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I have came to the conclusion, that headlights work much better for me for cycling than handlebar-mounted lights. This is because:

  • A headlamp illuminates where one is looking, not where the bike is turning towards.
  • The angle, that the light falls on the trail is much improved. When handlebar-mounted light illuminates the trail, the holes and irregularities look bottomless, making it difficult to select a safe line.

Suppose I am considering buying a full-face helmet. Are there models, that are explicitly designed to have a light attached to them. I imagine some kind of rails on the side or in front or on the top.

Bonus question 1: recommended way to mount a conventional headlamp (one, that people pu on their heads) to a conventional helmet (skateboard-type or full-face)?

Bonus question 2: any lights, that are supposed to be mounted on the helmet, but their power supply to reside in the backpack?

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Jeremy Chin hit the nail on the head. Essentially, my question is how to comfortably and safely do trails during night. –  Vorac Oct 22 '13 at 11:37
    
A comment rather than an answer as this link is to a light rather than a helmet: One of my colleagues had (an older version of) [this lamp(dx.com/p/…) on his helmet for night off-roading in addition to a similar handlebar mounted lamp. I've used something similar on the bars and it gives some serious illumination. –  Chris H Oct 22 '13 at 14:44
2  
Make sure that whatever you mount on your helmet will break off easily in a crash. You want to avoid digging lights and cameras out of your skull. –  Mσᶎ Oct 22 '13 at 21:55
    
If Jeremy Chin hit the nail on the head, why do you not accept his answer? –  Carey Gregory Oct 23 '13 at 3:55
    
@ChrisH, those 900 lumen are impressive. Were 2 hours of runtime sufficient? How did your frind secure the light to his helmet? Was the light heavy-rain-proof? –  Vorac Oct 23 '13 at 7:28

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Pretty much all bike-related lights for helmets are mounted with velcro straps. My mate was riding in full-face helmet with lights on helmet. He had vents on top of the helmet and mounted the lights through the vents. Worked just fine.

We use Light and Motion for "battery in the pack, light on the head" set up.

If you are planning a DH in the dark, I highly recommend have 2 lights - one on your helmet to shine where you are looking at. And another on your handlebars - to put light just in front of the wheel.

You can never have too much light for DH, and even with all the lights you can get, it does not give you the same confidence as with day-light. So take care when you are trying to do that drop you usually nail daytime. In the dark it'll be a whole new territory.

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The only helmets with built-in light mounts I know of are by Bell, which can mount the Blackburn Flea. I don't know if any of them are full-face. The Flea is pretty useless for offroad riding, it's too dim.

Lights usually mount up with velcro straps through the vents. When I was racing my MTB after dark Ay-Ups were common - small, extremely bright, and a remote battery pack that can be put somewhere comfortable. Not cheap though. Most lights with separate battery packs should be able to mount to a helmet. Check out Bikeradar or something for options.

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In addition to Velcro mounting, some lights attach with rubber, such as the two Night Rider lights I use (one is removed to show the attachment):

Night Rider lights, 1 fitted to helmet

The battery pack goes in my road shirt back pocket, using an extension lead.

I have used helmet mounted lights since I started building my own 20+ years ago (had these ones for a couple of years). As said in the question, they illuminate where you look. But in addition, I found that car drivers really knew I was there once I had looked at them.

I found the best helmet for lights et al was my old Bell with it's flat front-to-back ribs. The main issue is getting them to point where you want.

PS Always use a light on the handlebar as backup.

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