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Old 09-27-07, 04:25 AM   #1
Schwinnrider
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Ordered my fall lighting setup

I am going to commute by bike all this fall and winter. I missed most of the
spring and summer prime daylight hours due to nagging injury and FEAR. I was hit by a truck in April, and first my leg and knee hurt, then my psyche was screwed up. Shaking with fear does not make for a fun commute. I've done the ride enough times that I believe I've gotten past my issues, and now I think I'm
ready to hit it full time again.

I live in Florida, so in the middle of winter it gets dark really early. My commute is an hour each way, so I've got 30 minutes in darkness in the morning and evening. Last year I did the ride with a DiNotte 5W Ultralight and a couple of Planet Bike Superflash blinkies. It was an excellent setup, but battery life with the 5W on high was close to tapped with each leg. Nashbar was running a sale on the new DiNotte 600L in their last catalog AND a 15% off coupon, so I managed to lock one in for $320 shipped. It's on backorder, unfortunately. I contacted DiNotte to see if they could price match on one in stock. They couldn't, but Rob at DiNotte made me an excellent deal on a taillight and offered to trade me a new 200L(200 lumens 5W) for my old 5W headlight. So, my setup will be:

600L on bars
200L on helmet
Superflash on helmet blinkie strap
DiNotte taillight on seatpost
Superflash on seatbag
LED reflective vest
Road ID reflective ankle strap
Reflective tape on fenders and crankarms

I'm not sure about the helmet light. I've never used one, and my commute is
100% pavement. I think it will be useful for getting the attention of
drivers, and more light won't hurt.

Is this overkill? :-) My commute is semi-rural, and I have LONG stretches
with no street lighting whatsoever.

Mike
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Old 09-27-07, 04:28 AM   #2
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There is no such thing as overkill. Whatever makes you happy and comfortable.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:00 AM   #3
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I don't think it is over kill, I use a 850Lumin Lupine head light and the Dinotte tail light along with all the reflective material you mentioned. I would prefer the 1400Lumin Lupine headlight but I think I'm OK with this set up, you aren't over the top in my opinion.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:48 AM   #4
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Sounds like a good setup. Dusk and dawn are some of the hardest times for visibility. Might want to turn those lights on early in the evening to be seen even if you don't need them to see yet. Likewise leave them on longer in the morning.

Have you gotten the 200L yet? Does it flash in a pattern similar to the Ultra 5 you used last year?
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Old 09-27-07, 06:29 AM   #5
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Whatever it takes to get you out there again, that's all that matters. Nice setup.
No such thing as overkill...if you really want to turn it to 11, wrap the tubes with battery powered christmas lights like i did here - battery powered holiday lights
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Old 09-27-07, 07:22 AM   #6
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As many others have also mentioned, with the Dinotte Tailight, cars are much more respectful. I know from coworkers comments, that I can be seen from well more than a mile in the dark and in the daylight. I keep the tailight on even in daylight.....
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Old 09-27-07, 09:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwinnrider View Post
Is this overkill? :-) My commute is semi-rural, and I have LONG stretches
with no street lighting whatsoever.

Mike
I run 2 PB Superflash blinkies (one solid mode, one flashing mode) and I'm upgrading my front lighting to a dynohub with twin Lumotech lights, plus a "see me" (and me see my bike computer) LED helmet light. I wear a reflective vest, reflective strap on both ankles, and have reflective tape on my bike and reflective sidewall tires.
There is no such thing as overkill, especially in the PNW fog at pitch black 5am on a twisty 2-lane road.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:48 AM   #8
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It is generally easier to remove item you find you don't need with regard to lighting. There is a large amount of competition for driver's attention (Phone, radio etc) so anyting that give you an edge and makes you feel more visible is good IMHO.
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Old 09-27-07, 12:01 PM   #9
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We have cruise ships that leave Vancouver and go up to Alaska and during the night, you can see them in the Straight (the bit of water between the mainland and Vancouver Island) and they look like floating cities. It's pretty amazing to see that much light. I have a feeling that you will be giving them a 'run for their money' .
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Old 09-27-07, 12:20 PM   #10
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dont forget your down low glow....

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Old 09-27-07, 12:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore View Post
Have you gotten the 200L yet? Does it flash in a pattern similar to the Ultra 5 you used last year?

I (not the o.p., btw) had an early model 5W DiNotte w/ no flash mode, but I did have a 3W that flashed. I upgraded both to 200L, and the latter has a much better flash mode than my 3W. I'm guessing it's 2 short flashes/ per sec., which is a faster rate than what I had before. I'm now thinking 3/sec. would be ideal, but this is still very good. I definitely do not like the fast strobe effect that some lights have--the annoyance factor is way too high.

Jack
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Old 09-27-07, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwinnrider View Post
I am going to commute by bike all this fall and winter. I missed most of I'm not sure about the helmet light. I've never used one, and my commute is
100% pavement. I think it will be useful for getting the attention of
drivers, and more light won't hurt.
I like the helmet light for when I am taking sharp turns. With the bar light it shoots straight and you don't get light where you are turning if the turn is harsh enough.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackJ View Post
I (not the o.p., btw) had an early model 5W DiNotte w/ no flash mode, but I did have a 3W that flashed. I upgraded both to 200L, and the latter has a much better flash mode than my 3W. I'm guessing it's 2 short flashes/ per sec., which is a faster rate than what I had before. I'm now thinking 3/sec. would be ideal, but this is still very good. I definitely do not like the fast strobe effect that some lights have--the annoyance factor is way too high.

Jack
Thanks - The 3w flash is dullsville, slow slow slow. The 5W I have flashes like 3 short - pause - 3 short -pause or at least similar to that. Attention grabbing. Sounds like the 200L is somewhere in between.
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