Recently I’ve been looking for a new set of mountain bike lights for riding off road on trails as well as cycling on roads at night.
As someone who frequently cycles at night I can’t think of anything more important then doing everything in your power to make yourself seen by other road users. Not only that but as a driving instructor and motorist nothing frustrates me more then seeing a cyclist without lights. When I’m out and about teaching driving lessons around Brighton and Hove I see far too many cyclists with out lights.
Why is this? Are bike lights too expensive? Are the cheap lights available but there just not the right style for people to put on there bikes.
I my option they are too expensive not only that, the cheapest ones aren’t partially stylish or easy on the eye. I’m not staying that its important to put style over safety but I can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that it plays a part in peoples choice. If someone chooses not to buy a set of lights because the ‘cool’ ones they want are too expensive and they’ll have to wait until next months pay comes in or christmas then thats just not acceptable.
Last month I was looking at the lights in a local cycle shop as it was time to upgrade to a new set I also wanted to start mountain biking off road so i needed to find something a little more specialised then your standard bike lights. The set I really wanted were around £150. Now remember these light aren’t any old lights they’re much brighter then standard bike lights. You use them to light your way as well as making other road users aware of your presents. They look great too. They the kind of thing that you want to put on your bike and say your mates check my new lights out aren’t they awesome! However these were far too expensive. I decided not to by them and take a look online to see what else was available for less money.
After doing my initial research I was a little baffled by the amount of advice and information out there. Not only that but i was pretty shocked by the price of some of the kit.
If you dig a little deeper you will find that there’s a lot of other keen riders / cyclists looking for a similar deals and set ups. Lights, lights, lights, where can i get a good set up for cheap. My research was showing me that more and more people are browsing the cheaper electrical and gadget websites to source their bike lights.
You may be thinking how can the quality and build from such sources match that of other well known branded goods and you might be right. Here’s the thoughts and questions that were challenging my judgement on what to buy… “It’s just a glorified torch consisting of a bulb, battery, switch and water-resistant housing. How hard can it be to make something that basic perform well and look stylish? Why should it be so expensive too buy?”
Below is the set up I went for. You could go for something a little less specialist but my point is cheap specialised mouton bike lights can be found and you don’t have to pay the earth for them.
All purchased from Deal Extreme (dx.com) This set up come in at just under £70. Pretty cheap i’d say! It looks pretty awesome too!
The set up consists of 2 lights for my handle bars, 1 for my helmet, 1 rear light, all mounts needed, 6 batteries (which means you’ll have 3 in use and 3 a backup), battery charger and power adapter. I only thing I didn’t buy from Deal Extreme was the 2 x AAA batteries for the rear light.
For the bars
• 2 x UltraFire TH-T60 HA-II XM-LT6 5-Mode 975-Lumen White LED Flashlight with Strap
• 2 x Flashlight Mount
For the helmet
• UltraFire WF-502B XM-LT6 5-Mode 510-Lumen Memory White LED Flashlight with Clip (1*18650)
• Velcro Binding Band for SKU 29489/30864 (35CM)
For the rear
• Bright 5-LED 5-Mode Red Safety Rear Light with Mount for Bike (2*AAA)
For the power
• Digital Li-Ion 18650 Battery Charger
• Universal UK Travel Power Adapter Plug
• 3 x TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery (2500mAh 2-Pack Blue)