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  1. #1
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    reflection of new lights

    so i tested all 3 lights together ( Niterider Pro 3600, Lupine Piko 3 and Dinotte 300R )

    the dinotte was perfect. the niterider is excellent but too bright and with too much spill and everybody was positivily blinded by it - i could easily tell that. the piko was pretty good, but side by side with niterider it looked green and also seemed kinda pointless because niterider lit up EVERYTHING.

    now i don't understand why i have the piko in the first place. it adds weight to the helmet. it is extra hassle to charge etc, it produces a greenish hue and you can barely see it over the niterider unless you aim it at least 40 degrees to the side. piko beam pattern though is really good for a dual light setup - would be too narrow used alone IMO.

    sorry i didn't make a video because i was too busy trying to understand what i am seeing.

    niterider would be PERFECT for riding through the forest - it has both wide spill and the throw is also very good. but for the city the pattern is not so good - it blinds everybody and if you try aiming it lower you blind yourself with the hot spot. however if you aim it horizontally everything is lit up evenly in every direction - but of course now people are not just going to be blind - they will probably start crashing into fire hydrants etc.

    between the 3 lights lupine seems to be half the quality of the other two. if you didn't know how much they cost you would have guessed that lupine is the cheapest brand among the 3. the niterider bar mount in itself looks like it could be worth over $100 while the piko didn't include any at all, and Dinotte included like 20 different mounts.

    the actual prices were Niterider $600. Piko $330 and Dinotte $200. if i had to re-price them based on what i felt they offered i would have made it Dinotte $200. Piko $200 and Niterider $1,000.

    sorry but the piko is nothing special. the only thing it has going for it is it is small - but who cares really ?

    if you actually ride on trails get the Niterider and don't even think about it. also don't think about the Dinotte - just get it. the Piko ? it's crap in my opinion. i like everything german - from cars to vacuum cleaners to music to philosophers to women ... but not piko.

    i loved the piko though until i got the niterider. it looked white and bright ... but now it looks dim and green.

    for city use though - i wish i had gotten Seca 1700 instead of Niterider because it is impossible to use the power that it has. Seca would have hade also less spill. Of course i can return the Niterider and get Seca and recover some $ in the process but the niterider is just SO NICE in aspects other than light output - it is impossible to explain - its just such a quality product, that i don't want to send it back even though it is obviously wrong for me.

    for the helmet i wish i had something brighter. wilma would be nice ( even though it would probably be just as green ) but it is expensive and i would only use it as a second light, because it doesn't have enough spill by itself.

    so anyway for the city if i was doing it again i would go Seca 1700 + Piko 3 and for the trail i would go Niterider 3600 + Wilma 2400.

    if there is anything specific you would like to see on video or pictures let me know, because i may just send it back and it will be too late.

    and JohnJ80 - i am sorry dude but comparing the Niterider to car headlights is like comparing a hydrogen bomb to a firecracker - they're not in the same category AT ALL. it may put out the same lumens but it doesn't work the same. people and cars alike were freezing a block away and waiting for me to ride by ... and that was with niterider on LOW and pointing down.

    this video of the older pro 3000 will help you visualize the beam pattern of niterider:

    Chumash.wmv - YouTube
    Last edited by androgen; 10-01-2012 at 08:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    So today i used the Niterider DIY software to program the 3600 head.

    At first it didn't work, but after i restarted the computer it worked perfectly. The computer needed restart to for the drivers to start working. The drivers were installed automatically which is great.

    The software is easy to use - pretty much self explanatory although there is YouTube video showing how to.

    Once programmed you need to look up instructions on how to switch from factory to custom programs on the head, but once you know it is easy. The head will remain in whatever program you select after you power off.

    I created a program with 6 light levels plus 4 types of strobe. the light levels i chose are 100 lumen, 300, 800, 1600, 2400 and 3600.

    now here is the crazy part ... it works ! ! !

    i also created 2 more programs with 3 levels and 2 levels respectively just in case i want something simpler.

    this DIY software thing is BRILLIANT ! ! !

    you create up to 4 custom programs in addition to one factory progam ( high / med / low ). each program can have up to 6 levels plus up to 6 strobe modes.

    this is so cool i can't describe how cool it is and this light really needs this kind of control - because straight from the factory all 3 levels are too high with the "low" level being 1000 lumens LOL.

    needless to say if you're riding some busy commuter trail in the park people will not appreciate 1000 lumen with flood beam angle ... but now i can set it to 100 lumens ... actually i could have even set it to 50, but i figured people should be able to handle 100 ... and if they can't i can simply re-progam it. HOW COOL IS THAT ?

    and when you create programs it automatically shows you the run times you will get with each level. NIIIICE.

