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  1. #1
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    Serfas lights...specifically True 500?

    Ok, now that I am elbow-deep in looking at lights, I am going to expand my options beyond the online budg-o options from Magicshine and Gemini. My LBS carries Serfas and they look like a high-quality unit. I am specifically interested in 2 True 500s; 1 bar mounted and 1 helmet mounted. They look cool and at 500 lumens, they should be fine (please chime in). I like the single unit but am concerned about run-time; less than 1.5 hours on high is pretty crappy but you can buy extra batteries. The True 1000 is out of my budget b/c its nearly $300 and I would still have to add a helmet light. Any thoughts on these lights? Finally, I am not comfortable with the lumens numbers as I am coming off older lights from the 90s (Vistalite...1 10w helmet with a 10w/15w on the bar) and have no idea how many lumens those were. They were sufficient for night riding.

    Thanks,
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  2. #2
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    I'm not totally familiar with the Serfas brand but 500 lumens should be adequate, especially if you have a bar and helmet mount. Be sure to check the flood of each lamp to see if it meets your needs. You'll want something with a wider beam for the bar rather than a spot. Also, wattage and lumens are totally different units. Wattage is simply the power requirement to run the lamp where as lumens are an actual measurement of light output. I've used a NightRider 350 and it kicks ass. The 600 is even better. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I have heard that as the battery gets low the light starts to dim. This would not be good out on a ride that might have some technical stuff towards the end of the ride. I couldnt even get through my regular 2 hour night ride with one of them.

  4. #4
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    Review is here with a very flat lumen/hour graph.

    It's a great light!!!

    Serfas True 500 – 2012 Mtbr Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

    fc

  5. #5
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    I don't have the 500, but I do have the True 250. It doesn't dim as the battery runs low. The 250 has a slightly tighter beam than the 500, which works well for me when I commute. I tried out the 250 and the 500 side by side at the shop, and found the 500 to appear to have a noticeably wider beam than the 250. The beam was very even.

    You can get much better battery life by running it on the next to the highest setting. There is little difference between the highest "overdrive" setting and the next level down, which Serfas calls "high" setting. I usually run mine on that "high" setting.

  6. #6
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    Picked up the True 500 at the 24hrs of Moab. I use it on the helmet as my backup light. Beam pattern is very good - not too narrow but also not that wide. I've built a lot of DIY lights and prefer those over the manufacturers. However, the true 500 is one of the best self-contained lights I've seen. Be sure to check out the beam pattern before buying. I like a nice even beam pattern without any visible halo or doughnut pattern. I had the seller open and verify 3 lights before I found one with a nice even pattern.

  7. #7
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    For what it's worth!
    I just purchased a small $40 serfas usb rechargeable commuter light. (raider) And am very impressed with its quality.
    .....the end

  8. #8
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    Do you think from your experience that you could ride with 2 (that's it)?
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb View Post
    Picked up the True 500 at the 24hrs of Moab. I use it on the helmet as my backup light. Beam pattern is very good - not too narrow but also not that wide. I've built a lot of DIY lights and prefer those over the manufacturers. However, the true 500 is one of the best self-contained lights I've seen. Be sure to check out the beam pattern before buying. I like a nice even beam pattern without any visible halo or doughnut pattern. I had the seller open and verify 3 lights before I found one with a nice even pattern.
    I second what il2mb said, I was set-up next to the Serfas guys at the 24hrs of Moab in 2011 and honestly say that I was impressed by all of their systems. I think you would be well served by two of their 500's. I too had a 10w halogen back in the 90's that I just thought was the greatest thing ever (NiteRider Trail Rat), I rode some very difficult trails out on South Mountain (Phoenix) with that little light. I think that you will find that the color temperature of the new LED systems (pretty much any quality LED system) will be better than the halogen color of your old light. By "better" I mean it will be more usable, your eyes will be able to read the terrain better, and you'll be able to ride faster and more safely in general. Serfas is also a solid company that backs up the products they sell from what I know of them.

  10. #10
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    Serfas Lights

    I've started with a Blackburn 3.3 light several years ago.I didn't want a battery pack type light. 4 AAA batteries, 2 settings on/blinking. Included a handlebar/helmet ratcheting holder. Very well made, dependable, and water resistant. Light beam was pretty good and AAA batteries gave long consistent light. I used 2. The bar mount was set to illuminate about 8-12 ft. in front of me while the helmet mount was set for about 20 ft. Best feature was long life, dependability, and cheap batteries as I ride a lot at night mostly on simple trails. I really liked the simple but secure ratchet system.

    About a year ago I decided to give the Serfas lights a try. And I'm pretty pleased overall. I have a True 250 on my helmet and a True 500 bar mount. The 250 and 500 are Lumens and they are bright! Both lights have 5 settings, 4 constant and 1 blinking. They can charge fro a wall outlet or USB. Wall charger is quicker. Both lights include a separate bar mount and helmet mount. The bar mount is nice but there is a "fiddle factor" involved with setting it up and it is a pain in the butt. You may need to use a spacer (provided) to get a tight fit. The helmet mount is velcro and I don't really like it. You have to make several turns through the helmet slots to lock it down. I wish they offered a ratchet system like the Blackburn. There is a side knob that can be used to lock the angle while using on a helmet.

    I have used both the 250 and 500 in pretty cold temps, mid to low 30's. The 250 is rated for about 2-3 hours of use on high and the 500 is rated for 1 1/2 hours on high. in 30 degree temps the 500 went out after about 1 hour of continuous use. The 250 was weak after 2 hours. This was on the high setting. You can keep hitting the on/off button and lowering the light output for longer life. You can also purchase a backup battery pack.

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with the Serfas lights and it took a lot to get me to switch from the Blackburn with disposable batteries. As a side note, I still sometimes carry the Blackburn as a backup if on a long ride.

  11. #11
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    thanks for all the info

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