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Using a flashlight as a bike headlight?

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Using a flashlight as a bike headlight?

Old 02-04-19, 10:31 AM
  #51  
autonomy
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I've been using various flashlights for years because I didn't commute at night all that often and never bothered to spend money on a proper bike light. I use a rubber/velcro mount, have never lost one. A lot of the problems of flashlights - like floppiness, aim, unshaped beam - have been addressed and yeah, they are annoying. One thing I like about a flashlight is that I can remove it from the handlebar and then use it in my hands. However, I plan on getting a proper light with a shaped beam - like a B&M Ixon Core - once I start riding again. It's just more convenient and a proper tool for the job.
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Old 02-12-19, 02:49 PM
  #52  
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Having a flashlight on your bicycle as part of an optimal night riding safety system is a great idea. Using a flashlight as the primary head light or "only" light is patently ridiculous.

When I used to go on my all-night century rides I would lash a powerful 1000 lumen flashlight to my handlebars using an old bicycle tube as giant rubber band. If I encounter oncoming traffic that would not dim their headlights I would turn the flashlight to high power at tip it directly at the oncoming vehicle. (they usually dimmed their lights after this)

In addition, I used a helmet light to attract attention of motorists at intersections or driveways. An helmet light is a necessity on unknown routes - you can use to read road signs as well as identify hazards coming from off road areas.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:21 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Pros: none; other than satisfying some weird urge to be cheap about your personal safety?
Cons: a wax candle attached to your helmet(assuming you splurged for a helmet)is much cheaper and almost as effective.
here is a person who has no idea what they are talking about.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:25 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
Using a flashlight as the primary head light or "only" light is patently ridiculous.
This statement is absurd and false.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:08 PM
  #55  
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Iím a year-round bike commuter in St. Pail, MN. Yes I rode two weeks ago during the vortex. On those cold days my commute takes an hour one-way. Thatís a lot of exposure. My headlights are flashlights. I ride with three Convoy S2+ lights with Biscotti firmware. I use cheap mounts from China that I attach to my bars with hose clamps. This mount is more discrete and clean that most commercial setups. The lights are held in the mounts by Velcro straps that I make myself. Yes, sewing machine, nylon straps, steel fittings, Velcro, reflective tape. Very effective. The mounts are such that they will hold the light in place without the strap. The strap makes it so the light wonít fall off if I pick up my bike and fling it down the stairs. Two lights are on my handlebar, one is in my bag.

why?
1. NUMBER ONE REASON - I need to be able to mount and remove the lights while wearing extremely thick mittens. This is because I park on the street but also because I park all over the place. Lights come with me.
2. Parts are interchangeable. I can swap out lenses, reflectors, batteries, tail pieces, switches, springs, drivers... whatever.
3. Biscotti firmware is customizable - brightness, blink pattern if youríre into that, etc
4. I have a stable of bikes and the lights can be put on any bike because mounts are unlimited.
5. Battery charging is annoying but I have a routine. Plus I can carry backup batteries and have freshies in chargers at home and the office.
6. Mounts are attached to bikes very firmly and securely, but I can easily aim them up or down. They do not shake or move AT ALL unless I want them to and then they move very easily.
7. People mentioned the 2 fish blocks. Those are handy and I can use them on random bikes or give them to friends to use with my lights. I keep two of these in my back for backup purposes. As with my mounts, I make my own straps.
8. I have not found a commercially available light with a shaped-beam that meets all of these criteria. The round beam is the only downside for me and I get over that by aiming.

I ride with a Blackburn flea in my helmet that I fire on blinkie mode when needed.
I ride with a Dinotte tail light.
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Old 02-13-19, 07:41 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
Iím a year-round bike commuter in St. Pail, MN. Yes I rode two weeks ago during the vortex. On those cold days my commute takes an hour one-way. Thatís a lot of exposure. My headlights are flashlights. I ride with three Convoy S2+ lights with Biscotti firmware. I use cheap mounts from China that I attach to my bars with hose clamps. This mount is more discrete and clean that most commercial setups. The lights are held in the mounts by Velcro straps that I make myself. Yes, sewing machine, nylon straps, steel fittings, Velcro, reflective tape. Very effective. The mounts are such that they will hold the light in place without the strap. The strap makes it so the light wonít fall off if I pick up my bike and fling it down the stairs. Two lights are on my handlebar, one is in my bag.

why?
1. NUMBER ONE REASON - I need to be able to mount and remove the lights while wearing extremely thick mittens. This is because I park on the street but also because I park all over the place. Lights come with me.
2. Parts are interchangeable. I can swap out lenses, reflectors, batteries, tail pieces, switches, springs, drivers... whatever.
3. Biscotti firmware is customizable - brightness, blink pattern if youríre into that, etc
4. I have a stable of bikes and the lights can be put on any bike because mounts are unlimited.
5. Battery charging is annoying but I have a routine. Plus I can carry backup batteries and have freshies in chargers at home and the office.
6. Mounts are attached to bikes very firmly and securely, but I can easily aim them up or down. They do not shake or move AT ALL unless I want them to and then they move very easily.
7. People mentioned the 2 fish blocks. Those are handy and I can use them on random bikes or give them to friends to use with my lights. I keep two of these in my back for backup purposes. As with my mounts, I make my own straps.
8. I have not found a commercially available light with a shaped-beam that meets all of these criteria. The round beam is the only downside for me and I get over that by aiming.

