Bicycle light for traveling - good all-around torch

Why pick narrow beam lens? If anything I’d like it a bit more flooder than the comparison photo you provided above …or at least I think so, I’ll know for sure when I actually use it. I was thinking more like 45 degrees or perhaps something like that (thanks for suggesting ledna)

Where do you get an s2+ with XP-L I see only XM-L2 even on the official shop. I mainly picked 1400mA for longer runtimes. Oh btw these are regulated right?

You could try this Fenix
I fellow I ride with uses it and claims it is great. Although it won’t work on your helmet.

Well you can try different TIR beam sizes; they are cheap and interchangeable. Personally I felt like I needed more throw to ride fast with my S2. The narrow TIR was a good improvement over the stock S2 orange peal reflector. Similar beam size but quite a bit more throw.

Not sure where to get a XPL S2+. You can always switch the emitter later if you want.

Yes it would be current regulated.

Almost every led bike light is blinding for oncoming trafic because there is no “cut of” of the beam, that is why they are prohibited in Germany (and most other country’s).
That is why i use a Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ-X as “low beam” on my bicycle (powered by the hub dynamo).
It is not super bright, but lights up the road more than enough.
For the dark roads with no oncoming trafic is use a Convoy C8 with XPL HI led (together with the Lumotec IQ-X).

I also have one of these at the front of the bike (white version) and this one at the back .

I want to be seen on the road, i don’t like being run over by a car or truck on the way to work… (i also use a reflective vest)

Sorry, cant help very much
If you go 25-30km/h what are ~7-8.3 m/s then how far you want to see? I read from somewhere some calculations, but cant remember anymore. Must say, that I ride ~20+ km/h and it are so-so throw with my Cree XM-L T6-4C 523-Lumen 1400mA (4×7135) S2+ type flashlight (actualy Roche F12). It are ~1h runtime. Read that maybe Convoy M1 may be better choice for riding than S2.
My first “ride” flashlight was UltraFire WF-501B from dx (bought it ~2011 so how much it same). It was better throw and ~1h runtime too. I put some folium between reflector and host inside for better cooling. If you ride, cooling will be bretty good anyway.

Fellow biker here (generally mountain biking now, but I’ve done some backpacking trips). Maybe some of what I’ve sorted through can help. I also own a Convoy 2.1A S2 and some Convoy M1’s (built for helmet use). I’ve posted some beamshots comparing some of the typical optics beams. I’ve also tested some diffusion techniques (though don’t trust the lux comparisons so much - that’s before I built my sphere).

From my limited experience I’d say in this order choose a headlight, then a headlight, then a headlight :slight_smile: . Seriously, the headlight will be worth it’s weight in gold when you need both hands. Go neutral white (4000 to 4200k my personal preference) whenever possible; while biking you’ll get less glare and be able to see details such as rocks, roots, etc. . . much better. I’d also recommend quality lights. The Convoy’s are a value that is extremely hard to beat. Problem with Convoy’s has been the usual stock “2 group” driver which has that annoying flash in low mode and is too easily accidentally changed into the group with flashy modes.

I do like your idea of using a flood-to-throw light. You’re never going to beat the wide flood of a zoom light with a reflector based or TIR based light. It’s versatile too. I would look at the cheap Warsun X65 (I have one which hasn’t been used much) which takes 3*AA’s * not 3AAA’s like listed at Banggood. AA’s will give a huge runtime increase over AAA’s, though at the expense of weight and size (that Warsun is very large).

On my trip (not that long of a trip) I fretted too much about being able to get batteries on the go. In reality the numerous 18650’s I carried (in cases) were way more than enough for me. I’d say carry more cells and buy some good high capacity ones to get the most runtime.

I agree with the post above, you need more throw for riding with speed. The S2 would be sufficient at slow speeds, but I’d step up to an M1 for faster rides. I’d say the M1 has enough spill for rides on road or path, a bit too dim of spill for me on singletrack in the woods though. See this thread on my 2 Convoy M1’s (XP-G2 @ 2.1A vs. XM-L2 @ 3.04A). I’ve since reflashed the drivers to boost low mode up to 30% (or was it 35?), but it’s still 2 mode, always starts in low. Surprisingly 30 (or 35, whichever it is now) isn’t that much different in actual use from 100, but has much much more runtime.


I agree a stock S2+ (with domed XML2 or XPL, and OP reflector) doesn’t have enough throw for fast riding. But changing the emitter to a domeless XPL HI and getting a narrow TIR will make it throw about as well as an M1 with a domed LED.

The stock OP reflector is not good for throw, but the narrow TIR throws about as well as the S2 smooth reflector, but with a larger beam.

Just curious, what does a narrow (I assume you mean the 10º LEDDNA optic, which is also at FT & others) optic do with the stock domed XM-L2 beam? It is worth using? Is the optic a simple drop-in or are there mods to be done. I actually don’t want throw from my EDC S2; I prefer it nice and floody.


All of my leddna optics for my s2+ just drop in before the pill then I screw the pill in.

Isn’t this what you tested in the thread you linked above?

I have never had a domed LED in my S2, but with the XPL HI the narrow TIR has about the same beam size as the OP S2 reflector, but more beam intensity. The spill directly from the LED is more narrow with the TIR.

There are some more beam shots here:

Yes, I mean the 10 degree one, but the actual beam angle depends on the LED that is used. The most narrow TIR uses all of its available frontal area, so if you look into the front of it the yellow color of the phosphor will fill the front of the optic. The wider TIRs are intentionally shaped to be essentially defocused. If you look into the front of those the yellow color never completely fills the optic. It sort of mimics a smaller reflector and it causes a broader beam.

