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Re: good headlights w/out breaking the budget?

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  • epersonae2
    Alas, you are right about the dyno hub. That s definitely not something I want to get into right now. I think I was thinking of these:
    Message 1 of 18 , Sep 16 12:28 PM
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      Alas, you are right about the dyno hub. That's definitely not something I want to get into right now.

      I think I was thinking of these: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m.asp (the various Ixons) - which are battery-powered...and it looks like Peter White is the only place in the US selling them online!

      "when it's dark, really rainy, and I'm on some sort of asphalt surface" - that would be my commute in the winter in a nutshell. :) Which is probably why I ride so slow, along with a couple of short but steep hills.

      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Dave Lloyd <dave@...> wrote:
      >
      > I've got that light on my Big Dummy. Works great.
      [...]
      >
      > One warning, though, this is a dynamo light, so you'll need a dyno hub
      > setup. You'll need a dyno hub/sheel up front.
    • Dave Lloyd
      So, I should caveat the dark and rainy by saying really, more dark and dowpour-y. There s lots of rain in Seattle, but it tends to be distributed over large
      Message 2 of 18 , Sep 16 12:41 PM
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        So, I should caveat the dark and rainy by saying really, more dark and dowpour-y. There's lots of rain in Seattle, but it tends to be distributed over large periods of time. Here in the Midwest it tends to get dumped with the lowest possible latency.

        For drizzly nights, I've found the light to be quite adequate.  Riding side by side with my friend who has a MiNewt on his Long Haul Trucker, my Cyo throws more usable light on the road and still hits the reflective street signs. Plus, it's bolted on and always available, no batteries. Seriously, the hop on and ride convenience aspect can't be overstated. If you're wiling to stretch the budget just a touch, I highly recommend going the dyno route.

        Speaking of which, just curious, what are your reasons for not wanting to go with a dyno hub?

        --dlloyd


      • David Chase
        I will repeat my lighting semi-rant: they don t need to be that expensive. Your materials: 1) current regulator ( buck puck or buck toot from ledsupply.com)
        Message 3 of 18 , Sep 16 12:56 PM
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          I will repeat my lighting semi-rant: they don't need to be that expensive.

          Your materials:

          1) current regulator ("buck puck" or "buck toot" from ledsupply.com) $15
          2) LEDs (CREE XPG/Index Star for white, Luxeon Rebel/Endor Star for Amber/Red) $7.50 each
          3) lens and holders ($2.00 each)
          4) acrylic mirror from craft store
          5) aluminum angle
          6) two bell mounts
          7) two long bolts, four nuts and washers, to fit bell mounts
          8) either an 8 (2 light) or 10 (3 light) pack for batteries.
          9) wire, solder, and a rubber band to secure batteries in pack.

          Only tricky step is solder wires to the LED stars; I finally got sloppy and ruined a couple that way (ouch!), but learned my lesson and clothes-pinned them to the corner of some aluminum stock (except for right where I was soldering) and life was much better.

          A battery system can be put together with wire nuts -- dynamo-driven systems have the problem of soaring voltages if the load is interrupted in the wrong part of the circuit, so it makes more sense to solder them end-to-end.

          The regulators will run efficiently (85+%) on voltage as high as 25V (buck toot) or 32V (buck puck).

          One large expense is the rechargeable batteries; Sanyo Eneloop is $20 for an 8 pack, and you'll want a spare set just in case (because charging batteries is a pain). There are good reasons for choosing Eneloop; they hold their charge for months, and when discharging, they have less voltage drop than cheaper NiMH batteries.

          Pictures and instructions here:

          http://dr2chase.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/a-simple-functional-home-made-headlight-mount/

          In my case, I also ponied up for a "low beam" that is a pair of amber LEDs aimed a little lower, so I am less concerned about getting light in eyes -- on the MUP, I run high beams till I see people, then I use low beams.
        • epersonae2
          ... Budget is a limiting factor for sure, but I also don t have a ton of expertise with bike repair, and I don t have a lot of time to play around with my
          Message 4 of 18 , Sep 16 1:39 PM
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            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Dave Lloyd <dave@...> wrote:
            > Speaking of which, just curious, what are your reasons for not wanting to go
            > with a dyno hub?

            Budget is a limiting factor for sure, but I also don't have a ton of expertise with bike repair, and I don't have a lot of time to play around with my commuting machine. (Volunteering, remodeling, writing, full time job, etc.) I can replace my brake pads and patch a tire, and I replaced my stem last week, but something as complex as a hub replacement is rather daunting. I don't have a very good space to work, either, just a carport packed with other stuff.

            If I had a windfall - or if I had other work that needed doing - I might take it in to one of the local bike shops, but as it is that's pretty unlikely right now.

