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Old 11-13-06, 08:22 AM   #301
balto charlie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
After nearly getting T-boned in traffic last week, I was determined to get a new light set up. The crafty side of me would love to do one of those Total Geekiness projects, but to be honest I just don't have the skills. Nor do I have soldering iron.

I'm thinking very seriously of getting the Jet Lites Starfire Single Beam. A bit spendy but they get super high reviews on the MTBReview.com light page and they're my NorCal homies. Anybody have these?
Hey Caloso: Sorry, no experience with those lights. Do you have side lights. After my near Tboned experiences I mounted red blinkies on the front drops(as high as possible). Cars from the right seem to be the most dangerous especially in round-abouts.
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Old 11-13-06, 12:51 PM   #302
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In addition to lights, there is also a very cool (imo) hyper-reflective tape called SOLAS made by 3M. This stands for Safety Of Life At Sea, and is the highest grade reflective tape you can get. Although no tape is going to be as bright as a battery or generator operated light, reflective tape can complement your lighting system to make you even more visible. Plus using tape is a lot less uncool than reflectors and gives you a bit of room for creativity.

I bought some black solas tape and use the black on the back of my black messenger bag. Can't even see it during the day, but I like it because the safety triangles that I cut-out shine back at night. I also put solas tape on the front of the handlebars, on the seat-stays, a bit on the top tube, definitely the crank arms, and I have a set of wheels with solas taped to the rim in between spokes. I probably look like a clown in the headlights of a city garbage truck, but better that than roadkill.

SOLAS can be found by searching google or eBay. Get the thin flexible kind.
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Old 11-13-06, 02:38 PM   #303
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Those are both good ideas. I pulled the trigger on the JetLites; they should arrive Tuesday and I hope to put up a review on Wednesday. I'm going to see if I can find any 3M tape at Kragen. I thought I remember reading that they have that at car parts stores.
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Old 11-13-06, 07:03 PM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
I'm going to see if I can find any 3M tape at Kragen. I thought I remember reading that they have that at car parts stores.
From my own experience, there are lots of different types of reflective tape. Meaning that when you do find tape get one that is thin and flexible for wrapping around curved surfaces like a motorcycle helmet or bike frame.

The super-thick stuff is made for flat surfaces like truck bumpers and signs and. (I think it's called diamond-grade avoid this). I bought some of 3M diamond-grade and couldn't get it to stick as well as the SOLAS or the 3M reflexite.

This is the kind of stuff that works:
http://www.aerostich.com/product.php?productid=16513

or this (colors!)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=330050001953

Good luck with your project.
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Old 11-20-06, 06:18 PM   #305
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+1 for the superflash. The LBS owner ordered them in for me after asked about them, (he's also big into advocacy so the profits thing caught his eye.)

We were looking at how to turn them on, I figured it out and it caught us both in the eye as we were up close to it. It was lighting up the back wall 40 ft away with the lights fully on in the store. $23 bux. Cars now pass me an extra lane over.
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Old 11-20-06, 09:51 PM   #306
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I recommend more than one set of lights, especially in the back.
My Cateye 5-LED really bright blinkie didn't keep me from getting hit by a car...I now have hardware in the pelvic region and some intense stories about the scars on my torso.

I'm never going with just one light again after dark.
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Old 11-21-06, 11:13 AM   #307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lossy
+1 for the superflash.
What's that?
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Old 11-21-06, 11:33 AM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 40x14
What's that?
Google "Planet Bike Superflash" It's a very good tailight.
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Old 12-02-06, 04:57 PM   #309
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JetLites HID Blast

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuolumne
RECOMENDATIONS PLEASE I'm not sure I can afford any of these options, but I would like an HID bike light. Here are the best prices I saw with a quick scan of the net (not counting ebay bids). I've read reviews and looked at beam comparisons until extreme dizziness set in. What do you folks (having experience with these lights) think of the following options (all NiMH and HID):

