New posts

MTB Lights 2022!

Aug. 12, 2022, 7:27 a.m.
Posts: 2327
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

A lot goes into making a great light:

  • LED power/lumens
  • beam pattern
  • colour temp
  • battery capacity
  • housing/wiring quality/robustness
  • ease of use on bike [adjusting light levels]
  • mounting system
  • cost
  • weight [for helmet lights]
  • post-sales service
  • won't burn my house down when charging

At the moment I am dealing with older batteries that don't deliver enough runtime. That's frustrating and a bit dangerous as I've had them drop to "survival mode" on me when I wasn't expecting it. So if I am buying something new I want to ensure I won't be starting right up against my desired ride duration since things will only degrade from there and a quality light is going to be on my bike/helmet for 5-10+ years if the current lights I am using are any indication. A more powerful light not only offers the brighter illumination when needed, but allows you to run it at lower levels and extend the battery life a lot.

When I bought my current lights ~10 years ago they seemed like "overkill", but all these years later they are still performing well enough to stay competitive with what passes for a decent MTB bar light today despite lots of tech improvements. Hence buying a new battery and keeping them going.

Aug. 17, 2022, 12:13 p.m.
Posts: 2604
Joined: April 25, 2003

Posted by: DanL

Seems like a small thing, but gopro mounting and a Garmin Outfront handlebar mount was as big a step forwards as the lights themselves.
Being able to snap my light onto any helmet in seconds and the same for the front light into handlebars made a big difference to my night ride prep.

I'd like to get away from the strap on mount/rubber O-ring light bracket and convert my helmet mount light (L&M SECA 2000) to a GoPro mount - what helmet mount do you use?  I'd love to use the 3M tape mount one, but can I really trust that to stay stuck?

Aug. 17, 2022, 12:16 p.m.
Posts: 2604
Joined: April 25, 2003

Posted by: Heinous

Not all lumens are created equal.

Does anyone know how to compare the lumen claims and light quality between L&M, Outbound and Gemini lights?  Those are the ones that keep popping up on my radar.

Aug. 17, 2022, 1:44 p.m.
Posts: 428
Joined: Jan. 21, 2013

https://www.amazon.ca/UPANBIKE-Handlebar-Extension-Speedometer-Headlight/dp/B074498GPL/ref=asc_df_B074498GPL/

Side note on handlebar mounting:

I bought one of these last year and use it to mount a light where the light output isn't blocked by my cables, or made crooked by my bar geometry. It's hideous and has to come from Amazon (I couldn't find anything similar in a shop, other than a KRS handlebar that costs 3-4x more) but it works so well I can't get rid of it. I cut mine to length so it's just a touch wider than where the clamps want to sit on my bars beside my stem.

Aug. 18, 2022, 2:03 p.m.
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

AND... I bought a Light & Motion Seca Endura!  :)

Aug. 18, 2022, 2:55 p.m.
Posts: 2327
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: yardrec

AND... I bought a Light & Motion Seca Endura!  :)

Nice. It's a bit sad we are already getting geared up for riding in the dark, but what can you do! Time stops for no mountain biker! ;-)

Aug. 18, 2022, 4:06 p.m.
Posts: 575
Joined: May 11, 2022

I don't know if MTBR.com  still does it but I recall years back they had some sort of thread going where they showed the beam patterns of many different lights and it was cool to see how they compared.

Aug. 23, 2022, 3:20 p.m.
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

Posted by: Vikb

Posted by: yardrec

AND... I bought a Light & Motion Seca Endura!  :)

Nice. It's a bit sad we are already getting geared up for riding in the dark, but what can you do! Time stops for no mountain biker! ;-)

I know! I don't want summer to end, but am looking forward to cozy autumn. And less dusty trails!

Oct. 20, 2022, 6:52 a.m.
Posts: 2327
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I did my first night ride of the winter. Although I have bought a new helmet light I only used my 10+ year old bar light with a new battery. I regretted that choice a little towards the end, but it wasn't too bad. I really enjoyed not having to wonder if my light would die at some in opportune moment mid-ride. I'm glad I bought a quality light all those years ago such that it was worth buying a new battery for it.

I'll get the helmet light setup/tested soon so I can actually see around corners next night ride!

Oct. 20, 2022, 8:13 a.m.
Posts: 449
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: yardrec

Serfas True 1300 MTB is one of my favorite lights. It's super bright, has field swapable batteries and cheap enough you can get 2. If you can find the Serfas 750 is also brighter than it's lumens state and you can swap the lens for wide or spot beam.

