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  1. #1
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Rack-mount blinkie options

    OK, so I just this past Monday became a bike-commuter (yay!), having moved to a new house that's 6mi from work instead of 25mi. I'm using a seatstay-mounted Cateye blinkie, I'm happy with the brightness and battery life (I've had the thing for over a year and I'm still on the original pair of AAA!), but not so happy about the limited visibility between the seatbag above and the rack+bags below. Unfortunately, it only came with hardware for seatpost or seatstay mounting, and I really need to get it onto the back of my rack.

    My rack has the metal tab sticking downwards with two holes spaced about 3/4" apart, which I assume is the standard light mount for bike racks.

    Option 1 I'm seeing is a Planet Bike Rack Blinky 5, which I'm seeing for about $15 shipped from eBay. But I'm super super cheap, so I'm considering...

    Option 2, which is to drill a hole into the plastic clip/sleeve I already have, and bolt it onto the rackmount (minus the screw-on stay-clamp). I'm just worried about whether I'll still be able to get the light's clip/flange in there. There wouldn't be room for a bolt head I'm sure, but a flat-top, bevel-sided machine screw, and a carefully-sized beveled hole, could be flush so the light would still fit in there. But that sounds like something I might screw up.

    Option 3 is to just buy the Planet Bike rackmount hardware for about $5 shipped from eBay, which would securely attach to my rack; but would my Cateye clip into it? Are blinkie clips universal?

    Option 4... who can link me the cheapest possible rack-mount blinkie? I'd want at least 3 LEDs with at least 3 modes: all-steady, all-blink, and at least one "chase" pattern. I'm not concerned with super-brightness (or variable-brightness)

    thx in advance!

  2. #2
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    Your LBS can really help here and I don't think you will spend more than if you went mail-order. There are some flashers, are you sure yours isn't one of them, that will bolt directly to the tab you mentioned coming off the rear of your rack. There will be a plastic nubbin on the back of the flasher which goes into one of the two holes and the screw threads into the other hole. This is to keep the flasher from rotating if the main mounting screw gets loose.

    Planet Bike rack mount hardware is for Planet Bike blinkies, it will work with some others. Best, cheapest flasher I know of is by ViewPoint. I get mine at Performance Bike. All the cool light patterns but I never use them. Just standard flash for me. I'm so boring.

    H

  3. #3
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure I can't get my Cateye directly onto the rack mount. The piece of plastic which slides into the clip is not removable from the light like I've seen on some other lights. (BTW it is useless to slide the light onto the strap on the back of my seatbag, it falls out with any little bump)


    I looked closer and I can see the model is Cateye TL-LD170. I gots no nubbins on the back. I also bought mine at my local Performance, I think it was $10, if it wasn't the cheapest blinkie in the store, it was certainly the cheapest Cateye blinkie.

  4. #4
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I just had another thought; the hardware I have right now is a two-piece thing; clip to hold light, clamp to grab seatstay, held together by a bolt/nut that is oriented in the left-right direction. I could just cut a small rectangle of scrap wood, drill two holes and bolt it to the rack-mount, and then drill a sideways hole between the mounting bolts to bolt on the clip!

    Option 5, cost is 0 (assuming I have appropriate-sized bolts/nuts/washers around), that is what I will do. I might even have some black plasti-dip so the wood won't look quite so ghetto (and won't rot if it gets wet). I'll try to remember to come back with some pics when it's done...
    Last edited by RubeRad; 01-09-13 at 03:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GFish's Avatar
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    Option 6 - Buy a second light; 2 rear lights are better then one. Keep the current rear light on the seat post. Buy a second light with threads on the back to screw onto the rack.

    Surprisingly, most rear lights come with hardware for seat post / handlebar mounts. Bontrager makes a couple of rear lights with threaded inserts for bolting onto a rack.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I like the German Busch & Muller Toplights, they don't blink, but put out a lot of light
    over a large surface.
    A lights wired to the dynamo hub guy , now..

    you can always add blinkies to the luggage/panniers itself..



    Another thread ..
    Take Rack A and mount Blinkie B .. can't figure out How, ? Hire Help which can.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-29-13 at 12:16 PM.

  7. #7
    tsl
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    CatEye TL-LD1100 can bolt directly to that reflector mount on your rack. The required screws even come in the package.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    CatEye TL-LD1100 can bolt directly to that reflector mount on your rack. The required screws even come in the package.
    I just looked that up on youtube. I hope it comes with some kind of 'memory', because that thing has a ton of modes.

  9. #9
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    You may also want to try clipping a blinkie on your helmet,
    if you wear one


    Man's best friend

  10. #10
    Senior Member hsh101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Your LBS can really help here and I don't think you will spend more than if you went mail-order. There are some flashers, are you sure yours isn't one of them, that will bolt directly to the tab you mentioned coming off the rear of your rack. There will be a plastic nubbin on the back of the flasher which goes into one of the two holes and the screw threads into the other hole. This is to keep the flasher from rotating if the main mounting screw gets loose.

    Planet Bike rack mount hardware is for Planet Bike blinkies, it will work with some others. Best, cheapest flasher I know of is by ViewPoint. I get mine at Performance Bike. All the cool light patterns but I never use them. Just standard flash for me. I'm so boring.

    H
    Let me echo two good bits of info here... (1) the PB mounts are different, and may not work for many other lights. I've got a few different brands, but none of them fit into my PB mount. (2) Go to your LBS. In addition to getting some good advice, if you're a regular customer and you mention you're looking for a cheap way to mount it, maybe they'll go through their stash box and find something that would work.

  11. #11
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    FWIW, I have a B&M toplight on my rack, and on the back of one of the mounting bolts for that I added a small angle bracket from the hardware store, onto which the PB blinkie mounts perfectly.

  12. #12
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    The PlanetBike rack mount hardware is very nice. It will work with the PB Superflash and clones as well as the PDW Radbot and probably others. The Blackburn Flea is a nice option to clip onto your helmet.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Commuter Bluish Green's Avatar
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    6 miles is a great commute, that is what I have and love it!

    If you are going to be riding it regularly, you might consider rechargeable batteries. I got a nice battery charger (LaCrosse BC700) that charges AA's for my headlights and AAA's for my taillights, and the system works well for me. It was an initial investment to buy the charger and batteries, but it is paying off with all of the hours I am logging (versus buying alkalines over and over again) - now that I am a full time bicycle commuter. Just a thought to consider. Enjoy your commutes!

  14. #14
    Senior Member ftimw's Avatar
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    I bought one of these. Basiclly because I'm a cheapskate. But I really like it. It only has on and a single flash mode (which is what I use) but it's great. Bigger then you might think, it spans the entire width of my rack. The mounting tab on my rack is vertical and this light mounts horizontal, but I got it to work without any additional hardware. Best $11 I've spent on this bike. Let me know if you want to see pictures of it.

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  16. #16
    tsl
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    That one fits racks with the European standard bolt pattern, horizontal and 80mm apart. (There is also a 50mm standard.) The OP says he has a rack with the American reflector bracket standard of vertically-oriented and ¾" apart. Some racks have both.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  17. #17
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I have a PB superflash clone zip tied to the back end of my rack. Had to mount it horizontally.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    I used zip ties to attach the seat post mount to the back end of the rack.

  19. #19
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    You may also want to try clipping a blinkie on your helmet,
    if you wear one

    Yes, I wear a helmet. I'm not a safety freak; I've been known to let my (thinning!) hair ruffle in the breeze on a ride to the neighborhood park, but for this commute it would just be stupid not to wear a helmet. My rule of thumb is, if I have to go through any intersections with stoplights, then I need a helmet.


    And of course if it's dark, a red blinky in back, and at least a white blinky in front (to be seen), or a headlight (to see).

  20. #20
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluish Green View Post
    If you are going to be riding it regularly, you might consider rechargeable batteries.

    Yes, I use 3 rechargeable AAA for my headlight, which sucks up a lot more energy. But my rear blinky is still on the original 2 AAA. At 200hr of rated use, it might take many years to recoup the cost of another pair of rechargeable AAA vs just regular.


    However, I am switching headlights up front; I have ordered a 1600 lumen Cree XML T6 (and probably other letters and numbers) flashlight for under $25, and that comes with its own kind of batteries and charger. So that will free up 2 rechargeable AAAs to reserve for the back light, and 1 more for I don't know what yet. (The fourth from that set is for my mp3 player -- when I ride I always listen to podcasts in my right-ear-only earbud)

  21. #21
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    CatEye TL-LD1100 can bolt directly to that reflector mount on your rack. The required screws even come in the package.

    OK, but that's $30. I'm looking for $5 and under. Seatpost/stay-mounted blinkies can be had for super cheap all over the place; I'm looking for comparable deals that can rackmount. If anything, rackmount should be even cheaper, because you don't need to provide any mounting hardware at all; just have two holes in the back of the light, and send along two screws!

  22. #22
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    That one fits racks with the European standard bolt pattern, horizontal and 80mm apart. (There is also a 50mm standard.) The OP says he has a rack with the American reflector bracket standard of vertically-oriented and ¾" apart. Some racks have both.

    That's correct; that would be a good option for me if it had the vertical-hole mounting standard.

  23. #23
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyboy1 View Post
    I used zip ties to attach the seat post mount to the back end of the rack.

    For a while, I just put the seatstay mount on the bracket hanging down, but I was never confient that it was tight enough to not vibrate off. When I get around to it, my little block of wood will work very well, I think.

  24. #24
    vol
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    With that "metal tab sticking downwards with two holes spaced about 3/4" apart", and if your blinkie has a belt clip, there are plenty of ways to secure a blinkie onto it. Rubber bands, zip ties,.... However I also wish the light makers include more brackets for different installation. This is one thing I like about the radbot 1k, which you may be interested in.

  25. #25
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    Check with Cateye's website. They have incredible service and have some things that aren't normally seen in the LBS. My Planetbike Superflash came with an attachment that fits on my seat stay which is about the same size as rack tubes.
    Dan in SW Iowa...
    life is lethal; none of us gets out alive!

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