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Winter kit & light recommendations 2018....
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 17607
Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject: Winter kit & light recommendations 2018.... Reply with quote

So by the end of next month we'll be riding home in the dark. Any good recommendations for front lights? I'd like to be able to use some back roads to avoid the traffic, so more than a 'been seen' light. I've been watching a lot of s/h Exposure lights on Ebay, and they generally go for serious money still; are they worth the cash i.e. 80+ used?

Although I can get dozens of AAA/AA batteries for a pittance at Poundland, using a rechargeable light is probably preferable, and I can juice it up at work. How good are these Chinese Cree lights on ebay, are they just glorified torches? Also how many Lumens is enough on the road? It seems a bit like an 'arms race' these days, to get ever higher Lumen ratings.

Suggestions please.
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PhilleusPhogg




Joined: 11 May 2015
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winter is coming ....

Must admit this, and the chilly Northerly this morning have made thoughts of this year's heat wave a distant memory. Thanks Jorgan!

Nothing useful to add on the actual topic mind you.
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 8332
Location: Kingston

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lumens don't matter unless you know the beam spread. Don't get a glorified torch or anything as they just blind oncoming people 'cos the beam spread is so bad.

Get a dynamo and a supernova e3 or similar.
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Chrace




Joined: 28 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ride at full pelt with a Moon XP300 on blacked out roads. Like them so much I now have XP300, XP330 and XP500 - not much difference really. All are rechargeable with USB cable.

Single unit, no cable faffing, easy on/off when parking up. About 1.5 hours on full pelt or less on lower settings. Can easily commute on setting 1 (of 3) which would give 4-5 hours.

Rear I use Moon Shield on blink - if the cars miss it they really shouldn't be driving.

If you want to do longer rides then I'm leaning towards dynamo although never tried it. Not a lot of power banks out there to do a full night but can of course bring extra batteries otherwise.
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hammerer
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Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still use my old Fenix "torch" with a small flashing cateye just to stand out. (search on here for fenix as i got the recommendation from Towel many years ago), rear i have a cheap flash and a more expensive 2 row cateye, again had that one for years.
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Andy916




Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not an arms race, it's just that LEDs have become many times more efficient in recent years (that said, some of the claims may be somewhat inflated, and beam pattern is indeed important)

A decade ago I spent 180 on a then-state-of-the-art Nightlightning Blaast with external 5Ah lithium battery, for all night mtb and adventure racing. Hope, Exposure and the like were dearer again, but the Blaast was a personal import from a small NZ company. Great lamp at the time, and modular to accept new LEDs as they came onto the market.

Couple of years ago I did another 24hr mtb and wanted a helmet lamp as well as the venerable Blaast on the bars. I got a 15 Cree X2 XML not expecting much but, flippin eck, it needed to be turned down to half power to balance with the Blaast running at max. The combination was good for technical mtb at night. Beam pattern of the X2 is fine, but with all of these you need to angle carefully or other road users will be dazzled. The electronics are unsophisticated, not much warning when it's about to run out, so I tend to use a pair of them when commuting in winter (I also had one battery unit fail without warning). External battery, so a bit of a faff.

Now that the market is flooded with cheap powerful Crees, I guess there's more pressure on the established names to produce mid-price decent quality stuff, and those Moon XPs look good (if you can still get them)

Don't bother with s/h though, as the older LEDs are completely outclassed by current ones.
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Doca




Joined: 27 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used the Solarstorm x2 quite a lot. Incredibly bright & cheap, i've never had any issues.

If you use on full power (3 settings) obviously you will get less life and I think the battery performance does deteriorate over time but only slightly & you can just buy another for peanuts.

Based on a recommendation on another forum I bought a better quality charger than you initially get but I don't have any details.
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Doonhamer




Joined: 16 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my semi-urban daily commute I have a basic flasher on my handlebars & a Moon XP500 on my helmet to make sure I'm seen by cars at junctions/roundabouts.

For longer evening rides or off-roading on my crosser I swap the flasher for a MTB Batteries Lumenator 17 which is great & well reviewed on MTB Forums.

https://www.mtbbatteries.co.uk/mountain-bike-lights/lumenator-17/

On the back I'll have a couple of lights. Through trial & error I've found that Topeak RedLite Mega are bright & the most weather-proof.
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Bluepoolshark




Joined: 09 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Izone ARC 650 Rechargeable Front Light from Tredz for 18 quid, best light I have ever bought for little money, very bright and works very well on dark unlit country lanes
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last weekend's night ride I used my Lumina NR600, it managed around 4 hours, and provided adequate light for decending narrow mountain roads in the dark and wet. However I was most impressed with my tiny moon lights (mizar), not only did it last all night, when my main light went flat, it was perfectly adequate to get me round 2 laps. while my main was charging, it has a pretty wide beam and surprising amount of light, even though it is just 40ln. The rear Moon light lasted the full 18 hours and was still going strong at the end. Based on my experience I am seriously considering a Moon Meteor Storm Pro 1600.

I had a Cree light as my main backup.... it failed after just 20 mins
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ed_m




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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went for a middle ground between cheap unknown imports & big brand price with uk based magicshine.

The big battery can go around 8hrs at mid level which is fine for 90% of road work.

Have used it for a whole load of commuting, several 400k audaxes, double brutal bike leg & 1400km of LEL.
I tend to use it with a smaller backup light that I use for twilight and then bring on the big guns for when its properly dark.
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bluepoolshark wrote:
Izone ARC 650 Rechargeable Front Light from Tredz for 18 quid, best light I have ever bought for little money, very bright and works very well on dark unlit country lanes


Thanks, at that price and from a major UK retailer, I think I might take a punt. These lights seem to get a good review.
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Bluepoolshark




Joined: 09 May 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
Bluepoolshark wrote:
Izone ARC 650 Rechargeable Front Light from Tredz for 18 quid, best light I have ever bought for little money, very bright and works very well on dark unlit country lanes


Thanks, at that price and from a major UK retailer, I think I might take a punt. These lights seem to get a good review.
I love mine, quite a few of the guys I ride with have one as well, really is a good light for the money, and plenty bright enough
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BigFoz




Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 1892
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About to pull the trigger on a Dynohub wheel from Spa Cycles and a B&M 100Lux light from Rose Bikes to go with it. No more faffing with batteries, superb light penetration and spread without melting anyone's retinas, and a slight training bump (3W extra drag off, about 9w switched on apparently).

Also saves the hassle of connecting chargers and wondering if I'll have enough battery to get home as well...

My ride is basically 12 miles of country roads, and 9 of town, with the darkest piece the last 30mins home. Losing battery there would be bad, so I usually get train home as the run times on my lights are marginal now the batteries are older.
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Tigger




Joined: 25 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigFoz wrote:
Losing battery there would be bad


Done that. In a valley, late at night in a storm. Apparently batteries on some lights are not waterproof and it just turned off. Had to get a lift home. Now I have a spare at night.
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