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Old 05-02-08, 09:44 AM   #1
bryroth
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Dinotte Tail Light Alternative

I can't justify spending $150 on a tail light. Is there anything that comes close to the Dinotte?
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Old 05-02-08, 10:29 AM   #2
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The Planet Bike SuperFlash is extremely bright. I don't know how it compares to a Dinotte, but at ~$20 each, you could buy three of them for less than half the Dinotte price.

Here's a real simple alternative. Buy a high power LED flashlight from someone like dealextreme.com. Get one that uses a 18650 Rechargeable battery and you'll get about 3 hours runtime on one battery. Purchase some red auto taillight repair tape (transparent) from an auto parts store. Cut out a circle to match the flashlight lens and stick it on. Mount the flashlight to your seatpost pointing back and blind approaching drivers.
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Old 05-02-08, 10:33 AM   #3
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twp PlanetBike Superflash on tail and one superflash on high up back >>>>attention compare to dinotted
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Old 05-02-08, 11:03 AM   #4
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I made one using instructions found on this forum. It does take a little bit of technical ability to make one though. Some folks have cobbled them together using silicon sealer and Altoids boxes. I think something could be found on DealExtreme that would work.
Even though I have a Dinotte front light, I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a "be seen" light.
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Old 05-02-08, 11:33 AM   #5
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The Dinotte tail light always makes drivers give me a wide berth even when its flashing during the day,it's like having eyes in the back of your head . You wouldn't ride in traffic without a helmet I wont ride in traffic without it and it's really easy to slip off when you get to the track.

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Old 05-02-08, 12:07 PM   #6
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The Cateye TL-1100 is much more visible in the daytime than the Superflash. I own both and have compared them side by side.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:51 PM   #7
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I ride with a woman on a trike. Her Dinotte Tail is brighter than a police car flashing lights.
How much is your life worth?
Dinotte is the best I have seen.
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Old 05-02-08, 01:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I ride with a woman on a trike. Her Dinotte Tail is brighter than a police car flashing lights.
How much is your life worth?
Dinotte is the best I have seen.
Many of us have ridden for years without a DiNotte taillight and are some how still alive......
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Old 05-02-08, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
The Cateye TL-1100 is much more visible in the daytime than the Superflash. I own both and have compared them side by side.
+1 for the new Cateye. pricey but much less than a Dinotte, and VERY bright.
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Old 05-02-08, 05:53 PM   #10
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I finally got the Dinotte tailight and 600L combo. Thanks to the US Gov Rebate check.

Until school is out, and my summer is free, I am riding after school and end up riding at dusk. The planet bike superflash and Light & Motion Solo mv, just don't cut it. The battery needed replacing on the L&M and I decided to cut my losses on my two season set up.

The superflash works for fine, except at dusk. I have it mounted to my seatstay. Once properly set up it is quite effective. I probably would have stayed with that, had the tax rebate not occurred. The L&M was a waste. Short bulb life spans running on high, lousy light mount, and high replacement part cost.
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Old 05-02-08, 08:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryroth View Post
I can't justify spending $150 on a tail light. Is there anything that comes close to the Dinotte?
I am an electronics noob. I am however fortunate to have a soldering iron but for those without it I have learned of some ways to 'macguyver' one.

If cosmetics are NOT your primary issue then a ghetto built DIY light will be cheap and twice as bright as the Dinotte.

I don't mind showing people how to wire the thing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49184877@N00/ This is my flickr site. If you look back a few pages you will see a simple layout of how to connect the driver. I am in the works of making a noobie how-to guide.

If cosmetics is not the concern then building a ghetto then just hotglue smearing around the electirical contact areas and the lenses will keep the unit rather water-resistant/proof. It will look ugly as sin but at night no one is looking at how lovely the design is. During the day, yes you may feel a bit embarassed by the way the unit looks.

By gluing and screwing everything together it can keep costs down. I used a DealExtreme 5-mode no state memory driver for my head light. For my tail light build I'm thinking of using a 16 mode memory driver. The cop-strobes mode rocks.

My setup uses 4xAA but I have low/mid/high modes to save power. You could use 4xAAA as well or othe rechargeable cells.
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Old 05-02-08, 09:09 PM   #12
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I dunno who the 140lm tail light is aimed at. If someone hits you with your superflash or an LD1100 pointing at them it is a miracle they haven't run into someone else or a tree already.

Runtimes where you don't have to change batteries mid ride is nice too.

