Lights for a 6 year old?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Lights for a 6 year old?

    My son and I accidentally went night riding earlier this week and it was fun. Our cheapo bike lights weren't nearly good enough though.

    I read the Chinese light thread but had trouble finding any of those products still available, and I'm not sure how bulky they are anyway. A 42 lbs child is going to be less tolerant of a bulky battery pack. He's not going to wear a backpack, and the space in the frame is limited.

    Ideas?

    BTW not afraid of some DIY. I used to build ebikes and now we are into RC planes etc.

  2. #2
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    Are you looking for a light that will allow you to see the terrain in front of you, or something that will make you visible to passing motorists?

  3. #3
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    Just riding on the trail. We don't ride on the road. Days are getting shorter quick so I see this as a way to keep riding mid-week through winter.

  4. #4
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    There are a lot of variables to consider here, but I assume you don't need a super long run time. Anything like the self-contained NiteRider Lumina series should it it. Even a high-quality flashlight with a li-ion battery and a generic flashlight mount should suffice. 500+ lumens for trail riding. There is a big push for lights that don't need battery packs lately, so unless your kid is doing 24-hour marathon races, he won't need anything like that.

  5. #5
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    I'm just reading the self contained thread and that seems about right. He's starts to whine a lot after 90 minutes, so the ones with one hour run times probably won't work, but the two cells have longer run times than needed.

    He's also relatively slow right now, so doesn't need crazy illumination of the trail.

  6. #6
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    Lights for a 6 year old?

    Honestly, the lights you can get for under $20 on DX.com, or Amazon that include batteries are plenty good enough for most people. I used them exclusively for 8 years of serious night riding until I justified purchasing GloWorm lights when night riding became my main riding conditions 4x per week. The DX or Amazon lights are still used when my son, guests or friends who donít have lights join me.




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  7. #7
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    I got Magicshine MJ 900's for my son. Granted, NOW he's 15 and 6'2" but when he was smaller and wanted to go on a night ride with me, these are fantastic. The light heads are tiny. The battery packs are pretty compact.
    I used to strap the bar light's pack to his frame and the helmet light pack went into his Camelbak Mini Mule.
    They put out as much light as my Exposure Toro and Diablo that I paid a ton for.
    I like turtles

  8. #8
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    Yeh at 6 he is too fussy to wear a backpack. Actually at 38 I refuse to wear one also I hate having a sweaty back (dug up my fanny pack from the early 90s recently).

  9. #9
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    https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-bc21r-led-bike-light/

    May be more than you're looking to spend but I have a whole bunch of Fenix's lights and I love em.
    I like turtles

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fitek View Post
    I'm just reading the self contained thread and that seems about right. He's starts to whine a lot after 90 minutes, so the ones with one hour run times probably won't work, but the two cells have longer run times than needed.

    He's also relatively slow right now, so doesn't need crazy illumination of the trail.
    Most of the lights I've sampled that have less than 90 min. runtime in boost or high mode also have very usable medium modes with 400-600 lumens and 2-2.5 hour runtimes. Beam shape should be another concern when buying a small self-contained light for trail use.
    Mole

  11. #11
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    I ordered the Cygolite 800 as it was the cheapest decent option. And it arrives this weekend, supposedly.

    I see lots of discussion of bar mount vs helmet mount... Wouldn't you want a helmet mount if you're riding rooty PNW trails? I'm guessing a bar light would just be vibrating all over the place. Especially on a kids hardtail with 80mm of front suspension (which he doesn't even use all the way since he is too light).

  12. #12
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    What type of trail use...dirt, singletrack or paved MUP's?

    The Fenix line is a good place to start or something like one of the Raveman's. I'd recommend the CR-700. On it's medium mode bright enough to ride MUP's and road and beam pattern is very wide....which for a 6 year old would be a good idea. USB rechargeable. Medium mode on the CR-700 will run over 2hrs. and is about 400 lumen. Can be bought on the Merlin website

    If that's too much money than I highly recommend the Ceco 1000 ( available on Amazon just under $40 )...or choose one of the other Ceco's.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fitek View Post
    I ordered the Cygolite 800 as it was the cheapest decent option. And it arrives this weekend, supposedly.

    I see lots of discussion of bar mount vs helmet mount... Wouldn't you want a helmet mount if you're riding rooty PNW trails? I'm guessing a bar light would just be vibrating all over the place. Especially on a kids hardtail with 80mm of front suspension (which he doesn't even use all the way since he is too light).
    So we are talking about wet, root laden Pacific NW single track? The thought of taking a 6 year old on such terrain at night would give me pause. I don't have children but if I did I don't think I would take such a young child over such dangerous terrain, especially at night. Maybe by 8 or 9 but even then not without careful tudoring during daylight hours and making sure that they not only had both helmet and bar lamps but some decent protective gear for the elbows and knees as well.

    Even with adults there is a learning curve when it comes to mountain biking which usually involves many falls. I still cringe whenever I think of the pain I went through when I got my first MTB and I was in my early 40's. Kids thankfully tend to be more durable. Still, kids will sometimes get overly brave and attempt stuff above their skill level and/or physical ability.

