Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Audax => PBP 2019 => Topic started by: davegos on March 11, 2019, 12:53:05 pm

Title: Front Light
Post by: davegos on March 11, 2019, 12:53:05 pm
Hi - Just managed to get in to PBP . Have not ridden through the night since PBP 2015 and my front light has died. Dont want to spend a fortune , what do you recommend . I tend on PBP to ride well into the early hours
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Dtcman on March 11, 2019, 02:19:10 pm
Have you got a hub dynamo?
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: markldn on March 11, 2019, 04:14:28 pm
Unnecessary Bump.  Been racking my brain over this for months.  A dynamo just seems too big an outlay for my old touring machine— after a new rim (£50), spokes (£36), hub (£180), and (only one) light (£120) you're already at £386, so alternatives would be appreciated.  I would rather put that money into a new touring machine.

I was initially looking for AA battery-powered to allow replacement on the go (but could not find any well-reviewed products—the B&M Ixon IQ Premium's bracket failed on me).  So I have resigned that USB lights and an Anker 20000 battery pack may be the best option for my needs.  The Cateye Volt 800 looked suitable except it does not provide an option that will last long enough with sufficient light (i.e. goes from 800lumens over 2 hrs to 400lumens over 3.5hrs but keen to have something like 400 lumens over 6 hours).  Or is the general approach to have two lights, one for dusk/dawn and another for absolute darkness?

Thanks
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: rob on March 11, 2019, 04:33:11 pm
Depends what you mean by a fortune.

I bought an exposure joystick last year.   It runs for 12hrs on the lowest (250 lumen) setting.   It's more than brought enough for UK lanes and you can recharge from a battery pack.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: madcow on March 11, 2019, 05:10:46 pm
I have managed o.k with a couple of Hope Vision 1s (one for use the other for backup) .
They still come up on ebay although it looks like Hope no longer sell them.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: cygnet on March 11, 2019, 05:23:59 pm
Unnecessary Bump.  Been racking my brain over this for months.  A dynamo just seems too big an outlay for my old touring machine— after a new rim (£50), spokes (£36), hub (£180), and (only one) light (£120) you're already at £386, so alternatives would be appreciated.  I would rather put that money into a new touring machine.
Cheap 'touring' hub dynamo wheel:
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/28-front-hybrid-dynamo-wheel-id_8133890.html   ( a DH-3N31-QR hub)
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: jsabine on March 11, 2019, 06:04:48 pm
Unnecessary Bump.  Been racking my brain over this for months.  A dynamo just seems too big an outlay for my old touring machine— after a new rim (£50), spokes (£36), hub (£180), and (only one) light (£120) you're already at £386, so alternatives would be appreciated.  I would rather put that money into a new touring machine.
Cheap 'touring' hub dynamo wheel:
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/28-front-hybrid-dynamo-wheel-id_8133890.html   ( a DH-3N31-QR hub)
Decent lights - https://www.rosebikes.de/b-m-iq-x-led-frontscheinwerfer-837399 - €72
https://www.rosebikes.de/b-m-lumotec-iq-cyo-premium-t-senso-plus-frontscheinwerfer-709235 - €53

Decent hub - https://www.rosebikes.de/shimano-dh-3n80-nabendynamo-221788?product_shape=silber&article_size=32+Loch - €72

Spa have got wheel and light bundles from £125 - https://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b0s209p0
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Zed43 on March 11, 2019, 06:55:03 pm
I have used a Lezyne 800XL at 150 lumens (lasts about 7 hours), Cateye Volt 1600 at 200 lumens (lasts at least 12 hours) and a Son Edelux; the first two are rechargeable, the Son needs a dynamo.

The Lezyne and Cateye will do in these "endurance" modes on the road though you may want to slow down a bit while descending. The Son is far nicer, but also in a different price league.

Be aware that most USB rechargeable lights will turn off when you connect an external battery pack, ie. either charge or use the light. There may be exceptions of course.

One downside of a lot of battery operated lights is that they're designed for MTB use; good for lighting up branches hanging over the road, bad for blinding oncoming traffic.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: mattc on March 11, 2019, 06:56:37 pm
If you buy a decent dyno-wheel+light made from mainstream components, you won't struggle to sell it on in September. So that's another angle.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: plasticniki on March 12, 2019, 10:55:32 am
I have a couple of high-capacity front lights:

A Moon Meteor Storm: a top output of 1600 is way way too bright for roads but the upside of this is that it lasts forever on the dimmer modes; 11.5 hours on 300 lumen isn't too bad. You can find it for about £60 online. They also do a "pro" version which has even better battery life. The really great thing about this light is that you can charge it with a power pack while it's being used.

My backup is a cheapo Halfords Bikehut model, again 1600 lumen, but I use it on the lower modes. This can also be charged while in use, and also has a nifty feature where you can use it as a power pack itself! It was something silly like £25 in the sale just before Christmas.

I toyed for ages with the idea of getting dynamo wheels. While I do a lot of riding, I don't do masses of overnight rides so USB powered high-capacity lights are fine for me now that I've found the right lights.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: zacklaws on March 12, 2019, 03:53:10 pm
I rode PBP 2015 with a bog standard Smart Lunar 25 Lux White Front Cycle Light, 2 AA batteries, think I bought it for about a "Fiver" from Planet X. Batteries would last well over 12 hours and it gave ample light for what I wanted and had no issues, apart for once hitting a bump on a fast decent and it went out, but it was only because I had not tightened the front down This year, I will use a dynamo light on a wheel I self built, but will still carry the Smart light as a backup as its probably more reliable and easier to fix if it goes wrong than the dynamo. In fact, I am considering, do I really need my dynamo light at all for PBP.

Sadly, Smart do not make this model but make more up to date models.

This is what I used, simple as lights come:-

http://www.bikebargains.co.uk/smart-lunar-25-lux-white-front-cycle-light/
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: DaT on March 12, 2019, 05:37:59 pm
I rode PBP 2015 with a bog standard Smart Lunar 25 Lux White Front Cycle Light, 2 AA batteries, think I bought it for about a "Fiver" from Planet X. Batteries would last well over 12 hours and it gave ample light for what I wanted and had no issues, apart for once hitting a bump on a fast decent and it went out, but it was only because I had not tightened the front down This year, I will use a dynamo light on a wheel I self built, but will still carry the Smart light as a backup as its probably more reliable and easier to fix if it goes wrong than the dynamo. In fact, I am considering, do I really need my dynamo light at all for PBP.

Sadly, Smart do not make this model but make more up to date models.

This is what I used, simple as lights come:-
I've used a few smart lights and they all die the same way. Moisture get's into the switch and stops working.
http://www.bikebargains.co.uk/smart-lunar-25-lux-white-front-cycle-light/
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: simonp on March 12, 2019, 06:05:41 pm
I rode PBP 2015 without dynamo. I used b&m ixon iq speed. Carried spare battery packs but one lasted the whole ride.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ivo on March 12, 2019, 09:50:01 pm
In 2015 I had this setup:

(https://fotoalbum.dds.nl/ivo_m/klassiekers/large/IMGP7389.jpg)

I'll probably run something similar this time
SON Edelux 2 as main light, B&M Ixon Premium as backup/descending light.
2nd SON preinstalled and cabled in case of issues with the main one.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: zacklaws on March 12, 2019, 10:28:16 pm

I've used a few smart lights and they all die the same way. Moisture get's into the switch and stops working.


