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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went on my first night ride tonight. I gave my brother (and myself) a headlight for Christmas. I charged them both before I wrapped them. So tonight we went for my first night ride. Sorry - we didn't take any pictures. For those of you in Austin, we did the main loop at Walnut Creek. We ran out of time (battery) to do Windy Loop and BMX Loop, but we did the rest of the normal loop.

At first I wasn't too happy with being able to see the trail. I had mounted my big light on the left side of my handle bars. Since the bars taper the only place the clamp fit and stay was next to the shifter. Anywhere else it would move on to a smaller diameter part of the handle bars, then point down. That meant the light was mounted where the bars had a good bit of sweep and it was pointed way too far to the left. After about a 1/2 mile we stopped and I moved the light to the right side of the bars. My computer mount kept it pushed an inch or so more to the center which kept it pointed more forward. I also had a small light on my helmet. But the helmet mounted light wasn't as bright and was pointed too far down. I had to keep pushing my helmet up or ride with my head tilted back.

Then I found my glasses were fogging up when we stopped. I found I had to pull my glasses off and clean them any time we stopped. Once I got all this figured out, it was pretty cool! I was much slower and that caused some issues at times. Something about not having enough momentum to clear some climbs. Then was the issue of my handle bars not pointing where I wanted to look most of time. I want to get a brighter helmet light but then I will start riding more about dusk. At least until daylight savings time starts again.

For anybody wondering - we were wearing shorts and t-shirts. The temperature as between 65 and 70 for the whole ride. Tomorrow we are going to the coast to windsurf.
 

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govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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Very cool! The last night ride I did was at Dana Peak and I had the same mounting problem and result that you di. The helmet light helped somewhat, but it sure was a challenge keeping the bike from wanting to go left. Later I will have to nvest in something other than this ancient view point and trailrat setup I have.
 

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They offer night rides at my local trail, but I'm too scared to do it because I'll get laughed at by all the old men because I just have a commuter light. I don't see the necessity in spending $200+ on a bike light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The lights I got were under $100. They are bright but only lightup the area of the beam. At 20 to 30 feet ahead of me, the spot was about 10 feet wide. When the other rider was in front of me the combination of lights helped a lot. When he was too far ahead my headlight was pointed off in the trees more often than pointing where I wanted to see. Some times that was due to the trail turning and I hadn't started turning yet. Sometimes it was due to me stearing the bike around a tree or rock instead of pointing the front wheel straight. Maybe somebody who is a lot faster than me keeps the front wheel pointed straight, but i'm turning the front wheel.
 

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ArmySlowRdr said:
Very cool! The last night ride I did was at Dana Peak and I had the same mounting problem and result that you di. The helmet light helped somewhat, but it sure was a challenge keeping the bike from wanting to go left. Later I will have to nvest in something other than this ancient view point and trailrat setup I have.
Good to know Dana Peak is still around. I haven't ridden there in 8 or 9 years. Great place to ride close to town and definitely fun to ride at night.
 

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ballbuster
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Nice!

Dang, I havent' done a night ride in forever, it seems. Probably in at least a year. The only local places that are night legal happen to be places that turn into sticky cookie dough mud, which means they are pretty unrideable in winter.

I always have a total blast night riding, tho. Pace is much slower, and there is less cleaning of technical stuff, but that's okay. It's like riding in totally different world. I love it.
 

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Bandolero
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Beam me up

Mr. DiCenso said:
They offer night rides at my local trail, but I'm too scared to do it because I'll get laughed at by all the old men because I just have a commuter light. I don't see the necessity in spending $200+ on a bike light.
Newer LED flashlights (yes, three different links) will work, often for less than $100 total. It's pretty amazing how bright they've gotten in the last few years. My 15 year old M*g light beam isn't noticeable when combined with a new LED flashlight.

And yes, I would laugh at your puny itsy-bitsy she-man, candle-in-the-dark commuter light as I laugh at the rigid SS 29"ers.
 

