New to night riding, needs cheap helmet light.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Smile New to night riding, needs cheap helmet light.

    Hi Everyone ! First time to post in this section and normally do AM/FR/DH riding during daytime. Lately, I started biking after work between 7-9pm at the xc trails near my house. The trails are mainly fire-road / double tracks that are very non technical but are ridden with trees so it really gets dark because it's heavily shaded.

    I already bought a cheap Princetontec Corona for $54 and mounted it on the handlebar. The light has a battery pack that I mounted on the seatpost. The light throws a wide flood type of beam that gives me adequate peripheral vision but I'm scared of going fast because I can't seem to look far with my light.

    I'm thinking of buying the Princetontec EOS for $42 and it is a self contained light with a 1 watt LED that throws a narrow beam. Since it's self contained, I plan to install it on my helmet and it should supplement my wide beam on the handlebar.

    I was just wondering if this would be enough to get me by at the easy rides that I do? The total Lumens that I would have is 38 (Corona) + 25(Eos) = 63 lumens.

    Thanks for your inputs.

    http://princetontec.com/products/ind...7&type=0&use=4
    DH:Mountain Cycle Shockwave 9.5 w/ 888R
    FR:Marin Quake w/ 888RC
    AM:BMC Superstroke 01 w/ 66RC2X

  2. #2
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    It depends on how fast you go, the conditions of the trails, etc. Personally, I'd think that would be a bit dim. I know its three times as much, but consider a Dinotte AA light. I think they're 5 watts, and do a good job of illumination. With one you still won't be comfortable bombing down the trails, but it will be enough to see reasonably by.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. I go fairly slow cuz I'm only after the uphill aerobic exercise and the trail that I go to isn't really worth bombing down on. I'm not too inclined in spending above $100 because of the reasonably slow pace of my descent. I just need a light that could make me look a little farther because my tec corona is more for peripheral vision.

    Is there any other light below $100 that is self contained and has more of a spotlight throw?

    Thanks in advance.
    DH:Mountain Cycle Shockwave 9.5 w/ 888R
    FR:Marin Quake w/ 888RC
    AM:BMC Superstroke 01 w/ 66RC2X

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickgto
    Is there any other light below $100 that is self contained and has more of a spotlight throw?
    Minewt mini USB, see add above.

  5. #5
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    I don't normaly recomend them but if you want a lot of light for little money then have a look at the torches on DealExtreme.com others on mtbr are plonking them on their helmets and are quite happy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickgto
    Thanks for the reply. I go fairly slow cuz I'm only after the uphill aerobic exercise and the trail that I go to isn't really worth bombing down on. I'm not too inclined in spending above $100 because of the reasonably slow pace of my descent. I just need a light that could make me look a little farther because my tec corona is more for peripheral vision.

    Is there any other light below $100 that is self contained and has more of a spotlight throw?

    Thanks in advance.
    Fenix flashlight, like the L2D. Get aTwoFish Bikeblock or Lockblock, some rechargeable NiMH AAs and a charger and you are set.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty
    I don't normaly recomend them but if you want a lot of light for little money then have a look at the torches on DealExtreme.com others on mtbr are plonking them on their helmets and are quite happy.
    Not that I would push anyone to buying a torch ( vs. a good bike light ) but it is just the ticket for someone not willing to plunk down $100's for a bike light. For around $50-$65 you should be able to buy a torch, batteries and charger. You would however need to find a way to mount the torch to your helmet so it doesn't fall off. My helmet has a nice center vent that fits the torch perfect. Other people might have more of a problem depending on how the vents are lined up on the helmet. With mine I just sit the torch in the center vent and use a velcro strap to hold it in place...works fine. If you think you might want to go with a torch, send me a private message and I'll give you the recommendation for the set-up that I think would work best for your situation.

  8. #8
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    Just get one of these.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12060

    600lumes, it's not a thrower but it's got more than enough range and lights everything so you won't miss anything ie root / stump / low branche it'll be like riding in the day

  9. #9
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    I searched high and low for small and bright torches with a low profile (small diameter) and more flood that spot. I got 2 of these on my helmet (held on by cut up old tube - pics available on request):

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13095

    I found that large torches (I have an Aurora AK-P7) were more likely to be pulled off by branches and vines when I was bush bashing. Also the torches with too much spot would reflect light off dust/dirt (from other trail riders) back at me - which was quite dangerous (kinda like a fog effect). If you are riding with others, in very bushy terrain, without the luxury of clear trails on dry tracks, you might want to consider this.

