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  1. #1
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    Tail light suggestions

    I need a tail light for my bike. Mostely for day time, but sometimes for night as well. I like the nashbar 9 LED light. BUT, it has a flimpsy bracket which breaks when stressed.

    Such as when I fall off my bike to the side. Happens whenever I crash. I crash when I stop in emergencies and my shoes are still engaged. Disengaging SPD shoes in case of emergencies is something you learn, and I still need to learn it more. Just like firing a *** in critical situation, or soldier's training, etc, it's not something I can be thinking off, it must be absorbed into my head before that can happen.

    Anyway, when I fall off my bike the damn light breaks at the braket. I had the flipsy nashbar bracket break on me, then I rigged a more rigid bracket from reflectors and it broke off too.

    Problem with these brakets is that they are plastic.

    Thus I'm looking for a light that will not break when I fall or crash. Please help.


    I've looked at Blackburn Mars 3.0, and it looks alright. However, I'd prefer nashbar style light but with a metal bracket. More flashing modes, standard batteries, and cheaper.


    I hoping one of you knows of a light that is fall and crash prove, or that one of you rigged a cheap light with some metal bracket. Let me know.


    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Try the BLT Rear Super Doppler DX, it cost less then $20 and is the brightest light besides the Dinotte which cost $140. http://www.blt-lights.com/rearsuperdopplerdx.htm

    Ideally you should use at least 3 tailights to form a triangle. You can either use 3 of the BLT's or get 1 BLT and something a little less expensive like 2 of the Cateye LD600's. Those Cateyes have very good side illumination if mounted vertically. Then optionally one on the helmet, and also try those little barend lights. The more rear illumination you have the better. But if you use 1 BLT and 2 of those Cateyes your going to be real happy.

  3. #3
    SpIn SpIn SuGaR! FIVE ONE SIX's Avatar
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    not to be mean, but just learn not to fall, or clip the tail light onto your saddlebag so there's no plastic mount that can break. i personally use the Planetbike Superflash, mounted on the seatpost, and i love it. i used to have it clipped to my saddle bag, and it worked fine that way too, but i've since switched to a saddlebag that doesn't have a clip for a tail light...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX View Post
    not to be mean, but just learn not to fall, or clip the tail light onto your saddlebag so there's no plastic mount that can break. i personally use the Planetbike Superflash, mounted on the seatpost, and i love it. i used to have it clipped to my saddle bag, and it worked fine that way too, but i've since switched to a saddlebag that doesn't have a clip for a tail light...
    Your not being mean.

    Anyway, if you've seen some of the lighting posts lately there has been some excellent photos taken. These photos instantly tell you that the BLT is brighter then the SuperFlash, but the Dinotte is even brighter then the BLT. These photos also will show you that the Dinotte and the SuperFlash have very low light output to the sides but the Dinotte puts out a huge red glowing spot to the pavement. The BLT was better then most to the side except for the Cateye LD1000 in the photos had the best side lighting; but the Cateye 600 not in the pics of which I own 3 of them put out even better lighting to the side with 5 LED's blasting away to the side if mounted vertically.

    The Dinotte is about $140 and if your into spending money that's the best light to get if you want a lot of light to the rear. But then you'll need to add another light for better side illumination like the Cateye LD600. Or if money is a bit tight or you find spending $140 for one light a tad excessive as I do then get the BLT Rear Super Doppler DX, and to that add a couple of Cateye 600's and form a triangle with them by fastening the BLT or the Dinotte to the rear seat and fastening each Cateye to a rear stay. A triangle of light is better for drivers to distinguish distance then using just one solo light.

    I also have read that a constant light is better then flashing due to the flashing sometimes confuses drivers; and some countries only allow constant. I don't know if constant on really is better or not. I do know that for 40 years I've had mine flashing with no problems.

  5. #5
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freako View Post
    Your not being mean.

    Anyway, if you've seen some of the lighting posts lately there has been some excellent photos taken. These photos instantly tell you that the BLT is brighter then the SuperFlash, but the Dinotte is even brighter then the BLT. These photos also will show you that the Dinotte and the SuperFlash have very low light output to the sides but the Dinotte puts out a huge red glowing spot to the pavement. The BLT was better then most to the side except for the Cateye LD1000 in the photos had the best side lighting; but the Cateye 600 not in the pics of which I own 3 of them put out even better lighting to the side with 5 LED's blasting away to the side if mounted vertically.

