Author Topic: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???  (Read 2257 times)

newton

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Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« on: July 26, 2016, 06:40:42 PM »
Any good suggestions for a headlight for my road bike?  We ride early mornings and the first 20 minutes are in the dark.  Need something to see any potholes or debris a few feet in front of me.

Purchased a small one but it wasn't nearly bright enough.  Of course want something small and don't want to pay a whole lot for it.  Something that can easily be removed when not needed.

Any thoughts would be great.



GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 12:25:48 PM »
The cygolight metro 550 is very bright and light weight.  Anything brighter would be too much while cycling on the road.

Jack

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 12:36:07 PM »
Chinese Magicshine clone bought from Amazon (e.g. this one) -- should be $20 or less (I got mine for $10) and plenty bright. Battery quality may be an issue, though.

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 12:18:42 PM »
I have a Cygolite Expilion 720 USB and I really like it.  It's close to being too bright, but a part of my commute is down hill in a completely unlit park and I am glad I have this one to show me far ahead if there are obstacles as I pass a corner.  USB chargeable is very important to me and the Cygolite Expilion has two interesting benefits: it's waterproof and the lithium battery is replaceable.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 12:33:49 PM »
Chinese Magicshine clone bought from Amazon (e.g. this one) -- should be $20 or less (I got mine for $10) and plenty bright. Battery quality may be an issue, though.

How's the reliability on them?

I'm A-OK with saving money to potentially sacrifice reliability on a lot of things, but safety stuff that you really depend on (like bike lights) aren't one of them.

dogboyslim

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 01:00:33 PM »
The cygolight metro 550 is very bright and light weight.  Anything brighter would be too much while cycling on the road.

This is what I use.  Works great in all weather conditions I've encountered from -10F through 80F.  Summer days are longer so I don't need it for the commute.

I had a 350 before the 550 and it worked fine too.

For 20 minutes, whatever you get, do a self contained unit that is easy on/off.

Jack

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 01:47:33 PM »
Chinese Magicshine clone bought from Amazon (e.g. this one) -- should be $20 or less (I got mine for $10) and plenty bright. Battery quality may be an issue, though.

How's the reliability on them?

I'm A-OK with saving money to potentially sacrifice reliability on a lot of things, but safety stuff that you really depend on (like bike lights) aren't one of them.

Of the three that I bought, one came with a battery that wouldn't hold a charge but the other two have been fine. That's the strategy: they're so cheap you can afford to have a backup.

(I'm in an urban area with streetlights so I usually don't feel the need to carry my backup Magicshine clone with me; instead I usually just carry one of those little silicone "be seen" lights. If I were going on a longer, higher-traffic or more rural ride, I'd carry two full-size lights and batteries.)

newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2016, 08:50:25 AM »
The cygolight metro 550 is very bright and light weight.  Anything brighter would be too much while cycling on the road.

I was looking at the Cygolite 850.  You think the 550 is bright enough for dark roads??  I usually leave about 30-40 minutes before sunrise so the sun is starting to come up by the time I get a few minutes into my ride.  Looking to avoid potholes, gravel, etc.

newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 08:51:11 AM »
Chinese Magicshine clone bought from Amazon (e.g. this one) -- should be $20 or less (I got mine for $10) and plenty bright. Battery quality may be an issue, though.

Bright enough for dark roads??  Looking for something to see the roads and not just be seen by vehicles.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2016, 06:32:11 PM »
The cygolight metro 550 is very bright and light weight.  Anything brighter would be too much while cycling on the road.

I was looking at the Cygolite 850.  You think the 550 is bright enough for dark roads??  I usually leave about 30-40 minutes before sunrise so the sun is starting to come up by the time I get a few minutes into my ride.  Looking to avoid potholes, gravel, etc.

I commute through the winter usually at about 6:00 in the morning (2 or so hours before sunrise), and some sections of my route have no street lights.  The 550 is bright enough for dark roads, and to see obstacles.  I'm sure the 850 would be more than bright enough (too bright is actually one of my concerns . . . I don't want to blind drivers).

newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2016, 07:00:34 PM »
The cygolight metro 550 is very bright and light weight.  Anything brighter would be too much while cycling on the road.

I was looking at the Cygolite 850.  You think the 550 is bright enough for dark roads??  I usually leave about 30-40 minutes before sunrise so the sun is starting to come up by the time I get a few minutes into my ride.  Looking to avoid potholes, gravel, etc.

I commute through the winter usually at about 6:00 in the morning (2 or so hours before sunrise), and some sections of my route have no street lights.  The 550 is bright enough for dark roads, and to see obstacles.  I'm sure the 850 would be more than bright enough (too bright is actually one of my concerns . . . I don't want to blind drivers).

