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Early Morning Riding(10 posts)

Early Morning Ridingmattfl
Mar 18, 2002 5:52 PM
im going to start riding my bike at around five to five thirty in the morning. I wanted to know what you think is the best lighting system on the market, for the value. I currently ride a Marin San Marino road bike with Daytona components. I also live in Key West, Florida so its nice to ride early, due to the heat. Any suggestions would be helpful. thanks.

re: Early Morning RidingStewK
Mar 19, 2002 2:37 AM
I have the Marwi Elite Pro and like it very much. Very bright and long run time. Got mine at

See my (and other) reviews at
re: Early Morning RidingPatM
Mar 19, 2002 4:12 AM
For the money I like the cygolite products, I am not sure which one I have - I think its the Night Rover, 79.00 at performance. Not a problem with it in almost a year of daily use. The early morning is really the only time I have to ride so I use it alot.
light systemstarwheel
Mar 19, 2002 5:36 AM
I did a lot of shopping around for light systems last fall. I wanted something for riding 1-2 nights per week, not daily commuting, so I didn't need something top of the line. My first choice was the Planet bike NiMH system, but they were sold out everywhere. However, I believe they are back in stock now, and you can buy that system for about $110 at That is an extremely good price for a NIMH system w/ 5/10/15 W.

I ended up buying a Cygolite Night Rover NiCad system w/ 6/10/16 W for about $60 at REI on sale. For that price, nothing else could touch it. I have had no problems with the Cygo and have used it all winter. My only complaint is that it is a double beam (which you might prefer), and I was looking for a single beam so it wouldn't take up so much real estate on my handlebar.

If money is no object, the Light & Motion Solo Logic sold by is one of the nicest light systems I have seen, but it costs $250-300 with the charger. What's nice about it is that it will recharge in 5 hours, which is great if you are commuting. It's also a solo beam. Excel had these on sale for about $150 in December, but it was after I had already bought my Cygolite, or I would have coughed up the extra cash. If you see these on sale, snap one up.

Finally, altho NiteRider seems to be very prevalent in the stores, the feedback has not been good. Check the reviews section here and at They seem to have more than their fair share of problems.

Finally, with regard to power and time, pay close attention to that. I can use my 6W beam on roads with lots of streetlights and when I'm running low on power. The 10W beam is fine for general use, and 16W is really nice to have on a dark road or if there are obstacles to watch out for -- eg., potholes, gravel, sticks. Run time is very important. Some of the Performance and Mawri systems (the same) only have 1.5 hours of run time, which isn't enough in my book. I generally ride 20 miles or so at night, and would be close to running out of time w/ only 1.5 hours of power. Remember, you won't be riding as fast at night (if you're smart), so riding times will probably be longer than usual for typical distances. My Cygolite is rated 6 hours at 6W, 4 hours at 10W, and 2 hours at 16W -- but it doesn't seem to last that long. My rides are always under 2 hours, so it hasn't been a problem, but I would be real nervous riding a system with only 1.5 hours of power.
re: Early Morning Ridingmethosage
Mar 19, 2002 6:30 AM
JET Lights Starfire "I" Dual Beam

Very Good lighting system. No problems after 4 months of commuting. Very nice and helpful customer service. You are unlikely to find them in your LBS, however, because of this if you order direct they will give you a trial period. If you don't like them you can return them for no charge. I think it was a 30 day trial period.
LightsThe General
Mar 19, 2002 7:49 AM
A couple posters made reference to the Night Rider lights. True they have had their fare share of problems but when you are pushing the edge of technology you tend to have that. They have done everything they can to make people happy, including giving full credit on some lights that are 1 year old because of problems.

Personally I would not buy anything but a Night Rider. They are great lights, light weight, small, the charge last usually longer then stated and they work. If you get the digital you have several options which work great for road riding. The safety flashing modes get the attention of drivers and still let you see. There is one that flashes every 6 seconds or so, great for those dusk rides and making sure the battery last a long time, something like 6 hours. The other is continuous flashing, I use this when riding in areas that have traffic. Cars notice the light and usually slow down.

The other lights mentioned are good lights and I don't think you could go wrong with them.

Good luck,
The general
Humbly request secret decoder ring...Crankist
Mar 19, 2002 7:22 PM view NR's invisible responses to my numerous e-mails.
'Though I suspect their customer service is simply poor.
second the MarwiKEN2
Mar 19, 2002 8:23 AM
I second the Marwi systems. I have the Kamikaze Pro, also purchased from BikerBob @ $140. It's dual system; you can get single light Marwis for under #100. Performance brand lights are the same as Marwi except the color of the battery case, and they sometimes have good sales on those.
re: Early Morning RidingMikeC
Mar 20, 2002 11:57 AM
I ride early morning, and use a NiteRider Digital 12 EX system (it's called SOMETHING like that!). I've had no problems with it over two years.
Two things to keep in mind: I've been surprised by leftover ice patches which I thought would have melted, so I've aimed the lights carefully so I can see both near and far. You won't have the ice problem, but I recommend a two-lamp system so you can avoid other road hazards. Also, you won't be able to see your bike computer unless you have a backlight or one of those funky little light attachments some of the catalogs sell.
re: Early Morning Ridinggrzy
Mar 20, 2002 12:25 PM
You pretty much need something for a short time since you're riding around dawn and it will soon be light. Get one of the high intensity LED blinking tail lights - these things realy capture the attention of motorists. Also having some reflective clothing and possibley tape on you bike is a good thing. Moving wheels and pedals really capture people's attention. For a head light there are lots of choices. I use a NR Blow Torch, but it's really for MTB riding deep in the woods at night (4 hour burn time) and at $390 it's total over kill for your needs. It uses and arc lamp and is unbelieveibly bright. I like the NR stuff, but it isn't cheap. Consider using a helmet or glasses mounted mirror. Key West is a pretty booze/party oriented place and you need to be able to take evasive action in case the car behind you is some drunk on their way home from the Animal Bar (does that place still exist?) and you need to get off the road. I've been run off the road by logging trucks north of SF - the helmet mirror probably saved my life.