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Night Riding in Daylight?!?

steelosteelo Posts: 541
edited October 2009 in MTB general
I've been riding XC at night for a couple of years now and especially since the clocks have gone back any ride after work is in complete darkness. I have a Hope Vision 2 up front and suits me just fine - I use the brightest (300 lumens) setting when riding very fast descents but apart from that I use the other settings predominantly the lowest setting for singletrack, uphills and any road sections I accidentally drift onto.

What gets me is this - when i'm riding in a group there are always a few people who insist on a handlebar mounted light cannon and a head mounted floodlight to turn the dark night into artificial daylight and therefore lose all sense that the sun has actually set. Riding into my own shadow when one of these bikers is behind me even though i've got a decent light of my own is really really annoying. :evil: And don't get me started on super-bright rear lights - annoyingly blindingly bright and a pain in the padded a$$ to follow through the woods.

Now don't get me wrong, riding at night you need a set of lights, thats a given, but surely the buzz of riding at night is that you can't see every undulation in the terrain, and that you need to concentrate more on whats next along the trail. Going out and buying a couple of the brightest lights known to man is surely a bit defeatest?

Anyone agree with me, or think Hope, Lumicycle, Lupine etc. still need to invest in brighter night-fighting weapons?
Specialized Rockhopper '07
Trek Fuel EX8 '09

Posts

  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I like to be able to see where i'm going, a decent light means i can take trails i don't know very well/at all at a decent speed. Not to mention giving me the confidence to launch drops etc in the dark without having to guess the landing.

    I've done night-riding with only be-seen lights and it just isn't fun at all. With really bright lights you still get that warp speed feeling of flying down a tunnel of light. But you can go faster therefore get the most out of your winter cycling.
  • bay73bay73 Posts: 130
    steelo wrote:
    I've been riding XC at night for a couple of years now and especially since the clocks have gone back any ride after work is in complete darkness. I have a Hope Vision 2 up front and suits me just fine - I use the brightest (300 lumens) setting when riding very fast descents but apart from that I use the other settings predominantly the lowest setting for singletrack, uphills and any road sections I accidentally drift onto.

    What gets me is this - when i'm riding in a group there are always a few people who insist on a handlebar mounted light cannon and a head mounted floodlight to turn the dark night into artificial daylight and therefore lose all sense that the sun has actually set. Riding into my own shadow when one of these bikers is behind me even though i've got a decent light of my own is really really annoying. :evil: And don't get me started on super-bright rear lights - annoyingly blindingly bright and a pain in the padded a$$ to follow through the woods.

    Now don't get me wrong, riding at night you need a set of lights, thats a given, but surely the buzz of riding at night is that you can't see every undulation in the terrain, and that you need to concentrate more on whats next along the trail. Going out and buying a couple of the brightest lights known to man is surely a bit defeatest?

    Anyone agree with me, or think Hope, Lumicycle, Lupine etc. still need to invest in brighter night-fighting weapons?

    sorry but no i do not agree.

    would you drive your car on side lights (if it was not illegal) at night?
  • steelosteelo Posts: 541
    I'm talking about the need to use the latest high powered lupine/hope/exposure lights, rated upwards of 1000ish lumens, is it necessary to continue bringing out even brighter lights every year? Surely they should be concentrating on smaller, lighter, longer lasting lights.

    Is there a need to drive along country lanes with full beam, fog lights and a set of cibie spotlights on the front of your car?

    I'm not suggesting you go riding downhill with just a candle to light your path either! Trust me, you can't, it goes straight out - and you try lighting a match while hurtling downhill at 25mph weaving between trees!
    Specialized Rockhopper '07
    Trek Fuel EX8 '09
  • bay73bay73 Posts: 130
    steelo wrote:
    I'm not suggesting you go riding downhill with just a candle to light your path either! Trust me, you can't, it goes straight out - and you try lighting a match while hurtling downhill at 25mph weaving between trees!

    :lol:

    I see your point but the older i get the more cautious i become. more light = safer riding at greater speeds. sure i all but turn them off for climbing but for descending i feel happier with seeing as much as possible.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Well i use a p7 and a tk11, so claimed 900 + 240 lumens, more like 800 in total though.

