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Discussion: Bike Light

in: Adventure Racing; Gear & Toys

Sep 19, 2016 4:32 AM # 
What bike light for AR (1 or 2 nights).. cost is issue (just getting started in AR) so dont need top of line, but value/durability is important.
Sep 19, 2016 10:33 AM # 
Big thread here:

Current budget darling of the bike light geeks is the ITUO WIZ XP2. Powerful, well made, performs as specified. (Many cheap lights lie about their specs).
You'd need to get a GoPro headband as well if you want to use it for trekking.

There's an XP3 as well for MTB racing. More light but eats batteries.
Sep 20, 2016 12:34 AM # 
Thanks 'Bent.. saw the thread, figured technology had progressed in 2-years. At first glance, the ITUO looks prettty good for the price. What's the budget "darling" for headlamps.. I have a good quality waterproof one (forgot brand).. just curious
Sep 20, 2016 11:18 AM # 
The Wiz XP seems to be the best performer for mid-budget.
GlowWorm and Gemini are still decent in this segment, but a bit more expensive and a little less efficient.

There's a Yinding double that is a well-built low price light.

I have one of those, but changed the emitter board, added a heat-sink GoPro mount and sourced my own battery, charger and GoPro mounts. By the time you do all that you may be better off buying the Wiz XP unless you enjoy fiddling.
Sep 21, 2016 10:38 PM # 
THANKS.. ordered the XP2 combo, looks good!.. where do you mount battery pack?.. downtube? .. Interesting that AR, MTB types appear to be closet E-engineers.. me too
Sep 21, 2016 10:53 PM # 
newbie question: so for MTB in AR, assume I would mount xp2 on bike, and have another light on my helmet?-- i have a Princeton Tec headlamp that i like for lightweight use.. wear that for helmet?
Sep 21, 2016 11:43 PM # 
Yep. Always good to have a headlamp also so that you can see around corners, read maps, etc. Sometimes I turn it off if we're just riding down a road. I usually mount my bike light battery on the top of the down tube, but it just depends on your bike/setup.
Sep 22, 2016 12:40 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Your mileage may vary - I prefer a tree-burning light on my helmet. If I have extra lights, sure my bar might get one. I just put the helmet battery in my pack via the bladder tube hole, so it's not a weight issue that way with just a light head and no batteries on the helmet. Others may have different strategies. (I have friends who can't stay their head being on a cable. It doesn't bother me.)
Sep 22, 2016 3:26 AM # 
I also prefer to have my powerful light on my helmet. Handlebar light, if I use one, is much less powerful - usually something that just takes AAs.
Sep 22, 2016 11:27 AM # 
Yamabu, if I have only one strong light it goes on the helmet.
You can carry the 4-cell battery in your pack or jersey pocket.

I posted a link to a source of powerful 2-cell batteries. I prefer to have one of these attached to the back of my helmet. Great price but can be slow shipping. For the price you can get several.

You can also buy a GoPro headband and attach the light on the front and the 2-cell on the back with some velcro for a killer trekking light.

For the $, you can get a Yinding as your bar light or backup- it'll work with the same batteries.

Ideal setup for biking is a narrow spot on the helmet and a wider flood beam on the bars.
Sep 22, 2016 11:56 AM # 
One more thing- for AR you don't need them on full burn all the time. It eats batteries like crazy. Slightly lower light setting can give massively greater burn times- the efficiency is exponential.

For ultra running I set up 3 lower levels.

For AR I set up one low for maps/transition/repairs, a medium-low for trekking/bushwahck, a medium-high for biking along and a full burn for fast singletrack.

Some less adjustable lights have you burning batteries out while fixing a flat or tying your shoes, and can be too bright to read a map.
Sep 24, 2016 9:40 PM # 
Inexpensive charger for the battery packs from Kaidomain, in case you don't get the whole kit.

Public Service Announcement Reminder- always charge Li-ion and Li-po batteries somewhere fireproof- they all can go boom. You can get a special charging bag, or put them in a glass jar or metal sink when charging. Don't leave them charging unattended.

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