Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    16

    decisions, decisions...

    gearing up to get into night riding for the first time. been researching all week and have it narrowed down to just a few choices (quite sure im just over thinking it). hoping to get some feedback on what some more experienced riders might choose for first set up.

    a light is a light to the wife, so she said just buy 2 of what ever i choose, lol (buying a set for each of us). we want good quality kit, but a dollar saved, is a dollar saved. most of our rides would be around 1.5-2 hours, although as much as 4 hours may not be unheard of. im not against buying a spare battery pack for long rides. NW WA is where we reside for an idea of trails. lots of time on galbraith.

    handle bar - im torn between gloworm x2 (or maybe an alpha with w/w) and outbound lighting trail. but also looking at the m-tiger sports theia or ds

    helmet - really leaning towards gloworm's alpha here. price, weight and reviews really make it the lead contender to me here. but wondering if its worth it to pony up for an x2 here also.

    on one hand, it seems to make sense to stick with gloworm (really like the idea of the alpha for helmet use). i also like everything i see about the OB trail, but im not sold on the road for helmet use. at least as compared to the alpha.

    any advice or recommendations are welcome.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Outbound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    310
    Quote Originally Posted by rattler420 View Post
    gearing up to get into night riding for the first time. been researching all week and have it narrowed down to just a few choices (quite sure im just over thinking it). hoping to get some feedback on what some more experienced riders might choose for first set up.

    a light is a light to the wife, so she said just buy 2 of what ever i choose, lol (buying a set for each of us). we want good quality kit, but a dollar saved, is a dollar saved. most of our rides would be around 1.5-2 hours, although as much as 4 hours may not be unheard of. im not against buying a spare battery pack for long rides. NW WA is where we reside for an idea of trails. lots of time on galbraith.

    handle bar - im torn between gloworm x2 (or maybe an alpha with w/w) and outbound lighting trail. but also looking at the m-tiger sports theia or ds

    helmet - really leaning towards gloworm's alpha here. price, weight and reviews really make it the lead contender to me here. but wondering if its worth it to pony up for an x2 here also.

    on one hand, it seems to make sense to stick with gloworm (really like the idea of the alpha for helmet use). i also like everything i see about the OB trail, but im not sold on the road for helmet use. at least as compared to the alpha.

    any advice or recommendations are welcome.
    I like the idea of the Outbound Lights.

    That said, by using the road on the helmet you are getting to use the power of the light carpets working together in harmony, along with exact same color temperature. Resulting in what is essentially an unbroken field of light as you maneuver through twisty trails. It's something that not a lot of people have truly experienced since every bike light has categorically been a circular spot light.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vwl4W171L8

    Keep in mind that video is then jumping to a $120 light, and then amazon's best selling $50 light. Even if you used two of those cheaper lights you still would not be getting the light in the lower corners (along with all the residual that the camera can't pick up, but our eyes can). Same story with using two higher power more expensive lights, still just circular beam patterns.

  3. #3
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,260
    One thing with most the lights you listed is that beam pattern is subjective. They all can have the optics changed. The more "common" but less expensive lights dont offer this.

    But like many things it's much more about user preference. Like I dont like overly wide coverage on narrow wooded trails. As well as light too close to front tire. Helmet is about the same but I personally go with more output on the helmet than the bars. Eyes naturally want to track to brighter lit area so having the extra power to throw light out ahead of the bar light you end up with a more even light coverage out ahead making it easier to keep your eyes up ahead.

    As I said though, personal preference. I was stuck mostly night riding for a couple of years so had a lot of time to figure out what worked best for me.

    Any of the options you listed will be far better than any low budget minded option.

    Now for the options (excluding outbound as it's a completely different design) it comes down to what matters to you. Quality and performance is going to run pretty much side by side. Lumen specs are all real from MTS (DS, Theia) all through glowworm. Some price variations come from programmable drivers (MTS went 4 modes in perfect spacing with up and down mode selection to save expense and complexity) to included accessories and so on.

    M-Tiger is new to the US, has been popular in Europe for some time though. Sadly most of the videos and such are not in English.

    Cant go wrong with any option, just compare specs, what's included and so on judge by what matters most to you.

    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
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    400
    Riding Galbraith at night? You want all the lights you can get! Personally, I started riding with Outbound recently. The ďdownhill comboĒ works amazing, but Iím not thrilled by the trail light on the bars alone. I do love the engineering behind the lights and the construction quality though. The road on the helmet is what makes it. I wear bibs with pockets in the back and just drop the battery pack down the back of the shirt and into the pocket.

