Which torch as bike light?

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Bean darach
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Which torch as bike light?

I’m looking a bike light for use on country roads. The roads around here are mostly narrow and in in poor condition, and with times being hard the car drivers are slow to replace blown bulbs. So the wise cyclist wears a reflective jacket and has decent lighting.

The dedicated bike lights in the better shops look attractive: big battery pack down low, and a head mounted on the handlebars without the weight of batteries to make it jump around. However, many of those lights have weak LEDs, and the decent-looking one have silly prices. There’s not much under $100 that seems worth considering.

So I looked at the bike lights on FastTech, where the prices are less injurious. I quite liked the design of the SolarStorm X2 … but the only reviewer was unimpressed by quality of the battery pack (poorly sealed, with a cardboard insulator!), and I don’t like the idea of a cheap-and-nasty charger for LiIon batteries.

A further problem is that none of the dedicated bike lights specifies the colour bin, and that’s a big issue for me. This is a damp part of the world, and I find blueish LEDs rather useless in rain and mist. For any given output level, a neutral white (or even warmer) performs much better in practice.

So I think that a torch might be a better option. The Convoy torches from FastTech are beautifully-made, well-priced, and come in a decent choice of tints.

The first question with any of them is whether I can get a solid enough clamp to hold a torch securely on the handlebars with minimum wobble. Obviously, the lighter the torch, the less wobble … but the more secure the clamp, the better. Any suggestions on where to find a decent clamp?

The next question is which torch. I want a floody beam, so the C8 is out. That seems to leave a choice of S2/S3/S4/S5/S6/S7 or the heavier M1/M2. Any suggestions on which gives the best flood?

PacoA
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Chicken Drumstick
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I suspect if tint matters you may have to modify whatever you buy.

The only other thing I’d say is consider how you can “dip” the light. Blinding oncoming cars with 2000 lumens of XM-L power will do nothing to aid them not crashing or running into you. You’ll be hidden behind a wall of light and they’ll not be able to see you or anything else.

Bean darach
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PacoA wrote:
just few minutes ago:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/22096

Just spotted that after writing my message!

Of those options, S3 looks the best torch. M1 too heavy, so that probably rules out the M2 as well. But I’d still be interested on any thoughts of how the S4/S5/S6/S7 compare.

xv-750
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I use it for EDC & dog walking. No streetlights around here. It's got a wide beam and is pretty floody, doesn't get too hot on high outdoors (6 x 7135 XM-L U2 1B) and I think would do well as a bike light.

It's as good as my motorcycles 5.75" headlight.

Riding for 57 years, last off was black ice in ’73.

First paid computer job was in ’75, writing an extra report for HAPAS accounts on a Wang Computer.

Bean darach
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xv-750 wrote:

I use it for EDC & dog walking. No streetlights around here. It’s got a wide beam and is pretty floody, doesn’t get too hot on high outdoors (6 × 7135 XM-L U2 1B) and I think would do well as a bike light.

It’s as good as my motorcycles 5.75” headlight.

I’m curious about the cut-outs in the side of the head on the S4.

Do they help cooling? Do they reduce waterprofing?

eebowler
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The 3C and 4C tints are nice but not really warm enough especially for rainy conditions. The best bang for the buck is the T5, 5C XM-Ls. My main light is a 4C, XP-G not bought from fasttech and it has the same tint as the T5, 5C LED. I have a S3 in T5, 5C and the colour is beautiful!! (sorry, sleepy… not all that coherent.)

My gratitude to those who are willing and able to help others (in whatever way you can)! Being human is more than just existing for yourself. Smile

xv-750
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The S4 stays dry walking in the rain, and it only gets comfortably warm walking outside. I've only used tailstanding on high for long enough to take a shower, and it gets reasonably hot doing that.

Riding for 57 years, last off was black ice in ’73.

First paid computer job was in ’75, writing an extra report for HAPAS accounts on a Wang Computer.

purple
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If there’s some ambient lighting along the roads, I would recommend not getting too bright a light as it will screw up your night vision. I learnt this the hard way when I had over 1000 lumens on my bicycle. Turned into a corner at speed but could not see a parked bike in mid-corner. Had to bail at last moment and cost me a fractured rib Sad

Nowadays, I ride with about 200 lumen light. But, OTOH, if it is on pitch dark roads, I would say as bright and floody as you can get.

Bean darach
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purple wrote:
If there’s some ambient lighting along the roads, I would recommend not getting too bright a light as it will screw up your night vision.

Good point. But not much ambient lighting on these roads.

purple wrote:
Nowadays, I ride with about 200 lumen light. But, OTOH, if it is on pitch dark roads, I would say as bright and floody as you can get.

Thanks. The Convoys all have a mode selector, so a bright one can be turned down a bit.

I’m inclined to go for the 2100ma driver, so that it doesn’t overheat on high.

