What light set-up? 2 HID's?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    What light set-up? 2 HID's?

    I currently have the Nite Rider Blow Torch handlbar HID.
    I am contemplating getting another HID for helmet mount. Either The NR Cyclone or Light & Motion Li-ion ARC.

    Would 2 HID's be overkill?
    Should I just get something smaller for the helmet mount?

    What set-up do you guys run?

  2. #2
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    do you ride solo or on a team?

    I ride solo and find 2 HID's to be overkill. Helmet mount is good as it goes where you look. If you are solo and you're pockets are deep (or you are sponsored)....you might be better off investing in another battery (maybe a flat pack...then you can use your cyclone for helmet mount).

    I personally have run the Storm in the past which is a helmet light, but I found the weight to be too uncomfortable. My neck got tired plus my helmet would constantly tip forward which was annoying. Now I run the Cateye Stadium 3 HID bar light which I find to be an awesome light. The light beam is wider than the Niterider so I can see just about everything all the time.

  3. #3

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    I am on a 4 person team

    With being on a team, I am just looking for the quickest laps possible.
    The weight is not that much of a consideration.

  4. #4

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    I've done 3 24 hr. events.
    1st one I used a Niterider 10w helmet and 15w bar mount and it sucked.

    2nd race I used HID Helmet only for 1 night lap then 1 lap HID helmet and 15w bar because the WV fog rolled in and the HID light made it IMPOSSIBLE to see. But the 15w down low and the helmet mount turned off I could at least see a bit.

    3rd race last year I used HID helmet mount only for 2.5 laps and it was perfect.

    If you have HUNDREDS of extra dollars go for it. But IMHO HID helmet mount is where it's at. If you're on a team depending on experience and number of members you'll probably only do 2 to 3 nigh laps. Put the $ in good camping equipment or an extra pair of shoes. God how I longed for some dry shoes by my 4th lap

  5. #5
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    tipping helmet issue

    WHat I have done to combat the front-end weight issue of wearing the NR HID on top is to push the unit back, closer to the top of the helmet. Before strapping it in, insert a wedge-shapped peice of foam (or other comparable material) between the HID base and the helmet - this will compensate for the altered angle. I used this all last year and it worked really well.
    "Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed."

  6. #6
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    2 HIDs

    One quality HID on the bars yeilds plenty of light even for the fastest of the downhills. The additional helmet light works supper in the tight more technical stuff, but if too bright it will "wash out" the details of the trail. A light weight little halogen lamp is the best for the helmet. I've been more than happy with this set up fro the last two years.
    Phil Hernandez RIP

  7. #7

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    I run two HID's. If I'm going solo, I just have the helmet light on and save the handlebar light for back up if my primary fails, or if it gets foggy or super dusty I'll switch to the bar mount HID. If I'm on a team and hammering all out, there is no question that I'm faster with both HID's running. I've lent my second light to a teammate that I was trying to speed up on his night laps and the stopwatch showed a definite improvement. If anyone disputes this, they haven't tried it or haven't raced really technical singletrack...If you've got the cash, don't hesitate. Never go out without some sort of back up light--been there, done that.

  8. #8

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    My two cents worth...

    If you are going to be racing a 12 or 24 hour event you need to look out for a few things (besides the obvious illumination performance of the light):

    -how heavy is the system? (Especially if helmet mounted....this can lead to additional levels of fatigue in areas you might not realize). Remember....overall bike/ rider weight is important.....lighter is better.

    -how fast can you swap batteries? Seconds or minutes in the pits can add up over 24hours especially in a solo situation.

    -how fast do the batteries recharge? This is especially important if you only have 2 batteries for one light or another light that you will depend on while this one charges.

    - Are there any funky charge procedures? I remember some of the NR systems a few years ago (not sure if any of them are still this way) had to be plugged into the light head to ensure a proper charge. And charge time was slow. Also, disconnecting the battery from the light head would erase the system's memory which was supposed to be an indicator of how much remaining charge there was. A setup like this definitely didnt lend itself well to a race situation.

    -How does the battery mount (if a bar mount setup). Many of today's frame designs only provide one bottle mount...which is critical for carrying water and/or liquid calories in an endurance event. Consider this if the battery is designed to be carried in a bottle cage.

    -What about the color of the beam (Halogen vs HID). I remember the 24 hours of Tahoe a few years ago after midnight in VERY dusty conditions. I was running bar and helmet halogens, who's beam color happened to be the exact color of the dirt & dust on the Tahoe course. No matter what I tried (different light settings, switching one completely off & vice versa), I had LOTS of trouble seeing where I was going. I've never had this issue with an HID, although I have heard a few instances of other riders having similar issues in grey fog with the HID's blue color. Something to consider.

