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  1. #1
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    Saddle Bag/Taillight workarounds?

    Hi,
    I just installed a Cateye TL-LD1100 taillight (awesome light, btw) on my commuter bike, but I don't have much seatpost to work with and now the saddle bag is blocking much of the view of the taillight. Has anyone else dealt with this and come up with a good workaround?

    I figure I need to move either the bag or the light. I wouldn't mind moving the light to the back of my rack, but I can't figure out a good way to attach it.

    Moving the bag elsewhere might mean getting one of those frame wedge bags, I guess. I'd prefer to keep the contents (tube, patch kit, lever) on the bike at all times vs. in a pannier, so that I never forget to pack them.

    Any ideas appreciated.
    Lemond Poprad / Jamis Dragon Race 29er / Surly LHT
    "the feel of steel"

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I had this same problem.

    There are a few thing that can help:
    -Mount the TD1000 upside down, that lets you move it down ~1/4" lower than the upright position as the release tab doesn't interfere with seat-tube/clamp
    -Use a velcro strap to pull up the rear sagging end of the saddle bag (assuming it sags a bit) to the saddle rails. That can add up to 1/2"
    -Aim the light so it beams parallel to road surface or ever so very slightly angled upward (so slight it is basically parallel to grownd) so it's hotspot is ~5' off the ground (the height of driver eyes in sedan thru SUV) at 100' or more back. The light reaches the further distances that are important for visibility.

    Now when you are close to the bike as you are when walking around it you think the light is totaly blocked, but stand the bike by the side of the road with light on and drive car toward it. You will see the light from a distance, only when you are very close does it get blocked by saddle bag, so close that headlights well overpower any benefit of the light, so close that a driver will be 10' behind you, too late to have not yet seen the light.

    But you need to cover that visibility gap anyway, so mount a 2nd taillight somewhere higher, such as on your helmet (a PBSF clips to the back of many helmet head straps nicely) or on the back of the saddlebag. This light does not need to be as bright or as good either as it is only for close visibility, such as to remind someone behind you that you are there when stopped in a line of traffic.

    Al

  3. #3
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    I have one saddle bag with a loop that's specifically designed to take a blinky clip. I also commute with a backpack, which has a blinky permanently attached -- a better height, I think, for SUV drivers and such.

    (it's also one of those blinkies that's got that I AM A COP CAR blink pattern...I love that one)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
    I wouldn't mind moving the light to the back of my rack, but I can't figure out a good way to attach it.
    This is the answer. Figure it out.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
    Hi,
    I figure I need to move either the bag or the light. I wouldn't mind moving the light to the back of my rack, but I can't figure out a good way to attach it.
    Not sure what the rack or the tail light look like... but I've drilled holes in the plates of racks before and used an L bracket to mount the taillight. If you aren't comfortable or handy, take it to your LBS and they surely will have a solution to mount it to your rack.

  6. #6
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    rack attachment

    I drilled one rack like above, but my second rack (Blackburn) did not have a platform. I used old bar handle tape around the back rod to make up (with extra for compression) the differnce for the clamp to grip firmly around the bar. Seems to work.
    Eric

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I had this same problem.

    There are a few thing that can help:
    -Mount the TD1000 upside down, that lets you move it down ~1/4" lower than the upright position as the release tab doesn't interfere with seat-tube/clamp
    Ah, this sounds like a promising start. That's one of the problems -- that it removes from the top, but the bag's in the way. If it weren't such a nice light, I'd just leave it on.
    Lemond Poprad / Jamis Dragon Race 29er / Surly LHT
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  8. #8
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    The light comes with a belt-clip mount. Maybe I'll start thinking about that as the best potential way to connect it to the end of my rack. Hmm.
    Lemond Poprad / Jamis Dragon Race 29er / Surly LHT
    "the feel of steel"

  9. #9
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
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    KeatonR, what rear rack do you have?
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
    Hi,
    I just installed a Cateye TL-LD1100 taillight (awesome light, btw) on my commuter bike, but I don't have much seatpost to work with and now the saddle bag is blocking much of the view of the taillight. Has anyone else dealt with this and come up with a good workaround?

    I figure I need to move either the bag or the light. I wouldn't mind moving the light to the back of my rack, but I can't figure out a good way to attach it.

    Moving the bag elsewhere might mean getting one of those frame wedge bags, I guess. I'd prefer to keep the contents (tube, patch kit, lever) on the bike at all times vs. in a pannier, so that I never forget to pack them.

    Any ideas appreciated.
    Do you have a seatbag or a proper saddlebag, like a Carradice? If it's the former, they're cheap. It's a minimal expense to replace it with one which is specced with a blinkie mounting strap. If you're handy with a sewing machine it wouldn't be too hard to stitch a nylon mounting strap onto your bag. But, that being said, I bought mine from my local Trek dealer for about 20 bucks.

    If it's a Carradice(which I doubt) it should also have a strap.

  11. #11
    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
    This is the answer. Figure it out.
    That's not helpful, or nice. We all enjoy helping each other and receiving it as well.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
    I wouldn't mind moving the light to the back of my rack, but I can't figure out a good way to attach it.
    In my experience, rack mounting is the way to go, especially with this light. Before I rack mounted mine, I had them leap from the clothing clip and jump out of the seatpost mount. It's so heavy that a good pothole jolt can work up enough inertia to set them free.

    The other advantage is that I can never forget it and it's that much harder to steal.

