Any mountain bikers out there 2.0

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Minuteman
Feb 21, 2013
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I have a few different lights from some old niterider, some that I have built, and a couple other lights. Yes I definitely go with redundancy, lights on the bars and helmet are totally separate systems along with a handheld just in case. I was working hard on a system a couple years ago, but life got in the way like normal.

Like Jbell said there is not much out there that has the ability to provide the run time, plus many have crap beam patterns. The beam patterning is what really killed my momentum on the project as that is the most costly and challenging part of the project. I keep thinking about buying the Outbound trail edition and Hangover. One of the things that I was working on in my system was speed sensing with accelerometers. You can lower lumen output automatically when your going slow, also having multiple LED's within the combined optic so you basically have high beams and low beams, but with ramping so your eyes have time to adapt to the change. This will aid in power management along with limited visibility management. Color management, beam cutoff, makes a huge difference. I am no where near worried as much about weight on the on bike light. I want the run time I want. I was planning on multiple different battery pack sizes so you could have the couple hour run time, all the way to the dusk till dawn pack.

Maybe ill get back to this project one day....This was actually a project I started before Rigid LED's developed there ADAPT lighting system. Myself and a couple other people were thinking about this with the situation adaptive lighting for offroad applications.
 
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E. Bryant

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  • Oct 25, 2010
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    Yeah, beam pattern is important, and I can't claim that I've yet found the perfect setup. There does seem to be some benefit for going with a more focused lens on the headlamp and a broader/diffuse beam on the bars, but I wonder how much of this is ultimately personal preference (keeping in my that I wear corrective lenses, so my peripheral vision is not particularly useful).

    Runtime really shouldn't be an issue nowadays; standard power-tool 18650 cells are cheap and offer substantial capacity for the money. Those cells are less than $4/each in small quantities, and they only weigh 50 grams/each so it's possible to stuff a crapload of them into a pack without adversely affecting weight. But looking at the Gloworm system, the 4-cell pack offers 50 Wh for about $120 :mad:

    Color temperature is super-important, and I'll gladly give up intensity for CRI. I want flora to look green, not grey.

    Adaptive optics could be extremely useful, but I'm not sure the benefit is worth the complexity. Maybe I'd feel differently after trying it! But for now, a decent bar-mounted intensity control works fine.

    Thermal performance is all too often overlooked. I've done some LED design for the day job, and it's easy to underestimate the impact of temperature rise on the system performance. Pump a few amps through a handful of Cree XHPs and then assume summertime ambient temperatures and realistic (i.e. near-zero) airflow; it's not easy to maintain an acceptable die temperature with a reasonably-sized housing.

    Frankly, the wiring and connectors on most lighting setups kinda sucks. They aren't mechanically robust nor sealed as well as needed for occasional submersion. No one wants the bulk of automotive connectors or the cost of some of the smaller specialty connectors (such as those used for industrial automation), and so we get junk like coaxial/pin-and-barrel connectors.
     

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    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2013
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    On the thermal management, that is one of the reasons I was looking to pull back power at low speeds, when you dont need as much light and can aid in cooling and battery life.

    Exactly on the batteries. pack a bunch of QUALITY 18650's and be done, make 4 packs that can be connected to the controller so you can run as many as you want or need. 4 cell pack assembled with mini weatherpack connector should be no more than $40-50 retail, even that is high if the scale of economy can be reached. It was the optics that was the big PIA before. LED and power management was not that big of a deal, the ability for the advanced drivers has been around for years now. TI has many drivers now that have the thermal foldback, and many more adaptive technologies built in now. Along with some of the newer LED's that run cooler and are more robust. The CREE XHP2 leds are pretty dang good.

    CRI and Color are critical to maintain contrast, so many will crank the lumens and ditch the cri and color at 6-8k which just suck all the way around. I want 5k and 90CRI for clean conditions, and 3k and 90 for dust, rain, mist, snow......

    I found some mini weatherpack connectors that are pretty good, minimum purchase was like 1000 pieces though and like you said above they were NOT the budget pieces....
     