    -what about reliability?

    I've tried different light setups & combinations in the many 12 & 24 hour solo races that I've done. I'd strongly suggest looking at an HID setup from Light & Motion. It's lightweight and super reliable. The newer versions come with 2 attachments that allow for bar mouting or helmet mounting. Batteries are available in 2 configurations: a mini-bottle style to be carried in a bottle cage (go with this if you want to swap batteries in the fastest possible way), and a pack style which includes a rubber holder/ velcro strap to mount on a frame tube (frees up that bottle cage, OR can be carried in jersey/ hydration pack if using the light as a helmet mount). The L&M HID comes with a self- regulating rapid charger that will recharge the battery in LESS time than it can be drained from any 110-240v AC source(not sure how many others can claim this) No funky charge procedures...just unplug the light head and plug in the charger.

    I run a single L&M HID bar mount setup. The light is PLENTY bright and covers a wide enough area that I dont need the added weight (and hassle) of a 2nd, helmet mounted setup. I prefer bar mount because down low, I get better coverage & illumination of what's directly ahead my front tire to what's 30-40 feet ahead. I've found that a helmet mount is too high and while casts a good beam far away, leaves a "dark spot" directly in front of the bike which is not a good thing if your are on some really technical terrain. The high mounted beam of a helmet mounted setup (especially if bright like that of an HID) can also cast some wierd shadows that can really throw your perception off.

    I say go with a single bar mount L&M HID

  9. #9
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    ... and if we just ... Second on the L&M

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamTwentyFour
    I say go with a single bar mount L&M HID
    That's the exact setup I ride. Got an L&M bar mount last season and it's been better than I could've imagined. Super-lightweight, long battery life, good light color/coverage, and durable. If you've really got more money to invest in a second HID, get some extra batteries instead.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Frog
    I currently have the Nite Rider Blow Torch handlbar HID.
    I am contemplating getting another HID for helmet mount. Either The NR Cyclone or Light & Motion Li-ion ARC.

    Would 2 HID's be overkill?
    Should I just get something smaller for the helmet mount?

    What set-up do you guys run?
    I run a NR 5-10-15 Watt (Digital Evolution) on the helmet and NR Storm on the handlebars. Both lights came with handlebar and helmet mounts and the NR's are interchangeable. The DE light also came with an extra length of cable. I wear glasses and the HID light is way too bright if there's any dust in the air (let's see Moab, 2000 riders and dust, naw), I could hardly see the trail when I was training with only one other rider. The DE was great on the helmet and I could adjust to run at lower or higher wattage, depending on the terrain, etc. Also I put the Storm battery in a small seat bag, plenty of cable with the extra length (duck tape connections and also cable to frame) and the DE battery wasn't too heavy so it works well either in rear shirt pockets or if cold, etc., place it in hydration pack. I have used this setup at the last two 24 Hours Moab and have not had any problems, nor have the batteries needed recharging (for the two night laps on a 4 man team). Peace Mad Pirate

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh
    That's the exact setup I ride. Got an L&M bar mount last season and it's been better than I could've imagined. Super-lightweight, long battery life, good light color/coverage, and durable. If you've really got more money to invest in a second HID, get some extra batteries instead.
    Thirded! Seen me through 2 solo 24s so far and can't think of anything I would change.

  12. #12

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    Helmet vs Bar Debate

    Personally, I ride with a HID helmet light almost exclusively. The only reason I would use a bar setup would be fog or lots of dust in the air. I have never once had this problem though in the three years that I have been riding at night. It really depens on your location. When riding solo at night I uses a backup light on my bar just in case I blow a bulb or have battery toubles. To be clear I don't even turn the bar light on as long as my helmet light is working.

    If you do go with a bar, definitely get a wide beam. Spot lights on bars, suck. Unfortunately, all I own are spots and this is a big reason that I never use the bar lights. I have ridden with wide beams though and several of the local riders have them. My opinion still holds.

    Bar advantages:
    Excellent contrast on trail features. It is definitely easier to see things like small roots with a bar setup.

    Better visably in fog, dust. etc.

    Bar disadvantages.
    The light is never pointed where I want. This is a huge problem for me.

    Switchbacks become much more difficult, I can't look ahead around corners.
    Jumps become extremely sketchy as I can't see the landing at all.
    Where I ride there are lots of short ups and downs in the trails.
    When cresiting the ups the lights is illuminating the trees and not the trail.
    When reaching the bottom of down, I cant see the approaching climb.