  3. #3
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    a few notes on chargers:

    Niterider 3600: awesome charger ! shows the level of battery while charging it, then when done displays that it is done. all the leds are labeled. it also has leds to show if its plugged into wall and everything else you may want to know. just awesome.

    Dinotte 300R: i charged it using a cell phone charger - no problem. when charging it glows red, and when done it glows green. great ! the amount of "glow" is very generous - could probably use it as night light.

    Piko 3: the charger on this one SUCKS ! it is twice the size of the power supply from Niterider, even though niterider power supply is 36 watts ! it will probably occupy 3 sockets on your power strip. and it only has one LED ! this led is mostly INVISIBLE and is only on during charging. the LED is so dim you will have to crawl on your knees to see if it is on or not. when done it just turns off. so you can't even tell if it is done or if you didn't plug it into working outlet ! SO LAME ! ! ! fail all over the place ! ! !

  4. #4
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    so to recap:

    Dinotte 300R = AWESOME. 5 stars ! ( although silicone USB plug cover doesn't look very waterproof ). power and quality second to none ( except Dinotte 400R )

    Niterider Pro 3600 = AWESOME. ( except that beam angle is such that it always hits everybody in the face ) 4.5 stars because fit, finish and styling is not as high as on Dinotte, but otherwise great. Power and Features second to none.

    Lupine Piko 3 = nothing special, except for the fact that is fully contained on the helmet and looks cute. 4 stars. if you're willing to accept its low power, lack of heatsinking, dumb ugly charger and lack of handlebar mount included - then you will love it. but if you realize that it doesn't have any power than your average $100 chinese light but costs over $300 then you will understand that it is just a cute toy. the only use i can think of for it is pointing at cars at intersection - which admittedly may be important.

    i'm still debating whether to send Piko back or not. i love the other 2 lights.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-03-2012 at 06:46 AM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your perspective. Couple of thoughts/questions

    1) now that u have programmed your light with six levels, I will be curious to hear if there is a better blend with the lupine.

    2) on the lower settings is the niterider exhibiting any greenish color to the output like u mentioned the lupine had?

    3) do u consider the dinotte 300r overkill with rear output lighting like you mentioned about running the niterider on high?

    4) what setting are you running the dinotte?

    5) is your dinotte pointing straight back or down slightly towards the ground?
    Last edited by cue003; 10-03-2012 at 02:22 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Thanks for your perspective. Couple of thoughts/questions

    1) now that u have programmed your lit with six levels, I will be curious to hear if there is a better blend with the lupine.

    2) on the lower settings is the niterider exhibiting any greenish color to the output like u mentioned the lupine had?

    3) do u consider the dinotte 300r overkill with rear output lighting like you mentioned about running the niterider on high?

    4) what setting are you running the dinotte?

    5) is your dinotte pointing straight back or down slightly towards the ground?
    i haven't tested 1 and 2 yet but as for Dinotte:

    3: not overkill. just perfect.

    4: i think all 3 levels work well.

    5: i pointed it straight back, no tilting.

    the Dinotte isn't blinding like the Niterider. you can look straight at it and it is just super bright, but not blinding. on the other hand it is powerful enough to light up a reflective stop sign a block away pretty good. of course you wouldn't want to ride behind the dinotte - but if somebody rode BY you while you were standing - it would not be a problem. also if you run it in a room during the day - you can see it light up the room a little bit with red light. so it is very powerful, but also it is smooth - it just creates very pleasant non-irritating but bright light - unless you put it on strobe it looks sort of similar to what a red LED signal on intersection looks like - big and bright - impossible not to see - but not blinding.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post

    do u consider the dinotte 300r overkill
    i have previously said that all 3 levels ( high, med, low ) are good - and that is true FOR ME. but i don't ride on the road. if i did - i would certainly keep it on high. and if i was riding on the side of the highway i would not mind 2X or 4X the power that 300r has on high. and i would add a Red Zone 4 on the helmet.

    once again - definitely not overkill !

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    but i don't ride on the road.
    If you don't road ride, what do you use the 300R for?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    If you don't road ride, what do you use the 300R for?
    good question !

    why do they sterilize the needle before administering lethal injection ?

    i think it increases overall visibility, so that when i cross a road i am more visible. of course what i really wanted is side lights - but i couldn't find any good ones, so i just went for a rear light that has a wide beam. turns out however that it isn't that wide - i would say beam width is just perfect as a tail light, but not so wide that it is of any value as a side light. even so, i am glad i have it because it is just so cool.

    what i really wanted is this:

    Bike After Dark - Dallas at Night - YouTube

    but its not backed by warranty, the company has no phone and doesn't return emails.

    so i got Dinotte instead because it was reputable.

    i know it makes no sense, but that's how my head works. don't judge, and just be happy that you're not me
    Last edited by androgen; 10-04-2012 at 11:59 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    If you don't road ride, what do you use the 300R for?
    why do people wear wrist watches if they have a cell phone ? why do people use iPads when they have a computer ? because it's "cool" and they *want to*

  11. #11
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    OK. I just wondered because in all the night trail rides and a couple 24 hr races, I found no need for a tail light at all.

  12. #12
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    Did a bit of riding today and have some observations.

    1 - the Piko does NOT overheat on maximum setting when i am actually moving. in fact it stays at a very reasonable temperature. but if i stop the temp goes up very quickly.

    2 - when i put the bike up and walk a few steps away from it i can see the Niterider projecting various sorts of rings on the ground which are different not only in intensity but also color. however when i am on the bike - i can't see them !

    so today i was riding with Niterider set at 1,500 lumens ( custom preset using DIY software ) and Piko set to max at 900 lumens. you would think that given Piko's narrower angle 900 lumens would be enough to be visible through the Niterider on 1,500 ... but NO ! Piko was STILL too dim.

    If i moved my head 45 degrees i could clearly see the Piko illuminating stuff - rather well - but when i moved my head back to straight the beam was swallowed by the Niterider. Also when i aimed the Piko straight ahead it didn't seem to provide any additional throw over Niterider that was pointed slightly down.

    finally the assumption buying Piko was that i will never use it on max therefore it's 2.5 AH battery would be plenty ... but now i realize i would in fact ALWAYS use it on max, so the battery would be just 1 hr 40 minutes - not too bad - but also not too good, and exacerbated by the fact that the battery has no capacity indicator.

    by the way, you can now order Piko with a smartcore battery - which you couldn't even a few days ago.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    Did a bit of riding today and have some observations.

    1 - the Piko does NOT overheat on maximum setting when i am actually moving. in fact it stays at a very reasonable temperature. but if i stop the temp goes up very quickly.

    2 - when i put the bike up and walk a few steps away from it i can see the Niterider projecting various sorts of rings on the ground which are different not only in intensity but also color. however when i am on the bike - i can't see them !

    so today i was riding with Niterider set at 1,500 lumens ( custom preset using DIY software ) and Piko set to max at 900 lumens. you would think that given Piko's narrower angle 900 lumens would be enough to be visible through the Niterider on 1,500 ... but NO ! Piko was STILL too dim.

    If i moved my head 45 degrees i could clearly see the Piko illuminating stuff - rather well - but when i moved my head back to straight the beam was swallowed by the Niterider. Also when i aimed the Piko straight ahead it didn't seem to provide any additional throw over Niterider that was pointed slightly down.

    finally the assumption buying Piko was that i will never use it on max therefore it's 2.5 AH battery would be plenty ... but now i realize i would in fact ALWAYS use it on max, so the battery would be just 1 hr 40 minutes - not too bad - but also not too good, and exacerbated by the fact that the battery has no capacity indicator.

    by the way, you can now order Piko with a smartcore battery - which you couldn't even a few days ago.
    I have the Piko with 750 lumens. It is a great light for mountain biking in combination with a MS808e ( actually I use two, one with a wide angle lense). At times I turn down the brightness on the MS to balance it with the helmet mounted Piko that I always run on max brightness. For road riding I would like to have a helmet light with a little bit more throw - let's see what new lights are coming out this year. I was hoping that the 900 lumens model would be much brighter but based on your experience it might not be sufficient for road biking.

