A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

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Annirak
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A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby Annirak » 15 Dec 2014, 2:15pm

I'm just getting back to cycling after a 3-month hiatus and I'm looking at a 9-mile commute. With these dark nights, I'm finding my cat-eye hl-el 135 too dim to see properly. Most of my commute is on or next to a road, so I want cut-off beams. I want them for several reasons:
  • I find dazzling lights annoying when I come towards them
  • Dazzled road users are more dangerous to me
  • Light shining above the horizon doesn't help me see better
  • I want lights that comply with UK law (either BS6102/3 or StVZO)

I'm well aware that the police don't seem to stop cyclists for non-compliant lights. I want legal lights because that's the law, not because the law is or isn't enforced.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards the B&M Ixon IQ Speed Premium. I like the wide, bright beam, the long runtime, and the external battery pack, since I think I could rig a Li-Ion pack to it if there's too much trouble with the OEM NiMH pack.

I'm interested to know if there are others I should consider instead.

PH
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby PH » 15 Dec 2014, 2:35pm

The only others I know of (Apart from other B&M models) with a cut off beam are the Phillips Saferide and the Supernova Airstream. I think the one you're looking at is pretty much spot on, it's what I'd choose if I didn't use a dynamo.

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andrew_s
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby andrew_s » 15 Dec 2014, 3:07pm

No external Li-ion battery pack, I'm afraid, unless you get one with switchable output voltages.

The B&M lights generally use NiMh batteries rather than Li-ion. The B&M website says "6 volt 4.1 Ah" for the IQ Speed battery pack, so that agrees with 5 (or 10 as 2x5) x NiMh at 1.2 volts each, rather than Li-ion at 3.6 - 4 volts each.
The light may survive the 8.4 volts of a freshly charged Li-ion pack, but if it didn't it would be an expensive lesson.

The Philips Saferide 80 isn't made any more, and whilst they are still available if you look, the cheap "end of line" offers from Rose etc have gone and what's left are all full price at about €80-90. The Saferide 80 has a fairly short run time on full power, but low power is a fair bit brighter than the Ixons - bright enough to ride by on unlit country lanes, whilst the Ixon low power mode is really only good for street lit areas and full power is needed for the unlit lanes.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Dec 2014, 3:29pm

9 mile commute strongly suggests dynamo to me, and at that point the Germans have an excellent array of lights to choose from at virtually any price point. Battery lights are rarer (since they are only used on "lightweight" german bikes).

With Batteries I'd try to ensure that the main charging is done at the office, even if only to ensure that if you start to lose power you are losing power into a brightening morning, not a darkening evening...
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Bicycler
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby Bicycler » 15 Dec 2014, 3:41pm

I think Bob may have the best answer with a dynamo system. Forget everything you ever heard back in the day about them being rubbish, modern hub dynamos and lights are great.

If you do go for batteries, given that you can get hold of the IQ premium for less than half of the price of the Speed Premium I'd suggest it is probably better value for money. The AA rechargeables are less of a faff than an external pack. Maybe I'm biased because I own one but I find it sufficient for all my night-time road riding. Either would be a huge step up from your Cateye which is more of a "be seen" light rather than a "see with" headlight.
Last edited by Bicycler on 15 Dec 2014, 3:58pm, edited 2 times in total.

Annirak
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby Annirak » 15 Dec 2014, 3:50pm

andrew_s wrote:No external Li-ion battery pack, I'm afraid, unless you get one with switchable output voltages.

The B&M lights generally use NiMh batteries rather than Li-ion. The B&M website says "6 volt 4.1 Ah" for the IQ Speed battery pack, so that agrees with 5 (or 10 as 2x5) x NiMh at 1.2 volts each, rather than Li-ion at 3.6 - 4 volts each.
The light may survive the 8.4 volts of a freshly charged Li-ion pack, but if it didn't it would be an expensive lesson.

I have a question into B&M about the input voltage rating of the Speed Premium. Hopefully, it will be helpful. If not, a 6V regulator is easy enough to come by; it's just a matter of waterproof encapsulation.

I don't think a dynamo is necessary for a 9-mile commute. That's about 45 minutes, so the quoted 10 hour run time of the Speed Premium would be sufficient for 45 minutes each way (which I don't seem to need) 5 days in a row, meaning a single charge per week, with 25% to spare from quoted endurance.

Bicycler
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby Bicycler » 15 Dec 2014, 3:59pm

Don't bother with BS6102 headlights if you can afford those B&M or Philips ones.

For rear lights B&M, Spanninga and AXA/Basta make decent Stvzo rack mounted lights with integral reflectors. I have the B&M Toplight Line Permanent which I can recommend.

If you don't have a rack, the Germans don't seem all that big on seatpost mounted lights. I personally use a BS6102 one, the Cateye Tl-AU100BS, which also includes a BS reflector. Discontinued but still available on the web. I think they still make the Stvzo version, the TL-AU100G, though having both I slightly prefer the British version.

stewartpratt
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby stewartpratt » 15 Dec 2014, 4:21pm

Bicycler wrote:If you don't have a rack, the Germans don't seem all that big on seatpost mounted lights.


The B&M Secula Plus comes with a seatpost mount (or a mudguard mount) and Philips make a small lightring light with a seatpost mount; I forget the model.

Looking at the cost of an Ixon Premium from Rose et al, it's the same as a Cyo Premium plus an XT hub plus a wheel's worth of DT Comps. Unless you ride in on a different bike every day, why would you choose the battery powered one?

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mjr
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby mjr » 15 Dec 2014, 4:46pm

I recently answered a similar question at http://www.cyclechat.net/threads/road-l ... al.170331/ and +1 to the mashing53 link posted by stewartpratt.
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oldstrath
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby oldstrath » 15 Dec 2014, 5:43pm

One saferide on sale at amazon at 69 pounds. Probably the best of the compliant battery lights, will (dxcept in proper cold) last through your commute.

Bicycler
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby Bicycler » 15 Dec 2014, 5:48pm

stewartpratt wrote:Looking at the cost of an Ixon Premium from Rose et al, it's the same as a Cyo Premium plus an XT hub plus a wheel's worth of DT Comps. Unless you ride in on a different bike every day, why would you choose the battery powered one?

As ever with B&M you have to keep track of the exact wording or you could be talking about completely different lights. The OP suggested the IXON IQ Speed Premium: http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/b--m ... aid:703620 which I think is what you are talking about. I recommended the IXON IQ Premium which as you say is a battery light which is very similar to the Cyo Premium dynamo light. it is however cheaper than a dynamo setup: http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/b--m ... tAodQBIA-A

I said above that I think a dynamo will probably be the right option for the OP and said how wonderful modern hub dynamos are. At the moment they are not ideal for me. Aside from wanting to use different bikes, I wouldn't trust a dynamo for long term reliability with off road use. I 've also ended up regreasing normal hubs enough times after riding through fords and deep water to not want to repeat the same exercise with expensive electrics in there. Dynamos are the right solution for many (maybe even most) night-time cyclists, but not for everybody.

hufty
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby hufty » 15 Dec 2014, 6:11pm

Just to add I got a cheapo dynamo wheel for winter use from Taylor-wheels.com, shipped from Germany for about £40 all inc and it's been great so far. At that price it's worth a punt just to see if you get on with a dynamo, then maybe get a nicer wheel next time. (Then I have the B&M IQ Cyo Premium which is amazingly bright and has the cutoff and the B&M Secula back light which claims to do this and that but is basically a bright back light.)
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The fat commuter
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby The fat commuter » 15 Dec 2014, 8:59pm

andrew_s wrote:The Philips Saferide 80 isn't made any more, and whilst they are still available if you look, the cheap "end of line" offers from Rose etc have gone and what's left are all full price at about €80-90. The Saferide 80 has a fairly short run time on full power, but low power is a fair bit brighter than the Ixons - bright enough to ride by on unlit country lanes, whilst the Ixon low power mode is really only good for street lit areas and full power is needed for the unlit lanes.

My Saferide will do two commutes in (two times ten minutes) and two commutes home (two times 40 minutes) on full power. The battery indicator is down to 'red' for the last few miles which knocks the light into low power (but a press of the switch puts it back to high).

Whilst the light is enough to cycle by, I could do with a second light that does light above the horizon - just something that has a remote switch that turns the light on and off (not a switch that cycles through low/med/high/flash). I find that my road legal light is OK but sort of gives a tunnel vision effect after a while. Difficult to explain but it would be good to be able to be a bit more like a car headlight where you have dipped for in traffic and high beam when there are no other vehicles about.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Dec 2014, 9:02pm

Annirak wrote:I don't think a dynamo is necessary for a 9-mile commute. That's about 45 minutes, so the quoted 10 hour run time of the Speed Premium would be sufficient for 45 minutes each way (which I don't seem to need) 5 days in a row, meaning a single charge per week, with 25% to spare from quoted endurance.

I converted to a dynamo on the back of a 9-10 mile (mixed rural/urban) commute, and then on to a hub dynamo, best decision(s) I ever made.

When you are commuting for that long each day it's rather nice not to have to think about lights - they're just there, part of the vehicle.
I also commend disc/hub brakes, and an IGH if it can be made to suit. Doing 100 miles a week (assuming no other riding) and you really want maintenance to be at a minimum, especially over winter...

Battery, and LED, technology has moved on in the few years since I changed to a dynamo, but I'd probably still make the change now.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

alexnharvey
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Re: A new glare-free headlamp for road riding

Postby alexnharvey » 15 Dec 2014, 9:25pm

hufty wrote:Just to add I got a cheapo dynamo wheel for winter use from Taylor-wheels.com, shipped from Germany for about £40 all inc and it's been great so far. At that price it's worth a punt just to see if you get on with a dynamo, then maybe get a nicer wheel next time.


Sure but wheels with the much better 3d72 hub is available from them for 68 plus postage and all my research here and elsewhere indicates it's a much better hub. You pay the extra cash once versus the extra drag every time you ride :)