I have an old Serfas True 1100 light that the battery died on. It was a great light and I didn't want to throw it away. So I opened it up and saw it had two 18650 lithium cells in it. I bought a new set of chocolate cells and it is better then new and has got to be on 10ish years of service. I have since discovered that almost all bike lights are powered by 18650 cells.

After seeing how easy and cheap 18650 cells are to buy I started looking around and found this cool case on Amazon. You can load it with your choice of 18650 cells and power any light you have. Some soldering may be required. 

https://www.amazon.ca/BOINN-Waterproof-Battery-Supply-Router/dp/B09JGJXD5H/ref=sr_1_17?keywords=18650+battery+case&qid=1666278396&qu=eyJxc2MiOiI0LjkzIiwicXNhIjoiNC4zOCIsInFzcCI6IjMuODgifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=18650+battery+%2Caps%2C122&sr=8-17  

18650 cells

https://www.18650batterystore.com/en-ca

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=18650+battery+canada&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzZTEzYrv-gIV3SStBh0f-AWdEAAYAiAAEgL4vfD_BwE&hvadid=208306251090&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1001927&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=150888801813791693&hvtargid=kwd-306743901776&hydadcr=1308_10142950&tag=googcana-20&ref=pd_sl_2ngz2k6fub_e

Oct. 20, 2022, 8:20 a.m.
Posts: 449
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

One thing I think A lot of people don't realize is how rad helmet light are for doing trail work in the winter. When winter hits and there is not enough daylight to ride a group of us switch from group rides to group trail maintenance at night. Its awesome. The soil is perfect, there is almost no traffic. We can fix some high traffic areas with ease.

Oct. 20, 2022, 8:56 a.m.
Posts: 428
Joined: March 14, 2017

Posted by: heathen

One thing I think A lot of people don't realize is how rad helmet light are for doing trail work in the winter. When winter hits and there is not enough daylight to ride a group of us switch from group rides to group trail maintenance at night. Its awesome. The soil is perfect, there is almost no traffic. We can fix some high traffic areas with ease.

I do the same as well...  unfortunately the number of people that do trail maintenance on the shore is abysmal.   Fix what you ride people.

Oct. 20, 2022, 10:15 a.m.
Posts: 570
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

I like the concept of a bar/helmet mounted light that uses 13485 battery (or batteries) that can be replaced. Looking at Serfas, most of their higher powered stuff use integrated batteries. The TSL-1300M uses 13485 that can be easily replaceable, but they don't provide an alternate spreader beam lens (big gamble on usable beam factor). A lot of their older lights seem to tick both boxes, but not their new stuff

Can anyone suggest a current product that combines:

  • uses standard 13485 cell(s)
  • Decently bright, with a nice wide beam
  • Good for bar and helmet use 
  • Not too damned expensive (yes, subjective, I know)
Oct. 20, 2022, 11:08 a.m.
Posts: 570
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: mammal

I like the concept of a bar/helmet mounted light that uses 13485 battery (or batteries) that can be replaced. Looking at Serfas, most of their higher powered stuff use integrated batteries. The TSL-1300M uses 13485 that can be easily replaceable, but they don't provide an alternate spreader beam lens (big gamble on usable beam factor). A lot of their older lights seem to tick both boxes, but not their new stuff

Can anyone suggest a current product that combines:

  • uses standard 13485 cell(s)
  • Decently bright, with a nice wide beam
  • Good for bar and helmet use
  • Not too damned expensive (yes, subjective, I know)

Although I'd need to make a mount for the helmet (only comes with bar mount), I'm thinking of trying one of these guys. Easily replaceable and source-able battery, good spread/intensity/color, and not too pricey. Worth a try I think.

Product:

https://www.canadaflashlights.com/fenix-bc26r.html

Review:

https://thesweetcyclists.com/fenix-bc26r-led-bike-headlight-review/#:~:text=THE%20VERDICT,the%20constant%20modes%20from%20flash.


 Last edited by: mammal on Oct. 20, 2022, 11:08 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 20, 2022, 12:16 p.m.
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

These are really awesome: https://www.lynxogt.com/

Field replaceable batteries. Head lamp. Multiple mount options. Good for trail rides/runs/walks/trail work/camping. Run by Dylan, a nice guy out of Nelson, BC. We run the Raven.

Forum jump: