Recommended light / tail light - Page 2
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  1. #26
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I don't think you need more than 800 lumens on the road. There are lots of good options out there. $100 will get you a high quality and long lasting 800+ lumen light with a good mount, that wasn't the case even a few years ago. The mount is also crucial, you want something that's not going to move around on you. IMO, the rubber band-based mounts aren't usually as good as mounts that truly clamp.

    I have lots of lights. I really like Cateye lights, especially the Volt 800 headlight and the Rapid tail light. Not the sexiest, but they have proven to be extremely reliable and durable. Both have simple and effective mounts.

    I've had good luck with Cygolite as well.

    I also have a few lights made by Giant which are nicely made and well designed.

    The higher end Bontrager Ion lights are very nice.

    I do not recommend cheap Amazon/Ebay special lights. They are very unreliable. Get a good light, it's a safety thing.

  2. #27
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    I do not recommend cheap Amazon/Ebay special lights. They are very unreliable. Get a good light, it's a safety thing.
    Exactly, those generic cheap made in China lights are not that great and they way over estimate their lumen output by about 50%! However, if you were on a crazy tight budget and just needed something to get by till you can get more money those are an option, but you have to place close attention to the customer reviews and make sure you get one with at least several hundred reviews that are at least 4 1/2 stars average rated. Keep in mind though, even with a highly rated generic light that the lumens will still be overrated, it's just that they held up good under use and put out enough light to please the people wanting to spend as little as possible. E-bay can be trickier than Amazon, you may have a lot of buyers but if you have a warranty issue E-Bay won't help you like Amazon will, but even Amazon a lot times has their hands sort of tied, but at least they'll refund a percentage of your money if necessary, E-bay won't do that.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    Exactly, those generic cheap made in China lights are not that great and they way over estimate their lumen output by about 50%! However, if you were on a crazy tight budget and just needed something to get by till you can get more money those are an option, but you have to place close attention to the customer reviews and make sure you get one with at least several hundred reviews that are at least 4 1/2 stars average rated. Keep in mind though, even with a highly rated generic light that the lumens will still be overrated, it's just that they held up good under use and put out enough light to please the people wanting to spend as little as possible. E-bay can be trickier than Amazon, you may have a lot of buyers but if you have a warranty issue E-Bay won't help you like Amazon will, but even Amazon a lot times has their hands sort of tied, but at least they'll refund a percentage of your money if necessary, E-bay won't do that.
    I can vouch that the Cygolite 850 is very bright - probably the 850 lumens they claim is true. It does indeed "light up the night". However, that is (of course) at the highest setting which consumes the most power. The battery rating at the brightest setting is only 2 hours. I have never used the brightest setting for any length of time. The only time I ride at night is "accidentally" as in being out longer than I intended. Range anxiety is always at the back of my mind.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  4. #29
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I can vouch that the Cygolite 850 is very bright - probably the 850 lumens they claim is true. It does indeed "light up the night". However, that is (of course) at the highest setting which consumes the most power. The battery rating at the brightest setting is only 2 hours. I have never used the brightest setting for any length of time. The only time I ride at night is "accidentally" as in being out longer than I intended. Range anxiety is always at the back of my mind.
    Under most circumstances 600 lumens is all one really needs for a dark unlit road or bike path, and about 300 lumens for lit city streets or daylight flash mode, but you need an extra 200 or so above the 600 in case you run into a dark road on a rainy night, so 800 to 1000 lumens on the high end is all a light needs to be unless you suffer from night blindness, but in general those lumens I mentioned is what I consider to be the sweet spot. For riding off road you need at least a 1000 lumens on the helmet and at least another 800 on the bars. By buying a light with more lumens than you need you usually get a light with a bigger better battery, so while using it on high may only be 2 hours of run time on say 800 or 1000 lumens, cutting the power down to the sweet spot of 650 to 750 could get you 4 to 5 hours, vs getting a minimal required lumen of say 700 lumens may get you 2 hours of run time but to go 4 to 5 hours you'll need to drop below the sweet spot to 400 or so. I hope that made sense; keep in mind the run time numbers I quoted are estimates, the sweet spot for lumens is just an opinion.

    I also forgot to mention something about cheap generic Chinese lights. You could get a 800 lumen Chinese light rated for 1600 lumens, but the beam will be a very small spot with not flooding to the sides, that's one of the ways the Chinese trick their lumens.

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