Well if that's the case, mine must be "faulty" so I better return them back to "Smart" as I have two of them which I purchased probably 2011 or even earlier, and they have been out in some torrential rain on events and still work perfect today and still use them on events where I may only be riding for a few hours in the dark. On one occasion, I rode the "Old 240" through 12 hours of non stop rain and even got washed away in a ford on it when I was crossing it and bike completely underwater till I managed to drag it out and the light still worked perfect. I have even had them bouncing down the road when they have come adrift from the bars after hitting pot holes and speed bumps and they have suffered no damage.

But on the other hand, Smart rear lights do pack in through water getting in but that is easily resolved by a strip of insulating tape around the join between the front lens and the battery compartment.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: paulworthington53 on March 12, 2019, 11:42:00 pm
I run a pair of fenix bc30...

Low: 100 Lumens - 20 hour runtime
Mid: 200 Lumens - 11 hour runtime
High: 500 Lumens - 5 hour runtime
Turbo Setting: 1200 Lumens - 1 hour 50 minute runtime
Instant Burst: 1800 Lumens
Flashing Mode: 200 Lumens

Beam distance of up to 170 meters and waterproof to IPX-6.

Never had any problems with water, can take spare batteries and the light doubles up as a routesheet holder with a couple of elastic bands.

On single night rides I'll have 2 lit at once but I find that 100 lumens is fine for me on pitch black lanes.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: SR Steve on March 12, 2019, 11:55:19 pm
I used a hub dynamo with a B and M Luxos U front light in 2015 and it was brilliant but died shortly afterwards. I’ve had two more since and neither lasted very long so for the 2017 LEL I used my backup lights which were 2 x Smart 35 at £6.99 each. I used Energiser lithium AA batteries as I was riding through most of 3 nights and I carried spares that I used for the 3rd night. Most of the time I could manage with one light on low and also occasionally put the other one on high when I needed it. On tortuous, faster sections I put both on high. I found that neither were working due to water ingress when I arrived at Pocklington in daylight heading south but a volunteer kindly dried them out for me whilst I was eating and one of them worked fine again so I was able to continue with one for that night. It was partially my fault for putting them up side down under my handlebars as they have a drain hole which should be underneath. I managed to get the other one working after the LEL and have successfully used the same setup ever since, including some extremely tough night rides, but with the lights the right way up.  I’ll probably use them for my qualifying rides and PBP too.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: yanto on March 13, 2019, 06:39:28 am
There is one aspect that hasn't been discussed in depth here, that being beam alignment.

I see lots of talk of lumens output however for me beam control is much more important, the light should be controlled with as little spill as possible, not only is this better for the rider but also for other road users as well, no point lighting the trees up even if one thinks it improves "the view".

I know from bitter experience and it is actually one aspect of PBP that I'm not looking forward to is waves of riders coming towards me with very bright but uncontrolled lights, quite frankly it hurts and it's dangerous as it destroys my night vision, this is exacerbated by being a recumbent rider and being lower down.

There is an option of course to use German approved for road use lights  that a horizontal beam cut off and can be used on road, other none controlled lights are illegal with riders facing an on the spot fine (there may be other countries that have this requirement).

I currently run two B&M 80lux units but am seriously thinking about upgrading to an e-bike road approved light either possibly a 45kph approved one, although battery life will be a major factor. https://supernova-lights.com/en/m99-mini-pro-45/ (https://supernova-lights.com/en/m99-mini-pro-45/)

I've found this useful in explaining the different "brightness" quoted for lights https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/technical-guide/watts-lumens-candles-lux (https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/technical-guide/watts-lumens-candles-lux).

Some of the lights I've been looking at have similar Lumens quoted but widely different Lux ratings and power ratings, an example being 1000 lumen (Output) for both but different lux (Measured light hitting target) and different Wattage (battery life) so I would choose one that had a higher lux rating (so more actual light hitting the ground) and the lowest wattage (so more efficient), the knock on effect is that to get the correct combination results in spending more money!
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: LiamFitz on March 13, 2019, 07:57:28 am
My B+M unit has the advantage of a USB output which is coming in handy as my Garmin has roughly zero battery life
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: halvis on March 13, 2019, 11:29:45 am
A lot of battery lights mentioned here which is encouraging.  As I was about to pull the trigger on a dynamo set up, which ain't cheap.

I understand that the dynamo solution will be pretty much faff free, but if I could get an efficient battery light that I can charge whilst running then this could be an alternative contender.

Thinking of something around or equivalent to a Cateye at 350 - 500 lumens (currently own the Volt 800) that can be charged efficiently.  The 800 would be fine if it would charge whilst on, which it doesn't.  Assuming it did, based on 9 hours of darkness, I reckon I could get nearly 3 nights of PBP from the 800 with a 26800 Powerbank, obviously I would take another as backup as all of this is theoretical according to the spec.

Does anyone have any recommendations of such devices that fall into this category?
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 13, 2019, 11:49:26 am
A lot of battery lights mentioned here which is encouraging.  As I was about to pull the trigger on a dynamo set up, which ain't cheap.

I understand that the dynamo solution will be pretty much faff free, but if I could get an efficient battery light that I can charge whilst running then this could be an alternative contender.

Thinking of something around or equivalent to a Cateye at 350 - 500 lumens (currently own the Volt 800) that can be charged efficiently.  The 800 would be fine if it would charge whilst on, which it doesn't.  Assuming it did, based on 9 hours of darkness, I reckon I could get nearly 3 nights of PBP from the 800 with a 26800 Powerbank, obviously I would take another as backup as all of this is theoretical according to the spec.

Does anyone have any recommendations of such devices that fall into this category?

Just be aware that the 26800 battery pack is best part of 700g, and that you will want a decent plug unit to charge it from.

I have mentioned in a GPS thread that I have the Anker Powercore II 26800 battery pack, and was mocked for suggesting it be carried on PBP.

J
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: halvis on March 13, 2019, 11:51:52 am
Ha, that Anker is the one I just ordered.  It is a bit weighty alright at 700g.  Oh well, if the kids get hold of it they will probably kill it before August anyway.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: grams on March 13, 2019, 11:59:24 am
Amazon says 458g, which gels with the 350g weight of the 20,000 mAh model I have here. I'll be taking both of mine.

It's still probably less than the weight difference between my carbon and other people's steel frames they'll be lugging around without receiving mockery.

(or countless other potential kit choices)
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 13, 2019, 12:01:49 pm
Ha, that Anker is the one I just ordered.  It is a bit weighty alright at 700g.  Oh well, if the kids get hold of it they will probably kill it before August anyway.

I've been very happy with mine. I got it more for the dual inputs, than for the capacity. I was having a sort out of the bags on my bike the other day and found I also had a 5000mah anker pack in the bottom of the frame bag, and a 3000mah pack in the top tube bag. Think they may be a bit overkill to have in addition to the big anker...

