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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-26-06, 07:06 AM   #1
tuolumne
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Who can recommend an effective front blinky with wide angle?

Is this light effective?
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Front%20Lights
What about this?
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Front%20Lights
Has anyone tried the cheapo? How wide is the angle?
http://contents.fifthunit.com/html/p...h/sku.454.html
To me, the light needs to be seen from a wide angle to be seen by cars pulling out of side streets on both sides. Right now I carry a flashlight and wave it around at the cars, then use airhorn if required. I would like something visible (only blinky) to mount on the front of the bike so the flashlight can stay home.
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Old 10-26-06, 08:31 AM   #2
tuolumne
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How long will the LD-250 run on the 2 N batteries? Is this size battery readily available? Does anyone know if the Nashbar model comes with batteries? $7 seems pretty good if this light is truly visible.
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Old 10-26-06, 10:03 AM   #3
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Avoid lights that use strange batteries. Look for something that uses good old AA batteries.

The light in the second link is a very cheap chinese light, that will output a ratehr disappointing blue-tinged light.

How about This one? There is a sale on right now, 20% off all lights...
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Old 10-26-06, 10:17 AM   #4
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OK, if we jump to $20, what is the best light on this page.
http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...e&estoreid=723
Looks like the EL300 is discounted since cateye has new models out. Is this visible to cars in side streets. I'm looking for a dedicated blinking visibilty light, as I will find my way in the dark with an HID that's coming soon. Is white the best color, or should I do something with amber? This blinking light is for those times when it's not dark enough for the HID, perhaps even in the daytime if it's effective.
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Old 10-26-06, 10:38 AM   #5
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http://autolumination.com/bike.htm
A huge selection of blinkie lights with180 degree viewing angles and a choice of colors including white, amber, blue, and red. Blinking Blue on the front and/or rear will get everyone's attention but may get you a ticket! Check your local regulations for light colors for the front and rear. Generally; your safe using white and/or amber on the front and amber and/or red on the rear. Amber is always used on the sides. Never flash your red rear blinkie as this as most people will have a depth perception problem at night and can't tell just how far or close they are to you. It's fine to have a steady red blinkie in combination with a blinking amber blinkie. Never blink a light on front without a steady white light in combination with it at night.

Last edited by n4zou; 10-26-06 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 10-26-06, 10:42 AM   #6
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Look at the side profile of those lights. Most of them have, at most, a small sliver of plastic where a little bit of excess light shines through. The Quadrant has the largest area pointed to the sides, and the description even promotes its "180 degree visibility."

I'm intrigued by this headlight I found on eBay: 9x1W headlight

I'm sure it uses knockoff chinese LEDs, but even those are very bright. It has four modes, 1 LED, 3 LED, 9 LED and 9 LED flashing. Veeery tempting...
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Old 10-26-06, 12:11 PM   #7
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n4zou...very intriguing. I could probably run a pair of amber leds on the bar ends from the HID battery. Are these lights daytime visible? I could not actually find data on the lumen output of the various led flashers. Maybe a pair of white led flashers on each side of the fork too...
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Old 10-26-06, 03:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuolumne
How long will the LD-250 run on the 2 N batteries? Is this size battery readily available? Does anyone know if the Nashbar model comes with batteries? $7 seems pretty good if this light is truly visible.
I got 4 x N cells NIMH around 400ish mAh I think was the power rating. I got them at Radio Shack (Now called The Source) in Canada for about $5.00 for two if memory serves me right on that price. I use a Isun battery charger which can charge 10 cells at once and the springs on the charger allow me to charge the smaller N cells. I picked up a package of N to AA adaptors a few years ago at the RatShack (RadioShack) for around $1.99 CDN and came I think 4 in a pack. That is good if you want to charge them in a AA/AAA charger that can't take N size demensions.

So far the RatShack cells hold thier power quite well and store well. I just top up the charge once a month. I don't really have any use for mine right now as I got them for modding a 2xAA maglite to LED a while ago but lose my maglite mod. >_<;;


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Old 10-26-06, 07:40 PM   #9
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Planet Bike has an amber 3LED front blinkie too. I've clipped one onto each front pannier on my Cannondale:



Also, for daytime visibility when commuting, how about a neon-lime ANSI Class II or Class III vest? And run your HID too, can't hurt. The vest doesn't need frequent washing, and can fit over whatever layers you need for the day's weather. Mine even fits over my Camelbak.

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Old 10-27-06, 06:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma
I got 4 x N cells NIMH around 400ish mAh I think was the power rating. I got them at Radio Shack (Now called The Source) in Canada for about $5.00 for two if memory serves me right on that price.
That's all fine and dandy, but you can get AAs rated for 2700mAh. I just don't see why anyone would even bother with N cells anymore. Even AAAs have higher capacity.
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Old 10-27-06, 09:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuolumne
n4zou...very intriguing. I could probably run a pair of amber leds on the bar ends from the HID battery. Are these lights daytime visible? I could not actually find data on the lumen output of the various led flashers. Maybe a pair of white led flashers on each side of the fork too...
I would not depend on a blinkie in bright daylight. I use a bright orange jersey in warm weather and use a safety vest like the one in the photo when a jacket is required. Vehicles give you more space when you use a safety vest due to the fact that road construction workers use them as well and most drivers slow down and pay more attention when they see them.
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Old 10-27-06, 09:38 AM   #12
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I do where a vest just like that; fits over the camelback nicely too. Funny, with most stressful/dangerous activities in life the fear ebbs given time. Our minds can rationalize a false sense of safety etc. and allow us to be cool as cucumbers in the face of danger. However, I've found that with commuting by bike, my fear of getting nailed only increases with time. This is an activity that never brought anxiety in the past...I rode my bike on the roads for a lifetime with no bright colors, no lights, and never a thought to how visible I was. Now that I've been commuting to work since late spring, the desire to be visible just keeps growing and growing. Every time I add a safety measure I think of another I could add. Then again, I want to make sure I get home to my loving family every night. Too many close semi passes I guess...or it could be a contagious disease of the bike forums!
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Old 10-27-06, 09:41 AM   #13
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If you really did want a daytime-visible front blinkie, there's always the amber-colored Nova BULL or Whelen TIR3...


Red BULL at 200 meters in daylight
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Old 10-27-06, 12:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
That's all fine and dandy, but you can get AAs rated for 2700mAh. I just don't see why anyone would even bother with N cells anymore. Even AAAs have higher capacity.
Ns are about half the size and weight of a AAA.
Ofcourse due to their uncommonness they are probably more expensive which makes them less desirable for me. I have a couple left from RadioShack from when I had a couple PlanetBike BRT-1 lights. These are way too small a weak for me to bother with any more. Not to mention they are not waterproof so failed shortly.
Craig
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Old 11-12-06, 04:14 PM   #15
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http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...HP_CYCLING_TOC

I have an older 5 led model and I get a lot of comments on how noticeable it is and it seems to be more effective then the standard led blinkies on getting noticed, something with the color (blueish) and the rapid flash rate that seems to work better.
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