Thanks.  I road bike and my first 7 miles or so are on a lonely country (paved) road.  No street lights, but an occasional pothole, fallen limb, etc.  Just want to be sure I catch those in time :)

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2016, 06:35:53 AM »
The cygolight metro 550 is very bright and light weight.  Anything brighter would be too much while cycling on the road.

I was looking at the Cygolite 850.  You think the 550 is bright enough for dark roads??  I usually leave about 30-40 minutes before sunrise so the sun is starting to come up by the time I get a few minutes into my ride.  Looking to avoid potholes, gravel, etc.

I commute through the winter usually at about 6:00 in the morning (2 or so hours before sunrise), and some sections of my route have no street lights.  The 550 is bright enough for dark roads, and to see obstacles.  I'm sure the 850 would be more than bright enough (too bright is actually one of my concerns . . . I don't want to blind drivers).

Thanks.  I road bike and my first 7 miles or so are on a lonely country (paved) road.  No street lights, but an occasional pothole, fallen limb, etc.  Just want to be sure I catch those in time :)

Cycling in the pitch dark on roads that are obstacle filled  . . . it might also be a good idea to reduce speed.  Slower speed means more reaction time even if something doesn't register right away, or you don't see it immediately.  :P

acroy

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2016, 08:16:49 AM »
I really like using decent quality flashlights as bike lights.
Can take standard AA batts, and hey! now you have a nice flashlight too!
I've been using the Fenix brand for years, they seem a decent mix of outstanding build quality at moderate price

For general purpose, this would be fine. Single, AA, enough light to be seen on Low, enough light to see by on med or High. https://www.fenixlighting.com/product/e12-fenix-flashlight/

TwoFish velcro mount is unbeatable, mine are 7?yrs old and still work fine
https://www.amazon.com/Two-Fish-Lockblocks-Flashlight-Holder/dp/B001CJXB5E/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1470665542&sr=8-10&keywords=bike+flashlight+mount

I personally am using 2 similar to this (mine are older model but very similar)
https://www.fenixlighting.com/product/e35ue-fenix-flashlight/
They take 18650 cell, which means buying special batteries and charger.

Best of luck - never been a better time to get a bike light! options galore!
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Jack

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2016, 10:26:40 AM »
Chinese Magicshine clone bought from Amazon (e.g. this one) -- should be $20 or less (I got mine for $10) and plenty bright. Battery quality may be an issue, though.

Bright enough for dark roads??  Looking for something to see the roads and not just be seen by vehicles.

Absolutely, by a large margin. It has three settings: high, low and flash (which is as bright as "high"). I run it on "low" on the multi-use trail to avoid blinding oncoming cyclists, and I never use the flash mode because it's so bright I worry that it would give somebody a seizure.

newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2016, 04:06:25 PM »
Chinese Magicshine clone bought from Amazon (e.g. this one) -- should be $20 or less (I got mine for $10) and plenty bright. Battery quality may be an issue, though.

Bright enough for dark roads??  Looking for something to see the roads and not just be seen by vehicles.

Could you tell me which one you purchased on Amazon??  Just want to be sure I'm looking at the right one.

Absolutely, by a large margin. It has three settings: high, low and flash (which is as bright as "high"). I run it on "low" on the multi-use trail to avoid blinding oncoming cyclists, and I never use the flash mode because it's so bright I worry that it would give somebody a seizure.

Jack

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2016, 03:09:33 AM »
Could you tell me which one you purchased on Amazon??  Just want to be sure I'm looking at the right one.

I bought this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KUXRAW

Note that it was $9.95 at the time (Oct 2015) but is currently $16.37. I do not necessarily recommend buying this particular one from this particular seller (or recommend against it); buy any one you can find that looks similar from any seller, for the lowest price you can find. They're probably all made in the same factory in China anyway.

The only reason to care about brand or origin is if you want a warranty, and if that's the case then you should just buy the equivalent genuine MagicShine (which is much more expensive).

newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2016, 08:12:21 AM »
Could you tell me which one you purchased on Amazon??  Just want to be sure I'm looking at the right one.

I bought this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KUXRAW

Note that it was $9.95 at the time (Oct 2015) but is currently $16.37. I do not necessarily recommend buying this particular one from this particular seller (or recommend against it); buy any one you can find that looks similar from any seller, for the lowest price you can find. They're probably all made in the same factory in China anyway.

The only reason to care about brand or origin is if you want a warranty, and if that's the case then you should just buy the equivalent genuine MagicShine (which is much more expensive).

Excellent.  Thanks!  I will check it out. 

newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2016, 06:37:21 PM »
Could you tell me which one you purchased on Amazon??  Just want to be sure I'm looking at the right one.

