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Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 11:01pm
So the weight difference between your own dynamo hub and normal hub wheels is 397g (about 2/3 of a pound). Then add the weight of your lights and wires to the total package. Well my whole rechargeable light package is only just over half a pound. Even without considering your actual light weight it's heavier.

This is not even the main point I have for choosing rechargeable battery lights, and it is a choice we make based on what our own priorities are, is for me they're simpler. Simple mount, different modes (which I use a lot), ability to use on other bikes, reliable (apart from the cheapest ALDI lights I own) and just simple. Go to shop, buy it then simple mount to use it.

The description of battery lights Vantage has given doesn't agree with my experience of them. I've no experience of dynamo light systems other than some very old and poor systems like bottle dynamo systems and an old hub system on a Dutch bike in.Holland years ago. I can't really comment on modern dynamo lighting system other to know that it doesn't suit my needs. I don't want a light system that's fixed solely to one bike. I'm looking for transferability. I like my Cateye lights because they work the way I like and expect from good, modern rechargeable lights. I'm just looking for something that behaves similar but with a different front light strength and beam pattern. It needs to charge in a way that shows it charging and when it's fully charged. I'd like it to indicate when the charge is low and to switch to a lower setting that gets me home if I have misjudged the amount of charge left.

Now to all those who have obsessed about dynamo lighting systems please answer the question. What recommendations do you have to match my needs. Clue, if it involves dynamo it's the wrong answer. I need a rechargeable ideally but have good experiences of my old Cateye el130 aa battery light.

You know what what I might just splash out on some moon comet lights, the Cateye el135 or the volt 300/x2 setup I already have. Or just a spare battery for the volt with a second x2. Got an x-lite (predecessor to x2 light) but the rubber back was lost. Could replace the backing and use.that.

Any other ideas?

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 10:52pm
Interesting thread. As someone new to hub Dynamo lighting - my latest commuting bike (a cheap decathlon model) happened to come with it I have to say that I have been very impressed indeed and am now looking at upgrading my other bike as well. It's a true fit and forget solution and just removes any hassle with worrying about charging batteries and taking things on and off the bike and the quality of the illumination is very good. I think that when the dyno hubs used to be more expensive an argument could be made for staying with batteries but now given the affordability of it ( a new wheel plus good lights can be bought for < £100) I'm convinced that making the switch makes sense. Oliver

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 10:24pm
as noted previously in this thread the vast majority of 'good modern battery lights' as bought by many cyclists are nowhere near meeting any kind of road regulations in force in the UK or elsewhere in the EU. Wrong beam shape, no side visibility... you name it.

If there were such a thing as 'a bicycle MOT' then bicycles equipped with such would fail, and quite rightly too.

Very many of the high power ones have antisocial beam patterns, and a good number of them are very poorly made indeed. They are OK for fooling around in the woods but past that... meh... not so much...

If anyone is happy to use unregulated antisocial junk on the roads then that is up to them. I don't think it is an altogether good idea to recommend that others do likewise, any more than it is OK to suggest that you run red lights or ride on the wrong side of the road.

This thread has been notable for the almost complete absence of suggestions for battery lights that actually meet the legal requirements for their use on the road.

cheers

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 10:18pm
Tonyf33 wrote:Battery lights:
Many of the good modern battery light systems have proper beam patterns, you can easily purchase a hood in any case and spill isn't enough to remove the ability to see the road in front in any case, clearly people don't know the market that well

Do you have a list of these lights? And the hoods for those that don't have shaped beams?

All modern battery light can be switched on and off with multiple settings at the press of a finger so no capacitor required

On and off is all that is needed. Mine go on when I pedal and off shortly after stopping. I haven't had to touch the switch in months. Flashy lights just annoy everyone having to look at them.

Have run times long enough for 99.99% of commuters/utility and touring types.

The very fact that they have run times is a miss. Dynamo's just run. And run. And run. And run. And run.

Modern battery lights don't fail at speed or after suffering multiple shocks or bumps or from intense wet/cold over long periods of time and ARE reliable

Modern dynamo's have over voltage protection.
One of the biggest problems with battery lights is that the AA/AAA and similar types have sprung contacts. Which can spring away from the battery causing loss of power. In the case of modern LED lights, even when the battery regains contact with the terminals the light does not turn back on automatically. It must be switched on via the power button and cycled through the countless flashy modes until the previously chosen mode is found.
Intense and even milder wet and cold weather frequently kills battery lights. The rubber seals can lose elasticity in cold and become useless. Water gets in even in mist and can short the battery contacts and/or circuit boards.

Can be swapped between any bike you have within seconds without getting your hands dirty.

Seconds is being optimistic even with the rubber band mounted lights.Do not slip Which tend to slip. Along with the plastic bracket mounted models.
Whereas my dynamo is fixed to a steel mount with a big steel bolt which is fixed to the fork crown with another big steel bolt. And doesn't move. At all.