    I gotta admit torches are a great idea. Bushy terrain here has a habit of claiming cables. Nothing worse than attempting to fix wiring that has been a casualty of vines and branches in the middle of ride.

    Note that the cut up old tubes is a good way of holding torches to the helmet. It has enough give to be pulled by branches, and it is grippy enough to hold a torch in place. You know you need a compact and tough setup when you are constantly ducking between low branches.

  10. #10
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    Nice Q5 Torch there, I was going to get that wild 100's of modes Q5 drop in, but $2 more might aswell get that, as I want to run off 18650's for longer run times really, thanks and well found Hoping for 2hour run time what do you think it gets ??

    Always on for that, then kick in the P7 when required!!

    My P7's small, I use inner tube strips to mount to as you say it's got some give, been using for 9months after cable ties kept failing mid ride and no issues as yet. Just slide the torch out when not required, easy peasy carry a spare in the kit, easy to swap!!

    The Small MTE P7 isn't bad @180grams 37mm reflector plastic too which keeps the weight down, the 55mm P7's are just useless on a bike though.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    Nice Q5 Torch there, I was going to get that wild 100's of modes Q5 drop in, but $2 more might aswell get that, as I want to run off 18650's for longer run times really, thanks and well found Hoping for 2hour run time what do you think it gets ??

    Always on for that, then kick in the P7 when required!!
    Easily gets 2 hours from an 18650. In fact, when I first started visiting this forum, I think it was you that suggested an 18650 over 2 x CR123's. In those days I had a Petzl Duo (about 57 lumens), and you folks said I would be most happy with these as an upgrade:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5379

    And I was!

    At over 100 lumens each, they were a great replacement to the Petzl. But as time went on, I saw there were issues to do with the spot. The Romisen RC-K4 have a tight spot, and are a decent thrower - which really affected me with the dust situation. They are 37mm diameter - which still got caught a few times with branches - but was bearable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    My P7's small, I use inner tube strips to mount to as you say it's got some give, been using for 9months after cable ties kept failing mid ride and no issues as yet. Just slide the torch out when not required, easy peasy carry a spare in the kit, easy to swap!!
    Great minds...

    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    The Small MTE P7 isn't bad @180grams 37mm reflector plastic too which keeps the weight down, the 55mm P7's are just useless on a bike though.
    37mm for a P7, hmm... that's it - I need to get some reflectors for my DIY handlebar light project (will post pics of this one soon - it is a 1xQ5 for under $15), might was well get another torch! (Evil forum - look at what I have become)

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=capnstem]I searched high and low for small and bright torches with a low profile (small diameter) and more flood that spot. I got 2 of these on my helmet (held on by cut up old tube - pics available on request):QUOTE]


    Not trying to threadjack but can I get some pics and a little more input on your setup? I am looking for something cheap to mount on my helmet to supplement my bar mount light and this seems like it should fit those purposes. I only need something to last about an hour or two and use maybe twice a week. All I would need for this setup would be two lights, a charger and then some creativity to mount them up, correct?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by finny1999
    Not trying to threadjack but can I get some pics and a little more input on your setup? I am looking for something cheap to mount on my helmet to supplement my bar mount light and this seems like it should fit those purposes. I only need something to last about an hour or two and use maybe twice a week. All I would need for this setup would be two lights, a charger and then some creativity to mount them up, correct?
    Yup, a little creativity is all u need. The lights are bright, and with an 18650 battery should see at least 2 hours of operation (might even get 3). You asked for more input - here come the pix...

    First is a shot of an Eveready dolphin torch. Very popular torch here in Australia (and therefore makes a good benchmark). It uses a big 6 volt battery. My shed is about 16 meters away, but when bush bashing I only need to illuminate 3 - 8 meters in front because there are not a lot of straight sections of track (if you can call it track!) where you can go fast. It is more ducking and weaving between trees, over rocks, across creeks, around rabbit holes and very long/high grass.



