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Thread: minimum LED?

  1. #1
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    minimum LED?

    hey all, i'm finally thinking of some night riding after all these years, especially with days starting to get shorter....so i'm a newb - what's the minimum you can get away with in terms of LED?

    i was thinking of this 350, given that funds are somewhat limited, but i dont want to get something that doesnt do the job

    http://www.rei.com/product/786653

  2. #2
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    Just depends on what you plan on riding, and what speeds.I do like the Cygolite brand as i've owned a TridenX and loved it.But for around the price of the 350 your looking at, you could get an honest 500/600 lumen light from Scar,(amoeba XPG) or Trailled 500L which i believe also uses the XPG leds.These guys know bike lights!!

  3. #3
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    thanks for the insight....very cool. Looking at that Trail LED 500L.

    i guess my riding is traditional new england - very woodsy/forrested, single track, roots, rock, reggae.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like the same riding as here in Squamish/Whistler B.C.Good luck on your choice!

  5. #5
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    thanks! would love to ride Whistler some time....man.

    what's the best lens configuration - "spot/flood"...."flood/flood?"

    thanks

  6. #6
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    Depends on riding style, if you like slower technical terrain i'd go with spot/flood.If you like more of a quick flowey style of single track spot/spot might be best for a little more throw.I haven't seen either lights in action in person so i can't say for sure how much spill you would loose going spot/spot but Amoeba XPG, or Trailled guys could answer those questions much better than myself.

  7. #7
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    Depends on personal preference as well. I'm old and kinda slow, but still like a spot beam pattern over a flood. For me, a flood pattern lighting up the trail around me is distracting.

  8. #8
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    My thought on beam pattern and placement....

    Flood beam - Even throw of light directly out in front of you with quite a bit of side spill. Mostly used on the bars. That said, a lot of riders on the east coast, where there forests are denser, prefer to run a flood on the helmet over a spot.

    Spot beam – Very tight beam with a “hot spot” in the center (still has some useable side spill). Mostly used on the helmet. On the bars it could be annoying to have the “hot spot” wiggling around out in front of you with every movement of the bars.



    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, 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. I have heard stories of people trying to use the light from their cell phone to get out, brutal. I like running both because I never know what kind of lights other people are showing up with. You never leave a fellow night rider alone with a dead light. I would rather just transfer one of my lights over to them and ride out at descent pace then trying to both ride off of light coming from one bicycle (does that make sense?).




    ****

  9. #9
    Cars Are Evil
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    I prefer a floody light on both helmet and bars. It's less distracting to not have to aim the light. But at least one of them needs to be able to reach way out front when I'm bombing fast. Preferably the bars is brighter for better depth perception.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermont29er
    I prefer a floody light on both helmet and bars. It's less distracting to not have to aim the light. But at least one of them needs to be able to reach way out front when I'm bombing fast. Preferably the bars is brighter for better depth perception.
    Yup, same here, I really like the combo. On the helmet you are way more flexible with pointing it to where you want.

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