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  1. #1
    Senior Member chinotex's Avatar
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    Dinotte Tail light or head light?

    If you were going to buy either a Dinotte Taillight or headlight, which would you buy and why? I don't think I'm ready to plunk down the $400 on both right now, but I want to give one a try. The roads I ride on at night are pretty well-paved so keeping an eye out for potholes isn't that important. Right now I have no lights, and don't want to go through the whole "buy the $20 light, then the $40 light, then realize you should have gotten the good light to begin with and you basically double your costs" thing. So what should I get first?

  2. #2
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    I have both the dinotte tail light and 200L head light, I have been riding my bike on routes without street lights at 25 miles/hours with these lights.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2007 Cannondale CAAD9 Optimo 3

  3. #3
    Senior Member john bono's Avatar
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    If you have to compromise, get the planetbike superflash for $20, and get the dinotte headlight. The superflash isn't as bright as the dinotte, but it ain't too shabby.
    Ride a bike. It makes your legs stringy, and less tasty to our Kanamit friends.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    If you get the DiNotte tail light, how much budget are you going to allow yourself for a headlight?

    john bono's suggestion seems to make the most sense. You probably can't get more bang for the buck in a tail light than with the Planet Bike Super Flash. (Got mine on sale for $16, after sales tax). Get the DiNotte headlight and one of the best tail lights you can get for minimal $$ in the Super Flash and later (once you've invested in a DiNotte tail light), keep the Super Flash as your emergency tail light (or put it on the back of your helmet).

    Another option would be to get the DiNotte tail light, spend $50-$60 more on a Fenix flashlight for a headlight, and later on down the road, after you get the DiNotte headlight, convert the Fenix over to your helmet light.
    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-12-07 at 01:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Get the best headlight you can afford and the Super Flash for the rear. The Super Flash is surprisingly visible, even from long distances.

    You'll appreciate being able to see where you are going with the headlight a lot more than the benefit of a SF over the Dinotte taillight will give you.

  6. #6
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    BLASPHEMY!!! ok i may be a bit biased towards the Dinotte tailight.............i can see in front of me just fine, but can others see me as they are driving? I like the uber strobe of the Dinotte tailight to creat a buffer zone behind me.
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
    BLASPHEMY!!! ok i may be a bit biased towards the Dinotte tailight.............i can see in front of me just fine, but can others see me as they are driving? I like the uber strobe of the Dinotte tailight to creat a buffer zone behind me.
    With a Super Flash they can. I can see Mrs Z riding with a SF from over a kilometer away in the dusk. Nighttime it's even brighter, of course.

    Surprisingly the SF isn't very visible during daytime. I've found the Cateye TL-1000 to be more visible during the day, while the SF is much more visible at night.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
    BLASPHEMY!!! ok i may be a bit biased towards the Dinotte tailight.............i can see in front of me just fine, but can others see me as they are driving? I like the uber strobe of the Dinotte tailight to creat a buffer zone behind me.
    +1 I would get the tail light as well, a lot of near accidents at night are when the driver doesn't see the cyclist in front until they are very close.

  9. #9
    tsl
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    Go with the DiNotte headlight and a SuperFlash or LD-1000 taillight. The headlight is for more than just seeing, it's also for being seen.

    If you venture into the A&S forum, you'll find references to studies which generally show only 20% to 25% of all vehicle/bicycle accidents are from overtaking from the rear. All the rest are from the front or sides.

    Although they're more rare, what makes overtaking accidents more frightening is that we don't usually see it happening. At least at night I can tell by my shadow in the headlights where the car is in relation to me and can adjust my line if it seems they don't see me or aren't giving me enough room. (And I'll grant, that if you're in that 20-25%, it's just as bad as from any other direction.)

    Statistically, front and crossing accidents happen far more often. (I'm not venturing into A&S without bodyguards, but search there and you'll find the reports.) Thus, that's where I want my best lights.