    Still slower than daytime, but fast enough that i don't freeze to death and still get a decent workout on technical flat terrain.
  • SarnianSarnian Posts: 1,451
    With you on the rear lights, I hat shout at a mate last night as I could not see due to he's flashing red light, but to be fare he and the other lads I ride with (me as well) turn are rear lights off while off road or use the little single LED lights.
    It's not a ornament, so ride It
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I have a smart superflash on my main bike, insanely bright on the rear, but when riding with others i switch it to on and have it pointing almost straight down, you can follow me but at least it doesn't destroy your night vision. Just twist it back up for road work on the way home.
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    I guess it depends on the rider. some are more adventurous and will enjoy the sense of buzz you can get night riding others are more carefull and will want to see everything clearly.

    Personally I like a lot of light so i can easily judge whats coming up and cycle at a good pace. but saying that I don't think I have any thing stupidly bright. i think I have ~500 lumens in total (hope2 on handlebars and homemade head torch) and it seems to do the trick OK.

    +1 on the bright rear lights, really buggers up your night vision when following
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    But less than when some knob looks round to see you and blinds you with 900 lumens from their head-torch!
  • MacAndCheeseMacAndCheese Posts: 1,944
    I kind of agree with the OP, I use a vision 2 as well, it's bright enough without being so bright that you lose the extra challenge of night riding. I would like a helmet light as well to be able to see round corners though!
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Orange Alpine 160
  • scale20scale20 Posts: 1,300
    I use 2 lights, both nite rider minewts. I have the smaller USB 110 leumens minewt on the bars and the slightly more powerful 150 leumens minewt on my helmet. I find them more than enough on the trail. I ride with blokes with helicopter search lights on their helmets and I find it can ruin the whole experience lighting the whole forest up, and I just love it when they turn round to look at you and burn your retiners out :lol::lol:

    I suppose at the end of the day it personal prefernece, I have looked at getting some more powerful lights but can't justify it because what I've got are more than enough.
    Niner Air 9 Rigid
    Whyte 129S 29er.
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    from the sounds of this post looks like i am over powered. maybe im just blind as a bat? :oops:
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Depends on whether you want to go night riding, or whether you just want to go riding and it happens to be night. I like low-light riding sometimes but for our wednesday glentress trips I want all the light I can manage, so I can have a play and ride the trails much as I'd do in daylight.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • P-JayP-Jay Posts: 1,478
    I've never tried night riding. I'm a touch drunk ATM, but do you reckon it would be possible to do night DH using NVG's? There's a special edition of a video game coming out soon that comes with a pair. Do you think it would be possible to say do a run of the Mojo wearing a pair? I guess depth perception would be an issue. As would ceasing and getting a face full of night vision goggles.
  • There was a discussion about this not long ago. I think it was genereally agreed that it wouldnt work. The technology just isnt there yet, not to manage it without winding up eating a set of nvgs anyway.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    why would you have a rear light on for off-roading? If you're in a crowd, then the guys who aren;t at the front, will have forward facing lights, so they can see their mates, and besides, they KNOW they're there?!?

    As for....
    Is there a need to drive along country lanes with full beam, fog lights and a set of cibie spotlights on the front of your car?
    If you're rally driving, yes. Because, like mountain bikers, you tend to be in a forest, with no external lighting, and you really need to see the road/trail ahead, in order to set up for it.
  • Yeah i agree to an extent. On trails i know my helmet mounted trustfire torches do the job just fine. They have 200 lumens each (I think).

    I'm not sure how they would get on somewhere fast that I'm unfamiliar with so I'm toying with getting some Hope 2's, don't want 4's because I think that much light ruins the fun factor of night riding.

    It's a bit like the travel debate isn't it? You can ride everything you can on an FS on a hardtail - just not as fast. Doesn't make it less fun, just more challenging.
    I hate it when people say David Beckham's stupid...its not like anyone ever says: 'Stephen Hawking - he's s**t at football.' Paul Calf
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