    That said if you still are going to take the youngster into the dark wooded trails I would highly recommend both helmet and bar lamp and teach him how to use them properly. The Cygolite ( or Ceco ) can be used either on the bars or helmet. If on the helmet you will need a cheap original Magicshine type helmet mount.

    You are correct in thinking that a self-contained lamp mounted on the bars might tend to move, especially if it uses just a rubber strap type mount. Still, if you add some friction tape to the handlebars the tape will give the rubber strap a better surface to hold too. I recommend the "Lizard skins" brand friction tape. This if the stuff used to give grip to baseball bats. There are cheaper brands but I like the Lizard skins because it is thicker and more leather-like. When I used my Raveman PR-1200 on my MTB I had to use the LSkins on the bars or the lamp would move whenever I hit a good bump ( which on the trails I ride is like almost ever 5 secs. ) The Lskins have an adhesive backing and hold very tightly to the bars. Admittedly I've never used it with a rubber strap type mount but I figure it should be better than just using a rubber strap on an aluminum handlebar in a damp environment. ( You can find Lizard skins friction tape at Dicks Sporting Goods in the baseball section or on Amazon. ) Note; Lskins will work on a helmet too and give more grip to mounts that tend to slide.

  14. #14
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    At ages 6 and up my kids were using either the $20-30 cheapies posted above or a Cygolite similar to the one you posted. As I got better lights for myself the season old stuff trickled down to them. The faster older kid got the better stuff since that is what is needed at higher speeds.

    I found the youngest kids do fine with pretty much anything reasonable. An AA mag-lite is about the lowest tier I've seen work OK. Usually they rode in front of me at night and my light spill would almost totally overpower theirs anyway since I was right on their wheel. We typically rode with our club's kids group so there would be at least 1-2 parents with any one kid, meaning anywhere from 3 to 6 lights per group and more than enough shared light on the trail for them to ride by.

    The all-in-one light and battery Cygolite felt a little dorky on the helmet since the mount is so tall, but on the bars it's fine. My son is 15 and still rides with it on the helmet though.
    Any of the systems that have the separate battery can work great as a bar mounted lighthead. I've strapped the battery to the underside of the stem, the top tube by the stem, behind the head tube in the main triangle, in a bottle cage, under the top tube at the seat tube and in a saddle pack. Velcro, zip ties and mountaineering straps are your friends.

  15. #15
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    Kids love flashlights even more than people in this subforum

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    So we are talking about wet, root laden Pacific NW single track? The thought of taking a 6 year old on such terrain at night would give me pause. I don't have children but if I did I don't think I would take such a young child over such dangerous terrain, especially at night. Maybe by 8 or 9 but even then not without careful tudoring during daylight hours and making sure that they not only had both helmet and bar lamps but some decent protective gear for the elbows and knees as well.
    I rode behind a five year old at Whistler just this past weekend. Back in August I rode behind one of my son's friends and he was faster than I was (which admittedly probably isn't tooo hard). It's pretty wild what the kids do these days (young whipper snappers.. yarr) . Yes they're armored up like Storm Troopers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    That said if you still are going to take the youngster into the dark wooded trails I would highly recommend both helmet and bar lamp and teach him how to use them properly. The Cygolite ( or Ceco ) can be used either on the bars or helmet. If on the helmet you will need a cheap original Magicshine type helmet mount.
    The Cygolite price dropped on Amazon (to $40!) after I ordered the first one. Stupidly, they wont price match so I returned the $70 one and got 3 of the now $40 ones. We'll bar mount and helmet mount. I have two 3d printers so I'm going to try making a direct mount from the light to our full face helmets (have already made some for unusual GoPro mountings). The part where the light clips in (which would be the hardest to model) unscrews from the bar mount so just need a bit that fits the profile of the helmet, has a screw hole, and a tab to keep the mount from spinning.

  17. #17
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    Ok no point doing the CAD work when I can get the whole thing for $10 on Amazon. Looks like it adapts to a GoPro mount which we also have on our helmets anyway.

    https://www.amazon.com/CygoLite-Expi...04286712&psc=1

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fitek View Post
    Ok no point doing the CAD work when I can get the whole thing for $10 on Amazon. Looks like it adapts to a GoPro mount which we also have on our helmets anyway.

    https://www.amazon.com/CygoLite-Expi...04286712&psc=1
    It's nice that most of the accessory mounts are going to the Gopro style slide clip design. So how do you like that Cygolite you got?
    Mole

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    It's nice that most of the accessory mounts are going to the Gopro style slide clip design. So how do you like that Cygolite you got?
    Mole
    I just got them this weekend and was at Whistler. Gonna mount them up this week and see how it goes. We will try them just on bike paths first, then dirt jumps to make sure they stay put. I would hate to have a lighting breakdown deep in the woods.

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  20. #20
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    If you're not afraid of weight, I just posted an option that been working for me and my 4yo - a 5 lb / 2400 lumen Ryobi worklight attached to my bars with gear ties:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night...0-1117999.html

    The beam is bright / wide enough that he's able to ride ahead of me even without a light.

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