Hub dynamos:

Cannot be removed to another bike in seconds

As above.

Have wheels/hub that are much heavier than a normal one

Much heavier? I have two front wheels. Both done by the same builder. Using the same type and number of spokes and using the same rims. The difference between the dyno hubbed one and the standard hubbed one is 397g. Less than half a bag of sugar. Here's the interesting bit...
The dynamo front and rear lights don't need batteries. So that weight can't be counted. However, the weight of my old cree front lights battery and two AA's for a battery rear light is 292g.
So in actual fact, the weight difference between the two wheels is only about 100g.

Are at least twice the cost of a very good battery light set and you end up with a cheap wheel/hub, if you want a decent set up make that three times the cost and up.

I had a look on Rose to compare the prices of my dyno lights verses their battery equivalents.
My dynamo's first...
http://www.rosebikes.com/article/b--m-t ... aid:378502
http://www.rosebikes.com/article/b--m-l ... aid:709237
and their battery powered cousins...
http://www.rosebikes.com/article/b--m-t ... aid:527826
http://www.rosebikes.com/article/b--m-i ... aid:703598 (That's as close to mine as I could find)
Soooooo, 74 euros ish. For each.
The only real price difference here is the cost of my handbuilt wheel comprising a 36 stainless spoked Sputnik rim and Shimano 3n72 hub. Not exactly a Halfords Apollo special. That was about £90 including building it. Just over a year old. Dragged through offroad rock strewn and muck plastered trails and Britains roads. Still perfectly true and running very smooth indeed. It's also powered my lights for that time which never ever need to hooked up to the mains for recharging or needing new batteries. Given that the battery powered version of my front light gets 5 hours at 80 lux according to the manufacturer, that's an aweful lot of paid for batteries or electricity through recharging I've saved. A 90 quid one off charge for the wheel doesn't seem too bad then.

Have drag on them all the time even when 'off', when they are on, an approximate 6-7 watt loss at 12.5mph as a commuter/utility rider knocking out only 75-80 watts is plenty enough to make a difference overall, as a loaded tourer or audaxer the consideration is different obviously.

Have you even used a dyno hub in the last few years? Or ever?
A fa*t in the opposite direction would cause more drag.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 9:49pm
mjr wrote:The following are not currently true in the majority of cases in my experience:
Tonyf33 wrote:Many of the good modern battery light systems have proper beam patterns, [...]
All modern battery light can be switched on and off with multiple settings at the press of a finger [...]
Have run times long enough for 99.99% of commuters/utility and touring types. [...]
Modern battery lights don't fail at speed or after suffering multiple shocks or bumps or from intense wet/cold over long periods of time and ARE reliable
Can be swapped between any bike you have within seconds without getting your hands dirty.
Do not slip
It's very hard to get a proper beam pattern light, most switches are still awful and bump-prone, the run times are barely long enough unless you recharge daily; and the brand-specific proprietary mounts are for silly places like handlebars and seatposts, slip easily and take an annoying amount of time to move between bikes.

Really, the main things in their favour are initial purchase cost and that annoying amount of time to move them between bikes is still less than it takes to remove/refit a dynamo set. The costs of a good hub is not so high and the drag while off is negligible.
As I said, those not having knowledge of good modern lights as I stated are out of touch with what's available, ALL of the statements made are true and valid, most switches are not 'bump prone' IME, that may apply to inferior/cheap lights but I'm not advocating those and certainly none I've ever purchased. As for the drag, I took the stats from a reliable source, I'd say that north of 5% of total effort is more than enough to make an impression. YMMV

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 9:44pm
Brucey wrote:I agree with MJR & squeaker.

Tony's list is somewhat, uh, 'incomplete'... eg. battery lights 'don't slip' but the same is not mentioned for hub dynamos. Are we meant to infer that 'they slip'... ?

FWIW the 'added weight' of a hub dynamo system is about 1lb. If you carry 1 lb of similarly bright battery lights that might give you a run time of a few hours. That's if you remember to charge them up/change the batteries, you remember to take them with you, and they don't turn itself on in your bag and flatten the battery before you get a chance to use them....

cheers
Incomplete in so much as the list further up was against battery lights, who said it was a complete list, the points raised are valid but feel fit to attack my post in your usual way that you do all posters you don't agree with.

Re: To the bottom tip of Sicily

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 January 2016 - 9:22pm
groberts wrote:... from your luggage it looks like you're camping ...
... I'm not camping, i'm just travelling with my wife !!!

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 9:03pm
If I expect to use lights then they're on the bike so unlikely to switch on. Besides you have to press and hold for a few seconds to turn on and from experience with backpacking head torches with similar switches I've never had a problem with.accidental switching with such switches.

