Author Topic: What is the best front light for under a £100  (Read 3665 times)

welshwheels

  • stop eating cheeseburgers big boy!!!!
What is the best front light for under a £100
« on: September 10, 2012, 08:56:49 pm »
As the nights are drawing in and the commute is getting ever darker the time has come to bight the bullet and purchase a good light for a change instead of cheapo lights that I seem to think will do the job and obviously are not up to the job for commuting and the odd ride off up to 2hrs in the dark on unlit roads /paths and country lanes any thing you could suggest will be  appreciated     :thumbsup: *


*I have plenty of led's  to make sure I am seen I really need a light to see
struggling up hills since 1981 !!!

Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 09:00:41 pm »
A B&M Cyo and a Shimano hub dynamo.  Of course, you need to build it into a wheel, which will push you over £100, but if your front rim is a bit worn it may be worth it.

Otherwise, a Hope Vision One does the job for much less.
Never tell me the odds.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 09:12:10 pm »
B&M Cyo and an Axa bottle dynamo would come in within budget.

They're not as elegant as hub dynamos, but they do actually work.  Would be a reasonable interim solution pending a future wheel replacement.

Otherwise, B&M Ixon IQ (good beam shape, dodgy battery contacts), Hope Vision One (circular beam and plunges you into darkness without warning when the battery's low) or the Philips Saferide (excellent lighting, bracket falls to bits) would be the ones to consider.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 09:24:07 pm »
fenix torch

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 09:26:18 pm »
I've never had a dynamo light, though I have plenty of experience of how good they can be riding with others.  If you don't want to bother with a battery pack either, you'll get 2 hours out of Fenix lights on highest settings and loads more on lower settings.  They are easy to stick in your pocket.  I have PD3  and an LD20.  The former runs on lithium cells (I have a charger) and the latter on any AA cells (I use rechargeables).  Have a look at this website:-

http://www.fenixtorch.co.uk/batteries/main.html


Edit: cross post with mrcharly!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 09:27:21 pm »
And a nod to Alpkit headtorches, while we're on the torchy side of things.  Probably not for the commute, but a useful addition for longer rides on dark lanes and paths.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 09:37:19 pm »
Otherwise, B&M Ixon IQ (good beam shape, dodgy battery contacts), Hope Vision One (circular beam and plunges you into darkness without warning when the battery's low) or the Philips Saferide (excellent lighting, bracket falls to bits) would be the ones to consider.
I think the problems with the Philips Saferide bracket are specific to the dynamo version. The battery version has a rather different bracket, I've not heard of any problems with it.

LEE

Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 09:44:52 pm »
A B&M Cyo and a Shimano hub dynamo.  Of course, you need to build it into a wheel, which will push you over £100, but if your front rim is a bit worn it may be worth it.

Otherwise, a Hope Vision One does the job for much less.

Check out B&M's new Dynamo light.....The Luxos

Could be very nice.

Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 10:38:22 pm »
A B&M Cyo and a Shimano hub dynamo.  Of course, you need to build it into a wheel, which will push you over £100, but if your front rim is a bit worn it may be worth it.

Otherwise, a Hope Vision One does the job for much less.

Check out B&M's new Dynamo light.....The Luxos

Indeedy....some English blurb PDf goodness here:-

http://www.bumm.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Katalog/Katalog_2012_GB.pdf

Could be very nice.
Nuns, no sense of humour

Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 10:47:45 pm »
well give it another couple of weeks and I'll be doing most of my riding in the dark around the Brecon Beacons and the Black mountain, I will be using my Hope 1, damn good light for the money, lights up the mountain roads really well, always carry some spare batteries just in case, but not needed them yet :)

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2012, 11:38:21 pm »
Hope announced a new version of the V1 at Eurobike, 30% more lumen output.  No details on the website yet.

urban_biker

  • " . . .we all ended up here and like lads in the back of a Nova we sort of egged each other on...."
  • Known in the real world as Dave
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 08:29:34 am »
A B&M Cyo and a Shimano hub dynamo.  Of course, you need to build it into a wheel, which will push you over £100, but if your front rim is a bit worn it may be worth it.

