Brightest light on the bars or helmet??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Brightest light on the bars or helmet??

    Night riding newbie here........

    I purchased a Niterider TriNewt and a Minewt X2 for an upcoming 24hr race. I have not done any night riding yet though I hope to get a handful of night rides in before the race to get the setup right.

    My question is should I put the TriNewt (486 lumens) on the bars and the X2 (150 lumens) on the helmet or the other way around?

    Two opposing arguments I have heard are: 1. The brightest light should be on the bars as it cuts through the dust better and creates better shadows over small obstacles. 2. On the other hand, I hear that it is best to have the brightest light on the helmet so you can see around turns and down drops better.

    This is for the 24Hrs of Moab so it will be out in the desert with a lot of beige sand, rolling fire-roads, and some single-track with a few good sized and sudden drop-offs.

    Thoughts and suggestions?

  2. #2
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    I find the helmet light to be more useful than the handlebar light. (If I had only one light, I'd prefer to place it on my helmet, rather than on the bars.) I use the helmet light to look ahead at where I want to go. The handlebar light, on the other hand, ends up being pointed in whatever direction the bars happen to be pointed at that moment, making it considerably less useful for seeing far ahead. It does make sense to point the handlebar light down somewhat, illuminating the trail immediately ahead.

    With that in mind, I think it makes more sense to have the bright light on your helmet and the weaker light on the handlebar. You'll use the brighter light to see what's coming ahead. The weaker light on the bars makes sense because it's primarily used for close up illumination anyway.
    Last edited by KevinB; 09-16-2009 at 08:16 PM.

  3. #3
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    ^^^That's my preference also. Go ahead and get a couple of rides in, try it both ways, and you will quickly come to your own conclusion.

  4. #4
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    brightest on the bar smaller light up top.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: zen bicycle's Avatar
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    Depends on the beam shape as what your eyes see vary based on the beam pattern.

    Flood on bars spot on helmet regardless of output in most cases.

  6. #6
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    As for me, I ride only with helmet light, but sometimes I wish I should have something on the bars when there's fog or something else in the atmosphere.
    Nevertheless ALL top MTB riders in Russia that I know use only helmet light and wear nothing on the bars.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: WeakMite's Avatar
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    I ride brightest light on the helmet, other on the bars.

    If you're riding the road or some other non-technical terrain having the brighter one on the bars seems to work fine... but if you're riding more technical terrain with tighter turns and obstacles you end up waving the bar light around too much.

  8. #8
    she keep you buying rats
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaskaS
    Nevertheless ALL top MTB riders in Russia that I know use only helmet light and wear nothing on the bars.
    They might not stay "top MTB riders" for too long if their single light happens to go out suddenly in the middle of a gnarly steep rocky decent.


    Even a weak light on the bars can mean the difference between getting stopped cleanly or ...piling into something real hard in total darkness.



  9. #9
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    I prefer the brighter (or only) light to be on the handlebars, though I do also have a helmet light. A bright light on the helmet tends to obscure ruts and bumps of the trail because of the relected light coming straight back at your eyes.
    I've ridden the fall 24hrs at Idylwilde where it is very dusty and had to turn off my helmet light because the light just lit up the dust in the air and provided no trail illumination, while the bar light lit up the trail well enough.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen bicycle
    Depends on the beam shape as what your eyes see vary based on the beam pattern.

    Flood on bars spot on helmet regardless of output in most cases.
    Agreed. I was riding with someone who has those exact lights, and that's the way to go: Trinewt on bars, Minewt on helmet. Besides, the Trinewt is quite heavy to be situated on top of your helmet.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the feedback! Now I just gotta get out and ride and give both options a try.......I'm with you qdave--the TriNewt is pretty bulky / heavy.

  12. #12
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    Reputation: Jim311's Avatar
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    I have only one light, and prefer it on my helmet. I prefer light to be where I'm looking, not at where the bike is pointing.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

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