    And for night riding in the woods with vertical drop you just canít have too much light imo. I think all our reputable vendors here selling lights would be able to supply you with a setup that works great, but I only have experience with Outbound. Previously I ran some custom hand made lights, and Iíve used Niterider before.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    16
    the thing that keeps me coming back to the alpha (over the OB road for instance) for a helmet light is the size (seems the most low-profile), and run-time on the 2 cell batteries. strapping a 2-cell to my helmet seems like a better option than running a wire to a larger battery in my pack. maybe the thought of a wire running from helmet to pack shouldnt be as much of a concern.

    im very tempted now to buy a set (handle bar + helmet) from two manufacturers for the ole pespi challenge. i really like redundancy in our set ups, but maybe the wife will end up liking something different from me. and at worst, it seems they all offer a fair return/guarantee policy.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,042
    Quote Originally Posted by rattler420 View Post
    the thing that keeps me coming back to the alpha (over the OB road for instance) for a helmet light is the size (seems the most low-profile), and run-time on the 2 cell batteries. strapping a 2-cell to my helmet seems like a better option than running a wire to a larger battery in my pack. maybe the thought of a wire running from helmet to pack shouldnt be as much of a concern.

    im very tempted now to buy a set (handle bar + helmet) from two manufacturers for the ole pespi challenge. i really like redundancy in our set ups, but maybe the wife will end up liking something different from me. and at worst, it seems they all offer a fair return/guarantee policy.
    I own all the lights you mentioned you were looking at. Unfortunately the terrain where I ride (desert) is different than yours so probably best if I avoid any recommendations but can answer questions about capabilities and characteristics of each light. Anything specific you want to know?
    Mole

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    778
    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    I own all the lights you mentioned you were looking at. Unfortunately the terrain where I ride (desert) is different than yours so probably best if I avoid any recommendations but can answer questions about capabilities and characteristics of each light. Anything specific you want to know?
    Mole
    MRMOLE, I'd love to hear your recommendation if you are willing to share it.

    I'm in the exact same boat as the OP and in Seattle so similar terrain. I'm really torn between gloworm, outbound and rakc. I've only ever ridden with cheap chinese knockoffs so I'm sure anything would be an upgrade, but I don't have any experience with good lights. I really like the idea of the outbound wide throw but just wondering if it's that much different than the gloworm.

    Also, when I was looking at lights a few years ago it seemed like the recommendation was brighter light on the bars, do you all recommend the brighter light on the helmet?

    I guess specifically, what would be the main difference between the outbound road and trail setup, compared to a gloworm x2 bar and helmet (with wide optics on the bars and spot optics on the helmet)? Or gloworm X2 on hemet and Alpha on the bars?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,042
    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
    I guess specifically, what would be the main difference between the outbound road and trail setup, compared to a gloworm x2 bar and helmet (with wide optics on the bars and spot optics on the helmet)? Or gloworm X2 on hemet and Alpha on the bars?
    Riding with the Outbound combo is different than any other lights I've tried. Reminds me of riding in a little bubble of daylight where everything is evenly lit. The down side to the beam pattern is that the bubble is only so big and non adjustable. I can see if ridden on trails with limited line of sight distances this would work very well although the extreme beam width could add distractions if you were trying to scoot down a very tight trail. The Gloworms beam may not give you quite the picture like view of the trail but is still very good (better than most other lights) and can be adjusted to illuminate the trail for far greater distances. Overall the Gloworms are more powerful and more efficient with the use of battery current (X2 a bit more, Alpha quite a bit more). Actual initial max power the Outbound lights would split the difference between the Alpha and X2 but an overly aggressive emergency power function (supposed to be fixed sometime soon) than starts cutting back the Outbound's output (to the claimed 800 lumen preset) after about an hour. Gloworms presets are user programmable (which you probably already know) but they also have a second program with just a high/low setup which I like. Mounting systems are better on the Gloworms (take up far less bar space and center lights in front of stem cap + allow lights to be mounted below bar height where they a better protected. Outbound lights come with a Gopro adapters along with the strap mount so can be used with the Gloworm mounts + a helmet mount will need to be purchased unless your helmet comes with a Gopro mount.

    EDIT: Wireless remote of the Gloworm X2 far superior for mode switching, would rate the top mounted Outbound mode button better than the Alpha because of placement and size.



    Also, when I was looking at lights a few years ago it seemed like the recommendation was brighter light on the bars, do you all recommend the brighter light on the helmet?
    I think a better way to look at it is the light with the most throw should go on the helmet.

    I'd love to hear your recommendation if you are willing to share it.
    I'm not willing to make a recommendation since I've never ridden in a forest at night but hopefully these observations from ownership will help you decide what's best for you and the conditions you ride in. Maybe you'll get some input from someone more familiar with riding in conditions similar to yours. Coming from a cheap light backround I don't think you can make a bad decision on this.
    Mole

  9. #9
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714
    Are the Gloworm neutral white LEDs available for the end user to install themselves? Action-LED offers these as an option, but Jenson doesnít, and Iím just wondering if Action has some kind of deal with Gloworm, or if the LED options are standard available parts.

    Iím researching a lot and am now leaning toward a pair of X2, though still have not ruled out an Outbound Trail on the bars and X2 helmet. The adjustable beam X2 almost makes this a mute point though, especially when considering one remote controls both, same color temp LEDs, same controls.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,603
    Action removes the original emitters and reflow solders the NW emitters in place of the original emitters. A user can do that too if they have some reflow soldering experience.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,042
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    Are the Gloworm neutral white LEDs available for the end user to install themselves? Action-LED offers these as an option, but Jenson doesnít, and Iím just wondering if Action has some kind of deal with Gloworm, or if the LED options are standard available parts.

    Iím researching a lot and am now leaning toward a pair of X2, though still have not ruled out an Outbound Trail on the bars and X2 helmet. The adjustable beam X2 almost makes this a mute point though, especially when considering one remote controls both, same color temp LEDs, same controls.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm not sure where Action sources the NW emitters from but they are available separately if you want to reflow them to the boards yourself. Considering the cost of individual emitters + shipping your not going to save much. Living on the west coast you may reduce the shipping time by a couple of days but other than that I see no advantage ordering the Gloworms from Jenson vs. Action. Also if you decide to run a Outbound/Gloworm combo the standard emitters on the X2 will match the Outbound better.
    Mole

  12. #12
    arc
    arc is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    316
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    Are the Gloworm neutral white LEDs available for the end user to install themselves? Action-LED offers these as an option, but Jenson doesnít, and Iím just wondering if Action has some kind of deal with Gloworm, or if the LED options are standard available parts.

    Iím researching a lot and am now leaning toward a pair of X2, though still have not ruled out an Outbound Trail on the bars and X2 helmet. The adjustable beam X2 almost makes this a mute point though, especially when considering one remote controls both, same color temp LEDs, same controls.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Action is a distributor that also sells. Jensen is just a reseller.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: iliketexmex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    563
    Get a light, ride at night. The sooner the better because it is a whole new experience. I bring a flashlight too just in case something fails. Daylight savings used to feel like a funeral, riding at night makes it a non-issue

  14. #14
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Action removes the original emitters and reflow solders the NW emitters in place of the original emitters. A user can do that too if they have some reflow soldering experience.
    Thanks, makes sense to just buy from Action.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  15. #15
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714
    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    I'm not sure where Action sources the NW emitters from but they are available separately if you want to reflow them to the boards yourself. Considering the cost of individual emitters + shipping your not going to save much. Living on the west coast you may reduce the shipping time by a couple of days but other than that I see no advantage ordering the Gloworms from Jenson vs. Action. Also if you decide to run a Outbound/Gloworm combo the standard emitters on the X2 will match the Outbound better.
    Mole
    The only Jenson advantage right now is the 20% off one item ($60 off the XS 2500 lumen, $50 off the X2). Thatís 20% less than Action LED, but I understand Action will replace the LEDs for $10 or so.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    12
    Are the neutral whites worth it?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by CopeIt View Post
    Are the neutral whites worth it?
    I think so myself. After chatting with Mole I decided to go NW. Everything looks more natural with less glare. The cool white or daylight is very bright and reflective to me, trail features get really washed out. More useable light with less eye fatigue with NW. if you ride in the snow there is absolutely less glare. I also read that in dusty places that NW are better. Iíd go Gloworm NW.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    46
    Go Alpha on helmet with XS on bar both neutral white. Sweet set up. Iíd choose X2 for helmet if remote is important but, keep in mind, in very cold conditions those button batteries in the remote seem to drain quickly. I donít even bother with the remote in winter. Itís no big deal reaching a button on my helmet.
    I use X2 with S/S on helmet with 2 cell mounted to helmet and spare 2 cell in my pack and XS on the bar with W/F/W optics and I love my set up..

