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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Single Track Night Ride Light Suggestions

    This is my first time to the forums, so I apologize if someone else has asked this. I've been mountain biking for a couple of years, but not night riding so it's time to start. The trails we ride are very windy and fast, so I'm looking for as good of light as possible with out braking the bank. I think I want a handle bar and helmet light setup. Trying to set a budget of $500; I'm ok with buying one of the lights now and the other later. Was wondering if you were to invest in lights would you put a nicer brighter one on your handle bars or helmet? Some of the options I've looked at are Light & Motion Seca 1700, Serfas True 1500, or Magicshine MJ-880. Let me know any other suggestions.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Since you're new to mountain biking and want to consider night riding for the first time it would be a good idea to start at the entry level. No need to spend big money till you are sure you like riding at night. Thankfully you can get really bright/useable lights without breaking the bank.

    I always recommend getting two lamps, one for the bars and one for the helmet. Whatever you choose you should be looking for lamps that use the Cree XM-L ( or XM-L2 ) emitters. Right now popular choices for the bars are the new Solarstorm X2, FandyFire ( or Ultrafire ) D99, and the MJ 880 clones. These lamps use duel XM-L's ( either T-6 or U2 bin emitters ) and have either 3 or 4 modes depending on which you buy. Prices range from $34 ( lamp head only ) to $55 ( with battery ).

    Next step is a bit harder. You will need a helmet lamp. Things to consider before buying a helmet lamp; how it will mount on the helmet, how heavy the lamp is, how much weight are you comfortable with on the helmet???....With those questions answered I suggest buying a simple/cheap single XM-L lamp designed for more throw. With the right set-up you should have a combo providing good illumination in the 150-200ft range. . If you choose the right lamps I can see you getting by with only spending *$100 for both sets. ( *Note, some of the cheaper Chinese light sets do not give you decent batteries. That said the lamps are still worth the asking price so better if you can buy the lamp head separately. You can always buy better compatible after market batteries from more reliable vendors ( read the "Battery Thread" )..)

    Anyway, look over the the last 50 or so threads and see what others are using. If you have any more questions don't be afraid to ask what you think might be a stupid question. We encourage newbees here.

  3. #3
    Light freak
    Reputation: scar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Another option for you

    How about a custom "built to order" light that you can have total confidence in?

    Check out my classified ad.

    Check out my blog - Amoeba, the simplest light form

    Do a search on MTBR for Amoeba

    Yep, I like to ride bikes in the dark!!


  4. #4
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
    Reputation: wolfy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Your budget is ample. No need to cheap out.

    I prefer two lights as well, but one light with two batteries will give you a longer ride. I've been riding with an old Niterider flight, which is Maybe 600 lumen. It was fine for niteriding for me. Recently got a jet x52 and f-U2 and either of those 825 lumen lights is fine on its own. Cary a second battery and you can ride for hours.

    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I have the Light and Motion Urban 550 and it is INSANELY bright, even on the low setting. Battery life should be around 6 hours. Recharges via USB. Price: $159.99

    Funny RL story about the L&M, was on the trail just after dusk, some lady was walking her poodles, and started yelling at me that my light was "too bright".. it was on the low setting btw

    I also have a Petzl MYO RXP headlamp for off-the-bike operations.. again, the light is both bright, and the battery lasts for a hefty amount of time. The benefit to this headlamp, is that it was designed for rescue-operations / exploring caves. Price: $89.95

    The way the headlamp was designed, and obviously, for its recommended use, it can be worn on both the helmet and straight on your head. The elastic straps will obviously need to be adjusted though.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Since I had some extra Amazon gift cards saved up, it was cheaper to go with the Light & Motion Seca 1700 compared to others I was looking at because they weren't on Amazon, so I went with that. Probably use that for helmet light. Still searching for handle bar light. We'll see how the seca 1700 works tomorrow night.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    I thought I should update this. I decided to go with the Light & Motion Seca 1700. I love it! It is supper bright!! In low mode it provides enough light and lasts a long time. I also really like the race mode which gets brighter as you go faster and dimmer when going slow. Great light so far.

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