Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

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hostman
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 09:14 am

Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:28 am

Hey,

I've signed up with some mates to do the Manchester to Blackpool 52 mile night ride in early October ... having never bothered with night riding much I don't have a decent front light. Plan is to cycle back home afterwards, making it almost 100 miles.

Realistically it's probably 6 hours or more of riding, I'll need front and rear lights that can last for the whole ride.

Having looked at some light reviews the list is pretty large ... anyone have some suggestions on best approach? Should I have 2 front lights, use 1 until it runs out then switch to the 2nd? Is there a model that can last 6-7 hours? Or a model that can easily have its batteries swapped out if I carry some spares?

Any help appreciated :)

cougie
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby cougie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 14:26 pm

I'd go multiple lights front and back. Your rears will last fine but unless you pay mega bucks your front won't.

I've had a lot of success From the eBay magicshine lights with the external battery pack. I'd probably get two of those. You can always swap packs when you need to.

funkydisciple
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby funkydisciple » Sun Sep 01, 2019 09:47 am

Hi Hostman, I recently bought the ‘Nestling 2400 lumen’ (if you search that in Amazon). I work shifts at work and regularly commute in the early hours of the morning to work, down countryside roads, and found that this light works fantastically well, can see the potholes and imperfections on the roads very clearly. It cost £19. Some other online places you’ll be paying twice as much for as many lumens.

super_davo
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby super_davo » Mon Sep 02, 2019 06:23 am

I've gone through a lot of cheap eBay Magicshine/ Solarstorm lights commuting through winter. Whilst they are cheap and very bright, the failure rate is uncomfortably high. I now use
https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-l ... zREALw_wcB
Which is every bit as bright, not much more expensive especially with BC discount, but I have far more confidence it's not going to fail. You should get 6hours out of it on the second highest setting, and there are guage lights to let you know how much you've got left. If it starts dropping to 25% then a regular USB powerbank can top it up on the go.
I always use a second light as well - because things can and do go wrong, which is a Lezyne Macro Duo mounted on my helmet (which also gives me an extra rear).
Rear lights - anything will do but have two and if you use flash on one battery will not be an issue.a

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figbat
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby figbat » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:56 am

super_davo wrote:I've gone through a lot of cheap eBay Magicshine/ Solarstorm lights commuting through winter. Whilst they are cheap and very bright, the failure rate is uncomfortably high.


Same here. I was dazzled by the huge lumen count and convinced myself they were really good, even when the battery packs failed or mounts fell apart. In truth they were bright but in a haphazard way, with bright spots and little useful beam pattern. I bit the bullet and invested in a 'forever light', a Hope Vision R4+. Best decision I ever made.

Expensive? Yes, very.
Well built? Yes, very.
Bright? Not mega bright, but it puts out a fantastic flood of light, with no hotspots and in a nice, natural colour (rather than the harsh blue-white of many LEDs); it's like riding with your own little pool of daylight in front of you. I run it on its low setting most of the time (off-road, MTB, mid-winter etc) and like this will get 5-6 hours out of the battery. I use the higher settings for fast descents or other tricky spots.
Reliable? So far, very (no issues yet and the battery still does long service after a couple of years of use).

I guess my point is that there is cheap and bright or there is expensive and good. You might get away with cheap and bright for a one-off event if you consider it to be disposable (with a bonus if it keeps working for any time afterwards).

For battery life I would aim to get something brighter than you need so you can run it at a lower setting for longer. I haven't yet used the Hope on my road bike, but have considered how I would mount it if I decided to do so. Having a separate battery pack adds burn time and the possibility of carrying a spare, but also needs somewhere to mount it. I don't like strapping them to the frame as they tend to rub the paintwork - on the MTB the battery is mounted in a bottle cage (I wear a hydration back pack). If I were to use it on the road I would probably mount the battery under the stem.

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Step83
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby Step83 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 14:29 pm

Raveman PR1200, dual lens ones your standard light an wont dazzle drivers, other is basically a full beam that will. Great on unlit patches has a little remote button for it too battery goes from 4hrs on full beam too 18 hours on 100 lumens, I get about 7hrs on 600 lumens.
Always take spare lights though. I know the Raveman can be used as a USB power pack which has come in handy in the past.

