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Front lights for off road night riding?

razerrazer Posts: 64
edited August 2007 in MTB buying advice
Does anyone have any recommendations for a DECENT front light(s) set for off road night time use?

Budget (not sure yet, but as little as possible - £300 tops, without the wife knowing)
Battery time at least 2.5 hours or comes with a spare battery.

Hope seem to have good sets, but id like to spend less if possible and unfortunately the shops i visited over the weekend only had standard road lights nothing off road.

Thanks :)

Posts

  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    nobody go out riding in the darker nights then? :shock: :(
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    I've got Light & Motion ones which are really good if you can afford them. Alternatively some of the guys I ride with rate the Lumicycle ones.
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  • Stu 74Stu 74 Posts: 463
    My mate built his own light for about £80 but it only last for abbut 1.5 hours. However I think you could get a spare battery for about £15. Have a scan on the net and see if you can find a parts list.

    Stu
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Ive just had a quick look at the light and motion ones and they could be what im after (5 hour run time on the enduro is ideal) how do you find them on the trail? just a bit worried i wont get enough coverage (looking at the reviews on chain reaction)

    Can you comment at all?
  • i-drivei-drive Posts: 527
    use exposure offer all what you are looking for super bright led,s no cables to get tangled up super long burn times & the joystick is one of the best things ive ever bought,check them out at wiggle doing good deals on them at the minute.
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    Its the Light & Motion Arc NIMh which I'm referring to - but its not cheap at about £350 or so. The beam is second to none and you can belt it, unlike some other lights where the beam is too narrow or too weak
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  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Thans for letting me know guys :)
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Father faff; how long do you find they Light and Motion battery lasts? Do you get the full time or less. I need a minimum of 3 hours and am unsure if to go for NiMH, Li-Ion of the Li-Ion ultra, just to be on the safe side :?
    Thanks
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    ? :)
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    Lumicycle: bombproof, loads of options and a run-time calculator on their site, really good customer service too and they're British. www.lumicycle.co.uk
    Wanted: Penny farthing. Please PM me!
    Advice for kilted riders: top-tubes are cold.
  • wriggywriggy Posts: 102
    I don't know about Light and Motion runtimes but if you can afford Lithium batteries then do. The are much lighter but more importantly they have a much lower self discharge rate. All rechargable batteries lose charge over time and high capacity Nimh are some of the worst. If you use them regularly they are fine but you do have to be very careful how you store them over the summer or they can be completely useless by the next time you need them.

    If you want ulitmate flexibility get the new Lupine Wilma granted it's a fair wedge above your budget but if your are going to use a HID light a lot you will need to factor in new bulbs at something like £80 each (can't find a price for L&M one). The Wilma can be dipped through a range of settings to extend runtime up to 42 hours and even on full lasts 4 hours and at 830 Lumens they are brighter than a very bright thing.
  • JasonRwmbJasonRwmb Posts: 268
    I use a L&M ARC Li-ion and it has a very good beam spread, plus the quality of the build is excellent. I have only had it since Feb, and was previously running a HID from The Rush which was ok, but I kept killing batteries due to water ingress.

    In the group I ride with we have a combination of L&M, Lupines & Lumicycle, for brightness there is really not much in it and reliability seems very good on all three brands. A couple of people run USE Exposure lights, these are a nice compact unit, but are dimmer than a HID (maybe not a problem if you ride by yourself). I do use a Joystick helmet light which is a nice addition to the bar mounted light. Of those brands, as a group, we have had most problems with USE products, however their customer service is very good.

    When I bought the L&M lights I did look at the Hope units, they did look nice, however I was put off by the two separate batteries. For the way I use the lights I could see problems having to stop mid-ride to change batteries and also charging would be more of a pain as I would have to remember to charge both batteries - normally I put mine on charge in the morning and go to work.
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Thanks, the lumicycle stuff does look good. Can anyone comment on this;

    http://www.lumicycle.com/Product/produc ... ON&dep=100

    Not too bad on price (dont tell the wife!) and we like british built stuff. Just difficult to tell not seeing it in action in the flesh, just wondered whether it will be enough of a light spread for off road (they do recommend it for off road)

    Thanks for all the great info so far :)
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    I'm confused about whether I've got Li-on or NiMh now -anyway its a biggish pack with the shorter run time (Max about 2.5 hours) and often it is not enough. I would go for the longest battery life you can get whichever one that is - the pack is also smaller and lighter. Chain Reaction Cycles seem to have them at £279 in a sale.