    One caution when screwing them in, remove the batteries first, screw in the screw all the way, remove it, then poke around inside the battery compartment removing the plastic the screw drove out. Then, when mounting both of mine, I had to use washers to take up space since the screw included with the light will screw right into a battery. Somehow I forgot this and did it again with the second light.

    Anyway, here are mine mounted on my racks. On the bike with the black fenders (greybike), that's a standard reflector bracket that comes with many racks or is available at an LBS. I have the bracket turned around so the light is tucked in underneath the rack. On the bike without fenders (yellowbike), that's the welded on reflector/light bracket that came on the rack. It was just a cheapie rack I found at the LBS. I bought it only because it had that bracket.
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  13. #13
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    i made an mount from some angle aluminum for my cateye to fit under the saddle but above my ortlieb seatbag.

    when i use the carradice i use a clip mounted light.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipped4bikes View Post
    KeatonR, what rear rack do you have?
    It's a TransIt. Came with the bike, which I bought used, but I believe it's a Performance brand.

    I just took a closer look at it, and the rack has a large tab that comes down from the rear of the rack, above the rear wheel, and it has pre-drilled holes, so that's looking like the most logical place to try to attach the light. I think rack-mounted will be best for maximum visibility.
    Lemond Poprad / Jamis Dragon Race 29er / Surly LHT
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    In my experience, rack mounting is the way to go, especially with this light.

    Anyway, here are mine mounted on my racks. On the bike with the black fenders (greybike), that's a standard reflector bracket that comes with many racks or is available at an LBS. I have the bracket turned around so the light is tucked in underneath the rack. On the bike without fenders (yellowbike), that's the welded on reflector/light bracket that came on the rack. It was just a cheapie rack I found at the LBS. I bought it only because it had that bracket.
    Interesting. Thanks for the images.

    So you're screwing into the light itself, in effect attaching it permanantly to the rack? I think I'd want to be able to remove it to switch between bikes, but I'll definitely consider this.
    Lemond Poprad / Jamis Dragon Race 29er / Surly LHT
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  16. #16
    Artful Dodger
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    zip ties

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by thestoutdog View Post
    That's not helpful, or nice. We all enjoy helping each other and receiving it as well.
    I didn't mean it in a rude way.

    The Original Poster was trying to figure out how to make his blinkie work with his seat bag. There are several ways to do this - if you have the right seat bag, you can clip a blinkie onto it. Or you could possibly mount the blinkie underneath the seat bag. I expressed the opinion that the best solution to the problem was to mount to the rear rack.

    I believe that you can mount pretty much any light to a typical rack. But I don't know the kind of rack the OP has, or how the blinkie works.

    Looking at the web pictures of the blinky, it looks like it mounts on a standard reflector bracket. In that case, mounting it on most racks would not be difficult - might require longer screws and spacers at most. But *I* can't figure it out from here. The OP will have to figure it out himself.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  18. #18
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    My blinkies keep falling off the seat bags, and my rack/panniers and seat bag block a clear view for it to mount on the seat post. I finally strapped my blinkie to the back of my helmet. Works great and gets the light higher up into motorists' line of sight.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
    Interesting. Thanks for the images.

    So you're screwing into the light itself, in effect attaching it permanantly to the rack? I think I'd want to be able to remove it to switch between bikes, but I'll definitely consider this.
    You could use thumbscrews (the fasteners, not the torture device) to make the light fairly easy and quick to remove. I'm thinking of mounting a rack (the gear carrier, not the torture device) to my bike with them.

    You can get these press-on thumbscrew heads to turn an ordinary socket-head cap scew into a thumbscrew. I don't know if they are common at hardware stores.

    I recommend stainless hardware for all bike commuting uses.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  20. #20
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    My wedge pack also blocks the seatpost for taillight mounting. So I just mount my 2 SuperFlashes to the seatstays below the bag (the SF comes with mounts specific for this purpose). Works like a charm and still at driver eye level.

  21. #21
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    My blinkies keep falling off the seat bags,
    electrical tape on the clip, from the back. you just need a bit to keep it from bouncing off.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeatonR View Post
    Hi,
    I just installed a Cateye TL-LD1100 taillight (awesome light, btw) on my commuter bike, but I don't have much seatpost to work with and now the saddle bag is blocking much of the view of the taillight. Has anyone else dealt with this and come up with a good workaround?

    I figure I need to move either the bag or the light. I wouldn't mind moving the light to the back of my rack, but I can't figure out a good way to attach it.

    Moving the bag elsewhere might mean getting one of those frame wedge bags, I guess. I'd prefer to keep the contents (tube, patch kit, lever) on the bike at all times vs. in a pannier, so that I never forget to pack them.

    Any ideas appreciated.
    All you need is a short peace of tubing like PVC plumbing pipe about the same diameter as your seat post, 1/4-20 screw, nut, and two 1/4-inch fender washers. Some blinkie clamps will not allow you to position them at any angle. In this case cut the pipe at an angle so the blinkie will be level when clamped around the pipe. Sandwich the pipe between the fender washers and the rack reflector bracket and tighten. Install blinkie and clamp around pipe. Your now ready to ride!

  23. #23
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    I used the reflector bracket that came with my rack and atached a piece of an old handle bar to that. I then attached my tail light to the piece of handle bar. I know others who have used broom sticks pvc pipe old seat post. You can always drill a hole in the rack and run a screw into the top of a short peice of dowel rod or broom handle. Also I have seem people use conduit clamps to mout tail lights (dinotte) Play with it and just make sure that it is solid.Hope this helps

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