Lights for Unlit Roads.

cal_stewart Posts: 1,840
edited December 2010 in Road buying advice
Going to buy a set of front lights for unlit roads. Want 3 hour run time min and enough light not to get runover plus what them to last a few years. They must be waterproof.
How much do i need to spend.
eating parmos since 1981

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 09
Cervelo P5 EPS


  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    Unless you pay big money, cycling lights aren't enough to illuminate the road fully IMO. Having said that, even cheap lights are better than nothing in alerting drivers that you are there. They may not illuminate the road, but should there be a collision, you won't suffer any reduced compensation for not being ilit up and that includes front and rear. I have a small light with small battery pack on a head band, which I wear on the helmet for occassions when I'm likely to be out in reduced light. I at least get slight illumination whichever way I'm looking and if I'm knocked off in the dark and fall in a ditch unconcious, someone should be able to spot me by the light beam rather than the bike. Cost £45.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Hoopdriver
    Hoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    I ride a lot at night - or rather, very early in the morning (4:30am to 6:30am every day, year round) and so I spend some fancy money on a Lupine light. Worth every cent. THey are easily bright enough to illuminate even the darkest, mistiest country lane, are utterly reliable, waterproof and brilliantly over-engineered in Germany. Yes, they cost a bomb, but you won't have to replace them (and they are upgradable if for some reason you need even brighter lights as the years go by) and you'll never have to wonder if they will pack up at some inconvenient time. As I said, utter reliability. I love them. As I say, worth every cent.
  • Look at Exposure lights......not cheap (look for used items on eBay though) but excellent.

    What i use for the front, with a cheap rear LED unit (literally no more than a tenner).
    Summer - Dolan Tuono with Sram Force and Dura-Ace 7850 CL Carbon wheels
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  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    for that money you'll be looking at magicshine and far east rip offs. personally i have an exposure strada and cant rate it highly enough. im fortunate that when i bought it i got a trade discount due to my work. if it broke id pay retail for another. thats how good it is
  • bartimaeus
    bartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    Have a read of the MTBWhat Lights and associated discussion threads.

    I have spent just under £100 in the last year and have acquired:

    P7 torch - 500 lumens
    C1 XRE torch - 250 lumens
    2 x XPG torches - 300 lumens each
    8 x 18650 cells
    2 x chargers
    a large number of mounts for bars and helmet

    My original P7 + C1 is used for off-road at night, and is easily bright enough for unlit roads (possibly too bright for oncoming traffic... I tend to dim the C1 and angle the P7 down to dip it) and will last about 2 hours set on full power (the P7 is dimming after about 90 mins, but is still fine to ride home on the road).

    I'm going to try replacing the P7 with the 2 x XPGs as these should last about 3 hours on full power, and 6 or more on medum (with 2 x medium enough for the road I think).

    Not sure how waterproof these are, but they do have o-rings.

    At the moment an XPG is about £12.50. Cells as £2.50 each. A charger is about £5.
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  • Hope vision 2 for me. I ride a lot early morn when it's pitch black, and is more than ample for fairly swift speeds.

    After a year I sent it back to Hope as it developed a dodgy connection which they sorted it for free.
  • cal_stewart
    cal_stewart Posts: 1,840
    eating parmos since 1981

    Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 09
    Cervelo P5 EPS
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've been running the Luu's for over a year with no problems - more than adequate for fast rides on unlit roads or off-road.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I use 2 RSP Asteris. About £82 for the pair from Merlin. Rechargeable so no additional costs. They are rated at 200 Lumens each, compact, much neater than the torches (though not as bright), nicely made and don't interfere with wireless computers. They are fine for road riding but I doubt I'd want to off road with them. Battery life is at least 5 hours on full beam. I tend to use the second one when rain diffuses the beam - one alone is adequate but two certainly better.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • jonmack
    jonmack Posts: 522
    I got a Serfas True 250 for xmas, haven't used it out on the road yet, but shining it up into the woods at the back of the garden, you can certainly see a lot!
  • cal_stewart
    cal_stewart Posts: 1,840
    Monty Dog wrote:
    I've been running the Luu's for over a year with no problems - more than adequate for fast rides on unlit roads or off-road.

    whats the build like
    eating parmos since 1981

    Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 09
    Cervelo P5 EPS