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  1. #1
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    Totally Confused

    I want to get a light set up but I am totally confused; lumens, bar mount, 2 bulbs, 1 bulb, helment mount. Too many options! My LBS carries Niterider and Baja Designs which I believe are both reputable brands. They have a 15% off deal on both right now so I want to pick up a system as a Xmas gift from my wife .

    So what do you guys recommend? I am hoping to do a 12 hour endurance race in june and will need a system that will work for that and general trail riding. I was thinking a helmet and bar light. Can i get away with just a bar or just a helmet light? Budget is about $400.00.

    Thanks,

    John

  2. #2
    May the Force be with you
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    I just picked up a Niterider1200 , Great light , Programing the light output is pretty sweet.

    http://www.chicosportsltd.net/store/...-pro-1200.html

  3. #3
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    Lot's of good choices for $400. Check a few threads down, Baja has a trade in special on the Strykr for $200 and it makes an excellent bar light. That would leave you enough for a decent helmet light. For your budget, you could pick up a TrailLED 500 for $175. For around $400, that's a potent combo.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by scjohn
    I want to get a light set up but I am totally confused; lumens, bar mount, 2 bulbs, 1 bulb, helment mount. Too many options! My LBS carries Niterider and Baja Designs which I believe are both reputable brands. They have a 15% off deal on both right now so I want to pick up a system as a Xmas gift from my wife .

    So what do you guys recommend? I am hoping to do a 12 hour endurance race in june and will need a system that will work for that and general trail riding. I was thinking a helmet and bar light. Can i get away with just a bar or just a helmet light? Budget is about $400.00.

    Thanks,

    John
    First, you need a helmet and a bar light for serious off-road MTB'ing. If you insist on buying from the LBS you are seriously going to limit your choices as well as the bang-for-the-buck factor. What ever you choose you're still going to need extra batteries if you plan doing a race at night that might last 12hrs. With that in mind holding the line at $400 is going to be hard to do especially if you're only going to deal with a LBS. I was going to suggest some dedicated bike lights but the ones I suggest are likely not sold at your LBS. For what it's worth, $400 will get you a nice helmet light or nice bar light but not both. If I was buying new lights and was buying a commercially made combo, I like the Cygolite Centuari for the bars and the Lupine Piko for the helmet. That combo though would run about $750+. Extra batteries maybe another $80. There are cheaper options but you have to mail order and wait for the shipments. If it were me, I'd wait till after Christmas and not worry about what the LBS has or doesn't have.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    First, you need a helmet and a bar light for serious off-road MTB'ing. If you insist on buying from the LBS you are seriously going to limit your choices as well as the bang-for-the-buck factor. What ever you choose you're still going to need extra batteries if you plan doing a race at night that might last 12hrs. With that in mind holding the line at $400 is going to be hard to do especially if you're only going to deal with a LBS. I was going to suggest some dedicated bike lights but the ones I suggest are likely not sold at your LBS. For what it's worth, $400 will get you a nice helmet light or nice bar light but not both. If I was buying new lights and was buying a commercially made combo, I like the Cygolite Centuari for the bars and the Lupine Piko for the helmet. That combo though would run about $750+. Extra batteries maybe another $80. There are cheaper options but you have to mail order and wait for the shipments. If it were me, I'd wait till after Christmas and not worry about what the LBS has or doesn't have.
    Cat man do,

    I wanted to use my LBS because they are helpful and if there is a problem I don't have to go through the hassle of shipping the parts back to the online seller. As for the 12 hour, only three hours are in the dark. On a regular basis I anticipate that the longest rides I will do in the dark will be 2 - 2.5 hours. Is there a problem with the brands i mentioned? What Lumen output should i be looking at? What are the differences in the lights you mentioned and the brands available at the LBS like; ie. Niterider, Baja Designs and Light n motion?

    Thanks,

    John

  6. #6
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    Don't rush it. If you do your research you'll find that there are much better options out there than what's available at your LBS. Besides light output, pay attention to other functional features, like battery size, battery compatibility with other models, extra battery cost, etc. I have a couple of buddies who run Niteriders on their helmets (not sure what models), where the power switch for the light is on the battery. This means that rather than throwing the battery in their pack or back pocket, they have to jump through hoops to mount the battery somewhere on their body where the switch can be accessed.

    I recommend Dinotte lights, www.dinottelighting.com. They do have bar/helmet combos that are in your price range, but for a little more ($549) you can get an awesome setup. I run the 800L bar/400L helmet combo, but they've come out with the 1200L+ since I bought mine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scjohn
    Cat man do,

    I wanted to use my LBS because they are helpful and if there is a problem I don't have to go through the hassle of shipping the parts back to the online seller. As for the 12 hour, only three hours are in the dark. On a regular basis I anticipate that the longest rides I will do in the dark will be 2 - 2.5 hours. Is there a problem with the brands i mentioned? What Lumen output should i be looking at? What are the differences in the lights you mentioned and the brands available at the LBS like; ie. Niterider, Baja Designs and Light n motion?

