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Looking For New Lights

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by pbar, 10 Apr 2008.

  1. pbar

    pbar New Member

    I'm looking for a new front and rear light set. Trying to find something less than £20. Argos have a good range, but difficult to see what you're getting from the online catalogue. Been looking at Rutland also, as they have free delivery. Basically what I thought of, was LED's (for long battery life), possibly a 1 watt front LED as I understand these emit a good light out front, something easy to remove for when I leave the bike (or lockable perhaps), and maybe that take AA or AAA batteries as I have loads of rechargeables.
    Appreciate any advice as always.
    And if I'm talking rubbish anywhere above, would appreciate the correction as aways!
     
  2. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    I'll get in first with the Smart 1/2 watt superflash for the rear - absolutely brilliant.

    It should be under £15, runs on 2 AAA which last a long time for me. I've had a small problem when its been really REALLY wet but it dried out and worked fine.

    And CRC has them for £12
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=16534

    And for the front I bought Electron Nano 9 for my kids and paid about £12 for that I think - really bright and has a really annoying flash:biggrin: Lots of places have this for a lot more - you do need to shop around for the best price.

    Checked CRC has them for £13
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=14397
     
  3. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Where are you riding, if you don't mind me asking?

    There's a huge difference between lights to be seen with (i.e. for use in streetlit areas with generally good visibility at night) and lights to see by (for unlit areas where you need your lights to see the road ahead). That difference is reflected in the price too :biggrin:

    My first lightset was one of these £19.95, Merlin Cycles, and free delivery. Good as a be seen light, and as a set of front and rear come in just under your budget.

    Like Summerdays, I now use the Smart Superflash as one of two rear lights (mounted on the right seatstay) - it is stupidly, insanely bright, (I've heard it described as "anti-social", which is about right, people won't want to sit on your wheel long). My second light is a Torch 9x (lozenge shaped light with an integral rear reflector) on the seatpost. My LBS does these for £7.
     
  4. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Although I bought the Electron for the kids I do use it myself - it is bright. One of my routes has 2 unlit sections, with a huge pot-hole (40x40x20), and it is fine to see the road at Low speeds. You can buy it as a front and rear kit from (which I used):
    http://www.sbrsports.com/230-417029 for the Nano 9
    or
    http://www.sbrsports.com/230-417030 for the Nano 1 W

    both of those are £18.28 each (for front and a rear light - not tested)

    or for the Nano 9 on its own:
    http://www.sbrsports.com/230-417030 £12.19


    For around £10 you are not going to be able to buy a light to see the road on unlit roads but I definately recommend those ones.
     
  5. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Location:
    Beside the road
    I would recommend buying two rear lights. One of them should be the brightest/best quality you can get (Cateye 1100?). The other can be a small "backup" light. It's all too easy to ride along and not notice that your rear lights run out of batteries or broken.

    It's just not worth risking getting hit by a car for the sake of £10/£20.

    Just looked at the lights on the Argos website. I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to buy any of them.
     
  6. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
  7. OP
    OP
    pbar

    pbar New Member

    No, I don't mind you asking! It's a MTB.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    pbar

    pbar New Member

    Thanks guys, great advice, appreciate it.
    Never thought of having a spare rear, but yes, makes great sense, after all they're small enough to carry along or keep in the bag or pocket, much better than taking a knock from behind.
    I'll forget Argos.
    I am inclined to get these, because of the amazing battery life -
    £19.95, Merlin Cycles, and free delivery.

    But can't help thinking these are a better option -
    http://www.sbrsports.com/230-417029
    or
    http://www.sbrsports.com/230-417030

    and for the rear - http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=16534


    I have another couple of questions on the Electron Nano's if you guys could help -
    Which is better (advantages/disadvantages) - the Nano 9 or the Nano 1
    Do they take AAA batteries
    Is the battery life similar to the Merlin one's
    Are they quickly removeable or lockable

    Sorry to pester, but these forums are so useful and you guys so helpful, it'd be foolish not to ask if I'm unsure!

    Thinking again, I might go for the superflash for the rear and one of the Nano's for the front. Or a Nano set and the superflash also. Too many options!
     
  9. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    pbr, bear in mind that the battery life stated tends to be a bit generous - if you're using batteries whose voltage drops as they discharge (e.g. Alkalines) the lights will get progressively dimmer, and should be replaced before the light stops working altogether. With that said, I can't recall replacing the batteries in the Blackburn set much more often than once a month.


    Definitely think in terms of having a couple of lights front and rear, I'd say - a flashing one to draw attention, and a steady one to make it easier for people to judge your speed and distance. The Quadrant in the Blackburn set has a handy setting where the outer two lights flash, and the inner two are steady. The Mars rear light has nothing like that, but its "chaser" function might be better than nothing (at least one of the LEDs is on while the light is operating).
     
  10. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Strangely enough I do have the quadrant and mars one too... I find the quadrant very bulky and not the easiest to put on the bike whilst slightly under the influence of alcohol. I also found it was easy to switch on the quadrant in my bag. I prefer my other lights to it. However I do have to say that I sometimes meet someone whose light looks brighter than mine - perhaps he isn't using rechargables. It does have the advantage you can have it flashing and solid light at the same time. But for me - its the one I use least.

    My husband uses the Mars one and likes it.

    I have both the Nano 9 and the Nano 1 watt - personally I think there is just a difference in the spread pattern of the lights between the two. They work on 4 AAA. I've not had them that long, since Feb so they haven't had a really hard test yet as its been getting lighter so I'm still on my first set of batteries. They are a much nicer size to hold and so far have only once been knocked on in my bag. They are easy to remove and put back on.

    Sometimes I regret getting my kids the Smart Superflash ........ when I'm riding behind them - it beats lights more expensive than itself, and its cheap enough to have more than one.
     
  11. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
  12. EmGee DK

    EmGee DK New Member

    Location:
    127.0.0.1
  13. DLB

    DLB Senior Member

    The smart rear light is very bright. Mine cost £15 and lasts for AGES and AGES on two rechargeable AAA batteries.