Best Front Light for Commute?

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  • Best Front Light for Commute?
  • In a similar situation i went for the exposure, maxx-d in my case as i wanted to use it off-road. They also do this USB cable thing
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/exposure/usb-smart-boost-cable-ec030113
    which can be used to charge a rear light, or charge GPS etc. Annoyingly it won’t work with iPhones though.

    I’ve thought about a Dynamo, but it does quite add quite a bit of expense and they weren’t that good when i was looking, and the Exposure lasts 24 hours on low.

    Premier Icon redx
    Subscriber

    Something like the Toro with a remote switch would be good – I use an old Lupine light which allows me to switch (without taking my hands off the bars) between really bright for pitch black sections and then dim it a bit for on-coming cyclists/walkers/cars (just because I’m nice like that….)

    I’d then suggest using an Exposure Flash as a back up around town for visibility from the sides…..

    hitman
    Member

    Toro looks good but I’ve been reading that Exposure are overpriced – any thoughts on that?
    Also came across the Niterider lights – any thoughts on these?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=70830&gclid=CKbdseC-w7ECFVBlfAodK3wAEA

    Also has anyone used a Troute Mini for commuting, is the beam pattern suitable and how much does it weigh?

    mrmo
    Member

    currently using a set of Ayups, having two lights helps in case you forget to charge the batteries. and riding on dark country lanes with no lights is not an experience you try to repeat more than once.

    Am tempted to have a look at a dynamo next time though. simply because i would never have to worry about batteries again.

    PaulD
    Member

    Get one of these and a bar clamp (approx $5) and a few packs of 6x AAA Alkalines from Poundland.
    Expect 2 hours on full power and 4 on lower setting per 3 batteries.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/new-317-cree-q3-3-mode-270lm-white-led-zoom-convex-lens-flashlight-w-strap-3-x-aaa-114657#open full view

    PaulD

    hitman
    Member

    30 mile commute, mainly country roads but some urban. Needs to be light and around £200ish. Like the idea of an all in one such as an Exposure Strada or Toro. Currently have a Light and Motion which has been great so would consider them again. Any recommendations?

    Cheers

    Dynamo hub, and probably a B&M cyo for the light. Unless exposure have built their fancy really good dynamo light yet, which will be way better (although that’ll blow your budget I guess).

    No charging, next to no extra weight in my case (couple of hundred grams on the hub, but the light units weigh significantly less than a battery light – especially one with enough batteries for a regular 30 mile commute), always attached, bright enough for road riding. Brilliant for unexpected late nights in summer. The b+m ones even have a light sensor so they magically come on when you go through a tunnel, or when it gets dark because there’s a storm. Oh and you can wire in a rear light too, which auto-switches along with the front light.

    I wouldn’t have anything else for commuting – particularly for a long commute. The b+m lights are not as bright as the fancy mountain biking lights, but are very well set up for road riding to put the light in the right place, and I’m happy enough riding unlit roads with mine. And did I mention that you never have to charge them.

    Basically, I fitted my dynamo lights about 3 or 4 years ago. Turned the switch to ‘auto’. Since then, I’ve ridden thousands of miles, and have never considered lights, they’re just there when I need them, and off when I don’t.

    Oh, and drag, the drag is basically zero when they’re off and extremely small when they are on, I can’t notice when they turn on or off at all without looking at the lights.

    m1kea
    Member

    I quite liked the engineering of the Four4ths lights I saw at the recent Army Enduro.

    The chap tried to tempt me with stuff but gave up after I rattled off the collection of USE Exposure lights I own. – I much prefer the single unit approach without extra cables but that’s a personal preference.

    I have older Enduro and Race lights that have seen me through four winters / night riding. The current Strada has a different amount of run time and whilst I can’t quite put my finger on why, I don’t like the lack of low / 24h capability.

    I also have a pair of their Redeye’s for the rear. They do noticeably affect battery run time and they don’t flash. – The Flash & Flare might be preferable if you want flashing lights?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I use an old Maxx-D and a Flash/Flare combo.

    Strada would be a good choice I reckon.

    damitamit
    Member

    Dyno + B&M Cyo. Simples.

    The Cyo may not look very bright, but the way it shapes the light makes it great for road riding.

    I think the cyo weighs 100g. Add a SP dynamo hub (390g) and its not much heavier than normal hub/battery light setup. But a lot more convenient!

    xiphon
    Member

    I use a pair of Electron lights – in urban areas (well lit) only one is turned on, in flashing mode.

