Dedicated bike light or... ?

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Pete7874
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Dedicated bike light or... ?

What do you guys use on your bikes?

I’m looking for something not too big, using either 1×18650 or 2×18650 cells, and debating whether to look into a dedicated bike light or just throw something like a Convoy S2+ into a bike mount. Are there some specific advantages that dedicated bike lights have over regular flashlights?

I currently have a bike light with an external 4×18650 (I think) battery pack, but it’s overkill for me. Most of the time I keep the battery pack removed from the bike altogether. I’d much prefer something where the cells were easily removable so that I could charge them in my Miboxer.

If a dedicated bike light is the way to go, what would you recommend? Hoping to stay under $40, if possible.

Paul321
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These are what I use , (right now I’m always looking for something new).

For mountain biking I use the Fenix BC30 it uses two 18650’s very bright, heavy it does cost north of $40.

Around town on the road bike I have been using either the JetBeam BR10GT , single 18650 this is about $50 full retail,

or the Lumintop C01 fully enclosed USB rechargeable , around $25. I get longer run times for the Lumintop by using a power bank stashed in a handlebar pouch.

For a flashlight bike mount the Fenix ALB-10 works really well.

Paul-

1stein
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I use 5:
2x heavily modded Convoy S2+ with Carclo striped optics
1x Emisar D4s
1x Emisar D1s
1x Armytek Wizard on head
Actually I use one more Convoy S2+ with red diode as my rear.

Yeah, almost sufficient amount of light. Multiple light sources gives you a better information on obstacles and pits depth.

On normal roads I use only striped optics, it doesn’t blind. In woods : full throttle

Mike C
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Really depends on what you want it for. I currently have a Convoy M1 on a rigid bike mount. Works well enough for commuting with in darkness on paved bike roads. I would want a lot more if I was mountain biking or trail riding in darkness. I haven’t done that yet.

I do have a road rage light for those people that like to show off their lights and blind everyone and everything they meet. It’s a S2 triple XLP-HI pulling around 10 amps mounted on a flexible bike mount so I can shine it right in their faces. Fortunately I don’t have to use it that much.

WalkIntoTheLight
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I use a Zebralight SC600w IV Plus. It’s a very efficient 1×18650 light, which a very flexible user interface I programmed for my bike use. I get almost 3 hours at 700 lumens (regulated output), using a Sanyo GA cell. Bump it up to 2300 lumens when going downhill or in rough conditions. It’s a fairly wide beam so I can see around me, but still has a decent hot spot to light up enough ahead of me.

I use to use a BLF A6 (similar to the Convoy S2+), which was fine for occasional use, but I wanted something better for long rides. If you don’t use a light a lot, I think your S2+ will do fine.

Sure, dedicated bike lights can be better, but they’re larger and often have a horrible cool-white LED.

I do step-down my brightness when cars approach me, unless they refuse to turn off their high-beams that is.

Lexel
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normal light is not good for a bike light as it has not a beam pattern of conventional down lights
so you wll blind other people on the road

so normal light is only off road good for long distance and lightning up tree branches above the light that may hit you unseen with a conventional bike downlight

Jack Kellar
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I don’t have one; I’m making do with clipping a torch to the outer edge of my bike glove, then when the hand is on the bars it shines perfectly straight. The Convoy S2 (no +) on Biscotti mode 50% is my favourite, it has a very even beam that doesn’t spill farther than it needs for me to see.

Convoy’s pocket clip works well enough to hold it in place even on the bumpy patched up streets and the stretch of unpaved doubletrack in my route, though I don’t dare going too fast for fear of it shaking itself loose from the clip.

Tally-ho
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Lexel wrote:
normal light is not good for a bike light as it has not a beam pattern of conventional down lights
so you wll blind other people on the road

so normal light is only off road good for long distance and lightning up tree branches above the light that may hit you unseen with a conventional bike downlight


Handlebars are generally around or less than 1 meter above the ground. For road cycling, if you keep the flashlight tilted down to have the farthest part of the circle of the hotspot projected forward at about 8 meters, which is enough to anticipate road bumps and holes while commuting at 30 to 35 km/h in urban areas, the upper part of the cone of the hotspot will stay under 1 meter.
It won’t blind someone walking or cycling and it won’t enter the interior of a car. The spill stay on my lane and is not bright enough to really blind someone with its upper part.
I’m checking it daily in winter before my first pedal stroke, but I do agree that careless people should use more dedicated bike light.

