Mounting: center vs on the side- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mounting: center vs on the side

    Hello everyone! I'm new to this forum as well as serious light systems.

    I'm shopping for front lights now. I've pretty much decided that I'll be buying the Niterider 750 or 1500. I commute at nights, and do some trail riding as well.

    My main question: To me it seems unnatural that one would mount a light anywhere but the center of the stem. Doesn't it mess with your coordination - the fact that the light is mounted on the side of the stem rather than in the middle? 750 is mounted on the side, whereas 1500 is mounted on the center of the stem.

    What is your experience on this issue?

    Also - will 750 lumens be enough for riding at a max speed of 20-22 mph?

  2. #2
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    I have one of my current lights mounted to the side becuase its a 25mm mount and I am running 31.8mm bars so I have to wait till they taper down before I can mount it. And as such they are poiting alittle off angle as well but after the first 30 min of using them it didn't bother me. With that light I am running about 750 lumens (single P7) and I would say it is probably enough for 22 mph. My other setup 2000 lumens (dual xml) is alot better at 22 mph but I would say 750 would be ok.

  3. #3
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    I now use a mount style that places the light right over the stem so it points perfectly centered. My bar/stem combo forced my old NR "side mount" to point slightly to one side even after tweaking it as mch as practical. I really disliked the poor aiming that resulted. The biggest issue was during swoopy turns on a down grade. Turn right and the beam would point more downward and shorten the lights reach. Left turns did the opposite.

    How many lumens you have will not tell you if a given light will work for a given pace. The beam pattern is critical here. As your speed increases you need your beam to throw a pretty good distance. A 750 lumen lamp with a tight beam will be fine at 20 mph. Take those same 750 lumens and spread them out in a flood beam and 12 mph will out run the light

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I now use a mount style that places the light right over the stem so it points perfectly centered. My bar/stem combo forced my old NR "side mount" to point slightly to one side even after tweaking it as mch as practical. I really disliked the poor aiming that resulted. The biggest issue was during swoopy turns on a down grade. Turn right and the beam would point more downward and shorten the lights reach. Left turns did the opposite.

    How many lumens you have will not tell you if a given light will work for a given pace. The beam pattern is critical here. As your speed increases you need your beam to throw a pretty good distance. A 750 lumen lamp with a tight beam will be fine at 20 mph. Take those same 750 lumens and spread them out in a flood beam and 12 mph will out run the light
    So you now mount NR in the middle? any tips on how I could do it?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drazic View Post
    So you now mount NR in the middle? any tips on how I could do it?

    I don't use the NightRider lights anymore, and would not buy NR again due to poor reliability. I now build my own lights and mounts.

  6. #6
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    I've used lights centered and some off to one side of the stem and it really doesn't make a difference to me as long as the light has at least a small amount of adjustability from side to side so you are able to aim it centered.

  7. #7
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    I visited the Pacific Science Center in Seattle a couple of years ago and they have an exhibit where you put on special glasses that shift everything to the right by a couple of feet and then they have you shoot baskets into a hoop that is several feet away. As you would expect, your first shot is way off target, but the surprise is that by your third shot you are making them again. The human mind compensates that quickly.

    I have always ridden with my light just to the right of my stem and have never been able to notice that it was not centered. Most of the time, I also have a helmet light that is aimed directly where I am looking as well but even on the times when I am an idiot and forget a cable and just run the one light, I cannot tell a difference.

    I do not know if it is my brain or the fact that a 2 inch shift in light source location and my average focal point of 15-30 feet ahead of me creates an insignificant amount of shadow shift. But I would not recommend that anyone go out and spend extra money just to center their light on the bars. Unless you are doing it to satisfy your OCD nature in which case, you will probably ride better with it centered, but you will also want to make sure that the weight is balanced as well.
    Josh

  8. #8
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    I agree completely that centering the light is to satisfy an OCD craving. I also like the look of a centered light so there is an aesthetic thing going as well (which ties into the OCD)

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