Let There Be Light

Posted: October 30, 2009 in Daily Weirdness

I have grown increasingly pissed off at my bike lighting situation. I have ghetto rigged an auxiliary light to the handle bar that I stole off of my rock climbing helmet.   Now for most normal people, admittedly I am far from normal, night time ridding is not an issue because normal people usually don’t do it.  Since we have already established my departure from normative behavior I will tell you, as I have said in many a post prior that the majority of my riding is done in the darkness, either late at night or really early in the morning.  Herein lies the issue and it’s not a new one, I simply find myself getting angrier and angrier by the day in response to it.  I am being completely honest when I say I can see about 5 feet in front of my handlebars when I am riding…and that is with both of the lights a burning with new batteries.

 I am sure there is a mathematical equation to figure out the danger factor of speed+distance+blindness-reaction time+wild animals+potholes= the distance you will fly when you hit let’s say for instance…I dunno….A FREAKING POSSUM!  I can attest you will fly over your handlebars, and slide to a stop approximately 15 feet from where the aforementioned collision occurred.  Sure sure after you stand up and take inventory of all of your appendages and find there is nothing wrong its ok to laugh until you realize it could have been much worse, then you just get pissy.  What I need is recommendations for a good light, not a decent light, not a quasi ok light I need a freaking good light.  One that can illuminate more than 5 feet in front of my bike, I’m thinking if I could see about 20 feet in front of me I could avoid what is now a running joke of Gene –vs- Wildlife or Gene –vs- Man Swallowing Potholes.  So let me hear it folks what’s lighting your path and I want honest to God first hand experience not hearsay of what your dog walkers second cousins brothers mothers uncle told you.  Pretty please?

P.S. Wear your helmets, you never know when you will hit a possum, or a goose, or have a close call with a skunk and end up bouncing and flopping upon the roadway.

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Comments
  1. boxhill says:

    I hope this is better than hearsay, and I do swear I’m going to buy one of these as soon as payday rolls around (wait a minute—that’s today!)…

    From a review on a respected local mountain biking forum:

    “The light that caught everyone’s fancy is the Magicshine 900 lumen lightset found here: http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?…qrur8nv1sdpm37

    At $90 with free shipping, the price can’t be beat. I’ve used it on three rides so far, and so far I’m impressed! Jason and I even snuck off last night to conduct a brightness test between my light and his HID, and my light was definitely brighter!! We’ll see how it performs against the test of time, but even if I get only a year out of it, that’s still better than spending $400+ on a light that will be obsolete in a year or two.

    You can find reviews and lengthy discussions on its relative merits at these forums: socaltrailriders.org, nonmob.com, candlepowerforums.com, bikeforums.net, forums.mtbr.com”

    Sounds positive—and reputable—to me. Good luck!

  2. OldManUtah says:

    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/headlights.html

    This website also give you a like to see photos of how the headlights work. Sadly the best headlights on this site are $300 plus.

    I choose the sport spot.

    http://planetbike.com/page/learn/lightfinder/

  3. Max says:

    I use Ayup (http://www.ayup.com.au/) lights and swear by them. The first time I rode with them, it was like night and day (ha ha, get it?) compared to my original lights.

    On my first ride out with them, I was able to discern the presence of a Path Ninja at 100m. At 50m, I was able to determine what exactly it was (Path Ninja = pedestrian wearing nothing but black, in the middle of the night, with no lighting whatsoever), and take steps to avoid them. With my other light, there’s no chance I would’ve seen them.

    On that same ride, on the tail end of the ride which goes through a shopping centre, cars actually gave way to me. These bright lights command respect, yo.

    With a handlebar light directed about 10m in front of me, and the helmet-mounted light giving me visibility whereever my head happens to point, these lights are a winner.

    The lights are very bright indeed. Ayup have just released a flashing battery pack, but unless you want to induce seizures in other road users, I do not recommend using these lights in flashing mode. Even those little blinkies sometimes do my head in (literally).

    Now, I know what you’re thinking.. this is an Australian product! You want to buy local! Well.. I hear ya. I’m sure there are alternative products that are local to you. On the other hand, don’t let geography limit you.

    Check out their YouTube samples – http://www.ayup-lights.com/news/you-tube/

    🙂
    Max

  4. ChefJT says:

    Lots of good recommendations here already. Might be a conversation to have with Jeff at the bike shop.

  5. Dave says:

    I can’t add anything to what’s already been said except:

    You will find a great light-just be prepared that weight and cost are inversely proportional to each other.

    You get what you pay for- my $100 light has made a perfect flashlight in the back of my snowmobile.

    have fun shopping!

  6. Tank says:

    They may not be in style anymore (or in stock for that matter), but I use a Nitro XM from Cygo Lite. It’s a 10 watt halogen light with a pocket sized NiMH battery. Found it on sale at the REI in Northville for $45.

    http://www.cygolite.com/products/halogen/NitroXM.html

    I ride at night and in the morning before sunrise and it is a good see and be-seen light. I mount it on my handlebars, but it has mounts for the helmet as well.

    Good Luck and watch out for those Path Ninjas. Also my favorite man-made road hazard, the Bike Salmon. Riding the wrong way on a street at night with no lights is not a good way to “meet people.”

    Glad you’re feeling better btw.

    • 100poundsago says:

      “Bike Salmon” Now thats funny! Mostly I just have to watch out for demon posessed wildlife in my way. I will have to peruse the REI in Troy, nothing against Northville but Troy is much closer.

  7. Another, less pricey option you may wish to consider, dear sir…

    http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.905~page.2

  8. LOL, forget what I just said… same light as Boxhill, if I am not mistaken… ahhh… old age!

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