My most used FL for commuting are a 4sevens maelstrom X7 (XM-L2) or an Eagle eyes X6 (XM-L2)…not crazy bright. Years ago i was using P60 hosts and drop-ins.

A convoy S2+ should be fine if used responsibly.

NB : the best to BE SEEN : reflective jacket.

Boro
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Paul321 wrote:
These are what I use , (right now I’m always looking for something new).

For mountain biking I use the Fenix BC30 it uses two 18650’s very bright, heavy it does cost north of $40.

Around town on the road bike I have been using either the JetBeam BR10GT , single 18650 this is about $50 full retail,

or the Lumintop C01 fully enclosed USB rechargeable , around $25. I get longer run times for the Lumintop by using a power bank stashed in a handlebar pouch.

For a flashlight bike mount the Fenix ALB-10 works really well.

+ 1

BillyBobJoe
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Currently using an Astrolux S1. Right now its just zip tied to the frame, but I do have some different bike mounts on order. It seems to work alright for me.

sac02
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I ride a road bike fast and hard for my 1.5hr commute (one way). I like a LOT of light.
.

Handlebars: Modified Victagen dual LED :
Modified with (2x) 4000K XP-L Hi, and “striped” TIR optics (elliptical beam, puts much more light on the road in front of the bike at the right distance. Much less wasted light above and below)
Modified with 4×18650 battery pack so it can run maximum brightness constant for the whole 1.5hr ride. Normally this would overheat the light badly, but moving at 20+ mph keeps it cool.
.

Handlebars: Emisar D1. Lots of throw without being too small hotspot. Small package. 50% brightness is good balance of throw distance and runtime (will get me to work on 1 cell – no battery swap needed mid-ride) and supplements the Victagens with some extra throw that doesn’t tend to stray into oncoming driver’s eyes.
.

Front fork (low mounted): Another Victagen, modified as above. The low mounted light casts shadows across irregularities in the road surface and gives much more information about the relief of the road and any undulations/cracks/potholes.
.

Rear: Solarforce L2 with red XR-E emitter
.

Helmet: Cheap eBay 18650 zoomie (because cheap = lightweight for helmet use)
Modified with 4000k XP-L Hi.
Focused at maximum throw, it throws a square die shape beam that is about two to three feet wide at far distances.
Perfect for using to light up things off the road, or (usually) to flash quickly across the hood of a driver that still might not see me with my 4000 forward facing lumens. (Don’t just beam it into the car, I don’t want a pissed off blinded driver after me).

Lexel
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Tally-ho wrote:
Lexel wrote:
normal light is not good for a bike light as it has not a beam pattern of conventional down lights
so you wll blind other people on the road

so normal light is only off road good for long distance and lightning up tree branches above the light that may hit you unseen with a conventional bike downlight


Handlebars are generally around or less than 1 meter above the ground. For road cycling, if you keep the flashlight tilted down to have the farthest part of the circle of the hotspot projected forward at about 8 meters, which is enough to anticipate road bumps and holes while commuting at 30 to 35 km/h in urban areas, the upper part of the cone of the hotspot will stay under 1 meter.
It won’t blind someone walking or cycling and it won’t enter the interior of a car. The spill stay on my lane and is not bright enough to really blind someone with its upper part.
I’m checking it daily in winter before my first pedal stroke, but I do agree that careless people should use more dedicated bike light.

My most used FL for commuting are a 4sevens maelstrom X7 (XM-L2) or an Eagle eyes X6 (XM-L2)…not crazy bright. Years ago i was using P60 hosts and drop-ins.

A convoy S2+ should be fine if used responsibly.

NB : the best to BE SEEN : reflective jacket.

