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Thread: Head or Bike

  1. #1
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    Head or Bike

    The choices are endless, I browsed this section of the forum and all I can say is "OH MY". Seems like you can spend days browsing the web, hitting stores, and debating on lights.

    I decided I am not going to go that nuts over it at this point.

    I originally was looking for a light for the bike but having 2 bikes I don't want to order two lights, and/or two mounts for one light. So I was going to go for a head-lamp, but then starting to see a need for the helmet considering some of the trails I go on; more for the branches hitting my head than a concern with falling.

    So now with the type of helmet I have and it having a brim I am leaning towards a clamp light.

    So in short: head or bike you think is best?
    Me in thought I think the head would make more sense for lets say you are riding in the dark, you want the light facing the location you are looking whether that is forward or to the side. You don't need a light in front of you the moment you look at the side due to some noise or something and for that a head light would make the most sense IMHO. Both sure, but to me that is overkill unless you are doing a lot of night riding which I am not.

    So again leaning towards some sort of head light. Since I am getting used to the helmet thing, I figure just get one for the brim but the choices are quite extensive. So I am making a list of 4 things that are most important to me:

    1. As many lumens as I can get
    2. Light weight
    3. Long batter life
    4. Steady light as well as a flasher so to alert people I am coming in dark paths but the sun is still out

  2. #2
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    You'll hear people firmly in both camps on this, some will insist if you only have one light that it has to be on the bars, others on the helmet.

    Personally, if I can only run one, I choose helmet if possible. I like to be able to see what's coming around that corner that my bike is not currently pointing at.

    Ideally though, two as soon as you can possibly manage it. You should have a backup anyways for that time that your light fails you for whatever reason...and it will.

  3. #3
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    Characteristics of where you place the light

    Light on the bars – With the light being below your eyes, it produces “shadowing” of obstacles. The downside of the light being on the bars is the light is always pointed in the direction that you bars are pointed. Can be a problem on tight, twisty switch backs where you want to look around the corner. The other thing is having to make a repair in the dark with your light bar mounted. Almost have to remove it to get the light pointed where you need it



    Light on your head – With the light above your eyes, it tends to “flatten” out obstacles as it doesn’t produce as much “shadowing”. The upside is that your light is always pointed directly where you are looking. Making repairs in the dark in much easier with the light on your head. The downside to a helmet mounted light only is that when you are looking to the sides or around a switchback, you don’t have lighting on the ground (which could be actually visible in your peripheral vision). In snow, fog, and rain, a helmet only light can be difficult. The light reflecting back at you off of the moisture in the air can make visibility very difficult.



    Light on both the helmet and the bars – Best of both worlds. Always have light directly out in front of you and where you are looking. If it gets snowing, raining, real dusty,or foggy and it is making visibility difficult because of the helmet light, then you just go bar only. All 24hr races require repetitive light systems for safety. I have heard stories of many people that have had their only light die on them and have had to walk out, not fun.


    *****

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    Very good explanation there scar!

  5. #5
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    Light on both does sound like a good idea. I will not rule that out, but for right now going to do the helmet only unless I find something so good for the handle bars I can't say no.

    As far as snow races, 24hr races. I seriously do not see me doing any of this but that doesn't necessarily mean that will not change down the road either. I have said never to things in the past to end up doing it later so you never know.

  6. #6
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    I'll second that a light on the helmet is much handier than a bar light if one needs to fix a flat, or do anything else you need both hands to do.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  7. #7
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    Always run 2. I've had a light fail me on the trail before, and it hurts. A lot. I go with a higher lumen light on the bar with a diffuser (about 1,200 lumen), and a more of a spot light on the helmet (300 lumen). Lighter weight one on the helmet. It's just for looking around corners, so it doesn't need to be bright. Just bright enough to look around corners, and bright enough to see if your main bar light ever goes out. Also, changing out batteries on the helmet light can be a pain, so I normally run it at the lowest light setting so it lasts. Bar light gets 1 or 2 backup batteries in my bag.

