What's enough light for riding singletrack?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's enough light for riding singletrack?

    Last summer, my friends and i bought some 20 dollar LED lights aon the bars and taped flashlights onto our helmets and did a few night rides. Yes, it was slow and dangerous, and no it was not enough light.

    I don't have 200-500 bucks to spend on a lighting system. My question is can i get a decent light for 100 - 150 bucks? SHould i go cheap (Marwi) halogen or should i go with a newer LED li-Ion system like a MiNewt.

    I checked out the light review and tried to search but i couldnt fin anything helpful. Please share your opinions.

  2. #2
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    As much light as you can afford.

    I know this answer sucks, but it is true.

    I think you can get the NiteRider Classic lamp for 150 bucks these days. Good light. Used to be the best some might say.

    Use the little cheap LED lights to climb, and the Classic to decend. Plenty of riding time with that combo.

  3. #3
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    Maybe you can sweet talk one of the home brewers here to build you an economical setup.

    Or, go here http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=45 and ask the LED guys for a good flashlight to attach to your helmet.
    I've toyed with the idea of using my Fenix P1D CE http://fenix-store.com/product_info....roducts_id=158velcro'd to my helmet as a backup for my ARC on the bars.
    If you really don't blaze the night trails, the Fenix might be all you need. And it's tiny.
    But I know there are brighter flashlights out there (a little larger) that would also fit the bill.
    The only negative is that you'll have to buy Li batteries in bulk. But at least you don't have to pop for the Li Ion or NiMH rechargables and recharger up front.
    Good luck,
    Lenny

  4. #4
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    I would use at least a 15w halogen....

  5. #5
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    Did you see this one. Very easy project. Lots of light for about $100 (includes battery & charger).

    You can build either bar mounted


    or helmet mounted versions


    or both. Check out page 5 for some beam shots.

    Pond Scum Halogen Homebrew
    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-diy-do-yourself/pond-scum-homebrew-bike-light-instructions-245737.html

  6. #6
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    helmet mount is a good idea for singletrack use....not so good on the road (illegal here). Its good to have light where you are looking and not necessarily wher the bars are pointing.

    The Fenix P1D CE would make a good get you out of trouble light, I have one. If I were buying now I would prbably get the P3D CE or one of the similar lights that take 2AA instead of the CR123 bats.

    If you can make a housing DIY LED can be economical. Seoul or Cree LEDs are pretty bright and efficient. LEDs are rugged and are easily dimmable.

    I beleive Ayup (search in this section) make good value lights, although they are only using lux 3 LEDs at the moment (not as bright and efficient as the Seoul or Cree options).

    Stu
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  7. #7
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    I haven't seen this, but might be worth checking out. Should be a good spot light.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=292754

  8. #8
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    Unless it's overgrown one full moon should be enough.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart B
    helmet mount is a good idea for singletrack use....not so good on the road (illegal here). Its good to have light where you are looking and not necessarily wher the bars are pointing.

    Stu
    I don't mean to discredit what you suggest, but in my experience a good light on the helmet is just about useless compared to a good light on the bar. From what I see in other people's riding, and in my own experience, riding with the helmet light only can really screw with your depth perception. It doesn't really matter how bright it is. It doesn't seem like it would be much, but I have seen good riders turned into meek and scared kitties with no confidence due to only using a HID/Rage type helmet light. They can't really figure it out, but they know something is wrong. I always know what it is because I have been through it all before. They have no bar light for depth perception.

    The helmet light just doesn't give the shadows that a bar mounted light does. The shadows are absolutely key to depth perception, and in my opinion, riding fast and comfortable and safer at night. Not to mention the fun factor. So my advice always suggests a bar light, and then a bright helmet light other than a small LED... if needed.

    Having a light that aims in another direction from the direction I am going doesn't do much for me. Many people will say that they can see what is coming around the corner, but I find that to just be an excuse. You don't need to be looking at what is around the corner and a HID on the bars gives ample bleed light to see out on the edges enough as it is. When I need to look around, or walk around, or dig in the CamelBak, or fix the bike, I just turn on the helmet mounted 10 buck LED head lamp.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldWind
    Unless it's overgrown one full moon should be enough.
    I always love this comment. Sure, at 5mph, a full moon is fine. At 30mph, the moon is like deep pit black death darkness at best.


