Only 1 Light - What would you choose?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    ~Reformed Mechanic~
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    Only 1 Light - What would you choose?

    This is a 2 part question!

    If you could only choose between Bike mount or Head mounting Light? - Answer Here


    THEN


    If you could only choose More Flood or More Spot (ex: RayIII or MS - 900)? - Answer Here

    Update: Assuming wooded trail riding
    Last edited by Ace5high; 06-20-2011 at 11:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    This is a 2 part question!

    If you could only choose between Bike mount or Head mounting Light? - Answer Here


    THEN


    If you could only choose More Flood or More Spot (ex: RayIII or MS - 900)? - Answer Here
    #1 Handle bar for sure

    #2 If I can only have one between the 2 two I would chose the MS 900 because the Raylll is a great bar light when combined with a helmet light but by itself it does not have enough throw and you can outrun it by itself.
    the Ms 900 has decent spill and throw
    I have both lights so this is based on multiple uses
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  3. #3
    Light freak
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    You did not mention what type of riding you are wanting to do- trails or street.


    1. I would recommend a helmet light over a bar light if you are riding tight, twisty, technical trails. You will want to be able to see around corners as you are trying to navigate them.

    2. More spot for the helmet to reach down trail, more flood on the bars to illuminate the side of the trail.



    ****

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    #1 Handle bar for sure

    #2 If I can only have one between the 2 two I would chose the MS 900 because the Raylll is a great bar light when combined with a helmet light but by itself it does not have enough throw and you can outrun it by itself.
    the Ms 900 has decent spill and throw
    I have both lights so this is based on multiple uses

    Do you think the The Magicshine 1400 on handlebars would be more appropriate as a 1 light setup then?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace5high View Post
    Do you think the The Magicshine 1400 on handlebars would be more appropriate as a 1 light setup then?
    Yup great light got a couple of those too. They are kind of goofy looking or can we say Micky Mouse but they are a great all around light, tons of spill and plenty of throw, and being able to dim and brighten on the fly is a major plus, the o ring mount sucks but that is easily moded out with the old bike ray mount, or a marwi mount, or an old nightrider mount about a $10 mod.
    if you get one from Geoman get the 6.0 battery for extra ride time they can be battery hogs.
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  6. #6
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    1) Helmet mount.

    2) Wide spot with some spill around.
    Guillaume

  7. #7
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    Never ride w/ 1 light.

    At the very least have a back up torch. You can get them for 20 bucks.

    MB

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Never ride w/ 1 light.

    At the very least have a back up torch. You can get them for 20 bucks.

    MB
    I agree with this guy, never, ever, ride with only one source of lighting - Danger Will Robinson, Danger!! Last night I had a Strykr Pro thrown in my Camelback in the unlikely case something happened with my Baja Designs Strykr, or in the more likely event another rider's light had issues.

    For me personally I like a good throwing wide beam light on my handlebars, my set-up last night was a Strykr with the wide angle reflector installed. When aimed properly, a good light system will spill from right in front of your front tire, waaaay out to the sides, (for those twisty switchbacks Scar was spoke of) as well as punch pretty darn far out there to the front to handle higher speeds.

    I have found that running strictly a helmet system, tends to flatten the trail a bit for me due to the angles the light is hitting the ground and it's a little tougher to get proper aim on the system as you will be standing up and sitting on your saddle at different points. That's my two cents worth.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Never ride w/ 1 light.

    At the very least have a back up torch. You can get them for 20 bucks.

    MB
    I totally agree with you, but I think you missed the point...

    It was really more like which scenario would you prefer to ride with

  10. #10
    www.bigrobracing.co.uk
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    If only one, then definitely a bar mount. Yes, yopu won't see so far round corners quite as quickly on the twistyest of trails, but when it's cloud, misty or raining and head mounted light wil just reflect back from the moisture in the air in front of you. This is why cars have fog lights low down. The issue is massive with a head torch.

    A cheap(ish) lower power head torch is a great supplement to a brighter bar light to overcome the corner issue, gives you a redundancy backup light for emergency, solves the problem of having a heavy main light mouted on top of your helmet making your head ache and won't hurt your bank balance!

