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Bike Lights

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Bike Lights

Postby jwa » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:00 am

Hi all,
Not related to nutrition, but I'm wondering about lights for road bikes. I'm seeing some end of season sales and wondering what is needed.

If you are doing something like a road-bike ultra (500+ mi) while being followed by a support vehicle how much light do you need. Different lights I see are rated by the lumens they put out. How many lumens is enough for these (highway) conditions. It seems like this would be less than what one would need for say a 24-hr MTB race on trails. BTW, how many lumens do mountain bike riders usually like to have?

I assume it would also be good to get a model with an external battery so you could buy 2 and change on the fly and charge on the go in the car.

Any suggestions??

Thanks
Jerry A
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Re: Bike Lights

Postby laeljon » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:55 am

I run cateyes but will be purchaseing lights from geomangear.com. They have nice LED lights for around $90, U can get a headlight,tail light batt. and charger for $120
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Re: Bike Lights

Postby jwa » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:23 am

laeljon wrote:I run cateyes but will be purchaseing lights from geomangear.com. They have nice LED lights for around $90, U can get a headlight,tail light batt. and charger for $120


Thanks for the info, but which light do you use? How bright (lumens) do you need? I see lights with a whole range of output and am not sure how much is enough.

Thanks
Jerry A
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Re: Bike Lights

Postby irace1 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:28 pm

I use NiteRider MiNewts. They are a few years old and I think they put out 150 lumins. The make much more powerful ones now. I can't see worth an S at night because I'm old, so I run one on the helmet on one on the handlebar. They have worked great for a couple of years now and last for a two to three hour ride on a full charge. They have a comparison chart of their lights @ http://www.niterider.com/light_comparisonchart.shtml
Jeff Trout
USAT, USAC & USATF Certified Coaching
www.cadencetraining.org
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Re: Bike Lights

Postby cmc » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:49 pm

Hi Jerry,

I've used Dinotte Lighting for 24-hour MTB races, brevets, and 24-hour and 500-mile road events. Some of the road events allowed/required a follow vehicle, some did not.

When I've not had a follow vehicle; MTB races, Tejas 500, Ring of Fire Time Trial, I wanted the brightest lights possible. For MTB I've most recently used a Dinotte 800L on my bars and a 200L on my helmet. For road events I used the 800L alone, with a single-led (such as a Planet Bike) on my helmet so I can see my HRM, bottle cages and drive train. If there are fast descents I would definitely want at least a 600L, but, on the road, if the course is relatively flat, a Dinotte 400L would probably be fine.

With a follow vehicle I've used only a 200L on climbs and flat sections. Pretty much anything that meets the visibility requirements of the rules is fine, especially if your follow vehicle has fog lights. Something to consider; on some routes; e.g. Furnace Creek 508 and Hill Country 600k, you may encounter fast descents during which you'll momentarily lose your vehicle lights because of curves or fast grade changes. In that case, it's nice to have a bright on your bike so you aren't "in-the-dark" at those times.

Another consideration is the taillight. If you have a follow vehicle you want to be visible to overtaking traffic, but you don't want to blind your crew. We've found that a 200L pointed down and to the left works well. We've also been able to point a 400L similarly so that my bike is well lit, but my crew isn't blinded. The officials at Furnace Creek 508 this year were requesting brighter-than-single-LED taillights to make riders more visible to overtaking cars. For events where you don't have a follow vehicle, use the brightest taillight you can afford.

I hope that helps. Dinotte measures their light output in lumens so you should be able to compare to other brands. I will say that Dinotte is a small company, and the owner has been very helpful in expediting shipments when I needed an item for an event.

-Cathy
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Re: Bike Lights

Postby jwa » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:56 am

Thanks to all for the detailed replies. That helps a lot.

Jerry A.
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Re: Bike Lights

Postby Stephan » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:34 pm

Jerry,
I've been running lights for the road & mountain for >15 years--the more powerful, the better. As mentioned above, the "Magicshine" lights available via geomangear.com are in my opinion, the best bargain out there. They are rated at 900 lumens (that's a lot), but I'm also quite sure the output is not quite that. Regardless, they are about half the price, if not one third the price of the competitors. One serious note---geoman has temporarily stopped selling the lights due to what they perceive are problems with the battery pack. I actually received correspondence from them yesterday regarding replacement & they hope to have things worked out very soon. My $0.02, get in touch with them & see availability, rather than spend $400+ for the same power & features.

I would recommend at least 400 lumens for the road, and even more for technical mountain biking. I like bar mounts for both applications, but if more than one light is available, it is great to have a helmet mount too. Bear in mind that if it is foggy, rainy, or dusty, a helmet mount will not be worth a damn--you will get reflections back at you; it is like driving with your high beam headlights in the snow.

Good luck!

Stephan Rosen
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