IME of my Cateye lights I get a week of commuting per charge and they indicate when getting low with enough juice to get me home and even further if needed. It is hardly a chore to plug it in once a week either at home or at work. I have cables in both locations. Bearing in mind these are only used for commuting or as just in case lights on day rides.

They are light at 206g. Add moon comet lights, which.are very.similar to my ALDI lights and you get to 270g all in for 2 sets of lights. A little over half a pound. IIRC someone said a dynamo light system weighs a full pound or 453g.

How long to switch dynamo lights to another bike? Forgot to.mention that about using on another bike. 700 wheel to 26" wheel as well.

I'm not knocking dynamo lights just defending battery lights, which suit my needs more, as I feel both lights have benefits and negatives. As I expressed interest in learning more about dynamo systems because I can see.how they might be of use to me in.the future. Pros and cons in both systems.

For the needs I have, and expressed perhaps incompletely in my original post was for a set of battery lights. My preference is for a decent brand name such as Cateye, light in motion, moon, etc. I don't trust eBay products, I choose not to use eBay, so I'm looking for something from a bike shop ideally in.the UK.

Re: oldies riding in the cold

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 8:54pm
Hit the big eight o last month.

Commuted all my working life, various places 5 - 16 miles from home. Used a trike for icy days so deep snow was the only real problem (walked the 5 miles a few times) Haven't been conscious of feeling the cold more but perhaps the modern clothing has something to do with it. For today's 25 mile ride I had a long sleeved base layer, thin jersey and thermal jacket, roubaix tights, overshoes and " wool" thinsulate gloves inside old track mitts. Hate hats unless it's really cold or raining hard. Ice is a definite no-no so I go out a bit later and watch out for the odd patches in the shade.

Being on warfarin for AF and other age related niggles I know that strenuous exercise in very cold weather can be risky (Dad collapsed and died when clearing snow) so I keep both the speed and gears well down.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 8:51pm
Cateye are one of the better lamp brands; if you choose carefully you can even have lights that conform to some kind of regulation that means something rather than almost nothing....

If you are happy with the way they work and you want to be able to swap them about between bikes without too much faffing it probably makes sense to stick with them for now (you might yet 'see the light'... -give it a year or so... ).

There's a loads of cateye rear light brackets here;

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/rear-light-brackets-dept784_pg1/#filterkey=brand&brand=CATEYE&page=all

maybe they have what you want?

BTW it is more or less traditional to do a little DIY where necessary with light brackets... where's the challenge in just bolting them on...

cheers

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 8:48pm
I'm sure you are thinking of something economical but, as an alternative approach, you might consider an admittedly expensive Hope Vision 1 light, taking AAs (or good quality rechargeables) and running for absolutely ages if on a lower setting. And it can step up to be your main beam if your existing light fails. I have one of the originals and have been using it for years in all sorts of weather. The robust clamp eventually broke, so I bought a new one from Hope at little cost. My wife is currently using it as her main beam for commuting. Made in Barnoldswick, not far from you.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 8:32pm
Well as posted earlier my Cateye lights last the 4.5 hours u commute in the dark each week. My rear light seems to last even longer. The issue I have, which prompted me starting this thread, is with my backups. They're cheap ALDI lights similar to some lights from Moon (equivalent quality to Cateye lights AFAIK). They are examples of poor battery lights. Basically I have lights that support arguments for and against battery lights.

This request for recommendations is for lights similar to the ALDI lights but more reliable. I'd like them to last about the same length of time or better, about 2-3 hours I think, but are more user friendly like the Cateye lights. These show you they are charging or charged when you plug in. They also indicate when they are running a bit low through a change in on/off button colour. Once they have passed that point they switch to a lower setting to get you home. IME the 300 lumen front light has enough juice to run another 15 minutes on full power then over half an hour on low setting. This is enough to get me halfway to work then home again without recharging. These.Cateye lights just work.

The x-lite x2 rear light attaches by a silicone band, several sizes to fit seat post or seat stay. It has a wide angle of visibility and 50 lumens easily makes it visible. The volt 300 front is bright.enough for me. The beam pattern seems to have a tight, bright centre with a lighter outer to it. It is attached to my handlebars off centre such that I can adjust the angle both horizontally and vertically. I often adjust down and to the pavement in town to prevent dazzling cars. Then up and centre on unlit roads where I'm riding at a greater speed.

So far with those Cateye lights I cannot fault in anyway. My only complaint is my x2 rear light needs an x spacer to allow it to be fitted to my preferred rear light location on the rear light plate of my rack. Nowhere seems to stock it with a long order time. Annoying, they should supply with the light IMHO even if the price went up by the couple of quid this bracket costs.

