24 hrs of Colorado Springs-Need a light-Advice?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    24 hrs of Colorado Springs-Need a light-Advice?

    I'm taking my Tallboy to Colorado Springs in Oct. to do the 24hr. race with a 4 man team.

    I don't currently have a light and I'd like to get one anyway to do some local rides in the fall/winter.

    I am looking for advice for a top tier lighting system (not looking to save money)

    I want something durable, reliable, and battery life to last at least a 2 hour ride.

    I'm also looking at feedback for a helmet mouted light vs. handlebar mounted. Perhaps I should get both and have lights that complement one another.

    I have ZERO experience with this and I will be sifting through this forum for a while to get some ideas. It helps that I have 20/15 uncorrected vision and good night vision, but I NEED to be safe when I ride at night. I have good disability insurance, but not enough to make up for my loss of income if I get a significant arm or hand injury and can't work for a while.

    THANKS!

  2. #2
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    Characteristics of where you place the light –

    Light on the bars – With the light being below your eyes, it produces “shadowing” of obstacles. The downside of the light being on the bars is the light is always pointed in the direction that you bars are pointed. Can be a problem on tight, twisty switch backs where you want to look around the corner. The other thing is having to make a repair in the dark with your light bar mounted. Almost have to remove it to get the light pointed where you need it

    Light on your head – With the light above your eyes, it tends to “flatten” out obstacles as it doesn’t produce as much “shadowing”. The upside is that your light is always pointed directly where you are looking. Making repairs in the dark in much easier with the light on your head. The downside to a helmet mounted light only is that when you are looking to the sides or around a switchback, you don’t have lighting on the ground (which could be actually visible in your peripheral vision). In snow, fog, and rain, a helmet only light can be difficult. The light reflecting back at you off of the moisture in the air can make visibility very difficult.

    Light on both the helmet and the bars – Best of both worlds. Always have light directly out in front of you and where you are looking. If it gets snowing, raining, or foggy and it is making visibility difficult because of the helmet light, then you just go bar only. I think all 24hr races require repetitive light systems for safety. I am sure many people have had a light die on them and have had to walk out, not fun. I have heard stories of people trying to use the light from their cell phone to get out, brutal.


    These are some of the reasons some people purchase my lights -

    1. - Size
    2. - Weight
    3. - Non proprietary batteries
    4. - Customer service
    5. - Made by someone who uses his lights on an almost daily basis and knows the importance of reliability and has the same passion for biking.


    Amoeba - The simplest "light" form

    ****

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevermiss View Post
    I'm taking my Tallboy to Colorado Springs in Oct. to do the 24hr. race with a 4 man team.

    I don't currently have a light and I'd like to get one anyway to do some local rides in the fall/winter.

    I am looking for advice for a top tier lighting system (not looking to save money)

    I want something durable, reliable, and battery life to last at least a 2 hour ride.

    I'm also looking at feedback for a helmet mounted light vs. handlebar mounted. Perhaps I should get both and have lights that complement one another.

    I have ZERO experience with this and I will be sifting through this forum for a while to get some ideas.
    Whatever you buy, get some riding time in at night before doing the 24hr. A 24hr is no place to be learning about night riding. Since these will be your first lights I would suggest not spending too much the first time round till you really know what you want or need. Whatever you get though, make sure you get two...one for bar mounting, one for the helmet. A light for the bars will be the hardest because there are so many choices. Then again choosing a helmet light is not so easy as mounting a light to a helmet can be hard to do sometimes because of the odd air vents on some helmets. Since money is not a problem you will have to decide which set-up suits your needs. I think what you need to do is give us some ideas on what systems you are leaning to a then let us comment.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevermiss View Post
    I'm taking my Tallboy to Colorado Springs in Oct. to do the 24hr. race with a 4 man team.

    I don't currently have a light and I'd like to get one anyway to do some local rides in the fall/winter.

    I am looking for advice for a top tier lighting system (not looking to save money)

    I want something durable, reliable, and battery life to last at least a 2 hour ride.

    I'm also looking at feedback for a helmet mouted light vs. handlebar mounted. Perhaps I should get both and have lights that complement one another.