I ride with a Blackburn flea in my helmet that I fire on blinkie mode when needed.
I ride with a Dinotte tail light.
Cheap mounts, hose clamps, and homemade velcro straps.
All because you cannot figure out how to use proper lights wearing heavy mittens lol.
Good stuff
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Old 02-13-19, 08:21 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post

Cheap mounts, hose clamps, and homemade velcro straps.
All because you cannot figure out how to use proper lights wearing heavy mittens lol.
Good stuff
you are contributing nothing to this discussion. Is this how you act in real life too? Or is this just an internet thing for you?

If you really think I pick my lights ďall becauseĒ of the mittens thing you gave up after reading one sentence. Try harder.
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Old 02-13-19, 09:02 AM
  #58  
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Using a flashlight as the primary head light or "only" light is patently ridiculous.
The purpose of this statement was to demonstrate my opinion of trying to use lighting equipment incorrectly.

My experience suggests that typical flashlights are not good at providing a large enough field of light. I guess using two or more flashlights could provide acceptable performance.

After years and years of watching forum threads produce discussions about the benefits and usage of a single bicycle lighting product - I began to describe to readers the necessity of using at least two lighting sources for truly safe night time cycling.

As the posts above reveal, everyone has their own ideas and opinions - I hope my post shed a little better light on the OP's original - yet terribly flawed comment.
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Old 02-14-19, 01:52 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post


you are contributing nothing to this discussion. Is this how you act in real life too? Or is this just an internet thing for you?

If you really think I pick my lights ďall becauseĒ of the mittens thing you gave up after reading one sentence. Try harder.
Did you even bother to read your own post?
I am referring ofc to the post where you wrote:

1. NUMBER ONE REASON - I need to be able to mount and remove the lights while wearing extremely thick mittens.

Notice where you typed in all caps?
Notice your statementís place in your order? NUMBER ONE.

FYI bro. Unless one of us is an android, this is real life. Also, when someone says something ridiculous to me in person I am quick to point it out.
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Old 02-14-19, 02:26 AM
  #60  
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I've had both bike specific lights and flashlights.

My former Fenix BC30 bike specific lights had no hotspot, all the light is nearfield, couldn't see much beyond 5 meters or so, great off road, not so great for dark roads at higher speeds.

I use a Fenix LD50 (discontinued) as my main light, I vastly prefer having a nice 2-3 meter hotspot 20-30 meters ahead to focus on.

Removeable batteries are better than something that isn't user replaceable.

LED technology hasn't improved that much in the past few years it seems, and I have a stash of batteries and lights that are still quite effective.

Last edited by SHBR; 02-14-19 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 02-14-19, 10:24 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I've yet to find a bike headlight with beam pattern that allows for under bar mounting.
Something like this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WLCLQY does work to an extent, spreading the beam out along one axis.


If you'd rather do your own, and it actually does work better, start with a full page fresnel lens like this https://www.amazon.com/Premium-2-Pcs.../dp/B01HP48ZAK (not a specific recommendation, just an example that I picked randomly). The curious thing about those magnifiers is that they change the beam differently depending on how far you are from the center, which is why I start with a full-page size. Near the top it will spread out sideways more than vertically, and also angle the beam. So just hold it against the light, move the light around until you get the best beam shape you can, then cut it out with scissors and put inside of the headlight lens. You can start with a smaller magnifier and get more spread, but less ability to aim and shape.
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Old 02-14-19, 10:31 AM
  #62  
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I am still more than satisfied with two Fenix LD20 (dual AA cell) mounted under bars with twofish blocks for night rides. I usually use one at a time, but can turn both on for more light. I use an L1D (single AA cell) for my commute. Never dropped one.

Interestingly my friends who use proper bike lights have dropped theirs and/or have used duct tape to secure the weak clamps.
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Old 02-18-19, 10:47 PM
  #63  
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What kind of "safe?"

Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
The purpose of this statement was to demonstrate my opinion of trying to use lighting equipment incorrectly.

My experience suggests that typical flashlights are not good at providing a large enough field of light. I guess using two or more flashlights could provide acceptable performance.

