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Lights...ACTION


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What do you bastards run in the way of lights on your bicycles?  I need to be seen when it is dark, but soon it will be darker still and I will have to see the bodies, sinkholes, and broken glass gardens in the road.

What do you ride with when the eternal darkness arrives?

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Get a bright LED headlight with a large rechargeable battery mounted on the bike. There is a ton of good stuff out there now that wasn’t available when I bought mine. Don’t go cheap. The only thing I don’t like about mine is it doesn’t light up those bastard deer off to the side of the road getting ready to ambush you.

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I'm partial to the NiteRider Lumina series. I have three of them as they are easy to mount and recharge. I use one just for daylight blinking mode. If it's very dark, I have one mounted on the handlebars and another on my helmet. Even with my poor eyesight, 600 lumens is usually bright enough.

For tail lights I use a bright blinking light even during the day. At night I use two of them. Recently I bought a NiteRider Sentry Aero 260 Tail Light as my Giant has a teardrop shaped aero seatpost and that tail light stays in place very well.

I usually ride my gravel bike at night as the tires haven't had flat yet. I've even left on the dorky wheel reflectors.

Also consider reflective clothing. I have a reflective belt plus have reflective bands to go around my ankles.

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24 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

The only thing I don’t like about mine is it doesn’t light up those bastard deer off to the side of the road getting ready to ambush you.

That's why I like to have a helmet light also. I've seen plenty of deer and other critters with it. Plus you can look ahead on sharp corners. and shine the light a the driver of cars about to pull in front of you.

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Bontrager Ion Elite R / Flare R City Bike Light Set.

The Ion is easy to charge, easy to attach, and plenty bright, and I have an additional LED I set to flash that attaches to the handlebars with a rubber strap and a hook and eye closure. The Flare is bright red with flash or steady settings. I set it to flash. 

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What’s your budget?  There are a lot of good lights at the $30 all the way up to several hundred.  Obviously the more you spend the more lumens, features, longer lasting batteries & such.

I have lights with batteries that are seperate from the light and they work great but are a PITA to mount.  I’d recommend one that is one piece.  Mine are about 2,000 lumens and plenty bright in complete darkness.  I think for city use 1,000 lumens are adequate, 750 would probably get it done too.

Nightrider is the standard bearer for bike lights but there are other good brands too.  Mine are inexpensive Chinese no name lights from Amazon as someone on the LF recommended them years ago. Again solid lights for the money but the separate battery is a PITA. 

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I had a NiteRider that wouldn’t hold a charge. I had to plug it in every night before I used it. Drag.

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3 hours ago, Lard Bag said:

What do you ride with when the eternal darkness arrives?

Over the years I gave up on riding when it getting dark out and for sure when it's dark.    I do have lights, but they were to be seen by cars, seeing the road not so much. I just wanted to get home before it was too dark to see.  I just don't like the statistics of riding in the dark.  I don't want to be a statistic.  

Now.. in the eternal darkness I'll be in my Prius.  

Now that I'm retired..  I can ride anytime during the day.  

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I have one of these:

6cc525a0-c9fb-4813-a835-9551716af5fd.jpg.c3fd3921d0d1ee05233e6cb3bd9418c0.jpg

You can get a tan from the damned thing.

Also have a couple of these:

Sigma Sport Karma Pro Lights user reviews : 4.5 out of 5 - 2 ...

 

Sadly, neither of them is made anymore, so none of this is relevant.:whistle:

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12 hours ago, roadsue said:

I had a NiteRider that wouldn’t hold a charge. I had to plug it in every night before I used it. Drag.

I've got a monster NiteRider I use for commuting and while it has a pretty big battery, it is definitely less and less holding a charge.

image.png.dc48381ffc279bb8d48a891a434b5d0f.png

That big one is surely out of RG's price range & need, but I also carry a "back-up" in my pannier like this USB rechargeable & affordable one:

image.png.8f71aeff0822aa02efc19ac46ab928a5.png

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My front light is a Nite Rider 700 Lumens. They now have a 650 & 850. 700 is plenty for road use. If I did night trail riding, I would like more.

https://www.jensonusa.com/Niterider-Lumina-Micro-850-Light

My rear light is one like this https://www.ebay.com/itm/COB-LED-Bicycle-Bike-Cycling-Front-Rear-Tail-Light-USB-Rechargeable-Red-White/392866334274?var=661770319950&hash=item5b78a88642:g:WU0AAOSwCntfEQpv

 

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When the eternal darkness arrives I ride with two projector headlamps.  Toyota puts them in almost all their vehicles that aren't usind LED's.

