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Old 05-27-08, 02:01 PM   #1
Tacfarinas
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daytime flashing rear light

Hi,

The other day I saw a cyclist riding by with a single red tail light blinking at fairly slow intervals. It was a bright sunny day, but the slow flashing red was amazingly bright, and seemed to me likely to significantly enhance the awareness of drivers about the presence of bicycle.

So I'm interested; do others ride with a daytime running light of this sort? And if so what do you recommend? (Unfortunately the guy was going a little to fast for me to ask at the time).
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Old 05-27-08, 02:59 PM   #2
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It could have been a Dinotte 140L. They are $169 with batteries and charger, or currently on sale for $105 without batteries/charger. There are 3 different flash modes on the light, one of which would be a slow single flash.

I run 2 rear facing 140Ls and I have received many comments on their excellent visibility even on bright sunny days. I even had a guy in a pickup truck ask me about them while I was waiting in a left hand turn lane to turn left the other day, and I had time to give him the website information before I got the green arrow .
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Old 05-27-08, 05:28 PM   #3
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We use red rear tailights during the day here because of dense canopies that cause dark shadows all day.
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Old 05-27-08, 07:43 PM   #4
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A Planet Bike Superflash Blinkie is very noticeable in daylight.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:44 PM   #5
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I use a basic cheapo Viewpoint blinkie in the daytime. I'm not sure how visible it is, but It's gotta be better than nothing.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:49 PM   #6
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This is what I was using this past Monday on LI.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:21 PM   #7
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Planet bike superflash, Niterider wired taillight or the Dinotte are some of the few. the new Vetta wired rear display is also hella bright for daytime use.

I strongly recommend running daytime visible lights, both front and rear.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:57 PM   #8
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I run my Superflash during the day. I've even had other commuters "remind" me that I forgot to turn my rear light off. That's proof positive that it works.
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Old 05-27-08, 10:09 PM   #9
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I also run the Superflash on my seatbag as well as the Mars2.0 on my rear rack. On the front I run two lights, one flashing one steady. One lbs guy ragged me good about these flashing lights until I told him how I ended up practically under someones front wheel. Then he understood my cautions.

You have to assume you're not registering with drivers unless you add some weird attention-grabbing elements. Even then, I still have drivers & peds who just don't see bikes on the road, they're so tuned for car-shaped things.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:37 PM   #10
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I use one also. It can't hurt, and the batteries last so long in these led taillights that cost shouldn't be a consideration.
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Old 05-28-08, 05:54 AM   #11
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I just installed a set of reelights on my bike this weekend. Not terribly bright during the daytime (though visible), but I love the concept. Never have to worry about forgetting my batteries again!
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Old 05-28-08, 07:58 AM   #12
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Yes, I run the front/rear blinkies day and night. The human eye is attracted to blinking lights. The more aware I can make them of my presence, the better. I think mine is a Planet bike, it's a small one, model unknown.
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Old 05-28-08, 08:05 AM   #13
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To help define my space on the road and because motorists are more attentive to horizontal than to vertical structures, I have often thought a half meter long horizontally mounted bar of flashing LEDs would be far more effective than a familiar "blinkie." Perhaps even more attention-getting would be to have each LED flashing randomly and asynchronously with the others.
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Old 05-28-08, 08:14 AM   #14
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I used to run my PlanetBike Superflash during the day, but now I have a super nerdy reflective neon yellow vest that I wear which is bright enough that I don't feel I need the light any more during the day.

I have had quite a different type of response/respect from other motorists since I have had my vest, which indicates to me that my vest is much more visable/noticable than the light was during the day.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:01 PM   #15
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I use one of these in addition to a reflective vest:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...9974_200199974

It uses lotsa juice, requires a sturdy mount, but gets the job done. The brightest SAE category. Several positive comments from motorists. With an amber light there is less concern about getting hassled by the police. Red flashing lights are permitted only for fire and police vehicles around here, but amber is basically unregulated.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:13 PM   #16
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I don't use mine during the day, but it's a good idea. I generally turn mine on about half an hour before sunset, if I'm out then.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:22 PM   #17
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'significantly enhance the awareness of drivers' - If they don't see you on a bike (in day light), why do you think they will see that little red thing blinking. Do not put too much faith in blinkies.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:31 PM   #18
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I run all my lights any time I'm on my commuter bike. I don't want there to be any possibility that there's any way the driver can say he didn't see me or that any reasonable and prudent person would say he couldn't see me.
For rear facing lights I have a Superflash on my helmet, a Cateye LD1000 on my commuter bag, a superflash on the seatpost and another Cateye LD1000 on the rear rack.
-Add to that neon lime cycling jacket or vest and a ton of reflective tape on the bike and wheels
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Old 05-28-08, 12:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
'significantly enhance the awareness of drivers' - If they don't see you on a bike (in day light), why do you think they will see that little red thing blinking. Do not put too much faith in blinkies.
I have a feeling this discussion is about something greater than "that little red thing blinking."