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Hey do not give up on the set up as far as the lights go. I have a night rider handlebar mounted light, and a helmet mounted light. If you have a Nite Ryder system and go to Price Point they have a mount that will mount on the thick portion of fat bars at the stem. The mount also has an adjustable swivel (side to side) for the perfect aim.
On my helmet it took some work but I eventually (with zipties, and medical tape) found the perfect spot for my mount to be. I mounted it with the straps it came with, secured the ends with medical tape, then pulled it back by placing zipties through the vents on my helmet to get it back far enough so that the light fell where I wanted it to be with out me having to aim it with my head, or adjust the helmet constantly. Although my batteries only go about 90 - 100 mins each I find I can usually run with one or the other and stay out for at or about 3 hours easy. I use a Petzel climbing light tucked under my visor which lights up my shifters and gets me home should I run out of light, as it goes for 150 hours with 3 AAA batts!
Isn't night riding a blast!
 

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amar la vida de dos niner
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Glad you had fun! You are just getting started; you'll figure out more along the way.

My 2 cents: focus more in your helmet-mounted light. Make sure it's good and bright (as mentioned by others, this need not cost $200, but my very-fine light did indeed cost more than that) and that it's pointed so that it lights up a decent-sized area wherever you look. (I actually don't even mess with a handle-bar light, but it would seem that most people do.)

Wind surfing?! Now *that* is some crosstraining!! ;)
 

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CrgCrkRyder
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Welcome to night riding. Shorts and t-shirts blah blah blah (you Austin Folks are disgusting :p ). It takes a while to get your system down on light setup. Like SW, I have my better light on the helmet. I have an HID Nightrider Storm on the helmet and a Nightrider Trail Rat halogen light on the handlebars. Two different types of light that seem to complement each other. I'll probably try one of those LED lights if the halogen light ever dies. I like 2 lights in case one comes loose (yikes) or battery gives out. Keep tinkering with the light and you will figure it out or like someone suggested get a mount that will work better on your handlebar.

Sometimes Jenson and other suppliers offer pretty good deals on last years HID lights, though they still run around $300.:eek: Only worth it if you are going to night ride a lot, but more is better as far as lights go.
 

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All you need a a single-one-candle-lumen.

notaknob said:
.

And yes, I would laugh at your puny itsy-bitsy she-man, candle-in-the-dark commuter light as I laugh at the rigid SS 29"ers.
basically a lit matchstick in a glass:lol:

paybacks are a ***** notaknob:p
 

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My preference is for two light systems, one on the bars & one on my helmet. It helps with distinguishing trail features, and helps you see where you're going - not just where the handle bars are pointed. Like CCR noted, it's also great to have an extra light in case a battery goes out of you have an equipment failure. Happens even to Austin folks and the Greenbelt is mighty dark at night with no lights!!
 

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Go DIY

This or similiar can be built for under $125, including battery and charger.

2 x cree XR-E, Q5, WC tint leds.
15 degree beam angle.
420 Lumens
3 hr run time on 2400mah Li-Ion battery

Not as hard as you would expect.

Anyway, welcome to night riding. It is a kick!
 

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il2mb said:
This or similiar can be built for under $125, including battery and charger.

2 x cree XR-E, Q5, WC tint leds.
15 degree beam angle.
420 Lumens
3 hr run time on 2400mah Li-Ion battery

Not as hard as you would expect.

Anyway, welcome to night riding. It is a kick!
il2mb, are you going to make any of these available? I wanted to put P7 or MCE into them as they would be better heatsink then any other design that cost $200 I have seen. cheaper also.
 

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eddielee70 said:
il2mb, are you going to make any of these available? I wanted to put P7 or MCE into them as they would be better heatsink then any other design that cost $200 I have seen. cheaper also.
Eddie,

As a matter of fact I'm building a dual MCE with Ledil CMC SS right now. I just got my parts from Cutter yesterday. It should be plenty bright as I'm driving it with a Maxflex3. The leds on each chip will be wired in series and the two will be in parallel to each other so I will put about 600 ma into each leg. I'm expecting 1200 lumens. Yes, I agree the heat dissipation of my case will be good.

Bob
 
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