Gloworm XS vs Gemini Olympia for road-bike commuting?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gloworm XS vs Gemini Olympia for road-bike commuting?

    I ride a road-bike for commuting - some of the roads I have to go on are pretty dark (think no street lights) - and I would like to actually see the road (e.g. for hazards) and also be seen.

    Originally, I was all set on getting the Gemini Titan - but then somebody pointed out that it was probably overkill for just commuting.

    Would you guys agree?

    If I go for the next step down - I'm looking at the Gloworm XS or the Gemini Olympia:

    Gloworm XS Light System (2500 Lumens) | Glowormlites
    OLYMPIA Light Set | Gemini Lights

    The Gloworm XS is 2500 lumens, the Gemini Olympia is 2100 lumens - I'm guessing either of those would be sufficient for road cycling?

    What are people's thoughts on the pros/cons between these two? Any reason to prefer the Gemini over the Gloworm, or vice-versa?

    (I previously had a Lezyne MegaDrive - which apart from not being as bright as I'd like, the light head was incredibly heavy, since it was a single battery and light-head unit).

    Thanks,
    Victor

  2. #2
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    For mountain biking, 2500 lumens is about what I use for all but the fastest downhill sections of trail. Then I crank up the lights to about 3500. Unless one has poor night vision, I find it hard to imagine that ~1000 lumen would not be more than enough for road riding unless descending the Alps at 50mph. How the light is aimed is important Particularly with high powered lights like you are asking about. These need to be aimed fairly low so to not blind oncoming traffic (cars or cyclists).
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  3. #3
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    2000-2500 lumens is still overkill for road use. Something around 1500 lumens is about max you want to push. Thing is the darker the area you are in, the brighter the light appears because your eye adjust for less light.

    I use a Ituo WIZ20, the wide spot optics to spread the light out a fair bit and I see as well as I do in my car with low beams on.

    RIding on the streets for commuting with something as big as the titan, xs, olympia etc is likely to cause aggression from other drivers and possibly a lecture from local police. You blind them they get angry real fast lol.

    The reason you see bigger lights discussed here is because we primarily night ride on trails, gravel etc. Commuting lights 500-1000 lumens is plenty unless you want something more like car headlights, then wide spot on a light with some form of cut off (gloworm CX has that plate on top, WIZ20 uses the front bezel to limit vertical light a fair bit, etc) up to around 1500 lumens is fine. But a 2000+ lumen mountain bike light IMO is going to create far more problems than the extra lumens is going to "fix"

  4. #4
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    I actually also have a downhill bike - so I was hoping to be able to use the same light on both.

    I mean, I can just turn it down to 50%, right? Or are the optics on the light not suitable?

    If I wanted to get two lights, then for the road-bike perhaps the Gloworm X2:

    Gloworm X2 Light System (1500 Lumens) | Glowormlites

    Or the Gemini Duo

    DUO Light Set | Gemini Lights

    I'll also look into the Ituo Wiz20 you mentioned.

    Does anybody have any pros/cons of the various brands/lights mentioned above? (Gemini, Gloworm etc.)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorhooi View Post
    I actually also have a downhill bike - so I was hoping to be able to use the same light on both.

    I mean, I can just turn it down to 50%, right? Or are the optics on the light not suitable?

    If I wanted to get two lights, then for the road-bike perhaps the Gloworm X2:

    Gloworm X2 Light System (1500 Lumens) | Glowormlites

    Or the Gemini Duo

    DUO Light Set | Gemini Lights

    I'll also look into the Ituo Wiz20 you mentioned.

    Does anybody have any pros/cons of the various brands/lights mentioned above? (Gemini, Gloworm etc.)
    If I were going to multi-task the lights as you described I'd go with the Gloworm XS. Very powerful/flexable light. 3 changeable optics allow you to fine tune your beam pattern to what ever you like. With all spot optics will out throw the Olympia (downhill) or have a tighter beam with less top spill (road/easier for on-coming traffic) but if your in a situation where you need more flood you just exchange the spots for whatever number of wide-angles you need to get the desired beam spread. XS handles heat much better so if you ride in a warm climate the XS is much better. Olympja is a nice light but I don't think it has any advantages over the Gloworm other than price. I think you got the "over-kill" comments because you indicated you wanted the light for commuting. It may have why more power than you need for commuting but as long as your running it at a reasonable level and not blasting oncoming traffic it should work fine (for and everyone else). It even has a "commuter mode" (two level. high/low) so if your needing more light for fast unlit roads you can switch do if you encounter on-coming traffic quickly with the remote switch. That's my opinion on the Olympia vs. XS.

