Author Topic: Recommendation for front light?  (Read 9216 times)

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Offline jwrushman

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2016, 05:49:05 pm »
To recap my original query.  I need a forward pointing light, to help illuminate the road and also to aide in me being seen.  My question is not so much whether or not I need a light (I believe I do) nor the type of light, but options for mounting it given that part of the handlebar is occupied by a bag.

John Nelson, thanks for your advice regarding handlebar extensions.  I'll have to check out some videos to see if it will work.  That is, allow me to use the handlebar bag, give me a light, and not use up handlebar "real estate".

John again, regarding using my camp headlight.  I have a Petzl headlight for backpacking that I was planning to bring.  I realize if I want to cut down on weight, I could leave the Petzl home.  I don't know how well I'd like it when wearing a bicycle helmet.  It's worth a try.  I think if I'm looking to save weight, I'd probably jettison the Petzl and get a better bicycle light that might be able to do double-duty.

Paddleboy17 - I think your idea could work for me.  Please post a picture.  I think I have a pretty good idea of what you're talking about.

Walks.in2.trees - Getting rid of the handlebar bag is an option I'll have to consider.  I guess I was too focused on how to make the handlebar bag work and I wasn't thinking "outside the box".  Thanks for expanding the box!






Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2016, 06:30:06 pm »
O-o-o-o-Kay.  Are we talking about gear for touring, or for commuting?  And if it's for touring, how often do you bike tour at night?  Night is a great time for sleeping if I'm on tour...

Offline jwrushman

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2016, 06:43:05 pm »
Touring.  Thanks for the clarification.   I don't plan to ride at night, but on poor-visibility days, or if I arrive later that I expect at my destination, I think some lighting is necessary.

I'm planning a ride from NJ to Anacortes WA for next year.  Three other have expressed interest.  I'm going regardless.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2016, 02:11:59 pm »
There are many options for mounting a light up front starting with these at Adventure Cycling https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/gifts-under-30/sp/paul-components-gino-light-mount/ and
https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/search-results/sp/paul-components-stem-cap-light-mount/
Minoura also makes this T shaped device http://www.minoura.jp/english/accessory-e/sg400-e.html and this bar end holder
http://www.minoura.jp/english/accessory/lightholder/lma-h.html.
I've used them all, they all work. I like the stem cap mount because it gets it up above the handlebar bag but only works on
the bike with threadless headset. The other bikes either have the bar end or the T mount. I didn't like the axle mount because I couldn't turn on/off the light on the fly and one the bike with a front rack it didn't fit well.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2016, 02:25:58 pm »
Driftlessregion, thanks for your input.  I've already got a phone mount attached at my stem cap.  I might be able to use the handle bar cap extension, but my Surly Disk Trucker has bar end shifters it might interfere with.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2016, 11:06:15 am »
The Minoura T shaped mount clamps to the stem between the cap and the handlebar and has room for two items. It might have room for the light on one side and the phone on the other. Good luck.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2016, 12:26:46 pm »
Paddleboy17 - I think your idea could work for me.  Please post a picture.  I think I have a pretty good idea of what you're talking about.

Here is the light mount that I fabricated up for my Tubus Tara front rack.

Some things that might not be apparent...

There is some rubber stripping from an old inner tube between the PVC pipe and the rack hoop.  This increased the contact point and allowed the hose clamp to get a stronger grip.  It also protects the paint on the rack.  PVC can be a little slippery for some bike light mounts, so I wrapped the PVC with rubber stripping and secured it with tie wraps.  A better implementation might be to take a small inner tube, say a 700x23, and stretch it over the whole pipe.  With all the inner tubes I have butchered for rubber strips I was feeling too miserly that day to butcher a brand new 700x23 tube.
Danno

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2016, 12:44:08 pm »
I have used the Paul stem cap light mount as I do a lot of night riding over the winter.   I have picture of mine down below.  I have something called a Moose Mit on my winter bike that I need to raise the light above.  Moose Mits are a pogie that gives you a nice pocket over your handle bars to keep your hands warm.

I have also used the Minouri T mount.  I find it a little light duty for this, but it is nice in that you can fine tune the rise.