    The Dinotte is about $140 and if your into spending money that's the best light to get if you want a lot of light to the rear. But then you'll need to add another light for better side illumination like the Cateye LD600. Or if money is a bit tight or you find spending $140 for one light a tad excessive as I do then get the BLT Rear Super Doppler DX, and to that add a couple of Cateye 600's and form a triangle with them by fastening the BLT or the Dinotte to the rear seat and fastening each Cateye to a rear stay. A triangle of light is better for drivers to distinguish distance then using just one solo light.

    I also have read that a constant light is better then flashing due to the flashing sometimes confuses drivers; and some countries only allow constant. I don't know if constant on really is better or not. I do know that for 40 years I've had mine flashing with no problems.
    I'm just gonna rig a full relayed 12V system with some LED side markers from the truck stop, amber lenses removed, smaller one below in tandem for the brake (when I get that sensor figured out), similar for the headlight (c.1946-48 Ford truck spotlight and a auto lamp with the back removed, second LED setup for high beam) and low rider lamps converted to amber and LED. The saddlebags have taillights so I'll switch them over.

    By now you've figured that I am a Clydesdale and ride a big lugged buddy named Rollfast so the notion that I'm going to hand build a fairing and put my old Delco and a motorcycle horn on the bike won't be a surprise and no, I'd never make my bike weigh 100 lbs. I plan to keep it charged everyday also.

    Get a decent rear basket set and you instantly add a place to add lights as well as storage space. Then put the seat light on. I have seen turn signal kits before but I found them lightweight for maniacs such as myself. I decided that nothing less than a car/motorcycle type system was going to work for me.

    Steven
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  6. #6
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    On my bikeE I have a 12 volts system. I have a front 20 watt MR16 headlight in PVC pipe from Lowes along with side marker LEDs and a trailer red light LED from xmart which is about 3"x8" and is both very visible, bright and puts out alot of light. I used two BELL 5 LED lights flanking the tail light but they were completely useless as you couldnt' even tell they were there. However if my big taillight went out they would provide backup.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX View Post
    not to be mean, but just learn not to fall...

    You must have better roads that we do! Although I haven't broken a Superflash or a TL-LD1000 yet, I have broken quite a few other taillights, not by falling over, but simply by riding on our typical potholed-filled city streets.

    Right now, the Superflashes I have are clipped on an aluminium angle bracket and the TL-LD1000 I have are bolted and zip-tied in place.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  8. #8
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I have an MR16 50 watt front light. The same battery powers a 2 watt zenon strobe in the rear. Daylight visible and flashes in all directions. Got it from Radio Shack and it has lasted some 15 years through a few crashes including one that totaled the bike. Try www.allelectronics.com and look under strobes. About $10 and a couple of bucks for wiring and connectors.
    This space open

  9. #9
    Safety Zealot wyeast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freako View Post
    Try the BLT Rear Super Doppler DX, it cost less then $20 and is the brightest light besides the Dinotte which cost $140. http://www.blt-lights.com/rearsuperdopplerdx.htm
    I happened to click the link, then wandered through the BLT page for a little bit, and ran across this:

    Ultra Wazoo which appears based on specs to be brighter than the Super Doppler. (3x the same LED's, claims to have almost 50% longer visibility)

    Interesting part is it looks just like this -

    Performance Viewpoint Flashpoint

    Which begs the question. Are they the same? Is it in fact brighter than the Super Doppler?

    INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!

  10. #10
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    PlanetBikes has got to find a way to make that SuperFlash look not quite so ugly. The white plastic housing has got to go, in favor of black.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays View Post
    PlanetBikes has got to find a way to make that SuperFlash look not quite so ugly. The white plastic housing has got to go, in favor of black.
    They have its called the Smart Superflash


  12. #12
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeast View Post
    I happened to click the link, then wandered through the BLT page for a little bit, and ran across this:

    Ultra Wazoo which appears based on specs to be brighter than the Super Doppler. (3x the same LED's, claims to have almost 50% longer visibility)

    Interesting part is it looks just like this -

    Performance Viewpoint Flashpoint

    Which begs the question. Are they the same? Is it in fact brighter than the Super Doppler?

    INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!
    I still think the super doppler is more intense as you can focus the led's, I found it a bit strange that you can increase the intensity by a just adding more leds ?, that is 8 x 9 leds = 72,000mcd as opposed to 8 x 3 =24,000mcd, so does that mean by adding led's i get more intensity. Not sure how the logic works out in this linear fashion with the wazoo and the powerflare, especially since all the leds in all models are the same 8,000mcd and there are no lenses to enhance the intensity.


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

  13. #13
    Safety Zealot wyeast's Avatar
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    The Super Doppler you're still limited to just the 3 LED's. While the Ultra Wazoo doesn't have all 9 LED's focused in the same place, you have at least 5 that are. (At least by the ol' Mark I Eyeball check off my Flashpoint at 30 feet) (there are tiny "lenses" in front of each LED)

    And once you move off-axis it then I think the UW is definitely brighter because of the larger lit-up body area and more emitters.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays View Post
    The white plastic housing has got to go, in favor of black.
    White is the new black.

    And the old pink.



    I say spray-paint it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeast View Post
    The Super Doppler you're still limited to just the 3 LED's. While the Ultra Wazoo doesn't have all 9 LED's focused in the same place, you have at least 5 that are. (At least by the ol' Mark I Eyeball check off my Flashpoint at 30 feet) (there are tiny "lenses" in front of each LED)

    And once you move off-axis it then I think the UW is definitely brighter because of the larger lit-up body area and more emitters.
    Would you have the impression that the UW is still more intense than the Super doppler, if you were let say 500m up the road, and on axis ? Thanks

  16. #16
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Hey Ken,

    You have any photos of your bike setup? I'm very interested in seeing it. All your talk about the lighting on your bike has a lot of inquiring minds wanting to see your setup. Surely you have a digicam around or can bum one off a mate?
    Zero_Enigma

  17. #17
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jays View Post
    PlanetBikes has got to find a way to make that SuperFlash look not quite so ugly. The white plastic housing has got to go, in favor of black.
    Hey Blue Jays, I quite like th elook of my Super Flash

    -Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

  18. #18
    Safety Zealot wyeast's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm not understanding the design of the Super Doppler correctly. My assumptions are:

    Both are by the same company (i.e. no reason to exaggerate one light's specs vs another, they're both advertised by the same entity) In this context, BLT advertises Super Doppler as 24,000 mcd, with a visibility of about 2500 ft. They advertise the Ultra Wazoo as 72,000 mcd with a visibility of about 3400 ft.

    Both use the same type of LED (8,000mcd). The Super Doppler uses 3, the Ultra Wazoo uses 9.

    The Super Doppler has all 3 pointed straight back with some sort of "lens" effect on the plastic housing, directing the light straight back.

    The Ultra Wazoo has 5 pointed straight back with the remaining 4 slightly off-axis. All 9 have a "lens" effect on the plastic housing, directing the light straight back for the center 5, slightly off-axis for the remaining 4.

    My own personal reference with the Flashpoint (which appears to be the same design as the Ultra Wazoo) is that at 250ft straight back, I am within the "beam" of all 5 center LED's. My assumption here is with the Super Doppler, I would be within the beam of at most 3 LEDs as that's all the unit has.

    I guess my fundamental assumption is that the Super Doppler does not have a tight TIROS-type optic. That type would be a poor choice for a taillight, as there would be practically zero light visible to anyone not precisely behind the rider (or worse, the light's sagging down and dumps all the light at the ground)

  19. #19
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    Hey Ken,

    You have any photos of your bike setup? I'm very interested in seeing it. All your talk about the lighting on your bike has a lot of inquiring minds wanting to see your setup. Surely you have a digicam around or can bum one off a mate?
    I think everybody has seen these before, so I'll PM you.
    Last edited by kleng; 08-01-07 at 05:25 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeast View Post

    My own personal reference with the Flashpoint (which appears to be the same design as the Ultra Wazoo) is that at 250ft straight back, I am within the "beam" of all 5 center LED's. My assumption here is with the Super Doppler, I would be within the beam of at most 3 LEDs as that's all the unit has.

    I guess my fundamental assumption is that the Super Doppler does not have a tight TIROS-type optic. That type would be a poor choice for a taillight, as there would be practically zero light visible to anyone not precisely behind the rider (or worse, the light's sagging down and dumps all the light at the ground)
    The super doppler is definitely a tighter beam, but its more intense, there is still a reasonable spread. Either way both lights are good.