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Nightrider.  There is no other match to this divine product.

We have about 5 of these in varying power levels.  Some are well over ten years old.  They work flawlessly, and hold charges well.  

You have to take care of them.  Charge them and drain them regularly.  Store them in the house, not a cold garage.  

Additionally, I have sent NR back for warranty and they sent me a new light.  Although, I worked at a LBS, and had some pull.  That light was old, that I sent back.  :D

The best part of this is the ease of use.  I also like blinding people when they walk in.  Fun stuff.  

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1 minute ago, Dirtyhip said:

Charge them and drain them regularly. 

Easy in the late fall and winter, never gonna happen in the late spring and summer.

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35 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Easy in the late fall and winter, never gonna happen in the late spring and summer.

Do it on a rotational basis.  We have about 5 of these, and can manage to take care of all of them.

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4 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

Do it on a rotational basis.  We have about 5 of these, and can manage to take care of all of them.

I simply don't use my monster lights in the long day months, so they sit idle until December or so when I need them for commuting.  In spring and summer, it is generally all blinky lights all the time. No need for seeing in the dark, but more to be seen in dusk or most often daylight conditions.

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I won’t even admit to what I was using before this. Suffice to say it wasn’t great. I had a battery issue one night and a friend loaned me theirs. So much better than my old set!
Lumintrail Super Bright USB Rechargeable LED Bike Light Set Headlight Taillight 1000 Lumen Safety Commuter Water Resistant Easy Install & Quick Release https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0722S8TC8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_YGwlFbPQ7ECNN

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I seem to recall the old NiCad batteries developing a “memory” as if you used 20% of the battery and charged it, after a while you only got 20% battery...  We used to blow through radio batteries back in the day as nobody wanted to lose comms so would recharge (in a car charger) often but it actually shortened battery life.

Newer batteries (from what I was told) don’t have this issue.  I’m a little surprised to hear this about NR lights? As I don’t ride at night often & have cheap lights I figured they are NiCad batteries so leave them on after a ride to burn them all the way down & then recharge.

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7 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

I seem to recall the old NiCad batteries developing a “memory” as if you used 20% of the battery and charged it, after a while you only got 20% battery...  We used to blow through radio batteries back in the day as nobody wanted to lose comms so would recharge (in a car charger) often but it actually shortened battery life.

Newer batteries (from what I was told) don’t have this issue.  I’m a little surprised to hear this about NR lights? As I don’t ride at night often & have cheap lights I figured they are NiCad batteries so leave them on after a ride to burn them all the way down & then recharge.

My NiteRider is coming up on 7 yrs old, and the battery - at commuting level - lasts relatively long but if I crank it to the "1800" trail riding level, it can sap the Li-ion battery fairly fast.  In reviews from years ago, the battery was a limiter even "new" and one review mentions how they never achieved the 90 min battery life.  At 7 years old, I'm not sure what I can do to "fix" the battery life to even 75% of original.

image.png.51793b0306874a733924667760814709.png

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1 hour ago, Razors Edge said:

My NiteRider is coming up on 7 yrs old, and the battery - at commuting level - lasts relatively long but if I crank it to the "1800" trail riding level, it can sap the Li-ion battery fairly fast.  In reviews from years ago, the battery was a limiter even "new" and one review mentions how they never achieved the 90 min battery life.  At 7 years old, I'm not sure what I can do to "fix" the battery life to even 75% of original.

image.png.51793b0306874a733924667760814709.png

Call NR. They are a fantastic company. They may surprise you.

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2 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

Call NR. They are a fantastic company. They may surprise you.

I hear you.  I really hate, though, putting the battery on their dime.  Battery tech has sucked less every year, but it still generally sucks if you are someone like me who uses and abuses it without being very active in taking care of it.

I might buy a new battery if it gets much worse but I still am pretty far from that need right now - even with degradation down to the 50%-75% of charge I am at now.