  11. #11
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    Hey BSprocket, A while back I bought a 15w Planet Alias on E-bay for 75 bucks. I use it on the handle bars as it's a nice bright flood. Not good for high speed descents though. I inexpensively solved that problem by buying a used Niterider 15w w/ a bad battery. I then built my own pack and overvolted the halogen by 20%. I'm not a good mechanical person but it was easy to do and wire up. It's simple, you just need to make sure you get one of the Niterider light heads w/ the switch on the head unit. I use it on my helmet w/ a Niterider spot bulb and it provides an amazing amount of light. You won't out run it. Cost of the Niterider w/ dead battery was 25. Six new NIMH batteries and a charger were around 40 from batteryspace. Some wire, etc and both units total were under 120. 2 hr run time on high w/ the Planet and over 2.5 hrs w/ the Niterider. The Planet can be dimmed for more run time while you are ascending.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you want links to building the battery.

    MB

  12. #12
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    A very cheap light is a 20watt 12V MR-16 halogen globe glued into an empty baked bean tin.

    $5 for the globe, 50c for the tin, (and you get breakfast as well), a couple of bucks for some wire and connectors, a thick rubber band cut from an old tube to attach it to your bars and you have a pretty good lamp for under $10. Overvolt it and I'm guessing you'll be up over 400 lumens - which isn't bad.

    http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/r...DIY_Lights.htm

    I made this a few years ago then bought a HID lamp last year but it has stopped working. I'm back with the halogen set while I make a triple cree set up, but the halogen holds its own against the HID. Warning though. Once you make your own lights you may get hooked.....

    Richard

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Colossus
    I always love this comment. Sure, at 5mph, a full moon is fine. At 30mph, the moon is like deep pit black death darkness at best.



    While there are few today that share my view on this topic I, nevertheless feel compelled to elaborate on it.

    The night ride, unlike the daytime; quickest to the top, fastest to the bottom, explosion of primal energy and well-practiced maneuvers of traction and precision, is a voyage into the soft darkness and muted world where hearing, feel and instinct are raised to an equal level with sight.

    The trail is a different trail, the voyage is a different voyage, and the skills of navigation are wholly different ones. In the dark wilderness we are a different being than the confident strider that carves the earths surface in the light of day. In the darkness we find our inner strength trust our skills and advance, or we cower in the shadow tentative and unsure of how to proceed.

    I am not talking about a night commute where the goal is to go from point A to point B. I am talking about a journey to discover your nocturnal self. That whole being that feels calm confidence in the face of the unknown. That feels the darkness as a cloak rather than an obstacle and can make his way by the natural moonlight.

    In my view the worst thing one can do in a low light situation is to destroy ones night vision with bright lights. The reason pirates wore eye patches was so they could go from lighted below deck quarters out onto a dark rolling deck at night and be able to functions during that 30 or so minutes that it takes your eyes to acclimate to low light conditions.

    Does this mean I always roll at night with no lights? No, it does not. I have, in fact a very sophisticated array of lights at my disposal, for use as needed. But my purpose here is not to talk about the lights, rather to express my divergent view on riding at night. For me, the night ride is all about doing it in the evening darkness where the pace is slower and I reach out with, and exercise the senses that have become atrophied in man because of his dependence on technology and worship of the sun in stead of trusting in The Son.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldWind
    While there are few today that share my view on this topic I, nevertheless feel compelled to elaborate on it.

    The night ride, unlike the daytime; quickest to the top, fastest to the bottom, explosion of primal energy and well-practiced maneuvers of traction and precision, is a voyage into the soft darkness and muted world where hearing, feel and instinct are raised to an equal level with sight.

