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I am looking at getting some lights for night riding. The obvious question is, since I don't know if I will like it, how should I proceed? The second question pertains to the myriad of choices out on the market. I have seen system ranging in price from $100 to $600 HID systems.....and I am not really sure of the difference.

I admit to being totally ignorant to this aspect of cycling gear. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

TIA

Brian
 

· Trail rider and racer
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Groundhog1248 said:
Take a look at this and especially the links about half way down referring to beam patterns.
http://www.mtbr.com/spotlight/lightshootout/
Yes be sure to check out the MTBR light shootout. Also if you have the cash blow it on a set of the Lupines. Thats what I run and think they are brilliant. I have had a few light systems as the Lupine is for sure the finest I have used to date.
 

· Gone riding
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Have a search around the boards before you jump into anything. IMO it's pointless blowing $1000 on a set of lights if you have no idea if you even want to ride in the dark... :)

There have been plenty of threads lately from guys in a similar position as you. Some are well worth a read.

My advice at this stage is to look for a cheaper set of halogens, somewhere around 10-20 watt.

Yeah, the beam might not be as bright or as wide, and the colour temperature yellow instead of a brilliant white / blue / whatever, but they will allow you to get out on the trails and have some fun, and maybe after you've caught the bug you might want to look at something a little more expensive.

Just get out and have a little fun before blowing the big money.

Cheers, Dave.
 

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Turbo Cat Halogen

brianthebiker said:
I am looking at getting some lights for night riding. The obvious question is, since I don't know if I will like it, how should I proceed? The second question pertains to the myriad of choices out on the market. I have seen system ranging in price from $100 to $600 HID systems.....and I am not really sure of the difference.

I admit to being totally ignorant to this aspect of cycling gear. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

TIA

Brian
I too have just started night riding. Can't say that I'm real excited about night riding. Has more to do with work hours and family life as of late. But since I invested in the lights, I now have a larger incentive, motivation to ride at night. Getting back to your question. Buy what fits your budget to start, see how you like night riding and then invest more later on a second light, if your joy be made complete. Most riders will recommend two lights, helmet and handle bar eventually for the best of all riding joy. What I recommend most is don't go too low end, that will only bring problems and make it less likely you will want to ride. Unless you are an electrician don't homebrew. 15-20 watt Halogen on the handle bar makes the most sense to start $150-$200 range. HID no doubt maybe the best if you want to spend $400 out of the gate, if that budgets okay with you, go for it. I found the people at Turbo Cat to of great service, real good people and great warranty. Light and Motion and JetLites are very good products as well but more on the high end as far as dollars spent.

Happy Thanks Giving
 

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Over the past five years I've gone from 35mm halogens to 50mm IRC halogens .. now finally to a combination of an 11W Trailtech HID (same welsh allen ballast and bulb as 99% of the HID lights out there) and a 21W home made HID.

Check out batteryspace and trailtech, search in google for the addies.

For the money others want for halogen you can get HID. You'll have longer battery life and whiter light.
 

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Low_Rider said:
Have a search around the boards before you jump into anything. IMO it's pointless blowing $1000 on a set of lights if you have no idea if you even want to ride in the dark... :)

There have been plenty of threads lately from guys in a similar position as you. Some are well worth a read.

My advice at this stage is to look for a cheaper set of halogens, somewhere around 10-20 watt.

Yeah, the beam might not be as bright or as wide, and the colour temperature yellow instead of a brilliant white / blue / whatever, but they will allow you to get out on the trails and have some fun, and maybe after you've caught the bug you might want to look at something a little more expensive.

Just get out and have a little fun before blowing the big money.

Cheers, Dave.
Low Rider hit the nail on the head...........When I started out I got an $80 CygoLight 10/15w version and it's served me plently good in the year I've had it, but now my riding and cinfidence have improved greatly and I need a new, brighter light so I can continue to enjoy my night riding. I still thin I will use the Cygo form something or loan to friends wishing to experience night riding. Best advice something under $100 so if you don't really dig night riding you won't be out of pocket too much - Although I seriously doubt that you won't like it, more like you'll have some serious trouble getting the grin off your face after the first ride.
 

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Night riding isn't for everyone. It can be kind of creepy at times especially if you go by yourself. I bought my set with the intention of riding after dark in the summer when it's cooler only to find out that the trail was completely infested with hundreds of spider webs so my lights didn't get much use. On the other hand, now that the days are shorter and cooler (no bugs) I don't have to worry about running out of sunlight. As it turns out, I love night riding. It gives a whole new experience to familiar trails.

Try to rent/borrow some lights from a friend or LBS. If not, then go on the cheap side. This way if you love night riding you can upgrade to a better system and have the inexpensive set as a spare for backup. You can lend the spare to a friend to get them into night riding as well. If you find out you hate night riding, then you'll still have a decent light for puttering around the neighborhood at night without breaking the bank.

As for lights, I got a dual-source system from Turbocat. I like the idea of having a bar light for shadows as well as a helmet light for directional lighting. In addition, with two lights there's no need to carry a backup light. I highly recommend checking them out.

http://www.turbocatusa.com/dualsource.htm
 

· Gone riding
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Nightriding is a curse... a one-way trap. Once you start you will not stop!!

After you finish raving about the adrenalin blast, the transformed trails, and the awesome fun, you will start researching beam patterns, light wattages, battery pack types and capacity, and after spending a great deal of money you’ll wind up with a lighting rig that could blind a truck. :D

Take it from me, it won't be long!!

Dave.
 

· Trail rider and racer
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4,675 Posts
Low_Rider said:
Have a search around the boards before you jump into anything. IMO it's pointless blowing $1000 on a set of lights if you have no idea if you even want to ride in the dark... :)

There have been plenty of threads lately from guys in a similar position as you. Some are well worth a read.

My advice at this stage is to look for a cheaper set of halogens, somewhere around 10-20 watt.

Yeah, the beam might not be as bright or as wide, and the colour temperature yellow instead of a brilliant white / blue / whatever, but they will allow you to get out on the trails and have some fun, and maybe after you've caught the bug you might want to look at something a little more expensive.

Just get out and have a little fun before blowing the big money.

Cheers, Dave.
WOW! Thats brilliant advice. I should have caveated my post a little before saying blow the $$$$$$
 
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