Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby beater32 on Fri 18/Mar/16 10:53am

So I want to give night riding a crack this year. So many options and all a bit confusing.
Is just a Helmet mount okay ? And I guess i'll go down the Chinese route and see how they are..
So if anyone has something to recommend please fire away.

Cheers
beater32
Member for: 4 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby Malcy on Fri 18/Mar/16 10:57am

Make sure they light up like the sun, and remember to ALWAYS leave your lights on and look directly at the person you are talking to.

:-)
Malcy
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Member for: 14 years 10 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby Kev on Fri 18/Mar/16 11:14am

Seems to be some useful discussion here:
review-cheap-com-lights-for-night-riding-t127082.html
Kev
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Member for: 8 years 1 month

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby swtchbckr on Fri 18/Mar/16 11:55am

beater32 wrote:So I want to give night riding a crack this year. So many options and all a bit confusing.
Is just a Helmet mount okay ? And I guess i'll go down the Chinese route and see how they are..
So if anyone has something to recommend please fire away.

Cheers

DX (ie, Deal Extreme), Cant usually go too wrong. But, make sure you trawl through every single light they have, because I've often seen one for say $34, then found exactly the same light for $22 or whatever...
and dont be fooled by overinflated lumen values... We used to make do with 600 (which were probably in reality only 3-400) and now we're all running "2000" or more, but they're not that much brighter, making me suspect they're really only about 1400 or less... which is plenty.

Last time i looked for one, I based my selection on the type of Cree LED used, not on Lumens, or numbers of LEDs... so, do a little research into what's the latest, and the last couple most recent models of Cree, and go for one of those. remember, those ones with 5 or 6 or 9 LEDs in them, are BIG and you probably dont want them on your helmet - also, when you mount them on the bars, they tend to either slip so they're facing the ground, or backwards and blinding you.

Look to spend over about $30USD for reasonable quality. $50-70 will buy you the equivalent of something like a $150 - $200 light from the lbs...

and actually, the hardest thing to get when buying from DX is the spot focus... i've found over the years that I like a bright, but relatively wide spot, and one light i bought one time was too focused and therefore hopeless . relatively diffuse is good, because your field of vision is wider... but too diffuse and the light isnt bright enough... it's probably the hardest thing to get. and not something they can demonstrate in their pictures...


Also, what he said. ALWAYS shine it in the face of whoever you're talking to.
swtchbckr
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"Freakin' Mellonfarmer"
Member for: 12 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby adikt on Fri 18/Mar/16 12:43pm

I run both a big one on my bars (never had issues with it slipping) and a smaller one on my helmet to help see where the corner goes.

+1 make sure your helmet light is on full when talking to people, bonus points for turning you bar light in the same direction
adikt
Member for: 2 years 8 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby AgrAde on Fri 18/Mar/16 1:16pm

You can get away with just one on the helmet. I prefer a very bright flood light. If you plan on riding very fast then a spot will allow you to see further, but my depth perception is a little off with just one light so I've never had the problem of out-riding my flood, and the peripheral vision you get with a flood is worth it in my opinion. Allows you to look around more without moving your head. YMMV, friends who during the day are slower than me have no problem with depth at night, and they're faster with a spot.

A good alternative is a nice wide flood on the bars, and a spot on your helmet. Once you get used to two light sources moving around independently, it's about as good as daylight. Don't ever mount the spot on your bars and the flood on your helmet, or use two spotlights, your eyes will follow the handlebar spot and it's the most distracting thing ever.
AgrAde
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Member for: 13 years 10 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby swtchbckr on Fri 18/Mar/16 2:12pm

AgrAde wrote:You can get away with just one on the helmet. I prefer a very bright flood light. If you plan on riding very fast then a spot will allow you to see further, but my depth perception is a little off with just one light so I've never had the problem of out-riding my flood, and the peripheral vision you get with a flood is worth it in my opinion. Allows you to look around more without moving your head. YMMV, friends who during the day are slower than me have no problem with depth at night, and they're faster with a spot.

A good alternative is a nice wide flood on the bars, and a spot on your helmet. Once you get used to two light sources moving around independently, it's about as good as daylight. Don't ever mount the spot on your bars and the flood on your helmet, or use two spotlights, your eyes will follow the handlebar spot and it's the most distracting thing ever.

agree...
a bar mounted light is handy, as it gives more depth than helmet alone - ie, you see the shadows cast behind objects that you cant from the helmet-only, and you can tell how big that rock you're about to hit, that is the same colour as the dirt surrounding it, is.
swtchbckr
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"Freakin' Mellonfarmer"
Member for: 12 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby beater32 on Fri 18/Mar/16 2:44pm

Thanks, some good info in there. Have these on my watchlist. Ignoring the Lumen count though.
Would 3 leds be more of a floodlight ?

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing ... 1053018546
beater32
Member for: 4 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby swtchbckr on Fri 18/Mar/16 3:45pm

beater32 wrote:Thanks, some good info in there. Have these on my watchlist. Ignoring the Lumen count though.
Would 3 leds be more of a floodlight ?

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing ... 1053018546

yeah, that's similar to what i'm running, and would be good. not bad price too, comparable to DX for similar.
swtchbckr
User avatar
"Freakin' Mellonfarmer"
Member for: 12 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby beater32 on Fri 18/Mar/16 3:55pm

IS there some kind of generic bracket available for helmet mount or do I need to bodge something ?
beater32
Member for: 4 years 7 months

beater32
Member for: 4 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby CrashTestDummy on Fri 18/Mar/16 9:07pm

Malcy wrote:Make sure they light up like the sun, and remember to ALWAYS leave your lights on and look directly at the person you are talking to.

:-)


Well that took exactly 4 mins for the first useless/sarcastic post! :thumbsup:

You forgot to mention to look directly at drivers! :blush:
CrashTestDummy
Member for: 12 years 8 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby Kyle on Sat 19/Mar/16 11:46am

If you feel you need 3600 lumens then I suggest instead of riding your bike waiting 12 hours and then walking carefully to the optometrist.
Kyle
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"Rated R for pervasive extreme drug use and related bizarre behavior, strong language, and brief nudity"
Member for: 14 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby philstar on Sat 19/Mar/16 4:14pm

I have one of these @ $35

https://www.kogan.com/nz/buy/cree-t6-le ... -lamp-kit/

just a branded DX or aliexpress a little more expensive but the returns and warranty is very good. and the helmet mount is included, thought the elastic dose not work the best on a helmet. I have had a little bit of cable issue though after the warranty ran out, I have 2 one is still working fine and they have change the connector slightly and i am assuming it is the newer one that is still working.

I prefer riding with 2 lights for the shadow depth perception mentioned above and if one fails (comes unplugged) you are not plunged into heart attack inducing pitch black darkness while you are trying to stop and fix your light, also allows for better contingency plans to get home if need be.
philstar
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"misanthropic"
Member for: 11 years 7 months

Re: Mtb Lights 101 ?

Postby Dougal on Mon 21/Mar/16 7:48pm

I've got an older DX light and for more sedate night riding I think it's too much and kills my night vision. I actually ride river track with 2 small LED lights on my bars. One has a wider beam, the other narrow. It's the perfect amount of light for me on a known track at ~20-25km/h.

If you want to blaze technical singletrack at speed you'll have to do it differently. If your mates ride with super bright lights then you're doomed into an arms race of brighter and brighter.
Dougal
Member for: 14 years 5 months

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