Author Topic: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights  (Read 3557 times)

Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« on: July 12, 2012, 02:53:00 pm »
Need a set of 'be seen' lights for a college student.

Lights need to be lowish power consumption (so they don't suddenly run out of lecky) and preferably very secure. Can't depend on student remembering to remove them from bike.

Cheap is also important, as this bike will be abandoned in student bike racks.

Pls don't be recommending dynamo lights. Yes they'd be best solution but budget does not allow.
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Kim

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 03:04:07 pm »
For the rear, something that takes AAs and bolts to a rack or mudguard.  A while ago it would have been the excellent Infini Apollo, but now those are unobtanium, so you'll probably have to pay 2-3 times as much for something similar from B&M or whoever.  A decent set of Alkaline batteries should last forever.

Not sure about fronts.  You may have to botch a permanent fitting, which then complicates battery changes.

You say the budget doesn't allow for dynamos, does that include bottle dynamos?  We've got an Axa on barakta's trike and it runs a Cyo + 2 rears just fine (no problems slipping in mud/wet on a Marathon Plus dynamo track).  The cheap Basta dynamo lights have a conical beam, but work surprisingly well in all other respects.  These sorts of things are astoundingly cheap if you buy them from the right Dutch/German sellers...

And also on the unconventional dynamo theme, Reelights...
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tiermat

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 03:09:46 pm »
I'll go out on a bit of limb here and say get a Alpkit headtorch.

It can't be beaten at £12.50 and can't be left on the bike :)
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 03:10:35 pm »
Can be forgotten though, and isn't legal bike lighting.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 03:11:19 pm »
Can't be left on the 16-yr-old's head, either.

I'll check out the basta lights, thanks
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Kim

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 03:14:43 pm »
I should probably add that I was specifically referring to the LED Bastas.  They appear to still be churning out plenty of Halogen stuff.  Although for be-seen purposes, I suppose that might be sufficient...
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tiermat

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 03:16:04 pm »
OK, i see the argument against the Alpkit, so for similar money, On-One have the Smart LED lights ina twin pack, thusly: http://on-one.co.uk/i/q/LISMRT25FR12RR/smart_lunar_25_lux_front_with_1_2_watt_rear_light_set
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 03:23:38 pm »
nice one - will have a chat with the owner of the bike. White would contrast nicely with the black bike.

A bit nickable, but I might be able to molish a bracket below the basket, so not so obvious.
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mcshroom

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 03:24:56 pm »
Wilkinsons sometimes do a set of 0.5W flashers under the 'TORCH' brand name for £7-8 a set. THey are standard smart light kidney lights and run on AAAs, but decent output and cheap enough to get a few spare. You could always glue an ordinary light to the mount for a bit more security if you wanted to as well.

I have an LD500 screwed onto the rear of my pannier on one bike which may be an option, and a torch brand mudguard light on a different bike (it was £9.99, but I can't find the supplier at the moment. Google shows a couple places as £15) Again they both work on AAAs, but rear lights last a very long time on those batteries so I wouldn't worry as much about that.

[edit] those smart lights are good as well. I have a Lunar 35 on the front for audaxes
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LittleWheelsandBig

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 03:25:52 pm »
Ziptie a Knog or similar random rubbery front light to the underside of a handlebar.
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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 03:35:30 pm »
OK, i see the argument against the Alpkit, so for similar money, On-One have the Smart LED lights ina twin pack, thusly: http://on-one.co.uk/i/q/LISMRT25FR12RR/smart_lunar_25_lux_front_with_1_2_watt_rear_light_set

Those would have been my recommendation if it weren't for the nickability factor.  Can't really go wrong with them as basic battery lights.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 03:48:52 pm »
OK, i see the argument against the Alpkit, so for similar money, On-One have the Smart LED lights ina twin pack, thusly: http://on-one.co.uk/i/q/LISMRT25FR12RR/smart_lunar_25_lux_front_with_1_2_watt_rear_light_set

Those would have been my recommendation if it weren't for the nickability factor.  Can't really go wrong with them as basic battery lights.