The spill of a reflector or even TIR is enough to blind more than an average car light will do
putting the hotspot and corona all the way down wont do it for fast cycling

the only thing that works is taping 1/2 of the reflector on the upper part

siata94
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like Paul321, I use and like the Fenix ALB-10 mount. I only ride on mountains, with lots of climbing to get to
the fun stuff going downhill. For context, I ride an “enduro” bike with 170mm travel front and rear with big
knobby tires, and it still gets pretty bumpy at certain sections.

That said, I’ve used many, mostly modded by experts on BLF and they know who they are (PM me if you’d like),
all are 1×18650. I typically use a triple or quad led on the bar for flood (brightest being triple led Eagle Eye X6) and usually a single led
tube light on the helmet (BLF A6 or equivalent) for more throw. For my night rides, typically 1.5 hrs I rarely need to swap
batteries but I always bring spares. If I’m leading up/down, then I will go full brightness to help riders behind.
If not, then I go for med/low, whatever is needed depending on the sections.

The Fenix bar mount has been great, I have several of them and have bought many for buddies (as well as modded
lights). The only minor issue is that some of them have a little free play between the light holder and the
bar mount so image is not rock steady. A little shim with whatever (folded paper, toothpick…) and it’s good.
Despite the choppy rides, light beam is solid, none has ever flown off. For helmet, I don’t yet use a mount, I simply
use strips of velcro to secure onto the helmet. Some helmets are more conducive than others for a tube light. I have a helmet that I
just leave light mounted and only use it at night. The better setup is either a gopro mount/adapter (but it sticks up
a bit higher) or I’d found a link for a 3D printed mount that’s much simpler and elegant but never bought it because
night riding at my local trails are no longer permitted (huge bummer because the same trails at night are like completely
different trails and it’s a totally different riding experience at night, and much cooler during hot months). I’ll try to look for that link again…

This looks updated to be able to use the gopro mount. You likely can do w/out that section, velcro mount directly to the helmet:

https://www.google.com/search?q=3d+printed+helmet+flashlight+mount&rlz=1...

As for modded lights… a must for me has been to have them potted to withstand the vibration. I’ve killed a few
lights before doing that, some barely went 100 yds and fried, no fun in the middle of a rough section…

dmsoule
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I use an aspheric zoomie since it puts all the light on the ground in front of me with no spill.

Spartan
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sac02 wrote:
I ride a road bike fast and hard for my 1.5hr commute (one way). I like a LOT of light.
.

Handlebars: Modified Victagen dual LED :
Modified with (2x) 4000K XP-L Hi, and “striped” TIR optics (elliptical beam, puts much more light on the road in front of the bike at the right distance. Much less wasted light above and below)
Modified with 4×18650 battery pack so it can run maximum brightness constant for the whole 1.5hr ride. Normally this would overheat the light badly, but moving at 20+ mph keeps it cool.

If you ride at night…and ride hard….go big or go to the hospital.

Biggest problem night riding in the saburbs is driveway kamakazis and pot holes. Wide, high lumen light is mandatory.

I didn’t pay much attention because i haven’t gone for a ride in a while. Now, I’m looking at the light issue too.

There are a few multi beam lights on Amazon that deserve a closer look.

Moses came from the mountaintop carrying a tablet. The Words were....WITH GREAT LUMENS COMES GREAT REPONSIBILITY.

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I use a Zebralight combo :

  • Handlebar : SC600Fd Mark III Plus, this is floody
  • Helmet : SC600w HI, the throwy one

I've had numerous very nice DH/enduro sessions with that in the woods and mountains. It is also adapted to more roady sessions.

I also usually use one the Fd for day runs, in blinks mode.

Playing with the various modes combination possibilites also proved useful to stay adequately enlighted for ~2h sessions.

They are some of the lightest and smallest 18650 (which is very underrated on the helmet), yet great thermal management also helps for D- situation, where I need full throttle, both on bike and lights Smile

Rise and Shine my precious...

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Here’s my setup.