  19. #19
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714
    Quote Originally Posted by MrGT View Post
    Go Alpha on helmet with XS on bar both neutral white. Sweet set up. Iíd choose X2 for helmet if remote is important but, keep in mind, in very cold conditions those button batteries in the remote seem to drain quickly. I donít even bother with the remote in winter. Itís no big deal reaching a button on my helmet.
    I use X2 with S/S on helmet with 2 cell mounted to helmet and spare 2 cell in my pack and XS on the bar with W/F/W optics and I love my set up..
    The 2017 XS is a pretty good deal, and it looks like the only difference between that and the Ď18 is wired vs wireless remote? If on the bars, wired would be fine.

    Not cold here so button battery life isnít a big deal.

    Whatís S/S?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    155
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    The 2017 XS is a pretty good deal, and it looks like the only difference between that and the Ď18 is wired vs wireless remote? If on the bars, wired would be fine.

    Not cold here so button battery life isnít a big deal.

    Whatís S/S?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think he is talking about the lens setup for the light. S/S is spot spot.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,042
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    The 2017 XS is a pretty good deal, and it looks like the only difference between that and the Ď18 is wired vs wireless remote? If on the bars, wired would be fine.

    Not cold here so button battery life isnít a big deal.

    Whatís S/S?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Remote versions of the X2/XS also include a mode button on the lighthead and are drilled for the Gopro mount provided with the newer lights. Remote mounting system and overall button function are noticeably better on the wireless lights also.

    Gloworm offers 3 different optics for the X2/XS. Spot (S) is a narrow focused beam with the most intensity/throw, Flood (F) is very similar to the spot but has a frosted exterior surface that has less intensity/throw than the spot but blends better with the wide angle optic (less of a hot spot/smoother beam), and Wide-angle (W) is and elliptical style optic that has a similar vertical beam angle but spreads the beam horizontally so retains more intensity by limiting wasted light above and below the useful field of vision like you get with a traditional wide angle optic.
    Mole

  22. #22
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714

    decisions, decisions...

    Quote Originally Posted by caRpetbomBer View Post
    I think he is talking about the lens setup for the light. S/S is spot spot.
    Right! Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Remote versions of the X2/XS also include a mode button on the lighthead and are drilled for the Gopro mount provided with the newer lights. Remote mounting system and overall button function are noticeably better on the wireless lights also.

    Gloworm offers 3 different optics for the X2/XS. Spot (S) is a narrow focused beam with the most intensity/throw, Flood (F) is very similar to the spot but has a frosted exterior surface that has less intensity/throw than the spot but blends better with the wide angle optic (less of a hot spot/smoother beam), and Wide-angle (W) is and elliptical style optic that has a similar vertical beam angle but spreads the beam horizontally so retains more intensity by limiting wasted light above and below the useful field of vision like you get with a traditional wide angle optic.
    Mole
    Thanks, thats super helpful. I think it sounds like 2019 features/ improvements may be worth the $$ since this is likely to be a 1-time investment in lights I'll have for a decade or more.

    I guess my final decision is how much light and where? Coming from cheap Chinese knockoffs, anything is going to be an awesome improvement.

    Iím wavering between a pair of X2s on bars and helmet, and an XS on the bars and X2 on the helmet (adventure version with 2 batteries). 100% of my 2 night rides per week are less than 1.5 hours right now, and I run low power for more than half of that - on the climbs.

    Iíve seen some mention that the XS might be too much for the bars, and a better helmet light. My main thought regarding X2 on helmet is due to size and weight, and possibly mounting the two battery pack on my helmet. Iím getting away from a hydration backpack for water bottle, and frame bag for storage, so have also lost my previous helmet light battery storage (in the Camelbak). If I wear a jersey with back pockets, that works ok for the battery, but some of my colder weather jerseys donít have back pockets, and having it self contained on the helmet sounds ideal.
    Last edited by isleblue65; 10-28-2018 at 05:10 AM.
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    Right! Thanks



    Thanks, thats super helpful. I think it sounds like 2019 features/ improvements may be worth the $$ since this is likely to be a 1-time investment in lights I'll have for a decade or more.

    I guess my final decision is how much light and where? Coming from cheap Chinese knockoffs, anything is going to be an awesome improvement.

    Iím wavering between a pair of X2s on bars and helmet, and an XS on the bars and X2 on the helmet (adventure version with 2 batteries). 100% of my 2 night rides per week are less than 1.5 hours right now, and I run low power for more than half of that - on the climbs.

