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  1. #1
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    Good cheap helmet light - not worried about runtime

    Hi everyone! My first time searching around in this forum and since I ended up even more lost I decided to ask.

    I got a race during the night on local trails and I decided to give it a shot since I know the trails like the back of my hand and seems like a way to get into night riding and see if I like it.
    Thing is, budget is short, so I decided to keep it as cheap as possible and get a helmet light.

    The race is about 1.5 hours so I'm not worried about runtime. I just need it to be focused and bright enough to ride technical trails at moderate speeds. Or as bright as possible, what the heck.
    Since runtime isn't a too big of a factor, I'd love to get a self cointained light and not worry about a battery pack and stuff.

    What are my options? I searched around and I just keep getting more confused. My brother had a good experience with the CycleTorch Shark 500, so I'm leaning towards trying a smaller version or something similar. I also like the Revtronic 1600 and seems to have good reviews, but no idea really.
    On the other hands, I found a bazillion chinese lights which I have no idea about either, and all of them have similar reviews and features.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Check out my thread, the guys gave all kinds of options, including low budget ones.

    I liked it so much, I went for a more expensive light. Its a blast, and your trail will feel different.

    Good luck!

    I think I titled it...Hello Night Riders.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deartist7 View Post

    The race is about 1.5 hours so I'm not worried about runtime.
    Unfortunately most small selfcontained lights still only have a claimed 1.5 hr. runtime in their highest mode which at best would be just enough to finish your race. Any additional usage such as going to/waiting at the starting line or any problems during the race would potentially leave you without light for the finish of the race or worse leave you stranded with a mechanical and no light reserve so runtime may be a concern you should consider. I'd suggest getting something with at least a 2 hr. runtime in high mode or one that makes enough power to run it in a lower mode that still meets your light output needs. Most here wouldn't even consider going out without some sort of backup light (I had to use mine earlier this week) so something else to consider. Here's a link for output vs. runtime of a lot of the more common selfcontained lights you may find useful.
    Mole

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deartist7 View Post
    Hi everyone! My first time searching around in this forum and since I ended up even more lost I decided to ask.

    I got a race during the night on local trails and I decided to give it a shot since I know the trails like the back of my hand and seems like a way to get into night riding and see if I like it.
    Thing is, budget is short, so I decided to keep it as cheap as possible and get a helmet light.

    The race is about 1.5 hours so I'm not worried about runtime...
    If you are racing you don't cheap out on lights. You need two lights, one on the bars one on the helmet. You can probably get by with a couple cheap Chinese lights if you aren't going to race on a regular basis but you need a decent thrower for the helmet if you are racing.

    Self contained lights are fine for the novice or occasional night rider but for racing you need something a bit more refined. While you might be able to get by with a cheap dual emitter self contained light for the bars, you will need to run it on the mid-mode to get the full 1.5 hrs run time that you will need. Self contained lights on the bars though can sometimes be problematic if the mount does not grip the bars enough to keep the lamp from moving. For the helmet you will be best served with a duel emitter lamp that requires a separate battery. Do this right and you will enjoy the race. If you don't have adequate light ( and assuming you don't hit something unexpected ) you will be at a disadvantage to the others who will most likely be well prepared for riding at speed at night.

  5. #5
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    Alright, so far I'm realizing that it isn't that easy to solve this.
    I'd like to go as fast as possible so I can stretch my budget a bit and keep it under $100 if possible to get a decent light with external battery that lasts one race and doesn't explode on me.

    Before getting into that, I want to clarify that it's not 100% going down on technical trails. Most of the time I'll be going uphill on a fireroad or a rocky climb (the race organizer hasn't released the trails we're going to race yet so idk), but most of the time I'll keep the light on a medium setting saving the high mode for the descents.
    Also the race might end up being shorter. 1.5 hours is just the usual race time we have for daylight races, so I'm using it as a reference but I won't know until I know the exact course, and the laps if any more than one.

    It's a bit of a blind search that I'm doing I know, but I'd still love to avoid the battery pack and get a self cointained light.
    In that regard I searched around and checked that site.
    I'm really interested in the LM Urban 900, and Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 or 950. Those are slightly below my max budget, which I like, and seem to be fairly consistent on the lumen output and runtime. I'm leaning towards the Urban since the MetroPros don't seem to have a helmet mount.
    I'll research them more later, but if anyone has experiences with them I'd love to hear them.


    Now, on the battery pack light's. What are the benchmarks? I checked the other thread and the Ituo XP2 seems to be a good one.
    Anything else I should check around before diving head first into the XP2 thread?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deartist7 View Post
    Alright, so far I'm realizing that it isn't that easy to solve this.
    I'd like to go as fast as possible so I can stretch my budget a bit and keep it under $100 if possible to get a decent light with external battery that lasts one race and doesn't explode on me.