I currently do plan on taking it with me on the TCR. Means I don't have to find power as often, and can go a good 3 days between hotels. I have a dynamo, so should be able to put about 20Wh into it each day while riding, too.

J
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 13, 2019, 12:08:02 pm
Amazon says 458g, which gels with the 350g weight of the 20,000 mAh model I have here. I'll be taking both of mine.

It's still probably less than the weight difference between my carbon and other people's steel frames they'll be lugging around without receiving mockery.

(or countless other potential kit choices)

You're right, I'm not sure why I had 700g in my head. (This is the one I have: https://amzn.to/2G64YZu)

I wonder how much I'll be cursing it as I try to climb up Alp D'huez with it...

J
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: halvis on March 13, 2019, 04:59:53 pm
OK, that's a bit more do-able, although still more weighty than a SON Delux dynamo.

Any recommendations for a 500 lumens light with about a 4000mah battery which can be charged whilst lit with such a mother of a battery?

The B&M ones look nice if they can be charged whilst lit.

The dynamo would be nice, but would be nicer to use that budget elsewhere too.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: zigzag on March 14, 2019, 08:32:02 am
there is huge penalty with hub dynamos, although it may not seem so while riding. with the dynamo light on it's the equivalent to carrying an extra ~4kg of weight (depending on climbing speed); with the light off ~700g. therefore, energy wise, battery lights and power banks will always be a more efficient solution.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: mattc on March 14, 2019, 08:50:30 am
there is huge penalty with hub dynamos, although it may not seem so while riding. with the dynamo light on it's the equivalent to carrying an extra ~4kg of weight (depending on climbing speed); with the light off ~700g. therefore, energy wise, battery lights and power banks will always be more a more efficient solution.
If you don't count the extra faffing time - which will vary enormously with riders/scenarios, so I for one don't want to get into that calculation!

[I've done PBP with both options, for-the-record ... ]
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: grams on March 14, 2019, 09:02:15 am
The effect of 4 kg of extra weight on a ride with a 1% average gradient on raw speed is not very much. Especially as it has no impact on handling, which is the thing that makes loaded bikes feel slow.

But yeah, the faff time savings are immeasurable, especially if you’re strategy involves recharging on the go.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: zigzag on March 14, 2019, 09:04:47 am
second post about the faff - what faff? there's no faff - you must be doing it wrong ;)

fwiw, i was using a very basic lighting setup last time - a smart 60lux 2aa battery light for group riding and a magicshine-type light for solo or front riding. no issues whatsoever.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: SPB on March 14, 2019, 12:06:49 pm
Been following this thread because I'm in two minds whether to use my dynamo hubbed bikepacking front wheel or not.

Pros
- Simplicity.

Cons
- 400g weight penalty
- 6w drag penalty when on (1w when off)

6w drag penalty when on might seem insignificant.  According to bikecalcultor.com it equates to about 6 minutes more per 100km, for my weight and low power.  Or about another hour in the total time for the whole ride, assuming I ride all night and doze in the heat of the day.  That hour might prove to be significant since I stupidly plumped for the Vedettes to get a nicer start time, and I'll likely be up against control closing times all the way round.  (have vowed to go back as a full value Touriste in 2023)

The alternative is to run my nice light wheels, and my AA battery Ixon IQ.  I use that for overnight rides already, and I know I can get at least two nights out a set of Energiser Lithium cells.  (I can see well enough with it on low for everything except fast descending).  I'd carry a spare quartet of AAs to swap in after the second night, which would see me through to the end, or even mount a second one to save having to rely on my sleep-deprived brain remembering.  Amazon are practically giving them away for £20 at the moment.

Yet there's something very reassuring about a dynamo setup.  Knowing you can just hit the switch and your lights will come on front and rear.  Decisions, decisions....

I've no budget for new bike bits this year, but the new felgen(rim)dynamo from Velological might be interesting to those that have.  Under 100g, no need for a new wheel, no drag when off, and comparable drag to a hub dynamo when on.  http://www.velogical-engineering.com/velogical-felgendynamo---standard-fahrrad-dynamo---leichtlauf-gewicht-effizienz (http://www.velogical-engineering.com/velogical-felgendynamo---standard-fahrrad-dynamo---leichtlauf-gewicht-effizienz) (Runs off the rim rather than the tyre like the bottle dynamos of old)   

Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: frankly frankie on March 14, 2019, 01:04:05 pm
Yet there's something very reassuring about a dynamo setup.  Knowing you can just hit the switch and your lights will come on front and rear.  Decisions, decisions....

Well, a hub generator can fail.  It's uncommon I know, but this is something that most users of hub dynos seem to be in denial about.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: FifeingEejit on March 14, 2019, 01:33:27 pm
Yet there's something very reassuring about a dynamo setup.  Knowing you can just hit the switch and your lights will come on front and rear.  Decisions, decisions....

Well, a hub generator can fail.  It's uncommon I know, but this is something that most users of hub dynos seem to be in denial about.

What's more likely and very easy to do is damage a connector or wiring for example while fixing a p*nct*re, or riding through overgrowth.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: SPB on March 14, 2019, 01:39:41 pm
Yet there's something very reassuring about a dynamo setup.  Knowing you can just hit the switch and your lights will come on front and rear.  Decisions, decisions....

Well, a hub generator can fail.  It's uncommon I know, but this is something that most users of hub dynos seem to be in denial about.

That's true enough.  But so can seatposts snap, frames break and freehubs seize.  There are some potential failures where the occurrence probability is low enough that I don't allow for them.  If they happen, I'd either limp to the next place enroute I could buy a replacement/alternative or, if that's not possible, concede it's not my year and pack.  Fair point though.

The one thing I'd add is that I'd never rely on a dynamo rear light alone (lest it goes out unnoticed from a broken wire).  Dynamo rear plus battery rear gives me more peace of mind than two battery rear lights though.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: mattc on March 14, 2019, 02:03:58 pm
Been following this thread because I'm in two minds whether to use my dynamo hubbed bikepacking front wheel or not.

Oh wow - bikepacking has special wheels now? Cool!
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: SPB on March 14, 2019, 02:06:08 pm
Oh wow - bikepacking has special wheels now? Cool!

Heavier, wider, to suit its intended purpose.  Much as Audax bikes aren't optimised for criteriums, off-road bikes aren't optimised for audax.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: mattc on March 14, 2019, 02:29:38 pm
<... retreats from the bear ... >
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Kim on March 14, 2019, 03:37:40 pm
Been following this thread because I'm in two minds whether to use my dynamo hubbed bikepacking front wheel or not.

Oh wow - bikepacking has special wheels now? Cool!

Special spokes to make it easier to velcro your luggage to the wheel, since you forgot to bring a rack and panniers...   ;D


As for dynamo failure, I'd put failure of the dynamo itself up there with other unlikely catastrophic failures.  Wiring can be damaged easily, but can if necessary be bodged at the roadside (if your hub has spade connectors, it might be worth carrying a bit of wire with a pair of connectors attached).  Dynamo lights are probably more reliable than battery lights, as there's less to go wrong, but it might happen.  Since you'll also be carrying a battery-operated light of some description as a puncture-fixing torch, it makes sense for this to be something that you could ride your bike by (perhaps taking it slowly on descents) in extremis.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Karla on March 14, 2019, 03:49:10 pm
Been following this thread because I'm in two minds whether to use my dynamo hubbed bikepacking front wheel or not.

Oh wow - bikepacking has special wheels now? Cool!

Special spokes to make it easier to velcro your luggage to the wheel, since you forgot to bring a rack and panniers...   ;D


As for dynamo failure, I'd put failure of the dynamo itself up there with other unlikely catastrophic failures.  Wiring can be damaged easily, but can if necessary be bodged at the roadside (if your hub has spade connectors, it might be worth carrying a bit of wire with a pair of connectors attached).  Dynamo lights are probably more reliable than battery lights, as there's less to go wrong, but it might happen.  Since you'll also be carrying a battery-operated light of some description as a puncture-fixing torch, it makes sense for this to be something that you could ride your bike by (perhaps taking it slowly on descents) in extremis.

ISTR there was someone in 2011 who failed one of his qualifiers because he relied solely on a fixed Dyno light and didn't take a puncture fixing torch - and then got something more serious than a puncture.  It might have been EdinburghFixed?
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: FifeingEejit on March 14, 2019, 03:55:04 pm
The one thing I'd add is that I'd never rely on a dynamo rear light alone (lest it goes out unnoticed from a broken wire).  Dynamo rear plus battery rear gives me more peace of mind than two battery rear lights though.

I've got a battery secula to back up my dynamo secula, and on the front I've got the Ixon IQ-Premium as a battery back up, the plus side of this, is that  (in the UK anyway) you can run both beams, which means more light is available when needed.

UK RVLR allows for "auxiliary lamps", it's only your "positioning" lamps that "must" conform to the BS or Equivalent standard.
I used to use my MTB Magicsgine lights along with the IQ-Premium, but eventually found they didn't really add to the usefulness on the road. (Tried both my flood and spot beams)

PBP regs however appear to indicate you can only have 1 beam operational at each end at a time.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Kim on March 14, 2019, 04:08:24 pm
PBP regs however appear to indicate you can only have 1 beam operational at each end at a time.

If you're really concerned, there's the B&M 4DToplight Multi:  Dynamo rear light with an 2*AA-powered 'standlight'.  In effect, it falls back to battery power whenever the dynamo power isn't present, and was once marketed as an option for people in the habit of swapping to a non-dynamo wheel.  (Which seems daft, if you care about the drag that much, you're probably not going to keep a luggage rack with rear light attached.)

I've had them on two of my bikes for years, from the days when it was better for side-visibility than the pure dynamo Toplight, on account of the extra LEDs.  The switches occasionally benefit from a squirt of contact cleaner, the two halves of the light are held together by a self-tapping screw, and there are better pure-dynamo options these days, but I haven't got any real complaints.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: simonp on March 14, 2019, 04:42:46 pm
PBP regs however appear to indicate you can only have 1 beam operational at each end at a time.

I can't see anything to that effect in the English language version and I have used multiple lights both ends in 3 editions so far. What's your basis for this?
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: fboab on March 14, 2019, 06:31:45 pm
second post about the faff - what faff? there's no faff - you must be doing it wrong ;)

fwiw, i was using a very basic lighting setup last time - a smart 60lux 2aa battery light for group riding and a magicshine-type light for solo or front riding. no issues whatsoever.

Yebbut you were only riding for 45 hours!

We'll have a dynamo, and boost battery lights for 50+mph descents. Extra weight and wattage requirements on a tandem with us on it is lost in lardy noise. I have dynamos on all the bikes I use for night riding- including my commuter.
The only time I'd use battery lights is if I were actually racing, and had someone else ready to do the battery stuff.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: FifeingEejit on March 14, 2019, 09:43:38 pm
PBP regs however appear to indicate you can only have 1 beam operational at each end at a time.

I can't see anything to that effect in the English language version and I have used multiple lights both ends in 3 editions so far. What's your basis for this?

Ignore me I've conflated the Dutch regs with the french.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: phil w on March 14, 2019, 09:56:39 pm
Been following this thread because I'm in two minds whether to use my dynamo hubbed bikepacking front wheel or not.

Pros
- Simplicity.

Cons
- 400g weight penalty
- 6w drag penalty when on (1w when off)

6w drag penalty when on might seem insignificant.  According to bikecalcultor.com it equates to about 6 minutes more per 100km, for my weight and low power.  Or about another hour in the total time for the whole ride, assuming I ride all night and doze in the heat of the day.  That hour might prove to be significant since I stupidly plumped for the Vedettes to get a nicer start time, and I'll likely be up against control closing times all the way round.  (have vowed to go back as a full value Touriste in 2023)

The alternative is to run my nice light wheels, and my AA battery Ixon IQ.  I use that for overnight rides already, and I know I can get at least two nights out a set of Energiser Lithium cells.  (I can see well enough with it on low for everything except fast descending).  I'd carry a spare quartet of AAs to swap in after the second night, which would see me through to the end, or even mount a second one to save having to rely on my sleep-deprived brain remembering.  Amazon are practically giving them away for £20 at the moment.

Yet there's something very reassuring about a dynamo setup.  Knowing you can just hit the switch and your lights will come on front and rear.  Decisions, decisions....

I've no budget for new bike bits this year, but the new felgen(rim)dynamo from Velological might be interesting to those that have.  Under 100g, no need for a new wheel, no drag when off, and comparable drag to a hub dynamo when on.  http://www.velogical-engineering.com/velogical-felgendynamo---standard-fahrrad-dynamo---leichtlauf-gewicht-effizienz (http://www.velogical-engineering.com/velogical-felgendynamo---standard-fahrrad-dynamo---leichtlauf-gewicht-effizienz) (Runs off the rim rather than the tyre like the bottle dynamos of old)

Dynamo has no weight penalty , I fact it's the battery light that has the weight penalty assuming you carry an extra battery charger pack.  But the weight is neither here nor there compared to the combined weight if rider and bike. Mind a persons chance of finishing PBP must be marginal if it comes down to Dynamo vs. Battery light.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: SPB on March 14, 2019, 11:04:15 pm
Been following this thread because I'm in two minds whether to use my dynamo hubbed bikepacking front wheel or not.

Pros
- Simplicity.

Cons
- 400g weight penalty
- 6w drag penalty when on (1w when off)

6w drag penalty when on might seem insignificant.  According to bikecalcultor.com it equates to about 6 minutes more per 100km, for my weight and low power.  Or about another hour in the total time for the whole ride, assuming I ride all night and doze in the heat of the day.  That hour might prove to be significant since I stupidly plumped for the Vedettes to get a nicer start time, and I'll likely be up against control closing times all the way round.  (have vowed to go back as a full value Touriste in 2023)

The alternative is to run my nice light wheels, and my AA battery Ixon IQ.  I use that for overnight rides already, and I know I can get at least two nights out a set of Energiser Lithium cells.  (I can see well enough with it on low for everything except fast descending).  I'd carry a spare quartet of AAs to swap in after the second night, which would see me through to the end, or even mount a second one to save having to rely on my sleep-deprived brain remembering.  Amazon are practically giving them away for £20 at the moment.