    2 lights - Far better option (but I don't think I'm talking about what your thinking). I don't recommend ever riding off road without two lights for safety. You never know when you might need a backup. So 2 X2s would be great (1 for the helmet, 1 for the bars). A commuter light like the Wiz20 (a great light) has no battery pack to mess with and is easier to attach and remove from the bike but hold no performance advantages over the X2/Duo.

    Gloworm vs. Gemini, both are very good quality lights. I far prefer the XS over the Olympia because of its layout but the X2 and duo are both similar. Stock Gloworms handle heat better but if your willing to add "Vancbiker GoPro mounts" to the Gemini then they're better IMO.
    Gloworms will always handle over-heating more graciously as they dim and brighten smoothly as per the lights ability to maintain sub-thermal protection threshold temperatures. Pass the thermal protection threshold on a Gemini and it will drop to 20% power which would suck on a fast downhill (major flow to [not for] me).
    Mole

    ***Thought of a advantage to the Wiz20 - It runs at a cooler operating temperature than any light I've ever owned. Exceptional in that respect!***
    Last edited by MRMOLE; 05-24-2016 at 08:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    There's so many good lights and choices. I am using a wiz20 as a road/gravel/railtrail light and it's great for this application. Since you are looking to mtn bike as well as road, I'd go with the gloworm xs. It's my favorite light and the refurbished ones might still be available at Action LED. $100 for lighthead is a no brainier. Just don't run it full bore on the road and get a good tail light if you don't have one already.

  7. #7
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    Ok knowing your full plan for your lights:

    Trail riding on one light is dependant on where you ride.

    A downhill course.....your playing with death in ways you want imagine by trying to run one light.

    I say this because you could buy a $1000 best of the best light and it could still fail at the wrong time. Always have 2 lights. We already stress this point if you ride singletrack whether XC or AM, DH is a requirement unless you really believe your invincible.

    That said, if it was me I would get the XS, set for 3 spot optics and use as a helmet light for trail riding. Get a wiz20 to use as a bar light and your commuter light. Wiz20 also won't step down due to overheat. Not sure it's possible short of leaving on high on a table in direct summer sun. Mole can't make it happen, so it's just not going to happen after dark.

    Like mole I own all the lights mentioned. And I've ridden with the set up I recommend and it turns night into day on the trails. I don't ride anything as intense as DH (rough XC/trail at most) but we have sections that get crazy, having a lot of light on the lid I personally prefer.

    And there are some lights coming out soonish that are looking to match/beat gloworm performance overall but with lower prices. More like Gemini pricing (who also make good lights, the Olympia is nice, not overly impressed with the duo due to thermal step down)

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorhooi View Post
    I ride a road-bike for commuting - some of the roads I have to go on are pretty dark (think no street lights) - and I would like to actually see the road (e.g. for hazards) and also be seen.

    Originally, I was all set on getting the Gemini Titan - but then somebody pointed out that it was probably overkill for just commuting.

    Would you guys agree?

    If I go for the next step down - I'm looking at the Gloworm XS or the Gemini Olympia:

    Gloworm XS Light System (2500 Lumens) | Glowormlites
    OLYMPIA Light Set | Gemini Lights

    The Gloworm XS is 2500 lumens, the Gemini Olympia is 2100 lumens - I'm guessing either of those would be sufficient for road cycling?

    What are people's thoughts on the pros/cons between these two? Any reason to prefer the Gemini over the Gloworm, or vice-versa?

    (I previously had a Lezyne MegaDrive - which apart from not being as bright as I'd like, the light head was incredibly heavy, since it was a single battery and light-head unit).

