Is there any decent bike light?

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Dioda
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Is there any decent bike light?

Venturing into the world of bike lights can be a nightmarish experience for a seasoned flashlight enthusiast. Most of the lights proudly feature poor build quality, unknown or obsolete LEDs, weird UIs, fake lumen outputs and runtimes. Not to forget lack of any info on battery capacity and of course the coldest white tints.

Im looking for a fairly priced light that will be used mainly during off road use, only sometimes in areas with traffic. Im open to both types – integrated as a one unit, or the type where light is powered from separate battery pack stashed in a bike bag.

None of the options available at Ali or so really captured my interest. Maybe the B01 by Lumintop seems somewhat acceptable.

Are there any other models including dedicated bike lights, that you have good experience with and would recommend it? My budget would be around 60-80 Euro, thanks for your help.

Paul321
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This an old article, but it can provide a fair amount of information.
This site does to favor the advertisers, so be aware.
MTBR.com

Paul-

daffyh67
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Exposure Bike lights, not cheap my Diablo Mk10 has taken more hits than a punch drunk boxer and still going. Can be used as a helmet or bar mounted light.
JordanZHP
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I like the Lumintop B01:

https://lumintoplighting.com/products/lumintop-b01-850-lumens-rechargeab...

I think I paid less than $30 with a code from Banggood.

kramer5150
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You need to figure out your stopping distance at top speed to estimate illumination throw distance. Stopping distance varies significantly from rider to rider over various declines and terrain types. Your illumination reach needs to out throw this distance, so you can spot hazards with enough distance to come to a stop before hitting them. You never want your stop distance to exceed the range of your visibility (in general… day and night).

The safest answer to this, without knowing your actual stop distance is “the more lux and lumens the better”. Better to have and not need than to need and not have. Of course theres a trade-off penalty to this philosophy, cost, size, weight…etc.

BTW… Riding off pavement could mean a million different things. XC versus downhill, gravel fire road versus rutted technical single track. Are you a down hill bomber or a casual XC rider out to smell the roses?

I am more of a slow pace XC rider and will do an occasional road commute to work. I use a fenix E35UE. Its an older light but will maintain ~450 steady, honest, floody, all purpose lumens OTF. No PWM, water-splash resistant and has been very reliable. I upgraded the handlebar clamp though.

xtarflashlight
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Maybe you are interested in this RC2-200 EDC Light. It has four colors – white, red, blue and green light, widely used for camping, dog walking, night running. And there is removable clip, a magnet inserted to attracts any iron object: https://www.instagram.com/p/CE889BpMAjV/

Dioda
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At the moment Im willing to pay up for a dedicated bike light. There are some “flat “models by Fenix, the BC30 V2.0 looks decent, and huge plus is that the batteries can be replaced easily and that it comes with remote control. Another option would by something made by Lezyne, feel free to throw in other models you are happy with.

Xylnas
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I’m also trying to find a good bike light solution at the moment, I’m currently leaning towards mounting an SP36 for use in woodland and also having a Lumintop B01 for road use.

Out of interest can anyone provide any insight on what the best solutions for mounting a headlight are?

Dioda
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Do you have the BC30 V2.0 version with double SST40, max 2200 lumens? I wonder if this one has any battery capacity indicator or not at all. Also what is the tint like? It is supposedly neutral white.

SYZYGY
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throwy-ish headlamp for me. ZL H600w IV

 

i want the light to go where i'm looking rather than fixed to the bike.

swhs
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I prefer dynamo powered, but there are issues in all types, despite my efforts with manufacturers, there are no really good headlights. I will also talk a bit about the different types of manufacturers first:

There are manufacturers who specifically aim at the bike lighting market in Europe, which includes Germany and in Germany they have strict rules StVZO/TA (you may not advertise nor sell a light as being a bicycle light unless it is approved, and large fines will be issued to dealers and distributors for doing so! This is I presume also why Lumintop stopped selling B01 on amazon.de, they were likely forced or Amazon refused to list these lights as being for bicycles…)

Then there are torch makers who decide to go into bicycle lights. In the field of torches/flashlights there is far more catering to those who want to see well, i.e. neutral white and even high CRI. But when such manufacturers go to make bike lamps they are mostly quite poor in using cool white LEDs and those who do make them in neutral white still have issues, such as a too low lux rating (which means you can’t see far with it), too narrow beam, etc. The Lumintop B01 looks reasonable but the beam should be wider and from the images I suspect that the cutoff is very soft which means it is hard to properly aim.