    Thanks,

    John
    Okay, I understand. You don't need extra batteries then. The Baja Stryker should make a good bar light and you should have $100 left over. I was going to recommend the L&M or the Niterider Pro 700 but they are too much money for your budget. You still will need a helmet light. For $100 you won't have many choices except for something like a MagicShine. I don't think many LBS sell those. Your LBS dealer might be more helpful in helping you find a workable combo solution to meet your budget.

  8. #8
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    my light and motion 900 is bright enough and has a broad enough beam that a helmet light is un necessary. that said I also have a exposure helmet light that puts out 900 lumens. the graet thing about exposure lights is they dont have cords. Having a cord from the helmet to the camelback is a pain in the arse.
    even though the 2 lights are equal in lumens the L&M light has a better beam pattern ( looks like 6 emitters vs. 3) most lights will give you around 3 hrs on high, 6 on med and 10 or better on low
    check out the test reviews on this site, they have actual pics. of the beam patterns

  9. #9
    Goats Rule!
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    While your longest anticipated rides may only be 2 or 2.5 hours, remember to factor in the nechanicals factor and that you nay have to walk it out. Running your light to fix a flat, etc eats batteries.

    Could consider a couple of cygolite mitycross 400 lights. Well within your budget.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheHill
    While your longest anticipated rides may only be 2 or 2.5 hours, remember to factor in the nechanicals factor and that you nay have to walk it out. Running your light to fix a flat, etc eats batteries.

    Could consider a couple of cygolite mitycross 400 lights. Well within your budget.

    excellent point, although with a 900 lumen or higher you can run it on med for 6+ hours and have more than enough light
    back in the HID days I had a 400 lumen light that was more than double the usual halogen lights and we all got around fine.
    some of todays 1200 and up lights are allmost too much

  11. #11
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    The Baja Strykr is a great light.
    It is much brighter than the claimed 900 lumen MagicShine lights, and is only claimed to be 700 lumen.
    It is a really durable, rugged looking light.
    Nice option is the extra reflector it comes with.
    Mine came with the flood optic installed, and with a spare spot reflector.
    Lots of different shims for the bar mount are included.
    I really like how the connectors seal together. I have no doubts that I will own this light for a LONG time.
    The only downside is that it is a bit on the large side, so could be awkward as a helmet light.
    I got mine for the bars though.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  12. #12
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    the problem with just a bright bar mount is if you're on twisty trails you're often without light on the turn in of the apex. So two lights are needed if you ride allot of single tracks.

    I just picked up the Mittycross 400 from bike bling for $176 out the door (they have 10% off sale right now). Probably the best sub $200 I did my homework on w/o a P7 LED, not happy with the throw of that LED. And assembled here in the Cali, parts are probably outsourced like most companies do but whatever. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one of these if extra $ comes up. But for now I have the mitty on my helmet, sooooo light at just 80grams, and have the battery in my pack. even though battery is light weight I dont' like it on the helmet. And a 250 Jetbeam torch on the bars. AWESOME combo so far.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by betweenrides
    Lot's of good choices for $400. Check a few threads down, Baja has a trade in special on the Strykr for $200 and it makes an excellent bar light. That would leave you enough for a decent helmet light. For your budget, you could pick up a TrailLED 500 for $175. For around $400, that's a potent combo.
    +1
    If endurance racing is going to be a part of your routine and aprox $400 is your budget you may want to consider two Trailled 500L's,both set ups for $350. Zen will even customize battery capasity to give you the run times you need,(for a small fee)so you can run at full power most of the time within your budget. The Baja is a very good light but you would have to run it at low setting for your race to make the battery last, and don't think that would give you enough output for race pace.If your willing to spend a touch more you could go with the 4X Trailled for the bars should be much brighter than the Baja,and i'm sure you would not be tooo much over budget. Very tough to get what you need for $400.If in fact you will never be racing in the dark for more than three hours then the 500L and 4X with reg battery's will be $75 over budget and be a true 1400 lumen set up and very small and lite.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsigone
    I did my homework on w/o a P7 LED, not happy with the throw of that LED.
    What is this blasphemy?!? You were the one who sold me on P7 a couple years ago, J. lol. That cheap ebay knockoff is still going strong on the same battery pack. I have the MS 1400 for the bars now, and usually run a torch up top, but occasionally put the P7 on the helmet. It's great to have so many choices compared to just a few years ago!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancemac
    What is this blasphemy?!? You were the one who sold me on P7 a couple years ago, J. lol. That cheap ebay knockoff is still going strong on the same battery pack. I have the MS 1400 for the bars now, and usually run a torch up top, but occasionally put the P7 on the helmet. It's great to have so many choices compared to just a few years ago!

    haha the P7 is a great LED just doesn't have the throw I need now. Just so many more options out now and running less juice. 2 yrs ago the P7 was the ****!!

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