    For a cheap bright bar light, this guy's worked for me for a couple years. Only issue was the wire would tug inside the light causing it to short out. Took it apart, re positioned the wire, works fine ever since. Two years so far, and the battery still works. Heavy battery and light to mount on a helmet though.
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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  8. #8
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    Get one of both. Cree type from Amazon. Then you have a backup. I much prefer helmet. When mounted to the bar the light moves around to much and messes with your balance.
    Trek Fuel EX 8 29er.

  9. #9
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    amazing restraint so far... :-)

    both... you don't must have 2 mounts for 2 bikes, you should be able to move it easily/quickly.

  10. #10
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    Is it two bikes and two riders, or two bikes and one rider?

    Most of the cheap Chinese lights come with a rubber band mount which works pretty well. It's easily moved to another bike. Some of the kits also come with helmet mount adapter which you can also buy separately. So one light can be mounted either on the bar or the helmet very easily. Lots of mid-range to high-end use the same rubber band mount (it's actually more of an o-ring with a tab).

    The biggest thing is to decide to how much you are willing to spend. How much runtime do you need? Are you willing to order direct from the far east or would you prefer an USA based seller?

  11. #11
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    If only 1 light, definitely one for the helmet. If you only have a bar light, no matter how floody it is, you're going to be turning into complete darkness at times which is dangerous. Other issues come into play where you may need to look around to see things, like if a dog is chasing you you can see it coming if you have a helmet light. (Happened to me last night!)

  12. #12
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    I won't go out on trail without two lights in any case. Period! Safety is nr.1 even if you go out just few times, so don't ask yourself where to position light, but "do I run it safe". Redundancy is one of the best saftey mesures. But it's up to you, it's your life.

  13. #13
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    For a single light Im going to say helmet as well. Not a good idea to go out with nothing for a back up light. Even if its just a decent little flashlight that you carry in your pack, just something to get you home if needed. Many say "oh one light is fine" till that night that something goes wrong. If your not in a group and have no other light to use to get back your in trouble in a hurry.

    Stay away from the cheap crap on amazon. All the important things to you dont apply to those lights. Many say they are ok with them, but they will fail sooner than later and performance is grossly lacking (the lumens are about 25% or less of whatever they say it is in the add). There are good ones to be had but rare finds on amazon. Ebay is even worse. Used to be several decent lights out there for cheap but there is only a few these days. And gotta order from china directly.

    Secondly attaching a light to the "bill" isnt possible. Those are for those useless little things that attach to hats. Any useful bike light will have a helmet mount so that wont be an issue.

    As for what to recommend, we need a budget to work within.

    Also need an idea of what you ride trail wise. Someone who rides at the limits of the bike and trails will need something more than someone who isnt all about speed, technical and all that. Plus a DH course is a lot different than a fast, flowing and smooth XC trail.

  14. #14
    Finally!
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    Head or bike?
    If given the choice I will bike another time!

  15. #15
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    NOW this will absolutely fit the bill for lightweight and lumens

    but everyone else is gonna pick this apart and recommend something else
    this or that....so

    w h a t e v e r


    do what I suggest or do something else. This recommendo I post here is BALLER
    without a doubt a top setup and lightest thing you can do, and best illumination and least hassle. period.

    you are asking for the same thing every one wants, which basically means
    your post and what you are asking for just doesn't exist, or everything works

    there are about 20 light setups you can get that do a similar job.

    light weight
    long lasting
    most lumens

    hardy har har


    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    you want a real idea from someone who pretty much knows lights
    and how to ride MTB friggin HARD at night for many hours ?


    and see stuff
    and have lights that don't quit or fail for BS reasons
    and helmet light which is ---the absolute lightest one on the planet that runs on 18650-
    and have high CRI not the blinding ******** super white -



