lights for the bicycle tourist.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    lights for the bicycle tourist.

    For people that can not recharge every night. Battery life could be more important than lumen count.

    Every night last week, I recharged 6, that's right six lights. 2 red, 2 amber, and 2 white lights. I don't usually ride at night but it is getting dark at like five something.

    Now, I am wanting to take a little trip down south a little ways where it could be a small bit warmer. That means I can not recharge my lights every day. Different lights are in order perhaps, but not on order just yet.

    For 2020 we should be able to avoid a lump of wires and plugs the size of a basketball. A nice compact cycle tourist package?

    A dynamo hub works for some. I do not want to buy 3 dyno hubs for 3 bicycles. 4 if I ever get a 110 x 15 modern bike.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdvI...G11eBk&index=1

  2. #2
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    More information would be helpful. Do you want to continue using the lights you have or are you looking for something new? I'm assuming all your lights are usb rechargeable. Is this a self-contained ride or a destination with limited/no electrical access?
    Mole

  3. #3
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    I am not so good at explaining myself. Are you unable to read my mind?

    Touring cyclists have different needs when they are on the road. Every year about this time I take a little trip down the Baja peninsula. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a few weeks.
    Here is a interesting chart
    https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/mexi...th=1&year=2020
    Looks like it is dark for a long time.

    I got myself an XR4 and a Rekon 29 x 2.6. This means I will be away from the power grid for days on end. (yea)

    I am not asking about the lights I have now, no.
    I am asking about new 2020 modern lights.
    Battery life, compact, and ease of carting the lights.
    I want to find my way in the dark without lugging a bag of wires and lights the size of a basketball around.


    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    lights you have or are you looking for something new?
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Different lights are in order perhaps, but not on order just yet.
    I have waited a couple of years or so for something better to come out.

    New lighting strategy perhaps.

    I don't know what I want, and wont be happy until I get it.

    Better battery life and replaceable batteries is what comes to mind.

  4. #4
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    I don't have 1/100 the light knowledge these guys do around here but I'll throw my hat in the ring on what I use for reliablility and ease. That is the right angle tube style lights like zebralight hk600 series , etc that use 18650 or smaller. I've not done any cycle touring in a long time but do use my zebralight often for overnight mountaineering type stuff, canyoneering, caving, etc. I use it for road rides and mtbing though not enough for hard charging mtbing imo.

    I've dropped it to rock from about 20 feet, lost it in a river overnight, worn it in sub zero to 100+ temps and it just continues to work and work for the last 5 years or so I've had it. Batteries are cheap, small, and dead simple to change out.

    When I first got the light myself and others were taken aback by just how powerful and usable this little light is. Easy in a headband, to strap to handlebars or seatpost, helmet etc. Also has a magnet in the tail piece so it sticks to anything ferrous for camp, working, etc. Long runtimes on the medium setting and will last days on the low setting which is enough light to bail out of anything. If there is a more versatile light I want it.

    2 lights, a dual port charger, 4 batteries, and a couple of silicone straps would get your light kit down to a slice of bread.

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  5. #5
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    Something like this Solar rechargeable powerbank might come in handy for your needs. I guess up to you to decide if it would work but would think if you had any sort of rack or bags it would be possible to mount effectively and give you a sustainable power source. Wish I had some experience to share with you on using something like this but I don't so up to you to research the many options (if you think this might work for you).
    Mole

    lights for the bicycle tourist.-screenshot_2019-12-27-amazon-com-solar-charger-24000mah-portable-solar-power-bank-external-backu.jpg

    https://www.amazon.com/24000mAh-Outp...7570509&sr=8-4

  6. #6
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    https://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en_CA/e...colorCode=grey

    USB rechargeable, claimed 6 hrs @ 350lm, small enough to easily pack.

    Is this on the right track?