If you can see about some reflectives as well, the spoke or wheel rim ones are usually good to have.

david7m
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby david7m » Mon Sep 02, 2019 14:36 pm

Are the lights for law/safety or part of the route without street lights at all?
I've Bontrager 1300 lumen and it's like a car light on full beam, but obviously doesn't last that long. Lower power is still fantastic - check out Trek site for estimated times per setting.

hostman
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 09:14 am

Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Wed Sep 04, 2019 13:21 pm

david7m wrote:Are the lights for law/safety or part of the route without street lights at all?
I've Bontrager 1300 lumen and it's like a car light on full beam, but obviously doesn't last that long. Lower power is still fantastic - check out Trek site for estimated times per setting.


Mostly to comply with the law, most of the ride is on lid roads far as I know, although I am awaiting for the organisers to release the 2019 route to confirm 100%.

AndyH01
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 19:06 pm

Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby AndyH01 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 19:58 pm

figbat wrote:
super_davo wrote:I've gone through a lot of cheap eBay Magicshine/ Solarstorm lights commuting through winter. Whilst they are cheap and very bright, the failure rate is uncomfortably high.


Same here. I was dazzled by the huge lumen count and convinced myself they were really good, even when the battery packs failed or mounts fell apart. In truth they were bright but in a haphazard way, with bright spots and little useful beam pattern. I bit the bullet and invested in a 'forever light', a Hope Vision R4+. Best decision I ever made.

Expensive? Yes, very.
Well built? Yes, very.
Bright? Not mega bright, but it puts out a fantastic flood of light, with no hotspots and in a nice, natural colour (rather than the harsh blue-white of many LEDs); it's like riding with your own little pool of daylight in front of you. I run it on its low setting most of the time (off-road, MTB, mid-winter etc) and like this will get 5-6 hours out of the battery. I use the higher settings for fast descents or other tricky spots.
Reliable? So far, very (no issues yet and the battery still does long service after a couple of years of use).

I guess my point is that there is cheap and bright or there is expensive and good. You might get away with cheap and bright for a one-off event if you consider it to be disposable (with a bonus if it keeps working for any time afterwards).

For battery life I would aim to get something brighter than you need so you can run it at a lower setting for longer. I haven't yet used the Hope on my road bike, but have considered how I would mount it if I decided to do so. Having a separate battery pack adds burn time and the possibility of carrying a spare, but also needs somewhere to mount it. I don't like strapping them to the frame as they tend to rub the paintwork - on the MTB the battery is mounted in a bottle cage (I wear a hydration back pack). If I were to use it on the road I would probably mount the battery under the stem.


100% this albeit for op as one off maybe couple cheap ones and bin but for regular dark riding get something decent.

I looked into loads: Exposure good but over priced for lumen, internal battery often unable to swap out.
Dynmano light set up again good but I was concerned about brightness and speeds required albeit most have catche capacitor but wasn't sure on weight and drag.

In the end I too went for the hope R4 my commute has both on and off road sections, best light I've ever had, it has specific food/off road settings and beams/brightness. Also has pulse flash low light always on an on state with a brighter flash over layed. I have 2x 2 cell battery packs, spares and replacements easily available. The other advantage is you can run the rear R4 district light via the included y splitter cable, again very good and bright rear light same lenses as car brake lights 100+ lumen.
My road bike has a third bottle cage on the underside of downtube.
Ive drilled the lid of a tool keg with twin compartments ;battery in top, tools and jacket underneath, I've also ran cables internally.

The only slight drawback is mains charger only with its proprietor cable so I also have 2 charges for home and office.

Penski
Posts: 124
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby Penski » Sat Sep 14, 2019 19:24 pm

Sorry this is not relevant but was wondering what route you are taking? I've been looking for a good route from North Manchester

Motogull
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby Motogull » Sat Sep 14, 2019 21:17 pm

Me and front lights never worked. I had a great one briefly but a pothole saw it fall off and before I could retrieve it a fukken bus squashed it.

