Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
I'm looking for some lights for my commute to work and home which is about a 25 minute ride from the city to the inner west. I currently have a hybrid bike with some panniers and need a good light as they $50 plastic ones keep breaking or dying..
I have been looking at Wiggle and they have a sale this weekend and tossing up between the Exposure Diablo & Exposure joystick.. I wanted something that's light small and has no wires.
What lights are people using on there bikes ? and has anyone used the Exposure lights before...
thanks for your feedback....
The Exposure lights are excellent for commuting - mainly because of the self-contained, cable free nature. Makes it very convenient when having to take the light off if parking away from where you'll be, taking it into the office for a charge top-up, etc. The flash mode on these is particularly handy for when in heavy traffic, and then when on a bike path or trail you can turn the full light on and see in darkness. They are also very well made, I've dropped mine numerous times with no ill effect whatsoever.
I use one of their older models, the Enduro Maxx2 (equivalent to the Toro), for commuting - the route for which includes a large amount of off-road and trail riding. It's perfect. I showed it to a fellow bike commuter at work, and was so impressed he immediately ordered a Maxx D light to replace his aging and failing HID headlight.
As for Joystick vs Diablo, I don't know the full details of the latest Exposure range, but check up the beam angle/light output graph on their website:
I have the philosophy of "you can never have too much light", and the Diablo has both a wider beam pattern, and better light output - so that's what I'd be getting.
One drawback however with the Exposure lights is that the bigger/high capacity ones take longer to get a full charge, as all the models use the same charger and charging rate. e.g. my Enduro takes about 8 hours to charge from dead - I wouldn't want something that takes longer than that.
The Diablo looks like it has a smaller battery than the Enduro so this is unlikely to be a problem.
Steel may be real, but even both sides of the Cold War agreed titanium is better
Hi Peter, great write up thank you for the information. This is such an expensive buy I would like to try and get it just about right first time ! ... I have heard the Diablo has a very short battery on high but I guess I will not use it that much as I'm mainly in the city and cycle paths/road on the way home.. But I do work strange hours and can find myself ridding into work at 4am and coming home some times at 1:00pm at night so a good light is something I need.
I have read there is a better light in the Diablo compared to the joystick but the joystick will last longer.... so I'm a little unsure on where to spend my cash.. I do see from your information below that the Diablo has great light spread which is nice if coming home along a street with no street lights... and missing a cat or two along the way in the middle of the road...
Glad to hear about your experience with the other products they have I'm a little concerned about charging but if I make it part of my life style I should be ok.
I guess the main thing is battery live but will I be riding on high for 1 hour.. not to sure but I do not think so...
time to check the specs on there website!!
It wouldn't be a proper thread about lighting if Ayup wasn't mentioned.
Myself and plenty of other forumites use these lights and rate them very highly. They ain't cheap, but IMO you get what you pay for with many things.
Website for info and purchasing here. AFAIK they still only sell direct over the phone/net and their own store in Qld.
n = 3 for now
If your usual commute is 25 minutes one hour at full power will be fine, even if you take the scenic route or get a flat tyre along the way. For what it's worth, the next lowest setting from the top isn't exactly stingy with light.. you could always run a Diablo in its medium or low power mode.. then it would be similar to a Joystick, but with really long run time The power-on LED doubles as a battery level indicator, and if the battery gets really low it automatically kicks down to the low setting so you don't get stranded.
If you're concerned about charging, you could always get a second charger along with the light, and keep one at home and one at work.
Steel may be real, but even both sides of the Cold War agreed titanium is better
I really like my Fenix PD30's. They're light, small and durable and, most importantly, very bright LEDs. I have the Twofish Bikeblock mounts on 2 bikes. Two flash modes and more than enough light to see and be seen on my way home. The bonus is that they're actually torches, so you can use them for finding stuff under the house or roadside repairs as well.
At t'other end of the machine I can't imagine you'll find much argument for the Superflash rear light.
Thanks for the info these lights look nice and small.. I'm a little confused on which kit I would need for commuting ... maybe the V Twin Sports would be ok ? what do you think ?
Also how are the helmet mounts and where is the best place for the battery ?
I see most people have the power packs on the front handle bars this looks nice and tidy. how do they find the battery life on these ?
I do like they are Aussie owned, designed and built
Yes I was thinking the same thing 25 minutes is not to long.... this would leave me time for a flat Tyre or anything else that may happen....
Good call on the changer I will check out the prices..
Thanks RobertFrith, I like the look of the Fenix PD30's very nice it's a hand held touch as well.... the Twofish Bikeblock mounts look good..
do you have any issues with Velcro holding the touch ? How long do the batteries last ?
thanks for the info !
Agree with this ... but this is only half the story. The poor man's version is a torch from DealExtreme.com strapped to the helmet or handlebars. For those not familiar, these generate a LOT of light, for about 10% of the cost of ayups.
My torch cost under $50 delivered, including 2 recharcheable batteries, charger, helmet/handlebar mount. The torch (with battery) only weighs 175g but produces 900 lumens of light. The battery lasts around 2 hours but my commute is only 45 mins and I carry a fully charged spare.
The ayups are probably the ultimate in lights but these are just as bright (if not brighter) and do the job for me at much lower cost.
I've got the MTB kit, two lightsets, a six hour, two three hour batteries, three bar mounts, helmet mount and a dual port charger.
The runtimes quoted on the batteries are conservative but when they're flat it's instant dark. I carry a charged 3hr in me bag at all times, problem solved.
The 6hr will fit neatly under your stem and a 3hr is light and compact enough to strap to your helmet with the enclosed Velcro straps or you could splash a bit extra for the gecko kit.
On the rear, Superflash is the absolute goods without spending huge dollars.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I've got the V Twin Sports. One thing I like about it is recharging is quick with recharging taking about the time it took the light in operation or a bit more. Means you can ride flashing by day, recharge then ride again at night. I'm charging mine now after a night ride. Should be finished soon, then I can go to sleep.
I own ayups and while they are bright, I have seen brighter. To me they are a good compromise between price, durability, brightness, run time and size. I have seen brighter lights such as magic shine from deal extreme but the down side is run time. Not an issue for commuting. Durability is an unknown with magic shine as they are new.
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Good thread, I am considering something more than the 2x planet bike egg whites as my early morning ride is in the dark and there are no street lights!
The only problem I see with my choice, will be whatever I buy, technology is moving fast and better & brighter is only around the corner.
Ay Up's look nice and I like the helmet mount as I ride through a national park I need to see the skippy's sitting on the side of the track, so the helmet factor is perfect as well as the bar mount.
Merida 905, Giant Xtc2, Trek 3900
No issues with the Velcro. The rubber cradle has to give a bit at the sides for the light to fit so the strap holds the light down, the cradle provides the friction fit.
I haven't measured the battery life in hours. I've had a pair of PD30's for almost a year, replaced the batts for the first time a month ago. I do occasional night commutes or runs to the shops with the light on continuous but mostly use them on the more economical flash mode during the day and then only in heavy traffic or near sunrise and sunset.
I asked Batteryworld about rechargeable replacements when I got the new batts and they said they'd had some but hadn't been happy with them (I guess this means they too many returns) and no longer carry them. There are rechargeables available on the 'net but nothing that has the capacity of the non-rechargeables.
Fenix sell these 900 mAH ones on their site but they're showing as out of stock and I think they were last time I looked. I haven't had any joy finding them anywhere else. All the other rechargeable CR123s are much lower capacity.
The Fenix's switch to a flash mode when the battery is running low. Gets you home
+1 The Ay-Ups are brilliant, and pretty much indestructible. To quote the company website:
Btw, I don't know too many bicycle lights that can be operated underwater. Might have been handy in Melbourne over the weekend!
Lumens ratings on paper are one thing, but seeing the lights in action are another. The Ay-Ups are seriously bright and clearly illuminate the path/road ahead for about 35m. In the total dark, I have even seen my Ay-Ups light up road signs more than 100m away!
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
Just a clarifying point. I don't think DealExtreme make lights, rather they sell lights of various brands and no doubt varying quality, so I wouldn't agree with the generalisation in this statement.
From my own experience, as commuting lights I am happy with my Fenix L2D (BTW I believe DealExtreme sell them too). I have used the same set of lights for two winters now and I am heading into my third with them. As commuting lights they have been good value. The only downside for me is the battery life is not adequate for some of the Audax rides I wish to undertake.
There was also mention of TwoFish Lockblocks. I found them hopeless when wet and dumped them in my first winter. The current mounts I am using are okay, not brilliant but okay.
You can be serious about lights without spending Di Notte lighting. Saying you need Di Notte to have the best lighting is like saying that you need Assos clothing too. They are good, but not required.
I commute with NiteRider Minewt X2's, they are brilliant for commuting, on flash mode they're crazy bright, and when on steady mode they provide excellent light. For off-road riding the Minewts and a Storm HID make for near daylight conditions. Ayups are bad ass too. What about the cheap Magic Shine light? Anyone have one? My friends in the US like them, and they're hella cheap.
I have ridden with someone who has one. I would rate it at least as bright or brighter than my ayups. I don't know about durability or whether they are waterproof but for bang for buck in terms of brightness, they "outshine" my ayups (so to speak)
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The price has really gone up on these, they used to be $99 AUD, and $59USD.
http://www.nitelights.com.au/index.php? ... 6&Itemid=1
I was talking about these for $79.23 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.25149
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Vik has a 2 year review of his AA powered Dinotte lights here. Worth a read for sure.
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