Which headlight is sufficient for trails at night?

tpcollins

New Member
New to the forum and just bought a Haibike SDURO Hardseven ebike with the Yamaha PW-ST mid-mount engine. It’s a pedelec that had me concerned to use for hunting but this thing is easier than I thought to keep moving when set on High - cost was a determining factor since my old hunting spot is now being cleared and developed for housing and I only have one spot available that’s quite a ways away.:(

I’ll need to ad a headlight for going across fields and such and was wondering what others use? I tried the search feature but didn’t see a lot of info. I saw a youtube video on the Mini 2 light by Supernova and it looked like it mounted right into the leads underneath for a Yamaha PW-X engine so I was thinking the wiring should be the same as the PW-ST.


Do people spend $150+ for a headlight or are there cheaper options just as good. Thanks.
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
Im a long time user of offroad lighting for MTBing having used them since 2007.

I have a box full of offroad LED lights, I also have two ebikes with built-in lights (iZIP Moda and Juiced CCX).

The main issues I have with built-in lights are that they are not cost effective if you have alot of bikes (I have 5 total). They also usually dont offer brightness control. They do have their advantages though.

Two years ago, I standardized on using niterider lumina 850 lights. They have an excellent beam pattern, are pretty small and cheap and you can replace the battery down the line. I have mounts on all my bikes and on my helmet and carry 4 lights with me in my backpack. Depending on the ride I use up to 3 so I have 1 as a backup. I would recommend 2 as a minimum.

I choose this route (multiple lights) simply for redundancy. I have had several light failures over the years (bad battery, faulty wiring), the worst was while bombing a singletrack trail at about 30mph.

Im sure there will be other opinions...this is mine
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
What is your budget? Most of the really good ones are not cheap. Some of the ones I have used are:
At the moment I don't have any of these, but for my money I liked the Sigma Buster the best, with the Light and Motion a close second. The Exposure Six Pack is easily the brightest, with awesome features (like a built-in accelerometer that dims the light when you are going slowly or are stopped, and the build quality of the light is amazing). However, I am less than impressed with the mounting bracket (you could build a better mount, but you've already paid quite a few ducats) and there have been reports of battery failure with some Exposure lights.

For a helmet-mounted spotlight, I'd recommend either the Light and Motion Trail 1000 FC Ranger or the Exposure Diablo. Again, the Exposure light is wicked expensive and also insanely bright (almost as bright as the Seca and Buster lights previously mentioned).
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
You can certainly spend more. Supernova has a higher output M99 which should light up your fields on the high beam setting.

Lighting technology is jumping forward each year, it seems. And the Germans seem to be leading that charge in companies like Supernova, Busch and Muller and Schmidt. They've pretty much perfected the science within the reflector beam, using exact mirrors to take a small LED and allow it to light up a good amount of the trail in front of you without blinding oncoming cyclists or trail hikers.

I went out of the box of standard thinking regards to my Haibike Full FatSix and lighting. Instead of drawing power from my battery, I have a Schmidt SON28 dyno hub making the power for a Schmidt Edelux II front headlight and Schmidt SON tail light.

At 100 Lux, it's not a flamethrower like those M99's can be on high beam. But it gets the job done for the kind of water level trail riding or street riding I do on my bike, with the added benefit that every volt and watt of power in the ebike battery goes to the motor, not to powering a light on high beam. But it comes with a steep price, but since I plan on keeping my bikes a very long time, it's a super quality investment worth having. My two other bikes, a fat tired Specialized Fatboy and Trek Soho both have SON28 dyno hubs powering up a Busch and Muller IQ-X on the Fatboy and a Schmidt Edelux II on the Trek. Yeah, I'm sold on them. Only thing, you don't want to run around submerging the hub long term, but then, the same would apply to our Yamaha motors as well.
 

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Sierratim

Well-Known Member
We use the Fenix BC21R handlebar lights. They use replaceable 18560 batteries that can be recharged in the light or in a separate charger. It has 4 brightness levels plus a flash mode with the max being 880lm (ver2.0 is rated to 1,000lm).