JetLite HID Blast - $375
Light & Motion ARC HID - $329
Lume Lighting Strada (slow charger) - $280
Nightpro Extreme - $299
Niterider Rage (LED/HID) - $420
Edison anything - forget about it

I need 3 hours (maybe more) of light for a snowy commute (32 miles R.T.) . I do not think Lion is worth the cost or potential problems with cold weather. I like the LED combo of the niterider, but $400+ ...yikes. Charging time is not important...I've got all night. Does Cygolite make any HIDs? HID is important to ride 25 mph+ if possible as much of my commute is in the country with some long hills. I'm not sure a LED would be enough to avoid the deer in time. All of this may prove academic with no budget. This will be my first winter commuting...right now I start my mornings with a hiking headlamp and handheld LED flashlight. This mostly makes me visible to other cars as the mornings are not fully dark. I've only got a few weeks tops before it's too dark for this setup. Thanks...
I bought the JetLites HID Blast this summer and I am very pleased with it. You can probably find cheaper lights, but Jet Lites makes a very well designed and durable light. The Blast is bright enough that cars can see it at a good distance and I feel comfortable riding at 20-25 mph or so. Also, when you call customer service, the guy who owns the company will respond and give you insight into the pros and cons of every feature and he will give you an explanation as to why various design choices were made. It looks like these on sale right now as well. FYI - one weird side effect of HID lights: they can disrupt a wireless bike computer.
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Old 12-02-06, 08:47 PM   #310
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Gotta love Cateye. I own hundreds of dollars worth of various different bike lights (nite-rider, cateye, vistalight, others... I know, it's too much!)

but get this...
Cateye's small parts catalog is extensive. I payed just .87 cents shipping on a second mounting bracket that was reasonably priced at $5 bucks.

https://www.cateye.com/store/index.php

ps. the bracket I ordered is for an el-320 that is almost as good at making me visible to motorists as my nite-rider digital. One cost $35, the other cost $250. The battery life with the el-320 is about 40 hours on full, 100 on blink, compared to 2.5 hours with the niterider digital on blink or full. Guess which one cost less?

pps. On the other hand I would take the niterider on a totally dark street or off-road ride in a second it casts a nice long and full beam. The el-320 is more like a blinking camera flash.

Last edited by 40x14; 12-02-06 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 12-02-06, 09:02 PM   #311
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i want to light my flag!
got front, rear, and side flasher sets, but bike-flag (orange/fiberglass) needs flash!
any ideas?
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Old 12-02-06, 09:13 PM   #312
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Hang one of these from the end of the post?



$10.00 at Nashbar right now
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Old 12-12-06, 01:34 PM   #313
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So I recently purchased a cateye HL-EL 500 from Performance bikes. When I had it at home I put the batteries in and it worked... oh boy! Today was my first ride with the light on the handlebars. It was not since I leave home in the daylight. My ride in was around 6 miles. I didn't do anything crazy... didn't run over any dead animals or large rocks. I didn't hop any curbs. However when I was messing with bike at lunch I tried to turn it on and it wouldn't. I assumed I must have left it on in my bag and the batteries were dead. However, when I tested the batteries on another light worked fine. I do have another light to get home so I'm alright there... I was just wondering if anyone knows of any problems with this light or has heard of problems? If not I'll just take this back and assume this one was defective and get another.

Thanks. I appreciate any help that can be offered.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:49 PM   #314
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I just picked up a Planet Bike Superflash myself. It's very impressive. I ziptied it to the back of my helmet(Bell Ghisallo). Fits perfectly in the diagonal vent in the back.
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Old 12-17-06, 11:57 PM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
Hang one of these from the end of the post?



$10.00 at Nashbar right now
White ones $3.50 and Red is $3.00 @ MEC if I recall the price right. It's Canadian tho. http://www.mec.ca They run by a one time $5 lifetime membership or just have a friend buy them for you or go in and random some 10 digit phone number and hope it comes up on the computer.

