecting back at you off of the moisture in the air can make visibility very difficult.

    Light on both the helmet and the bars – Best of both worlds. Always have light directly out in front of you and where you are looking. If it gets snowing, raining, real dusty,or foggy and it is making visibility difficult because of the helmet light, then you just go bar only. All 24hr races require repetitive light systems for safety. I have heard stories of many people that have had their only light die on them and have had to walk out, not fun.

    ***

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Teton29er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    280
    I always use two lights, but a few weeks ago I did a 3 hour ride which only had about 20 minutes of night riding at the end and just had a bar light.

    I always assumed that tight switchbacks would harder with just a bar light, and much to my surprise I found that to be a myth. I have a wide angle Magicshine 808E, and had no trouble with a few really tight hairpin turns. The main disadvantage to only one light was actually the fast sections without tight turns, because that's when I really want a lot of light.

    I think the main reasons to have two lights is to extend your battery time (I needed full power bar light places I'd use medium power with two lights) and have a backup if you loose one.

    If I could only have one, I'd not go night riding until I could get two.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    108
    The good thing is that you probably don't have to stick to a choice as it's easy enough to swap most lights from the helmet to your bars and from your bars to your helmet.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ecub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    456
    If you're only going straight, bar light. Otherwise, seeing where you want to turn or if you want to look further down the path, I would go for a helmet light.

    Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 2
    - Ed

    2012 Trek Madone 6.7 SSL
    2013 Specialized Tricross Comp Disc
    2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL
    2012 Salsa Mukluk 2

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,816
    Unless you're on the road the whole time, go for a helmet mount. Bars are great for straight lines, but when you come to a tight corner they don't illuminate where you're going. If you opt for a light that has more of a spot patter, this is even more of an issue. On the helmet, you always see where you're looking.
    "Got everything you need?"

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    27
    Another vote for helmet mount. I think the few drawbacks aren't as serious as the inability to have control over your lighting.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    46
    Thanks for all the advice.
    I managed to replace just the light with a new one, so I now have both to light the way.
    Cheers
    Barry

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,622
    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    Depends on what terrain you ride tight single track I would prefer the noggin, but for fast open fireroad type trails the bars to highlight and shadow all the rough.
    ^^^ this.

    Best is one in both places.

    J.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    49
    I use a helmet mounted Gloworm X2, and I carry my cheap commuting light in my bag as a backup. It would be enough to get me home if the X2 stops working.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    109
    Helmet

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    74
    One more helmet recommendation here.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •