Newb - night riding setup- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64

    Newb - night riding setup

    Looking into getting some lights now that winter is well and truly here. I have an abundance of bike paths around my house, some fire trails and tame singletrack. Most of the areas are poorly lit or not lit at all.

    I've been trying to get a measure of what an appropriate light setup would be. Seems the consensus is 700lm+ on the helmet, 1000lm+ on the bars?

    I'm thinking about the following setups:

    2 x Bontrager Ion Pro - AUD320
    Moon Meteor Vertex (helmet) & Moon Meteor Storm (bars) - AUD200
    Lezyne 650 helmet & Lezyne 1100XL - AUD170

    I think the Moon setup would give me the best blend of battery life and charging time with about 2000lm combined. Bontrager seem painfully long to charge and I've read mixed reviews of the Lezyne stuff.

    I can't find much info on the moon lights, anyone have any experience or care to recommend a setup under USD230?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rynomx785's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    555
    I run a Niterider Micro 850 on my helmet and a Lumina 1200 Boost on my bars. I like the 850 and wouldn't want anything heavier on my helmet but I was expecting the 1200 to be brighter. The whole setup works for most of what I do but if the trail turns down hill, I can out run the light pretty quickly. I will most likely end up with an external batter light on my bars that is 2k+ lumens.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    1,027
    Serfas 1200 on the bars and NiteRider 950 boost on my helmet.

    I bought those because they were both cost effective at the time of purchase. It's more than necessary but sure is nice to have it.

    Suggestion: Night riding takes on a new appearance and feel. A trail you are somewhat familiar with can be confusing at dark. It's good to have a good idea of your trail when you take on a night ride.
    If you are new, take a few short rides on trails you are familiar with before tackling a longer ride, or riding a trail you sometimes have a hard time navigating.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    I've found that paying attention to what other riders in your area are using (and happy with) eliminates a lot of the variables that effect opinions on what's best and may be your most valuable source of information for opinions on your setup. These forums are a good source of specific information on performance charactristics like beam pattern/overall power/emitter tintruntimes/thermal characteristics and so on. Here's some links that may help you figure which lights will work best for you.

    We Test Lights | Bike Tests and Teviews
    https://lights.road.cc/index-wide.php

    Lots of information in that road.cc site but remember it only shows output @ full charge which can change dramatically from light to light in even the first half hour. "Wetestlights" testing method reveals output over time and is something I test all my lights for (gives me accurate runtimes also).

    Here's what I recommend you look at for a budget setup. For the bars the Ravemen PR800/900/1200. Reasonably priced with very good quality/performance/runtimes. For the helmet I'd look at the Sigma Buster 700. Runtimes are on the shorter side but not really possible to have a reasonably powerful self-contained helmet light with long runtimes that doesn't weigh too much.

    https://www.merlincycles.com/ravemen...ht-101142.html
    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night...a-1096624.html
    Hope this helps. I do own a Ravemen PR900 and Sigma Buster 700 so if you have any specific questions hopefully I can answer them.
    Mole

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    I was looking at the Ravemen PR1200, it's quite pricey here (about the same as the bonty ion). I liked the moon lights due to the replaceable batteries and all the mounts are included in the box.

    Asking others seems like everything else, everyone has a personal preference, best way is to try for yourself I think.

    I've started out with a moon vortex pro 700lm / 900lm boost which is fairly inexpensive and has a 2.5hr burn on 700lm and can be mounted to the helmet or bars. I figure it will at least get me out there and then I'll be able to decide what additional lighting I might need.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    I was looking at the Ravemen PR1200, it's quite pricey here (about the same as the bonty ion). I liked the moon lights due to the replaceable batteries and all the mounts are included in the box.
    .
    Ravemen lights for bar use is a beam pattern thing. I also own a Ion Pro RT that I like very much but still prefer my Ravemen PR900 as a bar light for off-road use. I also have access to a PR1200 that I bought for my Stepdad as a Christmas present and comparing the two I prefer the 900's extra .6 hr. of runtime over the 1200's slightly wider beam. Light intensity (max. lux) almost identical and I would still consider the PR900 a flood beam. Point being smaller lights in the PR series just as effective (IMO) so no need to spend the extra money on the 1200 version.

    I've started out with a moon vortex pro 700lm / 900lm boost which is fairly inexpensive and has a 2.5hr burn on 700lm and can be mounted to the helmet or bars. I figure it will at least get me out there and then I'll be able to decide what additional lighting I might need.
    Looks like a nice starting point. Very similar beam pattern/power output/weight to the Sigma Buster 700 I mentioned. Would appreciate if you'd post how you like the light after you get a few rides in.
    Mole

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post

    Looks like a nice starting point. Very similar beam pattern/power output/weight to the Sigma Buster 700 I mentioned. Would appreciate if you'd post how you like the light after you get a few rides in.
    Mole
    Do you use the road.cc beam engine to compare lights?

    I took it out briefly last night just along the street and down some unlit paths. tbh even 400lm is enough for that sort of riding. The beam is quite tight though, I can imagine it being insufficient on single track. The hotspot is very bright at 700lm but it becomes difficult to aim it because it's small. I feel it's best to aim it high and get some good shadows but then you won't get much light around and directly in front of the bike.

    I'm guessing this is what makes for a good helmet mounted light?

    It had issues going into boost mode (900lm) with the unit just cutting out after 1sec several times. Not sure if it was because of the cold (maybe cold battery and high draw kicked in some over current protection). Even when I got it working there wasn't enough of a difference between 700lm and 900lm to sacrifice 40% runtime.

    Question: Why do manufacturers have 'boost' modes? Is this a 'bonus' ymmv type thing like overclocking a CPU on a PC?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    Do you use the road.cc beam engine to compare lights?
    Yes and no! It's taken me a while to get used to this site and I've seen some inconsistency's that would affect results. I consider the site as a "mostly reliable" source of information about beam patterns and output.


    I took it out briefly last night just along the street and down some unlit paths. tbh even 400lm is enough for that sort of riding. The beam is quite tight though, I can imagine it being insufficient on single track. The hotspot is very bright at 700lm but it becomes difficult to aim it because it's small. I feel it's best to aim it high and get some good shadows but then you won't get much light around and directly in front of the bike.

    I'm guessing this is what makes for a good helmet mounted light?
    Narrow beam with intense hot spot in the middle makes a good helmet light for the open trails I ride but if the trails in your area typically have short line of sight distances a softer wider beam may be better. For bar use ideal beam width will vary also but a floodier beam with smooth/even light coverage will work best for most trail conditions. I tend to agree with your estimate that used as a sligle light (which is not a good idea) your Moon would be insufficient for trail use.


    It had issues going into boost mode (900lm) with the unit just cutting out after 1sec several times. Not sure if it was because of the cold (maybe cold battery and high draw kicked in some over current protection). Even when I got it working there wasn't enough of a difference between 700lm and 900lm to sacrifice 40% runtime.

    Question: Why do manufacturers have 'boost' modes? Is this a 'bonus' ymmv type thing like overclocking a CPU on a PC?
    Unfortunately unless your lucky enough to find someone who owns the light your considering these are the type of things you only end up finding out with use. As far as my opinion on "Boost modes" I consider it a way for the manufacturers to legally claim higher outputs and still follow the "ANSI" standards. Doesn't really make a better light but probably sells more units. Thanks for the imput on you light! What's you next move?
    Mole

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,668
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    .....Question: Why do manufacturers have 'boost' modes? Is this a 'bonus' ymmv type thing like overclocking a CPU on a PC?
    Just as MRMOLE mentions, it is just marketing. Folks buy numbers. Whether the numbers are real and sustainable or not goes overlooked by most buyers.

    I've had another rider tell me I was totally wrong in saying my light is ~1800 lumen because theirs was 3000 yet mine was brighter. He was sure that because the Amazon listing he bought his light from said it was 3k lumen that it had to be true.

    Another peeve of mine are output claims that can not be sustained for a majority of the run time. Some are so bad that they lose ~50% of their advertised output in a half hour or so.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    723
    Make sure you check out the glow worm alpha:

    https://www.glowormlites.co.nz/produ...gloworm-alpha/

    It's all you need to start night riding, and it's a bargain imo.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Next move is get out and ride some more hahaha. In the meantime I'll stay off the single tracks until I decide on a better bar mounted light with a wider beam.

    Popped into a lbs who know what they're talking about. They took the time to talk me through various options and pricepoints. They demonstrated the lumen myth between exposure Diablo against a lezyne 1500xxl in a dark room. The Diablo destroyed the lezyne, understandably given it cost over twice as much. So basically you can't rely on the rated lumens written on the box. That makes it really difficult for newbs like me.

    I had a look at the gloworm, and I'm really interested. Not sure I'd want a seperate battery pack strapped to a helmet mount but for the bars I think that will work. I especially like the idea of interchangeable lenses.

    Does anyone know how it compares to others in that price range? I.e. leyzne 1500xxl, ravemen pr1200, bonty ion 1300?

  12. #12
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2,022
    Nights are fun rides.Lots of great info here by many that have good input and experience.

    My rides are pretty tame as per adventure and speeds so I'm not apt to outrun my lights and just went lower budget simple and self powered.
    I'll plug NiteRider as it fits with some users as good or good enough and many that have reported good results. Been doing night rides year 'round for about 4 years.
    I was going to go up one or two to a 950 as my 2nd light (handle bar / helmet) but the store was out so I kept it as dual 750's, newer one is boost. They are plenty bright and have good pattern, might have $140 to $150 invested.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again.


  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    322
    There are way more knowledgable folks than I about this topic but I use a Gloworm X2 on my helmet and a Gloworm XS on my bars. Yes I have 500.00 into lights but as I have gotten older I don't see as well at night and with this combo I can keep 80-85% of daytime speeds. Our group has a pretty fair pace and we ride at least 2x a week during the fall and winter. I don't regret spending the coin to keep the fun factor rolling at night.

    I know you were looking for a certain price point but just wanted to share my experience with better lights. It does make a difference.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    723
    Getting the battery off of your helmet and into your bag is sooooo nice. I rode with a nightrider lumina 550 on my head for awhile... but the weight from the battery is always trying to yank the helmet around.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Next move is get out and ride some more hahaha. In the meantime I'll stay off the single tracks until I decide on a better bar mounted light with a wider beam.

    Popped into a lbs who know what they're talking about. They took the time to talk me through various options and pricepoints. They demonstrated the lumen myth between exposure Diablo against a lezyne 1500xxl in a dark room. The Diablo destroyed the lezyne, understandably given it cost over twice as much. So basically you can't rely on the rated lumens written on the box. That makes it really difficult for newbs like me.

    I had a look at the gloworm, and I'm really interested. Not sure I'd want a seperate battery pack strapped to a helmet mount but for the bars I think that will work. I especially like the idea of interchangeable lenses.

    Does anyone know how it compares to others in that price range? I.e. leyzne 1500xxl, ravemen pr1200, bonty ion 1300?
    I own or have access to all of these lights with the exception of the Leyzne and would consider the Gloworm Alpha the best of them without a second thought!!! The Bontrager is basically the same type of light as your Moon with extra power and battery capacity but nothing else is special about it. The Ravemen PR1200 makes about the same output as the Bontrager throughout its runtime but has a much wider beam that is better suited for off-road bar use at the expense of throw. Between these two I would prefer the Bontrager for road use. The Gloworm makes a little more power through its longer runtime than either the Bontrager or any of the PR series Ravemen lights + has changeable optics that will give it the longest throw or make it just as effective of flood as any of these lights + has the ability to program the mode levels to your preference + has the best mounts and a really useful Hi/Low special mode for use in traffic. I also think you'd like a 2 cell battery/lighthead setup for helmet use. I find it to be the most comfortable setup.
    Mole

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    Thanks for the feedback that's really helpful.

    Question about battery packs. They look like 18650s boxed into a package. Can you buy generic spares or are they specific to the light?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    Thanks for the feedback that's really helpful.

    Question about battery packs. They look like 18650s boxed into a package. Can you buy generic spares or are they specific to the light?
    Generic Magicshine style connector. I got this pack from "Hunk Lee" batteries on ebay so not sure where you could source something similar outside the US. Shipping charges became prohibitive for anything that wasn't warehoused here. Pick of Gloworm CX (self-contained version of Alpha) along with Alpha and connectors.
    Mole

    Newb - night riding setup-001.jpg

    Newb - night riding setup-002-4-.jpg

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    Thanks mole, found a ton of battery packs for 'bike lights' on eBay. They all seem to come with the round 5.5/2mm outer/inner round connector. Is that the correct connector do you recall?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    Thanks mole, found a ton of battery packs for 'bike lights' on eBay. They all seem to come with the round 5.5/2mm outer/inner round connector. Is that the correct connector do you recall?
    Sounds right to me
    Mole

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    Great thanks, I think I'll need to order one of these gloworms.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    Great thanks, I think I'll need to order one of these gloworms.