Otherwise, a Hope Vision One does the job for much less.

Check out B&M's new Dynamo light.....The Luxos

Could be very nice.

Looks amazing. Starbikes has the 179U and 179E on pre-order for 179 and 199 euro respectively. 179E seems that have a built in battery that charges off the dynamo and allows you to turn on an optional 140lux  beam from the handlebar switch. That's more than double the light output of the standard cyo. Both also provide a USB charger.

I know what's going on my xmas list.
Owner of a languishing Langster

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 08:40:06 am »
Yep, the luxos looks amazing. The panoramic beam looks fantastic from the beam pattern photos

Lot of lolly, but if it does the job of an e-werk as well, then it starts to look like a really good option.

Way Off topic for the OP - sorry!
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 08:53:08 am »
The switch on the bars with usb port looks real neat. *If* it will power a gps/charge external batteries then it would be a game changer. Think of it as an e-werk with a neater cabling solution and a free light...

x-post with marcusjb.Cannibalising the e-werk market must be a headache for B&M, but that's progress. It's the old conundrum; should I eat my children or should I let somebody else do it?

Could a mod split the Luxos posts off as a new thread? One to watch...

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 09:14:03 am »
(yes - mods should split into a Luxos thread as it is very interesting, but not relevant to the OP).

I also believe B&M have announced a cheaper E-Werk with USB charging only - makes a lot of sense as that's what 90% of people will use it for (I never use mine for any other voltage outputs - I could charge my Ixon IQ from it, but never do - I have a Cyo!).  It will apparently have a small cache battery in it as well (like the Luxos appears to) to ensure a solid USB output.

I think we're really getting into 'proper' solutions now, rather than cobbled together bits and pieces.  Using an E-Werk to charge up a third party battery pack which I then have to turn on to recharge GPS/iPhone etc. is not elegant.

I may consider the Luxos and move the Cyo onto the commute bike with a Shimano dynohub at some point in the future.  Leave me with an unused E-Werk, but that's life.

The switch on the handlebars to change lighting modes looks interesting - I can't quite work out all the modes, there's the panoramic mode, non-panoramic mode - I wonder is there a 'dipped' mode to avoid dazzling on-coming traffic.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

urban_biker

  • " . . .we all ended up here and like lads in the back of a Nova we sort of egged each other on...."
  • Known in the real world as Dave
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2012, 09:26:05 am »
After a bit more reading it appears that the highest power Luxos 179E which produces 120lux is only available for e-bikes which are fast electric bikes classed as mopeds with their own battery. It uses the built in power system to boost the dynamo.

I suspect however that it might be possible to mount an additional battery pack, charged off the luxos that also provides for the occasional power boost for the luxos. Would need to look at one to be sure. 
Owner of a languishing Langster

Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2012, 10:23:39 am »
The B&M Ixon IQ Speed looks good, though even from Bike24 it'd break the £100 barrier, though not by very much. 50 Lux for ten hours -

http://www.bumm.de/produkte/akku-scheinwerfer/ixon-iq-speed.html
http://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;navigation=1;product=6844;page=9;menu=1000,5,66;mid=0;pgc=0;orderby=3

It's StVZO approved (as is the Philips Saferide, so most of that light should go on the road rather than up in the air.

