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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 12-30-10, 11:20 AM   #1
QuakerProf
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Recommendations for white or amber side lights?

I'm a big fan of active lighting. Currently, I have a Dinotte 140 as my main rear light, plus two PB Superflashes mounted at a 45 degree angle on my seatstays for side visibility. On the front, I run two Cygolite Expilion 250s as my headlights. I also run a third SuperFlash on the rear of my helmet.

On the reflective side, my Topeak MTX trunk bag has Scotchlite on the sides, I always wear a 3M surveyor's vest with ANSI class 2 Scotchlite strips on front and back (high-vis yellow), and once car headlights go on, I add BikeWrappers (Scotchlite wraps that go on the tubes of the main triangle).

That said, I would like to increase the power of my active side visibility lights on the front fork. Currently, I have two of the smallest Planet Bike blinkies in white, but I'm looking for something that matches the power of the SuperFlashes that I have on the rear seatstays, yet still mounts with similar p-clips.

1) Suggestions for white lights to mount on the fork (shining 45 degrees to front, not straight ahead)?

2) Also, has anyone had success mounting the Dinotte 140 to the rear of a trunk bag or the Topeak BeamRack? I've seen people double-wrap the O-rings to mount it to the back of a traditional rack, but no solution for the BeamRacks or the web strip on the back of a trunk bag.
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Old 12-30-10, 05:16 PM   #2
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I couldn't find anything acceptable. I ended up putting two cateye TL-LD610's in white on. They are super effective and grab people's attention. Note: the lens is white but the LED is red. A nice feature is they can be mounted horizontally or vertically.
By the way, with a switch in bikes I moved from lights on the front forks to just under the handlebars. I don't know if it just from changing from a cheap 45 degree light on the front forks by the hub or moving to the new location which worked. But when I think about, if too low on the fork, the light may be obscured by the door frame.

I mount them on the end of the bar and have them facing the sides. I have to check that I don't knock them off if I mount too fast, but they are sure worth it.
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Old 12-30-10, 11:59 PM   #3
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I use these: http://www.bikebrightz.com/meyebr.html. I have 2 and they work very well. I would recommend using your own batteries though. The ones that came included in the packages were dead pretty much the same day I put them in.
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Old 12-31-10, 12:18 AM   #4
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Just run more lights up front and angle them to where you want it. I run three lights up front. A Dinotte Amber 140AA pointing straight as my main light, A NiteRider UltraFazer 3.0 pointing 45 degrees to the right and a Cateye EL400 to the left at about 45 degrees.
Both niterider and cateye can swivel on demand by twisting it. The cateye moves around and I am thinking of replacing it with another light, I can never get it to be securely fastened on the handlebar. I notice the Dinotte lights with the O-rings jiggles whenever I hit a bump or uneven road. After awhile it gets slightly out of position, I find myself having to adjust it. Sorta annoying, but I'm really happy about it's brightness.

about front lighting positions: When you think of it, front(to be seen) lights are more effective when placed at a few degrees to the left and/or right. How many times is a car going to be going directly at you? Most of the times they are on the other side of the road about 35-45 degrees away. Still it helps to keep all your bases covered so running at least three lights up front helps. I run eight lights on my commuter. 3 up front. 2 sides. 1 pointing downwards. and 2 on the back. I think I should add another on the back to match the angles like the front. I may surge on some monkey electric lights for the front to increase my side visibility. I feel funny about running so many lights, but I get noticed and feel more confident on the road.
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Old 12-31-10, 12:43 AM   #5
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i put these on my wife's bike, and she really enjoys the visibility and just cool watching it spin along.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...302692895#tab3
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Old 12-31-10, 01:10 AM   #6
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i put these on my wife's bike, and she really enjoys the visibility and just cool watching it spin along.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...302692895#tab3
looks cool stuff.
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Old 12-31-10, 04:43 AM   #7
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i put these on my wife's bike, and she really enjoys the visibility and just cool watching it spin along.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...302692895#tab3
I've seen a few cyclists around town with these and, for as low power as they are, they are remarkably eye catching. I think that it's the combo of a steady, non-blinking light that is moving erratically (in relation to other traffic). There are also a number of valve stem lights available that produce a similar effect; just Google "valve stem light".

