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  1. #1
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    Quick suggestion....

    In sure this question comes often in this forum but I need advice. I'm gonna start doing some night riding this winter and need a solid set up.

    What do I need? Brands? Lumens? Helmet/handlebar mount? I have no clue about any of this so advice is needed.


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You should have both a helmet and a bar-mounted light. How much are you looking to spend? A nice set up can be had for under $200 or you can spend significantly more for more power, more programming control, etc. Action LED Lights - Brilliant lighting for all your biking & outdoor sporting activities. carries some nice lights from several different brands. I do quite a bit of night riding and racing; I have been happy with the Magicshine 808s (1 helmet/1 bar)...simple and effective. Mine are older and I think there are new renditions of this popular light with more power than what I have...with that being said...I haven't ever felt like I don't have enough light.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  3. #3
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    Helmet/Bar combo. Many good brands out there. Several "Chinese" lights that have great reviews. I personally own a 3xml that I paid 31$ which works great but I don't trust the batteries that come with it. What's your budget? Have you had a chance to read the MTBr shootouts? Very informative. After research and the amount of money I was willing to spend, I went with Gemini and bought them through Jim (ACTION leds) because the great reviews and the great customer service. I won't buy from anyone else. Many members here have some great "hands on" reviews from several lights. One other thing invest in a good set of batteries from the get go.

    My set-up
    Gemini Olympia
    Gemini Duo
    MagicShine 6030h x2.

  4. #4
    TCW
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    I dig Gemini setups. Good prices right now at Action-Led.

    Olympia for bars, Xera for helmet, 2 x MJ-6030 battery packs, 2 chargers, one extension cable for helmet light (put battery pack in Camelbak or jersey pocket). Total with the CLOSEOUT13 coupon is $276.20. Not bad for 2,200 plus lumens with good runtime and nice programmability feature on light heads.

    A couple Solarstorm lights if you want to go cheap. Lots of lumens for under $100. Reliability might be an issue.

    A couple new Magicshine MJ-808-L2s for under $200 at Action-Led.

  5. #5
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    what kind of riding will you do ? what kind of budget ?

    for city riding a minimum setup is a red blinky in the back and a white blinky in the front - figure about $30 each.

    for an all-out off-road setup expect to spend about $2,000. or you can spend $100 for a Chinese off-road setup.

    really depends.

    it would be easiest to give you an advice if you posted some videos of your riding ( during the day ) taken with something like a GoPro Hero camera.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-15-2013 at 10:03 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCW View Post
    I dig Gemini setups. Good prices right now at Action-Led.

    Olympia for bars, Xera for helmet, 2 x MJ-6030 battery packs, 2 chargers, one extension cable for helmet light (put battery pack in Camelbak or jersey pocket). Total with the CLOSEOUT13 coupon is $276.20. Not bad for 2,200 plus lumens with good runtime and nice programmability feature on light heads..
    So, do you have long term experience with the Olympia's? There's about $100 difference in going with their battery packs vs the ones you suggested.

  7. #7
    TCW
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    Yes, I have two Olympias, a Xera, and a Duo. I also have 4 Gemini 4-cell packs and two MJ-6030 packs. (A Xera and Gemini battery pack was stolen a few months ago). Performance of the battery packs has been identical. Supposedly they are all made from Samsung batteries. You can easily remove the pack from the neoprene cover for carrying in jersey pocket, it's still covered in a rubber casing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCW View Post
    Yes, I have two Olympias, a Xera, and a Duo. I also have 4 Gemini 4-cell packs and two MJ-6030 packs. (A Xera and Gemini battery pack was stolen a few months ago). Performance of the battery packs has been identical. Supposedly they are all made from Samsung batteries. You can easily remove the pack from the neoprene cover for carrying in jersey pocket, it's still covered in a rubber casing.
    Awesome, thanks! What mount are you using for the helmet?

  9. #9
    TCW
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    I mount directly to a cross vent:

    Best low profile helmet light

  10. #10
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    What type of run time are you getting with the olympia and the 6030? I just purchased a duo and xera with 2 6030. I'm wondering if I should have gone duo/olympia instead.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    what kind of riding will you do ? what kind of budget ?

    for city riding a minimum setup is a red blinky in the back and a white blinky in the front - figure about $30 each.

    for an all-out off-road setup expect to spend about $2,000. or you can spend $100 for a Chinese off-road setup.

    really depends.

    it would be easiest to give you an advice if you posted some videos of your riding ( during the day ) taken with something like a GoPro Hero camera.
    You hardly need to spend anywhere $2000 for a serious off-road setup.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  12. #12
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    A budget would be a big help as already mentioned, however i'll list a few high end bar/helmet set ups but nothing in the Lupine/L&M price ranges for now.

    - Gemini's 2014 Olympia/Duo or Duo/Xera. Great following great products.

    - Gloworm 2014 product line is also very good similar to the Gemini line.

    - Amoeba, from Scar is custom built to exactly what you want and the kind of riding you do as he will talk to you about it before he builds your new set up. Turn around time right now is about ten days.

    There are many more ,Exposure, MagicShine has come a long way, CygoLite, and so on.

    So a response to some of our questions could help narrow it down for you but products mentioned by all are good choices.

  13. #13
    TCW
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLAID813 View Post
    What type of run time are you getting with the olympia and the 6030? I just purchased a duo and xera with 2 6030. I'm wondering if I should have gone duo/olympia instead.
    Exactly the same run time as the Gemini packs. I get over 2 hours on high with either pack. I'm fairly certain they use the same Samsung batteries in the pack. At $52 they are an excellent value.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCW View Post
    Exactly the same run time as the Gemini packs. I get over 2 hours on high with either pack. I'm fairly certain they use the same Samsung batteries in the pack. At $52 they are an excellent value.
    TCW, I'm taking your suggestion on the Gemini, however I'd like to know what you are using for a handlebar mount. Action is out of the Gemini mount.

  15. #15
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    Quick suggestion....

    My budget is 150, maybe a little more. I ride off road only, fast singletrack.

  16. #16
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    2x Magic Shine 808 + a wide angle lens (for the bar light) from Action LED. You won't be disappointed. The new ones are quite a bit brighter than what I have (P7s) and mine are plenty bright for fast singletrack.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trap121 View Post
    My budget is 150, maybe a little more. I ride off road only, fast singletrack.
    with that budget you're looking squarely at Chinese / Ebay / DX lights like SolarStorm. maybe you can stretch your budget to include MagicShine.

    there are American lights that are in your budget but they are all designed for commuting and such. American and German off-road lights will all be more expensive. if i had to choose, if i was going off-roading, i would rather get a Chinese off-road light than an American commuting light.

    off-road lights compared to commuting lights have wider beams, higher outputs and longer run times ( in theory ).

  18. #18
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    2 808s for $150...no need for cheap knock offs.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  19. #19
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    Quick suggestion....

    Quote Originally Posted by TCW View Post
    I dig Gemini setups. Good prices right now at Action-Led.

    Olympia for bars, Xera for helmet, 2 x MJ-6030 battery packs, 2 chargers, one extension cable for helmet light (put battery pack in Camelbak or jersey pocket). Total with the CLOSEOUT13 coupon is $276.20. Not bad for 2,200 plus lumens with good runtime and nice programmability feature on light heads.

    A couple Solarstorm lights if you want to go cheap. Lots of lumens for under $100. Reliability might be an issue.

    A couple new Magicshine MJ-808-L2s for under $200 at Action-Led.
    TCW, why do you suggest Xera over the duo for the helmet light? I'm thinking of extending my budget and going with what you suggested....just not sure about which one for the helmet yet.

  20. #20
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    I was in the same boat as you so I spent a couple days researching on the forums here and decided on a 2 light system.

    I just ordered a Gemini Duo for my helmet and an Olympia for my handlebars from Action LED Lights. They are clearing out 2013 stock right now so have good deals on lights. I ordered both with 4 cell batteries because I want the extra capacity for riding in subzero temps. I also ordered a 2 cell battery so I can use the Duo as head lamp for snow shoeing and cross country skiing. Came to just under $500 including shipping to Canada.

    Happy Hunting!

  21. #21
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    Two of these, and $50 left over for beer!

  22. #22
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    Quick suggestion....

    I ended up going with the Gemini Olympia/4cell for the bars and the duo/2cell for the helmet.

    Went on a short 30 min ride to test things out last night. Was paranoid the whole time about the light or battery coming off the frame. I'm riding an ibis mojo so the 4cell battery doesn't fit very conveniently.

    Does anyone have mounting advice or should I not worry about it? I used the one Velcro strap for the Olympia battery but still worried the whole time about losing it.

    Plenty bright but I just need some reassurance that the stuff ain't gonna fly off through rooty terrain.

  23. #23
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    Backcountry Research - Makers of the AWESOME STRAPS

    The awesome straps are v. secure.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  24. #24
    TCW
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    Trap,

    That's the same set up I use. If I use a Gemini battery pack I attach it to my stem. If I use the Magicshine pack it works best on the frame in the neoprene cover.

    Earlier you asked about the Xera. My wife uses it on her helmet. It seems to work great, maybe even better than the Duo, when combined with the Olympia on the bars. In her case the two lights match exactly in color temp whereas my Duo is slightly lower temp compared to the Olympia. No big deal. Also, the Xera appears to punch into the Olympia's beam nicely. Sometimes the Duo appears to have a slight donut hole in it's hotspot that's absent in the Xera.

  25. #25
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    Quick suggestion....

    Quote Originally Posted by TCW View Post
    Trap,

    That's the same set up I use. If I use a Gemini battery pack I attach it to my stem. If I use the Magicshine pack it works best on the frame in the neoprene cover.

    Earlier you asked about the Xera. My wife uses it on her helmet. It seems to work great, maybe even better than the Duo, when combined with the Olympia on the bars. In her case the two lights match exactly in color temp whereas my Duo is slightly lower temp compared to the Olympia. No big deal. Also, the Xera appears to punch into the Olympia's beam nicely. Sometimes the Duo appears to have a slight donut hole in it's hotspot that's absent in the Xera.
    I don't have room on my stem, its either a 35 or 50mm stem, I can't remember which. The Gemini pack is too big for that spot. I ended up strapping it near my bottle cage on my down tube using the extension cord but It was still a little loose with the Gemini strap tightened all the way down.

    Are all the battery packs interchangeable between brands? I have the hardshell
    packs for the Olympia and duo.

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