Baja Designs Stryker and DiNotte 400L (pic heavy!)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Smile Baja Designs Stryker and DiNotte 400L (pic heavy!)

    In another thread I mentioned I had just purchased a Baja Designs Stryker and another member asked for some pictures. Considering this is the lighting section, I thought I'd post some pictures and thoughts of the Stryker and my (also new) DiNotte 400L taillight.

    I don't have any good night pictures yet, and I *just* got the light mounted up, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling with my initial thoughts and some daytime pictures.

    Both of these lights represent a fair amount of research. I really wanted a good light system, but I also didn't want to spend more than I had to. My intended use is primarily urban use, and especially in the case of the taillight, safety. With the tail light, I wanted something really bright that could provide good visibility in daylight as well.

    The tail light was pretty easy. After searching a bit, it became clear that the DiNotte tail lights really stood out. :-}. I got my wife a 140R (AA) powered, and it is a great light. REALLY bright. I ended up picking the 400R, and my first impression is very positive.

    The head light was much harder. After looking at all the reviews I could find (most here at MTBR -- thanks!), I really felt drawn to the L&M Seca 900. Brightness + good beam pattern. But... it seemed likely that I didn't really *need* 900 lumens, and perhaps I could live with something less expensive.

    After putting together a list of the lights, costs and measured brightness, the Baja Designs Stryker stood out at me. It was as bright as the Seca 700, which implied it was outputting around 700 "real" lumens, it looked pretty bulletproof, didn't have too huge of a battery, got reviews for the beam pattern, and... was only $300.

    This is all going on my new 2009 Specialized Safire [sic] Elite.



    Note for this frame, you really need the short extension cable for the Stryker battery. Order it ahead of time because they don't have a super cheap shipping option. I had purchased a long one thinking about a DIY battery pack, but I had to employ it here while I wait for a shorter one. I'm not overly happy with the battery placement for either of these lights, but I guess I'll play with different options.

    Another random observation is that the AA battery pack used on the DiNotte 140R can be snuggled up under the saddle. The lithium ion pack for the 400R actually is harder to place. Hmm.

    Originally, I was going to try to mount the light on a Terracycle accessory mount out front, but 1) I had the wrong size brackets to get optimal placement, and 2) due to the way the Stryker mounts, I'd probably have to mount it upside down. I might re-visit this, but for now, on the bar it goes...



    It isn't small, but it isn't huge either:



    I'm not really sold on the mounting bracket, but it is functional.



    And, of course, it lights!



    Without the Garmin:



    The button glows green as does the rear of the unit:



    Close up. It is really a nice unit.



    I did end up putting a bit of a shim on one side under the mount since the bar tapers quickly and the mount of the Stryker is slightly wide.



    Rear.



    Light!



    Here is the DiNotte 400L and reflector (WA state law for night riding) on a Terracycle accessory mount (100mm x 75mm). The Terracycle mounts are nice, and don't always fit the way you picture them to. :-) Unfortunately, this leads to some expensive trial and error. In this particular case, the 100mm x 75mm is probably too big. 75mm x 50mm might work better. The 100mm x 75mm worked perfect mounting my wife's 200R. Oh well.



    Blink!



    I just go them on late last night so don't have very good night shots yet. Here are a couple I took with the instamatic before putting her to bed.

    Nice glow. Garmin is at 50% backlight and "night" color scheme.



    I'll have to play with the beam placement. I started by lowering until I just touched the front tire. BTW, the light swivels side to side, and you can make up down adjustments, although the latter is simply over-powering the friction of the mount.



    Beam view.



    Poor image of the lights in action.



    The cost:



    If anyone is hankering for a closer view, you can view them in full size in this gallery. You can really get quite the eye full with some of them. example (large!)

    I'll try to post some beam pictures when I get some time.

    -john

  2. #2
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    Bravo!!!!! Thanks for the thread! Which reflector are you using on your Stryker ?? Is it the spot or the wide reflector?
    He who hesitates is lost.

  3. #3
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    Right now I'm using the wide since that is what the reviews suggested was better. I'll try them both, but I suspect I'll agree with general consensus.

    -john

  4. #4
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    I forgot to ask what is the make and model of your bike??? It looks very nice.
    He who hesitates is lost.

  5. #5
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    I forgot to ask you but what is the make and model of your bike??? It looks very nice.
    He who hesitates is lost.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. It is a 2009 Specialized Safire Elite, pretty much stock. I just got it, actually.

    -john

  7. #7
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    Well, this didn't go quite as well as I had hoped, but here are a couple of outdoor beamshots.

    It seems my camera is compressing the dynamic range somewhat. If I set the exposure to capture the hotspot accurately, the periphery looked too dark. If I got the periphery to look about how the eye saw it, the hotspot would be too bright. These are a compromise. The hostspot is *slightly* less bright than these pictures indicate, and the periphery is slightly brighter than the pictures indicate.

    Sorry, after all the fighting with the camera, and a motion detector that wouldn't shut off (had to keep waiting for it to shut off -- don't ask), I only got two pictures. Both of these are with the "wide" reflector.

    One aimed down, and one aimed up. Both on 'high'.

    Down:



    Up:



    -john

  8. #8
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    I wasn't thrilled with the mounting of the taillight and the batteries. I received the short (50mm x 75mm) Terracycle mount, so spent some time sorting things out today. Here is the overall effect:



    Since I tend to wish I could see more details before I try something, and wish I didn't have to do quite as much trial and error, I'm going to walk through the mounting steps.

    I ended up moving everything. The Garmin mount quite straight forward and grips well. That said, I did have to order the "large rail mount adapter" to accommodate my bar. They include a variety of size strips of rubber with the mount to use as shims/spacers. I used the thinnest:



    Very simple. The unit clam shell type clamp goes over the bar and rubber strip and a screw secures it. I put it on loose, then mounted the GPS for angle adjustment, removed the GPS and tightened it down.



    Done.



    Battery placement for the Stryker was a bit more of a puzzle. I had originally thought that the 6" battery extension cable would do the trick, but it looks like I need more than 6", but less than the longer cable (you can see it wrapped around the frame to take up slack):



    It fit on top of the stem pretty well with no need for an extension cable, but it would interfere with the visibility of the GPS. It would go under the stem except I had a reflector in the way.

    I ended up mounting it on the side of the stem and this seemed to work pretty well without need for an extension cable. But based on how I ended up mounting the tail light battery, I decided I needed to put the battery on the other side, but the cable isn't long enough to do this without putting the light on the same side. So, I moved the mount.

    This time, I decided to try it without the shim and it worked fine. In fact, after re-mounting the light a number of times, I started to get the knack of it.

    Like the Garmin, the Stryker comes with a number of different sized rubber spacers. Like the Garmin, I needed to use the thinnest one:



    Hold the spacer on the bar such that the area *without* the ribs is where your mount is going to go:



    You'll probably want to put the mount on approximately level:



    While holding the unit on, zip tie it. I put the head of the zip tie at about 5 o'clock, and this seemed to work pretty well. Note I started with the mount approximately level, and left the free space between the ribbing and the mount all in the front (to make it easier to tilt down):



    With the zip ties in but not tight, finish up your adjustments:



    Now cinch that puppy down:



    Here is where I ended up putting the battery. Note the battery has these nice molded rubber feet which help secure the placement:



    And there it is. Not perfect, but not bad. And the least amount of cable possible:



    To keep the Dinotte tail light from sticking out so far, I got a 50mm x 75mm Terracycle multi-purpose accessory mount. To accommodate the reflector, I added their optional "side extender mount".

    I decided to mount the tail light with the pigtail up to reduce stuff hanging down.



    I played with the configuration a bunch until I was able to get everything to fit together pretty cleanly. I tried to get the reflector and tail light close together, but not quite touching.



    From other angles:







    And here it is mounted. I ended up putting the battery on the side of seat post. I mounted it on my left side to minimize the interference with the seat post clamp.



    Other angles:





    Barely sticks out now.



    Business end:



    And here is how mounting on the side of the stem looks:









    Right now, I'm a lot happier. We'll see things work out over time.

    -john
    Last edited by ccfoodog; 03-13-2010 at 08:51 PM.

  9. #9
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    I am very interested in the Baja stryker! It seems like a great value.
    I hate the mount and it looks huge but I looks like a hell of a good light!
    after using it for a while what are some of you likes and dislikes?

  10. #10
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    Over all, I think it is a very nice light and a great value.

    Negatives are a fairly minor. I find the little thumbscrew on the bottom slightly difficult to operate, probably due to the fairly small knob.

    I also sometimes get a little left-right drift, probably due to the prior issue (perhaps didn't get it tightened down enough).

    -john

  11. #11
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    Thanks John!

  12. #12
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    John,

    Can this light be mounted 90 degrees to the base if I wanted to mount one to my stem?

  13. #13
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    Probably. I don't really want to take mine apart, but if you look at these images, you can see there is nothing really in the way.

    On the other hand, I think you'd really have to try it to really know. Seems like little things always come into play which can add up to a less than optimal effect.
    Last edited by ccfoodog; 08-25-2010 at 07:39 PM.

  14. #14
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    I turned it on the mount without changing the mount to the stem. Seems OK, but I still don't think you'll know until you mount it where you intend, with all the little angles and nuances.

    Note, what you see in those photos is a thin strip of rubber between the light and the mount. I find that helps avoid drift issues.

    -john





  15. #15
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    Hi John,

    It looks like you've been riding with your Strykr now for at least seven months, how is everything going? Since you last wrote we have started installing a small rubber o-ring on the handlebar mount to negate any unwanted side to side movement.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your thread and all of the great pictures. You should check out our Facebook fan page under "Baja Designs Bicycle Lights", it'd be great to get your input there as well.

    Let us know if you need anything!

    - Shannon

  16. #16
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    Oops! You became an MTBR.com member seven months ago, you actually posted your last pictures three days ago. Write me at [email protected] and let me know your address and I'll send you an o-ring for your mount.

    - Shannon

  17. #17
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    John,
    Thanks for taking the time to take all the pics!

  18. #18
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    The Strykr is a great light. It's the perfect size for your handle bars. It's not to big and not to small. I don't know if I would mount it to a helmet though. I do prefer running a light on my handle bars rather than my helmet. It gives better depth perception. I also love the battery indicator light. It's nice to know when your battery is getting low.

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