    -zebralight h600w Mark II on helmet
    -klarus BK30 on the bars

    -you need to carry 2 18650 in the klarus and 1 18650 in the zebralight

    I recommend obtaining 9 zebralight branded 3400mah 18650
    or equivalent (protected ncr 3400's guts).

    load up the lights go hammer, have three or 6 spare 18650 in a baggie with you
    ..when you run down both lights after 2 hours hammering stop for 30 seconds
    swap out batts commence ripping again for another 2 hours. do it again another
    2 hours

    YMMV

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by whokilledJR View Post
    If only 1 light, definitely one for the helmet. If you only have a bar light, no matter how floody it is, you're going to be turning into complete darkness at times which is dangerous. Other issues come into play where you may need to look around to see things, like if a dog is chasing you you can see it coming if you have a helmet light. (Happened to me last night!)


    I don't agree with this at all

    if only one light, BARS. period


    the difference is this:

    on helmet only, every single foot you travel will be a mystery how
    much or how big that root or rock is. the whole ride is miserable bunk
    while you are guessing dimensions and cannot easily and unconsciously
    judge size of objects.

    100% of the time

    vs

    bars only

    the entire ride you can easily judge every inch of the ride and obstacles and
    shadows are much fuller allowing much more speed and fun times

    and turning corners bars only ?
    you will be able to see 90% of everything anyway
    and only a tiny percentage of the ride do you maybe
    need to slow down because of lack of corner illumination.


    so the choice is: 100% hard all the time ride helmet only,
    or 99% awesome ride 1% might be hard bars only

    ----------------------------------
    one light, bars, and rip.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    I don't agree with this at all

    if only one light, BARS. period
    Different requirements for different trails. Lots of switchbacks, bar lights don't work (unless you crawl, and nobody should crawl with a bike). Even with amazing light spread, they can't prepare you for what's behind you.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  18. #18
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    I use both, one on the bar for the trail and bikers headin towards me and one for my head to see where I'm going or want to go. I would rather have a cheap bar lamp and cheap head lamp than one nice bar light. One bar light will work in the city, but on the trail in the woods I'll take 2 please.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  19. #19
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    Bt40 is $60 on Amazon. 45.88 at Gearbest. Full kit with helmet and bar mounts. Def would look into getting 2 lights asap. Yinding is on sale at GB as well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Different requirements for different trails. Lots of switchbacks, bar lights don't work (unless you crawl, and nobody should crawl with a bike). Even with amazing light spread, they can't prepare you for what's behind you.
    well, yes true

    both are ideal really

    if only one, no matter where, bars for me.

    I can figure out corners
    but cannot overcome depth perception problems
    due to no shadows. my gootch thanks me

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Different requirements for different trails. Lots of switchbacks, bar lights don't work (unless you crawl, and nobody should crawl with a bike). Even with amazing light spread, they can't prepare you for what's behind you.
    Yeah, I have a hard time riding safely with just a bar mounted light on my trails. There are too many trees and twists and turns. I'd be blind half the time. The part about not being able to judge rocks and other obstacles with just a helmet light is way overblown in that post too. I ran a helmet light only for a couple years before I finally bought another one for the bars. I never had a problem judging "dimensions." Having two lights makes a difference, but my experience is almost exactly the opposite of Mr. IP address up there.

  22. #22
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    I ride with both most of the time. Two CREE light cost $60-$65 total. Like other said 2 lights is perfect for when one might fail (or battery dies) and it creates different lighting allowing you to see both in front and around corners. I can "get by" with either, but I ride best with both.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    Yeah, I have a hard time riding safely with just a bar mounted light on my trails. There are too many trees and twists and turns. I'd be blind half the time. The part about not being able to judge rocks and other obstacles with just a helmet light is way overblown in that post too. I ran a helmet light only for a couple years before I finally bought another one for the bars. I never had a problem judging "dimensions." Having two lights makes a difference, but my experience is almost exactly the opposite of Mr. IP address up there.
    Hah, yeah this is why I mentioned this in my first reply in the thread, some people are pretty insanely in one camp or the other, so much so that they for some reason can not stand it if other people don't choose the same solution for themselves! I was truly baffled the first time I ran up against a hard-line bars-only guy...what a strange argument...here I am saying 'no, actually, doesn't work for me...gotta have something on my head or I'm not comfortable', him arguing 'you're wrong, you've got to have it on your bars'. Like, thanks for the advice but can you drop it now?