    Iíve seen some mention that the XS might be too much for the bars, and a better helmet light. My main thought regarding X2 on helmet is due to size and weight, and possibly mounting the two battery pack on my helmet. Iím getting away from a hydration backpack for water bottle, and frame bag for storage, so have also lost my previous helmet light battery storage (in the Camelbak). If I wear a jersey with back pockets, that works ok for the battery, but some of my colder weather jerseys donít have back pockets, and having it self contained on the helmet sounds ideal.
    I wouldnít want the XS on my head, feels too heavy to me. I donít think XS is too much for the bar, you donít need to run it on high but you will get a sweet spread with those 3 LED. I believe Mole has stated that higher lumen lights run at lower power are more efficient? Anyhow, I have an X2 mounted on a Giro Fixture MIPS helmet with the battery and although itís not super light weight it is awesome and I have no wires going down my back.
    XS bar, X2 helmet neutral white. Your hunt is over LOL.

  24. #24
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714
    Quote Originally Posted by MrGT View Post
    I wouldnít want the XS on my head, feels too heavy to me. I donít think XS is too much for the bar, you donít need to run it on high but you will get a sweet spread with those 3 LED. I believe Mole has stated that higher lumen lights run at lower power are more efficient? Anyhow, I have an X2 mounted on a Giro Fixture MIPS helmet with the battery and although itís not super light weight it is awesome and I have no wires going down my back.
    XS bar, X2 helmet neutral white. Your hunt is over LOL.
    Sweet! That helmet has a lot of good wide vents for battery straps, and flat spots for adhesive and flat-based strap style GoPro mounts.

    Canít really say the same for my Bell Lumen.





    If I have to buy a new helmet, itís not a huge price to have better light mounting surfaces.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    46
    Yes, the Giro fixture MIPS is $65 and the non MIPS is only $45. I bought a second one just to keep my lights and battery mounted semi permanently..

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DaleinTexas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    118
    I recently used a Tiger Theia, helmet mounted for a 24hr endurance race with zero issues and zero complaints. The wiring was a perfect length and just dropped the battery in my center rear pocket on my jersey, the remote worked great from the handlebars. Being able to remotely toggle it through multiple output levels. I definitely will be ordering another for my bars for my 2019 24 hr races.
    Nuun Ambassador 2017/2018
    Honey Stinger Ambassador 2018
    Facebook Blog "Run with me"
    Instagram @Run_withme1972

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,042
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post

    I guess my final decision is how much light and where? Coming from cheap Chinese knockoffs, anything is going to be an awesome improvement.

    Iím wavering between a pair of X2s on bars and helmet, and an XS on the bars and X2 on the helmet (adventure version with 2 batteries). 100% of my 2 night rides per week are less than 1.5 hours right now, and I run low power for more than half of that - on the climbs.

    Iíve seen some mention that the XS might be too much for the bars, and a better helmet light. My main thought regarding X2 on helmet is due to size and weight, and possibly mounting the two battery pack on my helmet. Iím getting away from a hydration backpack for water bottle, and frame bag for storage, so have also lost my previous helmet light battery storage (in the Camelbak). If I wear a jersey with back pockets, that works ok for the battery, but some of my colder weather jerseys donít have back pockets, and having it self contained on the helmet sounds ideal.
    I ran some test you might find useful or at least interesting comparing the Gloworm lights with regards to weight/throw @ Alpha's max./current draw @ Alpha's max. Even though the Alpha is only 1200 lumens it has competitive throw with any sub 2000 lumen lights I've tested and while the X2/XS will produce higher max. lux numbers the X2 had to run @ 90% to get the only slightly higher readings posted here and required considerably more current draw @ this output level. Readings were taken @ 1.5 meters which actually favors the more powerful X2/XS but results are accurate enough for comparison here.

    .................Weight.........Max LUX...........Current draw
    Alpha:......69 grams.........64700..................1.5a

    X2:..........89 grams.........67500..................2.15a

    XS:........110 grams.........67700..................1.51a

    Estimated lumen output from bounce test lux reading @ these settings were Alpha: 1310, X2: 1672, XS: 1785.

    Alpha achieves its greater throw vs. power output ratio from the use of XPG emitters but also has a narrower beam. XS additional efficiency comes from driving the emitters at lower current levels. XS could drain a 2 cell battery far quicker than the Alpha/X2 but only if set to far outperform the smaller lights. Set to similar max lux (throw) levels it and the Alpha should give noticeably better runtimes than the X2.

