Really bad depth perception- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Really bad depth perception

    Recently I have been noticing that my night riding depth perception is really poor. I have trouble telling if the trail is going up or down, or if the its banked to the left or the right. I have been riding with about 500 lumens of LED on the bars and on my helmet.

    Any suggestions? I was thinking perhaps a yellower light might help or running more lumens on the bar.

  2. #2
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    If your current lights are in the very cool white category then switching to a neutral or warm white will very likely help.

    Until I tried a neutral white light, I used to think that the cool whites were just fine. I could quickly tell that the trail showed more detail and contrast with a neutral white.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks, my lights are niteride lumina's (1100 boost run at 50%). And they do seem to have a fairly cool light.

  4. #4
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    I have noticed a similar sensation at times when I have one or both of my lights pointed too far down and I'm focusing my vision too close in front of my wheel.

  5. #5
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    Yes to adjusting

    try to run the bar light straight out as possible to get max shadows off rocks
    it helps if bar light is brighter than headlight

    I use a cool white bar light, and a neutral (more yellow) head light and this
    contrast I find helps depth perception. and on road links, I tilt the bar light down for traffic considerations but in woods I aim it straight out to make the chunk shadows
    as long as possible.

    I was experimenting with neutral on bars and that just mixed in with my headlight and depth perception went sour...so ....sharp, bright white on bars, neutral on head (for me) is ideal contrast and can size up the chunder easily again and of course see around corners with the head light
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  6. #6
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    the 2nd lumina 1100 I got this yr has more blue/cool tint than the first one I got last yr.

  7. #7
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    I ride w/ the Lumina's as well but use 2 on the bars and 1 on the helmet, all on high. I found that key was to have 2 on the bars. It makes visibility much better. They're only like 65 bucks too online so hard to beat.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    I ride w/ the Lumina's as well but use 2 on the bars and 1 on the helmet, all on high. I found that key was to have 2 on the bars. It makes visibility much better. They're only like 65 bucks too online so hard to beat.
    My friend does the same and has no issues.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_trail_biker View Post
    Recently I have been noticing that my night riding depth perception is really poor. I have trouble telling if the trail is going up or down, or if the its banked to the left or the right. I have been riding with about 500 lumens of LED on the bars and on my helmet.

    Any suggestions? I was thinking perhaps a yellower light might help or running more lumens on the bar.
    Warmer tint and more power should help + I would also try a wider beam for the bars. Unless your trails and focus are very narrow something with a wider beam than the bar/helmet mounted spot beam Luminas (like two Luminas on the bar) should give you additional points of reference and help with judging the slope of the terrain.

    I'd also encourage you to discuss this with your Dr. if you haven't already done so. May just be your eyes aging but better to be proactive and protect your vision.
    Mole

  10. #10
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    Thanks Mr. Mole. Deteriorating vision is definitely a factor. I've been to the eye doc lately and no medical issue with eye, just getting old. It might be worth it for me to invest in a nice bar mount bar. Perhaps something like an Gloworm X2. It would be nice to be able to go 3+ hours comfortably as well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_trail_biker View Post
    .....just getting old. It might be worth it for me to invest in a nice bar mount bar. Perhaps something like an Gloworm X2. It would be nice to be able to go 3+ hours comfortably as well.
    At least now it's relatively cheap to run powerful lights. Back when I first started night riding, a single bar mount halogen cost $250, made about 400 lumen, and the battery weighed a ton. $250 in 1998 was a whole lot harder to come by than today.

    Splurge on some new lights. It really makes a difference.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_trail_biker View Post
    Thanks Mr. Mole. Deteriorating vision is definitely a factor. I've been to the eye doc lately and no medical issue with eye, just getting old. It might be worth it for me to invest in a nice bar mount bar. Perhaps something like an Gloworm X2. It would be nice to be able to go 3+ hours comfortably as well.


    I have several Gloworms and they're pretty nice lights. If you have any questions I'll see on the Gloworm thread.
    Mole

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_trail_biker View Post
    Thanks Mr. Mole. Deteriorating vision is definitely a factor. I've been to the eye doc lately and no medical issue with eye, just getting old. It might be worth it for me to invest in a nice bar mount bar. Perhaps something like an Gloworm X2. It would be nice to be able to go 3+ hours comfortably as well.
    We's all getting old, don't feel bad. Yes, using a NW lamp setup might help but lamps with wider beam patterns on the bar might also help if the lamp you are using provides a more narrow beam pattern.

    Sometimes issues like this are not so much about how well you are seeing but could be more a less a changing of your sense of balance. Sometimes these are related to inner ear problems. If you tend to stumble or loose balance on a regular basis you might want to relate this to your family doctor, an ENT specialist or a Audiologist. FWIW I too have some balance issues but never seems to bother me on a bike too much. For me I think it's more or less related to me just being over-weight just enough that it effects my now increased center of gravity. ( * I should also note here that people with a severe concussion also will have a problem with depth perception and /or a loss of balance. Not to worry unless you have taken a bad blow to the head or been in a accident where your head was severely shaken. I had a cousin just recently had got hit from behind ( in his truck ) by a dump truck. He had a severe concussion. If he closed his eyes he could almost lose all sense of balance. )

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    We's all getting old, don't feel bad. Yes, using a NW lamp setup might help but lamps with wider beam patterns on the bar might also help if the lamp you are using provides a more narrow beam pattern.

    Sometimes issues like this are not so much about how well you are seeing but could be more a less a changing of your sense of balance. Sometimes these are related to inner ear problems. If you tend to stumble or loose balance on a regular basis you might want to relate this to your family doctor, an ENT specialist or a Audiologist. FWIW I too have some balance issues but never seems to bother me on a bike too much. For me I think it's more or less related to me just being over-weight just enough that it effects my now increased center of gravity. ( * I should also note here that people with a severe concussion also will have a problem with depth perception and /or a loss of balance. Not to worry unless you have taken a bad blow to the head or been in a accident where your head was severely shaken. I had a cousin just recently had got hit from behind ( in his truck ) by a dump truck. He had a severe concussion. If he closed his eyes he could almost lose all sense of balance. )
    Cat-man-do , I do have inner ear issues from allergy sinus pressure. Especially from mold which is peaking right now in my area. Some days I feel like I'm walking on a boat in high seas. Could very well be compounding the issue as it would be hard to notice if it were happening while riding a bike in the dark. I went ahead and ordered a bt40s to see if the NW and wider beam pattern helps some.

  15. #15
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    When riding at night I find that I am often shining my headlamp a bit further down the trail than where I am actually looking. I get less light on the trail, but the light on the handlebars creates shadows that help show the holes and ridges in the terrain. It's not constant though, like I will turn my head up for a second or two to see the shadows and then turn back to the normal position.

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