Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43
  1. #1
    Hanging On
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    859
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    "Bright enough" rear lights

    I've recently started riding at night and I've come to realize that those little red LED blinkies, which are fine when used in low-traffic situations where it is quite dark, are not so good in traffic. The much larger red taillights of cars, coupled with light pollution from headlights, renders the little blinkie quite invisible. I know a lot of folks will argue this, but consider that many drivers are 1)older, 2)fatigued, 3)possibly inebriated and then you get the picture. I would like some recommendations on brighter rear lights. I see that DiNotte makes one for $140 or so but I'd rather stop well before reaching that price range if possible.

    Thanks.

    -soma5

  2. #2
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Wash DC Metro
    My Bikes
    November, Trek OCLV, Bianchi Castro Valley commuter
    Posts
    969
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My favorite less expensive rear light is the PlanetBike Superflash. In strobe mode, it's probably about as bright a rear taillight as you're going to find without going into Dinotte territory. My current commuting setup has the Superflash strapped to the back of my helmet; On the back of the rack I have a PlanetBike 3-led light (pretty bright as conventional blinkies go) on steady and a Cateye LD-600 on random flash. Haven't been hit yet . (This combo also keeps away elephants. I have not seen an elephant during my commute while using these lights. I also haven't seen any elephants on any other bike ride, so YMMV )

    I have a Dinotte 200L up front which has become my light of choice (it replaced a 10W Planet Bike Alias which is now on my fixie). I should have bought a Dinotte taillight at the same time when they had their no-charger/batteries sale.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A Mars 3.0 would be better than a PBSF in this situation. But I don't know if you would find it adequate. The new Cateye TL-LD610 and LD1100 are supposed to be very bright compared to previous models. Do a search on this forum and you will see some reviews.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  4. #4
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Finlando NOT: Orlando, Fl
    My Bikes
    Beater + Nishiki Bigfoot X-29
    Posts
    1,694
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have just used steady red 1w led strapped to my helmet. I used a broken led, so my next light will be much brighter.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    366
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another vote for the Superflash. As far as cheap-ish, battery-powered lights go, it's pretty good!

  6. #6
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX 77095
    My Bikes
    Specialized Sequoia Elite, Schwinn Frontier FS MTB, Centurion LeMans (1986)
    Posts
    1,470
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Niterider rear tail-light used to be the gold standard before the DiNotte, and it's still quite good. I have one, and I feel pretty safe in traffic. I might go for the DiNotte anyway, though. Or wait for just-as-good but less expensive competitors to emerge, which is inevitable.

  7. #7
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    NorCal
    My Bikes
    LHT, Pacer
    Posts
    537
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As far as the cheaper lights go, I would consider the PBSF and Mars 3.0 pretty well tied but different. The PBSF seems to be ultimately brighter but is confined to a fairly narrow viewing angle. At much of an angle the Mars seems better. Keep in mind I've never had the two together at the same time (I' know...), but I'm pretty confident. Tried them apart a few times each

    Now that I have a good way to mount one on a helmet, I am going to buy a PBSF to augment my Mars 3.0. One on bike, one on helmet...not sure which will go where. Up high on the helmet is good though, especially in traffic. In many instances, I'll bet it would help more than a Dinotte alone on your seatpost.
    Last edited by tdister; 11-11-07 at 08:17 PM.
    Surly LHT complete, Surly Pacer Complete, '94 Marin Muirwoods....and a couple others

  8. #8
    Year-round cyclist
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Montréal (Québec)
    Posts
    3,023
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Attach two or three SuperFlashes behind your rear rack. That way, you'll get:
    – a bright enough taillight, that compares favourably to the intensity of car brake lights;
    – a wide "resulting taillight", which is very useful for visibility;
    – redundancy.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  9. #9
    Member freedomguy22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon View Post
    Attach two or three SuperFlashes behind your rear rack.
    +1 Gagnon

    I have two superflashes and a dinotte. If I were on a limited budget, I would go with three superflashes. They are bright, great mount and great battery life and an excellent value.

  10. #10
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    313
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    2-3 Superflashes here
    two on seat, one on back or one on seat and one on back/pack

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Riga, Latvia
    Posts
    10,076
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Having both the Planet Bike Super Flash and and Cateye TL-1100 I can confirm that the Cateye is much more visible, especially in low light conditions.

  12. #12
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Weston, FL
    My Bikes
    Ridley Noah RS, Scott CR1 Pro
    Posts
    2,170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Having both the Planet Bike Super Flash and and Cateye TL-1100 I can confirm that the Cateye is much more visible, especially in low light conditions.
    I also just picked up a TL-1100 and I think it is bright enough for me. It was reasonably priced at $37 too.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  13. #13
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    My Bikes
    Specialized Tricross Comp, Lemond Tourmalet, Bridgestone MB-5
    Posts
    1,713
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to think my PB Blinky1 was plenty bright. Then I thought my Cateye LD-1000 was bright enough. And along came the SuperFlash, and it was good enough. But now that I have my Dinotte, I have seen the light! Uh, what was the question?
    Last edited by flipped4bikes; 11-12-07 at 09:22 AM.
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  14. #14
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
    Posts
    13,858
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tdister View Post
    Now that I have a good way to mount one on a helmet, I am going to buy a PBSF to augment my Mars 3.0. One on bike, one on helmet...not sure which will go where. Up high on the helmet is good though, especially in traffic. In many instances, I'll bet it would help more than a Dinotte alone on your seatpost.
    I'd put the PBSF on the bike and the Mars on the helmet. Since you've already noticed that the PBSF has a narrower viewing angle, it would do a better job while aimed in a specific direction, and a stable platform like the bike would be better than the helmet.