  7. #7
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    @lostplaces posted these up in a other lighting thread:

    ZebraLight, Inc. | Official Website | Flashlights & Headlamps

    They only require small Li batteries to run so can be switched on-the-fly without needing to wait for a recharge.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night...l#post14477657

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    [...]A dynamo hub works for some. I do not want to buy 3 dyno hubs for 3 bicycles.[...]
    How about a Velogical rim dynamo? Those rim dynos are nearly as efficient as the best dyno hubs.
    You could use one for all your bikes, if you don't want to change your bikes in the winter daily. Probably needs only a few minutes to mount the dyno on a different bike. Available as conventional 1,5+ W dyno or as 3 phase power generator with up to 10W at 30 km/h.
    Here and here are two english (blog) posts. Here is a (google translated) measurement of the velogicals

  9. #9
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    I am running a B&M IQ-XE e-bike light on a aliexpres battery pack (8,4V 12Ah) and a B&M led rear light on 2 triple A batteries, the rear light lasts about a year on those, with daily rides being 2x1 hour, 5 days a week. The pack for the front is holding on 2 days, but i get more light from that lamp then a motorscooter has.
    Surly Big Dummy XT 2x9
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_tg View Post
    How about a
    Here is a thought I never would have thunk on my own.

    VELOGICAL RIM-DYNAMO - Standard Bicycle Dynamo - Smooth Running, Lightweight, Efficient

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    These have been around for a while and yes I thought of buying one of those myself at one time. Never did buy one though. Hard to say how something like this will work for you unless you buy one. This means of course you need a Dynamo lamp as well as the rim dynamo itself. While I'm not saying this wouldn't work it would depend of course on how much light it would produce when traveling at slower speeds. Since you'd be touring ( assuming the added weight of panners and your gear...) you might not get much light output when moving slower.

    I would of recommended just about any rechargeable self contained bar lamp but I have no idea how long you expect to ride at night when on your tour and since you mentioned you might not be able to recharge, a sealed self-contained lamp might not work for you. On the other hand a simple torch setup might. You would just need to estimate how many hours you think you might need a light and then carry along as many 18650 or 21700 cells as you think you might need.

    Now what you would do for rear lights in this situation would be up to you. If it were me I'd just buy a bunch of cheap Chinese self-contained rear lights, charge all before you leave and then use the lowest flashing output that gets you seen at night. You'd be surprised. Even the cheap Chinese rear lights will run for a good number of hours on their lowest flash settings.

    In the end if you decide to go dynamo, fine but carry a bar mounted 18650 or 21700 torch as back-up. Never know when you might need a momentary burst of high-beam.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    T[...]This means of course you need a Dynamo lamp as well as the rim dynamo itself. While I'm not saying this wouldn't work it would depend of course on how much light it would produce when traveling at slower speeds. Since you'd be touring ( assuming the added weight of panners and your gear...) you might not get much light output when moving slower.
    You wouldn't need a dynamo lamp: in combination with a dynamo harvester you could plug any lamp there. There is a special version of the "forumslader" (forum charger, a community project of a german forum, according to tests still one of the best dynamo harvesters) for the velogical, see here, the site has a power/speed diagramm as well.
    The power generator version of the velogical easily generates 3W at slow speeds, if that is not enough power for lighting at those speeds, then one has serious issues with his eyes (or a very badly designed lamp). Even the standard versions come up with close to 4W at 20 km/h and close to 2W at 15 km/h, see the fig 15 of the last link from post #8.

    imo the real question is: do you want to spend 7-17W of your limited human power (to charge your electronics/power your light) to be independent from the grid, or do you rather take a few power banks/batteries with you and suffer from 0,5 kg higher gear weight?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_tg View Post
    .......imo the real question is: do you want to spend 7-17W of your limited human power (to charge your electronics/power your light) to be independent from the grid,......
    This has always been the source of my reluctance to go with a dynamo over rechargeable or even primary cell lights. I would consider having one on a tour though. Only as a backup power source if I had not been able to recharge, or ended up doing a lot more night riding than originally planned.