    Anyways, clearly there are benefits to each particular light placement, and hard to argue that both isn't best, but in the end people need to ride what they are comfortable with themselves. Besides tis a silly argument to have, if you don't have a light setup that works for you, you just aren't going to end up riding at night!

  24. #24
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    Very true^^^. I tried night riding a couple years back and stopped cause of cool white tint cheap lights off Amazon.

    Came accross decent Chinese lights in neutral white (and got stuff to change emitters at will) and now I night ride more than during the day.

    The whole shadows issue is mainly a cool white tint issue. Not that it doesn't exist with neutral white but the shadows are there. Just not as defined .

    But cool white led lights suck on every level for every use. Neutral white is the only reason I can and will ride after dark.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    @tigris
    I work with lighting for plant growth and development research. The "white" LED is a blue LED with a phospor so the output is essentially the fluorescence emission of the absorption of the blue light from the LED and it appears similar to what is known as a cool white fluorescent. I have spectral examples of both if there is interest. Anyway, can I ask you for a little more definition of what you consider to be neutral white? Is it more like a warm white fluorescent or incandescent light (candle light)? Do you know what type lamp the Chinese light is? Are you saying that you are able to tune the output of the lamp? That's cool.

    I've not had issues with using a "white" LED at night, but I am interested in your observation of the shadows being less defined. It could be somewhat of an effect of the human eye being more sensitive to green than to red light, ie your eye is more sensitive to the cool white in comparison to the warm or neutral light so you see the definition of the shadow more.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  26. #26
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    I'll put in a plug for the old reliable Magicshine MJ-808. For just a little bit more than the cheap lights at Gearbest or the like, you can get a light with proven reliability and a good quality battery that will give you 3 hours of run time on high (about 800-900 lumens). Buy 2 and put one on the bar with a wide angle lens and one on the lid.
    Currently only $69.95 (MJ-808) plus $5 for a helmet mount and $3.45 for the wide angle lens.
    I've got people in the morning ride group I ride with that have been using one of these for 10 years now with only one new battery along the way. (hard to make money off these guys :-)
    A little more and you could get a MJ-856 for the bar for just $74.95.
    They may not be the most efficient lights out there but for the price I'd say they probably are. And if you do have a problem we back them up with customer service second to none.
    Jim Harger
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    www.action-led-lights.com

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    I'll put in a plug for the old reliable Magicshine MJ-808. For just a little bit more than the cheap lights at Gearbest or the like, you can get a light with proven reliability and a good quality battery that will give you 3 hours of run time on high (about 800-900 lumens). Buy 2 and put one on the bar with a wide angle lens and one on the lid.
    Currently only $69.95 (MJ-808) plus $5 for a helmet mount and $3.45 for the wide angle lens.
    I've got people in the morning ride group I ride with that have been using one of these for 10 years now with only one new battery along the way. (hard to make money off these guys :-)
    A little more and you could get a MJ-856 for the bar for just $74.95.
    They may not be the most efficient lights out there but for the price I'd say they probably are. And if you do have a problem we back them up with customer service second to none.
    How are the new lights, the 906 and the 908? They are flying under the radar.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    How are the new lights, the 906 and the 908? They are flying under the radar.
    The 906 and 908 are both wide floods similar to the 872. With the tiny optics for each led it's hard to have much else.
    After trying hard to talk Magicshine into using real, tested lumen ratings they have instead gone the other way and the claims for the new lights are grossly exaggerated. I managed to get real numbers out of them and have those numbers posted in our listing. The 906 claims 5000 lumens but test at 3200. (still not bad) The 908 claims 8000 but test at 4200.
    The results of our light distribution test are HERE.
    One other issue I have with the 908 is that is uses a power plug that is unique to it and the Eagle F3. This may be to carry the current for 4000+ lumens but it's still a hassle.
    The design of both does provide a lot of surface area so over heating is not much of an issue.
    Jim Harger
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut View Post
    Head or bike?
    If given the choice I will bike another time!
    I second that.