After years and years of watching forum threads produce discussions about the benefits and usage of a single bicycle lighting product - I began to describe to readers the necessity of using at least two lighting sources for truly safe night time cycling.

As the posts above reveal, everyone has their own ideas and opinions - I hope my post shed a little better light on the OP's original - yet terribly flawed comment.
This adds nothing to your discussion. I want to know why you pay so much attention to makeshift mounting of lights after so many years, rather than a professional mounting system with the high power light that goes with it? They have quick release /lock on systems with up to large reflectors. You deserve to have a pro system that are mitten friendly.

There are good thin five finger insulated gloves and/or wrap your fingers in Saran wrap as added heat retention.

You are a diehard bad ass and truly nice guy. Whatever works for you, thanks for sharing. How do you keep your eyes warm?
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Old 02-18-19, 11:22 PM
  #64  
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anker rechargeable lc40s for 20 bucks and free pipe clamps i found in the basement , the ones with the screw to secure thing , use rubber guards if you dont want to scratch your bars up .

secure one pipe clamp around the bar and slide the one to hold the flashlight under it adjust the angle , and tighten , but not too much,

80 bucks gets you 1600 lumens if you over and under double mount them on both sides of the bars , and you can use 400 to 800 lumens at a time , they are water proof and recharge , the only draw back is they cant recharge and be in use , thats the biggest bummer for really long rides .

i cant see a point in a 120 dollar bike light that isnt doing anything special .
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Old 02-22-19, 04:03 AM
  #65  
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Can't see why someone would think a simple LED torch ( flashlight ) wouldn't work as a bike light. Lot's of choices if you want a decent torch. As a torch collector I suppose I have a good number to choose from so I have an advantage over someone who just picks any old cheap torch and then want's to bee-itch because he bought a POS.

My favorite for the bars is the Convoy S2 I bought from Gearbest. Though it is one of my more inexpensive torches it works great on the bars. The one I have is using a shorter reflector and thus the beam pattern is more spread out ( but not too spread out, still has some decent throw. ) I use mine as back-up when I go MTB'n. The spread with mine is so good that sometimes I think I'm still using my primary bar light ( Gloworm X2, dual emitter lamp ). Not bad for a cheap single XM-L2 emitter torch.

Yes, some flashlights do have a very narrow beam not suitable for the bars. For my helmet I like the Convoy M1. Liked it so much I bought two, one neutral white LED ( for MTB ) the other standard bright white for road use. The M1 has some awesome throw and yet still provides some decent spill. ( Mine are custom setups using XP-L HI emitters and five mode U.I. ) On the road I use the M1 for high-beam duties only. Comes in real handy when flying downhill in areas where deer are known to jump out at you.

Almost forgot to add that I use some nice torch holders I bought off a Chinese website ( now also sold on ebay ). I like the ones that are all metal and use cam-style clamps to hold everything ( both bars and torch ) nice and tight. Been using those types of holders for years and never ever lost a torch. The ones I have also have a little side to side adjustment so that too is handy if you need to aim a little off center. ( I center the swivel on mine and then tape them to keep them from moving ).

Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 02-22-19 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 02-22-19, 05:31 AM
  #66  
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I'm planning on mounting a 2 C cell maglight to front rack as a back up and nuclear option. There is a version with multible power setting that Im going to buy. The amazon price jumped $20 overnight so I'm waiting to see if it drops again. The maglight beam with hot spot is not great for a bike, but i havent come across a good alternative yet.
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Old 02-27-19, 11:42 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post

Did you even bother to read your own post?
I am referring ofc to the post where you wrote:

1. NUMBER ONE REASON - I need to be able to mount and remove the lights while wearing extremely thick mittens.

Notice where you typed in all caps?
Notice your statementís place in your order? NUMBER ONE.

FYI bro. Unless one of us is an android, this is real life. Also, when someone says something ridiculous to me in person I am quick to point it out.
If you think that when someone presents a list, that the first thing on the list summarizes or stands as a placeholder for the whole list, you do not know how lists work.

To be clear what is happening here, I summarized eight (8) reasons that no commercially available bicycle headlight meets my needs. The first item on my list was operating the lights with mittens on. Your response was that I use flashlights as headlights "(a)ll because (I) cannot figure out how to use proper lights wearing heavy mittens lol." Do you really think that "1 of 8" is the same as "all"? That's worth LOLing about.

I am not the one saying something ridiculous here.
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Old 03-04-19, 07:54 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
If you think that when someone presents a list, that the first thing on the list summarizes or stands as a placeholder for the whole list, you do not know how lists work.

To be clear what is happening here, I summarized eight (8) reasons that no commercially available bicycle headlight meets my needs. The first item on my list was operating the lights with mittens on. Your response was that I use flashlights as headlights "(a)ll because (I) cannot figure out how to use proper lights wearing heavy mittens lol." Do you really think that "1 of 8" is the same as "all"? That's worth LOLing about.