    All the GW lights will perform well bar or helmet mounted (IMO) if set up correctly. 20 gram steps between lights are noticeable but while I definately prefer the Alpha's weight helmet mounted most of my XS usage is also helmet mounted and as long as I use a good/tight fitting helmet I'm fine. XS is also the best bar light but because its 3 optics offer additional flexibility in setup and its efficient use of battery power (when run @ appropriate power levels) not its extra output ("more than needed" is a better description then "too much").
    Mole

  28. #28
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714
    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    I ran some test you might find useful or at least interesting comparing the Gloworm lights with regards to weight/throw @ Alpha's max./current draw @ Alpha's max. Even though the Alpha is only 1200 lumens it has competitive throw with any sub 2000 lumen lights I've tested and while the X2/XS will produce higher max. lux numbers the X2 had to run @ 90% to get the only slightly higher readings posted here and required considerably more current draw @ this output level. Readings were taken @ 1.5 meters which actually favors the more powerful X2/XS but results are accurate enough for comparison here.

    .................Weight.........Max LUX...........Current draw
    Alpha:......69 grams.........64700..................1.5a

    X2:..........89 grams.........67500..................2.15a

    XS:........110 grams.........67700..................1.51a

    Estimated lumen output from bounce test lux reading @ these settings were Alpha: 1310, X2: 1672, XS: 1785.

    Alpha achieves its greater throw vs. power output ratio from the use of XPG emitters but also has a narrower beam. XS additional efficiency comes from driving the emitters at lower current levels. XS could drain a 2 cell battery far quicker than the Alpha/X2 but only if set to far outperform the smaller lights. Set to similar max lux (throw) levels it and the Alpha should give noticeably better runtimes than the X2.

    All the GW lights will perform well bar or helmet mounted (IMO) if set up correctly. 20 gram steps between lights are noticeable but while I definately prefer the Alpha's weight helmet mounted most of my XS usage is also helmet mounted and as long as I use a good/tight fitting helmet I'm fine. XS is also the best bar light but because its 3 optics offer additional flexibility in setup and its efficient use of battery power (when run @ appropriate power levels) not its extra output ("more than needed" is a better description then "too much").
    Mole
    Thanks Mole, those are good comparisons. I did end up ordering the XS (standard 4 cell) and X2 (2 cell), both with natural white LEDs. Plan to mount XS on bars and X2 on helmet.

    I would rather have a wider beam, at least on the bars - which I can achieve with the XS and a combination of spot and flood optics. Hopefully the battery life to output of the X2 on my helmet with 2 cells will not disappoint compared to the Alpha. My rides are 1.5 hours or less generally, and only 20 to 30% of the time at higher light levels on the downhill portions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  29. #29
    100% PRIME ALBERTA BEEF
    Reputation: mtnbkrmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    2,240
    This thread is jammed with really helpful info. It has revived my motivation to get a nice light set up and get out there riding in the dark. Now, if only I could get past all my fears... I will have to work on that.

  30. #30
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714

    decisions, decisions...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    This thread is jammed with really helpful info. It has revived my motivation to get a nice light set up and get out there riding in the dark. Now, if only I could get past all my fears... I will have to work on that.
    I had fears of riding alone before I started doing it regularly. We have mountain lions here, coyotes and occasionally bears, but I tell myself that Iím the scariest thing out there with the lights, and bike tires crunching over gravel and rocks. There are also thousands of rabbits and hundreds of deer and turkeys. Lions and coyotes have a huge food supply and they arenít going after something bigger than themselves.

    Now I find it peaceful and I do a lot of thinking and enjoy the wildlife I see on every ride. 2 morning rides per week are completely in the dark, and I enjoy those more than my weekend ride during the day.

    My Gloworm lights will be here tomorrow, and I think Iím going to get up and ride in the dark Saturday morning instead of sleeping in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  31. #31
    100% PRIME ALBERTA BEEF
    Reputation: mtnbkrmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    2,240
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    I had fears of riding alone before I started doing it regularly. We have mountain lions here, coyotes and occasionally bears, but I tell myself that Iím the scariest thing out there with the lights, and bike tires crunching over gravel and rocks. There are also thousands of rabbits and hundreds of deer and turkeys. Lions and coyotes have a huge food supply and they arenít going after something bigger than themselves.

    Now I find it peaceful and I do a lot of thinking and enjoy the wildlife I see on every ride. 2 morning rides per week are completely in the dark, and I enjoy those more than my weekend ride during the day.

    My Gloworm lights will be here tomorrow, and I think Iím going to get up and ride in the dark Saturday morning instead of sleeping in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Any thoughts after your first ride or two would be appreciated.

    I am in the same boat as the OP. I need 2 sets of lights, so my expense will be double that of most others.

