Noob needs guidance for 18650 torchlight bicycle use

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exe
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Noob needs guidance for 18650 torchlight bicycle use

Noob here, hello all. I’ve read all I can read in the last 10 days or so and it seems like an endless tunnel. I need some guidance to see if I’m on the right trail.

I want to use torch lights to put on my bicycle handle bar to ride city light and non lit bicycle trails. I am new to bicycling and not having any lights, I have not ridden at night. My travel time is usually below 1 hour. I’m narrowed my selection to Solarforce L2 for front lights, I will get just one unit. For my use, is it ok to just use the regular L2? I’m confused about the drop ins. Solarforce sells a XML- 3-8.4v 5 mode light. I am unsure if I need 5 mode (mainly for the strobe function) but thought to get one just in case. I have read about recommendations to get the drop ins from Outdoor store, they also have a XML T6 5 mode. Both selling at about the same price, I don’t understand what the differences are and which to prefer.

Body, grey L2 and grey L2P 2011:
http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FB&s=1&id=20
http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FB&s=7&id...

Drops XML T6:
http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=RB&s=40&i...
http://www.intl-outdoor.com/c8-module-xml-t6-led-amc17358-driver-p-261.html

——————-

REAR LIGHTS:

For the rear lights, I was wondering why no one is using a torch as a rear light? I would prefer strobe rear, I found this item, Ultrafire WF-501B Philips Luxeon K2 Red LED Flashlight , reading the reviews, people are saying it’s only about a 40 lumen torch. The item is cheap, about $10, it is only one mode:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafire-wf-501b-philips-luxeon-k2-red-led...

I found Solarforce also sells red LED 5 mode. Solarforce Red 225Lms P4 Cree Led Bulb 4.2-8.4v.

http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=RB&s=28&i...

If the production of glare is a problem for people behind the red LED lights, I was thinking of putting some kind of filter to soften the light (like bubble wrap). I have also found red colored cones and red filters, so I should be able to use these instead of a red LED drop in ( they are pricy at $10 each):

Filter and cone:
http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FA&s=27&i...
http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=FA&s=27&i...
——————————

MOUNT:
I will use this mount to facilitate easy install and taking off when I lock the bike in public:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/universal-bicycle-mount-8274

===============

Would the above work? I would like recommendations on 18650 batteries and chargers please (I have not gotten to reading about battery/charger since I’m stuck with the above). I think my needs are pretty modest, I am looking for a simple system. Thanks for letting me pick your brains and for your assistance.

garrybunk
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Welcome to BLF exe! Stick around and enjoy it! There are lots of threads on cycling lights, batteries, and chargers around here. (You’ve probably done your share of searching.)

Sorry I don’t have enough time to respond in detail, but that Int-Outdoor C8 module won’t fit a “P60” style host (like the L2/L2P’s you linked). If you’re sticking to P60 format you need a P60 drop in like this one at Int-Outdoor (expensive). A lot of people like the Ultrafire 3 mode from Manafont, but it’s only Hi-Med-Low (no strobe or SOS). Manafont has a 5 mode version but I’ve never heard any review on it.

I ordered this “3-mode” from Lightake.com, but it came as a 5 mode with a nice slower strobe. Lightake also has a fake L2 that is really nice. One thing I don’t like about the Lightake drop-in is that the medium is rather high current draw so it won’t be very conservative on battery life (whereas the Ultrafire 3 mode is rather conservative).

The P60 format doesn’t handle heat well, but you will be ok on a bike while moving. You might consider moving up to the C8 format which will handle heat better. Consider one of the nicest C8 lights raved about here – the XinTD C8 which is available with various modes and a cool white or neutral white tint.

Batteries? Probably needs to be based on your budget and runtime requirements. Lots of people like the Xtar 18700’s. but they don’t fit all lights. Trustfire Flame 2400mAh’s (from a reputable dealer like Manafont) have been good budget batteries. The 3000mAh version of those batteries have tested at about the same capacity and therefore not really worth getting. Xtar chargers like the WP2 II have been well liked (early models had issues which seem to be resolved now).