    I'd also try to avoid USB power banks for this application. You lose too much energy by having two levels of power conversion (Li-Ion-USB and USB-LED). Convenience is great but efficiency is poor.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  14. #14
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    I am looking at the 21700 flash light from Fenix,
    PD36R Outputs
    Turbo - 1600 Lumens/2.9 hours/928 feet
    High - 800 Lumens/5.9 hours/646 feet
    Med - 350 Lumens/8.5 Hours/419 feet

    Velological rim dyno also sounds good.

    Does the rim dyno have less output than a Son hub? 1.5 vs 3 or something?

    Never have just one light. Sooner or later everything needs repairs.

    3 bikes 3 wheel styles. = no Son hub.

    Least bulk, no power banks. Replaceable batteries or a dyno.

  15. #15
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    I would go dyno simply because it's one less thing to worry about.

    Otherwise you can get huge 8 cell 18650 packs for whatever front light you need, pretty cheap these days.
    eg http://kaidomain.com/bike-lights-and...n-Battery-Pack

  16. #16
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    I've gone thru these deliberations for my own use case (grab and go, do it all bike). I've tried most configurations over the years and ended up w/ a 29er hard tail, dyno hub (son), Exposure Revo light, and Exposure RedEye rear light. Drivetrain is Rohloff. I will sometimes add supplemental lighting (helmet and/or bar), but the dyno will get me through most situations.

    I love that there is a bike that I can grab and ride, even if I've been too lazy or forgetful to charge my battery driven lights. And, with the drivetrain and lack of suspension, there is very very little I need to do for maintenance besides keep the tires topped up with air (and I run tubeless here).
    baker

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    I am looking at the 21700 flash light from Fenix,
    PD36R Outputs
    Turbo - 1600 Lumens/2.9 hours/928 feet
    High - 800 Lumens/5.9 hours/646 feet
    Med - 350 Lumens/8.5 Hours/419 feet
    Happy New Year!
    Not sure how familiar you are with flashlights but ratings for them generally do not relate to light performance in the same way a light designed for cycling use would. Mode output levels for lights designed for cycling use are going to degrade some from startup because of heat buildup but are usually regulated to have fairly stable output for extended use. With flashlights the maximum ratings are designed for very short term use and degrade very quickly and even the lower settings are seldom regulated so output degrades as battery charge levels diminish. This is a generalization and there are definitely exceptions but my experience has been for accuracy of claimed output levels and runtimes best to worst would be lighthead/battery combinations - self-contained bike lights - flashlights. Doesn't mean flashlights may not be your best option considering for your usage light efficiency, battery capacity/weight/serviceability may be more important than overall light performance but always nice to know in advance the characteristics of your options.
    I found a review of the Fenix PD36R that had an output vs. runtime chart as an example of what I'm talking about.

    https://zeroair.org/2019/08/12/fenix...hlight-review/

    lights for the bicycle tourist.-screenshot_2019-12-31-fenix-pd36r-flashlight-review-%96-zeroair-reviews.jpg Left click on image to expand.

    Flashlights do have a greater selection of components that includes newer emitter tech. that can be much more efficient than what's currently available in bike lights. Lights with Cree XHP 50.2 emitters can provide around double the runtime per watt of the typical XML emitter used in most bike lights so might be something to look for when choosing a flashlight.
    Mole

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Velological rim dyno also sounds good.

    Does the rim dyno have less output than a Son hub? 1.5 vs 3 or something?
    1.5 vs 3W specification (coming from the german StVZO) defines the output at 15 km/h, and there are only those two classes.