I bought this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KUXRAW

Note that it was $9.95 at the time (Oct 2015) but is currently $16.37. I do not necessarily recommend buying this particular one from this particular seller (or recommend against it); buy any one you can find that looks similar from any seller, for the lowest price you can find. They're probably all made in the same factory in China anyway.

The only reason to care about brand or origin is if you want a warranty, and if that's the case then you should just buy the equivalent genuine MagicShine (which is much more expensive).

Excellent.  Thanks!  I will check it out.

Jack - Dumb question.  I purchased it and it came in.  Do I need a charger to charge the battery?  Do I need to connect the battery when using? :) don't judge.

Jack

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2016, 05:29:30 PM »
Jack - Dumb question.  I purchased it and it came in.  Do I need a charger to charge the battery?  Do I need to connect the battery when using? :) don't judge.

If you bought the particular one I linked, it should have come with a charger. (Mine came with the light, the battery, a charger, a pouch/strap to mount the battery to the bike frame, two rubber rings to mount the light to the handlebars, and a headband to mount the light on your head.) It's not a standard voltage, so yes, you'd either need that particular charger or some universal one with the voltage set correctly.

(Some other lights based on similar designs might have been designed for 5 volts and just come with a USB plug instead of a charger. Either way, every light should come with one or the other. If yours has neither, complain.)

Yes, you'll have to connect the battery to the light to use it.

Sean Og

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2016, 09:40:12 PM »
Have to admit I spent far too much money on an Exposure Six Pack front light back in 2010 buts its still going stong and at 1800 lumens (3hr runtime on high) it was money well spent. Newer models have far higher spec but I don't see a need for that on the road (even 1800 is overkill). That kind of output is very attainable now price wise so pay more attention to runtime and battery reliability.

I did a lot of road racing until recently and the expense for good lights was worth it for training. Nothing beats night rides in a little light bubble :-).

newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2016, 06:25:01 PM »
Jack - Dumb question.  I purchased it and it came in.  Do I need a charger to charge the battery?  Do I need to connect the battery when using? :) don't judge.

If you bought the particular one I linked, it should have come with a charger. (Mine came with the light, the battery, a charger, a pouch/strap to mount the battery to the bike frame, two rubber rings to mount the light to the handlebars, and a headband to mount the light on your head.) It's not a standard voltage, so yes, you'd either need that particular charger or some universal one with the voltage set correctly.

(Some other lights based on similar designs might have been designed for 5 volts and just come with a USB plug instead of a charger. Either way, every light should come with one or the other. If yours has neither, complain.)

Yes, you'll have to connect the battery to the light to use it.

Thanks.  No battery charger came with it.  I do have a universal charger that seems to fit.  So just so I'm clear. I charge the battery.  Then have to attach the battery to my bike and plug the light into the battery while riding (I promise I'm of above average intelligence :))

Jack

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2016, 11:54:34 AM »
Thanks.  No battery charger came with it.  I do have a universal charger that seems to fit.  So just so I'm clear. I charge the battery.  Then have to attach the battery to my bike and plug the light into the battery while riding (I promise I'm of above average intelligence :))

Could you link the Amazon.com item page you used? It should have come with a charger, and if it didn't you should contact the seller and/or Amazon and ask either to be shipped one (at the seller's cost) or be given a refund.

If you want to use your universal charger anyway, you need to make very, very sure that the voltages match before plugging it in. (There may be other concerns too -- PM Syonyk about it, since he's an 'electronics and batteries' kind of guy.)

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2016, 02:03:10 PM »
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GGR0XD0/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have 2 of these and so far I'm extremely pleased. The USB charging is great and the light is ridiculously bright with a long battery life.
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sandmaninator

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2016, 03:54:55 PM »
I would look for something with a replaceable 18650 type battery.  The standard AA and AAA based lights just cannot put out enough juice.  I find it very nice to have something comparable to a car headlight mounted on my bike. I am seen and can see without any problem.   
Many awesome lights reviewed here:
http://budgetlightforum.com/forum

Personally, I love the Convoy S2+  which one should be able to find for under $15.   ~1000 lumens. Then you need to buy an 18650 battery or crack open a laptop battery pack and extract one from there. (do not plan to re-assemble)
USB chargers for li-ion 18650 batteries can be found for around $3-4 bucks. Totally WORTH IT!

Jacks flunky

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2016, 04:15:47 PM »
Whatever you use, make sure you have a backup. I have had decent quality lights die and have run out of battery earlier than expected more times than I care to admit. No big deal, though, since i nearly always have a backup in my bag or on the bars

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newton

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Re: Bike Headlight - Suggestions???
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2016, 06:49:21 PM »
Just wanted to give everyone an update.

The light works great.  Have only used it a couple of times but it really lights up the dark morning roads.  I have been using a universal charger on it.  The seller still states he will be sending it to me.  I just sent another reminder :)

Great suggestions everyone.  You are all great!