I’m a bit put off by the S4’s requirement for a 65mm (length)*18mm (diameter) 18650 flat top battery, which I presume means it will have to be unprotected. So I’m leaning towards an S3 to allow me to use a protected cell, because AFAICS the S4/S5/S6/S7 all require small flat-tops.

mhanlen
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Bean darach wrote:
purple wrote:
If there’s some ambient lighting along the roads, I would recommend not getting too bright a light as it will screw up your night vision.

Good point. But not much ambient lighting on these roads.

purple wrote:
Nowadays, I ride with about 200 lumen light. But, OTOH, if it is on pitch dark roads, I would say as bright and floody as you can get.

Thanks. The Convoys all have a mode selector, so a bright one can be turned down a bit.

I’m inclined to go for the 2100ma driver, so that it doesn’t overheat on high.

I’m a bit put off by the S4’s requirement for a 65mm (length)*18mm (diameter) 18650 flat top battery, which I presume means it will have to be unprotected. So I’m leaning towards an S3 to allow me to use a protected cell, because AFAICS the S4/S5/S6/S7 all require small flat-tops.

From first hand experience the S6’s only accept flat tops.

budgetlightforum.com/node/21901

purple
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I think the Roche F12 is similar to the S4 and fasttech claim the roche takes long 18650s. No experience with either lights, I was just browsing them some time back.

1nterceptor
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I prefer to mount my flashlight/torch on my helmet;
so I can direct the light in the specific direction I want.
If you mount your lite on the handlebars; the first instinct
is to mount it on top of the bars. But I think mounting it
at the bottom of the bars would give a better balance.
You can use specifically made clamps, or just use strips
of an old inner tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d0×7NxhSdQ

borstar_micke
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1nterceptor: I def. agree with mounting flashlights under the bars, have done it with both my Nitecore EA4 and BLF A8.

Much easier to balance them and much less bouncing…

Bean darach
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1nterceptor wrote:
I prefer to mount my flashlight/torch on my helmet

I don’t use a helmet Smile

kgatwork
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Can you see all the pot holes on your route with this light? I’m guessing the video can be a little misleading. Looks like a bright hot spot, but not much spill. It only takes one missed pot hole to take you down at the wrong time.

Aurora AK-P7-3, MTE-M3-2, WF-501B red Led, Convoy C8,S2, HD-2010, TR-3T6, SRK, Warrior, TR-J12, TR-J18, Sam Club HID

ABitDark
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The Convoy S3 looks like it is similiar size as the S-Mini, which was going to be my helmet light, suplementing a main light on the bars. Now if I can figure out how to compare the pair. Thanks for the comparison.

Bean darach
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leaftye wrote:
Overheating shouldn’t be a problem with the air flow it’ll get on a bike.

Thanks!

I have just ordered one Convoy S3 Cree XM-L T5-5C AMC7135*8

Now all I need to sort out is the mounts. On another thread, I found some links to recommended mounts on dx.com: a velcro mount and an all-plastic mount. At only $5 for the pair, they look worth a try, but dx.com repeatedly times out when I try to register an account Sad

Johm
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I’d go with these:
http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002597/1193005-universal-flashlighttorch-mount-for-bicycles

available on DX but probably more expensive.

They are very stable and very quick to use.

Bean darach
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Johm wrote:
I’d go with these:
http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002597/1193005-universal-flashlighttorch-mount-for-bicycles

available on DX but probably more expensive.

They are very stable and very quick to use.

Thanks, John. I’ll try one of those.

At $1.38 each, it’s a bargain if it works, and no great investment if it fails.

1nterceptor
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“Can you see all the pot holes on your route with this light? I’m guessing the video can be a little misleading. Looks like a bright hot spot, but not much spill. It only takes one missed pot hole to take you down at the wrong time.”

I’ve been using the same light(generic SSC P7 flashlight) for more than 2 years now.
I commute to work(4PM-12AM) 4 times a week, about 5,000 miles a year. More than
a third of those miles are in the dark. No night time crash, yet. I ride in an urban area,
so there are plenty of light sources. Street lamps, store fronts, cars in front and behind,
etc. I don’t have any problems seeing potholes, glass, sticks, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGpBHbEYqeo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

Bort
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Bean darach wrote:
Johm wrote:
I’d go with these:
http://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10002597/1193005-universal-flashlighttorch-mount-for-bicycles

available on DX but probably more expensive.

They are very stable and very quick to use.

Thanks, John. I’ll try one of those.

At $1.38 each, it’s a bargain if it works, and no great investment if it fails.


i plan on trying one of these, slightly more investment, but should be more adaptable
http://www.fasttech.com/products/1315501

The Journal of Alternative Facts

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tallboybass
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I got one of these: http://www.fasttech.com/products/1630/10000946/1079100-universal-bicycle... – it seems to work fine with an Olight S-10.

Boaz
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I like a straight two fish with th e dualling velcro .