    Even flat sections cause problems. Anytime you are manuvering aroung rocks or trees, your light is no longer focused on the trail ahead but rather the woods to the sides. Don't get me wrong, with a wide beam you still have some vision but it is definitely reduced. I also find the beam swinging all over the trail very distracting. In contrast, I can look where ever I want with the helmet light and the focal spot is much more stable in the rough terrain, which makes it far easier to concentrate (IMO). Overall, I can ride any of my local trails with either a bar or helmet light but I am much slower and feel more fatigued using the bar.

    If I were you I would buy an HID light that comes with both a bar and helmet mount so you can decide for yourself.

    Light and Motion and Lume (what I have) come with both.

    I would not recommend a Nightride HID helmet light as their mount isn't great. The mount attaches to the back of the light and doesn't allow it to point downward very far. This means that you need to mount the light relatively forward on the helment. The combination of a forward mount and the long cantilevered weight of the lamp itself can tend to pull the helmet down a bit. It is less noticible (but still annoying for me) with their halogen lamps as they are smaller and weigh less (I own a Niteride HeadTrip II).

    Both the light and motion and the Lume mount beneath the center of the lamp which lets you attach them closer to the top of your helment while still alowing you to position the light wherever you want.

    By the way, I have a Lume Strada HID light. It was $236 shipped with a helmet and a bar mount and a 3.5 hour quickcharger. It is an awesome lightlight. By the way, they sell two different versions: one spot and one wide beam (still not very wide though) but don't advertise that fact well. ,

    I also have a NIterider, Head Trip II 10 W halogon (helmet mount) and a Niterider NightOwl II 10 W hallogen bar mount. These are the same light jst with a different mount. I bought them years ago for a 24 hour race. Even with these relatively weak 10 W head light, I still didn't bother using the bar much. I just can't stand the light swinging all over the place.

    Bar vs. Helmet is a very personal opiniion. I hate bar lights while some of my fellow riders on the same trails hate helmet lights. Go figure.

  13. #13
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    HID Barmount and powerful LED Helmet mount is my set up.
    I use a Lupine edison 10 bar mounted and a Lupine SP-LU LED helmet mount light.

    It's great for tight singletrack and does'nt tire my eyes out lik having the HID mounted up on the helmet. Soemtimes ihave to wear sunglasses to kill a bit of the glare from the edison.

    Cateye Stadium 3 with one of these LED units would be very good indeed.

  14. #14

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    2 H.I.D. would be overkill i.m.h.o. I use 1 NiteRider Storm and find it to be perfect.
    The storm is a bit heavy on the helmet. I have heard good things about Lights In Motion.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    Cateye Stadium 3 with one of these LED units would be very good indeed.
    The stadium 3 looks incredibly heavy and bulky with that magnetic ballast.
    Trev!

  16. #16
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    Ballast on Cateye Stadium 3

    I was worried about the ballast that comes with the Cateye....like you said it looks heavy. But those are only looks....when I picked it up the first time it almost flew out of my hand it was so light. Seriously. The other great thing about the Stadium 3 is it has a very wide beam so it can eliminate the use of the helmet light. It is a great light IMHO.

  17. #17
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    Trevor,

    I'm not making excuses for the Cateyes Ballast but thesize of it is a product of the Solarc 21W bulb thats used. The bulb need 6000V to get it burning an then 100V constant current to keep it lit. You need some serious capacitors for that, hence the large ballast box; there are larger cpacitors in there.
    Technology has moved on a bit since Cateye designed the Stadium 3 but the ballast box is'n t actually that heavy.
    The weight is in the battery and lamp housing. Both are very robust.
    On a cost for performance basis, The Stadium3 is probably better than all the other lights except the Lupine edison.

    The reason I say this is purely because of how it can be used in practice and the illumenation on offer.
    It's beam is very wide and deep and very even illimenationg the need for a helmet mounted lamp.
    even on tight singeltrack it almost covers the area's where you will be riding in a second or two. Thats why a powerful LED light would be a perfect supplement to it.

    The Lupine Edison and L&M ARC also have very wide beams but only the Edison's beam compares in performance to the Stadium. Although the L&M ARC's beam is smooth it lacks definition which does not give me as much confidence as the other two lights.

    In use the Stadium can burn for 3 hours and another battery can be charged for 3 meaning you only have to stop to switch battery's.

    Thats said, the only 3 lights that I had a tough time deciding on were the

    Lupine Edison
    L&M ARC
    Cateye Stadium


    The edison, because of it's charger and battery technology gives you more flexibility on strategy than the other two and that decided it for me although I could have had 2 stadiums for that money

    the rest did not even feature due to run time or charger performance inadequacies.

    Almost all are suitable for the casual night rider though. The choice only becomes difficult if you want to race 24hrs

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