Front Headlight Advice

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Shawn
Participant
#

I’d like a new front headlight for my bike, but everthing I see seems to be $20 or $250. Is there anything “mid-range” <$100 that is decent? I don’t do a ton of riding at night, but maybe I’d do a little more if I had a better light.

Also, I’d like one the mounts easily so I may switch between different bikes. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Thanks.


dwillen
Participant
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I have last years model of the NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB.

The battery is rechargeable by USB connector. The battery pack velcros to your bike, and the light itself is attached with a rubber band type thing. It is secure, but easy to swap between bikes, or mount on a helmet (if you buy the strap to do that). It is plenty bright enough for me and withstands heavy rain. You can check it out on Friday at FOC if you want.

It looks like the 2010 model is <$100.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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I bought a little 9-LED metal flashlight at the checkout lane at Home Depot, and with a clamp attached it to my reflector mount. That method makes it difficult to easily switch to another bike, but you can just get one for each bike – the whole setup is $6 all told, and it came with two bonus LED headlamps that can be easily attached to a helmet. It’s a helluva lot brighter and more stable than the $15 light my gf got at Kraynicks. Anyone who was the Flock All Night ride can attest to how bright the damn things are.


edmonds59
Participant
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Noah, it also sounds like something that you wouldn’t have to sweat always taking off when you park, either, which is a bonus. I’ll have to check it out. LED’s are the way.


RoadKillen
Participant
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I got a Cat Eye OptiCube. It attaches with a strap. Claims to be submersible in water. It has been through several rain storms and still works great – no fog inside the lens. powered by 3 AAA batteries. Has high, low, and flash settings. Got it for around $40 at Trek in Shadyside. It’s bright enough for me to ride slow through the main trails in Frick at night. Not bright enough for single track though.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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edmonds59

Exactly. And the mount isn’t some quick-release job. You need a wrench to take the light off.

I can’t attest to the waterproof-ness of the things. I did ride in the rain yesterday, and it still works. Haven’t driven thru a swimming pool, yet.

Really, I don’t see any difference between these $2.50 lights (cost if purchased separately) and the $15 metal ones you see sold as bike lights – outwardly, they look identical. Basically you’re paying $12.50 extra for the mount, which is a piece of a shit anyway.


asobi
Participant
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I’m curious about what people think of Zebralights, and headlamps in general.

http://www.zebralight.com/H501-Headlamp-AA-Flood-w-new-UI_p_11.html


Pierce
Participant
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+5 Noah

I’ve got probably about 10 to 15 busted up bike light mounts


Shawn
Participant
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Thanks for the input. I have no idea where I put the cheap on I had after last weeks FOC ride… so I’ll need to pick something up before this Friday’s ride.


netviln
Participant
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So , I actually use two different lights right now, I use the Planet Bike Blaze 1watt because it has a really great blink pattern, but what I have recommended to two other people and have started using myself is the following.

http://www.amazon.com/High-intensity-L-E-D-160-lumens-Tactical-Flashlight/dp/B0037ZAXCA

If you watch it for a bit on amazon the price will drop below 30$ for the pair of them(I paid 24$ I believe). They use AAA batteries so you can use rechargables if you want, give 160 lumens, have a low, high, and blink pattern.

To mount them, I use the twofish mounts

http://www.amazon.com/TwoFish-FH1-Flashlite-Holder/dp/B001CJXB5E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1276740651&sr=8-1

so, for <40$ you can have two complete lights with mounts.. (I always carry a spare in my bag in case something happens to the first or a friend needs an extra)


RickyTickyTac
Participant
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I just use the cheapo Bell lights. They might not be the best, but I haven’t been run over yet.


dwillen
Participant
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You don’t even have to actively watch for it. Sign up for a camelcamelcamel alert.

http://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B0037ZAXCA

Looks like today may be a bad time to buy.


quizbot
Participant
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@smarti6 – whatever you decide to go with, turn it off if you’re passing through East Liberty / Highland Park / Wilkinsburg. That’s my advice.


saltm513
Participant
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Noah is a light show on two wheels. Which ps, you owe me a link or something so i can get some fancies myself.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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Stef I only do that for special occasions. Which does not include riding through my hood. That’s rear blinkies only.