I find wiht my Superflash when I aim it about 2-3 mid-sized cars distance it helps keep the cars back and move to the other side. I aim mine at head level to it hits the eyes and burns an image into the eyes so it's "in your face" and not like you didn't see it. I aim mine slightly high so it half hits the normal cars in the face while also hitting SUV's in the face as well. I dont feel sorry for hitting them in the face. It's your safety on the road and if the light hits them smack in the face to get them to notice and back off then so be it. My previous blinks were not really adjustable by much and not that powerful so cars tend to tail or come about one car distance from me. Now with this setup they change lanes about 2-3 cars distance for majority of the cars. I still get a few and buzz close by.

SuperFlash is $14.95 at MEC. About $11 USD. Here is a review of the SUperflash for the guy that was wondering what a Superflash is. http://hiawathacyclery.com/blog/?p=98


Zero_Enigma
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Old 12-18-06, 08:49 AM   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma
I find wiht my Superflash when I aim it about 2-3 mid-sized cars distance it helps keep the cars back and move to the other side. I aim mine at head level to it hits the eyes and burns an image into the eyes so it's "in your face" and not like you didn't see it. I aim mine slightly high so it half hits the normal cars in the face while also hitting SUV's in the face as well. I dont feel sorry for hitting them in the face. It's your safety on the road and if the light hits them smack in the face to get them to notice and back off then so be it. My previous blinks were not really adjustable by much and not that powerful so cars tend to tail or come about one car distance from me. Now with this setup they change lanes about 2-3 cars distance for majority of the cars. I still get a few and buzz close by.
While it is the best small battery blinkie currently available, I think you overestimate the SP. I loaned mine (with a fresh battery in 55F) to a friend in a recent night group ride and while I it to be brighter than most other folks blinkies, it was not eye burning or motor vehicle driver affecting. I use two for my commute and notice no difference in driver behavior compared to the LD-1000. From 50' back aimed at face it looks quite a bit dimmer than brakes lights on a car.

Al
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Old 01-05-07, 11:07 AM   #317
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The SP discussion brings up something i'ven been ruminating on for a while: I want to be seen but i don't want to blind or disorient the woman coming up behind me in the 6000lb suv with an uber-bright light. Somthing called "target fixation" happens when you see something you don't recognize or which disorients you: you inadvertantly fixate on it and tend to head towards it.
Target fixation is a well-known phenomena especially among newbie motorcyclists - lots of head-on collisions happen around curves where the newbie drifts into the car heading their way.
Cyclists tend to run into rocks/roots/etc by fixating on the obstacle. you know it's true...
I want the person behind me to see 1) see me, 2) avoid me. I think this is best done with standard blinkies and good reflector tape, so the person behind you can judge what you are, how far away, how big, etc...
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Old 01-05-07, 12:17 PM   #318
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Thanks Acroy! - that explains why some combinations work better than others.

I previously thought was just my own superstition of having the "right amount" of light. For example, once I thought it would be great to have alternating/flashing red&white lights on the front. I thought it looked a little like a police flasher and it would command attention.

After riding in traffic for about 1/2 an hour -- I decided it this was the dumbest idea ever. Cars just seemd to be magnetically attracted to me, the only benefit was on broadway in midtown where pedestrians would step aside a earlier than usual.

That said, the orange triangle is still a great cue to motorists that they should slow down and yield. It is universally recognizable. I don't use one currently but want to get one for my mess. bag.

Also, I agree about the overestimation of the planet bike superflash. I bought one instead of a cateye because of what I read here, and it is not brighter than the blackburn 3.0 that it replaced. It also only has two modes (on/blink) and the on/off button is hard to find even without gloves on.

Last edited by 40x14; 01-06-07 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:59 PM   #319
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[QUOTE=40x14]
I previously thought was just my own superstition of having the "right amount" of light. For example, once I thought it would be great to have alternating/flashing red&white lights on the front. I thought it looked a little like a police flasher and it would command attention.

After riding in traffic for about 1/2 an hour -- I decided it this was the dumbest idea ever. Cars just seemd to be magnetically attracted to me, the only benefit was on broadway in midtown where pedestrians would step aside a earlier than usual.
QUOTE]

Amen! more is not always better. applies to most things, it turns out...
I have some reflective material on my helmet, shoes, and jacket; and my lights have decent side visibility. I'm thinking about putting reflectors on the wheels, geeky as that looks..... I really think that all the above helps give fellow travelers an accurate, quick distance/size perception.

ps do you really ride a 40x14? i'm not a single-speeder but that seems steep
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Old 01-06-07, 04:41 PM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acroy
do you really ride a 40x14?
I do ride 40x14.

I don't really know anymore what speed I maintain since I took off the computer. I do know it's about 75 gear inches and works out about the same as 42x15 on a road bike, perfect for cruising. fast. i.e, steady 20+mph on long flat stretches.

I changed out my commuter to 40x16 recently -- and that slows things down a lot but slower feels safer, especially in midtown. thanks for asking.

ps... pedaling super-high cadence also seems to let drivers know you're moving fast, working to go with the flow of traffic. It has to be the most obvious visual cue: you're not in the same kind of vehicle they are because you're pedaling like a madman. But what's this got to do with lights? Uh... getting things back on topic - I just put some 3M safety-of-life-at-sea (solas) tape on one of my crankarms for enhanced visibility. The cool thing about this stuff is that it even comes in black, and can be used to finish handlebar wrap in place of regular tape.
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Old 01-09-07, 10:15 AM   #321
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Love the spreadsheet in the OP, thanks so much! Do HID and LED both have essentially indefinite 'bulb' life (give or take accidents?) My halogen light has been going frequently, actually my current dead one lasted about the longest of all the bulbs over ~2 yrs, 60-80 hrs. I'm wondering about LED instead. I see the primo-er LEDs (Dinotte lithium 5 say) cost about the same as or more than HID though. Logistically, I'd rather not have to strap a battery to my top tube since it has wires on it. That seems to be an issue too.
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Old 01-09-07, 11:03 AM   #322
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I don't know about HID, but I believe bulb life is not virtually infinite like LED is b/c IIRC HID bulbs can be found for sale for lots of $$$. LED lifetimes tend to be something like 10,000 to 100,000 hours, although the Dinotte 5 W LED I believe has a much shorter lifetime due to its power (3W and less tend to have lifetimes of 10,000 hrs plus).
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Old 01-09-07, 11:12 AM   #323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ngchen
I don't know about HID, but I believe bulb life is not virtually infinite like LED is b/c IIRC HID bulbs can be found for sale for lots of $$$. LED lifetimes tend to be something like 10,000 to 100,000 hours, although the Dinotte 5 W LED I believe has a much shorter lifetime due to its power (3W and less tend to have lifetimes of 10,000 hrs plus).
Interesting. So 2x3W LED would give comparable light but much longer life than 1x5W?
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Old 01-16-07, 08:44 AM   #324
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Hello All

Has anyone try one of these,electronic flare, from BatteryPlus. Thet might be a good thing, for the rear of a bike, Might just get one today, was just wondering if they was woth the money

Bikehead


EZY FLARE EMERGENCY ELECTRONIC FLARE




When you must be visible by air and land, you need an all-night flashing LED signal. The EZyFlare Emergency Electronic Flare is visible from 8000 feet and provides a battery powered alert of hazards in al emergency situations. Weather resisteant, sturdy construction with safe and simple operation. Essential for vehicles, camping, boating and hiking. Requires 4-AA Batteries


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EZY FLARE EMERGENCY ELECTRONIC FLARE
SKU: EZY30202
Weight: 1.2165 LBS.
Regular Price: $19.99


Quantity:
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Old 01-16-07, 09:42 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by Bikehead
Has anyone try one of these,electronic flare, from BatteryPlus.

EZY FLARE EMERGENCY ELECTRONIC FLARE
SKU: EZY30202
Weight: 1.2165 LBS.
Regular Price: $19.99
Looks a little like lightmanstrobes, I've also been curious about them.
http://www.lightmanstrobes.com/xenon.htm
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