Rigid night riding - Bar or Helmet light?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Kam
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    Rigid night riding - Bar or Helmet light?

    i know the best set up would be both. i am thinking of using my lume strada hid on my helmet and buying a cheaper light to use on the bars (maybe one of the l and m vega led lights, so i can also use it easily on my early morning rides). i hate the bar mount set up on the strada, so that's the reason why i am using the strada on my head.

    tonight is my first rigid night ride (and my first night ride in a while), so i am curious to see what set up you other rigid riders run.

    i am thinking that the helmet mount might also help keep the light more steady.

    thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I go with both when I can, but I always use my HID on my helmet. And sometimes I go sans bar light for simplicity. The bar light seems to add more shadow detail that my HID blows out. It's just an older Vista light stick system (10-15 watts). But there is nothing like having a good light pointed wherever you look, especially if you need to work on your bike, fixing a flat, etc.

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  3. #3
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    Helmet

    Quote Originally Posted by Kam
    i know the best set up would be both. i am thinking of using my lume strada hid on my helmet and buying a cheaper light to use on the bars (maybe one of the l and m vega led lights, so i can also use it easily on my early morning rides). i hate the bar mount set up on the strada, so that's the reason why i am using the strada on my head.

    tonight is my first rigid night ride (and my first night ride in a while), so i am curious to see what set up you other rigid riders run.

    i am thinking that the helmet mount might also help keep the light more steady.

    thoughts?
    I prefer my light on my helmet, regardless of suspension. On my helmet, I'm able to direct the light where I want it. On my bars, the light is directed where my bars are pointed. For me, that makes it less than ideal on twisty, rocky singletrack.

    Ken

  4. #4
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    Same here!! If I have to use only one light, I put it on my helmet.

    It seems no matter where the light is, I find situations that I wish I had it on the other.
    I do find that to be true less often when it is on the helmet.

    I put my HID on the helmet and my older night pro on the bars.

  5. #5
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    Might depend on conditions ...

    Both is definitely best ... if you ride only in dry/fair conditions at night, you might get away with a bright light on your helmet, but if you ever ride in rain, fog or snow (as I frequently do) you'll find yourself getting blinded by glare. For those conditions I find it best to have my brightest light on the bars (10/15/25W halogen in my case), and a good or dimmable light on the helmet (3W Luxeon LED in my case, equivalent to about 12W halogen).
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  6. #6
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    Regardless of bike I'm riding, I use both. I'm blind as a bat

    The biggest benefit of having both is two-fold, if it's foggy, having only a helmet light leaves you with the impression of driving your car with the high-beams on. Not good.
    Now on the otherhand, if you only have a bar-mounted light and you ride anything wooded, tight, twisty and switchbacky (is that a word?) you don't get the benefit of being able to really "look into" the next corner.

    My advice, buy both and use the heck outta them to make your $$$ outlay worth while.
    Night Grouprides are some of the best! Enjoy!

  7. #7
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    neither.....if you are gonna ride fully rigid at night, skip the lights altogether and be a real man and not a poser Kam!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    neither.....if you are gonna ride fully rigid at night, skip the lights altogether and be a real man and not a poser Kam!
    Less maint. too! Plus you don't have to wait for the batteries to recharge.
    Tuff Schist

  9. #9
    paintbucket
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    Bucking the trend

    I go the opposite of what it sounds like most people do. I run my HID on the bar where it can cast shadows and give me some depth perception. I run my cheap halogen on my helmet for seeing around corners well enough to get a handle on what's coming up.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  10. #10
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    You must be back from the ride by now so you tell us.

    For me, helmet.

  11. #11
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    I'm not going to get into the whole bar vs. helmet mount discussion as such because it's pretty obvious that they each have their own different positives and negatives, and it really does depend on your riding style and terrain.

    There are also heaps of posts here already discussing this.

