Helmet-mounted spot HID only?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Helmet-mounted spot HID only?

    Guys:

    I just ordered a Trail Tech helmet-mounted spot from their website. Will I be alright trail riding with the helmet mounted HID only, or would you recommend I suplement it with a bar-mounted light? Naturally it would be "better" to have both, but is it necessary or will I find things plenty bright? I believe I read someones's post about the spread of this particular spot being not too "tight", but I wanted to get some opinions on this, especially from owner's of the Trail Tech HID.

    Thanks!

    -pete

  2. #2
    discombobulated SuperModerator
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    I dont have alot of experience on spot/flood, but I will say this : the general consensus is Helmet light Then bar light..I run mine as bar only and it is a pain in tight turns etc etc...I mean it works, but helmet only would be better, Both would be best.
    In my mind I would like to try helmet spot + bar flood.....
    CDT

  3. #3
    Urk
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    The potential pitfall with helmet-mounted HID lights (or any other helmet-mounted light, for that matter) isn't brightness, it's contrast. Since the light is coming from nearly the same angle as your eyes, you don't get the benefit of shadows - they're hidden behind whatever nasty pointy rocks or stumps are on the trail. That lack of shadows, combined with the high brightness of HID lights, makes those obstacles a little harder to pick out. You'll think the singletrack is all smooth until the rough stuff is RIGHT under your front wheel.

    That said, I ride with a helmet-mounted HID all the time. You get used to it, and it's still the way to get the best visibility, short of complementing with a handlebar-mounted light (that would bring back some of those shadows).

  4. #4
    discombobulated SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urk
    The potential pitfall with helmet-mounted HID lights (or any other helmet-mounted light, for that matter) isn't brightness, it's contrast. Since the light is coming from nearly the same angle as your eyes, you don't get the benefit of shadows - they're hidden behind whatever nasty pointy rocks or stumps are on the trail. That lack of shadows, combined with the high brightness of HID lights, makes those obstacles a little harder to pick out. You'll think the singletrack is all smooth until the rough stuff is RIGHT under your front wheel.

    That said, I ride with a helmet-mounted HID all the time. You get used to it, and it's still the way to get the best visibility, short of complementing with a handlebar-mounted light (that would bring back some of those shadows).
    I had heard the opposite was true that bar mounted lights cast shadows that you cant see beyond, moreso than helmet mounts. Coupled with bar mounts pointing the way you are curently going (and not where your head may be pointed IE soon to be going) makes a single light situation better with helmet mount.
    I mean really, the higher up the light the shorter the shadows ,right?
    Cdt

  5. #5
    Urk
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    All other things being equal, bar-mounted lights cast longer shadows that make trail obstacles look bigger. Head-mounted lights "hide" the shadow behind the obstacle itself, because the light source is nearly in-line with your line of sight. Without the shadow, it can be difficult to gauge the depth behind that obstacle.

    You don't have to take anyone's word for it, just try it - use just a flashlight. Shine it from the top your head at some object on a floor. Then shine the same light from waist or chest-high at the same object.

    Most lights can be mounted either way, so it's not like you'd be locked into one or the other. Use what works for you.

  6. #6
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    I know plenty of riders who run helmet only lights without issues.

    Unless it's super dusty you shouldn't have too many issues running your only light on your helmet. You'll soon get used to how it illuminates the trail, and once you know about it you can easily pick out the obstacles that would usually cast shadows.

    As you say Pete, I guess the ultimate would be both. You probably wouldn't need much in the way of light output on the bars, but just enough to give you a bit more detail on the trail.

    Dave.

  7. #7
    Derailleurless
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    I've got to concur with Urk. I have bar plus helmet, after spending many years on bar only. I've also ridden helmet only for various reasons.

    While two are better than one, definitely one is better than none, so don't let "just" a helmet light stop you.

    But sure as shit, a helmet only flattens everything. Obviously, a rock looks like a rock and a log looks like a log, but a rut or depression often looks like flat trail, and it's sometimes a surprise to roll into something relatively disruptive, yet nearly invisible.

    The fact of it is, this is usually something I notice more when grinding up climbs, and I sure am glad to have a helmet mounted light for fast rolling terrain and descents.

    Consider, however, that bulbs blow out, batteries mysteriously forget to charge themselves, and cords get wrapped in rotors. It's always good to have a second light independent from the first, plus a cheap mini-LED "walk out" light stashed in your pack.
    speedub.nate
    ∑ MTBR Hiatus UFN ∑

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    I've got to concur with Urk.
    But sure as ****, a helmet only flattens everything. Obviously, a rock looks like a rock and a log looks like a log, but a rut or depression often looks like flat trail, and it's sometimes a surprise to roll into something relatively disruptive, yet nearly invisible.
    Hey, I think it adds interest to the night ride nothing like a trip OTB's!!

  9. #9
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    Good thread, thanks for all the helpfull replies guys...

    -p

  10. #10
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    For some reason I missed the fact that you had purchased a Trail Tech. They provide a fair bit of side spill, so you won’t have any problems with it being too narrow. I know a couple of riders who run these on their helmets as their only light, and they don’t have any issues at all.

    If you were really serious about your night riding, later on a low output flood on the bars might be an option just to give a little more detail.

    Happy trails, Dave.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    For some reason I missed the fact that you had purchased a Trail Tech. They provide a fair bit of side spill, so you wonít have any problems with it being too narrow. I know a couple of riders who run these on their helmets as their only light, and they donít have any issues at all.

    If you were really serious about your night riding, later on a low output flood on the bars might be an option just to give a little more detail.
    Cool you've confirmed what I heard, that's reassuring. Exactly what I was thinking for the bars too -- I'll see how I fare, thanks again Dave...

    -pete

  12. #12
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    Reputation: 29Colossus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pahearn
    Guys:

    I just ordered a Trail Tech helmet-mounted spot from their website. Will I be alright trail riding with the helmet mounted HID only, or would you recommend I suplement it with a bar-mounted light? Naturally it would be "better" to have both, but is it necessary or will I find things plenty bright? I believe I read someones's post about the spread of this particular spot being not too "tight", but I wanted to get some opinions on this, especially from owner's of the Trail Tech HID.

    Thanks!

    -pete
    I'm running the 30watt Trail Tech Eclipse HID on the bars... I think you probably have the 13watt light? You should be able to get a bar mount for that globe as well as the helmet mount that comes with it. That way you can just do both.

    All that aside, you should be fine with that light. It is great to have both, and it is sensible to have a small helmet LED stashed away like Speedhub said, but that HID will get you down the trail with some speed if you want it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Colossus
    I'm running the 30watt Trail Tech Eclipse HID on the bars... I think you probably have the 13watt light? You should be able to get a bar mount for that globe as well as the helmet mount that comes with it. That way you can just do both.

    All that aside, you should be fine with that light. It is great to have both, and it is sensible to have a small helmet LED stashed away like Speedhub said, but that HID will get you down the trail with some speed if you want it.
    Yeah the 13W, I didn't know there was a 30W -- I'll have to keep that in mind if I want to extend my lighting capabilities and burn some trees down.

    Great, thanks. Yes, speed is always good.

    -pete

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