Is 5000 Lumens bright?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is 5000 Lumens bright?

    I went on eBay and bought a 5000 lumen flashlight or torch as they call it. Its pretty bright and actually brighter than my 8 year old lithium bike Cyglolite dual beam which was about $169 bucks back then.

    I just ordered a flashlight handlebar holder for it, but the questions are:

    1. Is 5000 lumens bright enough for trail riding
    2. Anyone use one of those $6 flashlight mounts?
    3. Is it better just to get another bike light, the 8-9 year old one
    really doesnt seem bright anymore but if a flashlight is just as bright why not?


    Bicycle Mount Bike Front Flashlight Holder Torch Multi Function Clip Clamp | eBay

    I am a serious novice and dont like going cheap on anything bike related
    because I believe you pay for what you get

    thanks
    Cheap people buy things twice

  2. #2
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    An ebay torch advertised as "5000" lumen might make 2000 at best. Not to worry that's still pretty bright. How much light you need for trail riding is very much up to you, the type of trail and terrain. For most folks use, 2000 lumen would be very sufficient. As important as lumen output, does the torch have a beam shape that works for you. Most torches have a pretty narrow spot type beam. For use on the handlebars most folks like a wider beam. It's very much a personal preference thing again.

    A large torch is going to be pretty heavy. I'd be surprised if the mount you link would keep it aimed on any kind of rough trail.

    Good bike lights are starting to come out now with neutral white LEDs. Most folks find neutral white tints to be easier on the eyes and give a more realistic view of the trail and surroundings than a cool white LED which is typical of torches. Good bike lights are designed to be on for long durations. Typical use for a torch is much more intermittent.

    And finally, you still get what you pay for. A cheap over-rated torch is going to be a cheap torch. Reliability? That being said, a cheap over-rated bike light is just going to be a cheap over-rated bike light. It will be of questionable quality too.

    In any case get two lights. Particularly if you go with cheap ones. When one fails you will have a backup to get out of the woods with.
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  3. #3
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    I would be very surprised if a low cost "5000 lumen" eBay light was 2000 lumens.

    It may only be 600 lumens.

    But yes, 5000 actual lumens is good and about what I ride with.

  4. #4
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    Thanks all, what I am going to do is first take this flashlight on a test ride on the street to see how long this thing actually lasts. Its one of those 26650 3.7v lithium batteries, it may not be 5,000 lumens buts its pretty close as it lights up an entire 200 foot pine tree in my backyard. The beam is a decent spread as it lights up a dual sidewalk which may light up singletrack nicely as well.

    The mount hasn't come yet but I will drop curbs and such to see how good it holds the flashlight. I don't trust China merch that hasn't been dogged out by a US or European distributor so I have to do my own tests.

    Again, I don't have much faith in most indie China merch
    because tonight we set off a firecracker ($40) that was a moon flower but it exploded at only 10 feet up and luckily it didn't injure anyone. The Chinese have awful quality control unless the White Man buys the company and puts their name on it, such as Apple products. I really wonder why people buy no name carbon fiber bike components,
    they must really have a death wish.
    Cheap people buy things twice

  5. #5
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    I can tell you right now a light with 1 led will not produce more than 1000 lumens.

    There is no way around that. Especially as a flashlight with a single cell. Multi cell torches that use an xhp50 emitter will push closer to 2000 lumens, but that's the extent of it.

    A 200ft tree being lit by a flashlight is pretty normal for 800 to 1000 lumens due to the concentrated beam pattern.

    Ya it's enough for basic trail riding but especially a Chinese eBay light I would definitely carry a second light.

    Lights 8-9 years ago are about the equal to the cheap lights you get at Walmart these days. Light technology is advancing fairly rapidly and LEDs are a far more serious matter than they were that long ago.

    Something 4-5000 lumen range will light up a football field from post to post and about as wide as the field. Not like daylight but you be able to see quite well. 2000 lumens does a pretty good job of that as well. Just not as brightly.

    And i have one of those mounts, use it to hold flashlights for my integrated sphere. No way in hell I'd trust it for much beyond rolling around town. The upper part is built bomb proof (no idea why, total overkill and heavy as shit) but the bar mount itself is about as cheap chinese as it could possibly be.

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  6. #6
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    fatcat, give us a link or pictures of the light you are talking about and we will tell you what can be expected.

  7. #7
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    Ok man here is the flashlight:

    3 XM L 5000LM 8 Mode LED Diving Flashlight 26650 Torch Light Waterproof 60m H2T7 | eBay

    I used it tonight to walk my dog and its overkill for that, I had to point the thing up in the trees and maybe you guys are right, a 5,000 lumens claim is a bit much.