    Before getting into that, I want to clarify that it's not 100% going down on technical trails. Most of the time I'll be going uphill on a fireroad or a rocky climb (the race organizer hasn't released the trails we're going to race yet so idk), but most of the time I'll keep the light on a medium setting saving the high mode for the descents.
    Also the race might end up being shorter. 1.5 hours is just the usual race time we have for daylight races, so I'm using it as a reference but I won't know until I know the exact course, and the laps if any more than one.

    It's a bit of a blind search that I'm doing I know, but I'd still love to avoid the battery pack and get a self cointained light.
    In that regard I searched around and checked that site.
    I'm really interested in the LM Urban 900, and Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 or 950. Those are slightly below my max budget, which I like, and seem to be fairly consistent on the lumen output and runtime. I'm leaning towards the Urban since the MetroPros don't seem to have a helmet mount.
    I'll research them more later, but if anyone has experiences with them I'd love to hear them.


    Now, on the battery pack light's. What are the benchmarks? I checked the other thread and the Ituo XP2 seems to be a good one.
    Anything else I should check around before diving head first into the XP2 thread?
    For the money you want to spend it really isn't worth talking about the better lights. Not many of the ITUO lights left. That said if you find one to buy you won't be disappointed but truthfully they are out of your budget range. You might consider a BT40S ( for the bars ) and a cheap Mshine 808 clone for the helmet. Those would keep you under $100 and give you enough light to race with....OR...just browse around on Amazon and choose what you think might work...roll the dice and take your chances. ( It pains me to recommend the cheap Chinese stuff but for a $100 budget they're likely the only thing in that price range that will work .

  7. #7
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    Ituo XP2 is an excellent light by any standards. Amazon still shows 18 left @ $99.99.

    https://www.amazon.com/ITUO-Headligh...ustomerReviews

    Similar price to the two self-contained lights mentioned but twice the light output and runtime of either. Poor Amazon review is correct in that the bar mount is fragile and customer support is questionable. The rest of the light is great including the helmet mount. If you still plan on only using 1 light this would be the best way to go IMO.
    Mole

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    ....... the bar mount is fragile
    Easily remedied though..
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Ituo XP2 is an excellent light by any standards. Amazon still shows 18 left @ $99.99.

    https://www.amazon.com/ITUO-Headligh...ustomerReviews
    Great price! The biggest downside though is that you can't choose what optics you want to run. XP2 would make an excellent helmet lamp if you can switch out the optics for an all spot optic set-up. Not sure how it comes stock but likely spot/medium flood. If you only use one lamp probably the best way to go anyway. Of course you can easily change the optics on the XP2. You can buy other optics and MRM will probably kick in to tell you which optics work best. About the bar mount; I own a couple of the ITUO bar mounts and never had a problem. I think the issue with the Gopro type bar mount had more to do with using the heavier self-contained lamps. If you use on the helmet the only other thing you might need is an extension cord for the battery. Not sure if it comes with one but you can buy extension cords almost anywhere. Word of warming, the Velcro on the ITUO helmet mount is somewhat fragile. One of the pieces of Velcro on mine tore off but it was easily fixable if you keep a roll of Velcro on hand. Too much stress on the stock Velcro and it might tear off where it is glued. Not had a problem since.

    Anyway, $99 dollars is a super deal for a lamp like this. Buy one before they are gone. Not only do they give you a great battery but they include the Gopro type helmet mount as well. If it were me I'd put the XP2 on the lid, buy a BT40S for the bars ( $50 ) and you have a very nice duel set-up both with neutral white emitters. BT40S comes with a decent battery as well. ( My personal go-to helmet bike light is the ITUO XP3 and I have a couple BT40S lamps as well ).

  10. #10
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    If you get serious about riding at night, I am also going to recommend getting a bar mounted light and a helmet mounted light. If your current budget is $100, I would suggest the Niterider boost 1100. It comes with a bar mount, so you will need to spend a little more to get a helmet mount, but you should be able to keep it very close to your budget. I run this light on my helmet and get well over 2 hours run time when I reduce the output on the nontechnical sections and run full power on the tech. Niterider has a good reputation on the customer service side, so if you do have any issues, they should take care of you.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Great price! The biggest downside though is that you can't choose what optics you want to run. XP2 would make an excellent helmet lamp if you can switch out the optics for an all spot optic set-up. Not sure how it comes stock but likely spot/medium flood. If you only use one lamp probably the best way to go anyway. Of course you can easily change the optics on the XP2. You can buy other optics and MRM will probably kick in to tell you which optics work best. About the bar mount; I own a couple of the ITUO bar mounts and never had a problem. I think the issue with the Gopro type bar mount had more to do with using the heavier self-contained lamps. If you use on the helmet the only other thing you might need is an extension cord for the battery. Not sure if it comes with one but you can buy extension cords almost anywhere. Word of warming, the Velcro on the ITUO helmet mount is somewhat fragile. One of the pieces of Velcro on mine tore off but it was easily fixable if you keep a roll of Velcro on hand. Too much stress on the stock Velcro and it might tear off where it is glued. Not had a problem since.