    Next is a single Trustfire TR-801



    And now, the double Trustfire TR-801



    Here is a shot of the double Trustfire TR-801 on my helmet (it ain't pretty, but who cares when safety and fun comes first - besides, who can see them in the dark?). The torches are wrapped in a tube (to create friction), and are strapped thru the helmet vents with even more tube. You can see the big yellow Dolphin torch in this shot. The medium size torch to the right of the helmet is a Romisen RC-K4 (which I used to have on the helmet, but were a bit bulky), and an Aurora AK-P7.




    Just for a comparison, here is a shot of what the Romisen RC-K4 looks like. I have put it here to show you how some torches can be quite spotty (note absence of light in the foreground, compared to the Trustfire TR-801). Also note how white the spot is. The intense spot would reflect off other rider's dust and create a fog effect that I could not see past - it became dangerous so I hunted for a torch that gave off better flooding.



    And lastly, here is a shot of the Aurora AK-P7 which I did seriously consider attaching to my handle bars! This is the brightest of the torches (if you look, you can see that it has illuminated some red flowers that the other torches have missed).



    IMO, the best torch for me was the Trustfire TR-801. I found the torch after a few forum articles that complained about the lack of spot. One man's trash is another man's treasure, and the lack of spot meant more flood - which was absolutely perfect for lighting up ruts, rocks and rabbit holes during our night time forays into the wilderness. The torches are water proof, and are free of wires - which made it perfect for the sort of riding we do.

    The torches are powered by these:

    https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5790

    and are re-charged by these:

    https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1251

    All up, for a light setup that puts out 350 - 400 lumens, total cost was $58 USD.

  14. #14
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    Dude you need this P7 or 2 of them

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12060

    it's a FLOOD, 37mm so you can fit in the same place, okay it's hard to say as it's a photo but to my eyes in your double torch shot, I'd see everything in 1 go with a brightness somewhere between your RC-K4 and your P7!!!

    I like the flood, but I need a spot just to enable me to see abit further, although I'm getting used to not having it so we'll see with more ride time.

    Seriously thinking 2 of my P7's, as a flood there abit wasteful in bad conditions it's enough but always the quest for MORE especially in range, 2 x P7 will boost the range slightly ofcourse!!

    then 1 on most of the time, 2 on for fast sections and 2hour run time is back on the cards

    shame on the 2 weeks ish for DX to deliver hey

    I'd unscrewed the pill abit so it sat nearer the Reflector, it looks like the spot is improved slightly with it fully retracted, might be just enough to give me the range punch I want
    Last edited by Turveyd; 08-19-2008 at 06:37 PM.

  15. #15
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    I think it might be a tad hot for the tropics... One of the forum responses about this torch said that it got to 46 - 50C. The heat factor concerns me.

    Actually - wish you hadnt raised it because I am now seriously thinking about getting one if it isn't that hot. I just placed an order 3 hours ago for some emitters, optics and a new multimeter.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the pics and input. Now i'm torn between two of the q5's or one of those p7's

    Well i ordered two or the trustfire q5's, mounts, charger and batteries lastnight. Hopefully I'll have some feedback within the next few weeks.
    Last edited by finny1999; 08-26-2008 at 07:17 AM.

  17. #17
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    Great thread! At first I thought "boy that trustfire puts off a very blue light".....then I realized all that stuff to the left of the shed IS blue! LOL!

    Geez, there's a lot of lights to choose from! Trying to pick a good combination without having them IN hand to try is a bit mind boggling.

    Thanks for posting the comparisons though!

  18. #18
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    I just received 3 of the single mode TR-801's on 12-4-08, from an 11-11-08 order date.... they suck... poor brightness for a single mode, and green in tint. The previous ones I got in October were white in tint and look at least 40% 50% brighter. I don't think they put Q-5 emitters in these lights, something far weaker and cheaper that's maybe 120 to 150 lumens. These new ones are just lacking in range and brightness compared to my original 2.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    I just received 3 of the single mode TR-801's on 12-4-08, from an 11-11-08 order date.... they suck... poor brightness for a single mode, and green in tint. The previous ones I got in October were white in tint and look at least 40% 50% brighter. I don't think they put Q-5 emitters in these lights, something far weaker and cheaper that's maybe 120 to 150 lumens. These new ones are just lacking in range and brightness compared to my original 2.

    Update, I put a replacement order in on 12-11-08, TrustFire had indeed put in P4 emitters in the single modes. Seems to be a problem from time to time, if you read the comments on the single mode. I replaced them with 5 modes.

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