    These guys (the Chinese, not Chinese Americans) like to exaggerate a lot. I bought some 1.2V AA NiMH rechargeable batteries that claimed to be 3000mAh which turned out to be total Bulls&*&*^, I'd say it they are probably 1000mAh at the most. My Eveready Energizer AA 2000mAh were closer to their claimed mAh rating.

    But thats also good news! If they (the Chinese) claim they have missiles pointed at us, most of them will fail and never make it to our shores.

    EDIT: Again, only stupid mountain bikers buy no name carbon wheels made in CN because they're cheap, not for their performance.
    Cheap people buy things twice

  8. #8
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    OK, I see. EDI-T if geniue might be pretty good, but bit outdated. For the price I would say it is probably good light. No description about modes, but I like ON/OFF feature and changing modes without turning light off.

    Lumens wise I would say it can reach about 2000lm which then descend as battery voltage drops. I doubt it has boost driver. More likely direct drive with 3 leds in parallel. It seems (by pictures) you got geniue Cree XM-L not fake ones which are in almost any new cheapo chinese torch nowadays.

    Since 3 leds make some spill hotspot might be less intense which is good for MTB. Still to much spot for me, but hey we used single emitter torches back then ....

    Might be good choice to start night rides and bright enough. Anyway use backup light for your safety!

  9. #9
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    5000 is so bright it would suck riding, what you really need as around 1000 lumens with a good enough throw. plus 5000 sounds like chinese lumens, to get real 5000 you need multiple emitters and big battery pack to run it more than 30 minutes

    and no 18 buck light is dishing that many lumens anyway...think 200 bucks or more and that is still gonna be cheap and crappy

    over 1000 sure it's nice but 2000 is the limit my eyes can handle, just overkill and all the night bugs coming at ya from 5 miles away gets old after a while

  10. #10
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    Ok and here we go:

    3 xml light matter how it's built ($20 or $200 set up) cant make it past 2700 lumens. The LEDs just can't do it

    Actual output of that flashlight is more likely (and I'm giving it probably too much credit) is about 1200 lumens.

    Still not a bad light for the price but those idiots need to really learn this false advertising is going to catch up with them. Especially when the one you linked is in the US.

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  11. #11
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    Well established, that light isn't putting out 5k lumen. probably close to 1,000 to 1,500 lumen, which is plenty to ride with. The two things that I question are how long a single battery will work in that thing, and the mount. A couple bumps could quickly cause the angle to adjust so the flashlight's pointing at the ground. OK for road, not good for trail.

    I bought one of these about 2 years ago, and still going strong. I get about 1.5 hour battery in medium mode, which is more than enough light. Looks to use the same/similar head unit as your flashlight, but it uses an external 8.4V battery pack. If you don't have a second light yet, and you should always use 2 lights at night, I'd grab one of these in a heart beat.
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I'd also recommend a diffuser. Makes a huge difference when you spread the beam out instead of having a single whiter than white dot in front. They make $5 diffusers you can buy off amazon, but I prefer my cheap contact paper diffuser. $2 diffuser contact paper from wallyworld, put it on a plastic sheet from any packaging (only good use I've found for all the crazy Froozen doll merchandise from last year) and cut it to fit the lense. Full light dispersion instead of a flattening and wavy dispersion.
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    Jeez, doesn't Giant produce their frames in China? Along with every other bike manufacturer? When I used cygolight, 800lm blinded me with their crap cool white emitters. Now I only use neutral emitters and have several over 1500lm. Much more useable light without the glare and eye strain.

  13. #13
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    Just for sake of science they can be runt much higher, shurely not in ordinary flashlights. If you take a look test results at BLF you can see feeding them up to several Amphers (once or twice more than specified), but they are mounted on copper star and have big chunk of copper block behind so no overheating happens. Of course this is relative short test and leds lifetime is seriously decreased, but can be done.

    So maybe Chinese are taking data from such tests (I know they don't), just joking ;-)

    Anyway, for this particular light we don't know how it is internaly constructed (heat path) and at what current leds are runt (at max.), so we are all just guessing based on our previous experience.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Well established, that light isn't putting out 5k lumen. probably close to 1,000 to 1,500 lumen, which is plenty to ride with. The two things that I question are how long a single battery will work in that thing, and the mount. A couple bumps could quickly cause the angle to adjust so the flashlight's pointing at the ground. OK for road, not good for trail.

