As the mornings get darker, I am wanting to update my headlight. The old posts seem just that, outdated. Any advice on some good headlights? I want to be seen, and to see the road if possiable. Rechargeable or battery? Thanks for the help.
What are you upgrading from? What is your budget?
Right now I have a cheaper battery unit. It was ok for being seen, but did little to light up the ground. Budget, hoping to keep it under $100., maybe more if the benefit is there.
I have two Cateye OptiCubes HL-EL135 (http://www.cateye.com/en/products/detail/HL-EL135/), one on my bike and one on top of my helmet. I wish/prefer they were rechargeable, but they use batteries. On the streets and the main Lakefront Trail I set both to blinking as there is already enough light and all I want to do is be seen. When I am on the lakefront but off the main trail - it can get pitch black - I set the helmet to its highest steady beam which is enough to see where I am going, but not enough to blind anyone else. If I only could have one I would choose the helmet-mounted one, because it lets me point the light where I want to go, not where the bike is currently pointed.
It's tiny, but mighty, and USB rechargeable - I love the Flea 2.0 front/back combo - about $55 at an LBS that carries Blackburn:
People have even stopped me to ask what kind of front light it is - it's really bright on the flashing setting and not stroke-inducing like my boyfriend's NiteRider.
The *only* issue I have is that the strap for on/off (which I do take on and off each time since I've had so many stolen) is sorta flimsy - i contacted the company to get a replacement this weekend.
Good luck! I love threads like these...
What sort of areas are you going to be riding in? There's a lot of difference between needing a light to let people know you're there and needing a light that actually lights up the road so that you can bike. Also, how fast are you commuting? Any plans to use the lights for MTB riding?
I mostly ride on the road, with a short distance on a bike path. Speed would depend on the season. 16-18 in fall, slower on winter rides. No MTB riding. Thanks for all the ideas!
Peter White has a bunch of good information on his website regarding lighting. Some of the stuff is more up to date than others.
It seems the technology is improving quite quickly year over year, and the prices are coming down a little on the less-than-bleeding-edge gear. Still, it's not cheap to get the good stuff. I'm a fan of dyno-lighting myself. I'm sick enough of keeping my phone and laptop charged. I don't want to be a slave to a bike light too.
Niterider lumina series. Love it!
I use this: http://www.princetontec.com/?q=eos-bike . It's pretty bright, although it seems to dim a bit as the batteries wear down. It's still very bright considering the price point of ~$50, though. It's got three brightness settings and a flash mode. Works pretty well, and is very bright considering it's small size and single LED light.
I'd save up a little extra for a dynamo setup. you'll never go back to battery powered lights.
A dynamo lighting system is a serious investment (dynamo lighting systems). I used one on my old bike for over 5 years (16,000 miles). I just bought a new SON 28 generating hub and 2 60 lux led headlights (a main and a backup) with a led taillight for my new Trek because I often commute home long distances late at night after working. You will never go back to a battery powered unit unless a freak occurs. I carry a MiNewt 250 battery powered light as a backup to get home if my dynamo were to fail. Mine have never failed. They light up the trails/roads like daylight and stay lit when I'm stopped at a stop light. During the day, when I'm not using my lights, I use the generated power to charge my Droid Razr phone, my Zune, my speakers or anything else that is powered by USB.
I use my Droid as my cycle computer to log my gps track, speed, altitude, bluetooth heartrate and calories burned etc. So it is constantly running and constantly being charged by my dynamo hub. I use an app on my Droid and it uploads my ride stats as soon as I finish riding and updates my totals etc. I use a Zzing cache battery to make sure my Droid gets constant power. I also use my Droid with the Google bicycle gps layer to route myself on bicycle friendly paths and roads from place to place in unfamiliar areas. I couldn't do all that if the battery in my Droid kept going dead.