Yet there's something very reassuring about a dynamo setup.  Knowing you can just hit the switch and your lights will come on front and rear.  Decisions, decisions....

I've no budget for new bike bits this year, but the new felgen(rim)dynamo from Velological might be interesting to those that have.  Under 100g, no need for a new wheel, no drag when off, and comparable drag to a hub dynamo when on.  http://www.velogical-engineering.com/velogical-felgendynamo---standard-fahrrad-dynamo---leichtlauf-gewicht-effizienz (http://www.velogical-engineering.com/velogical-felgendynamo---standard-fahrrad-dynamo---leichtlauf-gewicht-effizienz) (Runs off the rim rather than the tyre like the bottle dynamos of old)

Dynamo has no weight penalty , I fact it's the battery light that has the weight penalty assuming you carry an extra battery charger pack.  But the weight is neither here nor there compared to the combined weight if rider and bike. Mind a persons chance of finishing PBP must be marginal if it comes down to Dynamo vs. Battery light.

I apologise, 400g was the rough figure I remembered.  I've just checked the actual numbers and it's only 328g.

My dynamo wheel - 1,060g
B+M Cyo premium dynamo light and cable - 130g
Total - 1,190g

My non dynamo wheel - 687g
B+M Ixon Premium with Lithium cells - 175g
Total - 862g

And as for finishing, hopefully that won't be an issue for me.  But, as I said, my getting homologated in my time limit may indeed be marginal. 
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: frankly frankie on March 14, 2019, 11:26:58 pm
... Mind a persons chance of finishing PBP must be marginal if it comes down to Dynamo vs. Battery light.

Small margins, isn't that the mantra these days?

Dynamo lights are probably more reliable than battery lights, as there's less to go wrong, but it might happen.

How do you make that out?  There's far more to go wrong with a dynamo generator than a battery light.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Kim on March 15, 2019, 12:25:23 am
Dynamo lights are probably more reliable than battery lights, as there's less to go wrong, but it might happen.

How do you make that out?  There's far more to go wrong with a dynamo generator than a battery light.

I was talking about the light itself, in a paragraph where I'd already separately considered the reliability of the generator and wiring.  Obviously the system is only as strong as its weakest link[1].

A dynamo light doesn't have a battery compartment, which means it doesn't have a method of opening to access the batteries, which is subject to wear and stress, while compromising the waterproofing (or, in the case of external battery packs or rechargeable lights with non-replacable batteries, electrical connectors subject to frequent mating cycles).  It doesn't have spring battery contacts.  And it generally doesn't have an afterthought of a quick-release handlebar bracket to go wrong, either (semi-permanent attachment is the order of the day, which usually[2] makes for simpler, better-engineered, attachment methods like nuts and bolts).  And of course there aren't any batteries to fail or simply be insufficient for unexpected conditions.

Which isn't to say it can't fail in ways that are common to both battery and dynamo lights - water ingress or vibration damage to the electronics or optics, for example - just that it's avoided a whole load of other points of failure by having less to go wrong.

That said, the most common battery light failure modes are down to human errors which - while cumulatively significant in day-to-day use - are unlikely to be an issue for long audax rides (eg. not planning sufficient battery charge for a ride, damaging or failing to secure lights properly when removing them for security reasons, or just not bringing removable lights with you).  The always-ready nature of dynamo lighting is advantageous on a commuting or touring bike, but irrelevant for something like PBP.


[1] In a dyanmo system I'd say that was the wiring.  In a battery system I'd say that was the user.
[2] Emphasis on the 'usually'.  There are some decently-engineered battery lights that get this stuff right.  Dynamo lights and battery lights with external battery packs have something of an advantage in that they have less mass for the mounting to support.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: grams on March 15, 2019, 12:55:34 am
The most obvious failure mode of battery lights is the batteries being dead when you don’t want them to be. Because you overestimated how long they would last; underestimated how long they need to charge; lost track of which batteries are full and empty; because the plug came loose when they were meant to be charging; because they switched themselves on in your bag; etc.

This entire category of failure has no equivalent in the world of dynamo lights.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Karla on March 15, 2019, 04:54:23 am
As Kim pointed out though, a lot of those aren't really relevant to a singular long distance ride. 

I had a bike that lived outside all the time and was used for a commute that included getting stacked with several other bikes on a (TPE) train every day.  The wiring and contacts didn't last long on that one, do I went back to batteries: an internal battery that I could plug in to charge when I got to with every day.

But that's not relevant to PBP either.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Zed43 on March 15, 2019, 10:30:04 am
Because you overestimated how long they would last
Or because it got much colder, which can have a big effect on the output of batteries. I once got a Garmin 820 down to 2% charge in just over 2 hours at slightly below zero; it normally lasts 3-4 times that long.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: mattc on March 15, 2019, 10:34:47 am
The most obvious failure mode of battery lights is the batteries being dead when you don’t want them to be. Because you overestimated how long they would last; underestimated how long they need to charge; lost track of which batteries are full and empty; because the plug came loose when they were meant to be charging; because they switched themselves on in your bag; etc.

This entire category of failure has no equivalent in the world of dynamo lights.
Yes; I'd say every one of these could happen on PBP. Not WILL happen - but things worth ruling out, all other things being equal.

I've certainly seen someone (on a 600) surprised that their new power-bank had no charge in it. As for the other issues, I've probably had most of them at some point!

(but I do still use battery lights a lot!)
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: simonp on March 15, 2019, 11:12:32 am
I have the Ixon Iq Speed (two) and the main issue is the batteries need refreshing when used infrequently. I'm tempted to try replacing them with a 7.2 or 7.4V Li-ion pack (or two so I have spares). These will hopefully hold their charge better when not in use.

4-cell packs with 5000mAh capacity would be lighter than the standard packs.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: zigzag on March 15, 2019, 02:16:25 pm
The most obvious failure mode of battery lights is the batteries being dead when you don’t want them to be. Because you overestimated how long they would last; underestimated how long they need to charge; lost track of which batteries are full and empty; because the plug came loose when they were meant to be charging; because they switched themselves on in your bag; etc.

This entire category of failure has no equivalent in the world of dynamo lights.

none of these failure modes is applicable if the light is fully charged before the event, shows the burn time remaining and lasts way longer than required. fit and forget.
even on the tcr (two weeks) i didn't need to charge the lights on the go; topped them up once in a hotel.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: La Tortue on March 15, 2019, 09:11:21 pm
What are the night light burn time estimates for the 90 hour 80-90 hour riders?  I am guessing I need around 21 hours with the lights on but this is a wild guess.  What are other riders on the board planning for?
Title: Front Light
Post by: halvis on March 15, 2019, 09:21:11 pm
About 9 hours per night


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: SPB on March 15, 2019, 09:55:40 pm
I guess it depends on whether you think you'll sleep mostly in the day or at night, and whether you want to allow for running lights to help you be seen in any rain or morning mist.

