Is it actually possible to go full daytime DH speed with the right lights?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cookieMonster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    588

    Is it actually possible to go full daytime DH speed with the right lights?

    Please hear me out -- sorry if this topic has been done to death. I've been doing a lot of early morning rides out of necessity lately (ride in the dark before work or don't ride at all). I recently bought a Cygolite Expilion which is an 850 lumen light. I've had a Cygolite Stridenx for a few years now, and while it got me by, it was never enough to go more than 70% speed on real mtb trails at night. I think that one is slightly less bright than the Expilion, but it does have a wider spread. I put that one on the bars and the Expilion on my helmet.

    With the two lights, I am pretty damned happy. The trail I ride most often is a DH trail, for the most part, but not as technical as most racecourses. But I go very fast during the day. Actually, right now I'd say I'm able to go about 90% speed or better in the pitch black.

    With the two lights, I can see pretty far...but...I'm still not able to go 100%, and I got to thinking -- maybe there is a point where adding more lights to your system still won't mean you can go full speed.

    I mean, I can now see pretty well, but I'm wondering if my peripheral vision not being able to see the familiar trees and other features go by means I can't go full speed; like there's a previously unnoticed factor in speed that I'm just realizing now.

    I'm just curious if anyone else feels the same way. Obviously, I could spend more on my lights -- but I'm wondering if it will actually mean more speed at this point.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    115
    Yes.

  3. #3
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    With the right set up, yes.

    Much of why the trend towards neutral white lights. Warmer look, much less white "wash out", more natural appearance to trails.

    They also allow the use of more light output, because you dont have the glare of the average white lights. A lot more lumens in fact. Letting you see further, allowing your eyes to better adjust to see more detail.

    Your standard 800-900 lumen lights get the job done for most, but more mountain bike specific lights, especially neutral white emitter versions (they will say either NW or a number of 5000K or lower) can allow you to see daytime clarity so you can ride at speed.

    Personally my night and day time speeds are very similar. One thing I like about night rides is your focus narrows to the trail because you cant see much to the sides.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,683
    If I am familiar with the trail to some degree, then I'd say yes. If it's a new trail, I'm slower than if it were daytime.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,014
    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Please hear me out -- sorry if this topic has been done to death. I've been doing a lot of early morning rides out of necessity lately (ride in the dark before work or don't ride at all). I recently bought a Cygolite Expilion which is an 850 lumen light. I've had a Cygolite Stridenx for a few years now, and while it got me by, it was never enough to go more than 70% speed on real mtb trails at night. I think that one is slightly less bright than the Expilion, but it does have a wider spread. I put that one on the bars and the Expilion on my helmet.

    With the two lights, I am pretty damned happy. The trail I ride most often is a DH trail, for the most part, but not as technical as most racecourses. But I go very fast during the day. Actually, right now I'd say I'm able to go about 90% speed or better in the pitch black.

    With the two lights, I can see pretty far...but...I'm still not able to go 100%, and I got to thinking -- maybe there is a point where adding more lights to your system still won't mean you can go full speed.

    I mean, I can now see pretty well, but I'm wondering if my peripheral vision not being able to see the familiar trees and other features go by means I can't go full speed; like there's a previously unnoticed factor in speed that I'm just realizing now.

    I'm just curious if anyone else feels the same way. Obviously, I could spend more on my lights -- but I'm wondering if it will actually mean more speed at this point.

    Well I suppose the short answer to your question is yes but there is a lot more to the issue of riding at speed at night that sometimes gets missed so let me expand on that thought a bit.

    No set-up or combo of bike lights is going to be able to illuminate a trail in exactly the same way as riding in the day time with daylight's full omin-directional lighting. Obviously though it helps to have a nice combo light setup for night riding. More directional light and better beam patterns mean you can see things better. Regardless, with omin-directional lightning ( daylight ) you are just going to see trail features better.

    I don't know about others but when I ride in the daytime I doubt my speed on any given day is going to be the same, even if it's the same trail. That's probably true for night time riding as well. Than again my focus is usually not on speed but rather just enjoying the experience of riding at night.