    Anyway, $99 dollars is a super deal for a lamp like this. Buy one before they are gone. Not only do they give you a great battery but they include the Gopro type helmet mount as well. If it were me I'd put the XP2 on the lid, buy a BT40S for the bars ( $50 ) and you have a very nice duel set-up both with neutral white emitters. BT40S comes with a decent battery as well. ( My personal go-to helmet bike light is the ITUO XP3 and I have a couple BT40S lamps as well ).
    All spot optics were the stock configuration for the XP2 and 3. Gloworm optics I use are fairly expensive so I'd say at this point (not knowing OP's beam preference) that money would be better spent towards the purchase of a bar light such as the BT40s. D7 I'm curious to here what you decide to do. Good luck with your race!
    Mole

  12. #12
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    I'm almost decided on pulling the trigger on the Ituo XP2. Race is on june so plenty of time but I don't want to miss that deal.

    This BT40s you're talking about is the Niterider BT40s or something like that? Couldn't find it on amazon. What site would you recommend to order that one?

    I might not though, budget is $100 maximum but I might get it later If I get serious about night riding.

  13. #13
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    Waiting for a Shenkey light (1000 lumens), that I got of Amazon. $23-ish USD + $6 delivery.

    My back up light packed it in & I've rearranged my setup.

    My in helmet light that had an annoying long chord & large battery has migrated to handle bars - it's 1200-ish lumens.

    My 2nd back up light is a usb charge model & approx. 450 lumens. It now resides on my skid lid.

    I've heard good things about the Shenkey. Once it arrives, it'll go up top. Current helmet light will play back up.

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deartist7 View Post
    I'm almost decided on pulling the trigger on the Ituo XP2. Race is on june so plenty of time but I don't want to miss that deal.

    This BT40s you're talking about is the Niterider BT40s or something like that? Couldn't find it on amazon. What site would you recommend to order that one?

    I might not though, budget is $100 maximum but I might get it later If I get serious about night riding.
    https://www.amazon.com/Revtronic-160.../dp/B00R1JC894

    Mole

  15. #15
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    I really like Cateye lights, they have been around a long time. I have a couple of 800 series on the bars and a 1200 on my helmet. Very reliable with good reviews. I know the 1200 is good since it pisses people off on my commute off road performance is very good. Very reasonably priced. Cateye Volt 1200 EL-1000 Front Light | Chain Reaction Cycles

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deartist7 View Post
    I'm almost decided on pulling the trigger on the Ituo XP2. Race is on june so plenty of time but I don't want to miss that deal.

    This BT40s you're talking about is the Niterider BT40s or something like that? Couldn't find it on amazon. What site would you recommend to order that one?

    I might not though, budget is $100 maximum but I might get it later If I get serious about night riding.
    Yes, that's it. Amazon sells it under the name "Revtronic" but it's the same lamp and battery. I think Gearbest still sells it under the name "Nitefighter". I'd go with the Amazon version simply because you will have it sooner.

  17. #17
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    After a bit more searching I came across this BT21 light, which many seem to recommend for helmet use paired with a BT40s on the bars due to the latter's wider beam.
    Both are Nitefighter, and both can be ordered through gearbest.
    What's the current take in the BT21? I'm yet to dive into the bt21 thread but I'm really interested in it to pair it with the bt40s in the bars if its good enough.
    That, or a single bt40s for the helmet.
    Is there any disadvantage to ordering on gearbest?

  18. #18
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    BT21 was a popular light for a while. Later versions started showing up with quality problems. Nitefighter quit making them a few years ago.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deartist7 View Post
    After a bit more searching I came across this BT21 light, which many seem to recommend for helmet use paired with a BT40s on the bars due to the latter's wider beam.
    Both are Nitefighter, and both can be ordered through gearbest.
    What's the current take in the BT21? I'm yet to dive into the bt21 thread but I'm really interested in it to pair it with the bt40s in the bars if its good enough.
    That, or a single bt40s for the helmet.
    Is there any disadvantage to ordering on gearbest?
    BT21 was a great performing light but as mentioned suffered from inconsistent quality problems on the later production runs. I think we finally gave up begging Nitefighter/Revtronic to bring the BT21 back about a year after they quit producing them. I still have 1 good one that I use all the time. When I saw your post I checked the Gearbest site but didn't see any listing so assume you didn't see it there. If you did please post a link cause I'd certainly like to be able to buy another one!!!

