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Commuting before sunrise

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Commuting before sunrise

Old 09-30-05, 04:53 PM
  #51  
Brian Ratliff
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Originally Posted by markf
Glad the pre-dawn commuting has gone well.

I bought a Shimano DH-3N70 generator hub and a Busch & Müller halogen head light about 2 months ago, and I really love it for night time commuting. It's not as powerful as your light, but the optics are so well designed that it provides me with all the light I need for speeds up to 20 mph on a narrow, winding unlit bike path. I've also done 40 mph downhills without blowing a bulb, so the regulating circuitry is pretty effective. Best of all, I don't have to worry about remembering to charge the battery, whether or not to discharge the battery, etc.
I might look into this, especially if the niterider starts becoming unreliable. Does the light go out at stops? How fast until the light bulb blows and how common is it?
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Old 09-30-05, 05:41 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Also my rain coat and helmet cover have a loop for attaching a blinkie (specialty bike clothing, obviously).

I have these loops too, but don't like them. My blinkies have small lenses in front of each LED. They are BRIGHT if you're looking straight at them, but not bright at all from other angles. When I clip the blinkies on the cloth loops, they droop so vehicles behind you are not looking into the light straight on and seeing the brightest part of the light.

I have room to mount one blinkie bracket on my seatpost below my wedge pack. What I'd like to find are blinkies that come with a seat stay mount so I could add one or two more to my bike. Anyone know of any?

Good riding,
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Old 09-30-05, 06:05 PM
  #53  
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I'll bet they can be fabricated using those stainless-steel-with-plastic-coating brackets they sell at the bike shop for attaching fenders to bikes without braze-ons.
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Old 09-30-05, 09:35 PM
  #54  
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Hope this Oregon rain hasn't stopped your bike commuting Brian! Now is when the true hardcores start showing up on the roads in those pre-dawn hours.
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Old 10-01-05, 06:24 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by supcom
. . . A reflective construction vest is a good item. . . .
I second this. I've seen cyclists' vests before I've seen their lights. It's also higher up where drivers are looking. As to lighting, a 15w halogen is good, but buy the best lights that fit your budget. Keep an eye on HID's at Performance and Nashbar. For a night commuter, it's more important than an upgraded drive train. The HID will help you to see whether that dark spot on the road is a discoloration, and oil slick, or a hole.

Also, have a backup plan for when the battery dies during your commute. A be-seen LED with good batteries is far better than nothing. And carry extra batteries for the back up.

I love early morning commutes. Enjoy.
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Old 10-01-05, 09:19 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I might look into this, especially if the niterider starts becoming unreliable. Does the light go out at stops? How fast until the light bulb blows and how common is it?
The halogen bulb goes out at stops, but there's a LED bulb/capacitor arrangement that charges while you're riding, and stays on for 3-4 minutes after you stop, which will keep you visible at a stop light (its called a standlight).

The light has a pretty good voltage regulator, and as I understand it generators become less efficient when they spin too fast, so I'm not sure if you can blow the bulb by going too fast. You might shorten the bulb life a bit, though. I haven't blown a bulb yet, but apparently they're not hard to change. Some people run a primary and secondary headlight, and switch on the secondary for fast downhills.

Check this source for more info: Peter White Cycles
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Old 10-01-05, 01:21 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Seanholio
Have you considered using a white LED light to shine on your back from the top of that mast? I'm sure there is no way they could mistake you for anything else when your back is lit up.
No. I have not considered lighting myself. I wore alertshirt hi-vis t-shirts all summer which are better than lights in day light, but of little value in the dark. Previously I have used high visability vests and I may again in the winter but probably won't bother because my My multiplel ights are better, especially at a distance. If a motorist can't see them he won't see anything. Only greater hight would be better to be seen by drivers in vehicles that are behind SUV's, vans and other opaque objects blocking the view of me ahead.
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Old 10-01-05, 01:27 PM
  #58  
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ILTB, I've criticized you a lot about a lot of things, but have to admit that your lighting set up is kind of cool. I'm sure all the drivers on your commute recognize you as they pass by. Also, the way you built your bike screams out your dislike of conformity.

I say this respectfully. This is meant as a compliment, not an insult.
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Old 10-02-05, 09:33 AM
  #59  
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I gotta say, I love commuting before sunrise. It's the favorite part of my commute. It's peaceful and there's hardly any cars on the road and you get to see nature waking up. I have a 15W light I use. I wish I had a stronger light, but I really don't have the $$ to get one. Good luck and enjoy!
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