And happy shopping… http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=tire+led&_sacat=See-All-Categories


brian j
Participant
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The Blaze is a nice light, and Cateye makes/made a nice 1 watt LED light, too, which is what I have. Totally waterproof, and just bright to see when riding through Junction Hollow at night.


pratt
Participant
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my suggestion is a magicshine light. you will not find a better cheap light.

http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=22

I use the 90 dollar one as a handlebar light on roads and in the woods. It’s good.


brian j
Participant
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The Magicshine is pretty sweet. I borrowed one last winter in Frick.

Pratt, how long have you been using yours? Purchasing one is very tempting, but I’d prefer something that won’t end up being disposable because it’s a pile of crap.


pratt
Participant
#

completely agree, I hate ending up with something that doesn’t last…waste of money and resources.

I bought it in November of last year. I know a lot of bikers running this, and I’ve only heard of one person that has had a problem. His problem is either with the battery or cable. One of the first local guys to get one, that I know of, has had it for about 10 months…no issues.

I know 10 months isn’t a long time…

Your call, but if a lighting system hasn’t failed with the number of combined hours I’m aware of here in the Pittsburgh mountain biking community…I’d say it’s a solid purchase.


brian j
Participant
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Agreed. I know another fella who has one, too, and he’s been happy with it, too.

Thanks.


pratt
Participant
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no problem. I do suggest using the company I linked to, nothing but great reports on ordering from them.


brian j
Participant
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Yeah, that’s where Robbie ordered his, and he said the same thing about them.


ejwme
Participant
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I’ve got a basket that mounts on my front and takes up all the ideal headlamp real estate – is helmet mount my next best (only other) option? I’ve got a little thing that mounts to the front wheel axle to make a little post I can velcro a little light to, part of my “don’t hit me” daytime light show.


Shawn
Participant
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Well I’m going to try and shop a little before FOC on Friday. I need to pick something up locally before I head out of town this weekend.

Thanks everyone.


netviln
Participant
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If you want to borrow one of the lights and mounts I posted let me know and I can see if I can meet up with you tomorrow.


Shawn
Participant
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Thanks for the offer, but I’ll need on for my trip.


netviln
Participant
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You can keep it for however long you need it, I have 3 of them.


reddan
Keymaster
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I’ve got a basket that mounts on my front and takes up all the ideal headlamp real estate – is helmet mount my next best (only other) option?

With creativity and zip ties, you could probably mount a light on your basket.


brian j
Participant
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Another option for basket mounting is a Cronometro Nob, which would mount on your fork. You make one yourself with a bit of PVC pipe a pipe clamp.

I’ve also used a combination of zip ties and o-rings to mount a light to the bottom of my basket.


ejwme
Participant
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I think that nob thingie is what I have…

I’ve got a flashlight and duct tape, maybe I’ll try that for Friday while I think on it a spell and see….

I just realized I’ve also got a headlamp I used for rock climbing/caving! That’s the ticket. The answer is sitting in my basement… batteries are another question, but easily solved :D


Marko82
Participant
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I sometime use a maglite with a piece of innertube. Just cut small holes on each end of a 5 inch piece of tube. Quick and cheap.


edmonds59
Participant
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ej, you could probably just ziptie/hose clamp a light (or several) to the bottom of your basket pointing forward (esp if it’s a wire basket). Actually you could attach many and go completely Quadrophenia with a setup like that.


edmonds59
Participant
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Marko, that thing looks like it would also discourage motorists from f’ing with you too! Looks weapon-y.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Taking Noah’s advice, I stopped by Home Despot and got two-for-$5 flashlights (batteries ARE included) and a roll of duct tape. One foot of tape holds one to a helmet just fine.

Total cost: $8.84 (with tax) for TWO fricking-bright helmet lights.

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