    I bought one of these about 2 years ago, and still going strong. I get about 1.5 hour battery in medium mode, which is more than enough light. Looks to use the same/similar head unit as your flashlight, but it uses an external 8.4V battery pack. If you don't have a second light yet, and you should always use 2 lights at night, I'd grab one of these in a heart beat.
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I'd also recommend a diffuser. Makes a huge difference when you spread the beam out instead of having a single whiter than white dot in front. They make $5 diffusers you can buy off amazon, but I prefer my cheap contact paper diffuser. $2 diffuser contact paper from wallyworld, put it on a plastic sheet from any packaging (only good use I've found for all the crazy Froozen doll merchandise from last year) and cut it to fit the lense. Full light dispersion instead of a flattening and wavy dispersion.
    Oh dear lord, tri-clones aren't totally dead yet....

    Btw, decent lights get 4-6 hrs on medium mode instead of 1.5 hrs . 2hrs + on max output.

    All this stuff said, I think im going to order one of those lights. Not sure I like the turn to change modes thing (happy with rear click or momentary switch on my torches) but a host that is 26650 cells and design for a xml triple could be a fun host to build off of.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Btw, decent lights get 4-6 hrs on medium mode instead of 1.5 hrs . 2hrs + on max output.
    It got a whopping 2 hours when new. I don't mind the battery duration as much because I carry spare batteries from remove control cars. They hook right up with an adapter, and give me about 2-3 more hours.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  16. #16
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    what is meant by chinese lumens is

    the electronic parts trade in china is like going to silicon valley but
    instead of salesforce, facebook, emc, ebay buildings lining the valley,
    you have Matsumura Fishworks and Tamarabuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern and 100 others lining the booths, and they are all selling second-rate electronics in batches of 10,000 to 50,000. anyone can pay about 4 bucks for parts and assemble 1200 lumen monstrosities and sell them for huge profits as long as they can do the initial buy of 50,000 units, and have a way to assemble 50,000 final pieces.


    literally hundreds of people do this in china for a living and stock at alibaba or gearbest or DX.

    -kitchen gizmos
    -dashcams
    -consumer electronics of any type
    -iphone clones
    -and led lighting

    all this is made with the cheapest quality and prices possible.

    the industry for cheap chinese lumens is real and they produce C R A P and sell it worldwide. profits are off the charts, quality is suspect, and they gladly replace stuff under warranty because even if they send you three replacements they still make bank.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Road View Post
    Jeez, doesn't Giant produce their frames in China? Along with every other bike manufacturer? When I used cygolight, 800lm blinded me with their crap cool white emitters. Now I only use neutral emitters and have several over 1500lm. Much more useable light without the glare and eye strain.
    Giant is a Legit company tho...

  18. #18
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    FYI, all the big brand bikes are made in Asia. It's not about where it's made as much as the quality put into them at the factory. Big brands pay for things to be done right and back with a solid warranty. Cheap chinese junk is made of sub par rejected garbage that happens to work for a little while.

    It's like comparing a $3000 Trek to a $150 Walmart bike. Both made in China, but the rest speaks for itself. It's not a made in (fill in reputable country from Europe or simply "made in the USA) but it still 10001x better than that walmart bike.

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  19. #19
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    I typically use a trail LED DS or a glowworm X2 as my primary light, but I use the combo below as a bar mounted backup. It works well and stays put, even on rigid bikes. I keep a few of these mounts with me with some small flashlights in case someone has an issue or forgets their light.

    https://www.amazon.com/Two-Fish-Lock...ywords=twofish

    SC600w Mk II L2 18650 XM-L2 Flashlight Neutral White

  20. #20
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    For that size flashlight you should use the Two Fish Cycleblock which is made for larger and heavier lights. Wrap the bar with a little friction tape to help it hold. Also putting the light under the bar will help.

    Single cell lights run off 4.2V max. The voltage drop running 3 XM-L's would bring that down to 3.8V at best with a fresh charge. That's just enough to run them at full power. As the battery discharges the voltage and brightness will slowly drop so your 1500 possible real lumens would only be for a little while.

    I'm a little confused. You said "I am a serious novice and dont like going cheap on anything bike related because I believe you pay for what you get"
    This light doesn't seem to hold up to that.
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    I have spent ALOT of time researching lights before I bought a rigid SR 10" combo for my atv. Rigid is well know for being one of the top dogs for lights. It puts out 3700 lumens at 2.4 amps and 35 watts.

    A quick search typing in the 3xm bulb type, showed lights in the 1000 lumens and under range.