  30. #30
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    So you don't like riding at night? I think it's awesome. A completely different ride. I normally go faster at night because I'm focusing on the trail, and not on anything else around me.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    So you don't like riding at night? I think it's awesome. A completely different ride. I normally go faster at night because I'm focusing on the trail, and not on anything else around me.
    I just don't see a need to. Plus there are some nutty people on some of these trails. My fiance will NOT go on a trail without me around day or night.

  32. #32
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    Night Riding...

    Night riding is an entirely different experience that should NOT be avoided. Riding within your sphere of light is a great way to experience the same old trail in a completely different way.

    Some get creeped out with all of the night sounds, but for me, that's one of the cool parts about it. You hear things that you'll likely never hear during the daytime rides.

    Oh...My vote is one one the bars and one on the helmet. Make a little splurge and buy two. If one fails, then you always have a backup.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    I second that.
    I can't believe I am the only person who commented like this when the thread had this title!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut View Post
    I can't believe I am the only person who commented like this when the thread had this title!
    Not enough coffee?
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    I just don't see a need to. Plus there are some nutty people on some of these trails. My fiance will NOT go on a trail without me around day or night.
    If it's a safety issue, perfectly understood. Some things just aren't worth it. One of the local trails around me is fun to ride at night, but it's almost guaranteed, you'll find people out there stoned out of their mind. Came across a lady once taking a bath in a ditch stream. Scared the heck out of her as I approached her with the lights on.

    It is fun though. Just a different part of mountain biking. Most people don't see a "need" to ride a bike on trails, but... we know there is a "need" to ride trails.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    ..Came across a lady once taking a bath in a ditch stream. Scared the heck out of her as I approached her with the lights on...
    I have to ask, was it something you wanted to tear your eyeballs out or it was a pleasant visual?

  37. #37
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    It wasn't bad, but mostly funny. Naked lady running through the woods screaming about demon lights.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    It wasn't bad, but mostly funny. Naked lady running through the woods screaming about demon lights.
    Sounds like one of the many things I seen in Chico California while being around/living/hanging out with hippies (many high on weed and acid).

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    So you don't like riding at night? I think it's awesome. A completely different ride. I normally go faster at night because I'm focusing on the trail, and not on anything else around me.
    this

    I climb steeper stuff

    and

    I can ride over bigger logs n crap

    in the dark

    'cuz I am looking at the terrain and not seeing any input
    from my surroundings. things look easier somehow.

    for the steep climbs I can tell myself it is flat and believe it...because
    I cannot see the horizon, therefore, it's flat, I ride it better. daytime?
    same trail same health and power, more likely to fail or spinout

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    ...... I normally go faster at night because I'm focusing on the trail, and not on anything else around me.
    Yes. This is why I prefer lights with pretty tight spot beams on bars and helmet. Put the light where I'm going, not off to the sides. Light to the sides makes weird shadows that I find distracting. If the trail is tight,twisty and switchbacks, that's what the helmet light takes care of. There are so many choices in lights, one can find something that works best for them.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  41. #41
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    Night riding is fun! Period...

    But, you shouldn't ride alone (well I don't) not coz I'm afraid of the boogeyman, common sense says to. Much easier to walk out if solo during daylight hours if one takes a tumble. I'd like to be assisted out if it's dark.

    Plus, getting ahead of riding budz & turning off your lights & scaring the beejeezuzz out of them - seems like fun (hopefully they don't crash... mmm).