    The Lumicycles also seem good as a lot in our group use them but I don't know what the run time is.
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  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    run time on the one above is about 4 to 5 hours, i was just wondering whether one light will be enough to get a decent field of light spread and also a spot out in front as all the other systems i have looked at (other than L&M) are two light systems with one light as a spot and the other with a wider throw.

    Anyone comment on one light system as a rule?
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    Well I do a lot of night riding and I've never had any problem going full-tilt downhill with the one L&M. It is one of the few lights that has good forward and side vision and is bright enough not to inhibit your riding at night. The mags did reviews on them in the winter and the L&M was always a winner. See if you can find the back issues!
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  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    December 2006 Singletrack magazine had a good group test of all lights and the L&M Arc HID with Li-on battery came out on top The reviews gave plus and minus points of a range of sytems so if you can get hold of a copy....or you can e-mail me and I might be able to sort something.
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  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Thanks for that :)

    Did it have the lumicycles in as well? ive narrowed it down to the L&M and lumicycles now, so a summary of those would be fine :)
  • I use two hids which I bought from www.batteryspace.com.

    One is a 13w helmet light which is great using a nimh battery I get about 3 hours.

    The other is a 30w spot trailtech handle bar mount which is the brightest light out. I use this with a lion battery which is switchable between 12v and 13 v meaning I can extend the standard battery from 2.5 hrs to 3 hours.

    The 30w hid cost £160 excluding carriage and comes with everything you need.
  • Pug5leyPug5ley Posts: 69
    I use a Lumicycle halogen system. I only use 1 lamp(my mate has same system) but have tried with 2 & not really noticed much difference. I ride in near pitch black conditions in the Pennines during the winter & have had no problems with my lamp.
    Hope this helps you.
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Pug5ley wrote:
    I use a Lumicycle halogen system. I only use 1 lamp(my mate has same system) but have tried with 2 & not really noticed much difference. I ride in near pitch black conditions in the Pennines during the winter & have had no problems with my lamp.
    Hope this helps you.

    That helps greatly, looks like its the lumicycle. Thanks a lot. ;)
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    I night ride (off road) most weeks and can highly recommend my nightmare pros from Evans. Not exactly cheap but 40W equivalent and very reliable.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Just ordered the halides from lumicycle. Should arrive on friday, will let you guys know what i think. Should get to take them out next week as well, although it wont exactly be dark by time i finish my ride (8.30/9ish)

    Thanks for all the advice.
  • happysvhappysv Posts: 31
    I rate these very highly-


    http://www.dinottelighting.com/500L.html
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Its a bit late now..... ;)
  • The SpidermanThe Spiderman Posts: 5,625
    passout wrote:
    I night ride (off road) most weeks and can highly recommend my nightmare pros from Evans. Not exactly cheap but 40W equivalent and very reliable.

    Currently in their sale at £209.Bargain!
    2006 Giant XTC
    2010 Giant Defy Advanced
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
    2016 Pinnacle Lithium 4
    2017 Canondale Supersix Evo
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Well the light have arrived and while ive only tried it in the house, the light output is fantastic.

    The build quality of the components is absolutely excellent but the charger instructions leave a little to be desired (but its not exactly difficult to use a charger ;) )

    Will write more once ive used them properly :)
  • razerrazer Posts: 64
    Well finally got to try the lights out last night and must say im very impressed. The light output by the single unit is absolutely amazing and far better than the dual lights my friends had (normal light not HID) It made it look like there lights werent even on!

    It wasnt 100% dark so ive not been able to get the full benefit yet but i can see they will do the job. If your looking at spending £250 to £300 on lights then lumicycle is the way to go, especially since you can change your own bulb which you cant with the Light and motion units.

    Overall very happy. :)
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