Front light

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Oldjohnw
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Front light

Postby Oldjohnw » 29 Aug 2019, 12:44pm

I anticipate modest need for a new front light. I do not cycle much in the evening but am aware that one cannot say "never".

I imagine that most runs would be to/from town: half unlit rural and half street lights, total about 10 miles.

I have no particular view about battery v usb rechargeable. I am not interested in buying a new front wheel with a dynahub, mainly because my electric motor is located there!

The rear light works from the bike battery.

Advice based on experience would be gratefully received.
John

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mjr
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Re: Front light

Postby mjr » 29 Aug 2019, 1:24pm

Go German spec (search for StVZO compliant lights) - much stuff sold in the OK is not sufficient to make a bike road legal at night. I find I want at least 30 lux for unlit country roads through woods.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112793&start=330 reports that there's currently a front+rear rechargeable pack for £13 in Lidl specials, although for your very occasional use, a battery light fitted with eneloop low-self-discharge batteries may be more reliable and less effort than keeping a rechargeable battery healthy - although maybe you could power it over USB from the bike battery, although micro USB connectors aren't great for long-term vibration-heavy use like on bikes.

Anyway, on battery lights, I bought a Dansi Melbourne for a similar price, internet-order from Germany, last year, for use on the ice bike. I think it takes 4xAA.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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JohnW
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Re: Front light

Postby JohnW » 29 Aug 2019, 3:50pm

Oldjohnw wrote:I anticipate modest need for a new front light. I do not cycle much in the evening but am aware that one cannot say "never".

I imagine that most runs would be to/from town: half unlit rural and half street lights, total about 10 miles.

I have no particular view about battery v usb rechargeable. I am not interested in buying a new front wheel with a dynahub, mainly because my electric motor is located there!

The rear light works from the bike battery.

Advice based on experience would be gratefully received.

John - have a look at the Evans web-site.
https://www.evanscycles.com/bike-access ... &utm_term=
There's a lot of lights on there.

There are very powerful and very weak lights - I'd beware of weak ones.
I wouldn't go below 400 lumens although some of mine are 1500 on full power and about 400 at about middle power.
I ride in the dark regularly, and on unlit country lanes.
Evans own brand includes a 450 lumen front light; a friend of mine has a pair and they seem OK - strong enough for me in most conditions.
Being seen is as important as seeing.

The problem of integral batteries is that you can't carry spare batteries, and you can't buy some from a filling station in emergency.
The Hope Vision 1 lights were the strongest I could find to take replaceable batteries and are brilliant - but they don't make them now.

At the end of the day it's a balance - how much do you want to pay?

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andrew_s
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Re: Front light

Postby andrew_s » 29 Aug 2019, 5:03pm

Oldjohnw wrote:The rear light works from the bike battery.

I would have thought that the best answer would be to have the front light similarly powered.
There are a number of such lights available, though you'd have to check that you got a version suitable for your battery voltage.
Random examples
(6-12V): https://www.wiggle.co.uk/lezyne-ebike-p ... o-pro-e80/
(6-42V): https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/bus ... ght-723085

In terms of lumens, bear in mind that before LEDs people got around fine on about 15 of them.
Several hundred is OTT, and just going to provoke retaliatory full beam if it's one of the common lights with no dipped headlight-style horizontal cut-off.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Front light

Postby Bmblbzzz » 29 Aug 2019, 5:41pm

Wot Andrew sed. Wire one into the battery, if possible. If not, while legality is nice, I really wouldn't prioritise it, particularly as no one has ever been prosecuted for having lights which did not conform to the relevant standard and the conformity of StVZO to UK law has yet to be tested in courts (and probably never will be, for the same reason). Think about not just how bright you want but also how wide you like the beam to be. Some lights are very bright but only in a narrow cone or wedge. OTOH some people feel they only need that. road.cc has a "beam comparator" which, while far from life like, is better than most such.

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mjr
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Re: Front light

Postby mjr » 29 Aug 2019, 5:53pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Wot Andrew sed. Wire one into the battery, if possible. If not, while legality is nice, I really wouldn't prioritise it, particularly as no one has ever been prosecuted [...]

I'd prioritise it, but not for that reason. I'd prioritise it because you have a far far better chance of the light being both useful and not anti-social, with a lux rating that bears more relation to light on the road than the increasingly fictional lumens numbers and a beam that has at least some shaping to it.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Front light

Postby Bmblbzzz » 29 Aug 2019, 6:03pm

Then I'd prioritise beam shape (including, as I said, width and depth, not just height and cut off) and the amount of light on the road/path/trees/etc, rather than an unenforced standard. For instance, the Coukou (cheap!), Exposure Strada (expensive!) and Fenix BC35R all have some beam shaping but none of them is accredited to any standards, because none of them is aimed primarily at the German market.

(Not recommending any of those particular lights – especially the Coukou, cos from what I've read it fell apart after a couple of weeks - just mentioning them as examples of "non-legal" lights which nonetheless have shaping.)

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mjr
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Re: Front light

Postby mjr » 29 Aug 2019, 6:26pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Then I'd prioritise beam shape (including, as I said, width and depth, not just height and cut off) and the amount of light on the road/path/trees/etc, rather than an unenforced standard. For instance, the Coukou (cheap!), Exposure Strada (expensive!) and Fenix BC35R all have some beam shaping but none of them is accredited to any standards, because none of them is aimed primarily at the German market.

(Not recommending any of those particular lights – especially the Coukou, cos from what I've read it fell apart after a couple of weeks - just mentioning them as examples of "non-legal" lights which nonetheless have shaping.)

And having no accreditation means buyers have to tediously and laboriously check each one themselves individually.

The Exposure Strada is not strongly shaped so still has to be aimed downwards even according to https://road.cc/content/review/253339-e ... -strada-rs and that's even from a website which I feel is usually a bit too tolerant of rubbish beam shapes.

The Fenix BC35R looks better on http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67674 if still a bit bright close to the bike in some photos but I feel it is far better to keep it simple and advise people to just look for StVZO lights which are plentiful and affordable.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Front light

Postby Bmblbzzz » 29 Aug 2019, 6:42pm

Checking them out yourself is always sensible. A B&M Cyo and an Luxos both meet the StVZO but are completely different in beam shape and strength. And I've never dazzled anyone with my Exposure Strada (no, I didn't pay full price, it's crazy expensive!) whereas I have with my IQ-X.

Steve
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Re: Front light

Postby Steve » 29 Aug 2019, 8:18pm

For occasional use I'd recommend B and M Ixon with rechargeable (and replaceable) batteries, and a good bright beam. About 50 quid I think.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Front light

Postby Oldjohnw » 29 Aug 2019, 8:43pm

Thanks so much folks for all the advice. A huge amount to consider and investigate but hopefully on the right road now. I should mention that the rear light is actually integral to the battery which is rack based. There is no usb socket.

I'll let you know what I decide in due course.
John

Cycling and recycling