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HI all, I have been looking at the front lights on offer; and wondered if anyone could recommend a front light that has a good beam of light for those country lanes without any street lighting ?? Don't really want to spend a lot of money on a front light; but would like one that enables you to see where your going. Would also like it to be reliable. Your Help & Guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks

86 comments

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robert.brady [155 posts] 3 years ago
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I have a Lezyne Mega Drive light that I'm very happy with. I went for the loaded option which comes with a spare battery. Handy for long night rides.

It has a good beam pattern for road use (I haven't as yet annoyed motorists with it), is plenty bright enough and is an all in one unit (no separate batteries and cables). I've used it on a 15 mile commute on mostly unlit and often tree lined roads and ran it on low for most of the ride. Full power was only needed for confidence on fast descents.

The single unit makes it quicker to switch between bikes and easy to remove if leaving the bike out of sight.

People will recommend the cheap and bright ebay lights and I've used them myself but wouldn't go back to them now. Reliability is hit and miss and the beam pattern of most of them isn't ideal on the road.

The Lezyne isn't exactly a cheap option, but years of winter commuting has taught me lighting isn't an area to scrimp on.

Rob

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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A couple of months ago I bought a Cree light off eBay for about a tenner, so I could ride out in the Peak District at night.

For the money I'm well impressed. The re-chargeable battery lasts about three hours and it really lights the road up.

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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That Lezyne Megga Drive sounds great? But at what price? Do you have link to the model you bought?

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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badback wrote:

A couple of months ago I bought a Cree light off eBay for about a tenner, so I could ride out in the Peak District at night.

For the money I'm well impressed. The re-chargeable battery lasts about three hours and it really lights the road up.

So many on eBay, which one did you get?

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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It was one of these:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200855315142?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2F...

(The seller has put the price up since I bought mine, but £17.99 inc p+p aint that bad).

all the best,

Paul

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Cooks [494 posts] 3 years ago
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if you look through the cree lights, you should be able to pick up one with a free rear light and a headband for about 17 quid. Search cree headlamp, and you get the best of everyworld. I got one last week, very happy.

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giobox [361 posts] 3 years ago
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+1 for the leszyne mega drive. I've been using one for riding on unlit country roads and it's great, even on 30mph descents. Not super cheap but still a good 100 quid less than the equivalent Exposure models like the Strada etc.

Exposure are I think undoubtedly the gold standard in bike lighting these days, I've paired my mega drive with their flare rear light. That said, I don't regret buying the lezyne and saving myself some cash.

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Gman59c [58 posts] 3 years ago
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I have a Niterider Lumina which gives 650-700 lumens, which I find fine for the roads, I see it's going for 80 quid in CRC.

Got to agree about the exposure lights though, got a Diablo for going off road and it is amazing.

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Simon E [2959 posts] 3 years ago
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I like the design and build quality of Lezyne stuff so bought the Power Drive (pre-XL). I find it bright enough on Medium (200 lumens).

I used to run a Fenix torch that ran on 2 AAs but have found that its lower output meant it was OK but not ideal on its own, particularly when the road is wet.

Have you looked at this?
http://road.cc/content/news/97193-big-roadcc-lights-test-2013

and from 2011:
http://road.cc/content/news/46538-big-roadcc-lights-test-data

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robert.brady [155 posts] 3 years ago
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http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lezyne-mega-drive-front-light-loaded/

Shop around. I got mine for forty quid less than that from CRC but they seem to have stopped selling the loaded option. I bought it in the summer when there isn't such a demand for lights as well.

Rob

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Bedfordshire Clanger [344 posts] 3 years ago
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I have an Exposure Strada on the front and and Flare on the back. They are really great lights and during winter I'll do around ten hours a week on pitch black country lanes. I wouldn't do without them and they've been completely reliable for the past two years. Highly recommended.

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Jimbonic [136 posts] 3 years ago
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I have a One23 Bright 1000. Guess what, it gives out 1000 lumens (advertised). It's a really good light. I use it for commuting on and off-road. For £60-65, it's great (IMO) value. I can travel at 25+ mph on unlit roads, no problem, attack trails with plenty of vigour. Compared with much more expensive lights, it doesn't fall far short. I've never had any problems with reliability and battery life is long (rechargeable separate battery). Only one minor complaint is that when it does go onto the "red light" for battery life, the light flashes, which can be, erm, fun when descending.....

But, yep, highly recommend it.

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stuke [335 posts] 3 years ago
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Exposure are definitely the ones to beat when it comes to lights, not only are they bright but they have good burn times and excellent customer service. You pays your money  4

i commute daily on country lanes using the latest Strada and a Toro powering a Redeye paired up with a Hope District+. Also a Sirius and a Blaze for low light conditions which i swap between the road bikes and never had a single issue with any of them

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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Gentlemen, It seems I have a good deal to learn about good quality Bicycle lights. I appreciate all the  39 posts; and thank you for your help.

I shall research your recommendations and use the links you so kindly posted.

Are there any lights that I should not consider or give (steer clear of) consideration?

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Toppulov [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Very happy with my magicshine. Includes head attachment (!) and is very easy to put on/off bike. Used for MTB on totally dark trails. Battery life would only be about 2 hours on the max brightness.

http://www.magicshineuk.co.uk/featured-products/magicshine-mj-872-1600-l...

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jollygoodvelo [1593 posts] 3 years ago
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Mostyn wrote:

Are there any lights that I should not consider or give (steer clear of) consideration?

The only un-recommended one from my personal experience is the Mars Click rear light. It's a great idea, and it's really bright, but as soon as it gets wet or a bit of grit in it, it doesn't 'click' any more.

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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Didn't want to spend this much money! But, could you give me an opinion on this light?
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/lezyne-power-drive-xl-front-light-475...

Has anyone seen one for less money?

Also saw this >
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/lezyne-mini-drive-xl-front-light-200-...

Reviews say that Lezyne Lights have a battery charging problem? Anyone?

Thanks

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Mombee [84 posts] 3 years ago
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I've just bought two of the ebay Cree lights for xc training during the winter, when I'm expecting a few dark sessions. The first has arrived, a Cree XML T6, and first impressions are good - good reach and reasonable burn time (easily an hour+ on full), the second one a twin-unit is still on a slow-boat from China - the single unit may well end up attached to my helmet, so between them these lights should give be good coverage and plenty of battery life. However, I'm very conscious that these are £20 lights and so, to avoid the risk of being left in the dark should either fail, I'm backing those up with my Cateye One-Shot - that's a good reliable light that will get be home, albeit maybe not as quickly as it doesn't have anywhere near the same 'firepower' of the Cree's.
The intention is to see how this winter 'dark' training goes and maybe upgrade the Cree lights next year - that's assuming they prove to have issues, but they may turn out to be great.
Note - one of my pet-hates is cyclists who forget about their backs when it comes to lights so, even though I'll be cross-country for much of the time, there'll be two large flashing units on the bike and backpack... On-One/Planet-X have great deals on rear lights at the moment.

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Chuck [585 posts] 3 years ago
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Mostyn wrote:

Reviews say that Lezyne Lights have a battery charging problem? Anyone?

Thanks

I've got a Lezyne Macro Drive and no charging problems for me- although it does vary according to what you're plugging it in to. A laptop might take much longer to charge it compared to a USB plug in a wall socket.

Great light too.

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BBB [444 posts] 3 years ago
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UltraFire 502B 1000 Lumens CREE XM-L T6 from Ebay. Not really 1000 lumens but not very far.
£14 posted with a charger and two batteries. Light on its own is only £7 posted! Get two for more power/flexibility/as a backup.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UltraFire-502B-1000-Lumens-CREE-XM-L-T6-LED-Fl...

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bendertherobot [1372 posts] 3 years ago
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Chalk me down as another Lezyne Mega Drive owner, previously had a magic shine.

Having a one box solution is great. Paid £107 for mine (for the loaded box).

For real world beam shots have a look at torchythebatteryboy's website. I used to have an Exposure strada and, as can be seen from the shots, the Lezyne really does beat it.