Convoy S2+ with 3500k SST-20(modded):
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Gray-Convoy-S2-with-luminus-SST20-DTP-copper-plate-ar-coated-glass-lens-7135-biscotti-firmware/32969287656.html

Good handlebar setup(the only one that doesn’t fall off and threads on very well):
http://kaidomain.com/S024466-KBL-C4466-Bike-Light-Mount-Black

Strip lens:
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/LED-lens-for-CREE-XML-XML2-LED-60degree/330416_1577614278.html

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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I understand OP wants a removable battery for charging convenience but I prefer bike lights with built in batteries because (usually) they don’t rattle. It’s a pet hate of mine having a rattling battery.

Pete7874
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Anyone have any experience with this Xanes DL06 ?

Poor man’s Fenix BC30? Smile

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Here’s my setup. Thrunite TN4A with a “strip” type lens installed, one of the options that BlueSwordM linked to above. For my mount I used one made by twofish, not sold where I originally purchased it anymore. It is a velcro type and wiggles around a bit, but I like that feature as it makes me more visible I feel, and does not really affect what I see much.

Got the TN4A on sale for $40 IIRC, the mount was less than $10. 4 AA eneloops and your off and running. It is a bit big, but I ride with panniers, so carrying it while not riding is never an issue.

My backup is my 18350 D4 with a hand carry. I don’t do this for more than a few miles at a time, but have gotten more miles than I would have imagined with it. Bike strobe mode (like has Anduril installed) is very nice.

The Xanes light you linked to looks like it would be hated by any oncoming cyclist. It may be designed for low and wide, but it doesn’t really say that anywhere, it just says “Floodlight”. Other than that it looks like it could be a good deal if it is somewhat reliable.

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

Pete7874
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What does a strip lens do?

BlueSwordM
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Make a horizontal beam pattern like a good car headlight.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

sbslider
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And as a result reduces the light shinning in an oncoming cyclist’s eyes. If you are only riding on the street, not likely a big deal. If you ride on bike paths, your fellow cyclists will appreciate it, or at least they won’t curse you because you don’t have that feature. I think the Fenix BC30 mentioned above is designed to avoid light in the oncoming cyclists eyes as well.

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

Mike C
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Lexel wrote:
The spill of a reflector or even TIR is enough to blind more than an average car light will do

No, it’s not. You can’t assume everyone is running their bike lights at full blast. My bike light mode is pulling 0.2 amps, tilted slightly forward. The spill is not going to blind anyone more than an average car light.
1stein
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Required amount of light is very dependable on scenery. To have a ride on paved (even) roads 0.2A can be sufficient. To ride in woods you need much more light to see the path well.

Ilumenati
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Could someone post a beam shot using the striped optics and possibly the light with the optics used?

I went to Carlco and they show a “striped optic family” but I am not sure how you would integrate with a flashlight, they don’t look compatible.

Thanks,

WalkIntoTheLight
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1stein wrote:
Required amount of light is very dependable on scenery. To have a ride on paved (even) roads 0.2A can be sufficient. To ride in woods you need much more light to see the path well.

I ride on side roads as well as the woods. That’s why I really like the flood from my Zebra SC600w Plus. Not only does it illuminate off to the sides a bit, but also overhead where branches might be hanging down.

I find my most used mode is 700 lumens. That’s a little over 1A current from the battery. I couldn’t imagine cycling with 5×-10x less than that, though I probably did as a kid when there was nothing better.

Pete7874
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Strip lens:
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/LED-lens-for-CREE-XML-XML2-LED-60degree/330416_1577614278.html

Is this a direct fit for Convoy S2+?
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Yes. Direct fit.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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Ilumenati wrote:
Could someone post a beam shot using the striped optics and possibly the light with the optics used?

I went to Carlco and they show a “striped optic family” but I am not sure how you would integrate with a flashlight, they don’t look compatible.

Thanks,



My TN4A with and without striped optic. It is just a flat lens cover with a stripped countour to it. phone set on auto, but this is likely about the intensity difference when you spread the beam out also.

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Pete7874
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Ilumenati wrote:
Could someone post a beam shot using the striped optics and possibly the light with the optics used?

Here is an S2+ with and without striped lens:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/30957

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