Author Topic: Front Light  (Read 3846 times)

Front Light
« 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

Re: Front Light
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 02:19:10 pm »
Have you got a hub dynamo?
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ― Albert Einstein

Re: Front Light
« Reply #2 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

Re: Front Light
« Reply #3 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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #4 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.

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: Front Light
« Reply #5 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)
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick

Re: Front Light
« Reply #6 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

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Front Light
« Reply #7 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Front Light
« Reply #8 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.
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 #9 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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #10 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/

DaT

Re: Front Light
« Reply #11 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/

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Front Light
« Reply #12 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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 09:50:01 pm »
In 2015 I had this setup:



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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #14 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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #15 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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #16 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.


Re: Front Light
« Reply #17 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/

I've found this useful in explaining the different "brightness" quoted for lights 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!

Re: Front Light
« Reply #18 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

Re: Front Light
« Reply #19 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?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Front Light
« Reply #20 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Front Light
« Reply #21 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.

Re: Front Light
« Reply #22 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)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Front Light
« Reply #23 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Front Light
« Reply #24 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/