As the night riding season is with us we often get asked about lights for newcomers. There are articles that can be found by using the search box in the sidebar. Use a manufacturer or “lights, torch, cree, etc.” in the box.
If you are unsure of night riding you can hire a set from Freedom Bikes in Brighton to try a ride with us which will give you an opportunity to try and compare. We ride with different lights so one size does not suit all. A bit like bikes.
There is a variety of lights used in the dark but overall the best combination seems to be a spread light on the bars and an adjustable spot on your helmet. The weight on the bars is unimportant but less weight on the helmet makes a difference. The Ay-Up light small size and excellent performance finds them on lots of heads but the price seems less competitive now as other prices drop. Quite a few of the Exposure range are well used too. Muddymoles compare a range of lights and are worth a visit to check the latest tests.
Several of us at Brightonmtb run the Trustfire torch on a helmet and this still seems the cheapest viable option at a basic system at around £30. A double bar, single helmet mix costs around the £60 mark. The purpose made Chinese handlebar light is a little more expensive but initial reports are favourable with a few of us relying on them to miss the trees. These come from Dealtime in Hong Kong and are included in the Muddymoles tests.
Another link is from ebay where there are lots now but at £57 complete with spare battery for a fairly high power output this is Mikey from Sussexmtb’s choice as the alternative to something more mainstream. His opinion is that they are “brilliant”. You can search Ebay but the seller recommended by is big_f_d_d. There is also a site called torchyboy.com with some information too. If you want to talk to him he is Green Cable boy.
If you have an older type of light, e.g. HID, these produce around 500 lumens and are still in common use but newer purchases always seem to be the high output LED types. Halogen sets are still used by some and although the output is less the yellow light seems to be better for some riders despite the lower output. You can get swallowed a little in blue light of a HID or the flare of a new LED but drop back a little to give yourself some space and you miss most of the trees.
It is not recommended to try with a road light even if you are an experienced rider as everyone struggles more than they may think. You can read through the older ride reports to get a feeling for the difference of riding in the dark.
If you have not tried night riding before it really is worth a go. We ride all winter on Tuesday and Thursday nights so check the ride page for details and venture out into the dark.