    Riding with speed at night has it's own risks. It helps if you are riding a familiar trail that tends to have stable trail features. Last thing you want to have happen at night is to come upon an unexpected obstacle at a speed where you don't have time to react. That thought just brought back one of my memories of my earlier days of night riding. ( 20 yrs ago )...

    ...I was riding downhill on a very rocky trail with a full head of steam. Back then I was riding a Trek hardtail with the first generation Rockshock Judy. I had ridden the trail I was on many times in the day but this was the first time at night with my two halogen lamps, one on the bars, one on the helmet. I was riding so fast I could hardly hold onto the bars. As I was flying along I was approaching an edge that begins a slight drop to a slightly steeper trail. My plan was to catch some air and continue on. As I'm approaching the edge my lights are only able to illuminate straight ahead but are unable to illuminate beyond the dip. As I'm flying over the drop I realize that I forgot that the trail bares off to the left as it drops off......I ended up flying into the woods. I was fortunate enough not to run into a tree or a section of brush.

    Directional lighting can't go through solid objects or see around obstructed corners so it pays to be a little more careful at night. FWIW where I ride the technical trail features seem to change from week to week. I like to ride the technical stuff at speed as well but at night my experience has taught me to be ready to bail or brake if something dangerous and unexpectedly comes up. I don't have the fitness level I use to have so I'm a bit more cautious than what I used to be when I was younger.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,494
    This might be helpful. Select 2 different outputs and slide the picture from side to side. Helps give you an idea of how much difference more light makes.

    HL-EL6000RC | CATEYE

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    132

    Idea! Lupine Lighting Systems Lighttest

    Here's another beam comparision.
    https://www.lupine.de/lighttest

  8. #8
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    Problem with the cateye volt 6000 is it doesnt tell the whole story.

    Your eyes do adapt (to a point). Lumens are not all the same.

    For instance the beam comparison of the volt is the lumens in a "cool white" or "true white" light. Much more washout, eyes have troubles adapting to it so useable light is limited.

    Take that same light but using a warmer tint, 4700k, higher CRI and suddenly its much more useable through its modes for most people. The cooler tint is where many will point out there is a such thing as too much light and its not hard to achieve until you move to warmer, more natural light tint

    Its not just about lumens in any case, its about type and how their used.

    If your doing big jumps and things like that, no lights are going to do anything to help, cant see your landing. But just fast, long decents a right combo of beam patterns, lumens and tint, you can go just as fast. The key is making the trail itself appear as natural as possible. Relaxes your mind so you can ride at your normal speeds.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  9. #9
    \_(ツ)_/ SuperModerator
    Reputation: Klurejr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,651
    https://youtu.be/Jh4O6xS1sp4


    I doubt this is a real solution, but it is one way to have full day light when night riding.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

    Know these before you post:
    MTBR Posting Guidelines

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,014
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    ...Take that same light but using a warmer tint, 4700k, higher CRI and suddenly its much more useable through its modes for most people. The cooler tint is where many will point out there is a such thing as too much light and its not hard to achieve until you move to warmer, more natural light tint
    I was about to point out the same thing but I would suggest an even warmer tint, perhaps 4200K. 6000 lumen is way overkill though. Still, I'd like to see what it would look like with a warmer emitter. Goodness I bet that thing eats batteries.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,683
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    ........If your doing big jumps and things like that, no lights are going to do anything to help, cant see your landing.
    +1 ^

    I'm no jumper by any measure, but several years ago I jumped off a trail into a ravine cause I couldn't see that the trail jogged to the right just below the jump. First time riding that trail. Had ~2k lumens going, but could not tell where the trail went.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  12. #12
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,264
    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    https://youtu.be/Jh4O6xS1sp4


    I doubt this is a real solution, but it is one way to have full day light when night riding.
    Ok thats just awesome!!! Not a very useable solution for most but a kick a$$ idea!!!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    This might be helpful. Select 2 different outputs and slide the picture from side to side. Helps give you an idea of how much difference more light makes.

    HL-EL6000RC | CATEYE
    That was one useless comparison. Pictures from the Volt 6000 is already overexposed at 1000 lumen, and at 6000 lumen, well... Not exactly helping selling their powerful light when so many people (without reason?) seem to worry that at powerful flood at the bars will make things so bright that you can't see details, washout colours, glare etc...

