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  1. #1
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    Reputation: David C's Avatar
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    Suggest me a commuter/weekend warrior light for ~$50

    Hi,

    x-mas time is coming and I need suggestions for the family as which lights they could get me for the 25th.

    I'm commuting year-round, only a short commute tough on well lighted streets, so I don't need much power/fancy stuff, but I'd also like to use it for night rides I get to do once in a while. Night ride for me starts with dark, so during winter at 5pm, it's already dark here.

    I'm looking for a reliable, easy to keep around, maybe flasher/steady mode, good battery life for commuting duty (ideally standard batteries for convenience), powerful enough to light me up during pitch dark, but not too much as to drain battery while using as commuter light (maybe during max 15-20 minutes a day when needed).

    I saw some of the Mako models or Cateye, etc for $50 or less, but some research has shown that it's not only the power claimed, but also mounting bracket, beam quality and characteristics, durability (cold weather, waterproof, etc) and not cheap as to break of from fun rides like you would expect any mountain bike parts to last.

    Suggest me a few ones, and honestly I'd rather have more light than not enough. I know asking for everything for low price isn't gonna be realistic, but having a flasher/low/high modes and AA batteries, decent beam light for not killing your eyes riding moderate trails at night and durable mounting bracket coz I'll switch the light from my commuter to my MTB every time I'm going for night riding.

    My brother bought a CatEye HL-EL450 since he was commuting 20km back at night during summer and he loves it. He say it's a bit too much power for urban commute where lamp post are everywhere, but again he's the know-it-all with I-only-have-used-one-of-them type experience...

    Enlight me !
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: David C's Avatar
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    Oh, and if for $50 or less I can get some decent MTB light that would be too much for just a safety light, I'll just use my current little topeak whitelight and use the MTB light for night ride purpose and occasional urban assault at night.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  3. #3
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    I like the the lezyne lights because they use standard 18650 cells which are easily replaceable on the trail (this maybe only be on the power drive xl and above). You can also charge them via usb. That has to be a good option for the commuter. They are way out of your price range though. The cygolites also have the battery swappable option.

    Niterider has the higher end Mako light which are made for commuting. One runs on AA (Mako 5.0) and the other is USB rechargebale (Mako 200 USB). I'm not sure if they include the new mounts. Niterider resigned the mounts for the higher end Lumina series for this year. They use the screw to tighten on the handlebar. They are supposed to be much better than last years mounts. I'm not sure if the lumina mounts are the same as the Mako mounts. Even the old mounts are probably good enough for commuting.

    The problem with only spending $50 is that you only get about 200 lumens (?). I think most people consider that to be less than what's needed for serious mountain biking. You might be able to get last year's Niterider stuff for deep discounts, and then upgrade the mounts if they don't work.

    Then again you might need less light than you think. I rode around my neighborhood yesterday with a $6 made in china led flashlight than runs on one AA battery and is 4 or 5 inches long. It was pretty good, definitely a good backup emergency light. I was only doing 10-15mph though. Not quite the throw of the 12-year old 10W halogen light, but still pretty bright.

    The other option is a higher end flashlight from china which use 18650 cells. The problem with using flashlights is that the mounts aren't that secure, but there are people who use them on the trail. All of the cygolite/niterider lights are basically just flashlights with a better mounts and USB rechargeable. They are super convenient though. What we really need is a super secure and quick release mount for flashlights.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for replying.

    Well I actually don't need much light for night riding, I mean I could go without light, all ninja mode, but I like to have resources available and my eyes aren't the best in low-light. I'll do fine with something like a $10 flashlight, but it's also about the convenience side. I saw the Mako ones ranged from $30 to $50, so if I'm to get one of those, I'd rather have the powerful one and not look any further then the one $15 cheaper that isn't convenient for charging (unless it's just normal AA batteries), weaker mount and lower beam quality. I just wasn't sure what I was getting for that price with the Mako lights. If it's a good buy, I'll check them out.

    I'm just totally lost when one model says 200 lumens and the other next to it says 2 watts, then the other one says 750 candles, etc... I know each of those are different measurements, but I only want to know which one is better/brighter than the other models. Like Mako 5.0 says in watts and Mako 200 says in lumens... Make it simple for light newbs please !

    And I'd take AA batteries over cells or USB charging, since I don't like rechargeable batteries that loose power over time. Prefer trued and tried AA's.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  5. #5
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    Yeah, it's better to compare everything in lumens if you can. The Mako 5.0 is only 40 lumens, and the Mako 200 is 200 lumens. The 200 is right around 50 bucks. I wouldn't get anything less. As far as rechargable batteries, they have a newer version of NiMH batteries which is often labeled as "precharged" which discharge much more slowly than original Nimh.

    The point I was trying to make about flashlights is that a $12 shipped-from-China torch with a new Cree xml emitter may be brighter than a $90 Niterider/Cygolite bicycle light. I don't have any experience with this myself, but the other people on the forum will be able to elaborate on this point.

  6. #6
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    Why not something like this: A new light xml U2 light (review) with a good wide action led light? This headlight is smaller than the wide lens from action-led, but you can make it work.

    Or, you can get the T6 version (pretty much the standard right now...U2 is the new version that we will start seeing now). You can see good beamshots here and compare the stock lens with the wide lens: Review of Ebay: 1800 Lumen CREE XML T6 LED Bicycle HeadLight Lamp Please note that it is normal to have chinese clone makers rating them +900lumen when they are actually in the 400-600 range.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedroDank View Post
    Why not something like this: A new light xml U2 light (review) with a good wide action led light? This headlight is smaller than the wide lens from action-led, but you can make it work.

    Or, you can get the T6 version (pretty much the standard right now...U2 is the new version that we will start seeing now). You can see good beamshots here and compare the stock lens with the wide lens: Review of Ebay: 1800 Lumen CREE XML T6 LED Bicycle HeadLight Lamp Please note that it is normal to have chinese clone makers rating them +900lumen when they are actually in the 400-600 range.
    Looks good. Though I haven't seen any real ride report/durability and reliability, but I guess it's part of the game. I'd be using it quite often during winter since I just love snow rides and night rides. Not having a light is pretty much what is stopping me so far, but then being able to go ride for 1-2hours around 6pm and be back home before getting too tired/deep frozen is definitively appealing. Thanks for the link
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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