Try thinking beyond the typical little blinkie.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
'significantly enhance the awareness of drivers' - If they don't see you on a bike (in day light), why do you think they will see that little red thing blinking. Do not put too much faith in blinkies.
It's the same reason that a police car is instantly identifiable to you as different from other cars. The light triggers a what is that / I need to pay attention reflex in the brain. It's the same reason cars with DRLs are more noticeable, too.
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Old 05-28-08, 07:22 PM   #21
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Yes, I run a Dinotte 140L in rapid pulse (five max power strobes in rapid succession, then a pause, but with the light constantly on at 25% power). Also their amber front light, same pattern. On the AA battery model, battery life is about 6hrs rather than 12hrs on pulse (on-off), compared with 2hrs for 100% power on solid.

Used to run a couple of Superflashes (preferred them to the Cateye), and they seemed brighter than anything else out there apart from the Dinotte, judging off other bikes. Would still run them but I can't find a good place to mount them on my folder that doesn't get in the way of the Dinotte, so I'll keep them for attaching to a bag at night. They're good lights, not as bright as the Dinotte, but definitely recommended. Small, bright, good battery life, inexpensive - what's not to like?

I reckon even a weak blinkie is better than nothing, but a weak blinkie (or one where the batteries haven't been changed in months) is more noticeable during the day (because few people run them) than at night (when it's in competition with other, brighter lights). Again from observation, in full sun a dayglo vest is more noticeable than a rear light, but a rear light is more noticeable in shade and a good rear light will reflect off a queue of traffic and can attract attention where some drivers can't actually see the cyclist.

That said, I've never cycled into the back of another cyclist, so I can't speak for drivers...

But in all my years of cycling I never ran daytime lights until I moved to a city where some people do, and I noticed them. Sometimes I feel it's all overkill when I'm behind cyclists who don't even look or signal before pulling out into heavy traffic, let alone worry about rear lights, but there you go...
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Old 05-29-08, 07:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
'significantly enhance the awareness of drivers' - If they don't see you on a bike (in day light), why do you think they will see that little red thing blinking. Do not put too much faith in blinkies.

For me, it's not about seeing, it's about noticing. People will notice a flashing light long before they notice the bicycle rider. The more time they have to prepare for the pass, the happier we both are.
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Old 05-30-08, 12:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
'significantly enhance the awareness of drivers' - If they don't see you on a bike (in day light), why do you think they will see that little red thing blinking. Do not put too much faith in blinkies.
I dare you to hold a DiNotte 140R aimed at your face. With your eyes closed. Or my Nova...



(want some video footage with that?)

I was driving in overcast daylight the other day and spotted a rider ahead with a very "average-powered" taillight, namely one of these: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/tail...sp#rackmounted It wasn't even blinking and it was still the first thing I noticed from ~2 blocks away. A $12 Planet Bike Blinky 5 has considerably more punch than that, especially if it's in blinking mode (and properly aimed).

I was also on a road ride with some pals who mostly had either SuperFlash or Blinky 5. I hung back with the slowest guy, resulting in the fast guys being about 3/4 mile ahead on a highway. You couldn't even tell there were cyclists ahead... except for the blinkies. That was about 1 hour before sundown.

So if you have a decent blinkie and a rechargeable-powered LED headlight, then turn 'em on, people, what do you have to lose? If you have a feeble relic of a blinkie, get a Blinky 5 and/or a SuperFlash and ensure they're aimed dead-level for full effect.

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Old 05-30-08, 01:08 AM   #24
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I like to see how far I can see a bicyclist's rear blinky light.
usually after one long block it gets blurry, this is during dusk.

I'd like to know between a red or amber flashing rear light,
which is the preferred color?
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Old 05-30-08, 06:11 AM   #25
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I like to see how far I can see a bicyclist's rear blinky light.
usually after one long block it gets blurry, this is during dusk.

I'd like to know between a red or amber flashing rear light,
which is the preferred color?
Red has usually indicated the rear of a vehicle.
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