    Thanks,
    Victor
    For the road, I think you'd be good with just the GW X2 on the bars with spot optics. The X2 is good enough but on occasion when riding road you have to take sharp turns. Helps to have a lamp on the head so you can point the light where you need to see. If you are a fast rider and are booking the downhills I'd recommend something with killer throw in a spot. ( think Gemini Xera with spot optic, MS808/MS808 clone or Xeccon S-12 with two cell on the helmet. ) Two lamps ( bars/helmet ) is really the way to go.

    Now for mountain biking on the downhills you need max light. A Gloworm X2 on the bars should be fine and brighter/wider lamp on the helmet. I like the Gemini Duo right now for helmet use but I don't do too many downhills where my speed is over 20 mph. ( my Duo is the new one with wireless remote using spot/spot optics. )( which I'm also reviewing ) You might try the Gloworm XS on the lid set-up with spot optics for MTB dHILL. ...or maybe go the next level and try the Lupine Wilma with wireless remote < much more money though.

    Anyway, back to your original question; I personally love the Gloworm X2 on the bars for the road. I rare use a helmet lamp on the road so generally I use just a torch on the lid that can help at times if I take roads that are fast with sharp turns. Now if I were riding roads with long fast descents like you get in the mountains I'd have to step up the road helmet set-up and go with my Xeccon X-12. X-12 has a super throw/super-spot beam pattern. Great for spotting things at distance ( with it's lazer-like beam pattern.) ( *one of my old reviews of the X-12 )
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 05-27-2016 at 11:40 AM.

  9. #9
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    If your on the road, I'd get the wide angle lenses to go with whatever option you choose. I'm using the gemini duo with the wide angle optics, they do a great job of flattening the beam horizontally and transforming the beam into a rectangular shape. The comparable spill also has a horizontal cut off for these optics which means your much less likely to blind oncoming traffic.
    The wide angle beams are also useful as a bar light offering good peripheral and lighting up a wide swathe of trail, yet it still gives reasonable throw for road cycling.
    You'd need a helmet light for throw as cat mentioned for downhill mtb'ing.

    My setup and situation requires a lot of road riding before I hit the trails, so wide angle lenses on the bar to serve has a bar flooder and commuter light, and then I activate the helmet light to compliment the bar light on trails.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by whokilledJR View Post
    If your on the road, I'd get the wide angle lenses to go with whatever option you choose. I'm using the gemini duo with the wide angle optics, they do a great job of flattening the beam horizontally and transforming the beam into a rectangular shape. The comparable spill also has a horizontal cut off for these optics which means your much less likely to blind oncoming traffic.
    The wide angle beams are also useful as a bar light offering good peripheral and lighting up a wide swathe of trail, yet it still gives reasonable throw for road cycling.
    You'd need a helmet light for throw as cat mentioned for downhill mtb'ing.

    My setup and situation requires a lot of road riding before I hit the trails, so wide angle lenses on the bar to serve has a bar flooder and commuter light, and then I activate the helmet light to compliment the bar light on trails.
    Just to clarify, from your optic description your talking about a Gloworm "Wide-angle optic" (picture below) AKA "elliptical optic"? I've seen the term "wide-angle" used to describe traditional round shaped beams of a greater angle (what GW calls "floods"). Thought a picture night be appropriate here.
    Mole

    Gloworm XS vs Gemini Olympia for road-bike commuting?-001-5-.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Just to clarify, from your optic description your talking about a Gloworm "Wide-angle optic" (picture below) AKA "elliptical optic"? I've seen the term "wide-angle" used to describe traditional round shaped beams of a greater angle (what GW calls "floods"). Thought a picture night be appropriate here.
    Mole

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yep, that's exactly what I'm referring to.

  12. #12
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    High output lights like these on a commute are going to kill oncoming traffic and other cyclist around you. If you want to stock with Gemini have a look at the XUrban/Trail line for a nice all in one unit. The leyzne would be heavy since it's a CNC piece of aluminum.

    I commute all over a major city and it's outskirts on a 250 lumen LNM Vis360+ and I keep a Urban 550 as a backup. Not to say my light choice is right for you, but think about the others around you that commute and do not enjoy a sudden episode of night blindness.

    The lights you are looking at seem to be the same effect as running your high beams on a car the whole time. You are not going to be seen, you are going to be an annoyance.
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