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Are You Ready To Really Hate Me? (Bicycle Light Thread Continued)

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Are You Ready To Really Hate Me? (Bicycle Light Thread Continued)

Old 10-22-13, 05:42 PM
  #1  
Papa Tom
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Are You Ready To Really Hate Me? (Bicycle Light Thread Continued)

OK, so are you ready for some big news that's probably going to piss some of you off?

Anybody who has followed my discussions knows that:

1. I don't spend money on accessories easily
2. I don't like to spend EXTRA money on name brand accessories that are no better than the ones I can find in department stores
3. I don't like to buy "disposable" accessories (ones that are designed to be obsolete or irreparable within a year or two)
4. I am extremely frustrated by the overabundance of information we are all slammed with anytime we try to research a purchase.

So, in a thread titled "The Way It's Going, I'm NEVER Going To Buy Lights," scores of you recommended that I just go out and buy "any old damned light." After all, I had $500 in 50th birthday money for bicycle accessories, so making a decision shouldn't be such a stress-producer. Tonight, on a whim, I walked into a store and purchased a 3.75" 32 LED flashlight with an 11,000 to 13,000 candela output. The light, manufactured by a company called Gordon, has a water-resistant, anodized aluminum body, an approximately 2" diameter lens, and a cylindrical body that I easily adapted to an older bicycle light quick-release holder. Best of all, it runs on three AAA" batteries.

I brought it home, clipped it onto my handlebars, turned it on, and...HOLY MOLY!!!!!! This thing lit up the whole block like a propane explosion, enough to make a neighbor five houses down holler "What the hell is that?!!!!!!" My 10w Niterider (which cost $170 in 1997) instantly looked like landfill after that, and I removed it from my handlebars immediately.

Bottom line? I think my quest for a light is over. What a ridiculous waste of time to search so far and wide when the solution was so simple and so cheap (we'll get to that at the end). This light will illuminate the road plenty when I make my commute just prior to sunrise, and it will certainly be seen by the few drivers on the road at that time. Hopefully, it will provide hours of good light on three recyclable AAA batteries, and ideally, it will not be trash within a year or two. If it is, at least my investment will not have been too steep.

Oh...the cost? $4.99.
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Old 10-22-13, 05:51 PM
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Must burn through those AAA pretty fast. The rules of thermodynamics are hard and inflexible. Cost in batteries will make my cyclolite USB rechargeable 700 lumen light seem like a great investment over time.
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Old 10-22-13, 06:11 PM
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Get some good quality NiMh recharable batteries for that and you are ready to go. Big advantage is you can keep a set in the charger, have a set in the flashlight, and keep a spare set in a bike bag and you have plenty of contingencies.

Just don't forget to rotate the sets around. Charger > bag > light > charger...
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Old 10-22-13, 06:34 PM
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Since you didn't post any pictures are we to assume that you are still researching which digital camera is the best on for the money?
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Old 10-22-13, 06:49 PM
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Hey Papa Tom, Is this the light? http://www.webbikeworld.com/flashlig...ed-flashlight/ Also, what would you recommend for attaching it to the handlebars (I know you had your old mount, but was curious for those, like myself, who don't). Thanks!
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Old 10-22-13, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
Hey Papa Tom, Is this the light? http://www.webbikeworld.com/flashlig...ed-flashlight/ Also, what would you recommend for attaching it to the handlebars (I know you had your old mount, but was curious for those, like myself, who don't). Thanks!
No, that's not the light, but it might be the same company. I purchased mine at Harbor Freight Tools. The packaging reads "Gordon," but it appears they manufactured it for Harbor Freight. Mine has 32 LEDs. The one in the ad has 9, so mine is 23 better.

To mount it, I simply looped a radiator hose clamp around the mount from an old XMart light. Took four minutes and now it's the most solid component on my whole bike.

PS: Great comeback, Dorf!

Last edited by Papa Tom; 10-22-13 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 10-22-13, 07:20 PM
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I think I have the same light. After a few weeks of gentle use around the house and dog walking, two of the led's are flickering on and off. The battery life is lousy too. You do get what you pay for in bike lights. All the manufacturers know what the competition sells for, and the cost, quality, usefulness, and features you get will be about about the same level from different manufacturers.

If your light fails, just get this and stop looking around http://gretnabikes.com/item.asp?cID=1&PID=389

From someone who spent just as much over the years trying to spend less on cheaper lights. Bought one ten years ago after years of looking around. Upgraded to this about two years ago ( same company) , after doing almost the same thing again. argh! Been evaluating lights since 1994. (holy carp, next year will be 20 years).
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Old 10-22-13, 07:22 PM
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We'll see. I know I might be coming off as naive and delusional here, but we'll see. My commute is only a few miles in the morning. I don't commute through the winter, so the number of days I will actually use this light each year is nominal.

This forum convinced me that EVERY light is disposable, so I figured if that's the case, I don't want to spend more than a few bucks on one.
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Old 10-22-13, 07:29 PM
  #9  
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Lots of angst and disposable cash for a few miles
Every light is not disposable, they are only if you buy such.
Good luck.
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Old 10-22-13, 07:30 PM
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Just get the CREE from Amazon
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Old 10-22-13, 08:07 PM
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Do me a favor OP- put that Nite Rider 10w back on the bars. I wouldn't trust my safety to a) just one light or b) a really cheap light like that.

Use your new one as the primary if you want, but the road vibrations may cause it to fail sooner or later (probably sooner) and you'll be glad you have your old light right there with you if you need it.
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Old 10-22-13, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Do me a favor OP- put that Nite Rider 10w back on the bars. I wouldn't trust my safety to a) just one light or b) a really cheap light like that.

