Night Riding

mak3m Posts: 1,394
edited March 2011 in MTB beginners
well finally got off my backside and strapped my p900 onto the MTB and did a night ride.

bloody epic, 15 mile local route 90% off road, some single mostly double track then a circuit round draycote water.

apologies to anyone in the area who had to suffer my girlie screams as i encountered a multitude of kamakazi rabbits playing chicken with me.

Good thing was that a route i have done to death and ride in auto pilot became strange again and it was a lot harder work. I only have a bike light at the moment, but think i need to invest in a one for the helmet, last night i set the spot about 2-3m infront of the bike. i had good vision of the ruts and stuff in front of me, but no long distance vision to allow me to attack up coming climbs.

is this standard for night riding?

and also if you only use a bike light is setting the beam to the trail or straight ahead reccomended?



  • CraigXXL
    CraigXXL Posts: 1,852
    Best setup is a bar light to see what coming up and an helmet light for where you're looking.
  • tenfoot
    tenfoot Posts: 226
    I alter my beam to suit my speed. I use a Hope 1 Vision, which is reasonably bright but has a very narrow beam. If I'm going fast, i put it on maximum brightness and I point it a little further up the trail. To fill in, for the minute I'm using an Energizer head torch (£10 from B&Q). This provides a little bit of fill in, and directionablilty but isn't really bright enough.

    When funds allow, a decent head torch is probably the best upgrade, as then you have a strong light source which is always pointing in the direction in which you are looking (bit of a pain in the fog though).

    Night riding is great. Really adds a new dimension to any ride. I had lots of suicidal rabbits too, when I was out on Thursday. :lol:
  • bluechair84
    bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    With the P7 torches and batteries so cheap it's not too bad to solve any lumination issues; get a couple on your bars and a couple on your head. But yeah, adapting to the different light is another learning curve.

    The biggest problem I find is not having too little light but loosing definition and not being able to judge an obstacle correctly.

    Also, sounds like with a bit more effort you could be bringing dinner home too :lol:
  • mak3m
    mak3m Posts: 1,394
    mmmm rabbit and black pudding now you are talking

    its the shadows that freak me out, makes the route seem totally different, aslo my bars turn slower than my head so at points in looking into pitch black :shock:

    would one or two head lights and keeping the main light on the bike be a benefit then :?:
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    A head torch is great, not just for lighting your way but in case you need to fix the bike or things like that. It's also makes road junctions safer, looking directly at other drivers with a head torch makes sure you've been noticed.

    Plus I'd never go out with just one light. If it breaks or runs down you're stuck in the middle of nowhere in pitch darkness, not as much fun as it sounds :-) - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • mak3m
    mak3m Posts: 1,394
    kk really newb q :D

    do head torch bands fit round helm or do i need to get a special fitting??
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Most of them fit onto your helmet with a bracket. Mine is different, it's an old Maglite I've upgraded to LED and it has a headband with a velcro fastening. I far prefer it as it's too cold to wear a helmet up here in the winter so I use a hat that covers my ears. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • Agree best setup is a combinaiton of lights on bars and a helmet light also.
    I've got a coulpe of Lumicycle setups - Halogen spot / Hid flood and helmet LED also flood.

    Also carry a cheap backup light and battery in my pack.

    Not too keen on the halogen spot and i'd prefer 2x HID floods.. nightmare if its foggy though ;)

    Helmet light is very useful but if it came down to it and i was down to one light i'd bar mount it.

    Agree with above night riding is very different and tbh you need to be prepared with enough battery life to cover a problem and tell someone where your going. Also sensible to ride routes you know well as your on a timer due to battery life.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    As has been said with 500 Lumen lights costing 12 quid, running 1000 lumen chips its an easy problem to fix. If you use multi-core chips (p7/MCE) they are better at being set close. If you use single core chips XPG/XM-L you can set these for distance and still get plenty of near flood.

    However, I tend to use the bar lights to flood the path and the helmet lights to light up what I am looking at.