 I didn't like the one like Bort  linked to since the bolt rusted and it became garbage  in less than a season .looks handy but really a lame set up . There are really good discussions on BLF about this stuff if you use the search  and look under bike lights or mounts .. I used to use an old 501B p60 with a Bright xpg in it very successfully but I ride slowly too Silly

 http://budgetlightforum.com/node/9785

 two lights always seemed smart to me  one with more flood and the other with more throw .

 gotta love a back up 

                 υμεις εστε το φως του κοσμου ου δυναται πολις κρυβηναι επανω ορους κειμενη

                            Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

Top Cat
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I like the silicone stretchy bands for $1. Lots of guys just run a couple of pretty big 26650 lights like an A8 with no issues, so an S3 or 2, or some combo of flood/throw at 1/3 the weight is a decent setup, but I’d be tempted to try a dedicated light with the battery pack and headlamp adapter for around $25. If I need a light and it’s getting dark I’m gonna go with what I got in my product…light is light…but duct tape is da bomb!

Billy X
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+1 for the silicone elastic bands,& their good for all sorts of get you home repairs.For the torch though,I’ve tried most of

the previously mentioned clamps with their swivels,bolts,rubber spacer bands etc.Basically,they’re all crap!They twist,they

roll,the torch slips,they rust(in southern France so Ireland…)they need tools to dismount .I’ve tried them on and off road and none are really reliable,except… Why is it the simplest and cheapest can be the best.this does it all.Fasttech/Sports & outdoors/Bike computers & misc 1st article.You clamp it to the handle bars as tight as you like,then do the same for the torch.I’ve gone from a single

AAA torch to a TR3T6 3 18650(with aforementioned silicone bungees) so it can take all the sizes you need.Nothing to

rust,quick dismount,cheap,and solid as a rock.
kgatwork
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1nterceptor wrote:
“Can you see all the pot holes on your route with this light? I’m guessing the video can be a little misleading. Looks like a bright hot spot, but not much spill. It only takes one missed pot hole to take you down at the wrong time.”

I’ve been using the same light(generic SSC P7 flashlight) for more than 2 years now.
I commute to work(4PM-12AM) 4 times a week, about 5,000 miles a year. More than
a third of those miles are in the dark. No night time crash, yet. I ride in an urban area,
so there are plenty of light sources. Street lamps, store fronts, cars in front and behind,
etc. I don’t have any problems seeing potholes, glass, sticks, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGpBHbEYqeo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

Thanks for the video. I’ve got to get me one of those hd sports cams!

Looks like you use your light more to be seen than to see with on your urban route.

Your Urban riding environment has a lot more light sources than the suburbs/rural areas that I ride.

I used to use my ssc-p7 and mte-m3 for my night commutes, now I use the bigger the tr-3t6,tr-j12 or tr-j18 on my helmet, kind of awkward but it works. Even with the big lights I still get cager’s pulling out in front of me. Sad I also use a magicshine 3*xml clone on the handlebar, so I’ve got plenty of light to see and be seen. Smile

But I’m always looking for less weight and brighter lights. Currently looking for single head multi-emitter xml bike light with separate battery pack.

Aurora AK-P7-3, MTE-M3-2, WF-501B red Led, Convoy C8,S2, HD-2010, TR-3T6, SRK, Warrior, TR-J12, TR-J18, Sam Club HID

1nterceptor
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I use a ContourGPS cam for my on-bike shots. I also have a Fujifilm XP50
compact camera for photos and more/different angles. I was testing a new
XM-L light yesterday. Everything got soaked, light rain on my way to work;
then it really poured on my way home. Over 3 hours of rain, but all the equipment
survived. Big Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jea4lv48bDQ

1nterceptor
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kgatwork wrote:
…….I used to use my ssc-p7 and mte-m3 for my night commutes, now I use the bigger the tr-3t6,tr-j12 or tr-j18 on my helmet, kind of awkward but it works. Even with the big lights I still get cager’s pulling out in front of me. Sad I also use a magicshine 3*xml clone on the handlebar, so I’ve got plenty of light to see and be seen. Smile

But I’m always looking for less weight and brighter lights. Currently looking for single head multi-emitter xml bike light with separate battery pack.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/22283

djozz
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Hi, I'm not a bicycle-pro and do not own any dedicated cycle light so you guys may have way better equipment , but the other day i used my DQG18650 neutral white (specs elsewhere on BLF) as a cycle light on my handlebar and it was the best light I have tried thusfar. It fits tight in the cheap holder that I use (bought from intl-outdoor), it is a twisty that does not show contact problems on a rough road (so far), and it is so short and lightweight that it stays firm in place when bumping around. And the beam coming from the TIR I find very suitable for cycling. On med the average 18650 should last for 4 hours, on high 1 hour.

 

I made a small video during cycling, that shows the different modes, I switch to the different modes several times. For me low mode really is too low for cycling, medium mode is fine for normal road use but I guess off road (where I do not go normally) high mode could more suitable.

TSellers
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In the 24hrs of Adrenaline race in July one of our team is going to go with 2 Convoy M2’s with XM-L2’s at 6500K mounted on the bars, and 2 Convoy S3’s at about 4500K mounted on the helmet using weaver mounts on Picatinny rails. All lights will be drawing 2.8A for high.

Regards, TS

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