    I have ZERO experience with this and I will be sifting through this forum for a while to get some ideas. It helps that I have 20/15 uncorrected vision and good night vision, but I NEED to be safe when I ride at night. I have good disability insurance, but not enough to make up for my loss of income if I get a significant arm or hand injury and can't work for a while.

    THANKS!
    You will be impressed with Scar's lights. Their very small,built with passion and quality. His new XML Amoeba will be very impressive to your eyes, he may even throw in a good pair of sunglasses. And best of all PM him and he will custom build to exactly what your looking for. I would do it right the first time go for the XML for the bars and his XPG version for your helmet. He will explain why. Hopfully he's not to overloaded with lights to build as you may have to wait a little bit to get them.Cheers!!!

  5. #5
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    Hey Nevermiss,

    I second everything everyone has said, all excellent advice, particularly Cat's admonishment to buy your lights soon and get out and do quite a bit of night riding prior to the race.

    Baja Designs will physically be set-up at the race. We'll have neutral charging stations, so even if you went with one of Scar's sweet lights, or anyone else's for that matter you'll be able to charge your system at the Baja Designs booth. Most importantly we will be serving up free beer and witty banter all day and night. Good times will be had at the 24hrs of Colorado Springs!

    If you'd like to see what we are all about chech our Facebook page at: Baja Designs Bicycle Lighting | Facebook

    That event should be a whole lot of fun, maybe we'll see you there! Good luck on your light search, let me know if you have any questions.

    Shannon Scott
    Baja Designs Bicycle Lighting
    bajadesigns.com - The leader in Off-Road Motorcycle, Truck, and Buggy lighting and performance accessories.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon View Post
    Hey Nevermiss,

    I second everything everyone has said, all excellent advice, particularly Cat's admonishment to buy your lights soon and get out and do quite a bit of night riding prior to the race.

    Baja Designs will physically be set-up at the race. We'll have neutral charging stations, so even if you went with one of Scar's sweet lights, or anyone else's for that matter you'll be able to charge your system at the Baja Designs booth. Most importantly we will be serving up free beer and witty banter all day and night. Good times will be had at the 24hrs of Colorado Springs!

    If you'd like to see what we are all about chech our Facebook page at: Baja Designs Bicycle Lighting | Facebook

    That event should be a whole lot of fun, maybe we'll see you there! Good luck on your light search, let me know if you have any questions.

    Shannon Scott
    Baja Designs Bicycle Lighting
    bajadesigns.com - The leader in Off-Road Motorcycle, Truck, and Buggy lighting and performance accessories.
    Wow! Thanks Shannon. I'll definitely stop by the booth. Hopefully there will still be some beer left by the time the race is over. I think I picked a really good race for my first!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Whatever you buy, get some riding time in at night before doing the 24hr. A 24hr is no place to be learning about night riding.
    Good advice! Palmer Park (the location of the race) is my stomping ground. It is very technical--I would say a 10 on a scale of 1-10 for XC racing. You want to have every detail of your lights worked out before getting here (setup, mounting, get a feel for them, etc.). Get some good miles in on twisty trails and ride some techy stuff --even if it's just a staircase-- to make sure everything is solid on your bike.

    I ride with Amoebas from Scar, as do most of my riding buddies. They are great lights and I can attest to the fact that they work very well in Palmer Park .

  8. #8
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    kristian,

    Thanks for the info. My friend who just moved there rode the trail a couple days ago (we are both clydes and ride mostly single track) and he sent me a text message that said Falcon Trail-12.7 miles, 1:29 ride time, 1750 ft. elev gain, 2 small technical sections, 2 climbs and both under 8 min. It's a big sidewalk.

    Does this sound about right to you. I guess it is all relative compared to what you normally ride and your ability. I've just started mountain biking again after about a decade break, so I am looking to survive this ride and have fun! Hopefully Scar finished my lights this weekend and is sending them out soon. I will have plenty of time to get in a couple good night rides and I will espcecially work on the technical sections

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevermiss View Post
    kristian,

    Thanks for the info. My friend who just moved there rode the trail a couple days ago (we are both clydes and ride mostly single track) and he sent me a text message that said Falcon Trail-12.7 miles, 1:29 ride time, 1750 ft. elev gain, 2 small technical sections, 2 climbs and both under 8 min. It's a big sidewalk.