    3 modes (high, low, flash) for each light = many options, depending on how much ‘other’ light you have available (lamps, moon, etc)

    Good battery life so far.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    for a 30 mile commute i would be thinking about dynamo, purely for the reason that it naver goes flat/you cant forget to charge it.
    i dont know which one, i havent needed to look at theses things for decades tbh, i just use battery lights these days for short 1hr blasts at night. plus my commute is only 2 miles.
    but for that distance i would definately go dynamo.
    just my 2p, ymmv.
    EDIT: i must be tired, my spelling is terrible! ^^

    Dyno and B+M (+2?) here as well. Waiting for full details/prices of the Exposure before deciding on upgrading to this or an E3 triple and matching rear light…..

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Have a look at the Leyne lights, they’re all in one units and a but cheaper than the Exposure units. USB charger included as well.

    30 miles each way? You’re looking at 3 hours+ riding each day.

    Exposure lights are good and convenient. The RedEye rear eats a lot of the front light battery and screws with the ‘power remaining’ signalling so if you do choose one of those I’d go for a pair of Blackburn Mars 4 rears (super-bright, cheap, and still has a good battery life). Not a fan of the Flash and Flare myself as you need to remove the batteries to charge (and they don’t last that long). If you’re charging as often as you’ll be that’ll be a hassle.

    For that length of commute you really should consider a Dyno plus Cyo plus Toplight Line rear (just fitted this combo to my Brompton and they’re excellent). Add a Blackburn Mars as well.

    DrP
    Member

    My commuting light story went as thus:
    Cateye -> Dealextreme -> Exposure maxx-d and red eye ->STOP!

    The cateye simply wasn’t bright enough.
    The DX torch was modded (on a lathe) to fit into teh exposure joystick mount, but the QC was so poor, and despite attempting to improve it, it was too unreliable to safely use.
    The exposure was pricey, but did what it was meant to. I vary between a joystick (on the bars) and the maxx-d. Both have a brilliant flash function, which is plenty bright and cannot be ignored!

    DrP

    T1000
    Member

    + 1 on the hub + cyo 60 this combo is excellent

    There are some good deals on the lamp unit on line picked up mine for £45 from a german discount web site think it was h&s

    Both have a brilliant flash function, which is plenty bright and cannot be ignored!

    See previous discussions/comments on thsi. Flash isn’t a bad idea in daylight but at night it makes it very difficult to judge distance and speed. The USE is better than most – it retains a low level of backgound light – but still an issue. Flash should only really be a ‘battery’s about to go flat – get you home’ solution.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Flash should only really be a ‘battery’s about to go flat – get you home’ solution.

    don’t agree – cars see you with a flash and don’t pull out, with constant I have cars pull out on me.

    It is all about being noticed on a bike – who cares if they can’t judge the distance they need to cut you up – at least they know you are there…

    Uber-bright flashing is more of a problem though, better to have several lower-power flashers, and maybe a constant to illuminate where you are going – or maybe USE’s system.

    Who cares if they can’t judge the distance they need to cut you up – at least they know you are there..

    That’s fine unless they underestimate your approach speed and turn across in front of you. There’s a part of my commute where I turn right across cyclists in in the park (ie poor streetlighting). If there are a few cyclists in a group all with differently flashing lights and the cyclists going at different speeds it’s extremely confusing. Most drivers are confused enough already – best not to make it worse for them.

    vorlich
    Member

    My Exp. Diablo mkIII is brilliant. I use mine on forest singletrack though.

    The debate over “Exposure light on 24hr low mode or a not very bright dynamo” for commuting, is easily solved with the new Exposure dynamo light! Called the Revo, it’s ~800 lumens, all the time, a proper standlight for off road (not a dull, be seen, glow that most lights, including the E3 triple, have. It also allows you to plug the standard redeye into the back to have a never goes flat rear light too, and the rear light even gets powered from the standlight when you stop. Accept no substitute!

    What’s even better is it’d more than bright enough for proper, technical off road. I used one in the recent EWE race, but also use it for daily commuting and mid week night ride thrashes in the woods with my mates and I’m the only one not turning my light down to some mid or low power mode for the majority of the rides to save power 😉

    TiRed
    Member

    Exposure Strada is a lovely light. Mine doubles up for offroad, where it is probably BETTER than on the road. If it’s 30 miles each way I’d go with the new Exposure dynamo light. 30 miles in total, get the Strada.

    The factory outlet has the Mark 1 reduced. Bought one of those at the last year’s cycle show.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Flash definately shouldn’t be your only light. TBH the best approach isn’t to spend a packet on one light, it’s to spend a smaller amount on several. Some to see by, some to be seen.

    A couple of quality cycle lights with good side visibility (cateye etc) on the bars, at least one solid and possibly one flashing (I agree on comments that large numbers of flashing lights are confusing, but from the sounds of your commute that may not be an issue)

    Also something with a bit of poke, to see with. I use a cheap Dealextreme XML torch on my helmet, which gives all the forward visibility I need, but which I can aim exactly to avoid glare (also, a bright light on the head gives you the ability to give people a moment’s “full beam” if you need to get their attention)

    But definately don’t confuse bright with highly visible- my XML is pretty damn bright but it doesn’t give good visibility at all, it’s far easier to spot my rather dull Cateyes, especially from the side.

    Dibbs
    Member

    There’s a new Light & Motion called Taz 1200, self contained unit (no separate battery pack), 1200 lumens, USB charging. If it’s anything like the L&M lights I have currently the beam pattern will be better than most other lights out there (it’s all very well having x thousand lumens but they’re not much use if they’re lighting the tree tops).

    hitman
    Member

    My commute is 30 miles total.
    After reading loads about beam pattern and seeing some examples on you tube it’s looking more and more likely that I’m going to go with a strada. My main concern is whether on flash mode it’s bright enough to be seen during daytime?
    I’m going to check out the light and motion taz as I’ve currently got a light and motion arc lion which has been great.
    Unfortunately the exposure dynamo isn’t an option as I run a powertap rear hub – great idea though.
    BTW thanks to everyone who’s posted – lots of valuable advice.

    hitman
    Member

    Unfortunately the exposure dynamo isn’t an option as I run a powertap rear hub – great idea though

    My mistake, just been reading about the exposure dynamo and the dynamo hub is for the front wheel – very interesting.

    Rob, any idea when the exposure dynamo light will be available and how much it will be?

    Cheers

    Dibbs
    Member

    They had a Taz 1200 in my LBS yesterday but I didn’t look at the price.
    Details here: http://www.lightandmotion.com/bike/taz1200c.html#

    hitman
    Member

    As a follow up I bought an exposure strada in the end and so far I’m impressed with it 🙂

    Did you get the 2010 one? I am after an all in one solution for my road bike, as my onethelight is great for MTB; but the fact I have to keep unhooking the cable everytime I commute annoys me.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    if your happy with a £200 budget get AyUps, very light weight and good kit. After a couple of years get them upgraded

    hitman
    Member

    I got the strada mk 3 – well worth it for lack of wires so easy to keep on the bike and run in flash mode during the day.
    Will be looking to run in combination with a helmet light for night/winter rides.
    Mike which kit option of ay ups do you recommend?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Most get the V4 for MTB, for Road the V2 would probably be OK.

    You can turn the lamps independently and pop a red cap (supplied) on one for a front/rear combo on the lid.

    V4 comes with 2 lamps and 2x3hr batteries and 1x 6hr.

    Loads of light and power.

    Feel of real quality and a good warranty

    hitman
    Member

    cheers Mike
    how long did it take for delivery and what did you have to pay on tax and import duty?
    also how bright are these?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Stocked in UK now so price should be delivered. (might have to set UK at checkout)

    Brightness pics on the site somewhere. Fine for scary lakes cheeky night riding so should be good for road 🙂

    Full specs on the site also really helpful. The last 2 years there has been a sponsored rider in the UK this time of year doing Kielder, IOM, 3 Peaks etc and loads of demos (also some cheaper kits)

    hitman
    Member

    Just tried setting UK at checkout but it’s still stating the following so it may well be that you still get charged tax and import duty:

    For Orders Delivered Outside Australia:
    I understand that I may be charged customs tax when the goods arrive in my country.
    If no one is home when they try to deliver you may incurr an additional fee if they have to redeliver or you may choose to collect the goods from their depot.
    For International orders, DHL or TNT will be in contact by phone / email to arrange a time for delivery.
    Most international orders get through and do not incur additional taxes. This is out of the control of Ay Up Lighting Systems. Read here for more details.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Prob worth an email. Up until Feb they had a UK office but not been in touch since then. Is there a .co..uk site. T.NT do the tax thing unfortunatley .

    Rob, any idea when the exposure dynamo light will be available and how much it will be?

    I’m not sure, I had one for EWE (see here: [/url]

    They’re showing it at Eurobike, and if you google it, it’s listed for sale on a few websites already, so if you can’t already buy one today it should be in the the next week or so. But this is only a guess!

    CraigW
    Member

    For dynamo lights, I notice Busch & Muller have announced a new one – Lumotec IQ2 Luxos.
    It looks rather good – bright enough, and with a good beam shape for on-road. Plus it has option for flashing or a floodlight, and USB output. Not sure when it will be available.

    workhard
    Member

    I use Ay Ups myself on the (road) bike as I already had them for off-roading. They must be getting on for four years old now. V2’s iirc. The regular commuter also a pair of torchy cree XM-L T6 led torches as back up/daytime flash.

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