    See my light setup here: CLICKY



    Rob
    Last edited by robdeanhove; 07-30-2011 at 12:20 AM. Reason: lights pic added

  11. #11
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    I ride nacked ! Do you ?
    thought , that was a funny bumper sticker,...
    was on a old rust pickup truck, with 2 mtb bikes in the back,...
    Answer: Neither or Booth.
    my guess you want to start with one,...
    if you don't ride much, a fancy Flashlight will do, you get more use out of it.
    otherwise, with lights/lumen it's like with horsepower, never enough, but also important,
    how it's delivered. Too much, or too little, or not the right amount of spot/flood,
    and it will hurt . every seen stars ? when you get blinded by a hot-spot, you be temporary
    like it says, blind ,... riding mtb on in the wood, with solid trees , left and right,
    you would think, you'd like to see them.
    Spot is needed for distance, otherwise, keep to a minimum on slow and uphill section.
    and when doing burnouts, usually bring extra tires,... ( lights,..)
    cheers, Rob

  12. #12
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    As you can see from the responses here there is no "correct" choice. Too many individual preferences. My first LED light had a very floody beam than totally lacked throw. I never even took it on a ride before tossing it aside. My next one had a floody beam with decent throw. Worked OK but still thought there must be something better. My first helmet light also lacked the throw I felt I wanted. I now have a bar light and helmet light combo that I like (though I am already planning to try something else). Both are quite narrow beams. This is counter to the more common preference of a floody beam for the bars. If I had only one light I would have a bar light with a combination of good throw and moderate flood with a pretty sharp cutoff at the edge of the beam. You'll only know what is best for you by trying different types.

  13. #13
    wxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    #1 Handle bar for sure

    #2 If I can only have one between the 2 two I would chose the MS 900 because the Raylll is a great bar light when combined with a helmet light but by itself it does not have enough throw and you can outrun it by itself.
    the Ms 900 has decent spill and throw
    I have both lights so this is based on multiple uses
    Yeah, that's what I'm going to say.:yesnod

  14. #14
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    If only one light?....how many times have we've seen this question?

    Mounting choice would depend on what terrain you're riding so let's skip that for now.

    Basically, you need a light with ample output ( at least 600 lumen ) decent throw ( 75ft at the least ) with a nice amount of spill/flood for wider trails. With this said, back to the mounting issue...

    Preferably, the light you choose/chose will mount on a helmet or on the bars. This option is very important since you only are using one light. Your mounting choice would be decided therefore depending on the terrain. If the trail is tight with lots of sharp turns...helmet mount. If the trail is wider with wider turns that are not so sharp, ...bar mount...you get the idea. Now if you're willing to ride slower on tight trails a bar mount will work fine besides having a wire coming off the helmet is more of a PITA anyway.

    Now about what light to choose...a tough call as there are lots to choose from. Anyway, a mini list to start with....BikeRay II..( mod-beam version using P-7 D-bin ), MS 1400 ( already commented on ), MS 1000 (with adapted lens for a little more spill, standard setup is best in class for throw ). For a little more money these two...., Bikeray IV ( 1200+ lumen, lots of flood and decent throw, not so good in the rain ) Baja Stryker, ( includes choice of reflectors-spot or flood and is best in class as far as rain is concerned. Heavier than most, likely best used on bars ) There are many more with more on the way everyday. Pick your poison.. Hope this helps.

    Something was mentioned about a point in all this. I would just like to say, "There is no real point to using only one light anymore". Just put the main light on the bar and spend another $40 for a nice XPG or E mini-torch for the helmet. It's been said, "Two heads are better than one" and " There is safety in numbers"....all a good reason to use two light sources.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ...Basically, you need a light with ample output ( at least 600 lumen ) decent throw ( 75ft at the least ) with a nice amount of spill/flood for wider trails......
    While I agree by today's standards, many including me in the past rode safely and had fun with much less than 600 lumens. If it could be done then, it can still be done now.

    I have ridden hard and fast by my standards with a Fenix (helmet, 180 lumens) and DiNotte 200L (bars, 200 lumens). I have ridden tight, technical trails with only a 10w Night Rider (100 lumens or less).

    My preferred set-up: Baja Designs Strykr with wide angle lens mounted on the bars.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Never ride w/ 1 light.

    At the very least have a back up torch. You can get them for 20 bucks.
    Oh gibberish! Where's the fun? Where's the stupidity, the danger, the thrill?

    If you can't die while doing it, or at least get yourself in deep sh*t, why bother?

  17. #17
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    When riding with one light, on the helmet is the only option.

    I have just got back from a night ride at our local bike park, over 500 riders there every Weds night. Woodhill Mountain Bike Park - Auckland's Homeground for Mountain Biking

    99% of them ride with the light on the helmet. and this must mean something.

    Where you look is where you see, simple!. If its foggy or raining you can turn the light onto low power. This happened recently in a 24 hour race in the early hours of the morning and we still wouldn't have had the light on our bars.

    A single light on the bars just doesn't cop it because your bars are not pointing around the next corner and we all know we should be looking ahead rather than directly in front of us when riding. By the time we are riding over an obstacle, our brain has already calculated what to do and you should be concentrating on the next corner etc.