So should I find a Cateye light or is there any other good brand? It's for lights to be seen by as a second set, front and rear, to be used with my.main Cateye lights. Any suggestions for these that doesn't involve buying a special wheel and allows them to easily be used on another bike? My partner has Cateye brackets on her bike and sometimes when I'm not using my bike she is using hers hence something that she could use as well is useful.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 8:12pm
I agree with MJR & squeaker.

Tony's list is somewhat, uh, 'incomplete'... eg. battery lights 'don't slip' but the same is not mentioned for hub dynamos. Are we meant to infer that 'they slip'... ?

FWIW the 'added weight' of a hub dynamo system is about 1lb. If you carry 1 lb of similarly bright battery lights that might give you a run time of a few hours. That's if you remember to charge them up/change the batteries, you remember to take them with you, and they don't turn itself on in your bag and flatten the battery before you get a chance to use them....

cheers

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 7:59pm
Tonyf33 wrote:Hub dynamos:
Cannot be removed to another bike in seconds? Still have a QR axle, just need to remember to 'pull the plug'. Arguably quicker than un-clipping a V-brake cable...

Re: oldies riding in the cold

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 7:59pm
Glad I'm not the only one! Don't know whether it's thinner skin, thinner blood, slower metabolism, or something else, but at 73 I get more and more reluctant to go out when it gets into single figures Celsius.

Looks as if this weekend will be better. Might take up outdoor cycling again

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 7:35pm
The following are not currently true in the majority of cases in my experience:
Tonyf33 wrote:Many of the good modern battery light systems have proper beam patterns, [...]
All modern battery light can be switched on and off with multiple settings at the press of a finger [...]
Have run times long enough for 99.99% of commuters/utility and touring types. [...]
Modern battery lights don't fail at speed or after suffering multiple shocks or bumps or from intense wet/cold over long periods of time and ARE reliable
Can be swapped between any bike you have within seconds without getting your hands dirty.
Do not slip
It's very hard to get a proper beam pattern light, most switches are still awful and bump-prone, the run times are barely long enough unless you recharge daily; and the brand-specific proprietary mounts are for silly places like handlebars and seatposts, slip easily and take an annoying amount of time to move between bikes.

Really, the main things in their favour are initial purchase cost and that annoying amount of time to move them between bikes is still less than it takes to remove/refit a dynamo set. The costs of a good hub is not so high and the drag while off is negligible.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 7:13pm
I remember them well - had them for many years along with bottle dynamos and a Sturmey Archer dynohub. Delighted with my present Schmidt dynohub and IQ lamp. Am planning to get a SON rear light very soon.

Re: Commuting lights

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 7:06pm
Battery lights:
Many of the good modern battery light systems have proper beam patterns, you can easily purchase a hood in any case and spill isn't enough to remove the ability to see the road in front in any case, clearly people don't know the market that well
All modern battery light can be switched on and off with multiple settings at the press of a finger so no capacitor required, not all dynamo system have that facility unless you spend more.
Are plenty bright enough when required and some can be seen up to a mile away in a straight line and as above can be adjusted easily for the conditions.
Have run times long enough for 99.99% of commuters/utility and touring types.
Modern battery lights don't fail at speed or after suffering multiple shocks or bumps or from intense wet/cold over long periods of time and ARE reliable
Can be swapped between any bike you have within seconds without getting your hands dirty.
Do not slip

Hub dynamos:

Cannot be removed to another bike in seconds
Have wheels/hub that are much heavier than a normal one
Are at least twice the cost of a very good battery light set and you end up with a cheap wheel/hub, if you want a decent set up make that three times the cost and up.
Have drag on them all the time even when 'off', when they are on, an approximate 6-7 watt loss at 12.5mph as a commuter/utility rider knocking out only 75-80 watts is plenty enough to make a difference overall, as a loaded tourer or audaxer the consideration is different obviously.

Basically for short commutes/utility riding (with 2 hours night riding or less) a battery based light is the most flexible, inexpensive option that gives you multiple options and are easy to use/set up. If you're riding at night for long periods every week or through the night riding touring, audax or a very long night commute and possibly away from an electricity source then a dynamo is the more sensible option.
Don't be fooled by the naysayers that battery lights are no good, there are obvious pros and cons for both options, running a battery light set for commuting/utility is the best option with regard to flexibility of use, choice and cost in my opinion.

Re: Best way to the Alps

CTC Forum - Touring & Expedition - 20 January 2016 - 7:03pm
You could cycle to Harwich and take the Eurovelo 15 from the Hook of Holland to Basel and then continue.

You would have a flat, well established, signposted and off road (cycle path) route right down to the swiss border......

Re: Fairy visitation

CTC Forum - On the road - 20 January 2016 - 6:53pm
This morning the tyre with the original tube was fully inflated, not a fraction of a PSI lost. Same for the journey home. The second tube was also still inflated.

The fairy moves in mysterious ways .
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