Other’s can chime in on more batteries or chargers. I’m no expert, just chiming in with my 2 cents.

I’m actually leaving this Sunday on a +/- 300 mile cycling/camping trip and plan to use my fake L2 with the Ultrafire 3-mode drop-in for my main light (although I don’t plan on riding in the dark – I’m gonna test it though like a good flashaholic would!)

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

, MTBR’s Lights & Night Riding Forum
NOTE: Now hosting my photos from my Google account. Post up if you can’t see them. Older photos hosted on Photobucket or Flickr may disappear (PM me if you want access to them).
gords1001
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Where are you based? I ask because I bought my front and back light set up from a scotish based seller on eBay (i’m in England) I got a specific front and rear light, the front is high medium low strobe with an English legal (three flash/second I think) stove and an ultra high output rear light, this is cool with a continuous high output led and strobe at the same time, again the strobe is English legal frequency.

The front light is what turned me onto modern high output LEDs, its driven off 4 × 18650’s mounted in a small pack that can be fastened to a mountain bike bar mount, I add a cable tie to the included loops to secure the pack, I’m unsure of the battery configuration, could be 2s2p, the light head is about the diameter of a 50 pence piece and the rear on off switch glows different colours to indicate charge level (blue full, green 70%,orange 40%,red less than 15% I think)

It’s dropped about £20 since I bought it and is a fluxient light, not much info available but it is awesome, both in run time and illumination, I won’t use it on high on the road, it forces cars to pull over 8) offroad the combination off throw and spill from the Xm-l is hard to beat from a single source, many people go for a bar mount for flood and a lid mounted thrower to follow their eye line.

Hope this helps, graham.

exe
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gord1001, I’m in Victoria Canada. I’d like to stick to self contained flashlights, it’s more convenient to take one item off and on instead of multiple straps. I’ll consider the helmet mount at a later time.

Garrybunk, what is the difference between the C8 you linked and a L2 with the XML U2 drop? (ok I guess it’s a format difference, I assume C8 is bigger).

gords1001
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Fair comment, shipping to Canada would be ridiculous to be fair.

The c8 is a similar size tube with a larger head than the l2 say 42mm reflector compared to 26ish mm I think, the xintd c8 xm-l gets a very favourable review both in reliability and construction, it would be a good choice.

Who you need to comment on this is “between rides” maybe worth a pm to nudge him into commenting, I don’t know what he currently runs, but it maybe a 26650 c8 size light to give extra run time along with flood/throw, I think you want a good combination of both on a bar mount, with this size a keygos m10 is a consideration, it seems to review favourably, is available on eBay generally with two cells and a charger for not much cash and can have the driver replaced fairly cheaply if you get the bug and want more output :bigsmile:

cehowardGS
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Welcome exe, great bunch of flashlight people around here , a great bunch..;)

On the bicycle lights, I am a cheap skate, and I follow the code of BLF, that is, getting budget lights. For my bikes, I run PAIRS up front, one on the helmet, and was running a small torch in the rear, but still working on that..

My favorite, is the Keygos M10..Goes for $21.39 shipped on Ebay. The other one is the Keygos Ke-5, going for roughly the same price on Ebay. The M10 is a 26650 light, and the Ke-5 is an 18650 light. Right out the box, these lights are ready to burn a hole in the darkness.

The lights you have listed in your links are good too. But, that red torch is not a blinky. It is almost universal to run a blinky in the rear..

Luck to you,

70+, Old, Dirty and Fast..

garrybunk
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Yes, the C8 is a larger headed light with better heatsinking and will generally give more “throw” (but not narrow beamed throw).

I’d be tempted to tell you to look at the Cylcone C88 at Intl-Outdoor due to it’s battery versatility running on either a 26650, an 18650, or 3AA NiMh’s. Would be tougher to mount though and a bit pricey.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques

, MTBR’s Lights & Night Riding Forum
NOTE: Now hosting my photos from my Google account. Post up if you can’t see them. Older photos hosted on Photobucket or Flickr may disappear (PM me if you want access to them).
raccoon city
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Welcome to the madness, exe!