On long rides we carry spare charged batteries so we don't run out of light. It's small and bright enough to double as a handheld flashlight when we travel.

We have mounts on our multiple bikes so we can move these lights from bike to bike.

We used these last Summer in our ride across the Idaho panhandle. Very handy in the tunnels on the Trail of the Hiawathas.

A helmet mount is also available.

Sells for ~$75.

20200516_165856.jpg

Fenix BC21R next to ebike running light and display controller.
 

dmark

Member
I own one Cateye Volt 800 per rider.
When I ride alone, I usually put two on the bar, so that I have a spare.
When it is dark, I can put both on for extra brightness.
This site compares the Volt 800 against several others:
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I own a CatEye Volt 1700. It's ideal for trail at night. Several modes make it anything from a all-day light to a mighty headlight. Yes, I rode night trail with it. Yes, it is expensive.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I use niterider lumina 700-950 on the handlebar with an 1800 niterider pro and another 600-700 lumina on the helmet

the pro has a big external battery so you have to strap it to the handlebars or put it in a bag
Fits nicely in the jones loop bar center bag



gave some of my older cygolite stuff to friends and they still use them



have been pleased with all my niterider and cygolite products and had excellent customer
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
$500+ for a bike light!!!! Did they actually sell any of these?

I actually see a fair number of the Exposure Six Packs around, and they are at roughly that price.

To be honest, while I love overkill as much as the next guy, the added value if the light is much brighter than 2000 lumens isn't very large. In practice a lot of other things start mattering much more. One of the reasons I don't own one of the fancy flood lights is that I can't really justify it.

Here are two good videos that give you an idea of what you are getting for your money, and why for trail riding you want that two-light system: a bright flood light and a helmet-mounted spot light:


Start playing this one around 7:12 for a discussion of the Exposure lights:


I am currently running with the cheesy built-in light on my R&M (I think a Supernova Mini) and a light and motion trail 1000 fc ranger, which have been more than adequate for my purposes. If I were buying a spot light today I'd probably buy the Exposure Diablo. Another thing to watch out for with these super-bright lights is that you could easily blind the driver of an oncoming car, which probably won't help you stay alive when riding on the road at night. So in general I'd think hard about what you are buying with a light much brighter than 2000 lumens (which is about as bright as an extremely bright car headlight).

I will admit that the fact that the Cateye Volt 6000 has a fan is way cool and a pretty sure sign that the brightness rating is legit.
 

tpcollins

New Member
I use niterider lumina 700-950 on the handlebar with an 1800 niterider pro and another 600-700 lumina on the helmet

the pro has a big external battery so you have to strap it to the handlebars or put it in a bag
Fits nicely in the jones loop bar center bag



gave some of my older cygolite stuff to friends and they still use them



have been pleased with all my niterider and cygolite products and had excellent customer

I stumbled across the Niterider 850 with a tail light that might serve my purpose - not sure what 850 lumens looks like in the field though. I do like how the headlight detaches from the mount to charge if I want. I have a couple Dereelight flamethrowers that I could use with a handlebar clamp if needed.


 

tpcollins

New Member
Those look nice but it looks like you have to buy an 8.4v 9600 m/ah 18650 battery back and then you’d also need to have a specific charger probably to charge it.

Where did you get yours and what was the entire cost? Thanks.






 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Those look nice but it looks like you have to buy an 8.4v 9600 m/ah 18650 battery back and then you’d also need to have a specific charger probably to charge it.

Where did you get yours and what was the entire cost? Thanks.
I have Cateye Volt 1300.

I got it from ProBikekit, but they don't have it anymore.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Those look nice but it looks like you have to buy an 8.4v 9600 m/ah 18650 battery back and then you’d also need to have a specific charger probably to charge it.

Where did you get yours and what was the entire cost? Thanks.
Ebay has a number of lights that have good specs, but many have unknown manufacturers. This one is $12;


Free ship from a US source. USB rechargeable built in battery. Not that i'm recommending this light, but for $12 it might be worth a test.

Years ago we bought a couple of 'ebay' lights for our DIY ebikes. The bikes have been retired, but the lights are still going strong.