I prefer the narrow TIR. It takes some of the spill and puts it into the beam, resulting in a wider beam with similar intensity, when compared to a smooth reflector of the same size. It is a trade off though; the spill is much more narrow. But for most applications the wider beam is worth it for me.

You have to take the white plastic casing off of the TIR, and you need a suitable spacer/centering ring. I find that the convoy L2 centering ring (with the thickness sanded down some) works well for the TIRs I’ve used. Other than that it drops right in.

Thanks for the replies. I’ll have to study the thread you linked.

That warsun X65 is indeed bulky and heavy without batteries. I’d prefer something lighter and carry more food instead.

The higher speeds I mentioned are for moving around in the city where the light is usually enough to see without a light. I’d use it on low and pointing slightly downwards as I know it can be blinding to other drivers. The problem with the headlamp in this setting is exactly that, it can be not only blinding but also deteriorating to other drivers, compromising your safety and/or the safety of others.

Sometimes I might go quite faster than 30 but that’s in well lit city highways. You do not really need a light to see in those conditions, just something to allow others to know you are there. If I can make them thing I’m driving a motorcycle then that’s great, they’ll pay enough attention.

While travelling I’ll mostly use small countryside roads or old national roads. I imagine the average maximum speed, with racks full of stuff, would be perhaps 25km/h. Forest dirt roads will be rare and usually short(ish).

That’s why I had a zooming (TK737) as main choice. I was planing to use it on full flood low in city and medium with some throw when travelling. In those more rare conditions, that will arise for sure, I could just adjust throw and intensity. Or that’s what I was thinking, I don’t really have first hand experience with travelling or flashlights to make the best possible decision.

I understand that I can’t have the best performer for all situations in one cheap and small package, I know I’ll have to make compromises here and there.

Something like an S2+ with XP-L hi sounds like the right direction to me. As for modes, I think lightbringer mentioned something with a slider. I don't know how far or frequently you bike, but I want to be able to rely on knowing how much runtime I'll get, that means no slidy, no rampy stuff, just pre-set modes that you can count on. It can be pretty hard to judge just how bright you have it set otherwise.

I actually like zoomies, but absolutely not on a bike. In zoom mode they have no spill. In flood mode they have no hotspot. Both are terrible on a bike, and no, half way zoomed doesn't fix the problem. If you can get enough throw to be happy out of a reflector tube light like an S2+ then that seems the way to go for also using as an EDC.

I have a lot of LED flashlights and I tried my BLF A6 at night last week and I was really impressed.
Adequate throw and floody enough to see along the sides for city riding.
The runtime was better than most of the other lights I’ve tried.
S2+ would be good too but I haven’t compared the runtime.

Thanks for the input. Although I haven’t made the order yet I was convinced an s2+, probably with wide TIR, would be a good all around choice, but then garry came along lol. I ride almost daily but not for long at night, maybe 1-2 hours, but yes, I would like something dependable for travelling.

Assuming the current draw is the same, the same emitter if fitted to S2+ and A6 and you use the same battery, what defines run time is purely the contact quality, no?

BTW I checked the linked threads, indeed the 25 and 10 degrees TIRs look better, but 25 seems to leave a dark area I didn’t like. 10 was more uniform.

I've got some of those LEDDna optics as they seem to be liked by some cyclist communities. Haven't had a chance to try them on the road yet, but definitely the 25s seem too wide to me. I'll probably leave one of them on my quad setup, and the rest will be 10's.

Just want point out, that there may be with S2+ some sound, when used lower levels, so you may want consider how many 7135 (how many mA) you want. So I read, I dont own S2+.

The sound from my s2+ is very intermittent and I don’t here it unless I’m in silence. The 8x7135 is what I have. Medium mode makes the loudest little whine, but mine is only 3 mode.

I was thinking of getting the 4x or even 3x version, for maximum battery life. I have excellent hearing, it won’t be a problem when riding but it may be a bit annoying in silence. Oh well

If you’re riding it’s unlikely you’ll hear much and the fewer the 7135’s the less the noise. I agree about using some variety of tube light. You might consider ordering a few different optics to try in it to see which you like best in person. Also, emitter choice dramatically affects beam angle so with any given optic or reflector an XML will have a broader beam than an xpg. The broader a beam is the dimmer it will seem at the same current. When driving it’s often difficult to see riders that think they are well illuminated so use a separate blinky please. 1A aimed at the ground 5m out won’t be blinding anyone and neither will 1.5A since it’s the spill oncoming traffic is seeing and you need them to see it. By all means the spot should be kept out of their eyes but you want to be noticed at a distance. Riding with just enough light to see by in order to maximize run time can get you pancaked. Drivers eyes are not night adjusted, they’re constantly hit with other oncoming headlights and you need to compete closer to that level to be noticed safely, especially since the drivers most dangerous to you are coming up from behind you.

I agree with RBD. Arguments about blinding drivers are a bit theoretical anyway compared to getting noticed (not even just merely seen) on a bike. It's a balance, but I drive and I bike, and one is a life and death thing on a daily basis and the other, well it could be if everything lined up just wrong. At least when a driver is "blinded" they're aware of the problem. But keep a tight hotspot and wide spill and light pointed down a bit and you're good.

I saw a cyclist once with the whole bike lit up, covered in strings of colored LED's. Very visible, probably pretty high total lumens, but not blinding at all, just like a neon sign.