    Edit: to answer op's question...

    Big light on helmet 1000 lumens or better...

    Back up light on HB's, 350+ lumens - enough to get you out in a pinch.

    At least that's my present setup... I've tried just/as well as HB light being on, but find it distracting.

    When I first started night riding a mate loned me a HB light.

    Trouble was on switchbacks you can't see up the trail!

    Very disconcerting when it's pretty much pitch black >.<

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    I normally go faster at night because I'm focusing on the trail, and not on anything else around me.
    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    I am looking at the terrain and not seeing any input from my surroundings. things look easier somehow.
    Some of my fastest rides have too been at night.

    If it's beyond my sphere of light, it doesn't even exist in my mind. My energy is tightly concentrated only one what I can see in front of me. That black abyss beyond my sight simply doesn't exist.
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  43. #43
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    If you're on a tight budget you can even run some very nice but budget priced flashlights. Run 18650 li-ions and easily swappable when carrying spares. Lots of junk out there (specifically 18650 batteries) so let us know if this interests you and we'll point you in the right direction. The quality 18650 charger boosts the initial cost up a bit though.

    Personally on a budget setup I'd go Nitefighter BT40S (you choose Amazon or GearBest (knowing GB will take their time getting it to you) and a Convoy M1 in Neutral White with at least two protected 18650's from Mountain Electronics. I have a thread & beamshots on my two M1's.

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Some of my fastest rides have too been at night.

    If it's beyond my sphere of light, it doesn't even exist in my mind. My energy is tightly concentrated only one what I can see in front of me. That black abyss beyond my sight simply doesn't exist.
    Exactly the same here. Only thing for me is that I use wide spread on the bars. I don't like tunnel vision, so I make sure there is light covering my total area of site. With riding in the woods I can still focus on what's in front of me, no distractions (unlike day time) but I don't have to wait for my eyes to readjust to spread beam of my car before driving home.

    And I've found d I'm definitely faster with my current set up than any other set up. Flood beam about 1500 lumens on the bars. 1800-2000 (glowworm xs/Gemini Olympia) on the lid. Can see further than I'd ever need to but a bit of spread so I don't have a dot 30yrds up the trail. So I don't feel like a cat chasing a laser pointer. I can see the ENTIRE AREA around the turn I'm making instead of that spot in the ground.

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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Exactly the same here. Only thing for me is that I use wide spread on the bars. I don't like tunnel vision, so I make sure there is light covering my total area of site. With riding in the woods I can still focus on what's in front of me, no distractions (unlike day time) .....
    This is why one person's favorite light is not right for someone else. I'm the exact opposite. I like a tight beam on the helmet and bars. Light out to the sides makes weird shadows that I find eye-catching and a distraction. Every new light I've done has been progressively tighter and works better for me. I've not gone so far as a aspheric lens projector beam though. That would likely be too tight.

    Contrary to targnik's post above, I'm riding solo, night or day, 99% of the time. I greatly prefer solo riding to group rides.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    This is why one person's favorite light is not right for someone else. I'm the exact opposite. I like a tight beam on the helmet and bars. Light out to the sides makes weird shadows that I find eye-catching and a distraction. Every new light I've done has been progressively tighter and works better for me. I've not gone so far as a aspheric lens projector beam though. That would likely be too tight.

