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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 10-26-09, 11:21 PM   #1
agarose2000
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Can you beat these lighting setups for price/performance?

Can you beat these lighting setups for price/performance? I made two suggestions, as I think for shorter commutes, there is something to be said about convenience of fast on/off the bike.

For longer commutes (1hr+ of riding in the dark)
- 1 Magicshine "900 lumen" light. $85-$100 shipped, comes with mount
- 1 of the flashlights listed below as a helmet light, mount with a rubber band or inner tube with holes cut in the ends (really works great)
- Planet Bike Superflash rear blinkie, comes with mount ($20-$25)

- For shorter commutes, with a premium on fast on/off the bike
- P7 Flashlights from DealXtreme with special battery/charger - $50ish for powerful light
OR
- Terralux Lightstar 220lumen (FENIX knockoff, costs 1/2 as much but is equally bright, runs on 2 x AAs) - $28ish
- Lockblocks to mount flashlight $5-8
- Planet Bike Superflash rear blinkie, comes with mount ($20-$25)
(Mount one flashlight on bars, one on helmet)
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Old 10-27-09, 12:14 PM   #2
lerico
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For me, I currently use:

- 1 Magicshine from DealExtreme for $79 shipped.
- 1 Planet Bike 1/2 Watt in flasher mode when I am on well lit areas
- 1 Planet Bike Superflash Rear Blinkie
- 3M Reflector Stickers on Helmet and Rear Fender

Nothing beat the Magicshine for the price. It is brighter than a halogen motorcycle headlight.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:05 PM   #3
ItsJustMe
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Yeah, I don't use a helmet light. Also I have a Dinotte taillight - the PBSF is only a backup, I don't consider it good enough as a primary taillight.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:11 PM   #4
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The Magicshine light rocks. The Down Low Glow is a good safety light. I use The PBSF as a primary tail light along with 2 generic 5 led blinkies.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:14 PM   #5
agarose2000
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Yeah, I don't use a helmet light. Also I have a Dinotte taillight - the PBSF is only a backup, I don't consider it good enough as a primary taillight.
I know the mantra "brighter is better" is generally true with regards to bike lights of any type, but I question whether the Dinotte rear-light super-power is really helping with safety. "Be-Seen" lights do not need to be 200 lumens, not even close. After seeing how effective PBSFs are at night, I seriously question whether all those extra Dinotte rear lumens are adding any real safety factor.

Daylight and dusk are where the Dinotte pulls ahead of PBSF (which isn't really visible during daytime hours) - but even then, I could (convincingly) argue that hi-vis clothing and reflectors make for as good a safety system when there is that much ambient light.

People always argue that the Dinotte can be seen from "a mile away" compared to the PBSF, which may be true, but from my direct experience seeing cyclists with the PBSF, distance is irrelevant for this functionality.
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Old 10-27-09, 03:54 PM   #6
sauerwald
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People always argue that the Dinotte can be seen from "a mile away" compared to the PBSF, which may be true, but from my direct experience seeing cyclists with the PBSF, distance is irrelevant for this functionality.
I have the Dinotte tail light, and I would agree that it is more than bright enough. One thing that I think does help is that the combination of the brightness and the blink pattern makes some people think police or emergency vehicle, which tends to place them in a more vigilant state than they might be if they were just aware of my presence. I also have (on another bike) the PB Superflash, and I don't feel any less safe with that than I do with the Dinotte.
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