    My riding is in rocky, sometimes fairly technical terrain, mostly on twisty treed trails, although sometimes we are above the treeline. Other times, we are on fast, flowy, but also tightly treed and usually rocky trails. Sometimes, it is a mixture of all of this.

    Night rides will almost always be in the 2.5 hour range, although there are a couple of rides I would like to do that are longer.

    The ride profile is usually up, up, up, and then down, down down (obviously with slight variations along the way). Generally though, one long sustained climb, followed by an equally long sustained down.

    Interested in your initial thoughts on your purchase.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by mtnbkrmike; 11-02-2018 at 01:10 PM.

  32. #32
    100% PRIME ALBERTA BEEF
    Reputation: mtnbkrmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    2,240
    Quote Originally Posted by rattler420 View Post
    the thing that keeps me coming back to the alpha (over the OB road for instance) for a helmet light is the size (seems the most low-profile), and run-time on the 2 cell batteries. strapping a 2-cell to my helmet seems like a better option than running a wire to a larger battery in my pack. maybe the thought of a wire running from helmet to pack shouldnt be as much of a concern.

    im very tempted now to buy a set (handle bar + helmet) from two manufacturers for the ole pespi challenge. i really like redundancy in our set ups, but maybe the wife will end up liking something different from me. and at worst, it seems they all offer a fair return/guarantee policy.
    What did you end up purchasing?

  33. #33
    Rollin 29s
    Reputation: isleblue65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    714
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Any thoughts after your first ride or two would be appreciated.

    I am in the same boat as the OP. I need 2 sets of lights, so my expense will be double that of most others.

    My riding is in rocky, sometimes fairly technical terrain, mostly on twisty treed trails, although sometimes we are above the treeline. Other times, we are on fast, flowy, but also tightly treed and usually rocky trails. Sometimes, it is a mixture of all of this.

    Night rides will almost always be in the 2.5 hour range, although there are a couple of rides I would like to do that are longer.

    The ride profile is usually up, up, up, and then down, down down (obviously with slight variations along the way). Generally though, one long sustained climb, followed by an equally long sustained down.

    Interested in your initial thoughts on your purchase.

    Thanks.
    I just got back from my first night ride with the Gloworm X2 on my helmet and XS on the bars, and Iím very impressed. Coming from cheap Chinese lights with blue/ white LED color and spot beams that only light up a small area directly in front of the bike, the Gloworm lights even on low power made me realize how much of the terrain Iíve been missing.

    I have the X2 setup with two spots and XS With Wide Flood Wide optics. The XS has amazing throw on low and medium. I was amazed at how much of the forest on either side of the narrow trail Iíve been missing. It was actually kind of creepy because Iíve just blocked out everything except for the trail directly in front of me for the last 15 years of night riding (because thatís all Iíve been able to see with my lights). Now Iím seeing trees, rocks, stumps, Ferns and detail 20 to 30 feet into the woods in my peripheral vision. I may swap the middle flood optic with a spot to see how I like that.

    The X2 with two spots is perfect and a nice compliment to the XS. I setup my wireless remote (which worked amazing) to control the XS on the bars with the forward button and the X2 with the back button. There were times that I ran one light on high and the other on medium, and it was nice to easily toggle through settings without taking my hands off the bars.

    The natural white LEDs were definitely easier on the eyes, and made things look a lot like they do during the day. Contrast between the dirt and roots/ rocks on the dirt was much better than with the sterile white Chinese lights. I rode as fast as I do during the day, and thatís a first for me. This was the first time I could see way way out in front of me as well as to the side while night riding. Quality lights build confidence.

    I ran the 2 battery pack mounted to the back of my helmet, and Iím not sure Iím sold on that. I could feel the weight of the battery pack shaking and shifting as I descended some rocky sections, and combined with the headlamp, it felt like it was weighing down the helmet a bit. I may try my next ride with the extension cable and battery in a back jersey pocket.

    If this is your first foray into night riding, and youíre not 100% sure itís going to be for you, I would almost steer you toward some cheap lights just to get the feel for it, and gauge your commitment to it. You could spend $50 to $75 and get a decent fairly bright setup that you could try on some short rides that donít take you too deep into the woods.

    I waited too long. For the frequency of dark riding I do, this is something I should have spent the money on years ago.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity.
    - Lord Charles Beresford

  34. #34
    100% PRIME ALBERTA BEEF
    Reputation: mtnbkrmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    2,240
    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    I just got back from my first night ride with the Gloworm X2 on my helmet and XS on the bars, and Iím very impressed. Coming from cheap Chinese lights with blue/ white LED color and spot beams that only light up a small area directly in front of the bike, the Gloworm lights even on low power made me realize how much of the terrain Iíve been missing.