    I posted the article about the velogical already in my last post, here is the graph from that article showingthe electrical power of the velogical at different speeds ("PTC" stands for the supplied power limiter to avoid damages to frontlights); Same graph for son/shimano dyno hubs, albeit only 4 measurement points. Measurements were done with a 12 Ohm resistor (which acts a model source of a dyno bike headlight)

    With suitable electronics, you can get quite some usable power out of the velogicals (green line is the 3phase power generator version of the velogical, magenta line is a dyno hub in combination with an energy harvester)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post

    Better battery life and replaceable batteries is what comes to mind.
    there are tons of ultracompact and powerful lights out on the market that have replaceable battery.

    simple dont buy lights with glued in batterys.

    like someone posted before i prefer many years Zebralights.
    but i have alot other outstanding goof lights at home to.

    for example my last longest off-grid trip was ~3 weeks in the mountains.

    anythink other in backpacking situation is calculation dayly consume.

    i for example need for 3 weeks with some night trips ~ 4x 18650 batteries to take with me.

    so in totall the weight:
    40 gramm zebralight H600
    4x 18650 batteries ea 45 gramm= 180 gramm

    total 220 gramms in weight for 3 weeks for me.

    good 18650 you get for ~3$ so no money, take how much you need on your trip with you fully loaded thats all the secret.

    if i will do very long trips i prefer small solarpanel~10-20 watt with maxeon sunpower C60 zell types+ for example the olight UC.


    the olight UC weights nothing.
    ~20 watt ready to use outdoor solarpanels have ~250 gramms.
    thex are nice but heavy i make my DIY solarpanel with the C60 zell types.
    2x C60 in some 2-epoxy+boost DC-DC to USB modul total= 70 gramms for a 10 watt solarpanels.

    the most importand part, never buy a light if it not have changeable battery option for long trips or long night use.
    lights with glues in batterys are a no go!!!!!!!!

    powerbanks are pointless,alot wastet energy"=extraweight" in sensless DC-DC convertation+ bulky extraweight in the plastikcase by itself .

    use 18650 batterys always direkt and charge them direkt.

  20. #20
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    Lights with glued in batteries are a no go.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Lights with glued in batteries are a no go.
    I can sell you a MagicShine Monteer 1400 that takes either one or two 18650 batteries.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_tg View Post
    1.5 vs 3W specification (coming from the german StVZO) defines the output at 15 km/h, and there are only those two classes.

    I posted the article about the velogical already in my last post, here is the graph from that article showingthe electrical power of the velogical at different speeds ("PTC" stands for the supplied power limiter to avoid damages to frontlights); Same graph for son/shimano dyno hubs, albeit only 4 measurement points. Measurements were done with a 12 Ohm resistor (which acts a model source of a dyno bike headlight)

    With suitable electronics, you can get quite some usable power out of the velogicals (green line is the 3phase power generator version of the velogical, magenta line is a dyno hub in combination with an energy harvester)
    Thanks for the post but I hate trying to figure out a graph done in German. Not to mention they are using German standards ( km/h ) and watts??. I have no idea how that would translate to lumen or what it would look like if using a dynamo lamp ( beam width and throw ). ( how bright at 5mph? ) Once you switch from battery lights to dynamo it's like a whole new ball game. Unless you have seen what one actually looks like when riding at night you have no idea if it will satisfy your needs or not. I know that dynamo standards have gotten better over the years but personally I wouldn't be willing to roll the dice on a dynamo setup unless I could try one out before buying.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Thanks for the post but I hate trying to figure out a graph done in German. Not to mention they are using German standards ( km/h ) and watts??.
    Cat, i am sorry, but those are not german standards, those are the international metric SI units. It seems that only two countries still use that imperial system: US and UK (ok, canada uses it besides the metric system as well)

    Elektrische Leistung = electrical power P (given in watt)
    Fahrgeschwindigkeit 28" = speed, hub dyno mounted in a 28" wheel (in a smaller wheel, you'll get more power at the same speed)
    Widerstands-Last = a (12 Ohm) resistor is connected to the dynos.

    That last link in my post seems like it doesn't work, here is the link to the webpage where the graph is from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I have no idea how that would translate to lumen or what it would look like if using a dynamo lamp ( beam width and throw ). ( how bright at 5mph? )[...]
    Well, i was just trying to show that you can get with a dynamo harvester 10W and more of usable electrical power from a hub dyno or the 3phase velogical at a speed of 20 mph (30 km/h ~19 mph). With a properly designed beam pattern, that is more then sufficient for any bike touring use and gives you enough power to charge phones or gps devices during the day.
    Lumen output would then depend on the connected light.
    One could connect a supernova M99 Mini Pro 25 or a B&M IQ-X E. That would give you plenty of light in dipped beam mode for use on (gravel)road/ MUP/ bike paths, even above 20 mph. Any Kaidomain/Aliexpress light could be also connected, if it works with the voltage provided by the dynamo harvester.

