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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Night Gear (Light & Shoe Covers)

    Hey Guys -

    Riding a lot at night... even more now with daylight savings... and looking to step my light game up. Riding a black CAAD10, 12 miles each way, mostly path riding. I currently have a Knog back light and a Sigma Triled w/ features:

    3 super bright white LEDs
    Extra long burn time of up to 120h
    Permanent or flashing operation
    Splash-waterproof
    Tool-free click-mounting (Unifit 22-32mm)
    Individually adjustable mounting
    Click button
    Extremely simple battery change, 3 x AA
    Lightweight - 60 grams (without batteries)

    I'm looking for recommendations from the group on lights that you prefer (either mounted on handlebar or helmet light).

    Also, looking for recommendations on shoe covers that the group likes. I live in Virginia outside of DC for weather gauge.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    just be careful riding at night especially when you're on a very busy street. my bike had enough lights to be visible but i still almost got hit by a car the last time i rode at night. i was on my way home and the road was slightly downhill so going at 22 mph was easy. when i got into the intersection, the car on my left made an abrupt turn towards me. if not for the three hard push on my pedals i will probably be still in a hospital right now or it could have been worse. i was shaken up when i got home that night.

    i just finished riding on the trainer that i just bought three hours ago. i figured if i ever get an urge again about riding after work, riding on a trainer would be the safest alternative.
    Last edited by red elvis; 11-05-2012 at 09:23 PM.

  4. #4
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    I love my NiteRider MiNewt 350 Cordless Rechargable Headlight. It's like riding during the day at night, and it's reasonably priced when on sale at Performance Bike. I never thought I'd get excited about a light, but it's great in that you can ride safely and fast at night without being obnoxiously bright to others. I used to have a cheap light that restricted me to slow speeds at night. I mount it to my handlebars, and it can easily be changed from bike to bike.

  5. #5
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    The MagicShine series of lights are decent headlights as are the Cygolite Expilion series.

    I use three PlanetBike Superflash tail lights for night rides. Also, I wear a safety vest with reflective stripes.

    So far, so good in three seasons of night rides.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Mark. Looks like there are a couple different models on Amazon ranging from $70 - $140 ---

    Amazon.com: niterider minewt 350

    I should read up on the NiteRider models a little more. Sounds like the 350 gives you enough light to feel comfortable riding at night at higher speeds? Do you use other lights as well?

  7. #7
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    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  8. #8
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    Thanks gearloose. Any thoughts on the right amount of lumens? I ride a roadbike, fairly aggressively, ride on a path 50% of the time, but I don't want to be one of these guys who is blinding other people when you approach them. I am thinking either the 350 or 500. Interested in your thoughts?

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Thanks looigi... super helpful. Looking at the two NiteRider MiNewt 350 models (one handlebar mounted and the mini helmet mounted). Do you have any insights or preference on handlebar vs. helmet?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Very interesting many thanks, I presume your readers would likely want more reviews along these lines continue the great effort.

  11. #11
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    My MagicShine was advertised to be 900 lumens, but a lot of folks figure it to be less than that. The MagicShine is on the bar, and I run it either on the low or medium settings.

    My Expilion is the 250 model (older model), and it is mounted on my helmet. I run it on medium.

    If you are an aggressive rider, you need to enough lumens so that you do not "outrun" your light. I'm thinking 500 lumens may be what you need.

    When I ride at night I try to have both lights aimed at the same spot. In turns, I'll use the helmet light to illuminate the corner before I get into it, and I use the helmet light as needed to alert drivers to my presence if it appears they're about to encroach in my space.

    Having a second light on the helmet really helps.

    Good luck in your search.

  12. #12
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    IME experience and given the cost of a good light these days I'd say for riding at night at moderate speeds ~18-20 mph, 500 lumens is about the minimum I'd recommend. I spend a fair amount of time training in the dark and have used as little as a 200 lumen dinotte as well as a 400 lumen dual dinotte, 500 lumen Serfas, and the serfas and dinotte lights together. I felt pretty comfortable with the amount of light 200 lumens provides, but it's amazing how much more room cars give you with 500 lumens. The full 900 lumens of all the lights is nice, but overkill for me.

    -w

  13. #13
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    Agree on 500 lm as a min for road riding. It's good to remember that visual perception of brightness is logarithmic. For example, compared to 300 lm, 600 lm looks brighter but not near twice as bright.

    Light distribution plays a role too. A narrow beam 500 may be good for typical road riding but a wide angle flood type 500 may not project light far enough ahead, while the narrow 500 may not provide enough side illumination for riding twisty paths or trails. My most current light is a Expilion 700 which has as beam somewhere between wide a narrow...a bit wider than I feel would be optimum for the road.

    For the road I prefer a bar mounted light and rather not have a helmet mounted light pointing wherever I turn my head. Some like to have the ability to direct a helmet light at a motorist they feel may be threatening a collision because they are not aware of them. On the mtb, I prefer to have both, but with only one light, bars or helmet would depend on ride/terrain.

    Two lights can be better than one for a number of reasons: redundancy, better conspicuity and speed distance perception for motorists, more light if needed, can be independently aimed or one on bars and other on helmet, run one on high and the other on low (or flash) and then switch to extend burn time...
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

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