    Not necessaruly recommending this light (L&M Urban 900) but I remember you mentioning it as one you were interested in and this looked like a pretty good price (I didn't check on shipping charges).

    https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp...ajor=3&minor=6

    Mole

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Waiting for a Shenkey light (1000 lumens), that I got of Amazon. $23-ish USD + $6 delivery.

    My back up light packed it in & I've rearranged my setup.

    My in helmet light that had an annoying long chord & large battery has migrated to handle bars - it's 1200-ish lumens.

    My 2nd back up light is a usb charge model & approx. 450 lumens. It now resides on my skid lid.

    I've heard good things about the Shenkey. Once it arrives, it'll go up top. Current helmet light will play back up.

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    If it's the light I think it is it might be a bit heavy for helmet use. Likely is housing two 18650 cells. Looks like it's more geared to be a bar light. The one I looked at had a yellow ( amber ? ) mode that I thought interesting. Hard to beat the price but no doubt it's all Chinese parts. Hope it works for you.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    BT21 was a great performing light but as mentioned suffered from inconsistent quality problems on the later production runs. I think we finally gave up begging Nitefighter/Revtronic to bring the BT21 back about a year after they quit producing them. I still have 1 good one that I use all the time. When I saw your post I checked the Gearbest site but didn't see any listing so assume you didn't see it there. If you did please post a link cause I'd certainly like to be able to buy another one!!!

    Not necessaruly recommending this light (L&M Urban 900) but I remember you mentioning it as one you were interested in and this looked like a pretty good price (I didn't check on shipping charges).

    https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp...ajor=3&minor=6

    Mole
    Thanks for the link.

    I'm really interested in it because several reasons:
    1. My brother commutes often at night, and while he hasn't been doing it lately due to not owning a light, he would be far more interested in a self contained light than one with a battery pack, IF I HAPPEN to give it to him.
    2. The latter is due to the fact that this is just for a race we have coming up. I'm starting to doubt the race's organizers capacity to really get people into it since there's not a whole lot of good trail riders in here, much less ones willing to race at night. They just cancelled an event on March because they didn't get enough entries, and this was because the event was outside the city. Considering that, I expect them to have just as much trouble for this one.
    In short, if they end up NOT doing the race, I don't want to be left up with a light setup that I might or might not use, so I'd like to give it to my brother if that happens.

    Not saying that I won't be interest in night riding anymore, but I'd like to have as many reasons possible to try it in the first place.


    About the BT21:
    I was checking the links on my cell phone, and I just googled it and went to the first link on gearbest. It didn't say "Discontinued" on the cellphone's website version, but now that I'm on the laptop I see it clearly.

    Sorry for the confusion, there doesn't seem to be anymore left of them.


    Back to the L&M. That price looks almost too good to be true. That light is $90 on Amazon.
    Now I'm thinking to go with that one on the helmet with a BT40s on the bars. That way I can still keep the BT40s for myself and give the L&M to my brother if I don't need it.

    I'll research it more for now. If I don't like it, I'll just go with two BT40s for helmet and bars and call it good.

  22. #22
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    Anyone have experience ordering from Excel Sports?

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    What helmet mount kit do you guys recommend? I misplaced my MagicShine one after I pulled it off my helmet in between rides and can't locate it.

    Currently considering:

    Light and Motion (D-shaped one might require a different sized o-ring
    Lezyne Universal
    Gemini (action LED)
    A MagicShine clone (amazon)

    All $10. Local shop can supply the first 2. Got a couple of helmets to choose from, a cheap Bell, an Urge Enduromatic. Currently have a magicshine 808, magicshine's version of that BT40s (872), and a yinding I haven't put to use yet. Figure I'll use the throwy spot 808 on head, the floody 872 on bar, and the yinding alongside the 872 to extend the range of light in front of the bars.

    BTW, here's another vendor with that L&M Urban 800 and 900 for ~65 USD: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...rban-900-light

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by karmaphi View Post

    BTW, here's another vendor with that L&M Urban 800 and 900 for ~65 USD: https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...rban-900-light
    Colorado Cyclists has the Urban 900 on sale too!

    https://www.coloradocyclist.com/ligh...900-bike-light


    With this type of helmet mount there shouldn't be much difference between any of them other than possibly material quality so if you stick with any of the brand name ones you should be OK.
    Mole

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