    If you end up ordering a Gloworm Alpha lighthead or full kit there's a couple of accessories you'll probably want if you plan on using it as a bar light. It will come with a spot/spot optic (narrow focused for maximum throw and best for helmet use) and a spot/wide (OK for bar use on the road but still too narrow for trail use IMO) optic but they also make a wide/wide optic that I think works best for bar use. Next because the optic also replaces the bezel (front cover/optic holder) the outside edges of the optic are illuminated and a source of glare. There's a rubber cover that comes with the CX lights that can also be used with the Alpha that covers the outside edges of the optic and eliminates the distracting glare. These didn't come with my Alpha but you might want to at least check to see if they're included now so you can order everything you'll need the first time.
    Mole

    Newb - night riding setup-002.jpg

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    So I jumped on to the website, and got sucked in hard by a 10% discount code.

    I've ended up with an x2 and an xsv 😶😶. Damn me and my fomo hahahaha.

    Received them today. I have setup the x2 as spot/spot but not sure what the xsv should be.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    So I jumped on to the website, and got sucked in hard by a 10% discount code.

    I've ended up with an x2 and an xsv . Damn me and my fomo hahahaha.

    Received them today. I have setup the x2 as spot/spot but not sure what the xsv should be.
    Perfect setup on the X2 for helmet use. Curious what you did for batteries on these lights? X2 uses considerably more current than the Alpha so 2 cell may not provide the runtimes your looking for but you can always run a larger capacity 4 cell in your back pack with an extension cable. XSV is a new light that I have no experience with so can't help with setup advice, sorry. I do know GW designed that light specifically for bar use so good chance the stock setup will be a good place to start. Optics are easy to change and I believe some extras come with the light so suggest experimenting. It will give you additional reasons to ride and in the end you are going to be the best judge of what works best for you anyway. Congrats. on the new lights, can't imagine there's any way that won't be enough light for you!!!
    Mole

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RS VR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    4,716
    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Generic Magicshine style connector. I got this pack from "Hunk Lee" batteries on ebay so not sure where you could source something similar outside the US. Shipping charges became prohibitive for anything that wasn't warehoused here. Pick of Gloworm CX (self-contained version of Alpha) along with Alpha and connectors.
    Mole

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	001.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	325.3 KB 
ID:	1251806

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	002 (4).jpg 
Views:	11 
Size:	137.8 KB 
ID:	1251807
    That's pretty cool. Can you feel the weight of the battery on the back of the helmet?

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    That's pretty cool. Can you feel the weight of the battery on the back of the helmet?
    Don't feel that setup at all.
    Mole

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    64
    Thanks mole, I went with 2 cell on the x2 which matches the 1.5hr runtime of the xsv. I plan to run them off the same remote so I'll sync the brightness across the two. For longer rides I plan on having a spare battery pack or two.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by crembz View Post
    Thanks mole, I went with 2 cell on the x2 which matches the 1.5hr runtime of the xsv. I plan to run them off the same remote so I'll sync the brightness across the two. For longer rides I plan on having a spare battery pack or two.
    Battery life will be easier to estimate after you find your favorite setup for the lights. Programmable presets can make a large difference in required current with barely noticeable reduction in output (reducing the X2's output from 100 to 90% reduces required current by approx. 25% for example).
    Mole

Similar Threads

  1. Night Riding Newb -Exposure Lights
    By in the trees in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-02-2013, 02:14 PM
  2. Setup for a newb
    By HrznRider in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-28-2011, 12:02 PM
  3. Newb with Newb Questions
    By TurboasT4 in forum Frame Building
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-14-2008, 10:19 AM
  4. any tips for semi newb with newb bike
    By wclement7 in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-05-2006, 05:11 AM
  5. Fork Setup: Suspension Newb!
    By gcaz in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-15-2005, 05:22 AM

Members who have read this thread: 54

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.