Some makers (of bike lighting specifically or of torches who want to get into selling bike lighting) get discouraged by the German requirements. I had an inquiry from a well known maker of torches who in response to my information on the requirements said they would for now at least not bother with selling there.

Cheap bike lights that you see on banggood, aliexpress, are usually rubbish (cool white, low lux rating, poor beam, stupid flashing modes (a strong headlight should not flash), etc.)

- dynamo powered: Almost no progress for many years, most manufacturers use cool white LEDs. Most manufacturers aim for StVZO compliance. This has some outdated rules that they could work around (e.g. to produce more light), but none that I contacted were interested in doing that… This means you get mostly cool white lights with ca. 200 lumen max. Some manufacturers are experts these days in making beams with lots of artefacts. To properly estimate the road condition (such as potholes) you need a smooth beam! (B&M are particularly apt at this sort of beam, after the original Edelux which was good, all their later lights for that reason I judge as ‘rubbish’).

Note that 200 lm is still pretty good, in my tests I saw a factor 3x to 5x equivalence with a circular beam. Circular beams suffer from overexposure of the near field, putting light where it doesn’t light up the road (upwards), and putting light where it’s not useful. If only those 200 lm lights were neutral white and smooth even beams…

- Battery powered lights: There was once the Philips saferide 80, which in total has barely been surpassed by the very expensive lamps such as Lupine lamps. The Saferide 80 with neutral white light and near perfect even beam is not available any more. I got no reply from Spanninga why they didn’t re-issue this light (but then they should do that with a Li-Ion battery). In expensive lights: Lupine uses cool white, which sucks. Supernova’s beam has annoying artefacts, and uses cool white light.

There are a bunch of cheaper lights from manufacturers that go for StVZO compliance, all of which are in the bicycle light business (not torches), and just about all are cool white and with beams of poor to at best reasonable quality.

For more information, see my website: https://swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/index_en.html

specialk
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I am using this one right now, very happy with the beam pattern and the led appears to be neutral white instead of cooler 6500k, very easy on the eyes, also quite a few of constant and blink modes to pick from, the battery appears to be a 26500 which is easily replaceable.and this online review shows that it is regulated.
https://www.wetestlights.com/test.php?l=304&n=Ion%20Pro%20RT
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/search/?text=ion+pro+rt

Boro
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SYZYGY wrote:

throwy-ish headlamp for me. ZL H600w IV


 


i want the light to go where i’m looking rather than fixed to the bike.


+1 for mountain biking, helmet mount is the way to go. ZL always a great choice.
SYZYGY
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even for neighborhood/road biking, a headlamp (attached to my head, not the bike) is very much my preference. nothing to steal off the bike either. lol

Dioda
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For now Im leaning to the Fenix BC25R, as it is reasonably priced, comes with neutral white LED and 600 lumens maximum output should work fine for my occasional night rides. I dont plan to use it for night trails or some downhill races. It also seems to have proper beam profile, with cut-off at the top to reduce glare. Anyone has it? Or better look for some other dedicated bike light?

buck91
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JordanZHP wrote:
I like the Lumintop B01:

https://lumintoplighting.com/products/lumintop-b01-850-lumens-rechargeab...

I think I paid less than $30 with a code from Banggood.

I’m really impressed with this light. Mine has the NICEST neutral tint to it. I mean its NICE. Overall quality is top notch and its plent bright, though its also not setting any records there. Overall I rate it an A+ as a handlebar light for road/commuting/path riding. Would be adequate for trails with a good helmet light but I’d prefer something with a floodier, less shaped beam. Can fit 21700 but mine came with an 18650.

Can’t really compare it to anything modern, back when I used to night trail ride I was using a Cateye Tripleshot modded with SSC P4 U2 leds and it was the cat’s arse. These days, a couple hundred lumens is more than enough as I’m either on a railtrail (paved) or running up to the grocery store if I’m riding after dark.

Xylnas wrote:
I’m also trying to find a good bike light solution at the moment, I’m currently leaning towards mounting an SP36 for use in woodland and also having a Lumintop B01 for road use.

Out of interest can anyone provide any insight on what the best solutions for mounting a headlight are?

I have had good luck using a twofish block on my helmet with a tube style light for many years. I actually really like a 1AA form for this reason but am slowly accepting the benefits of 18650 despite the heavier weight. Back in the day I ran a Fenix L1Tv2 for a LONG time. Now it would likely be the Jaxman E3 for a 1AA size or my Convoy S2+ sst20/OP for 18650. Of course, the options are almost endless as virtually any flashlight will work with a twofish. I did build a 18500 light kind with this application in mind but it turned out heavier than an S2+ so no gain there. The Jaxman E2L does have an 18500 battery tube available, so there is some possibility there…

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MoreHiCRILumens wrote:
Dioda wrote:
For now Im leaning to the Fenix BC25R, as it is reasonably priced, comes with neutral white LED and 600 lumens maximum output should work fine for my occasional night rides. I dont plan to use it for night trails or some downhill races. It also seems to have proper beam profile, with cut-off at the top to reduce glare. Anyone has it? Or better look for some other dedicated bike light?

That might do it. Under 35€ in AE with free shipping. I just don’t prefer those rechargeable lights because sometimes I bike a lot more than I was intended and running out of light ain’t fun. BC30 has a button that turns red when it’s time to swap batteries.
BC30 V2.0 is like 66€ in AE +FS.

I wonder would I get same lumens and runtimes if I just swapped my old one leds into SST40’s or go full crazy mode and try some 3V XHP50.2’s. Make it like DIY V2.0 without wireless switch and little different output levels.

Old BC30: 100 lm, 200 lm, 500 lm, 1200 lm constant + 1800 lm burst.
BC30 V2.0: 50 lm, 200 lm, 600 lm, 1500 lm constant + 2200 lm burst.

Both also has flash modes which should be illegal in everywhere. Just imagine if cars could use strobe modes with led light panels.
Good thing I have no idea how those turn on so no strobe accidents.

No need to be afraid of those lumens. BC30 gives really wide beam profile that easily lights whole road ahead. I use mainly max mode (also just single click to lowest mode when oncoming traffic) or second highest if there is other lighting on the road so that why I would love to get other one, but I will probably need other extra bar just for my lights. Just imagine double BC30’s and some good thrower in the middle. That should do it. Cool

But yeah BC25R looks good:
https://www.knivesandtools.com/en/ct/fenix-bc25r-expert-review.htm

You already probably seen those beamshots and it’s really nice though. Nice way to “aim” those lumens on the road vs. in the sky.
Nice and compact also. That optic looks even a bit better than in BC30 which hasn’t got that deep reflector and square light beam. It cut offs upwards lumens nicely though. You want double the lumens, you pay double.

The only good feature on BC25R is modability compared to Busch and Mueller. Someone on mtbr forum said that hotspot on bc25r and bc35r is too close to the middle. After reflowing the original 4500k XP-G3 with horrible yellow-purple tint shift with dedomed 3300k 95cri SST-20 the upper layer and hotspot of the beam got brighter and narrower (not as close to the middle), while the spill/lower layer got only slightly less intense which meant that the only way to reduce foreground light is by adding some 2cm long upper and lower shields/hoods. Since they also act as a way to increase the conspicuoty light from the sides then the photons aren’t entirely wasted. Photo before shields/hoods were added

https://ibb.co/DVCw4sN

With shields/hoods.
Some artifacts due to requirement of preserving the bond whires while slicing/dedoming. Used for low beam.
https://ibb.co/dkByzyN

https://ibb.co/gV95V5x
Fenix bc35r XHP50 3200k 90cri has less apparent effect with dedoming. Used for high beam.

https://ibb.co/bgrLbVN

puglife2
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Convoy 3×21A sbt90.2

Namelessusername
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puglife2 wrote:
Convoy 3×21A sbt90.2

!{width:75%}https://i.imgur.com/12lh3vY.jpeg!

https://ibb.co/jrDCQsq

For some reason it’s hard to see the the full width of the low beam which extends only to about 20m using correct aiming procedure (1m @ 7m) with Fenix bc25r. Probably due to a lot of ambient light present at the time of taking the pics. On the road with complete darkness you can see the full length of cut-off line with even brightness everywhere.

https://ibb.co/VgyGjYQ

https://ibb.co/4NB9r4d

Fenix bc35r high beam.

https://ibb.co/b3tFdTh

Funtastic
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puglife2 wrote:
Convoy 3×21A sbt90.2

What have you used to mount it?