I was thinking of ensuring I have at least 40 hour run times if I take battery lights, in the hope that would give sufficient contingency to cover worst case.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: simonp on March 15, 2019, 10:20:35 pm
You need to allow for having lights on in poor visibility as this is a PBP regulation.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: mzjo on March 16, 2019, 02:32:49 pm
Dynamo lights are probably more reliable than battery lights, as there's less to go wrong, but it might happen.

How do you make that out?  There's far more to go wrong with a dynamo generator than a battery light.

I was talking about the light itself, in a paragraph where I'd already separately considered the reliability of the generator and wiring.  Obviously the system is only as strong as its weakest link[1].

A dynamo light doesn't have a battery compartment, which means it doesn't have a method of opening to access the batteries, which is subject to wear and stress, while compromising the waterproofing (or, in the case of external battery packs or rechargeable lights with non-replacable batteries, electrical connectors subject to frequent mating cycles).  It doesn't have spring battery contacts.  And it generally doesn't have an afterthought of a quick-release handlebar bracket to go wrong, either (semi-permanent attachment is the order of the day, which usually[2] makes for simpler, better-engineered, attachment methods like nuts and bolts).  And of course there aren't any batteries to fail or simply be insufficient for unexpected conditions.

Which isn't to say it can't fail in ways that are common to both battery and dynamo lights - water ingress or vibration damage to the electronics or optics, for example - just that it's avoided a whole load of other points of failure by having less to go wrong.

That said, the most common battery light failure modes are down to human errors which - while cumulatively significant in day-to-day use - are unlikely to be an issue for long audax rides (eg. not planning sufficient battery charge for a ride, damaging or failing to secure lights properly when removing them for security reasons, or just not bringing removable lights with you).  The always-ready nature of dynamo lighting is advantageous on a commuting or touring bike, but irrelevant for something like PBP.


[1] In a dyanmo system I'd say that was the wiring.  In a battery system I'd say that was the user.
[2] Emphasis on the 'usually'.  There are some decently-engineered battery lights that get this stuff right.  Dynamo lights and battery lights with external battery packs have something of an advantage in that they have less mass for the mounting to support.


5 minutes in (almost) any french supermarket will yield a temporary,cheap but not necessarily high quality, solution to battery light failure which could be quickly put in place. You can bin the broken ones if saving weight is a consideration. Broken dynamo lights can be cured through the same route but the installation side will be longer and more fussy (or you revert to the battery alternative, again more fussy to install, depending on how much wiring you want to remove or immobilise with cable ties). In the end failure of either system need not be a game killer unless happening late at night (outside shop hours!) when you don't have a sleep margin to fall back on (which of course under Murphy is exactly when it will happen  :'(  )
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: mattc on March 16, 2019, 02:48:16 pm
The most obvious failure mode of battery lights is the batteries being dead when you don’t want them to be. Because you overestimated how long they would last; underestimated how long they need to charge; lost track of which batteries are full and empty; because the plug came loose when they were meant to be charging; because they switched themselves on in your bag; etc.

This entire category of failure has no equivalent in the world of dynamo lights.

none of these failure modes is applicable if the light is fully charged before the event, shows the burn time remaining and lasts way longer than required. fit and forget.
even on the tcr (two weeks) i didn't need to charge the lights on the go; topped them up once in a hotel.
What zigzag means is:
"Only an unprepared fool would experience any of these failures on their big ride of the year."

... but fortunately he is too polite to write that :)
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ajax Bay on March 17, 2019, 11:08:05 pm
What are the night light burn time estimates for the 90 hour 80-90 hour riders?  I am guessing I need around 21 hours with the lights on but this is a wild guess.  What are other riders on the board planning for?
Broadly (times of sunrise and sunset of course vary with date and longitude) there's 10 hours between sunset and sunrise (just after 9pm to just after 7am). Fuller value (90 hour) riders will ride for all of Sunday night and for good parts of the next 3 so that's 40 hours of lighting required, less the time one plans to spend stopped in the dark, but plus a buffer for using lights during daytime when poor visibility so warrants.
But sometimes a less powerful setting will suffice (in a group and not leading) and this can reasonably be taken into account.
https://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=48.390290,-4.486280&dt=20190820010700%2B0200&z=13&spn=0.04,0.15&center=48.3903,-4.4863

Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: La Tortue on March 18, 2019, 12:02:53 am

 less the time one plans to spend stopped in the dark,

This is the actual question. 
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ajax Bay on March 19, 2019, 12:26:09 pm

 less the time one plans to spend stopped in the dark,

This is the actual question.
Since you implicitly ask, for me: 12 hours on nights 2 and 3 (10 hours sleeping), aiming to finish at sunset on Wednesday (Sunday 1830 start). My (separate battery 4.4Ahc 252g) light (130g) will run for 24 hours on low and 5 hours on high. I will carry one spare battery, and not expect to use it.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: frankly frankie on March 19, 2019, 12:56:56 pm
Broadly (times of sunrise and sunset of course vary with date and longitude) there's 10 hours between sunset and sunrise (just after 9pm to just after 7am). Fuller value (90 hour) riders will ride for all of Sunday night and for good parts of the next 3 so that's 40 hours of lighting required, less the time one plans to spend stopped in the dark, but plus a buffer for using lights during daytime when poor visibility so warrants.
But sometimes a less powerful setting will suffice (in a group and not leading) and this can reasonably be taken into account.
https://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=48.390290,-4.486280&dt=20190820010700%2B0200&z=13&spn=0.04,0.15&center=48.3903,-4.4863

I think 40 is a huge overestimate.  Yes it's 10h per night and you may ride 4 nights and yes the roads can be very dark (no-one's mentioned this - the rural roads are much darker than typically in the UK, and have fewer markings - white lines and so on - so bright lighting options are a must).  But subtract sleep AND controlling/feeding times from nights 2, 3 and 4 if you must, and you're unlikely to ride more than 5 night hours on each of those nights. 
For dawn and dusk and lit roads I would strongly commend using separate visibility lighting at the front, and this would probably save at least 2 more hours per night on your main lighting.
 
Last (and 7th) time Sheila rode PBP she was on a fairly slow schedule, she packed batteries for 20 hours of main lighting (3W LED, with an option to run 2 at once) and came back with some batteries unused.  Separate visibility light at the front was key.  Modern lights with their multi-levels may change that strategy a bit but you still need two main lights for redundancy, however multi-talented your main light is.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: optoboman on March 19, 2019, 03:26:59 pm
Just dug out my old spreadsheets from 2011 & 2015 and I have it at 19.7 & 21.2 hours of actual night riding.

I move along at around 21 km/h on long rides and take about 87 hours.  I don't rush through controls and only sleep proper (4 hour stops) on the 2nd and 3rd nights, after which I catnap at every control.

I've never noticed any difference in speed, over the years, whether I use dynamo or battery.  I am 15 stone, so any weight difference is largely irrelevant. I've only ever had one light fail on a ride and that was a battery powered B&M Ixon IQ (the contacts are rubbish).
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ajax Bay on March 19, 2019, 05:29:56 pm
Fuller value (90 hour) riders will ride for all of Sunday night and for good parts of the next 3 so that's 40 hours of lighting required, less the time one plans to spend stopped in the dark, but plus a buffer for using lights during daytime when poor visibility so warrants.
I think 40 is a huge overestimate.  Yes it's 10h per night and you may ride 4 nights . . . . But subtract sleep AND controlling/feeding times from nights 2, 3 and 4 if you must, and you're unlikely to ride more than 5 night hours on each of those nights. 
For dawn and dusk and lit roads I would strongly commend using separate visibility lighting at the front, and this would probably save at least 2 more hours per night on your main lighting.
 