Best0270

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BetweenRides
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Hi, Exe, welcome to BLF. You have a good start in your OP. I’d follow Garry’s advice on the 3 mode P60 drop-in from Manafont. Most cyclists don’t use and don’t like Strobe or SOS modes. I actually detest them. All they do is annoy people in front of you. Unless you are fixed on having them, avoid is my recommendation. Some commuters will disagree with me on that… I also like the idea of having two lights on the bars, one with Smooth reflector for throw, the other with Orange Peel reflector for flood The L2 or L2P are great lights and will give decent throw. A C8 style will be just a bit better.

I think you can do better on mounts, but the one you chose will work ok. I think you should buy several each of different types of mounts and use the one that works best for you. They are cheap enough to experiment a little (I have about 15 mounts, use 2 types regularly). For quick removeability and all around versatility, try this one: http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1111 This is like the one you linked to, but a little better quality plastic and it swivels: http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1116 This is a very solid mount, but takes a bit to remove: http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1110

For rear blinkies, I don’t know anyone using a torch. Blinkies are cheap and easy to mount – they are made for this application. I generally run 2, one up high just below the seat bag, the other down low on the left seat stay. I prefer blinking mode – it’s annoying but attention getting, which is what you want. SuperFlash style work really well, as do the Blackburn Flea LEDs. They are bright! – visible from 1-2 miles away. cehoward turned us all on to an ebay seller a while back that had SuperFlash clones for about 1/5 the price you will pay for the original. Great spend – perhaps he can post the link later or I’ll come back with it after a little searching.

Anyway, good luck and remember to experiment until you find what works best for you. If you are anything like the other knuckleheads around here, you will end up buying a buttload of flashlights while you search for the perfect cycling light. Wink

exe
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OK, so to narrow down what you all wrote.
*
Front lights: *either XinTD C8 or Keygos M10. Both can take 18650, the M10 can also do 26650. Any additional pointers as to which is better?

I don’t think I will take the Cylcone C88, I don’t want to have mounting problems.

*
Rear lights:* cehowardGS, what rear torch have you used? What do you think about the 5 mode Solarforce Cree red LED that I linked in my OP paired with a L2? Or using a regular white LED and pairing it up with the two items I linked to difffuse, a red cone or red filter.

BetweenRides, I wanted to use rear torch instead of the blinkies because the torch cost just as much ($20) but I will have simplified the battery using 18650, and will probably have much better run times between charge. Thanks for the mount links, I think your look better.

fishinfool
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Aloha and welcome to BLF exe!

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

sanpedro667
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I’m in the process of updating my p7 and MCE based lights:

I have recently purchased the XinTD C8 and this DX UltraFire C2 3 mode XML light:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafire-c2-t60-cree-xm-lt6-3-mode-1200-lu...

Both have less flood and more throw than my old lights. Of the two the XindTD has a tighter hot spot (larger smooth reflector), so if you want a bike light with a floody beam pattern for your handlebars this may not be the best choice.

I’m not sure which other XML based lights offer more flood?

fishinfool
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Aloha and welcome to BLF sanpedro667!

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

viktori
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You might have mounting problems with Keygos M10 as well, depending on which mount you use.

This is my flashlight collection.

exe
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What do you guys think? I have done additional reading and think I will get these a Unique fire UF2200 with XML-U2:

http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/uniquefire-uf2200-cree-xml-u2-l...

Paired with Trustfire protected 26650. Any recommendation for chargers. I have narrowed down to Trustfire TR005 or TR006. They differ in the charge rate, 1.5a vs 1a.

http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/trustfire-liion-battery-charger...
http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/trustfire-dual-channel-liion-ba....

I will get the first two out of the 3 mounts recommended by ‘betweenrides’.

Now since most items will come from Manafont, I was wondering do they list the entire value of the items? In Canada I can import tax free $20 worth of stuff. So I can do multiple orders if I have to.

raccoon city
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Welcome to the club, sanpedro667!

Best0270

exe
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So I finally got the light installed. It’s pretty bright and meets my expectations. Thanks all for the suggestions.

