Author Topic: Front Light  (Read 6243 times)

Re: Front Light
« Reply #25 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.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Front Light
« Reply #26 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Front Light
« Reply #27 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 ... ]
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

Re: Front Light
« Reply #28 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.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Front Light
« Reply #29 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.

SPB

Re: Front Light
« Reply #30 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 (Runs off the rim rather than the tyre like the bottle dynamos of old)   


frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Front Light
« Reply #31 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.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Front Light
« Reply #32 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.

SPB

Re: Front Light
« Reply #33 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Front Light
« Reply #34 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!
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

SPB

Re: Front Light
« Reply #35 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Front Light
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2019, 02:29:38 pm »
<... retreats from the bear ... >
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: Front Light
« Reply #37 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.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Front Light
« Reply #38 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?

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Front Light
« Reply #39 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.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Front Light
« Reply #40 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.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Front Light
« Reply #41 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?

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Front Light
« Reply #42 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.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Front Light
« Reply #43 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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #44 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 (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.

SPB

Re: Front Light
« Reply #45 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 (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. 

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Front Light
« Reply #46 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.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Front Light
« Reply #47 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.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Front Light
« Reply #48 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.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Front Light
« Reply #49 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.