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    E. Bryant

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  • Oct 25, 2010
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    My beloved Miner's Revenge XC & Enduro event got postponed at the last minute - too late to adjust lodging plans - so I headed up to the UP anyways for a couple days of ripping around. Started off by hitting the Tech Trails at my alma mater with my former roommate who now teaches there:

    Screenshot_20200715-094857.png

    And then went north a bit further to Copper Harbor:

    Screenshot_20200715-094803.png

    The trails at Copper Harbor are probably the best-constructed that I've ever ridden - roughly 75% machine-built and 25% old-school singletrack, all of which are carved from the billion-year-old rock of Brockway Mountain. The spot is a IMBA Silver ride center, and is highly recommended for anyone who happens to be in the area. Making matters even better are the fellow riders, who collectively are the nicest group of people I've encountered on a bicycle.

    Those average power numbers, though :cautious: The power meter really doesn't like to give proper credit for the effort put into technical climbs and descents. It's probably just pissed that I had a few pedal strikes that were hard enough to knock lose my fillings.
     

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    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2013
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    Nice! We're heading to spider mountain this weekend then camping all week at a spot with some great trails. Soon as it cools off at the end of the simmer a Bentonville trip is in the works!
     

    502Chevelle

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    Jul 1, 2014
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    Here is my new ride. Was a nice anniversary present from my wife. It’s not getting too much love right now due to NC summers. I have a bad habit of overheating in the humidity. It will see more use in a couple months. Getting ready to climb on my road bike on the trainer and watch a little tv.A5651D24-9AC1-4919-84FF-3B07F40432DD.jpeg
     

    E. Bryant

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  • Oct 25, 2010
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    That's a sharp ride. I was about to ask how you managed to keep that underseat pack off the rear tire, and then I noticed the lack of a dropper post.

    What's "a little porky" by your standards - more than 22lbs? :ROFLMAO: I've been dragging my ass up and down the hills on a 29lb enduro bike all summer, and have no idea what it'd feel like to get on a proper XC rig. I'd probably immediately break it (or myself) by smashing into something like a complete idiot.
     

    jbell

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  • Jan 16, 2010
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    That's a sharp ride. I was about to ask how you managed to keep that underseat pack off the rear tire, and then I noticed the lack of a dropper post.

    What's "a little porky" by your standards - more than 22lbs? :ROFLMAO: I've been dragging my ass up and down the hills on a 29lb enduro bike all summer, and have no idea what it'd feel like to get on a proper XC rig. I'd probably immediately break it (or myself) by smashing into something like a complete idiot.
    Ha, yeah no droppers for me (they weigh too many grams... 😉). This bike is basically the stock XO1 build, less the power meter. I would really like to get it down to 22 pounds. I’m putting my Hydra/Enve wheels on it next week and just put the new Sid Ultimate 120 on it, so I don’t think 22# is in the cards. But that weight is ready to race less a full bottle (including tools and tube). It’s a great riding bike!
     

    E. Bryant

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  • Oct 25, 2010
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    Last summer, I was kicking around the idea of building a dedicated XC bike to replace my 429 Trail. This summer, with every race in 2020 now officially cancelled instead of just postponed, I've been riding around the 155mm enduro bike and even my fat bike (albeit with a very summer-oriented setup of Jumbo Jims on lightweight carbon rims) as if bike riding was supposed to be a fun way to exercise and hang out with friends, and not a way to grind myself into the dirt trying to be someone I'm not. Heck, I've even had two road rides and a gravel ride in the past 8 days. Not sure I can even call myself a mountain biker anymore 😔
     

    jbell

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  • Jan 16, 2010
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    I'm right there with ya brother! I did a gravel race last month :eek:. It was only a 50 miler so it was quick, but there was a lot of "roadie tactics" which I'm not really used to. I didn't embarrass myself. But yeah my training is basically non-existent at this point. I am looking forward to getting back into base training soon...
     
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    jbell

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  • Jan 16, 2010
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    Now that I have a good bit of time on this bike I have to say I friggin love it! I have made a few changes / improvements from the stock configuration:
    -Enve M525 / I9 Hydra wheels
    -Syncros Hixon bar (great for road transfers)
    -SID Ultimate 120 fork
    -Power2Max power meter
    Now I have now more $$ in it than my car, which is proper I think...
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