    To be fair costs of those harvesting systems is not cheap, so the question is how important is the independence from grid power for the bicycle tourist.

    Best available dynamo light (except maybe for their quite cold beam tint) is the B&M IQ-X, followed by the schmidt/SON edelux and these two deliver at 1W electrical power (that is roughly the power provided by the velogicals at 5 mph) enough light to drive safely at 5 mph. Standard 3W dynos provide more power at 5mph (8 km/h).
    The limitation of conventional dynamo lights become usually noticable at speeds above 16 mph, since those are usally designed for max. 2.4 W ower consumption.


    I forgot, there is also a US based system of a rim dyno with an integrated bike harvester: pedalcell.com (to me it looks like a copy of that velogical with a ready made harvester/buffer battery)

  24. #24
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    Both the pedalcell and the B&M IQ-X look interesting for me. I've ordered the iq-x for my gravel bike. We'll see how it compares to the Exposure Revo I have on my do-it-all bike. I do think the Revo annoys oncoming traffic sometimes, as the cars will slow way way down. These are rural back roads, and I don't encounter much traffic, but it would still be nice to not worry about blinding others.
    baker

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    Both the pedalcell and the B&M IQ-X look interesting for me. I've ordered the iq-x for my gravel bike. We'll see how it compares to the Exposure Revo I have on my do-it-all bike. I do think the Revo annoys oncoming traffic sometimes, as the cars will slow way way down. These are rural back roads, and I don't encounter much traffic, but it would still be nice to not worry about blinding others.
    Received my B&M IQ-X and took it for a 10 mile ride. Mix of gravel roads and twisty single track. The IQ-X is way better for my needs than the Revo. I'm very surprised. Really nice beam, starts at a much lower speed, and has an on/off switch. And, it was cheap! $84 delivered from Amazon. I don't see my Revo getting much (any?) use after trying the IQ-X.

    Fine up to 32mph. Some semi-annoying flickering at 4-5mph, but at least there is usable light at that speed.
    baker

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    [...]The IQ-X is way better for my needs than the Revo. I'm very surprised. Really nice beam, starts at a much lower speed[....]Some semi-annoying flickering at 4-5mph, but at least there is usable light at that speed.
    Well, the IQ-X puts nearly all light to the ground, that makes quite a difference!
    From what i've read, the IQ-X has two LEDs, and at lower speed only one is powered to provide usable beam output.

    That flickering is due to the low AC frequency provided by your hub dyno, that is not a design/engineering issue of the light. The light should have a capacitor, which helps to avoid the flickering at low speeds, at least for a short time.
    Any dyno light flickers at those lower speeds (unless you run a hub dyno designed for 26"/28" in a 20" wheel)

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_tg View Post
    Well, the IQ-X puts nearly all light to the ground, that makes quite a difference!
    From what i've read, the IQ-X has two LEDs, and at lower speed only one is powered to provide usable beam output.

    That flickering is due to the low AC frequency provided by your hub dyno, that is not a design/engineering issue of the light. The light should have a capacitor, which helps to avoid the flickering at low speeds, at least for a short time.
    Any dyno light flickers at those lower speeds (unless you run a hub dyno designed for 26"/28" in a 20" wheel)
    Putting all the light to the ground does appear to make a huge difference. I've had (and built) many dyno powered lights (including Cyo, E3 triple, Revo). While I find the flicker to be especially noticeable on the IQ-X, I can get over it for all the other positives.

    I'm actually pretty impressed at how far led dyno lights have come in the past 10 years. I just did a quick search and it looks like I was messing around w/ DIY back in 2007...

    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...namo-led-light
    baker

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