. . . Separate visibility light at the front was key.  Modern lights with their multi-levels may change that strategy a bit but you still need two main lights for redundancy, however multi-talented your main light is.
"I think 40 is a huge overestimate." I agree - see above.
"you may ride 4 nights . . ." Question was asked for fuller value riders who will finish after the 4th night.
"subtract sleep AND controlling/feeding times from nights 2, 3 and 4 if you must, and you're unlikely to ride more than 5 night hours on each of those nights." See above "less the time one plans to spend stopped in the dark". So that's 10 plus three lots of 5.
". . . Separate visibility light at the front was key." Expect all riders will have one - they'll need the discipline and effort to conserve the main light when there's an opportunity. Headtorch in back pocket/bag as well.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: markldn on August 29, 2019, 11:23:03 pm
Post-ride debrief

For equipment I had:
-Wahoo Bolt GPS (15 hours battery life - I'd set my watch alarm for 14 hours to remember to plug it in, this worked once, then I forgot, and ended up losing 3km of track whilst I revived it)
-Cateye Volt 1300 main front light (15 hours on constant low)
-Lezyne Zecto Drive 250 commuter front ligh (11 hours on constant low)

My backup front light didn't arrive in time so I was stuck with a commuter as a backup; so my strategy was to use the commuter when I was riding with others in front of me at night then turn on the main when I was in the front, saving battery for the main. Given sometimes I would need to put the main on 'high' when riding solo, which only gives 2 hours, somehow I made it the entire course without needing to charge any lights.  The rest of the time the pack behind me gave sufficient light for me to only need to put Volt on 'low'.  Taking sleep breaks during the night also helped.

-For Rear light and backups I used AAA battery powered ones. I had two installed on the bike, with a third in my pack. I did not need to use any of the two spares.

-For batteries I carried one of each of 20000mAh and 10000mAh Anker packs, plus a very light but bulky 3000mAh battery backup. I used the 10000 first to charge the Wahoo and my iPhone (lots of use) and maybe used just 25-50% of the 20000.

-So all in all managed very well, but next bike (if that ever happens) will have a dynamo for sure!  Certainly can't rely on the above strategy for similar rides with less lights on the road.

75 hr 15 min total time.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: rob on August 30, 2019, 08:32:06 am
I carried 2 USE joysticks running them on low - 250 lumens which was fine even when I was on my own.   The first did the whole of the first night and was just giving me low warnings as the sun rose.   

I got to Brest in daylight and then used light 2 for the first couple of hours on the way back, the evening into Villaines and then the first couple of hours on setting off for home.   If I'd have gone into a 3rd night I might have struggled.

I carried a 10,200mAh battery and that recharged the Garmin 1030 a few times and my phone once.

My rear lights were Cateye, running on AAAs and I replaced the batteries on the last night, but probably didn't need to.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Paul D on August 30, 2019, 08:44:52 am
Main light: Exposure Strada mk6 on low for 1 whole night then 2 half nights, finished with 37% battery left.
Backup / descending light: Exposure Joystick mk7 used on low pointing down the road on faster descents, finished with 50+% left on battery.
Rear: 2 x Exposure TraceR on low constant mode, one did the first night + most of the second, other light did the rest, recharged the first during Tuesday but didn't need to in the end.

Carried 5200mAh and 6700mAh powerbanks plus the proprietary cable for charging the front lights just in case but didn't use it, just charged the rear light once as above (and the phone twice, the ipod shuffle once and finished with the 6700 dead but most of the 5200 left).

Have used this setup on 600s for the last 2 or 3 years and worked perfectly for a 1200; never want to go back to my dynamo thanks (memories of mid-ride SolidLight failures still haunt me!).

Edit to add: doubly pleased my Strada is fine after I bounced it down the road at 20mph and subsequently paid Exposure to repair it in April. Every dent tells a story, to paraphrase Mater (those with young kids will know what I'm on about).
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Feanor on August 30, 2019, 08:57:48 am
I had 2 Exposure Strada lights with me, one on the bike and one in a drop bag at Fougeres.
They were used in Low mode.
I rode one full night and 2 partial nights.

Light 1 was used all Sunday night, and was about 50% remaining when I swapped it for the backup in at dawn on Monday.
It was left on charge from a 10,000mAh battery pack in the drop bag in case I needed it on the return ( I didn't).

Light 2 was then used on Monday evening into Brest, and after a few hours sleep, on the Tuesday AM.
It was still pretty full on Tuesday, and I slept again at Fougeres on Tuesday night on the return leg ( thus using up some hours of darkness ) and did not bother swapping the light back out again.
It has a comfortable level of charge remaining after 2 partial nights use.

( When I retrieved the drop bag, light 1 was back at 100% and the 10,000mAh battery pack was also still showing 100%! )

For the Garmin, I was carrying 2 x 5200mAh battery packs, which was well enough. I did have a couple of spares in the drop-bag just-in-case, but I did't need them.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: zigzag on August 30, 2019, 09:55:40 am
i rode only two nights so had lots of battery charge left unused.

front light - exposure sirius - always on in low mode used when dark. about 50% battery left.
exposure toro - main light used in low mode when riding solo or in front of the groups, occasionally in medium mode. 72% battery left.

rear light - cateye tl-ld130 with lithium aaa's - runtime 100hrs in constant. lasts months on my hack/commuter bike.

3350mah "lipstick" power bank - charged garmins few times
13,000mah power bank - carried as a backup for armageddon scenario - not used