    Does this sound about right to you. I guess it is all relative compared to what you normally ride and your ability. I've just started mountain biking again after about a decade break, so I am looking to survive this ride and have fun! Hopefully Scar finished my lights this weekend and is sending them out soon. I will have plenty of time to get in a couple good night rides and I will espcecially work on the technical sections
    That sounds right for the Falcon Trail, but the 24 hour race is in Palmer Park isn't it? They were originally going to do it on the Falcon Trail, but it's on the Air Force Academy and security restrictions were preventing it last I heard.

    Edit: I just went to the website and confirmed that the race is in Palmer Park, not on the Falcon Trail. Like I said above, Palmer Park is very very technical (10 on a scale of 10 for XC racing). It's a blast to ride there--my favorite trail in the world is there. Practice up on your techy climbs and techy downhills. I would highly suggest an automatic seat post of some sort since you cannot ride the whole place with the seat in XC mode.
    Last edited by kristian; 08-23-2011 at 10:21 AM.

  10. #10
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    Yikes! Thanks for the info. I just went to the website as well. I really don't want to buy a seatpost just for this ride. I haven't purchased my plane tickets yet, so I'm going to contact my friend and connect with him before I commit to this. My whole intention of participating in this is to have fun and visit some friends, but I'm not sure if I want to do a 10 on a scale of 10 for my 6 hours (including riding at night) for my first race.

  11. #11
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    What's your goal? If you want to have fun and ride some really cool trails, go for it. It really is a great trail system, and I'm sure the 24 hour aspect of it would be a blast. I haven't raced XC in over 10 years, and I strongly thought about doing this race just for the fun of it since it is on my favorite trails. However, my wife is due with our first baby in mid October so I need my rest .

    You don't need an adjustible seatpost to ride there--it was just a recommendation based on the thread I will link to below. Personally, I don't use one, but I keep my seat all the way down in PP so that's an option too.

    Here is a thread with pictures from a race there earlier this summer. http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-fron...os-709723.html

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon View Post
    Most importantly we will be serving up free beer and witty banter all day and night. Good times will be had at the 24hrs of Colorado Springs!
    Hey Shannon,

    Just a heads up: I'm not sure what they are telling vendors regarding alcohol, but there is no alcohol allowed in Palmer Park (General Palmer was a part of the temperance movement and no alcohol was a stipulation he gave when he donated the park). Honestly, we drink there every ride and have never had a problem, but they might be cracking down during the race.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian View Post
    What's your goal? If you want to have fun and ride some really cool trails, go for it. It really is a great trail system, and I'm sure the 24 hour aspect of it would be a blast. I haven't raced XC in over 10 years, and I strongly thought about doing this race just for the fun of it since it is on my favorite trails. However, my wife is due with our first baby in mid October so I need my rest .

    You don't need an adjustible seatpost to ride there--it was just a recommendation based on the thread I will link to below. Personally, I don't use one, but I keep my seat all the way down in PP so that's an option too.

    Here is a thread with pictures from a race there earlier this summer. http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-fron...os-709723.html
    Thanks for posting the link. Lowering my seatpost will definitely be a requirement based on those pics! My goals are as you stated but my primary goal is "don't get injured" beyond the usual scrape, cut, etc.

    Congratulations on the addition to the family! Enjoy your sleep now while you can. Sleep will never be the same for the rest of your life and no matter what people have told you, the emotion experienced when you have your first child is simply "indescribable"!

  14. #14
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    nevermiss - Here is a link to some recent pictures of the trail at Palmer Park - http://forums.mtbr.com/8371257-post57.html


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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    nevermiss - Here is a link to some recent pictures of the trail at Palmer Park - http://forums.mtbr.com/8371257-post57.html


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    Thanks scar!. I just got your lights today, but haven't opened the box yet. I'll check them out tonight. Thanks again for your advice and the quick turnaround with making the lights!

  16. #16
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    looking for two more military riders for the 24 hours of COS 2011 race, reply if interested

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