Use your new one as the primary if you want, but the road vibrations may cause it to fail sooner or later (probably sooner) and you'll be glad you have your old light right there with you if you need it.
+1 backups are always a good idea.
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Old 10-22-13, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
OK, so are you ready for some big news that's probably going to piss some of you off?

Anybody who has followed my discussions knows that:

1. I don't spend money on accessories easily
2. I don't like to spend EXTRA money on name brand accessories that are no better than the ones I can find in department stores
3. I don't like to buy "disposable" accessories (ones that are designed to be obsolete or irreparable within a year or two)
4. I am extremely frustrated by the overabundance of information we are all slammed with anytime we try to research a purchase.

Bottom line? I think my quest for a light is over. What a ridiculous waste of time to search so far and wide when the solution was so simple and so cheap (we'll get to that at the end). This light will illuminate the road plenty when I make my commute just prior to sunrise, and it will certainly be seen by the few drivers on the road at that time. Hopefully, it will provide hours of good light on three recyclable AAA batteries, and ideally, it will not be trash within a year or two. If it is, at least my investment will not have been too steep.

Oh...the cost? $4.99.
Congratulations. Glad you found a light for your bike, and still have $490 left. Send me $90, so I can take my kids to lunch.

I don't spend $$ on accessories easily, either; I have to make every dollar count.
I rarely find department store stuff to be "as good" as "brand name" anymore; the mass-produced stuff isn't going downhill, it's going over a waterfall.
So, do you use a straight razor, or maybe a Norelco?
Learn to filter; better too much info than not enough, as not enough can get you into a world of hurt.

I'm leaning the OPPOSITE way, not buying cheap shat any more.
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Old 10-22-13, 08:17 PM
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You may all very well be right! However, one very important thing I have already learned from this experience is that LEDs and halogens are two totally different animals, and that ANY decent LED bike light I might end up buying is going to be far and away better than what I've been using.
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Old 10-22-13, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
You may all very well be right! However, one very important thing I have already learned from this experience is that LEDs and halogens are two totally different animals, and that ANY decent LED bike light I might end up buying is going to be far and away better than what I've been using.
Are you taking into account reliability, weatherpoofing, charge lifetime, etc. There are many more factors than just the LED v. Halogen, in general, but maybe for your commute it doesn't mater. LED certainly are much better than the old halogen in terms of brightness and power consumption (if you get a light with a decent battery), but still, if you shop right, get what you pay for.
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Old 10-22-13, 08:51 PM
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Awesome post, good reality check.
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Old 10-22-13, 09:02 PM
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A)Glad you found a light that works for you.
B)Glad you didn't use up the entire $500 budget on the light.
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Old 10-22-13, 09:08 PM
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Now I'm wondering what the shipping rate to Canada would be for that flashlight.
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Old 10-22-13, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
No, that's not the light, but it might be the same company. I purchased mine at Harbor Freight Tools. The packaging reads "Gordon," but it appears they manufactured it for Harbor Freight. Mine has 32 LEDs. The one in the ad has 9, so mine is 23 better.

To mount it, I simply looped a radiator hose clamp around the mount from an old XMart light. Took four minutes and now it's the most solid component on my whole bike.

PS: Great comeback, Dorf!
I use one of those lights with Eneloop rechargeable AAA batteries and a Twofish handlebar light holder. Mine has worked for about a year with no problems and I have a couple more as backup. The Eneloops last longer than alkalines and provide more light intensity with about 2 hours of continous illumination before it gets too dim to use as a headlight. I run the Harbor Freight light in tandem with a blinking front LED light.

Last edited by Paramount1973; 10-22-13 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 10-22-13, 10:27 PM
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pics or gtfo
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Old 10-22-13, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lawnerd View Post
The rules of thermodynamics are hard and inflexible.
Physics can be a cruel, unflinchingly rigid mistress.
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Old 10-22-13, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Do me a favor OP- put that Nite Rider 10w back on the bars. I wouldn't trust my safety to a) just one light or b) a really cheap light like that.

Use your new one as the primary if you want, but the road vibrations may cause it to fail sooner or later (probably sooner) and you'll be glad you have your old light right there with you if you need it.
I'm curious to hear how this light works out... OP, please keep us updated every 500 miles or so?

IMHO, the problem with buying cheap electronics is that, more often than not, you get cheap electronics. As no1mad alludes to, it's often the things you can't see (e.g. cheap/weak solder joints that won't hold up to road vibrations) that'll getcha.

Hope it works for you though, and I am curious to hear how it works out....
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Old 10-22-13, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
Awesome post, good reality check.
As others have indicated, we wish the OP the best, but the reality check may be still to come.
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Old 10-22-13, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Paramount1973 View Post
I use one of those lights with Eneloop rechargeable AAA batteries and a Twofish handlebar light holder. Mine has worked for about a year with no problems and I have a couple more as backup. The Eneloops last longer than alkalines and provide more light intensity with about 2 hours of continous illumination before it gets too dim to use as a headlight. I run the Harbor Freight light in tandem with a blinking front LED light.
Promising!

I've gotta get off this thread now. Also, need to figure out how to quote multiple posts in one reply. What do the numbers after the quoted poster's handle and the ; mean?
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Old 10-23-13, 12:31 AM
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not interested in anything that isn't measured in Lux as it shows that the engineers have no idea what to do with a bicycle light.
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