    I have the X2 setup with two spots and XS With Wide Flood Wide optics. The XS has amazing throw on low and medium. I was amazed at how much of the forest on either side of the narrow trail Iíve been missing. It was actually kind of creepy because Iíve just blocked out everything except for the trail directly in front of me for the last 15 years of night riding (because thatís all Iíve been able to see with my lights). Now Iím seeing trees, rocks, stumps, Ferns and detail 20 to 30 feet into the woods in my peripheral vision. I may swap the middle flood optic with a spot to see how I like that.

    The X2 with two spots is perfect and a nice compliment to the XS. I setup my wireless remote (which worked amazing) to control the XS on the bars with the forward button and the X2 with the back button. There were times that I ran one light on high and the other on medium, and it was nice to easily toggle through settings without taking my hands off the bars.

    The natural white LEDs were definitely easier on the eyes, and made things look a lot like they do during the day. Contrast between the dirt and roots/ rocks on the dirt was much better than with the sterile white Chinese lights. I rode as fast as I do during the day, and thatís a first for me. This was the first time I could see way way out in front of me as well as to the side while night riding. Quality lights build confidence.

    I ran the 2 battery pack mounted to the back of my helmet, and Iím not sure Iím sold on that. I could feel the weight of the battery pack shaking and shifting as I descended some rocky sections, and combined with the headlamp, it felt like it was weighing down the helmet a bit. I may try my next ride with the extension cable and battery in a back jersey pocket.

    If this is your first foray into night riding, and youíre not 100% sure itís going to be for you, I would almost steer you toward some cheap lights just to get the feel for it, and gauge your commitment to it. You could spend $50 to $75 and get a decent fairly bright setup that you could try on some short rides that donít take you too deep into the woods.

    I waited too long. For the frequency of dark riding I do, this is something I should have spent the money on years ago.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all your thoughts in such detail. Extremely helpful!

    I have been riding more or less continuously for 25 or so years. I am afraid to ride at night. But doing so would open up so many opportunities to expand my riding, especially right now with the limited daylight hours. And because of my fear, it might actually enhance the experience, in an on the edge kind of way.

    The setup you purchased sounds pretty much perfect for me. Itís either a Gloworm combo likely along the lines you got, or the Outbound combo.

    Thanks again. Very much appreciated.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Any thoughts after your first ride or two would be appreciated.

    I am in the same boat as the OP. I need 2 sets of lights, so my expense will be double that of most others.

    My riding is in rocky, sometimes fairly technical terrain, mostly on twisty treed trails, although sometimes we are above the treeline. Other times, we are on fast, flowy, but also tightly treed and usually rocky trails. Sometimes, it is a mixture of all of this.

    Night rides will almost always be in the 2.5 hour range, although there are a couple of rides I would like to do that are longer.

    The ride profile is usually up, up, up, and then down, down down (obviously with slight variations along the way). Generally though, one long sustained climb, followed by an equally long sustained down.

    Interested in your initial thoughts on your purchase.

    Thanks.
    Hey Mike,
    Based on the technical nature and duration of your riding Iím not sure cheap single cell battery lights will be enough for you. In order to run 2.5 hours with enough lumens to see technical terrain Iíd say lights that have multi cell batteries are a necessity. The Gloworm X2 or XS will come with a 4 cell battery and enough power and run time to last 2.5 hours.
    X2 on the your helmet with a 4 cell battery in your pack, extension cable to the helmet.
    XS on the bar with a 4 cell on your top tube, youíd be good to go.
    Neutral White LED choice from Action LED with the same optics as isleblue65.
    Of course there are other awesome brands and models of lights, Iím merely mentioning the ones I have experience with. Mentioning that you are afraid to ride at night puts the nail in the idea of considering going cheap, donít do it, you will be able to light up the woods big time with the combo I suggested.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-06-2014, 08:20 AM
  2. Decisions, decisions, decisions
    By FireSpitter in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-28-2012, 09:29 AM
  3. decisions, decisions, decisions...
    By trailripper in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-05-2007, 10:22 AM
  4. (Bike) decisions, decisions, decisions...help
    By borry in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 12-27-2005, 01:32 AM
  5. Decisions Decisions Decisions
    By cobaltorbit in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2004, 04:14 PM

Members who have read this thread: 140

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 2018 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.