Someone on here posted some links to Deal Extreme. Basically a couple of torches from china with rechargeable batteries (that I've never seen in the UK). The charger is well ropey but the light is brilliant. My Mrs doubted their legality and my mate only agreed to do an all nighter knowing what front lights I had. I got two and spare batteries. One is fine, two are like car lights down country lanes. I swapped at half way and was not worried they would let me down.

I wore a reflective band thing too and felt safe as.

I love a night ride.

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PaulMon
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby PaulMon » Sun Sep 15, 2019 19:35 pm

I did this years ago. The route is pretty much lit all the way so no need for mega lights. Basic Flashers are more than enough

hostman
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 09:14 am

Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Tue Sep 17, 2019 09:50 am

Penski wrote:Sorry this is not relevant but was wondering what route you are taking? I've been looking for a good route from North Manchester


This route: https://www.bhf.org.uk/-/media/files/ev ... .pdf?la=en

hostman
Posts: 91
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Fri Sep 20, 2019 19:30 pm

They have released the 2019 GPX now, I've managed to import it as a Strava route: https://www.strava.com/routes/21851931

hostman
Posts: 91
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:46 am

Hi,

Went with this light for the main one (as mentioned by Step83): https://road.cc/content/review/221409-r ... ront-light

Going to order a 2nd cheaper one also as backup and for when / if the main battery runs out, something around the £40-50 mark.

Fenix
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby Fenix » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:48 am

Thats a lot of cash for one ride !

hostman
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 09:14 am

Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:22 pm

Fenix wrote:Thats a lot of cash for one ride !


I'll just have to make sure I do some more night riding to get my moneys worth!

hostman
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 09:14 am

Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:08 am

Jeez ... so this event was cancelled due to the weather an hour before it was due to start Saturday night.

I was literally 1 min from setting off to meet my cycling buddy in Manchester. We opted to go ahead anyway and cycled from Bolton area, 12 miles or so in to the official route, ended up as an 86 mile round trip for me, in the pouring rain, probably some of the worst weather I've ridden in.

My legs feel fine but I've got a stinker of a cold right now, probably brought on by the wet and cold!

First leg: https://www.strava.com/activities/2766106001
Return leg: https://www.strava.com/activities/2766320385

Motogull
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Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby Motogull » Mon Oct 07, 2019 19:45 pm

hostman wrote:Jeez ... so this event was cancelled due to the weather an hour before it was due to start Saturday night.

I was literally 1 min from setting off to meet my cycling buddy in Manchester. We opted to go ahead anyway and cycled from Bolton area, 12 miles or so in to the official route, ended up as an 86 mile round trip for me, in the pouring rain, probably some of the worst weather I've ridden in.

My legs feel fine but I've got a stinker of a cold right now, probably brought on by the wet and cold!

First leg: https://www.strava.com/activities/2766106001
Return leg: https://www.strava.com/activities/2766320385


Fair play fella, but I'd have waited a week before doing it. That said, once you get wet, you don't need much more rain to stay soaked through.

hostman
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 09:14 am

Re: Advice on lights for Manchester to Blackpool night ride

Postby hostman » Tue Oct 08, 2019 09:28 am

Motogull wrote:
hostman wrote:Jeez ... so this event was cancelled due to the weather an hour before it was due to start Saturday night.

I was literally 1 min from setting off to meet my cycling buddy in Manchester. We opted to go ahead anyway and cycled from Bolton area, 12 miles or so in to the official route, ended up as an 86 mile round trip for me, in the pouring rain, probably some of the worst weather I've ridden in.

My legs feel fine but I've got a stinker of a cold right now, probably brought on by the wet and cold!

First leg: https://www.strava.com/activities/2766106001
Return leg: https://www.strava.com/activities/2766320385


Fair play fella, but I'd have waited a week before doing it. That said, once you get wet, you don't need much more rain to stay soaked through.


Around 50 people did the ride anyway out of what should have been 1000+, some because they had parked in Blackpool and just needed to get back! Organisers have taken a bit of a battering for cancelling it so late in the day, when the forecast had been clear for at least 3 days it was going to rain lots. However, having ridden it, I can see why they did cancel.

Felt I had to complete it, people had donated and I had a double espresso at 10pm!


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