    To put that 5000 lumen setup into a flashlight would be around 50 watts. With batteries like that it would have like a 5 minute light up time.

    Lots of companies list the "theorertical output" Not the real output. On ebay You can have different sellers with identical pictures but different lumen outputs.

  22. #22
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    ^^^ LOL Rigid top dog ? you smokin banana peels ?

    maybe in the category of 'off-road only not for highway use bolt-on aftermarket crap' they are a 'top dog'

    but in the world of LED lighting in general and photometrics, they don't have one damn thing that makes sense on a human powered bike

  23. #23
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    REVIEW: 5000 Lumens Flashlight

    Ok I took it out for a fireroad ride at night and it did fairly well. The handle bar brackets showed up from eBay and also I ordered 2 extra batteries and another flashlight.

    I mounted two of the brackets on a bar but turned on only one in case they both crtapped out, which they didn't on a 5 mile fireroad ride. The spread was pretty decent but as others said, it attracted bugs from miles away. Make sure to use OFF! when night riding.

    Tigris99 was spot on about the bracket. The top clamp is not bad but the part you mount to the bar sucks ass. Theres a bolt that flies off the moment you unscrew the tightening screw. It took me 30 minutes to find it in my garage. It would be wonderful if that bolt fell off while adjusting the bracket out in the dark. It would make my day.

    The light sucks energy fast. I was using a 26650 3.2v battery at first and I thought that was bright but the spare 26650 3.7v battery is 20% brighter. These Chinese 26650 batteries have all kinds of mAh ratings that are off the charts but they are mostly bullsh*t. If they were made here, those guys would be sued over false advertising every day. So here's a tip when buying freeze-dried Ramen bowls made overseas: Theres hardly any shrimp, beef or chicken. You're mostly eating ramen noodles and broth made from rat feces extract.

    After the climb to the top, the first light was fading, so I clicked on the second. Of course going downhill is faster so the bracket test began. It shook like a mofo but amazingly they didn't fall off the handlebar. I'm guessing that top clamp is pretty good though it is made of cheap Chinese grade plastic. Each bracket was about $6.

    Summary:

    I wouldn't depend on flashlights for night riding. Its stupid and makes you look like a cheap screw to other riders and you look like a retard. But they are good for some street riding but highly undependable for trail use. Its a good quick emergency fix as well.

    The charge (you must use a charger that recharges LITHIUM RECHARGEABLE batteries) isn't as long as a name brand bike light.
    In fact the charge is only 50% of what say a NiteRider or Cygolite will get you.

    You see Billy, mommy always said you get what you pay for. Thats why when you married that cheap big boobed whore you lost your home, car and 401k on her drug and alcohol dependency. Never go for price, it will always come back and kick you on your ass.
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    Yes. Someone tested every 18650 that was under some price on Amazon and 100% of them didn't make 70% of their stated capacity. You have to use all willpower and just don't buy anything that is not a verified Samsung or Panasonic cell. The Vaping crowd has done a lot of testing. There are a few other good brands like Sony.

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    #VapeNation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    FYI, all the big brand bikes are made in Asia. It's not about where it's made as much as the quality put into them at the factory. Big brands pay for things to be done right and back with a solid warranty. Cheap chinese junk is made of sub par rejected garbage that happens to work for a little while.

    It's like comparing a $3000 Trek to a $150 Walmart bike. Both made in China, but the rest speaks for itself. It's not a made in (fill in reputable country from Europe or simply "made in the USA) but it still 10001x better than that walmart bike.
    Nailed it.

    I'm a little surprised by the attitude against Chinese products. Most of the rolling stock on display on this site has a sizable portion of Chinese content, if not 100%. There's a full range of quality coming out of China; it's up to the buyer to determine what meets their needs, and to pay accordingly.

  27. #27
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    The attitude isn't directed at branded stuff, it's the cheap junk that comes out of there. And the tactics they use to sell the junk to people that don't know any better. Obviously there are some that can't afford better but many are people that "rather spend money on my bikes". I thought that way at first too. And some good and cheap lights appear now and again
    Now the "get what you pay for" doesn't always apply because I see all the time on Amazon, cheap Chinese lights being sold with some random brand name added and they are charging a lot more than the light is worth or being sold for by 100 other sellers.

    So I will always go with "buy what you can afford". If you can afford nice wheels, dropper post, carbon fiber anything for your bike, you can afford decent lights. After all your lights can become a life and death matter. They stop working at the wrong time and your in serious trouble real fast.