I am not the one saying something ridiculous here.
I use the bar reflector and spoke reflectors it came with and street lights. I try to avoid night riding. Im not addressing you, giving a dumb suggestion or chiding a special need.

Riding in rural areas, where lighting is a problem, creativity will overcome the lack of a pat solution. No matter what some schlock like me suggests it will never be good enough. So, have a metal worker or repair shop create something that works. The end result will be years of happiness and something unique.
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Old 03-07-19, 10:56 AM
  #69  
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I do exactly this with a Led Lenser torch - works really well and I can use it off the bike when I am touring.
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Old 03-09-19, 03:10 PM
  #70  
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Cool Flash <> Bike, Light

Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Yeah, no. I am looking for the minimal, not extra stuff hanging off of bike or other compromises.
Twofish.biz


In my house, I use a bike light for a flashlight..
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Old 03-10-19, 03:38 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
I'm planning on mounting a 2 C cell maglight to front rack as a back up and nuclear option. There is a version with multible power setting that Im going to buy. The amazon price jumped $20 overnight so I'm waiting to see if it drops again. The maglight beam with hot spot is not great for a bike, but i havent come across a good alternative yet.

Not sure what your fascination with Maglight is all about. Maglight is so completely old school. Why mess with anything that uses old school C or D cells when there are just so many other good options. Why not mount a simple Li-ion powered LED torch like me and others have talked about using a simple handlebar holder. Works for me. Heck, if you really want something cheap and simple why not go on Amazon and buy something like one of these. They're cheap, they work and the built in batteries should last a good number of years. No need to keep buying C or D cells, just recharge via USB whenever needed. BTW I own one of these and although I don't currently use it I did test it out and if I didn't own better Iights I would have no problem using something like one of these.
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Old 03-10-19, 05:12 AM
  #72  
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https://www.jitensha.com/eng/kimura_lights.html

[img]webkit-fake-url://ec62a331-6745-4159-920a-4e97f328bfe0/imagejpeg[/img]

Verses a $20 maglight as a back up.
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Old 03-10-19, 05:58 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
If you think that when someone presents a list, that the first thing on the list summarizes or stands as a placeholder for the whole list, you do not know how lists work.

To be clear what is happening here, I summarized eight (8) reasons that no commercially available bicycle headlight meets my needs. The first item on my list was operating the lights with mittens on. Your response was that I use flashlights as headlights "(a)ll because (I) cannot figure out how to use proper lights wearing heavy mittens lol." Do you really think that "1 of 8" is the same as "all"? That's worth LOLing about.

I am not the one saying something ridiculous here.
My bad bro.
Your lists are in random order but you still choose to make them numerical? Is that so the rest of us know how many items are on your list?
How about the ALL CAPS for the FIRST item on your RANDOM list? The ALL CAPS were also not intended to place any extra significance on the number one item on your list?
Itís all good bro. You canít figure out how to operate a proper cycling light while wearing mittens so you Mcgyver up some flashlights. Cool stuff.
Peace out.
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Old 03-10-19, 07:55 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Sure you could use a flashlight on bicycles. After all, you could hang a lantern from your handlebars, if you wanted to.

Personally, I'd consider them something to be used on an ah hoc basis due to their design limitations. But as long as I can see you coming that's up to you.
As long as aiming and flood light is no consideration any flashlight will do and any mounting method will do. However, If aiming, type and output of light are somewhat important considerations, one must take appropriate steps to handle them.

The weak will need to seek advice from whomever can provide it and the more adept will acquire or fashion it themselves with the skill level required.

This goes for any other nonstandard adaptation. Just get it done any way you can thru knowledge and skill or trial and error.

When you get done with this forum, get a pencil and paper and design your own lighting system with a list of parameters.
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Old 03-11-19, 10:28 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by lkoyanagi View Post
As long as aiming and flood light is no consideration any flashlight will do and any mounting method will do. However, If aiming, type and output of light are somewhat important considerations, one must take appropriate steps to handle them.

The weak will need to seek advice from whomever can provide it and the more adept will acquire or fashion it themselves with the skill level required.

This goes for any other nonstandard adaptation. Just get it done any way you can thru knowledge and skill or trial and error.

When you get done with this forum, get a pencil and paper and design your own lighting system with a list of parameters.
Im thinking, with mittens on 100% of the time, you are a voluntary handicapped person turning on your light outside the the shelter. What a conclusion! What is wrong with insulated gloves, industrial or consumer, or taking your mitten off for 3 seconds? What? A novel idea? Namby pambys have a harder time with life's simpler tasks like killing a bug with your bare hand or drinking without a straw.

Sorry, I grew up in adverse conditions doing hard labor.
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