But if you want to go with the Cadillac of spoke lights, then you should give the Monkeylectric Monkey Light a try. Don't let the images on the website fool you, you don't get the full wheel effect with one light until you're spinning at +25 mph; and I recommend two lights anyway, to balance out the spin weight (the lights themselves are lightweight, but at three AAs per light they can get pretty hefty when loaded), and to look cooler when you're riding around 10-20 mph. You can pick which colors and patterns you prefer (so if you want just yellow and white, no prob), and they're wicked bright, so even if you aren't moving fast enough to display the patterns, you're still very visible.




Less bright, flashy, and expensive is BikeGlow, which you can get in yellow, or a variety of other colors. My lady runs this on her bike:




Regarding mounting the Dinotte to a trunk bag, I'd try PM'ing 10wheels about it. He runs a Dinotte and a trunk bag, and I've seen images of his Dinotte taillight in various configurations.
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Old 12-31-10, 07:16 AM   #8
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2) Also, has anyone had success mounting the Dinotte 140 to the rear of a trunk bag or the Topeak BeamRack? I've seen people double-wrap the O-rings to mount it to the back of a traditional rack, but no solution for the BeamRacks or the web strip on the back of a trunk bag.
I've seen them on the top of trunk bags, as far back as possible. I've also seen pictures of taking the original seatpost mount and screwing it directly into the mount holes on a rack, which may work on a BeamRack as well.
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Old 01-01-11, 02:58 PM   #9
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I tinkered with the DiNotte rear light today and figured out a way to secure it to the rear of the Topeak Beam Rack. I used the cargo cord from the rack to direct the angle of the light, then used one of the supplied O-rings to secure it to the aluminum struts on the back of the rack. If anyone wants to see it, I can post a photo.
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Old 01-01-11, 08:26 PM   #10
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Also check out the FibreFlare.

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Old 01-01-11, 09:49 PM   #11
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Also check out the FibreFlare.
That looks like a very interesting product. Did you purchase it from a dealer here in the states? And what type of batteries does it use?

TIA -
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Old 01-01-11, 11:44 PM   #12
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That looks like a very interesting product. Did you purchase it from a dealer here in the states? And what type of batteries does it use?

TIA -

It uses a pair of AAA cells. I work at an LBS, and we got it from J&B Importers, a distributor that most U.S. bike shops order from. They're also available on Amazon.com. Here's a thread with more info about it: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-amp-comments The one in the photo is the "Shorty" version; they also make longer ones.

I also have a BikeBrightz for my other commuting bike. They're less expensive and perhaps less of a theft target, since they zip-tie to the frame and are less obvious when turned off.
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Old 01-02-11, 10:49 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info. Very cool!
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Old 01-02-11, 02:10 PM   #14
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I use an old backpacking headlamp for a front (white) flasher. I had to fabricate a mount (to fork brake hole) from some flat nickel stock. The head lamp is a Princeton Tec EOS I retired from backpacking for a new. improved headlamp. The EOS has a wide, floody beam and flashes at about ~4 hz.

I see they now sell this with a bike mount:

http://www.princetontec.com/?q=eos-bike
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Old 01-02-11, 02:22 PM   #15
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^^^^ Another BF member, probably in the Show Your Commuter thread, had a Coleman hiking headlamp zip-tied to the front of the stem for a really clean installation. It looked like it was built into the stem's faceplate. Cannondale had (has?) a stem with integrated battery & headlight, too.

I recently picked up a Light & Motion Vis360 helmet light that I think is pretty cool.
http://www.bikelights.com/vis360.html
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...360-helmet-rig
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Old 01-02-11, 03:16 PM   #16
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I installed a pair of Cateye Orbit lights after having a few close calls from drivers approaching from side streets and driveways. These are spoke mounted lights with an amber color. The motion of the lights as they orbit around the wheel is very eye catching and immediately recognizable as a bicycle.