            (The time/expertise/space issues are why I'm not likely to build my own light, either. Someday I'd like to learn soldering etc, but today is not that day.)
          • TIM_H
            Many a rider are using the Magicshine light set from GeoMan.The Magicshine is a good choice for those on a budget.Check em out:
            Message 5 of 18 , Sep 17 4:32 AM
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              Many a rider are using the Magicshine light set from GeoMan.The Magicshine is a good choice for those on a budget.Check em out:

              http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4_41



              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Elaine Nelson <epersonae@...> wrote:
              >
              > It's getting to that time of year again in the Pacific NW...and I'm
              > thinking that I need more light.
              >
              > I have what I'm pretty sure is an older version of this:
              > http://www.cateye.com/en/products/detail/HL-EL530/ It's a decent light
              > for well-lit streets, but a substantial chunk of my commute is on an
              > unlit bike path. The last two winters I also had another smaller
              > headlight, which I removed after it broke. (Crash-related.) Having the
              > extra light was helpful, if not ideal.
              >
              > I'm thinking about getting a new headlight for the fall. What I want:
              >
              > * Prefer battery-powered
              > * Bright enough to navigate in total darkness
              > * But not shining up into the eyes of people going the other way (of
              > which there are quite a few)
              > * Do not need a blinking mode
              > * Handlebar or fork (?) mount is fine
              > * Definitely under $100, under $50 would be awesome - an inexpensive
              > "booster" light might be ok.
              >
              > I read a good review of this
              > http://www.dutchbikeseattle.com/_product_81473/Busch_and_Muller_Cyo_LED_IQ_N_Plus
              > quite a while ago. It's right at the top of what I'd be willing to
              > spend; does anybody have experience with it?
              >
              > Thanks!
              >
              > Elaine Nelson
              > http://elainenelson.org/
              >
            • David Chase
              ... Is there anyway to throttle those back a little bit? 900 lumens is a lot of light; you don t want to get that in people s eyes. For comparison, I just
              Message 6 of 18 , Sep 17 5:06 AM
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                On 2011-09-17, at 7:32 AM, TIM_H wrote:

                > Many a rider are using the Magicshine light set from GeoMan.The Magicshine is a good choice for those on a budget.Check em out:

                Is there anyway to throttle those back a little bit? 900 lumens is a lot of light; you don't want to get that in people's eyes.
                For comparison, I just upgraded to a 280-400 lumen system (depends on my speed, might hit 700 screaming down a hill) and it seems like a fabulous amount of light, and it also annoys the heck out of people when it is aimed wrong.

                David
              • David Chase
                PPS flashing and strobing, just say no. If the headlight is on your handlebars, it s going to wiggle much more than any auto headlight, drivers will notice
                Message 7 of 18 , Sep 17 5:08 AM
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                  PPS flashing and strobing, just say no. If the headlight is on your handlebars, it's going to wiggle much more than any auto headlight, drivers will notice you. Helmet-mounted lights, even more so (helmet-mounted is not such a good idea in a snow storm, unless you enjoy looking at brightly-lit snow flakes and nothing else).

                  David
                • Steve Fuller
                  ... Per the web site, the lights have 3 settings. They don t detail the number of lumens at each setting. It looks like some of their other lights come with a
                  Message 8 of 18 , Sep 17 8:12 AM
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                    On Sep 17, 2011, at 7:06 AM, David Chase wrote:

                     

                    Is there anyway to throttle those back a little bit? 900 lumens is a lot of light; you don't want to get that in people's eyes.
                    For comparison, I just upgraded to a 280-400 lumen system (depends on my speed, might hit 700 screaming down a hill) and it seems like a fabulous amount of light, and it also annoys the heck out of people when it is aimed wrong.

                    Per the web site, the lights have 3 settings. They don't detail the number of lumens at each setting. It looks like some of their other lights come with a stepless dimmer that allows them to be adjusted from 5% at the low end to 100%. That was on a 1400 lumen light, so from 70 lumens up thru 1400. It would be interesting to see how they measure lumens to get their ratings.

                    I'm in agreement that 900 lumens is a lot of light, especially if it's a big flood and not focused on the road and away from oncoming drivers' eyes.  I'm so used to the output and light pattern of my IQ Cyo on one of my bikes that am a bit annoyed with the pattern generated by my Dinotte's or the MiNewt (a much wider general flood).

                    Steve
                  • TIM_H
                    David I would suggest reading the bike forums like bikeforums.net,Motoredbikes.com and any other well known bike sites to get answers and further information
                    Message 9 of 18 , Sep 17 2:17 PM
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                      David I would suggest reading the bike forums like bikeforums.net,Motoredbikes.com and any other well known bike sites to get answers and further information on the MagicShine lights.I havnt heard of any problems with 900 lumens thus far.I believe its in the adjustment of the lights that matter.

