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Calling all Nazgul, those who ride bikes instead of horses, what bike lights do you use? Are there any that actually work?

(14 Posts)
sumoweeble Sat 05-Dec-15 23:33:23

I can't find any, despite spending a veritable fortune on supposedly good brands. The rechargeable ones I have, Blackburn brand (about £17 each shock), take forever to charge up but then hold their charge for way less than an hour. Tonight I went by bike in the dark to somewhere around 45 mins away with them fully charged. They stayed lit during the journey there but lasted only 5 mins into the journey back, even though they'd been turned off to have a nice rest for the 2 hours that I was out. They were a replacement for the even more expensive (shockshock)pretty knog lights I have. These eat AA duracell batteries like smarties and also give out suddenly and completely completely after laughably short periods of time- probably about 2 days worth of journeys. It's a real pain. I go everywhere by bike and have a burley kazoo trailer bike for my daughter which we use daily. It's dark by 4ish and safety and legality demand good lights. Does anyone have any suggestions of bike lights that are not flaky and rubbish?

RapidlyOscillating Sat 05-Dec-15 23:43:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sumoweeble Sun 06-Dec-15 00:05:28

It's true, RO! My friend and I ubered everywhere during a drunken night out yesterday and i swear it cost less than all the bike lights and batteries it would have taken if i'd been sober.

lljkk Sun 06-Dec-15 18:56:38

£17 each isn't a lot to spend. Look towards £50/light. Google "Audax lights" if you want bright & long-life.

DH carries 2 good quality Lezyne lightss (front) & decent large rear lights. He might cycle 100 minutes on those without recharge.

lavendersun Sun 06-Dec-15 19:11:15

We use these batteries

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00906FJ5G?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00

In these lights

www.evanscycles.com/products/exposure/flash-flare-light-set-w-rcr123-charger-ec042902?country=GB¤cy=GBP&esvt=1142-GOUKE250390&esvq=&esvadt=999999-0-37440-1&esvcrea=61235012096&esvplace=&esvd=t&esvaid=50080&gclid=CNrmkNT3x8kCFeN82wodBHMDlw

Recharge once a week - not sure what they would be like for seeing with rather than being seen as we rarely cycle in the dark.

pileoflaundry Sun 06-Dec-15 19:33:36

Have you tried a dynamo? The one I have is about 40 years old and still going strong (unfortunately I cannot see a brand name). You'll need an extra-pricey one, or a back up light, to make sure that the lights stay on when you stop.

I've also got a magnetic dynamo by Reelight (on a different bike) and I wouldn't recommend it at all; at the stately speeds I cycle it manages to flash once every few seconds.

BlueChampagne Mon 07-Dec-15 13:31:33

My journey home used to be about 40 min, about half with no street lighting at all. I used to have a Hella front light which was good while it lasted, but now have a Claude Butler one that looks like a torch and slides into a holster claudbutler.co.uk/accessories/CBLT00010-2015, and you can certainly see with it as well as be seen!

I used to recharge once a week.

TeaPleaseLouise Mon 07-Dec-15 13:40:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wuffleflump Thu 10-Dec-15 16:08:33

Dynamo. Absolute convert since I got them, after cycling several years with battery-lights.

You don't have to take them off and put them on the bike. Don't need to carry lights. Just get on and ride. Don't need to worry about charging.

Mine are front and back hub dynamo lights. Sometime you only get them front, with a small battery one at back.

The resistance is minimal, so I tend to have them on all the time. It means I don't need to think about whether the light or weather is poor enough to use lights, if I'm cycling over sunset I don't need stop to put them on.

I have standlights: that means that once you've been pedaling for a bit, they stay on for a couple of minutes when you stop, so great for waiting at traffic lights and junctions. (Although also makes people ask if you've left your lights on when you park: they just keep on going until the run out of charge, you don't turn them off.)

The back light has a kind of 'brake light'. When you slow down the rear light pulses brighter to indicate slowing.

Mine are retro-fitted (on a new bike, IYSWIM) rather than integrated. This is slightly worse, as cables need to fit around the headtube and go along outside of bike (where they could get squashed or severed or pulled out), instead of having them run inside the frame.

I had this done by the independent shop I bought the bike from, added about £100 to the bike cost. This included wheel rebuild, cables, fitting, front and rear lights. Not particularly cheap.

Both lights are bright, and I get good beam on the front to highlight potholes etc: it's not just for being seen. That said, I'd class these as urban rather than country lights, but if you're carrying children I'm guessing you don't need huge distances illuminated for 20mph travel in the dark.

These are the lights:
www.reallyusefulbikes.co.uk/_shop/dynamo-front-lamps/busch-and-muller-lumotec-lyt-b-plus-with-standlight-15-lux/
www.bikeplus.co.uk/p/77847/Busch--Muller-Toplight-Brake-Plus-Rear-Light-with-Brakelights?kw=&fl=1000&ci=54665524721&network=pla&gclid=Cj0KEQiA4qSzBRCq1-iLhZ6Vsc0BEiQA1qt-zhz3zDldb2wBr2jgMUP_vytbmbaHqw3XUC9HxMN8NPwaAmmw8P8HAQ#

(German traffic laws have very specific requirements for bike lights involving brightness and beam spread, and tend to be good.)

I do keep some small LED ones on me as backup: have had occasional issues with cable contacts, but haven't used the backups for a while since I sorted this.

RapidlyOscillating Thu 10-Dec-15 21:04:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mudandmayhem01 Thu 10-Dec-15 21:17:09

I commute and I use some decathlon ones which recharge on a usb, they are really easy to remove from the bike and I just plug them into my pc when I get to my desk. I have two sets as I think I am a lot more visible if I have one flashing and one non flashing light front and rear. My husband does a lot of road riding and has some very expensive and techy dynamo lights but I think mine which are about £30 a set are fine for my fairly well lit commute.

RudyMentary Thu 10-Dec-15 21:17:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tarantula Thu 10-Dec-15 21:46:06

I use Moon comets too. Have two sets of those which ive had for 3 years now and as they were so good have now also got a moon xp500 front light and moon shield rear light. I do 2 hours cycling a day and lights last up to 4 hours at least on flashing though I tend to charge them every day.

sumoweeble Mon 14-Dec-15 08:03:33

Thank you so much for all these posts. Been away and just seen them. Will look properly later but v attracted to dynamo idea! Thanks, everyone.

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