Since installing, I have noticed that motorist see me much sooner. I also use two Night Rider MiniNewt mounted on the handlebars, and a Dinotte taillight mounted on the seatpost.


Cateye Orbit

http://www.cateye.com/en/product_detail/576

Pros:
  • Affordable. $20 for a pair
  • Amber colored has universal meaning as "side light"
  • Orbiting light motion is immediately recognizable as a bicycle

Cons:
  • Uses CR2032 batteries which are more expensive to replace than a AA or AAA
  • Weight of light makes wheel slightly out of balance
  • The lights become dirty from road spray and require regular cleaning
  • Lights could be brighter, but then the battery would be heavier
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Old 01-02-11, 05:43 PM   #17
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[*]Uses CR2032 batteries which are more expensive to replace than a AA or AAA

Boo. That shoots them for me. I commute enough distance that I'd go broke buying batteries. I'm pretty much of the mindset anymore that if it can't be had in rechargeable version no matter how nice it's off the table
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Old 01-02-11, 06:03 PM   #18
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Boo. That shoots them for me. I commute enough distance that I'd go broke buying batteries. I'm pretty much of the mindset anymore that if it can't be had in rechargeable version no matter how nice it's off the table
I read you. I felt the same way but couldn't find a better side light.

So after doing a little shopping online, I found I could purchase a pack of (5) Energizer CR2032 Lithium batteries at Amazon for $5.79 including shipping. Comes to $1.16 per battery and each battery should last at least 30 days for my commute. Not a bad investment for the amount of safety.

On the other hand, a rechargeable spoke light is not practical due to the weight of the heavier battery revolving around the wheel making it out of balance.
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Old 01-02-11, 06:51 PM   #19
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each battery should last at least 30 days for my commute
Out of curiosity, how much does that equate to in run time? I'm at 25miles each way on the commute, so I'm looking at 1:15-1:30 each way with the morning being full dark. Most days I can get away with not needing them on the way home.

As a for instance, I get 3 days or so tops on the 4xAA Dinotte in the rear, and charge the front battery packs every night.
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Old 01-02-11, 07:02 PM   #20
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Out of curiosity, how much does that equate to in run time? I'm at 25miles each way on the commute, so I'm looking at 1:15-1:30 each way with the morning being full dark. Most days I can get away with not needing them on the way home.

As a for instance, I get 3 days or so tops on the 4xAA Dinotte in the rear, and charge the front battery packs every night.
Hey, that's an awesome commute. I'm only commuting half that, about 22 miles per day round trip, and about 25-30 minutes of that is in the dark.
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Old 01-02-11, 07:26 PM   #21
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I read you. I felt the same way but couldn't find a better side light.

So after doing a little shopping online, I found I could purchase a pack of (5) Energizer CR2032 Lithium batteries at Amazon for $5.79 including shipping. Comes to $1.16 per battery and each battery should last at least 30 days for my commute. Not a bad investment for the amount of safety.

On the other hand, a rechargeable spoke light is not practical due to the weight of the heavier battery revolving around the wheel making it out of balance.
I bought 2 packs of 20pc x cr2032 battery from Deal extreme for $3.43 + SH per pack. Comes out to about 17 cents a piece before SH. Probably the best deal and some of the very few things that I do buy from Deal Extreme. Still have several sitting around the shelf for almost a year now and they still are good.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.751
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Old 01-02-11, 09:13 PM   #22
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thanks for that link colleen c...!

2 out of the 4 lights on the back of my bike need these types of batteries...and i'm tired of paying way too much at places like home depot for them!
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Old 01-03-11, 10:59 AM   #23
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On the other hand, a rechargeable spoke light is not practical due to the weight of the heavier battery revolving around the wheel making it out of balance.
Balance it with another light on the opposite side.
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