    They also made this promo video that's also horribly overexposed:
    https://youtu.be/L4QpiXRkWUE

    Lupine have done at better job and even their most powerful light at it's highest setting is not overexposed. But not helping selling their less powerful lights... I think the only useful information one can get out of these comparisons is getting a feel for the shape of the beam of the different lights.

    But even with well exposed photo, pictures have a hard time representing what things looks like in real life. Our eyes are very good at seeing details in the bright parts and in dark parts at the same time. Ever tried to take a photo of a sunset?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Problem with the cateye volt 6000 is it doesnt tell the whole story.


    Your eyes do adapt (to a point). Lumens are not all the same.


    For instance the beam comparison of the volt is the lumens in a "cool white" or "true white" light. Much more washout, eyes have troubles adapting to it so useable light is limited.
    Agree that warmer lights have less tendency to "wash out" colors of close objects than cool or blue lights. But don't think the volt 6000 is very blue. Much warmer than then the Nightrider 1800 in this comparison:

    https://www.bikerumor.com/2015/12/11...00-mega-light/

    But I don't know how blue the Niterider is...

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,494
    Quote Originally Posted by Onkelski View Post
    That was one useless comparison. Pictures from the Volt 6000 is already overexposed at 1000 lumen, and at 6000 lumen, well... Not exactly helping selling their powerful light when so many people (without reason?) seem to worry that at powerful flood at the bars will make things so bright that you can't see details, washout colours, glare etc...
    I disagree.

    To someone who doesn't have access to lights and a real world comparison, that photo can help them get an idea of the differences. Ignoring the light directly in front of the bike and focusing toward the end of the path and the trees in the distance, it's easy to see the differences in output.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,014
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    +1 ^

    I'm no jumper by any measure, but several years ago I jumped off a trail into a ravine cause I couldn't see that the trail jogged to the right just below the jump. First time riding that trail. Had ~2k lumens going, but could not tell where the trail went.
    Yep, another night time no-no is trying to huck over logs. Depends on the size and height of the log but on approach ( if it's big enough ) you can't see the other side to know what's lying in wait even it you clear the log. Even worse are things like log pyramids. Log pyramids tend to be very inviting, especially if you have some speed up but the thing is you can't see the arrangement of the logs on the far side. Sometimes a stray log will roll off and sit right the bottom and catch your wheel right as you're landing.

    Yeah, I take my chances just like everyone else but a lot depends on the terrain and how well I can see as to how brave I'm willing to be. At my age/weight I'm not big time into falling. Been a long time since I've endo'd, that said I have no plans on doing one anytime soon. On occasion I'll wuss-out, stop and just walk over a fairly low log, depends on how tired I am and what my CAt gut is telling me. Surprisingly, my CAt gut comes through for me on a number of occasions when I see ( while walking over ) that on the other side I had a number of bad things lying in wait if I had chosen to make the attempt. On the other hand if I'm riding during the day I'm much braver. That's because if I'm going to fall I like to see the surrounding area so I know what I might end up falling into. One does not want to fall onto sharp protruding logs or rocks. During the day it's just easier to make those fast decisions.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,949
    My recipe for success is putting a higher output "thrower" on the helmet and a wider pattern light on the bars. My limitation riding at night at high speeds is being able to see far enough down the trail. My setup right now is an Ituo XP2 on the helmet (stock optics), and a Gemini Duo on the bars. The Duo is an older one, but puts out a nice even beam spread without too much output that would wash out trail features. The Ituo isn't my favorite but it does throw light quite a ways down the trail. That combination definitely helps me look far ahead like I would do in the daytime, rather than focusing on what's directly in front of me.
    "Got everything you need?"

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 61
    Last Post: 09-15-2017, 10:28 AM
  2. Daytime Running Lights - Now a reality
    By Roger Huston in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 06-29-2014, 03:45 PM
  3. Lights and DAYTIME riding
    By solidass in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-06-2013, 05:07 PM
  4. Daytime Running Lights
    By Roger Huston in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-09-2011, 02:03 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.