    But for me these days and the wife is the one that started me on this, just pay the extra once and be done. Being cheap doesn't save you money for long. We don't make good money, we make a living though. I work overtime, side work etc to pay for my bikes and such.

    She didn't believe it with bikes at first till I got a new Walmart bike not long after I first started riding. Was always messing with it to keep it going. Once she and I knew how seriously I had taken to riding again, to the trek store we went. Hell she didn't even argue when I spent almost $1K on a USED fat bike lol. And was even happier when Xmas rolled around (and the my end of year bonus) she got a ton of money spent on her to "even it out" though my overtime and quarterly bonus is what paid for my fat bike.

    Now at the same time I stumbled on some softshell pants on Amazon. Good reviews, had ones to fit my big ass for cool/cold weather riding. Cheap Chinese by definition for weird brand and $40 a pair. I own 2 pairs and best money I ever spent. As long as I can keep getting those, I'll never pay lbs type prices for winter riding pants. Like I said, rare occasion, you can get something good.

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    I'm aware of some of the problems with some products that come from China. Just like your big ass pants, there are some good ones to be had on the cheap, too. Btw, I pity that Walmart bike. From what I've read of your stature, you must've pounded that thing to death.

    I don't mind someone bagging on a product with QC issues, or that's an obvious ripoff copy, or that was produced by five year old children, but I get tired of people dismissing products from China simply because they're from China. The Japanese were underestimated for similar reasons 60 years ago, and now they manufacture world class products. If they maintain their current rate of improvement, it won't take 60 years for China to do the same.

  29. #29
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    Actually that Walmart bike I didn't beat up. I understood it's limits and my size. Green rated XC trails was pretty much it and pavement till I lost enough weight and bought my trek. That wally bike is still going, friend I sold it too just brought it to me to fix cause he crashed it and jacked up the Rd and the rear wheel. This is over 3 yrs later. And after I had done insane work and changed forks, shock, crankset and such when I had owned it.

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  30. #30
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    Interesting torch. Likely it's not as bright as the typical tri-clone but it might be close. I would say maybe 1000-1200 lumen. The sad part is that I don't trust the photos in the e-bay ad. One photo shows it with a laser like beam but another shows a super wide beam pattern...what's up with that? Likely it's pretty much the same beam pattern as the typical tri-clone. The original tri-clones had a half-decent beam pattern for cycling. I figure this torch is likely the same but I could be wrong since I don't own one.

    @fatcat; Don't worry about what your friends say about it. So it looks funky, so what, it's a light. If it works for you that's all that matters. It should certainly be bright enough to ride with but don't expect to run the highest mode for any length of time.

    Don't under-estimate the cheap 26650 cells. I have a torch that runs with a cheap Trustfire 26650 cell and that battery seems to last a long time. I'm not running a triple emitter though. The best 26650 ( 3.7-4.2 volt ) cells are rated around the 4000mAh mark. Some may had been a tad over but I can't remember now. The cheapest/weakest are likely still over 3000mAh. Don't go by the ads that claim over 5000mAh. Over on CPF someone did a shoot out some years ago and some of the cheap cells did pretty good. I forget now which ones were the best.

    The reason I found your torch interesting was because it was suppose to be a diving torch. That's the reason it uses a ring ( magnetic ? ) switch I'm guessing. That's means it will likely hold up to a good shower. Personally I'd not use a torch anymore for MTB'ing because there are dedicated bike lights that look better, come with a larger battery and can be found to be just as cheap as a torch. Nevertheless, if I was on a budget, already had a Li-ion cell charger that would charge a 26650, I'd buy one. I figure it would make a very affordable choice for an "around town" lamp for the beater bike. Anyway, if you decide later to upgrade to some decent dedicated bike lights you'll have the torch for back-up or for loan-outs if your friend needs a lamp.

  31. #31
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    Just as a quick fyi, they have 26650 cells that are truly 5000mah now. Can get them at mtnelectonics.com. I have a pair of them.

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Just as a quick fyi, they have 26650 cells that are truly 5000mah now. Can get them at mtnelectonics.com. I have a pair of them.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Interesting. I just checked their website. They list a 26650 cell with the capacity of 5200mAh. Don't know what brand it is though. They do say in the product description that the cell is actually longer than most...26700 ) They also recommended that if you are using multi-emitters and have a larger current draw that you use the King Kong 4000mAh's which apparently can supply a better current draw with out as much voltage sag. MT Electronics is out of the 5200's at the moment. They seem to run out of stuff all the time.

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    That's cause he feeds all the flashaholics. We eat up supplies quickly. He gets restocked quickly as well

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

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