    Focused - significant overlap



    Unfocused - slight overlap


  21. #21
    Senior Member lutz's Avatar
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    I have not had a chance to compare it to the blinkys discussed here, but the
    Blackburn Mars 3.0 is satisfyingly bright , fully waterproof, and has side LEDs.

  22. #22
    Year-round cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeast View Post
    Maybe I'm not understanding the design of the Super Doppler correctly. My assumptions are:

    Both are by the same company ... In this context, BLT advertises Super Doppler as 24,000 mcd, with a visibility of about 2500 ft. They advertise the Ultra Wazoo as 72,000 mcd with a visibility of about 3400 ft.

    Both use the same type of LED (8,000mcd). The Super Doppler uses 3, the Ultra Wazoo uses 9.

    The Super Doppler has all 3 pointed straight back with some sort of "lens" effect on the plastic housing, directing the light straight back.

    The Ultra Wazoo has 5 pointed straight back with the remaining 4 slightly off-axis. Al...

    First of all, a comment about units of measurements.
    – The mcd (millicandelas) is the intensity of the light; how much light is produced, total, irrespective of directionality (or lack thereof). Knowing the number of lux on axis and at various angles would give a numeric indication of how bright the light appears to be to other people on the road.
    – The "viisible at x ft" doesn't really mean anything. Even a simple candle can be visible 1 or 2 km away under ideal conditions : no fog, no rain, no other light, new moon, etc. Try to compare such a distance to real-life visibility on a dark road when there are other lights around.


    Comparing those taillights
    No photos, but there was a display last year and my most "local" bike shop (1 block away). I don't have photographic evidence nor any measurements to compare them, so you'll have to take my subjective eye for that.

    – The Super Doppler DX is very bright on axis. It has some kind of prism in the back which can be seen http://www.blt-lights.com/rearsuperdoppler_big.htm]here. So while there is some side and off-angle visibility, it's definitely throwing most of its candelas towards the rear. Another way to look at it: if you hold it about 15 ft from a wall and aim it in that direction, you'll see a small but very bright circle on the wall. Another way to compare the light is that it reminds me of a red headlight.
    It's light beam is identical to the (Front) Super Doppler DX and fairly similar to that of the Planet Bike Blaze and to the Cateye EL-410 headlights.
    Incidentally, it's quite directional, but a bit less than the Cateye TL-LD1000. So just like the TL-LD1000, if you look at it from a 15 or 20° angle, it looks very dim. But on highways, it's great, because on-axis visibility is the most important item.
    DRAWBACKS: 3 AAA batteries, and can only be mounted on the seatpost.

    – The Ultra Wazoo has more LEDs so it throws more candelas, but the design isn't directional at all:
    – the prisms of the built-in reflector eat and disperse a good amount of the light;
    – there is no parabolic reflector, but just a general reflector so the light isn't directed.
    So on axis, it looks about half as bright as the Super Doppler. However, the Ultra Wazoo is almost as bright at 30° off axis and still decent at 50-60°. So while I would prefer the Super Doppler on highways, I would prefer the Ultra Wazoo for urban or suburban riding.
    GOOD POINT: uses 2 AAA batteries.
    DRAWBACKS: Can't really be attached behind a rack or bolted in place (to prevent liftoffs).

    P.S. Don't ask me how it flashes... I don't know and my LBS doesn't carry it anymore.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  23. #23
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeast View Post
    The Super Doppler you're still limited to just the 3 LED's. While the Ultra Wazoo doesn't have all 9 LED's focused in the same place, you have at least 5 that are. (At least by the ol' Mark I Eyeball check off my Flashpoint at 30 feet) (there are tiny "lenses" in front of each LED)

    And once you move off-axis it then I think the UW is definitely brighter because of the larger lit-up body area and more emitters.
    Three? Yes, I see your Ultra Yazoo has 9 like that, I have about 9 in a 12V, 1.4 watt array and I'm planning on working an extra 9 or so LED stick-on marker unit below in the taillights for turn and two below the headlamp unit in a delta for "high beam", at 1.2 watts each. I have a small 12V, 7A sealed battery I was given and a 13.00 charger I will get from the hobby shop to keep the juice juicy. Don't forget my Delco!

    I'm probably beyond the valley of the Ultra-loonies but I don't drive and when you sometimes wonder if you'll see what's gonna make you a great-uncle much less your best friend a grandpa, things just get done.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

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