Friday, July 31, 2009

Energizer Trailfinder headlamp

I've been experimenting with using Energizer's "Trailfinder" headlamps. I generally haven't had much luck attaching hiking headlamps to my bike helmet -- the sloped helmets I use makes the elastic strap just slip up and off -- but I've managed to figure out a couple of tricks.

The first trick is to secure the strap by running a small piece of tape or a zip tie through a vent hole to hold the strap in place. That's what my son used during our bike trip last May to Sacramento.

Because the Energizer Trailfinder light can flip up, I was also able to run the strap around the back of the helmet and put the light flat on top, like so:

Inexpensive light

At the rear of the helmet, the strap runs near the back retention straps and doesn't seem to interfere with the helmet fit.

Another helpful feature of the Energizer Trailfinder: It has a pair of red LEDs in addition to the white LEDs!

Red LED headlamp on bike helmet

Something like this is handy if you're caught out later than expected without bike lights and all of the local bike shops are closed. These kinds of lights are available at any outdoor retailer and many drugstores and mass market retailers.

This is mostly a hiking / camping light. The Trailfinder will leave this weekend for a 10 day backpacking trip through the Sangre de Cristo Range so we'll see how it holds up under harsher conditions. For urban bicycling, the light stays on and the white and red lights are both reasonably bright. Unlike most bike lights, the Trailfinder only has "steady on" modes -- there are no flash or blink modes for this light.

If you use hiking headlights for your night time bicycling, I'd love to learn your tips and tricks.


greenobike said...

I use an niterider halogen with a helmet mount for "see" lighting. But for around town "be seen" lighting I use a princeton tec aurora (w/o the niterider) set to flash mode and stretch the elastic around the back of my head and helmet with the light wedged in front of the nite rider mount. I adjust the up/down angle on the light similarly to your energizer. I've looked at the energizer lights on clearance, but I prefer to go with the made in usa princeton tec. Their product support is excellent; they have supplied me with repair parts no charge - lifetime warranty in usa. And I have no affiliation with them except as a very satisfied customer.

Jon said...

I used one of these Energizer lights as my helmet light at the 24 Hours of E-Rock, earlier this year. It worked great as an adjunct to my bar-mounted CygoLite.

Mine flashes in the red mode, btw.

$15.00 at Target, complete with batteries.

I stuck some self-adhesive velcro tabs on the helmet to keep the straps in place, and never had it move during the course of the night laps (even when I crashed, just after dark).

SiouxGeonz said...

Bike retail shops are a tad unnecessary.
Last time I was out without a light, I dipped into Walgreen's and bought a small LED flashlight for ten bucks, with batteries. (Saturday they were $3.95 at Office Depot.) Rubber band puts it on my handlebars.
Yea, I like something up on the helmet, too... should be a way.
Blinkies for the back are probably also attainable as some kind of toy, tho' I try to keep a battery powered strings of Christmas lights ($8 post-season from Meijer) on my backpack (the wires do break over time).
I've got a headlamp too and never thought to stick it on top - it's a bunbite trying to get it right on the front. I'll be fiddling, thanks! (My creativity is abstract - I don't see the most obvious, simple things in thereal world ;))