  14. #14
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    so i finally took the VIDEO:

    ( you can watch it in 1080P if you want )

    Niterider PRO 3600 and Dinotte 300 R in City Traffic ( Canon Vixia M500 ) - YouTube

    at the time this video was shot, i had already shipped the Piko back. i have cateye spoke lights but i did not turn them on for this video, because they are just embarrassingly weak IMO.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-10-2012 at 07:49 PM.

  15. #15
    uh huh
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    That's great info.........thanks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    so i finally took the VIDEO:

    ( you can watch it in 1080P if you want )

    Niterider PRO 3600 and Dinotte 300 R in City Traffic ( Canon Vixia M500 ) - YouTube

    at the time this video was shot, i had already shipped the Piko back. i have cateye spoke lights but i did not turn them on for this video, because they are just embarrassingly weak IMO.
    Oh for Crying out loud! Turn the Cateye's on! I would of loved to have seen how they worked. Just yesterday I saw a guy using something similar going up the road ( in typical city environment like your video ). He was riding in the same direction I was driving only he was on the other side of the road a couple hundred ft away. No, they weren't real bright but I still saw them out of the corner of my eye ( with bright street lights in the area )

    BTW the 300R looks awesome. Most notable was the reflective red plume coming off the ground from the 300R.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Oh for Crying out loud! Turn the Cateye's on! I would of loved to have seen how they worked. Just yesterday I saw a guy using something similar going up the road ( in typical city environment like your video ). He was riding in the same direction I was driving only he was on the other side of the road a couple hundred ft away. No, they weren't real bright but I still saw them out of the corner of my eye ( with bright street lights in the area )

    BTW the 300R looks awesome. Most notable was the reflective red plume coming off the ground from the 300R.
    it is almost perfect IMO - in every way, from output level to beam pattern to design to build quality - it is shockingly good.

    nothing is perfect of course - for example the "low" setting is too high for bike paths that are not on the road - you will be needlessly annoying others. also the silicone usb port cover does not look waterproof, but maybe that port is electronically protected with a diode or something. the usb port cover seems good enough for purposes of keeping dirt out.

    the metal body seems unnecessary, as it doesn't seem to produce enough heat for it to make any difference - so hopefully in the future there will be a lower cost plastic bodied alternative with the same performance - but i don't think there is any today.

    of the 3 lights, if i was doing it again it is the one i would not have any doubts about.

    i do know of one guy who went from a Dinotte 140 tail light to Dinotte 300 R to combination of Cygolite Hotshot 2W + Niteflux Red Zone 4 ( he sold the 300 R ). he is basically using Hotshot ( $40 ) for straight-head-on brightness and RZ4 ( $100, out of stock ) for off-to-the-side brightness, whereas a 300R provides both. he says he is getting more performance for less $ with his new combination ...

    ... that may be true, but he is still in the same price range with his combo and he needs to use two tail lights, and most importantly the RZ4 is simply not available right now "temporarily out of stock" and it has been out of stock since i started searching for a tail light. so if the RZ4 comes back in stock and if you're willing to use two tail lights - one for the hotspot and one for the spill, then that is an alternative ... but i don't think you can replace it with a single light.

    personally, if i was riding on the road, and if RZ4 was in stock i would get the 300R on the seatpost AND the RZ4 on the Helmet - and forget the hotshot.

    the RZ4 is the only tail light in the same lumen range as Dinotte that is on the market - but of course it is a completely different animal from Dinotte - not better or worse - just different. the RZ4 probably has more output from about 45 degrees off axis and greater, plus its flat plastic body makes it suitable for helmet mounting - on the other hand the Dinotte is perfect for seatpost both in terms of aesthetics, aerodynamics and included mounting hardware. So i think 300R plus RZ4 would work really well together ...

    there was though a post somewhere about Niteflux not answering phone or something to that effect - so it may not be a very good company - but the product ( RZ4 ) appears to be great.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-11-2012 at 12:00 PM.

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