WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

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FRAM7
Posts: 9
Joined: 12 Oct 2020, 6:47pm

WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby FRAM7 » 31 Oct 2020, 3:03pm

I have been a cyclist for 30 years and never had lights and I am still alive! Now that I am commuting in London and Kent I feel I must equip myself with a set!

I have been on the usual websites Halfords, wiggle, bikeiin and I could not find anything I like at a decent price. I park my bike on the street in central London (parking in one of my buildings I go in the City is £40 a month and I would use it max once a week!) so I do not want them to be too expensive since I am not bother taking them off every time I stop.
My focus is on the back light.

Do you have any recommendations?

1) I like Lezyne products, they are great quality but still expensive for what they are:
https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-a ... 84582.html

2) Though tempted by £3 light on Ebay. probably rubbish but at this cost I can buy a few when they get stolen or break down
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LED-Bicycle- ... 1438.l2649

Thanks,

F

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Sweep
Posts: 6898
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby Sweep » 31 Oct 2020, 3:17pm

I'd go for cateye as the mounting system is good, they don't change it willy nilly, options to mount to seatpost, clothing or seatpost, and this means you can easily swap lights between bikes.

For the rear, this, though I don't remember it being this pricey so shop around.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cat ... -prod64506

Uses standard AAA batteries.

Get some decent low self discharge batteries and a good slow charger.

Better than a USB light for your use - you won't have to bin it when the batteries degrade.

You can also, or used to be able to, pick up a similar chinese thing which fits the same mounts for £2 or £3 - can be handy as a spare.

Beware the siren calls trying to persuade you to buy a retina-buster or whatever. You don't need them. Most USB. Not the same ready availability of standard mounts.
Sweep

WOT
Posts: 47
Joined: 22 Aug 2019, 9:43pm

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby WOT » 31 Oct 2020, 3:43pm

Dynamo front wheel.
Busch and muller led front and rear.
Fit and forget.

thelawnet
Posts: 2680
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby thelawnet » 31 Oct 2020, 3:43pm

Alkaline is best chemistry for rears as it the voltage goes down a straight line, so the LED just gets dimmer over time. Lithium will go from 'on' to 'zero'. Only thing with alkaline is some people are as dim as their lights and don't realise that they need to change the batteries, because they are still working, after a fashion.

If you buy lithium you need something with sophisticated voltage sensing, which that Femto does not seem to have - it will likely go flat with the first warning being a lorry embedded in your rear, without warning. More expensive Lezyne lights will have multi-stage battery indicators so you will know to charge them before this.

The Femto Drive is also stupidly (as in 'this product is stupid') light, at 22g, which suggests a very undersized battery. Any possible advantage from lithium would come from a larger battery.

A cheap lithium rear is ok if probably ok but look for a low battery sensor and preferably one with 'low', 'medium' and 'full' settings.

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simonineaston
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Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: ...at a cricket ground

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby simonineaston » 31 Oct 2020, 3:53pm

Usual request: whatever you get, recall that front lamps can be powerful which is great, so choose one that has great beam control so the oncoming traffic (which may include other, friendly, positive-thinking cyclists, like us...) are not blinded by your light...
(rides: Brompton nano & ever-changing Moultons)

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Sweep
Posts: 6898
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby Sweep » 31 Oct 2020, 4:02pm

thelawnet wrote:Alkaline is best chemistry for rears as it the voltage goes down a straight line, so the LED just gets dimmer over time. Lithium will go from 'on' to 'zero'. Only thing with alkaline is some people are as dim as their lights and don't realise that they need to change the batteries, because they are still working, after a fashion..

Well except you just have to chuck the alkalines away.
Nothing wrong with removable AA and AAA NiMH low self discharge rechargeables as long as you are sensible/keep an eye on them/carry spare batteries.
Oh - and use 2 rears I should initially have said upthread - good practice anyway.
Sweep

FRAM7
Posts: 9
Joined: 12 Oct 2020, 6:47pm

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby FRAM7 » 31 Oct 2020, 7:03pm

simonineaston wrote:Usual request: whatever you get, recall that front lamps can be powerful which is great, so choose one that has great beam control so the oncoming traffic (which may include other, friendly, positive-thinking cyclists, like us...) are not blinded by your light...


absolutely...I hate being blinded by other cyclist either on my bike or when driving. Many uses lights much more powerful then needed.

Ideally I will go for a USB rechargeable one for practicality and weight. if cheap I will throw it away when it will stop working. sad but practical

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Sweep
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Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby Sweep » 31 Oct 2020, 7:24pm

weight :)

sorry couldn't help but smile/laugh.
Sweep

Carlton green
Posts: 1006
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby Carlton green » 31 Oct 2020, 8:33pm

FRAM7 wrote:I have been a cyclist for 30 years and never had lights and I am still alive! Now that I am commuting in London and Kent I feel I must equip myself with a set!

I have been on the usual websites Halfords, wiggle, bikeiin and I could not find anything I like at a decent price. I park my bike on the street in central London (parking in one of my buildings I go in the City is £40 a month and I would use it max once a week!) so I do not want them to be too expensive since I am not bother taking them off every time I stop.
My focus is on the back light.

Do you have any recommendations?

1) I like Lezyne products, they are great quality but still expensive for what they are:
https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-a ... 84582.html

2) Though tempted by £3 light on Ebay. probably rubbish but at this cost I can buy a few when they get stolen or break down
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LED-Bicycle- ... 1438.l2649

Thanks,

F


Perhaps not to the tastes of the more serious riders here but I find that products from Smart do the job. See here: https://smart-bike.squarespace.com/lightsets . If I was buying a set I’d want a 0.5 Watt single LED in the front light and a 25 hr plus battery life. Various older Smart light sets are available on eBay ... avoid or select from them with a lot of care.

(Edit. Cateye have had a good reputation for years and SJS sell some, you’re unlikely to go wrong with Cateye ... just a bit more than I’d want to spend though.
These days bike lights are easy enough to unclip (from their mounts) and take with you, generally I’d do that and take my pump too - if you don’t remove the easy to take off stuff then sooner or later someone else will remove them instead.)

As with all lights beware of battery run times. IIRC I found the lower powered front lights were sufficient and gave a reasonable battery life. If you want cheap lighting then I’m a fan of bottle dynamos, but if battery is your ideal then something from the Smart range might well give you good value.
Last edited by Carlton green on 31 Oct 2020, 10:21pm, edited 2 times in total.

FRAM7
Posts: 9
Joined: 12 Oct 2020, 6:47pm

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby FRAM7 » 31 Oct 2020, 8:39pm

battery life is always the problem. not sure if more expensive lights have better batteries? if bigger of course they will last longer

Dynamos are a no no for me. I would love a hub dynamo though but this means a new expensive wheel?

F

Carlton green
Posts: 1006
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby Carlton green » 31 Oct 2020, 8:51pm

FRAM7 wrote:battery life is always the problem. not sure if more expensive lights have better batteries? if bigger of course they will last longer

Dynamos are a no no for me. I would love a hub dynamo though but this means a new expensive wheel?

F


Hub Dynamo = new wheel and £. Bottle Dynamos are (rightly) regarded as a second rate choice but they can still do the job just fine and typically they’re a modest fraction of the cost of a new hub Dynamo wheel - no one will want to nick a Bottle Dynamo either.

AA cells can be bought cheap enough but I’m not so keen about the environment aspects of battery lights. Pragmatic decisions to be made.
Last edited by Carlton green on 31 Oct 2020, 8:55pm, edited 1 time in total.

thelawnet
Posts: 2680
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby thelawnet » 31 Oct 2020, 8:55pm

Sweep wrote:
thelawnet wrote:Alkaline is best chemistry for rears as it the voltage goes down a straight line, so the LED just gets dimmer over time. Lithium will go from 'on' to 'zero'. Only thing with alkaline is some people are as dim as their lights and don't realise that they need to change the batteries, because they are still working, after a fashion..

Well except you just have to chuck the alkalines away.
Nothing wrong with removable AA and AAA NiMH low self discharge rechargeables as long as you are sensible/keep an eye on them/carry spare batteries.
Oh - and use 2 rears I should initially have said upthread - good practice anyway.


well in that case you have to buy a charger and at least two sets of low-self discharge NiMh batteries, which don't really have much going for them over Li Ion. Might as well just buy two cheap Li Ion lights tbh.

Pebble
Posts: 489
Joined: 7 Jun 2020, 11:59pm

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby Pebble » 31 Oct 2020, 9:00pm

I bought some cheapo ones off flea bay a few years ago and they have been wonderful (think they were £3 each). I have 3 sets on the rear so it is easy to note if one is going a bit dim. I also like a few rear lights so as the possibility of all of them failing at the same time would be about zero. And unlike li-on batteries they just don't switch themselves off.

I sometimes video myself to try and work out how other drivers may see me, I did one such vid a few nights back - criticism welcome - LOL



think I had my overshoes on the wrong feet, they are not reflecting back very well.

rmurphy195
Posts: 1999
Joined: 20 May 2011, 11:23am
Location: South Birmingham

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby rmurphy195 » 31 Oct 2020, 9:11pm

Sweep wrote:I'd go for cateye as the mounting system is good, they don't change it willy nilly, options to mount to seatpost, clothing or seatpost, and this means you can easily swap lights between bikes.

For the rear, this, though I don't remember it being this pricey so shop around.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cat ... -prod64506

Uses standard AAA batteries.

Get some decent low self discharge batteries and a good slow charger.

Better than a USB light for your use - you won't have to bin it when the batteries degrade.

You can also, or used to be able to, pick up a similar chinese thing which fits the same mounts for £2 or £3 - can be handy as a spare.

Beware the siren calls trying to persuade you to buy a retina-buster or whatever. You don't need them. Most USB. Not the same ready availability of standard mounts.


+1 FOR CATEYE
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

Cyclewala
Posts: 170
Joined: 7 Nov 2019, 11:07am

Re: WHICH BIKE LIGHTS?

Postby Cyclewala » 31 Oct 2020, 9:55pm

Planet X do good budget lights and that are often copies of branded lights. Have a look at their Jobsworth range.