Piercing The Darkness YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/PiercingTheDarkness

manithree
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puglife2 wrote:
Convoy 3×21A sbt90.2

Lol, I love that. I try to keep the light:bike cost ratio a little lower than that, tho.

cetary
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Namelessusername wrote:

https://ibb.co/jrDCQsq

For some reason it’s hard to see the the full width of the low beam which extends only to about 20m using correct aiming procedure (1m @ 7m) with Fenix bc25r. Probably due to a lot of ambient light present at the time of taking the pics. On the road with complete darkness you can see the full length of cut-off line with even brightness everywhere.

https://ibb.co/VgyGjYQ

https://ibb.co/4NB9r4d

Fenix bc35r high beam.

https://ibb.co/b3tFdTh

Great lights! I like how you picked the warmer color temperature. It’s very good to see consideration for others that’s so seldom seen on US roads. My personal light is a custom built Lumintop B01. It has the 3000K 90 CRI XP-L HD emitter.

Namelessusername
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cetary wrote:
Namelessusername wrote:

https://ibb.co/jrDCQsq

For some reason it’s hard to see the the full width of the low beam which extends only to about 20m using correct aiming procedure (1m @ 7m) with Fenix bc25r. Probably due to a lot of ambient light present at the time of taking the pics. On the road with complete darkness you can see the full length of cut-off line with even brightness everywhere.

https://ibb.co/VgyGjYQ

https://ibb.co/4NB9r4d

Fenix bc35r high beam.

https://ibb.co/b3tFdTh

Great lights! I like how you picked the warmer color temperature. It’s very good to see consideration for others that’s so seldom seen on US roads. My personal light is a custom built Lumintop B01. It has the 3000K 90 CRI XP-L HD emitter.

Agreed, using classical conical beams with hotspot on a bicycle is like constantly looking through the keyhole which strains the eyes when riding all night long. Tried 3700k but at that color temperature everything starts to look too white which increases the glare in complete darkness while reducing the ability to see colors at lower settings when there is too much blue light in the spectrum due to the same old Purkinje effect.
Since Lumintop B01 doesn’t have a layered beam then it might be harder to get even spread of light with lack of nearfield/foreground which is more important on a bicycle in order to steer around those potholes and sharp objects accidentally spotted at the last possible moment (in a car with wider tires and suspension is not that important). Although Lumintop B01 is still better than all the other lights available.

High beam (Fenix bc35r) might be adjusted slightly too high, but it helps spotting trees and whole houses at the distance increasing the ability to prepare for what’s coming ahead.

Edit. Actually the beam of the Lumintop B01 should be layered enough judging by the reflector. Was thinking about getting it but decided to go for Fenix due to neutral white emitters and since I was unable to find any wall shots of the beam. The only thing I remember was dark gap between the nearfield and farfield.
Now saw some wall shots in the video which were too small to make any objective impression while the one in a budgetlightforum thread lacked the spill in the frame. Later seeing other beam pattern shots it gave impression of a single bright spot with some fairly sharp cuttof but without distinctive layering which means that it must be aimed higher to avoid overly bright nearfield.

Here is another one comparison between supposedly stvzo Chinese light with a 90cri XP-G3 and some baking/drawing paper to reduce the green yellow tint shift (similar reflector and diode positioning to Lumintop B01) and Fenix bc25r.

https://ibb.co/S6×16S6

Seems like imgbb is getting offended by noname Chinese light by repeatedly removing it from the site.

https://ibb.co/ZXGPV1k

https://ibb.co/v34RgTk

https://ibb.co/dkYRbX8

Fenix bc35r again Crying

https://ibb.co/XkBjHV5

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JordanZHP wrote:
I like the Lumintop B01:

https://lumintoplighting.com/products/lumintop-b01-850-lumens-rechargeab...

I think I paid less than $30 with a code from Banggood.


The B01 is a decent all-in-one bike light. Got it on sale for $20 from Amazon last year. My old Xeccon had more overall output, alas, it required a separate battery pack, and having to dismount it from the bike to charge it wasn’t as easy as just unscrewing the cap and pulling the battery out of the B01.
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Some pictures on a slightly more remote road from this summer just to get better overview with less ambient lighting.
Fenix bc25r
https://ibb.co/dtt4kKq
https://ibb.co/v4D7rJY
The light coverage seems to appear more even compared to previous ones in these pictures.
Fenix bc35r
https://ibb.co/JsSPcWQ
https://ibb.co/Ytc6NrS
Note that tall grass makes the nearfield appear to be too bright due to wide beam pattern.
Chinese noname cut-off type light on the same road for comparison.
https://ibb.co/jZFh7Dr