    In my experience, the DiNotte headlight--even when used in broad daylight--stops cars dead. They don't cross or pull out in front of me when I'm running it. When I run lesser light (like before I bought them or when I sent them in for upgrade) I have troubles with cars crossing and pulling out. That says enough for me.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mulchie's Avatar
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    Important question. Until I took my major DiNotte plunge I was going for the tail light only since I ride at night on fairly empty windy country roads. I figure I can see and hear someone coming and drive very defensively if I feel worried by them, but if somebody zips round a corner and I have not heard them... I want them to KNOW I am there. So for me, DiNotte tail with a flasher too.
    I'm struck by the statistics tsl quotes. But if I hadn't been able to swing front and back I probably would have gone with what Varusceli suggests, DiNotte tail light with a Fenix on the front with the hopes of an upgrade later. Really think about the specific conditions you'll encounter since that will make all the difference. Good advice from everyone here, though. And they know whereof they speak.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  11. #11
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Just slightly off topic to the specific question asked, but...

    Don't know how this compares to other current deals, but Bike Nashbar has the DiNotte tail light on sale at $149.95, which in itself is not that great of a deal. But, today (Sept. 12) they have a 20-percent discount that would bring the price down to right about $120. But then you've got to add tax (most likely) and shipping charges (most likely) -- unless you're in a state they don't tax or have a free shipping coupon (?). Still, $120 seems a good price.
    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-12-07 at 06:44 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    Still, $120 seems a good price.
    That's the cheapest I've seen, make sure they include the charger and the rechargeable batteries for that price. I got mine for $149 with everything included.

  13. #13
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleng View Post
    That's the cheapest I've seen, make sure they include the charger and the rechargeable batteries for that price. I got mine for $149 with everything included.
    According the the photos and item description (if accurate) everything EXCEPT batteries seems to be included (Batteries Not Included is stated). But the photos also show the new mount that everyone has been curious about. I tried Live Chat to verify, but tried after 6 p.m. eastern, so no representatives were available. But the photos seem to show the regular DiNotte Kit. (Item is described as DiNotte Tail Light System...so sounds like everything except batteries.)

    Bike Nashbar DiNotte Tail Light System

    Edit: I did a test checkout applying the discount code and seeing what taxes and shipping would add to the total, and came up with a taxed/shipped cost of $143. A decent deal, I guess, but the $10.25 shipping and $12.82 tax did put a damper on the perceived good deal. (But this is with no batteries.)
    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-12-07 at 08:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by john bono View Post
    If you have to compromise, get the planetbike superflash for $20, and get the dinotte headlight. The superflash isn't as bright as the dinotte, but it ain't too shabby.
    If you do group rides you will have to either ride in the back all the time or turn the tail light to it's lowest setting and angle it downward or it will blind other riders. One or two Blackburn Mars 3.0 tail lights will give you awesome capability for $17 each. I have a 2.0 & 3.0 that I use together on my bike.

    Get the headlight.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  15. #15
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    Email Rob at Dinotte. He will likely give you a deal on both you can't refuse. That is what happened to me.

    -D

  16. #16
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath View Post
    Email Rob at Dinotte. He will likely give you a deal on both you can't refuse. That is what happened to me.
    That's sure what I'd say at this point. As far as I know, GeoMan Gear was the other solid/best option for getting the DiNotte tail light at a good price (seemed to be the best deal), but I guess he's getting out of the DiNotte line. But for the small savings by doing a purchase via a vendor like Nashbar, it might be better to pay just slightly more and go directly through DiNotte. They were certainly very responsive to my inquiries and if you ever had problem or concern, they'd be the ones you'd need to contact anyway.

    (That 20-percent Nashbar discount looked good on top of their sale price, until you start factoring in tax, shipping, and the fact that their sale price wasn't all that great in the first place since it didn't include rechargeable batteries as part of the package. The Nashbar deal wasn't bad, but also wasn't nearly as good as it looked on the surface, I don't think.)

    Also, if you look at the Nashbar page for the DiNotte tail light, it's confusing to me what you actually are getting as part of the package. Looks like (and I could be wrong about this) they might actually be showing in pictures more than you actually get with the purchase. I don't think they show a "Package Includes" statement (?) and it looks like they show more in the photos more than what is in the standard tail light package (at least, the standard tail light package as it is shown on the DiNotte site). Or maybe I'm just confused by what I'm seeing and not interpreting it correctly.