That's a procedure thing though really, isn't it, they have QR brackets so there is no real excuse for leaving them on the bike?
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 03:49:40 pm »
OK, i see the argument against the Alpkit, so for similar money, On-One have the Smart LED lights ina twin pack, thusly: http://on-one.co.uk/i/q/LISMRT25FR12RR/smart_lunar_25_lux_front_with_1_2_watt_rear_light_set

Those would have been my recommendation if it weren't for the nickability factor.  Can't really go wrong with them as basic battery lights.

That's a procedure thing though really, isn't it, they have QR brackets so there is no real excuse for leaving them on the bike?
absentmindedness?
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Biggsy

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 03:55:13 pm »
I've had lockable lights broken by thick bastards who thought they were removable.  The student won't forget to remove the the lights as long as he/she doesn't do a lot of booze and weed.  Or is there no such thing as a sober student?  Ok, cable tie them on.

With low-budget LEDs, the power won't run out too suddenly with alkaline batteries (or even lithium or modern NiMH in my experience for sub 1-hour rides).
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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 04:01:45 pm »
The student won't forget to remove the the lights as long as he/she doesn't do a lot of booze and weed.
This person is likely to walk out of the house undressed without realising.

They have put hair-curling mesh things in their hair overnight, forgotten they were there and gone out into town.

There is absentmindedness and there is absentmindedness.

I ain't complaining. They are the only child I can rely on (in the household) to do clearing up when asked. They are the person whom during school holidays decides to do a few books of math problems because they felt their math was deficient in some areas.

(I've just realised that I've described the Scott Adams idea of an engineer)
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Charlotte

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2012, 04:18:23 pm »
Either:

(1) A set of cheapo lights like this, fitted with lithium batteries and with the lights superglued to the mounts (i.e. get them on and off with a screwdriver)

(2) A bunch of these and zip tie them on.

Either way - for the application you're considering, cheapo lights with good batteries trump good lights with crap batteries any day.
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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2012, 04:20:26 pm »
I had one of those dealextreme front lights. It lasted 3 weeks before the switch corroded. Maybe it's Yorkshire weather that does it.
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Andrij

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 04:54:47 pm »
If you only need 'be seen' lights why not go for ReeLights?  Fix and forget, no batteries, no dynamos.
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Rhys W

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 05:14:40 pm »
...and preferably very secure. Can't depend on student remembering to remove them from bike.

"College" implies gaining an education. Having to replace lights that were left for the taking out of his/her own pocket could be a valuable lesson.

Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 05:21:09 pm »
Sounds like this "student" is better off walking and taking the bus.

Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2012, 08:02:39 pm »
The Coop does a very reasonable 'be seen'  battery powered light set for £3
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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2012, 08:42:28 pm »
Decathlon are always worth a look.  I see they have their "Knoggish" lights reduced, two for under a tenner.  Not sure how long the batteries last but I was able to cycle in the dark for a few miles using the two-LED front one which was much brighter than my German dynamo light so plenty bright for be-seen purposes.

Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2012, 08:52:42 pm »
My son is off to uni in October and I have gone down the USB chargeable lights route with him. It is very unlikely he would remember/afford to buy batteries himself so these are a good option to plug into his laptop to recharge. They have the elastic strap attachment that is very easy to remove, which he has so far always managed to do when parking the bike up at school. They have a special flash to warn you when they need recharging soon.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=46579

vorsprung

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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2012, 09:32:54 pm »
either

1) http://www.reelight.com/Default.aspx?ID=48 Reelights.  Yeah I know they are technically a sort of dynamo thing and you said you didn't want them but they tick the other boxes.  They are 34 Euros so a bit on the expensive side

2) get wilkos finest, aldi, lidl about 4 sets and attach them with whatever security measures suit, ie superglued covers over recessed bolts
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Re: Recommend me - 'college' bike lights
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2012, 10:04:33 pm »
Great info