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Dr_Lex [385 posts] 3 years ago
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Nearly all the lights I've seen, be they torches or bike lights, lack a shaped beam (which is required in Germany and some other countries), so half the power is illuminating the hedgerows or blinding oncoming traffic). I've been using Philips SafeRide in both dynamo and battery-powered versions for the last few years and would recommend either (but be warned that the bracket on the dynamo one is prone to breaking - replace with an Edelux or B&M one or put rubber grommets either side).

Here's a link to the battery-powered (and USB-rechargeable) one in black:
http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/philips-front-light-led-bikelight-saf...
Also on Amazon in white:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Saferide-Bicycle-Light-Generation/dp/B009O0D3I8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383657245&sr=8-1&keywords=saferide

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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Dr_Lex wrote:

Nearly all the lights I've seen, be they torches or bike lights, lack a shaped beam (which is required in Germany and some other countries), so half the power is illuminating the hedgerows or blinding oncoming traffic). I've been using Philips SafeRide in both dynamo and battery-powered versions for the last few years and would recommend either (but be warned that the bracket on the dynamo one is prone to breaking - replace with an Edelux or B&M one or put rubber grommets either side).

Here's a link to the battery-powered (and USB-rechargeable) one in black:
http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/philips-front-light-led-bikelight-saf...
Also on Amazon in white:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Saferide-Bicycle-Light-Generation/dp/B009O0D3I8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383657245&sr=8-1&keywords=saferide

Thanks for the links - Rose selling for £69, Amazon £78. I'm quite taken with the Lezyne? except for the charging issue. Exosure lights are for the wealthy; especially at around £300 for a top end model. I like them though.

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:

Chalk me down as another Lezyne Mega Drive owner, previously had a magic shine.

Having a one box solution is great. Paid £107 for mine (for the loaded box).

For real world beam shots have a look at torchythebatteryboy's website. I used to have an Exposure strada and, as can be seen from the shots, the Lezyne really does beat it.

Hi BBB,

I quite like the look of the Lezyne? Did you have any battery charging issuses?

What do you think of the Lezyne models that I posted links too? Both with CRC.

Would appreciate your opinion, Thanks

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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Chuck wrote:
Mostyn wrote:

Reviews say that Lezyne Lights have a battery charging problem? Anyone?

Thanks

I've got a Lezyne Macro Drive and no charging problems for me- although it does vary according to what you're plugging it in to. A laptop might take much longer to charge it compared to a USB plug in a wall socket.

Great light too.

Do Lezyne supply a mains charger as well as a usb connection? Quite taken with the Lezyne light range! You have any thoughts on the two lights I posted Links for? Both on the CRC site.

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willdeath [33 posts] 3 years ago
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I use the mini USB charger for my phones..

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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vorsprung [282 posts] 3 years ago
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Surprised no one has mentioned generator powered lights

The advantage is the run time - infinite and the time to charge them up -zero

The disadvantage is the cost, a B&M Cyo + a Shimano wheel with a generator hub is over £100

Lots of pictures of bikes with generator lights on the blog if you are interested

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Dr_Lex [385 posts] 3 years ago
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Mostyn wrote:

Just seen this. : >

http://www.pedal-pedal.co.uk/exposure-sirius-front-light-360-lumens.html...

Your thoughts?

Doesn't seem bad - see here:
http://www.torchythebatteryboy.com/p/bike-light-database.html

Would agree with dynamo option - the convenience factor makes it worthwhile. Just about get a wheel and light set for £100 from one of the German sites, or spend a little more and get one of the front lights with a USB socket so that you can charge your Garmin/mobile/iPod in daylight rides.

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Trull [81 posts] 3 years ago
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Buy a B+M Cyo Plus, Toplight Line Plus, Shimano DH-3N80 and your choice of spokes/rims and you shall enjoy fantastically even illumination of the road surface and never worry about battery life again. Any oncoming cyclists will really appreciate you not losing their night vision too.

I just did and its amazing - I can't honestly say I can feel when its on or off either. So, don't think the miniscule extra drag is going to slow you down.

You will also get knowing nods from other guru level cyclists and car drivers won't be blinded by your rear end, but will be able to distinguish how far away you are and pass more safely.

http://mccraw.co.uk/blinding-lights-reduce-road-safety/

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