Paul Components makes another thingy similar to the Gino light might.
I think it is intended for mounting a light off the wheel axis (it replaces one end of a wheel skewer).   I got creative and fabbed this up, to mount mid fork, but I have not used it yet.  It based on a Tubus fork mounting kit that I bought from the Touring Store (http://thetouringstore.com/thetouringstore/tubus-bicycle-racks-for-touring-and-commuting/tubus-fit-solutions/), and the Gino like Paul Components thingy.

I also have a Planet Bike Blaze light that I take on tour.  I have had it long enough that the lettering is rubbed off.  It takes two AA batteries, but I think it has to be brighter than the 45 lumen Blaze 1/2 Watt that it resembles.  If you are serious about night riding, it pays to take two lights:  one on your handle bars and one on your helmet.  For touring, I might mount a Blackburn Voyager 3.3 on my helmet.  I don't know if the Voyager 3.3 is still in production, but it is small, light, runs on 4 AAA batteries, and most import for a helmet light--it has a really tight beam.  I try not to tax night riding when on tour, but "things do happen".
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 12:57:32 pm by paddleboy17 »
Danno

Offline jwrushman

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2016, 02:44:58 pm »
Paddleboy17, thanks for the pictures.  It looks like 1" PVC that your using - right?  I'm thinking about using handlebar tap to wrap the PVC.  I'll post a picture once it's complete.  I've still got to try the light on the helmet too. 

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2016, 03:02:12 pm »
Yes, I used 1" PVC. 

Having extra weight on your helmet can be real fatiguing.  For night riding through the winter, I have a pair of 1200 lumen Magic Shine lights.  I like them because they are really bright, and because I can put the battery on the back of the helmet and the light on front, leaving me balanced from front to rear.  I still have extra stuff on the helmet, so balanced or not, all that extra mass is still tiring.  So while you might want to be capable of helmet light, I would not leave it up there all the time.
Danno

Offline Goodaches

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2016, 12:47:33 am »
In past decades I've spent money on disappointing bike lights. In the 90s I improvised brackets for Mag Lights and was for the first time somewhat satisfied with my bike light capability. But the best money I ever spent was for Surfas rechargeable lights. These are bike specific, no improvising, no problems. I mount a 150 or 250 on my helmet so I have spot light in whatever direction I point my face. I mount a 350 on my handlebar. This is a great flood light to augment the helmet spot light when I'm on a rural rail-to-trail. When I'm near town I put the 350 in flash mode. The 350 in flash mode not only catches attention from the front but it gets attention behind me. The 350, like all the Surfas lights have the LED bulb perfectly centered in the very precise parabolic and when it flashes it makes every reflective street sign, traffic sign, construction barrel, anything ahead of me with reflective tape flashes too. With everything ahead of me flashing it gets the attention of drivers coming up behind me to notice our side of the road and me. I do also have the red LED Surfas blinker on my backside. I've mostly used all these lights for day and night commuting. However, I do have them with me when touring for those frequent times that I run out of daylight before reaching that day's objective. The rechargers are very light but maybe bulkier than they need to be. The run times that they advertise seem about right. I've had nearly a hundred recharges on these lights and even on trips where we were several days between outlets I never managed to run these out of electicity.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2016, 07:57:29 pm »
Hmm while checking the features of the Serfas mentioned above, I found this website
https://www.bikelightdatabase.com

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Offline Goodaches

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2016, 09:37:47 pm »
Wow, yeah, that website looks like a great resource. I've had my Serfas lights for over three years now and hadn't shopped again since being so satisfied. Looks like some even better choices will be awaiting if I ever wear these out.

Offline dancingcyclist

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2017, 01:03:40 am »
After reading the suggestions regarding your front light questions here's what I'm doing.

As an old time backpacker/climber turned bike rider/new bike tourer. I've been on a few local overnight trips to work out some bugs while using a lot of my mountaineering gear, lights included.

I use to commute by bike so I had a couple of handlebar mounted lights that worked ok for around town but like you could not mount them when using my handlebar bag. However the newer headlamps using LEDs worked great when wrapped around the bag as mentioned by another person answering your post. Nice thing about these headlamps is that they come in a number of options to site your needs. I have two of the cheaper ones I bought when they first came out that run on 2-3 AAA batteries and have multiple settings (brightness and flashing combos). This is great for touring/camping as I can reach down and turn the light on/off and angled as needed while riding (tunnels) and then wear it on my head while in camp and they weigh next to nothing.

Good luck with your tour, look me up if you make it to Burlington, WA
Jerry