    The Dinotte (and any others in its class) is pretty amazing, though.

  15. #15
    Munchin' and rollin' chuongdoan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    KCMO
    Posts
    185
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After I got a Dinotte for myself, I bought one for my wife's commuter to replace the 5 blinkies I thought was "good enough." After seeing how bright it was and how much better cars could see me, I couldn't let her ride with anything less.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chuongdoan View Post
    After I got a Dinotte for myself, I bought one for my wife's commuter to replace the 5 blinkies I thought was "good enough." After seeing how bright it was and how much better cars could see me, I couldn't let her ride with anything less.
    What 5 blinkies did you have that were not good enough? If they were older models or really cheap I could understand. But if you had 2 or more Mars 3.0's, PBSF's, Cateye TL-LD600's, Knog Frog's, etc., I cannot imagine them not providing overwhelmingly safe illumination.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  17. #17
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    My Bikes
    Too Many
    Posts
    2,393
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    I have just used steady red 1w led strapped to my helmet. I used a broken led, so my next light will be much brighter.
    Here you go.

    Seoul 2.5-watt RED LED on star circuit board from mouser.com $4.60 + shipping.
    http://www.mouser.com/search/refine.aspx?Ntt=889-r32282

    3W 19-Mode Universal Regulated Circuit Board for Flashlights. $4.26, shipping is free!
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.7882

    Doing it yourself, priceless!

  18. #18
    Munchin' and rollin' chuongdoan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    KCMO
    Posts
    185
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One Mars 3.0, two of the $6 Performance blinky jobs, some other generic one on the helmet, and a Target special. I'm sure when a car gets close enough that it was enough to get noticed. But I didn't realize how much further you could get a car's attention with the Dinotte.
    Still, tons of cyclists do just fine without one.

  19. #19
    dbs
    dbs is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    My Bikes
    1976 Viscount
    Posts
    121
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use the CatEye LD1000 and get feedback that I can be seen. It's pretty bright and at $35 +/- it's tough to beat. At this price I've considered getting a second and mounting one on each of my bags.

  20. #20
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
    Posts
    13,858
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chuongdoan View Post
    One Mars 3.0, two of the $6 Performance blinky jobs, some other generic one on the helmet, and a Target special. I'm sure when a car gets close enough that it was enough to get noticed. But I didn't realize how much further you could get a car's attention with the Dinotte.
    Still, tons of cyclists do just fine without one.
    Check the "Are lumens cumulative?" thread -- it may be that a bunch of dimmer lights just aren't as visible as even just one brighter light.

  21. #21
    <insert title here>
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Marin Pine Mountain (steel hardtail w/ XTR rear, XT front, Bontragger RaceXlite tubless wheelset)
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kf5nd View Post
    The Niterider rear tail-light used to be the gold standard before the DiNotte, and it's still quite good. I have one, and I feel pretty safe in traffic. I might go for the DiNotte anyway, though. Or wait for just-as-good but less expensive competitors to emerge, which is inevitable.
    I have the universal tailight by Niterider, and I'm quite happy with it.

  22. #22
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    My Bikes
    2 many
    Posts
    13,927
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kf5nd View Post
    The Niterider rear tail-light used to be the gold standard before the DiNotte, and it's still quite good. I have one, and I feel pretty safe in traffic. I might go for the DiNotte anyway, though. Or wait for just-as-good but less expensive competitors to emerge, which is inevitable.
    Don't believe the add copy from Nightrider that is published in mail order catalogues, it's around 8 years old, maybe more. It was true when it was first printed. That has not been true for a few years.
    The PB Superflash is much better from all angles, so is the Cateye TL-LD 1000. That makes the new version of that Cateye even better. And so are a few others.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  23. #23
    Senior Member maximushq2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    My Bikes
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp, Specialized Rockhopper Comp, Gt Timberline
    Posts
    281
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Anyone have pics of the nitrider taillight in action?

  24. #24
    Senior Member dmac49's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Outside..somewhere
    My Bikes
    Fuji, Specialized, Cannondale, Columbia
    Posts
    437
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have the Cateye TL-LD1000 on two of my bikes and I'm very happy with them. In fact so much so I ordered the TL-LD1100 to replace my MARS3 on another bike. I'm not real happy about the MARS mounting. In NY state the law requires that either the front or the rear light must be seen for 200 ft from the sides in addition to the front and rear visibility that is also by law required. Now I have never seen anyone get stopped or bothered by the PD for not having the side visibility , but it is a very good feature. My better half and I often ride together and we use them in the daylight and plain and simple ...they work well.
    Update 11/14: The 1100 blows them all away at under $40. Twice as bright as the 1000.
    Last edited by dmac49; 11-14-07 at 11:35 AM.

  25. #25
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    My Bikes
    2 many
    Posts
    13,927
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by maximushq2 View Post
    Anyone have pics of the nitrider taillight in action?
    There are plenty in the forums this same thing gets discussed every year. There are even videos.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •