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Helmet or Handlebar Lights?

Sept. 10, 2016, 8:51 p.m.
Posts: 306
Joined: Aug. 10, 2012

Finally getting back into night riding…what's the preference these days?
Do you ride with helmet mounted, or handlebar mounted lighting systems? Or a mixture of both?

I've done a lot of trail running through the night. While I like the convenience of headlamps, I always find the effect "flattening". It's hard to discern lumps and bumps in the trail…so I end up with a hand held system to bring out the contrast of the trail's topography.
Does the (significantly) higher lumen output of bike-specific lighting systems help with that flattened effect on head-mounted systems?

Sept. 10, 2016, 9:31 p.m.
Posts: 2149
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

I use both but if I could only use one helmet mount 100%

Sept. 10, 2016, 9:51 p.m.
Posts: 2102
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

I use both but if I could only use one helmet mount 100%

X2.

Sept. 11, 2016, 1:49 a.m.
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct. 16, 2015

For the cost of lights online these days I would highly recommend both.Bar lights will show you where you are going and head lamp will show where you want to go. There really is no compromise outside of funding. Personally, I've made do with a head lamp, but not by choice.
As mentioned above, Solar storm X2's, as well as any cree led head lamps are a great bang for buck.

Sept. 11, 2016, 8:07 a.m.
Posts: 5731
Joined: June 24, 2003

Both. You have to have a backup light in case of a failure or crash or something so two decent lights make sense. You want a helmet light if you do choose one bright light and a small emergency light as backup only. Personally I have never experienced any issues with only a helmet light which I will do when I am climbing slowly.

Debate? Bikes are made for riding not pushing.

Sept. 11, 2016, 12:36 p.m.
Posts: 333
Joined: Dec. 21, 2008

For the cost of lights online these days I would highly recommend both.Bar lights will show you where you are going and head lamp will show where you want to go. There really is no compromise outside of funding. Personally, I've made do with a head lamp, but not by choice.
As mentioned above, Solar storm X2's, as well as any cree led head lamps are a great bang for buck.

x3!

Sept. 11, 2016, 6:16 p.m.
Posts: 306
Joined: Aug. 10, 2012

Excellent info.
I had picked up the X2 a few days ago and will likely get a 2nd set.

In the "old" days, I remember busting my one light system and rode "sandwich style" between two other buddies with lights so that I could hobble back out of the trail….fun times, but I've been there, done that.

Thanks!

Sept. 12, 2016, 6:45 a.m.
Posts: 2690
Joined: Nov. 29, 2002

I use both but if I could only use one helmet mount 100%

Agree

Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.

A. Einstein

Sept. 13, 2016, 1:19 a.m.
Posts: 15019
Joined: April 5, 2007

I'm still running Geoman Gear lights from yesteryear. I don't really ride at night but one of the better purchase I've made.

Why slag free swag?:rolleyes:

ummm, as your doctor i recommend against riding with a scaphoid fracture.

Sept. 13, 2016, 6:41 a.m.
Posts: 2690
Joined: Nov. 29, 2002

My bar light is a Magic Shine MJ-808E that I got in 2010. Still going strong. Got two units in 2010 one died in 2015. light head unit internal failure. Picked up a Solar storm to replace the it. Could not be happier with my bang for buck.

Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.

A. Einstein

Sept. 14, 2016, 7:04 a.m.
Posts: 277
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I use both but if I could only use one helmet mount 100%

Agreed!

I find the best setup is a flood lamp with more divergence on the handlebar and a more collimated beam on the helmet. That way, you trow light pretty much everywhere in front of you and you have a more intensity in the direction where you are looking.

Sept. 14, 2016, 7:13 a.m.
Posts: 3708
Joined: March 6, 2003

Two lights all the way.

One helment, one bar mount.

Flood on the bars, spot on the helmet, or two floods. I guess the season is upon us. Time to charge the batteries.

:canada: My Riding Journal….www.FVMBA.com :england:
"Do you even build?"
-DW-
"If everything seems in control, you're not going fast enough."
-Mario Andretti-

Sept. 14, 2016, 9:41 a.m.
Posts: 2149
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

http://nightcyclingsafety.com/product/bike-night-cycling-heart-shaped-tail-light/

don,t forget tail lights :)

Sept. 14, 2016, 10:14 a.m.
Posts: 5635
Joined: Oct. 28, 2008

May I also suggest using flat pedals instead of clipless. I've had the most bizarre and unnecessary clipless based crashes in the dark. Everything looks different during night riding. The once familiar is a brand new eery place. And ffs run one on the bars and one on the headlight so you get some depth perception.

Wrong. Always.

Sept. 14, 2016, 11:24 a.m.
Posts: 2149
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

May I also suggest using flat pedals instead of clipless. I've had the most bizarre and unnecessary clipless based crashes in the dark. Everything looks different during night riding. The once familiar is a brand new eery place. And ffs run one on the bars and one on the headlight so you get some depth perception.

of course it looks different it,s dark LOL

I have gotten many a PR on trails at night that I ride the crap out of during the day.

Part of it I think is the reduced view down the trail so I only concern myself with whats in my immediate focal range .

I have also ridden trails at night that I have never ridden during the day and when I rode them during the day I was like WTF!!! did I just ride LOL .

With my lights I have a 1500 lumen dual bulb light on my helmet , and on the bike I run 2 900 lumen single pods on each side of the bars , typically I run one just in front of the tire and the other down the trail and the helmet adds light .

I run the helmet at it,s highest setting most of the time as well except for road/fsr climbs if the moon is out I twilight and safe the battery .

My lights of choice are from Gemini , not the cheapest but $$ well spent .

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