In answer to a few queries, here are some of the decent light deals that I and others have stumbled across. Feel free to post up your discoveries.
Most of these come from DealExtreme -a website based in china, which does mean delivery is slow (2-3 weeks). You also have to pay in US dollars, but the prices are very cheap, and the stuff is usually good quality.
Bike light set - got one of these on order,so will post up a proper review when it arrives. Other reviews have been very positive. Claims a 3 hour runtime at 900 lumens for $50 delivered. The same light now appears to come as a head mount version, rather than bar mount.
If you are looking more for a torch style light (like the two I currently run, but with internal batteries( then there is the original 2 mode P7 torch or a 5 mode version (low/medium & high beam options) and even an 8 mode (although this may not be to everyone's taste, as you have to go through modes you don't need to get to the 3 that are useful)
All of these run on unusual sized batteries - 18650 lithium ones, and you will also need a charger (comes with a foreign plug so you will need a plug adapter, or just wire a UK plug on it)
There are other P7 torches that run on AAA batteries (Roger has two).
You can bodge a mount, or several places sell bike mounts for torches.
I bought a couple of cheap torches from dealextreme, they cost me about a fiver each and put out about 150 lumens each.
I attached one to my helmet with a bit of old inner tube and a couple of tie wraps and this lasted me fine all winter and bought a handlebar mount from dealextereme again to put one on the bar.
These run off 3 AAA batteries which fit inside the case of the torch. I've bought a few rechargeables and as long as you keep the batteries fresh then they are plenty bright enough.
I've been lookin to get someting brighter (torch envy !!) and was thinking of getting a 900 lumen torch like this , which for about 25 quid is excellent value for the amount of light you get, but might wait to see what Justins set are like.
19 different lights on test in "What Mountain bike" October issue, the article seems really useful as it looks closely at the quality of light and the pattern that actually lights a trail; relating brightness levels to riding at "entertaining speeds" :) Also suggests that the warmth of light helps contrast, and therefore better than a cold source for picking out trail features.
I found this useful in terms of what to look out for, the results however may not be relevant to all of us...Tesla 5 @ £275 plus a head born Hope vision 2 @ £195 the final reccomended choice!
Yes the charger is a US plug. These have the feature of fitting a UK shaver plug adapter - £1 from Asda!
The bar mount on mine was simply a small plastic half round shape screwed to the bottom of the light, and 2 elastic bands. I haven't used mine as it is helmet mounted, so if necessary there is a spare one.
I have mine on the helmet (with 2 lower powered lights on the bars) and it is pretty amazing. Battery life is really good as well - did 2 night rides (probably 3 hours total) and the battery was not showing any signs of running flat.
The lights are very bright. Really really bright. Way brighter than the 2 lights you have seen me with before (these are now on the bars, with the new DX light on my helmet). The lights come in a nice box with a magnetic closure and foam inserts for storage. In the box is the light itself, a charger (based around a US plug) a bag and the battery.
Build quality seems good - I have had it out on the pouring rain and it has survived well, although some people have recommended extra waterproofing for the battery.
The light is about 1.5 inches long and 1 inch across. Battery pack is 3 by 1 inches, and in the supplied bag clips nicely around my camelback strap. The lead is about 1 foot long.
Charger is built around a US plug, which means it will fit a shaver adapter. It has a red light which turns to green when the battery is charged.
Battery life seems really good - I did 2 2hour night rides without charging, and there was no sign of dimming etc.
Overall this is a blinding bit of kit for the price - Rog tells me that MBR have the same light (imported by a UK supplier with a UK plug) which sells for £150 and got excellent reviews.
Only downside is the speed of delivery from Hong Kong - expect at least 3 weeks from order to delivery.
This is the review from MBUK Autumn edition. It's the same light as the one above but just re-named by Leddite who have imported them, added the UK charger and added £100.. not a bad mark up if you can get away with it I especially like the comment that it can match up to lights twice its price....£300 !! Not bad for a £50 light.
Mine should be with me in a few days but like Justin said, by the time I get it it will have been three weeks from order to receipt.
Mine arrived Monday so thats about three weeks from order. Got the set with the helmet mount. Only trouble is that the elasticated strap is made for the head and not a helmet (or at least not mine). The important bit is the plastic mount for the light which is fine, so I've cut off the elastic straps and got some velcro straps which are just the job, holding it nice and solid. See how you get on fitting yours when you get it but if you decide the same I've got loads of velcro strap left over which you just cut to length, thread through the mount and wrap round the most appropriate bit of the helmet.....nice
My £48 wonder light arrived today, just under a month. I was out in the rain with it at 5 :)
Really impressed, so bright with warm light & a good beam pattern. Seems well put together; I am running it on the bars with a smaller helmet light as well (so will probably blag some of Rogers Velcro, as the pop fastener does not seem very secure on the battery pack) I'm looking forward to my next evening ride - the roosting pheasants will wonder whats happening when we all go past :)
Well finally got to try the new lights tonight and all I can say is wow ! what a difference there is loads of light in fact it took a few minutes to get used to. There's a good even spread and no sign of the light running down yet, made avoiding any mud and puddles easy, I could spot the lines in the distance and ensure I was in the right place. I did put my old lights on the bars but they really didn't add any benefit and I probably won't bother with them any more. I think I need a light for the bars but I'm not sure wether the one I've got is more of a flood or a spot and what type of light might complement it. Although at £48 I might just get another the same. Anyway all I can say is don't waste your money on expensive lights or low power torches (like I did !) just get one of these, it's definately made night riding a proper blast again.
have taken alook Just put in troutie in the search on single track,,,looks a bit fiddleee for a quick upgrade,will probaly fiddle about with in when not in use and youve more time but looks to worthwhile doing..+ ours maybe slighlty different..