Or if you don't mind scattering light around willy-nilly as long as the road is well lit up, there are many Chinese lights from £20 upwards which are brighter than any of the above, but not necessarily as reliable. Several people here, & who I know off the forum, have £20-30 models which in low setting are as bright as anyone could possibly want on road, & last several hours, or last maybe 3 hours in "blind everyone coming the other way" maximum. There's a thread about them. The less cheap but probably more reliable (they certainly look better made) Magicshine lights are available from UK sellers, delivery in a couple of days, & still more lumens than you can eat for <£100.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2012, 02:11:54 pm »
The B&M Ixon IQ Speed looks good, though even from Bike24 it'd break the £100 barrier, though not by very much. 50 Lux for ten hours -

Actually, I think that one gets my vote, if we're talking battery lights.  The major problems with the Ixon IQ (namely, dodgy battery contacts and a battery compartment catch that's prone to failure) are avoided, and you get a little extra light output to boot.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2012, 02:17:51 pm »
This explains why Cyos are on special offer

I don't really need a usb charger or a flood light mode or the other stuff that the light does but if it makes Cyos cheaper, great

I wonder if something as complex as the top of the range "Luxos" light will actually be reliable enough to use on long, wet audax rides?  My Cyo, IQ Fly and Seculite Plus have been pretty good though. 

Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2012, 02:33:41 pm »
After a bit more reading it appears that the highest power Luxos 179E which produces 120lux is only available for e-bikes which are fast electric bikes classed as mopeds with their own battery. It uses the built in power system to boost the dynamo.

I suspect however that it might be possible to mount an additional battery pack, charged off the luxos that also provides for the occasional power boost for the luxos. Would need to look at one to be sure. 


The 179u version has all the functionality though, See here, and 90Lux flood would be a useful upgrade. I found the Cyo 60Lux a tadge narrow on winding descents.

Edit: Waterproofing is a worry though, my Cyo60 died soon after meeting Welsh rain.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2012, 02:39:50 pm »
I don't think it's likely to be much worse than a Cyo, as the main thing that's going to affect reliability is water ingress.  With the odd exception (especially when not protected from front wheel spray by a mudguard) they seem to have a pretty good track record for that.  Of course, the connector for the remote switch/USB port might be an issue in seriously apocalyptic rain, but there would always be the option of unplugging it.

Obviously having a battery built into the light is going to be a long-term cause of failure, but that's probably not going to die without warning (it'll lose capacity first), and I expect the basic functions will still work without it.  I'm hoping it won't be too much of a headache to replace it when the time comes.

What I'm wondering is how easy it's going to be to extend the cable for the remote switch to reach the handlebars...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2012, 02:46:59 pm »
Have we started using Lux instead of Lumens as the main unit for comparison now?

(I'm so out of date - it's probably megalumens by now  :-[  )
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2012, 02:55:23 pm »
Lux and light field

Busch & Müller states the light output of headlights using the unit Lux. A Lux value provides
the illumination level in relation to its distance
from the light source – it is exactly this relation
which is a deciding factor when considering a
headlight, because it states the amount of light
on the road. The value Lumen states how much
light exits the headlight at the light source and
it cannot be told whether that light shines onto
the road or is lost as stray light. However, even
Lux is an incomplete value when talking about
the output of a headlight.
Also important is the quality of the light field
which is created on the road. Its width, depth,
homogeneity as well as its glare free light/dark
boundary directly ]affect how it is perceived by
the observing eye. All those qualities cannot be
stated using measured data. This means: Only
when one looks at the light fi eld as a whole, the
true quality of a headlight can be appraised.

From page 6 of the catalogue.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2012, 02:57:44 pm »
I'm sure that's helpful, but I didn't ask for a definition!  :P
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What is the best front light for under a £100
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2012, 03:10:57 pm »
Well, there's no simple answer.  Lumens are easily comparable, but only tell half the story.  Lux are arguably more useful, but consider the difference between the 60Lux Cyo and the 40Lux Cyo R:  They both use the same LED and electronics (so give out the same number of Lumens), but the optics in the 'R' spread the light more evenly in a taller beam.  Depending on exactly how you've got it mounted on the bike, this can either give much better visibility (both in the nearfield as designed, and by the side effect of avoiding a hotspot in the middle of the beam that makes the periphery appear darker), or needlessly waste light on the ground directly in front of the wheel...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...