    I ride with a 1200 on the helmet which is a massive amount of light and one of our new 450's on the bars (which is just about as bright as the P7 lights) shining directly in front of the bike. The reasoning is that the new generation of lights and we are talking 3-4 times brighter than the MS 900 type lights are nearly too bright to look straight ahead of the bike because you get light bouncing back off the trail.

    By having a lower power light on the bars, your peripheral vision picks up what is directly in front of you so you are not consciously looking down, rather ahead and your brain is working out what you are going to do on the next corner, jump, DH section etc.

    Trust me, we live and breath night riding on tight, fast, twisty trails.

    Now if you are on a road bike it is a different story. On the bars, preferable with the light hanging beneath the bars works perfectly.

    We are seeing riders using our new 1200 lights on the road with the lights on their helmet. If/when they look straight at Car drivers, the chance of blinding the drivers is high and very dangerous.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    While I agree by today's standards, many including me in the past rode safely and had fun with much less than 600 lumens. If it could be done then, it can still be done now....
    I agree with you 100% but the question was for "a one light set-up". I said "600lm" because by today's standard it only makes sense to use that as a starting point. Why buy a Dinotte 200L when you can buy something using a P-7 or XM-L that will blow the 200L stuff out of the water and cost less money while doing it? I'm not dissing the Dinotte 200L, I own two of them. They are nice little lights but technology has moved forward. As such the starting point should be moved up. I am assuming of course that if you buy a 600 lumen light it will also have lower modes so you can still run less light if you want. I routinely use my lower modes. In most cases if I'm running 300 lumen on the bars and 300 lumen on the helmet I'm good for most terrain as long as I'm not going ballistic down some gnarly down-hill. Anyway, point is there is no reason to run lights in the 200 lumen range today unless you are just trying to conserve your batteries while on an all night epic. ( not that it can't be done, it can )
    '

  19. #19
    www.bigrobracing.co.uk
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    The "today's standards" is an important point. Yes, you can ride with 200lm and I have done happily in the past, but if everyone else you're riding with has 900lm, you'll be seeing your shadow from the light behind you and your eyes will adjust to their brightness making your 200lm seem waaaay to little, so you'll need something comparable to the lights of your friends (or brighter, if you want to beat them!), a >100lm light is always a good point to start ;-)

  20. #20
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    What's the minimum ?
    1 - Handlebar light
    1 - Helmet light
    1 - Backup Flashlight

    What's a good setup ?
    2 x Handlebar lights ( 2x 900 = 2x 550 = 1100)
    1 x Helmet light
    1 x Spare Batterie

    What's my favorite ?
    1x Handlebar light (4 leds, 2600-3700)
    1x Helmet , dual LED, ~850
    1x extra helmet batterie
    1x micro/mini extra batterie for handlebar
    1x backup , helmet mount flashlight

    Extras to consider :
    1 x 9V battery , to kickstart main battery, if the fuse gets tripped ( or 4x3V lithium for 14.8v system)
    - charge every time, though I only had 1x short ride on the batterie,
    happend to be ,.... the third, and booth lights went out, and since it was to be only a short run
    ( alone, rrrr) , did not bring backup ether ,... and was riding alone,... so preferably charge every time
    and at least , text the better half, when you enter the woods, and when you are back.

    other thoughts :
    2x cheap does not equal 1x good (expensive)
    backup, means backup ! you would not jump with only 1 parachute and no backup ?
    handlebar + helmet , less is not really acceptable
    a keychain light is not a backup light
    riding in below freezing temps, is not a good time, to test your warm weather batterie runtime,...
    having extra , duck tape, zip ties, cord etc, might be handy, for the time you brezel your mount,
    and don't have a spare,...
    on that note,.... an extra cleat and screws, is really dandy, because it really is a pita, to ride clipless,
    with just one,... because the other one fell off.
    used once a zip tie on the shoe, when the buckle fell off, must have hit it on a rock,....
    I know some guys, even bring a spare rear derailleur,.... running behind the pack cross country, with a 30lbs bike is no fun,...
    oops, rattling the chain again, need some lubricants from the fridge, ...

    Baja ad Lupine are on the short list, not because there a good lights, but because their battery outlasts the competition, in terms of reliability and ruggedness . never mind the excellent support.

    cheers, Rob

  21. #21
    Master of Beat
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    I would choose helmet light over bar mount... Your handlebars aren't always pointing where you NEED to be looking.

    I only ride with Jet Lites A-51 and usually ride w/ a partner. If I'm by myself and my light goes out I figured it makes for a fun night survivor man style since I work afternoons now.

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