Maybe I'll ping them and see if there is a discount on a new battery. 

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5 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

I hear you.  I really hate, though, putting the battery on their dime.  Battery tech has sucked less every year, but it still generally sucks if you are someone like me who uses and abuses it without being very active in taking care of it.

I might buy a new battery if it gets much worse but I still am pretty far from that need right now - even with degradation down to the 50%-75% of charge I am at now.

Maybe I'll ping them and see if there is a discount on a new battery. 

They stand by their products. Maybe a discounted new system. It still supports them with work of mouth.

best bike lighting out there, period.

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For headlights I use Ay Up Lights, from Australia.  They were recommended to me (and the rest of the club) by my long distance cycling mentor back in 2011.  That was a El Nino year, and most of the late winter and spring doubles had lots of rain. The lights performed well in the rain. 

I started using them for every ride (not just night) in flashing mode earlier this year.  At first I was getting 20 hours with one battery, and 18 with the other.  Their website says the battery in flashing mode should last 14+ hours.  Just recently I noticed the battery life declining, but it is still at 13-14 hours.  In medium or high steady mode I would get 6-8 hours of light. 700 lumens has been good enough for me. 

A bit pricey, but has been good for me.  I purchased them in 2013, and had to buy replacement batteries in 2018 (but the website they are meant to be used, and , I was only using them 5-6 times a year at that point).

https://ayup-lights.com/

 

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I finally switched to a USB rechargeable headlight.  I forget which one, there's plenty comparable.  Many settings, I usually run around 900 Lumens and it's plenty.  With an added low power strobing headlight.  A rear blinky on the rack, a different blink pattern on the helmet.  But the ones that seemed to really wake up traffic when I added them were the Nite Ize See 'em minis in the spokes.  Red in the rear, blue and green on the front.

Life hack:  If a car coming out of a side street gives you the heebie geebies that they may not notice you, use a hand to make your headlight flash.

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My personality has a natural brightness strong enough to forgo the need for artificial lighting. 
But you already knew that. 

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20 minutes ago, 12string said:

I finally switched to a USB rechargeable headlight.  I forget which one, there's plenty comparable.  Many settings, I usually run around 900 Lumens and it's plenty.  With an added low power strobing headlight.  A rear blinky on the rack, a different blink pattern on the helmet.  But the ones that seemed to really wake up traffic when I added them were the Nite Ize See 'em minis in the spokes.  Red in the rear, blue and green on the front.

Life hack:  If a car coming out of a side street gives you the heebie geebies that they may not notice you, use a hand to make your headlight flash.

One reason I ride with a light on my bars and my helmet.  I can turn my head towards cars coming from side streets, etc. 

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24 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

I am thinking of getting this:

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/light-motion-urban-1000-headlight?skidn=LTM003K-TRO-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6TElHSFRTOjE6NDpMSUdIVFM=

I don't want to die, you see, and I like the idea of the amber side splotches because cars are all over the place.

Get this one:  

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/niterider-lumina-1000-boost-headlight?skidn=NRI003E-BK-ONESIZ&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6bmlnaHRyaWRlciAxMDAwOjE6MTpuaWdodHJpZGVyIDEwMDA=

Trust me. 

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22 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

It was between those two, but two things moved me over to the light and motion side.  First was the amber lights on the side, I need to be seen by turning cars in the city and in intersections, those would help.  The second, and almost as important (to me), is the quick on-off of the strap system, I just don't want a forever mount on the handlebars.  It was hard choosing!

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You can unscrew the base and remove it.  It is really durable.  

Have I ever steered you wrong? 

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2 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

You can unscrew the base and remove it.  It is really durable.  

Have I ever steered you wrong? 

No, you never have steered me wrong!  In this case, though, the side light aspect is too huge to pass up, there are just too many cars here with too little room for error when it is a bit dark.  If I was someplace a little less densely populated, I would probably end up with the NR.

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Last summer I was riding home after a casual ride and a beer.  I was riding the trail and about to cross a busy arterial street. As I was waiting for traffic, I heard a loud EEEEEEEEEE! I turned to see a moped at full song flying down the street. Rider had on a football helmet and a small flashlight in his mouth lighting his way! I guess that’s what you call a headlight...

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