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Need Headlight Advice(7 posts)

Need Headlight AdviceHorace Greeley
Aug 15, 2001 12:07 PM
Sad, but true...I need to think about purchasing a headlight for my morning rides. Last year I got by, but it was risky. I've seen the more expensive systems and they appear to provide a decent amount of light. However, how well do the smaller battery operated (not the rechargeable systems) work. Obviously there is a difference in wattage (2.4 watt halogen vs. 10-15 watt halogen), but has anyone had a good experience with the smaller lights for road use. My use would be strictly for the road, and we're really dealing with the first 1/2 hour of my hour long morning ride. I don't plan on any evening rides. Thanks.
re: Need Headlight AdviceMikeC
Aug 15, 2001 12:30 PM
Nothing to be sad about! Lights really expand your cycling window of opportunity. I ride early morning, and in another month I'll be needing my lights for most of my ride. But when you get lights, you'll also be amazed at how you'll suddenly feel like doing a quick fifteen miles at 10 o'clock at night sometimes, too...and you'll be able to do it!
I'd love a high-end system, but it's not in the cards. I use the Cygo-Lite Night Rover Extra, which has an easily-detachable dual headlight and a battery that just slips into my front water bottle cage. During daytime rides, the battery comes out, and the headlight snaps off its mountain bracket. It's not as bright and white as the top-of-the-line systems, but it's not a toy, either. I've never had a situation where I think a driver hasn't seen me, which is probably the most important factor. That's also why I like a twin-beam system-one to project further out, so you'll be seen by others, and one for closer in, so you can see the road in front of you.
By the way, I use an LED taillight on flash mode. It's tiny, and it just velcros onto the back of my little under-the-saddle seat pack.
Aug 15, 2001 4:39 PM
I would second getting the cygo-lite, about 70 bucks last spring and it works great ! The two beam system works great, and if I just use the low beam it will last all week without a re-charge.
Do you need to be seen or cast light for riding?JohnnyA
Aug 15, 2001 1:39 PM
For the last few years I've ridden with a clear flashing LED up front, a cheapo headlight and wore a yellow illuminite jacket (tail-light as well). I always felt that I was visible.

This year, I've also bought a cygo-lite explorer(10/15 watt). Will use that for the commute, but got it mainly for off-road riding. Last I saw, Performance has the Rover on sale. Haven't used the light yet though.
re: Need Headlight AdviceAndy D
Aug 15, 2001 4:29 PM
If you only need use it as a Marker light you should be able to get away with a 2.4 watt job. I also commute and for the better part of my ride it is dark. I use a Cateye 2.4 as a Marker Light and a Nite Rider Headtrip System " Helmet mount single 10 watt. I also tried the Nite Rider Classic 12 and 20 watt bulbs. But, I prefer the Helmet mount. My Commute is along alot of back roads and there are alot of Deer. The Head trip is also good since whenver I turn My head I've got Light, again good for spotting Deer and attracting attention of Sleepy Motorist thinking about thier first cup of coffee. The Only drawback is in the Fog you get that reflection right back at you just like when you use your high beams in the car. If you take it easy no more than 15mph the 2.4 watt will work but if you go over that you overdriving your light nad no reaction time.
Marwi NightProStewK
Aug 16, 2001 5:16 AM
I think your choice depends somewhat on where you live and ride. I live in the exurbs of Connecticut where there are no street lights. I also ride very early in the morning when it is black as night. I started out with one of those two and a half watt lights from Specialized. It was fine if I rode after dawn, but in the pitch black it was almost impossible to ride.

Now I have a Marwi NightPro and I am very happy with it. It is bright and it lasts a long time. You can get it online at Biker Bob's for under $150. If you go this route, make sure you get the nightpro, it has an upgraded battery that lasts up to three hours. A lot of high end lights have batteries that last only about 1.5 hours, that's not long enough for me.

You can check out marwi's website. You should also check out They have an archived product "focus" on lights where they show actual pictures of different beams at night.

I have a Vistalite Total Eclipse in back. It's the brightest rear strobe I could find.

Good luck.
Thanks everyone....Horace Greeley
Aug 16, 2001 5:46 AM
for all the input. I think its worth the $$$ to go with a better system (i.e. Cygolight) given how dark it is by me and the amount of wildlife (mainly deer and raccoon). I'll take a closer look at the cygolight, since I notice the same model on sale has a different battery (sealed acid vs. Nicad).