phone switched to a flight mode and used for taking photos only. ~60% battery left.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ajax Bay on August 30, 2019, 01:38:32 pm
. . . for me: 12 hours on nights 2 and 3 (10 hours sleeping), aiming to finish at sunset on Wednesday (Sunday 1830 start). My (separate battery 4.4Ahc 252g) light (130g) will run for 24 hours on low or 5 hours on high. I will carry one spare battery, and not expect to use it.
Post ride 'debrief'
Chinese '1000 lumen' job (130g) with separate 'Magicshine' battery, rated at 4.4Ahc (233g), and back-up smaller (2.6Ahc) battery (133g). A 'be seen' mini light (Topeak Whitelite II with 2 x CR2032 batteries) as well. Main light has low (1/3ish) and full options. 'Low' offers enough light mostly. Fast downhills with complications when 'on the front' require 'full' (also used as a 'signal' when another rider's been on the front for 'too long'. Bench testing achieved 24+ hours on low. No plan to recharge battery though did carry mains charger (57g) and continental adaptor (23g).
Day 1 1830 start.
2100: gilet and 'be seen' light on at pop-up water refill stop in Senonches (28kph average). In train and passing nearly all the time. Occasional use of main light on low. Fougeres @ 7am for lights and gilet off. (So 10 hours of light various).
Day 2 arrive Carhaix before 9pm and stayed with long sleep for 7 hours.
Day 3: Depart Carhaix 4am ish and so 3 hours light mostly alone or leading to Brest (climbing Roc T a lasting memory with the 80 hour guys streaming past downhill and ahead a 'staircase to heaven' of PBP gilets jaunes). Rode into the night (so lighting from 9pm till 2am arrival at Tinteniac) - 5 hours use of main light on low with occasional 'full' use.
Day 4: Post dawn start (after 6hours stop and long sleep).  Too much sleep including 2 hour zeds each day meant I would need to ride into the last night as opposed to hope to finish by Day 4 sunset (75 hours).
So into the dark before Mortagne - and pressed on to Dreux for just after 2am: 5 hours light, slighter higher percentage on high as 'on the front' or alone (minimal) on the Perche downhills. Light/battery went 'red' before Senonches so stopped at pop-up there (about 1am) to change to 'spare' battery (and soup).
Day 5 am: After 4 hours (3 sleeping) at Dreux set off at 6:30 so an hour's light required.
Total hours of riding when light required - 24. Entirely content with planned provision, including carriage of spare battery.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: halvis on August 30, 2019, 03:08:02 pm
so my strategy was to use the commuter when I was riding with others in front of me at night then turn on the main when I was in the front, saving battery for the main. Given sometimes I would need to put the main on 'high' when riding solo, which only gives 2 hours, somehow I made it the entire course without needing to charge any lights.  The rest of the time the pack behind me gave sufficient light for me to only need to put Volt on 'low'.  Taking sleep breaks during the night also helped.

This was totally my experience too, I had the same light Cateye 1300 + a Cateye 800 + a backup AA battery power light for emergencies.  I had a 26400 Anker power bank.
Between the Cateye 1300 and 800 I figured I would get 8 hours at medium power.  With a sleep and controlling I probably wouldn't need more, but could be charging one whilst using the other to get more anyway.  However, when riding with others, I only used both lights on their lower power setting.  Only on fast descents did I feel the need to use higher power.  So I had far more light time than anticipated.
Whilst this was a cheaper option than a reliable dynamo solution, I wouldn't necessarily say it was better.  I did manage to get about 2.5 hours charge into the power bank during the ride, but it did empty about 6 hours before the end and lost power to the Wahoo because of this.  It is also not a particularly lightweight solution, given the powerbank and the batteries in the lights them selves.
I think for PBP due to the number of other riders on the road, you don't need a dynamo solution, but for other less populated rides, a Dynamo would be the better bet.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: FifeingEejit on August 30, 2019, 03:39:53 pm
1st night: moving for for 8h (off at controls for 2h)
2nd night: moving for 7.5hrs
3rd night: moving around 5.5hrs
4th night: moving around 6hrs, but that includes dealing with the conditions after Dreux where lights were needed in the mist.

That's 27hrs where lights were needed; due to a wiring issue on my dynamo set up I used the Ixon IQ Premium on a single set of batteries on and off, mostly on the first night on descents due to the USB-Werk stealing light when the capacitor decided to recharge regularly (it shouldn't do this) so it dopped to standlight on a regular interval, fineo n the flat or uphill, not so good when you descend into corners at 60k, disconnected the USB-Werk when darkness was approaching, it had always managed to top up my battery pack and never ran out of power on my dying wahoo.
and on the last morning because the cobbled together fix to the co-ax connector seemed to be giving up (although it worked fine on the tour home).

Given the heat I possibly should have taken PhilW's advice and slept during the day, but daylight has an amazing restorative effect on me that means I rarely sleep in light.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: simonp on August 30, 2019, 04:01:55 pm
I built that Li-ion battery pack and it worked a treat, lasted the entire ride even though I left it on until midday one day, by mistake.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ian gaggiaport on August 30, 2019, 04:06:34 pm
Fenix ld22
On medium.
2 AA lithium energiser.
Day 1 ride until 2am
Day 2 until 2am
Day 3 until 2am
Final section dusk til dawn.

I had a few problems with being in my shadow from other brighter lights.. but I prefer a calmer light source.
I still haven't changed the batteries.
I had a alpkit gamma to highlight the arrows but I didn't think they were as reflective as 2011 & 2015.
So it looks like everyone had plenty of illumination and power .
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ajax Bay on August 31, 2019, 01:15:35 pm
I had a alpkit gamma to highlight the arrows but I didn't think they were as reflective as 2011 & 2015.
So it looks like everyone had plenty of illumination and power .
The poor design/size/amount of reflective area of the arrows is an issue that ACP could note for improvement. Perhaps there are French laws which limit the size of 'ad hoc' signs. Twice from Mortagne to Dreux around midnight we missed a turn but the stream of headlights coming back up the hill alerted the de facto group leadership to the miss, so little time lost (not like some of the other poor b*****rs). It also seemed to me that much of the signage had been erected by 'non-cyclists'. Any route advertised as 'signed', especially one which will be ridden (by some of the field) in the dark, needs a 'warning' sign for any turn off the main road (outside habitation) and if red crosses are to be used, let's make them a decent size, sited so they can be seen AFTER the wrong turn has been made (ie not right on the junction).
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ian gaggiaport on August 31, 2019, 01:46:21 pm
i remember that in last editions red crosses were planted around 10 meters after the junction.
Sometimes volunteers were stationed up road on wrong turnings to advise riders to make a u turn.
I did a lot of night riding this time so perhaps I'm more aware of the problems I had with the arrows.
I had a gpx but that doesn't stop the rest of the bunch suddenly splitting , stopping , or irratically riding across the road at a junction
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: simonp on August 31, 2019, 03:34:51 pm
There were long gaps between signs when you crossed side roads it was a little disconcerting to see no sign. I was glad of my gps.
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: veloboy on August 31, 2019, 10:08:35 pm
I was two nights and two days on the road. Used my standard set-up of a rechargeable LED front light,
Lumicycle Apex with a 4-cell lithium battery pack (I took two). I generally get cost to 1 1/2 nights on a single battery pack - burn times vary from 50+hrs on low (160 lumens) to 3+hrs on 'boost' (1650 lumens), though generally never use the latter (the 'high' setting at 1100 lumens will give 6+ hours).
Got through the first night, and then the return from Brest to Loudeac went dusk at Carhaix and start of the 2nd night on the way to Loudeac - I had forgotten to swap the battery pack, but it wasn't a problem, it just dropped below 50% just before Loudeac.
Rear light was a Cateye Omni-5 (2x AAA batteries 5 LED, used with disposable lithiums) - Never had to change.
https://www.lumicycle.com/road-lights/apex-range/apex-2017-enduro-pack.html (https://www.lumicycle.com/road-lights/apex-range/apex-2017-enduro-pack.html)
Recommended!!!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: perpetual dan on September 01, 2019, 09:27:37 am

I had a few problems with being in my shadow from other brighter lights.. but I prefer a calmer light source.


When you say “calmer” is that just less retina searing, or something more complex?
Title: Re: Front Light
Post by: Ian gaggiaport on September 01, 2019, 11:02:03 am
Less retina searing.
My ld20 or my old cyo is just right for me.
But I can also boost the LD 20 if I need to descend a tricky lane