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I would like to get into night riding and wanted to know what set up everyone is running. I've heard different things from various people regarding where they place the more powerful light. Some prefer using a brighter one on the helmet while some prefer on the handlebars.

The trail I'm going to ride at night has some switchbacks and it isn't technical so I was considering going with something like the Jet Lites A51 on the helmet only or adding a cordless unit like the Cygolight Expillion 400 on the bars to light up what's directly in front of the tire. Your opinions or insight is highly welcomed, thank you.
 

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Flood on bars spot on helmet
I have about 1700 lumens on the bars and about 700 on the helmet.:thumbsup:
 

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Most of the time I prefer to have both helmet and bar lights. My 2 lights are pretty close to the same lumens but the bar one is a little brighter. I have an Amoeba for the helmet and a Jetlites A-51 on the bars. I set the A-51 up to light up mid to far and the Amoeba for mid to near. This works really well for me.

When riding in inclement weather up in Northern California (rain and more rain) I only ride with the handle bar mount. So if I only had one light it would be a bar mount. Based on my experience the rain droplets, water/mud of the front tire, and water/mud off the rider in front of you reflects the light from the helmet light to the point is better to not have it.

Anyway charge your lights the night riding season has begun.
 

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Both, flood on bars and spot on helmet. If I get lazy and forget to charge one of the battery packs I stay lazy and just go with the bar mount because easier to deal with.
 

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I rode for the first time at night the other day with an actual dual setup. I've always just had "crappy" $30 AAA battery lights, and had to do what I could do... lol.

Well, I finally destroyed the bank account a little bit and purchased 2 NR MiNewt setups. I got a 150, and a 300. I got the 150 for cheap from the LBS, and I picked up the 300 off the internet in the clearance bin. Cool stuff.

I put the 300 on the handlebars, and the 150 on my helmet. Ummm... I could see better than I ever have before on a ride, and it was fantastic for those tight twisty single-track switchbacks we have out here. It was nice to have the helmet light, because like a miner... I Could see and spot "ahead" of where I was on the trail. The 300-lumen MiNewt has enough power and decent light intensity to "flood" the trail, and on the sides of the trail to light up rocks and drop offs. I was able to ride as fast at night as I do during the day. It was a great experience.

I highly recommend BOTH. Whether or not you want the brighter one on your bars is your choice.

:thumbsup:
 

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Both, flood on bars and spot on helmet. If I get lazy and forget to charge one of the battery packs I stay lazy and just go with the bar mount because easier to deal with.
+1

Buy an expensive light for either helmet or bars and an elcheapo for the other. I don't like commuting with just one light. When I am on the paved MUP portion where it is dark, I really like the bar light to see obstacles on the path. And the helmet light is good for seeing critters (eyes shine well) on the edges.
 

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both. Where you put the brighter one depends on what terrain you ride in - if it's very rocky and not too twisty, put the brightest light on the bars to cast shadows, if it's smooth but very twisty, put the brightest light on the helmet to see the trail round corners. If it's the latter, you can get away with just a helmet light, although it would be a good idea to carry a torch as a backup.

I literally can't ride the trails round here with a 26er HT and just a helmet light as I can't see the lines through the rock gardens, but I spent 8yrs plus riding the same bike with only a helmet light before I moved here.
 

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To all of you who ride at night, if you were limited to only one light would you place it on the bars or helmet and why?
In my opinion, there is no doubt, I would absolutely without question ride with a light on the helmet. I ride Road with just 1 light and it works great. On MTB I prefer more light and add a flood to the bars. I think if you can borrow a friends light you should run out to a local area that you're familiar with and try a single light on the bars and helmet separately and see for yourself.
 

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Characteristics of where you place the light -

Light on the bars - With the light being below your eyes, it produces "shadowing" of obstacles. The downside of the light being on the bars is the light is always pointed in the direction that you bars are pointed. Can be a problem on tight, twisty switch backs where you want to look around the corner. The other thing is having to make a repair in the dark with your light bar mounted. Almost have to remove it to get the light pointed where you need it

Light on your head - With the light above your eyes, it tends to "flatten" out obstacles as it doesn't produce as much "shadowing". The upside is that your light is always pointed directly where you are looking. Making repairs in the dark in much easier with the light on your head. The downside to a helmet mounted light only is that when you are looking to the sides or around a switchback, you don't have lighting on the ground (which could be actually visible in your peripheral vision). In snow, fog, and rain, a helmet only light can be difficult. The light reflecting back at you off of the moisture in the air can make visibility very difficult.

Light on both the helmet and the bars - Best of both worlds. Always have light directly out in front of you and where you are looking. If it gets snowing, raining, or foggy and it is making visibility difficult because of the helmet light, then you just go bar only. All 24hr races require repetitive light systems for safety. I have heard stories of many people that have had their only light die on them and have had to walk out, not fun. I have heard stories of people trying to use the light from their cell phone to get out, brutal. I like running both because I never know what kind of lights other people are showing up with. You never leave a fellow night rider alone with a dead light.

***
 

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Scar summed it up quite nicely and I agree with everything he posted here. I ride with the brighter light on the bars b/c there always seems to be a lot of moisture here and it makes it nearly impossible to ride with strictly a helmet light. So I use my helmet light at a lower power than the bar light and it usually works out nicely. Sometimes though it is better for me to not use the helmet light at all if it is extremely foggy. Still I always bring both bar and helmet light.
 

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I would like to get into night riding and wanted to know what set up everyone is running. I've heard different things from various people regarding where they place the more powerful light. Some prefer using a brighter one on the helmet while some prefer on the handlebars.

The trail I'm going to ride at night has some switchbacks and it isn't technical so I was considering going with something like the Jet Lites A51 on the helmet only or adding a cordless unit like the Cygolight Expillion 400 on the bars to light up what's directly in front of the tire. Your opinions or insight is highly welcomed, thank you.
I think the set-up you proposed should be fine although personally I think you could do better with a little more output on the bars. If you pick the right light it really wouldn't cost you that much more ( or perhaps less...:) )
 

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personally I like the lighter/spotty setup on the helmet and bright light on the bars. The helmet light is mostly for looking through the tight corners because the regina optics have good flood and throw on the bars
 

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I rode the other night with one light mounted on the fork leg of my Mukluk.
This is by far the best position as far as illumination that I've tried.
I've always run a light on the bars and on the helmet, but with the light mounted lower on the fork leg, it shone farther ahead. I thought the tire would cast a shadow, but it wasn't noticeable. A friend tried out my bike and agreed that this lower placement worked great.
The Mukluk is easy to adapt a mount to the fork, not sure how I'd adapt one to a suspension fork....
 
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