    The only comment I will make is that I wonder if vibration might cause a problem with HID and halogen lights when mounted on a rigid fork? I know halogens aren't always as reliable if subject to vibration due to the weakening of the filament, but a HID doesn't really have this as such, although I have still heard of damage suspected to be caused by vibration.

    I guess this is where a LED based light has an advantage due to their solid state design. There are no elements or electrodes as such that can be damaged. Very rugged little devices.

    Dave.

  12. #12
    Steamroller
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    My take on lights

    I used mostly a 15watt halogen on the helmet and a 5 LED lamp on the bars and that was fine for a couple winters. Now I have two 15watt halogens, on the bars and one on my head. I may try HID someday but, for now I'm fine with what I have. I think if I had to use only one light, I'd want it on my head so I can see wherever I look.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  13. #13
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    I have both a 15W halogen as well as a HID, both I run exclusively on bars.

    On my rigid, I usually run the halogen because the increased vibrations along with the HID "cut-off" light pattern gives off a distracting effect.

  14. #14
    Kam
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    well, i'm back from my ride. ate dinner, toyed around in the garage abit on my other bikes.

    i used my lume strada on my head. worked fine (i still do not like the helmet mount either, you have to remove the entire mount from the helmet to get the light off, there is no "quick release"). liked it alot actually, i think it's gonna stay there. if it's one or the other, we all have different preference. some bars, some helmet (or some none, like FoShiz and Meat Foot...are you guys trying to kill me???). shining light where i want it is just too big a plus.

    i also have a jet lites i6 headlamp that i just had a battery made for. it's a 6v system that runs out awefully quick. i think the bulb maybe somthing other than a 6v 15 watt'er. but....that's a whole different story.

    thanks for the opinions guys.

    :

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin
    I go the opposite of what it sounds like most people do. I run my HID on the bar where it can cast shadows and give me some depth perception. I run my cheap halogen on my helmet for seeing around corners well enough to get a handle on what's coming up.
    I'm with you, Wooglin! I run my heavier HID on my bar, where it lights up just about everything with good shadows, and run a 5 watt homemade Luxeon LED light on my helmet. It is very light weight, the battery lasts forever, and it lets me look around corners to see whats coming. I did run with just an HID on my helmet for while, and while it worked fine, the lack of shadows was not ideal. Also, as others have mentioned, foggy/rainy conditions suck with just a helmet light!

  16. #16
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    Sorry! KAM, you don't like riding by feel? Lighter weight too.

    OK, actually I liked the helmet mount better for my only night ride. But having both was sure nice. I borrowed some from a friend.
    Tuff Schist

  17. #17
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    SS is about simplicity and getting back to basics. I stick a KMart flashlight in my mouth so I can direct the beam where I want to. Duct taping it to the bars made it hard to change batteries.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kam
    well, i'm back from my ride. ate dinner, toyed around in the garage abit on my other bikes.

    i used my lume strada on my head. worked fine (i still do not like the helmet mount either, you have to remove the entire mount from the helmet to get the light off, there is no "quick release"). liked it alot actually, i think it's gonna stay there. if it's one or the other, we all have different preference. some bars, some helmet (or some none, like FoShiz and Meat Foot...are you guys trying to kill me???). shining light where i want it is just too big a plus.

    i also have a jet lites i6 headlamp that i just had a battery made for. it's a 6v system that runs out awefully quick. i think the bulb maybe somthing other than a 6v 15 watt'er. but....that's a whole different story.

    thanks for the opinions guys.

    :
    actually Kam....I am quite the girly man. I run an HID bar mount light AND an HID helmet mount light since I need all the help I can get.

  19. #19
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    Another idea for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    SS is about simplicity and getting back to basics. I stick a KMart flashlight in my mouth so I can direct the beam where I want to. Duct taping it to the bars made it hard to change batteries.
    Perhaps carrying a torch? Wrap some straw around a stick, dip it in tallow or fish oil and ride, ride, ride....

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