                      Tim

                      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > On 2011-09-17, at 7:32 AM, TIM_H wrote:
                      >
                      > > Many a rider are using the Magicshine light set from GeoMan.The Magicshine is a good choice for those on a budget.Check em out:
                      >
                      > Is there anyway to throttle those back a little bit? 900 lumens is a lot of light; you don't want to get that in people's eyes.
                      > For comparison, I just upgraded to a 280-400 lumen system (depends on my speed, might hit 700 screaming down a hill) and it seems like a fabulous amount of light, and it also annoys the heck out of people when it is aimed wrong.
                      >
                      > David
                      >
                    • watrout@yahoo.com
                      I ve been using the Magicshines for a couple years now. There was a recall issue with the previous generation battery and the cable quality is less than
                      Message 10 of 18 , Sep 18 9:13 AM
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                        I've been using the Magicshines for a couple years now. There was a recall issue with the previous generation battery and the cable quality is less than spectacular but I have no plans to look elsewhere. These are tremendous lights for the price. As for the brightness, they are only 900 lumens at the highest setting, which I hardly us even on singletrack. There is a high, medium, low and 2 flashing modes so no you don't have to blind people with 900 lumens at all times. However even the low setting is very bright (bright enough to see by) so be curtious and don't point them out at eye level. That's not really a big issue though.

                        Bottom line, the Magicshines are the best light dollars I've ever spent and I've tried quite a few lights.

                        Good luck.

                        Wes

                        Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
                      • Rich W
                        Per Lumens output tests done by an independent lab I have seen posted as well as some by individuals posted on Bike Forums the actual output of the Magicshine
                        Message 11 of 18 , Sep 18 7:01 PM
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                          Per Lumens output tests done by an independent lab I have seen posted as well as some by individuals posted on Bike Forums the actual output of the Magicshine is in the 500 to 600 Lumens range rather than the claimed 900. The LED is not heatsinked well enough, nor driven at maximum current level, to provide a true 900 Lumens. 900 Lumens is the LED manufacturers claimed output under laboratory test conditions I believe.

                          Rich Wood

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, watrout@... wrote:
                          >
                          > I've been using the Magicshines for a couple years now. There was a recall issue with the previous generation battery and the cable quality is less than spectacular but I have no plans to look elsewhere. These are tremendous lights for the price. As for the brightness, they are only 900 lumens at the highest setting, which I hardly us even on singletrack. There is a high, medium, low and 2 flashing modes so no you don't have to blind people with 900 lumens at all times. However even the low setting is very bright (bright enough to see by) so be curtious and don't point them out at eye level. That's not really a big issue though.
                          >
                          > Bottom line, the Magicshines are the best light dollars I've ever spent and I've tried quite a few lights.
                          >
                          > Good luck.
                          >
                          > Wes
                          >
                          > Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
                          >
                        • TIM_H
                          Yep the Magicshines are the best bang for the buck and as Wes said there were some issues with the earlier generation units,Those problems are
                          Message 12 of 18 , Sep 19 4:28 PM
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                            Yep the Magicshines are the best bang for the buck and as Wes said there were some issues with the earlier generation units,Those problems are resolved.Remember too they have several choices for lights and the 900 lumen is on the lower end of the brightness scale.

                            Lights for your bike or helmet or head,it's all there.

                            Everywhere I have read the vendor geomangear has a top rated reputation for taking care of customers and quick ship.Just a FYI as I have no affiliation with GeoManGear.

                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, watrout@... wrote:
                            >
                            > I've been using the Magicshines for a couple years now. There was a recall issue with the previous generation battery and the cable quality is less than spectacular but I have no plans to look elsewhere. These are tremendous lights for the price. As for the brightness, they are only 900 lumens at the highest setting, which I hardly us even on singletrack. There is a high, medium, low and 2 flashing modes so no you don't have to blind people with 900 lumens at all times. However even the low setting is very bright (bright enough to see by) so be curtious and don't point them out at eye level. That's not really a big issue though.
                            >
                            > Bottom line, the Magicshines are the best light dollars I've ever spent and I've tried quite a few lights.
                            >
                            > Good luck.
                            >
                            > Wes
                            >
                            > Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
                            >
                          • Dave Lloyd
                            The link to Amazon is for the whole wheel. Take old wheel off, move tire, insert new wheel, run wire from light to dyno hub, done. Easy, easy. --dlloyd
                            Message 13 of 18 , Sep 20 8:30 PM
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                              The link to Amazon is for the whole wheel. Take old wheel off, move tire, insert new wheel, run wire from light to dyno hub, done. Easy, easy.  

                              --dlloyd



                              On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 15:39, epersonae2 <epersonae@...> wrote:
                               

                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Dave Lloyd <dave@...> wrote:
                              > Speaking of which, just curious, what are your reasons for not wanting to go
                              > with a dyno hub?

                              Budget is a limiting factor for sure, but I also don't have a ton of expertise with bike repair, and I don't have a lot of time to play around with my commuting machine. (Volunteering, remodeling, writing, full time job, etc.) I can replace my brake pads and patch a tire, and I replaced my stem last week, but something as complex as a hub replacement is rather daunting. I don't have a very good space to work, either, just a carport packed with other stuff.

                              If I had a windfall - or if I had other work that needed doing - I might take it in to one of the local bike shops, but as it is that's pretty unlikely right now.

                              (The time/expertise/space issues are why I'm not likely to build my own light, either. Someday I'd like to learn soldering etc, but today is not that day.)


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