BetweenRides
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Very nice! Glad to hear it's working well for you.

cehowardGS
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A 26650 up front on a bicycle is killer action.. Wink

70+, Old, Dirty and Fast..

Chilipepr
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Hey everyone:

I’m loving my Cyclone C88 (discovered through this forum) and am looking for a solid bike mount for a Trek Navigator 2.0 handlebar.

My main requirements (besides fit for the 38mm body) are that it does not move up/down over somewhat rough terrain (swappable rubber liners of varying thickness would be great) and that that the light is secured, not just dropped into a rubber “U” grip.

Any suggestions?

KrisKras
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Another noob.

 

I'm looking at this light for my bike:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/290749896345?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

or

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/180966316418?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Like the all-in deal with battery and charger.

Is it useful to have a zoom on the bike, or is it going to move on you while riding?

And will the charger do, or am I better of with another charger?

Keep it light and Keep it safe

raccoon city
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Make yourself at home, KrisKras!

Best0270

KrisKras1KrisKras2

BetweenRides
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KrisKras wrote:

Another noob.

 

I'm looking at this light for my bike:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/290749896345?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

or

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/180966316418?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Like the all-in deal with battery and charger.

Is it useful to have a zoom on the bike, or is it going to move on you while riding?

And will the charger do, or am I better of with another charger?

I don't think this is a good spend. The zoomie on flood is not going to be very bright compared to a lot of other lights and zoomed out the little patch of light is worthless for cycling. The batteries are most probably recycled laptop cells with low capacity and the charger is very cheap and you would need to watch it like a hawk to make sure it's not overcharging. You will also need to get a Digital Multimeter to test your batteries.

There are some good suggestions in this thread and many others here on BLF. Do some looking around before making your decision. It might help first to find out a little about how you are going to use the light: Commuting, trail riding, road, fast or slow, time of day?

KrisKras
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Thanks for the welcome Racoon City. Love the pictures !

Thanks BetweenRides for the advice.

I'm now looking to buy the TrustFire A8. Since I have no batteries nor charger, it seems like a good deal and I like the extra runtime of the 26650's.

From the review at http://budgetlightforum.com/node/9414/ it seems like a good combination of flood and throw.
For now it will be my only light, thus a good flood will avoid tunnel vision.

Now the search for the ultimate handlebar mount... Big Smile

Keep it light and Keep it safe

BetweenRides
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KrisKras, the A8 combo is a great choice. Good luck on finding a stout mount for it. I have not been too impressed with the rubber lockblocks and this light - jiggles way too much. I have the Fenix mount on the way that I'm going to mod and try with the A8.

vēer
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Not to start my own thread about it, I wanted to ask whether this supposed C8(???) clone is worth those 6.39$ asked for it:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221120048203
???

Im planning to get one cheapie as my first Li-Ion light to use with my bicycle and Id like to buy my first light as cheap as possible and if nobody has tested this particular light out, Im willing to risk and just buy it, for that money most likely you cant go wrong :D?

BetweenRides
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I don't think you can go wrong with that C8 veer. I had one like it that was one of my first Li-Ion cycling lights, and for $7.60 shipped, it's definitely worth the risk.

vēer
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Yeah, I figured since I missed that awesome 5$ deal on MXDL light, I might as well shell out extra 2$ for this one, bought two, will report as soon as I have them+proper 18650 batteries, now need to find couple of those for decent prices too :D!

Thanks for advice, its cheap so in worst case it could serve as a host for better driver/emitter combo Smile

KrisKras
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Sure is a good looking deal. Thanks for sharing.

If you find a good deal on the 18650's, please share in this thread also Smile

 

May the light shine brightly! 8)

Keep it light and Keep it safe

KrisKras
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OK, got my TF A8 and took it for a spin.

I have it mounted for now with a clone rubber block and mounted it hanging down. Seems not too bad to jiggle. But I've only riden on paved roads.  Am very happy with the combination of throw/flood. Works well on the bike.

More comments from me here: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/9414?page=1#comment-259922

 

Have Fun :hat:

Keep it light and Keep it safe

ReyLight
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welcome to BLF.

 

C8 or 501B with a bike mount can be very budget.