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cateye light combo at nashbar: my experience w/it so far...(5 posts)

cateye light combo at nashbar: my experience w/it so far...Js Haiku Shop
Nov 19, 2001 1:51 PM
Combine the CE-HLMC200 with the CE-LD500 taillight, $29.95

headlight=2.4 watts for ~3 hours. uses "VIS 360" body design. what this actually means is that the entire body is transparent and you can see the light from all angles. this is good in that drivers can see your headlight from the sides, and the headlight also illuminates not only in front of but also beside the bike. however, the top of the light's body is clear, meaning 25-30% of your field of vision (at night) is light blinded. i'm going to put a piece of duct tape on the top to fix this.

the headlight runs on 4aa batteries, easy to access for replacment, but difficult to get out. the lamp unit with bulb and surrounding reflective stuff is not physically attached to the light body, and (1) at night with trembling hands in the dark, or (2) in the early morning in brisk temps, small parts requiring a intermediate level of manual dexterity are not ideal. on the upside, i've dropped the lamp & bulb from 4 feet several times and it still works. one other downside: i can't find any markings on the shell as to which direction the batteries fit. after awhile it doesn't matter, but the first time is rough if you don't look before pulling out the old batteries.

the batteries didn't run down over a good amount of time. they died in the space of 3-5 minutes. strong, strong, strong, then a little weaker, then BOOM, gone. all other times, the light is sufficient for 15-18 mph non-technical riding. i wouldn't want to go any faster, or any descents solely with this light.

the taillight is fine, also a reflector, has two modes--steady and blink. the mounting bracket (clip) sucks, but it's no biggie. very bright compared to the nashbar blinkie i'd been using.

overall, for $25 (what i paid when it was on sale), the combo is worth the cash, short of buying $200 lights. i've asked santa for another set.
I've seen people using them, they are awfully dim actually.MB1
Nov 20, 2001 4:47 AM
I don't see how you could go down much of a hill using them. Another problem with a light as low wattage as that is that after a stronger light from a car or another cyclist passes your night vision is reduced for a while and that low wattage light is not strong enough until your vision is restored.

If it is wet forget seeing anything with only 2.4 watts. These lights are better than nothing and work ok as a second light but that is about it. IMHO
i agree for the most part, but...Js Haiku Shop
Nov 20, 2001 6:21 AM
on my budget, it's not a bad light. the other guys in my weeknight group (before they packed it in for the "winter") were using vistalite and others, all about the same intensity, and they all seemed to put out only a fraction of what the cateye did. again, when i have the $$ to put out for $200 lights, that'll be my primary set, with the 2.4w as backups. that might not be 'til 2004, though, since i've sold my soul for a merckx with chorus.

what this means, in effect, is that i'll be riding a 12-hour and a 24-hour next year with 2.4 watt lights, unless i can scam a nicad-powered set from local friends for one-time use.
Lot of people use them for long night rides as part of a systemMB1
Nov 20, 2001 7:24 AM
Run the 2.4 watt battery lamps for the flats and climbs and turn on the biger lights for the downhills. A couple extra sets of AA or AAA batteries will get you through the night for a lot less money and weight than the rechargeable systems. Plus having 2 sets of lights allows you to make repairs or change batteries without having to find a streetlight.

Middle of summer it should be pretty easy to borrow a hi-powered system to use on your 24 hr ride.
limitationsDog
Nov 20, 2001 7:43 AM
Last night I rode on an asphalt bike path in the pitch black dark (no moon) with only a 2.5 watt similar headlight. I could barely see the path, and the light was so dim I had to slow to stay on the pavement. I'll be using my super-duper lights from now on.

These small lights can sort of get you by, but I think they are shy of being safe. They will eat you alive in battery costs, too, unless you have rechargeables.

Similarly, the small Zefal light shines up, too. When out of the saddle and forward a bit, it was glaring off my glasses, making it hard to see.

If you do much night riding, I'd recommend a good, bright, rechargeable system.

Doug