    By the way, chinotex -- are we straying too far off topic yet? Or are we still staying somewhat relevant to the original post?

  17. #17
    Senior Member chinotex's Avatar
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    By the way, chinotex -- are we straying too far off topic yet? Or are we still staying somewhat relevant to the original post?
    Hmm, considering I went ahead and bought the tail light a few hours after I posted this (what can I say, I'm a compulsive shopper), it doesn't matter how off topic you are! Thanks for all the advice though. On my last morning ride before putting in my order, I realized there are streetlights almost everywhere I ride, so I have a pretty good view of everything and can see cars coming. Cars being able to see me from behind was much more important, so I went with the tail light.

    Thanks for all the advice again!

  18. #18
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
    Hmm, considering I went ahead and bought the tail light a few hours after I posted this (what can I say, I'm a compulsive shopper), it doesn't matter how off topic you are! Thanks for all the advice though. On my last morning ride before putting in my order, I realized there are streetlights almost everywhere I ride, so I have a pretty good view of everything and can see cars coming. Cars being able to see me from behind was much more important, so I went with the tail light.

    Thanks for all the advice again!
    Any chance you'd like to share what you're doing in short term for a headlight? Just out of curiosity. I'm finding it interesting to hear how others are working through budgetary issues (just like I am) while they're setting up their light systems.

  19. #19
    aka. vertical jon WhiteCarbonDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    Any chance you'd like to share what you're doing in short term for a headlight? Just out of curiosity. I'm finding it interesting to hear how others are working through budgetary issues (just like I am) while they're setting up their light systems.


    I use this with a TwoFish lock block, works great for a budget "be seen" light, if you already have an old Mini Mag laying around with a burnt out bulb (I had a couple)

  20. #20
    Senior Member chinotex's Avatar
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    Keep my eyes open, hope no local constables see me, and don't leave the subdivision.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
    Keep my eyes open, hope no local constables see me, and don't leave the subdivision.
    At least get a cheap front flasher from walmart.

  22. #22
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
    Keep my eyes open, hope no local constables see me, and don't leave the subdivision.
    Yikes! Well, dig an old flashlight out of the utility drawer, stick some fresh batteries in it and duct tape it to the handlebars for a while. Anything seems like it would be better than nothing...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
    Hmm, considering I went ahead and bought the tail light a few hours after I posted this (what can I say, I'm a compulsive shopper), it doesn't matter how off topic you are! Thanks for all the advice though. On my last morning ride before putting in my order, I realized there are streetlights almost everywhere I ride, so I have a pretty good view of everything and can see cars coming. Cars being able to see me from behind was much more important, so I went with the tail light.

    Thanks for all the advice again!
    Please let us know how that works out for you and if you feel the need for more front light.

  24. #24
    Some Guy russ3706's Avatar
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    Yeah, i rocked nothing on the front for a long time and it can get kind of scary in those 'feeling out the road' dark areas. So i took the plunge and got dual 200L's and never looked back. But in the mean time im all about what they're saying, just use any flashlight, or do like what i did just recenlty before i got the Dinottes, was get a cheap headlamp from Wally, a lot better than 'feeling it out' when it gets very dark...

  25. #25
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    Yikes! Well, dig an old flashlight out of the utility drawer, stick some fresh batteries in it and duct tape it to the handlebars for a while. Anything seems like it would be better than nothing...
    Despite what I said about the old utility drawer flashlight, if you can scrape it up my real advice is to spend $50-60 on a Fenix flashlight (I use the L2D and it uses rechargeable AA batteries), use it for your headlight for a while, and later convert it to your helmet light once you've invested in a DiNotte headlight.

    I know I said the same thing earlier in the thread, but I think it's one approach that might work nicely for you. As opposed to buying a cheap headlight that you might later regret getting (since you've said you want to upgrade and will not want to have wasted good money on a cheap light), the Fenix would be an actual investment in your future system that you can keep using even after you get a more powerful headlight. It can be the bridge to a more powerful light later and can continue as part of the system as a great supplemental light for your helmet (assuming a helmet is somewhere in your picture, and maybe it isn't). I won't continue to beat that idea to death, but it's probably worth consideration -- depending on how you see your eventual needs.

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