    Contrary to targnik's post above, I'm riding solo, night or day, 99% of the time. I greatly prefer solo riding to group rides.
    How much of this do you think is terrain specific? I use all sorts of different set-ups depending on where I'm going to ride.
    Mole

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    How much of this do you think is terrain specific? I use all sorts of different set-ups depending on where I'm going to ride.
    Mole
    For me, not too much. Most of my rides are XC oriented in pretty thick, heavily forested terrain though I do get a few Central Oregon rides where it is still forested but much more open. I almost always use the same set-up in both conditions and it works for me. There is a DH trail that I ride a couple times a year called Thrillium. I do think a wider beam would be better for that ride. I'm not a big jumper, but having a beam with some more horizontal and vertical spread would maybe help light the landings. I did a small jump off a stump up there the first time I rode it and ended up landing off the trail because I did not see that the trail jogged to the right for the landing.
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  48. #48
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    Unless it's on flat groomed trails, riding alone at night is just asking for trouble (unless the trail is a busy night time hub) 🌜

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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    .....riding alone at night is just asking for trouble
    I guess I've been asking for trouble then for the past 16 years or so and never found much of it. Sure, I've had a few crashes. Jumping off the trail as posted above was one of the better ones.

    Back when I was working, I used to occasionally ride trails for the first time at night. No worries. Have a map and compass (and knowledge of how to use). Carry a little extra gear. Go slower. Position check more frequently.

    I see no big danger in night riding solo, but that's for me, not necessarily anyone else.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Unless it's on flat groomed trails, riding alone at night is just asking for trouble (unless the trail is a busy night time hub) 🌜

    ________________________________________________
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    Someone is paranoid

    I've only ridden on 2 group night rides, all my other rides are solo. NO DIFFERENT than riding solo during the day. As long as you have a proper light set up and normal precautions are taken like you should for ANY RIDE there is 0 increased risk of riding at night solo.


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  51. #51
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    I also do not mind riding solo at night. I am not as adventurous as in the day but only slightly more careful. I carry my cell and have friends who would know where to find me but I have a very bright bar light and have never had an issue. I enjoy it a lot.

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  52. #52
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    Oh I learned one key point really fast I'll admit. Riding a new trail I'd never ridden (just helped work on) the first time after dark. Only real issue is we hadn't had signs up yet so I got lost more than once because of equestrian trails the we share also branch off in some spots. But he'll even trails I know well the first time after dark I'm rather cautious.

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  53. #53
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    Head or bike? Doesn't matter because you still need two light sources. As has already been said you need two if only in case one goes out for whatever reason. Lights do fail on occasion even if it's only because you forgot to charge the battery...whatever. If you are going to buy two lights you might as well buy two lights that can be mounted on either the helmet or the bars.

    Since the OP'er was leaning toward "head" I would suggest buying a lamp with a wide to medium wide flood and then mounting it on a helmet. A BT40S would work, a Gemini Olympia, Gloworm X2 with at least one flood optic..etc. Personally I like a thrower on the lid but if someone were going to be a diehard about using only a helmet light I would recommend something like the Gemini Olympia which throws out quite a wide spot. The Olympia is wide enough even to function as a one light only system if mounted on the lid. Of course if you mount the Olympia on the helmet you need to carry the battery in a pocket or backpack.

    Still, would be a good idea to get something for the bars ( if just for back-up purposes ). Used to be the cheapest way to go was to use a torch with 18650 li-ion cells. Of course if you don't have a charger for the 18650 cells or the cells themselves than buying all the necessary accessories for torches can cost a bit of money. Then again there is always the option of the cheap Chinese bike light for about $20, including the battery. Battery might be crap on these types of lamps but on low or medium it will likely still run for hours as long as it works. I no longer use the cheaper Chinese lights but if I did I would only use one in combo with another good, proven brand name lamp. When I ride I not only use two dedicated bike lights but also carry a small AA or 18650 torch for back up ( or both ). Better to "have more" and not need it than to need more and not have it.

  54. #54
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    I think this MIGHT be something we can ALL agree on. The choices and the amount of light we get for the $$$ has never been better. Now for my .02. I don't ride very much at night and when I do it's paved 99% of the time. That said, I have to agree with the TWO lights all the time group. My setup is one bar/one helmet. You can decide for yourself where you want to mount it. But for the prices we have today, even if it's just a flashlight, it just makes sense to have a spare. Also, I have to agree with those who've said riding @ night is very cool.
    The older I get, the faster I was.

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