    The trail is a different trail, the voyage is a different voyage, and the skills of navigation are wholly different ones. In the dark wilderness we are a different being than the confident strider that carves the earths surface in the light of day. In the darkness we find our inner strength trust our skills and advance, or we cower in the shadow tentative and unsure of how to proceed.

    I am not talking about a night commute where the goal is to go from point A to point B. I am talking about a journey to discover your nocturnal self. That whole being that feels calm confidence in the face of the unknown. That feels the darkness as a cloak rather than an obstacle and can make his way by the natural moonlight.

    In my view the worst thing one can do in a low light situation is to destroy ones night vision with bright lights. The reason pirates wore eye patches was so they could go from lighted below deck quarters out onto a dark rolling deck at night and be able to functions during that 30 or so minutes that it takes your eyes to acclimate to low light conditions.

    Does this mean I always roll at night with no lights? No, it does not. I have, in fact a very sophisticated array of lights at my disposal, for use as needed. But my purpose here is not to talk about the lights, rather to express my divergent view on riding at night. For me, the night ride is all about doing it in the evening darkness where the pace is slower and I reach out with, and exercise the senses that have become atrophied in man because of his dependence on technology and worship of the sun in stead of trusting in The Son.
    but its like having a sun on your bars hehe.

    Stu
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldWind
    While there are few today that share my view on this topic I, nevertheless feel compelled to elaborate on it.

    The night ride, unlike the daytime; quickest to the top, fastest to the bottom, explosion of primal energy and well-practiced maneuvers of traction and precision, is a voyage into the soft darkness and muted world where hearing, feel and instinct are raised to an equal level with sight.

    The trail is a different trail, the voyage is a different voyage, and the skills of navigation are wholly different ones. In the dark wilderness we are a different being than the confident strider that carves the earths surface in the light of day. In the darkness we find our inner strength trust our skills and advance, or we cower in the shadow tentative and unsure of how to proceed.

    I am not talking about a night commute where the goal is to go from point A to point B. I am talking about a journey to discover your nocturnal self. That whole being that feels calm confidence in the face of the unknown. That feels the darkness as a cloak rather than an obstacle and can make his way by the natural moonlight.

    In my view the worst thing one can do in a low light situation is to destroy ones night vision with bright lights. The reason pirates wore eye patches was so they could go from lighted below deck quarters out onto a dark rolling deck at night and be able to functions during that 30 or so minutes that it takes your eyes to acclimate to low light conditions.

    Does this mean I always roll at night with no lights? No, it does not. I have, in fact a very sophisticated array of lights at my disposal, for use as needed. But my purpose here is not to talk about the lights, rather to express my divergent view on riding at night. For me, the night ride is all about doing it in the evening darkness where the pace is slower and I reach out with, and exercise the senses that have become atrophied in man because of his dependence on technology and worship of the sun in stead of trusting in The Son.
    I like your philosophy.
    Wanted: broken Titec 2 bolt seatpost, any size

  16. #16
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    Not to get away from the philosophy...

    I think you'd be ok with the "pond scum" setup on the bars. I just finished a cheap addition to my bar light setup and posted pics of it. Using a $25 light from Target, along with a helmet mount kit, I rigged up a nice LED helmet light to use in addition to my bar setup. Look here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=294153

  17. #17
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    Man, Sunday must have been a bad day for double posts... Every reply I posted was doubled.
    Last edited by dnlwthrn; 05-15-2007 at 08:57 PM.

  18. #18
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    Myself, I run a combo.

    Other than a little `hit-me-first` LED blinker, I`ve got a 15W Plant Bike Alias SC halogen on the bars and a 1W Luxeon LED (Princeton Tec Eos) on the helmet. The combo gives great contrast, good depth perception and fairly decent range for in the bush in the dark. That being said, even at maximum output on both, it isn`t a combo that will do insane speeds...for that you need a lot more lumens output.

    I`ve been contemplating doing a home brew for my next light....we`ll see.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  19. #19
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    The pond scum home brew looks sweet. I think i might try that. I think anything will be an improvement. I'll prolly start gathering the parts over the next month.

    It will be a good project.

    Thanks.

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