Looking at the very cool picture near the end of the page here I don't see a bike, I see a red spot somewhere behind the bike.
Maybe I have time to pull out before that funny-red-spot-not-really-sure-what-it-is gets to the intersection. Splat.
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Old 05-02-08, 09:18 PM   #13
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Her Dinotte Tail is brighter than a police car flashing lights.
That would surprise me, but I admit I haven't seen the Dinotte. I do use a police car flashing light bolted on the back of our rack pack. It is a Nova Bull ($50 on ebay, similar to the Whelen TIR3) connected to a 1500mah 11V li-ion battery pack ($33 batteryspace) which is good for 10 hours before recharging. Total weight of 8.5 oz if that matters. About $120 total with charger, shipping, and connectors. No electronics knowledge required, but soldering skill needed.
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Old 05-02-08, 10:04 PM   #14
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as an ex flashlight geek, I'm thinking up of ways to use them for my bike.
You can use one of those inexpensive 1watt luxeon headlamps as a tail or headlight.
the plastic adjusting and battery latch on mine broke and I use a rubber band to hold it together.
It's bright, has 3 levels and flashing mode. mine uses a side emitting LED.
I took a red filter from my GI angle light and it fits right into the lens of the head lamp.

http://batteryjunction.com/f5fx-hlx712l.html


I also bought the one that uses AAA batteries, the LED on that one looked better.
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Old 05-03-08, 12:17 AM   #15
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+1 for the new Cateye. pricey but much less than a Dinotte, and VERY bright.
I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but the DiNotte is the best, brightest taillight money can buy. Period. Nothing else comes close.

I have both a DiNotte and a Superflash. I thought the Superflash was bright until I got the DiNotte; it is a far, far superior light. It is as bright or brighter than the brightest brakelight in any of the cars on the road. I've had it for a year now and I haven't ridden once without it.

Ziemas, your argument "Many of us have ridden for years without a DiNotte taillight and are some how still alive......" is plain silly. I've never hit my head in a crash but for some reason I still ride with a helmet. I would even bet the vast majority of cyclists not only wear a helmet, but have never hit their head in a crash. Using your logic, we should all stop wearing helmets.
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Old 05-03-08, 01:30 AM   #16
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I ride with my Dinotte mounted on my bike and a super flash on the back of my helmet. As znomit indicated the super flash provides a long run time, so I feel comfortable having it as a back up if my Dinotte were to run dry. Both are great lights but have slightly different applications.
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Old 05-03-08, 01:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopperja View Post
I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but the DiNotte is the best, brightest taillight money can buy. Period. Nothing else comes close.

I have both a DiNotte and a Superflash. I thought the Superflash was bright until I got the DiNotte; it is a far, far superior light. It is as bright or brighter than the brightest brakelight in any of the cars on the road. I've had it for a year now and I haven't ridden once without it.

Ziemas, your argument "Many of us have ridden for years without a DiNotte taillight and are some how still alive......" is plain silly. I've never hit my head in a crash but for some reason I still ride with a helmet. I would even bet the vast majority of cyclists not only wear a helmet, but have never hit their head in a crash. Using your logic, we should all stop wearing helmets.
There is a small minority of almost paranoid posters here who claim that if you don't have the absolutely brightest light you are in grave danger. The funny thing about this is that before the Dinotte came out the 'I must have the absolutely brightest light' crowd warned of imminent danger if one didn't have the NiteRider tail light, as it was the brightest at the time.

Then the Dinotte came out and the 'I must have the absolutely brightest light' suddenly warned of imminent danger if one didn't have the Dinotte tail light. Suddenly the Nite Rider light that was a 'life saver' was down right dangerous because there was something brighter on the market.

Some time in the future something brighter than the Dinotte will come along and we'll hear from the 'I must have the absolutely brightest light' crowd of the imminent danger we are putting ourselves in if we don't use this new light.

If you like really bright lights, great use them, (hell, I have a collection of really bright flashlights, so I can see the fun in futzing around with bright lights) but don't go around trying to scare people that horrible things will happen unless they have the brightest light possible. Many of the taillights on the market like the Cateye TL-1100 and the SuperFlash are extremely visible to drivers.

I've even seen posts here by people saying that they want to hit drivers square in the eyes to BLIND them with their Dinotte taillights. Take these folks with a grain of salt.
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Old 05-04-08, 10:24 AM   #18
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Some time in the future something brighter than the Dinotte will come along and we'll hear from the 'I must have the absolutely brightest light' crowd of the imminent danger we are putting ourselves in if we don't use this new light.
I don't think that it'll be practical to get any brighter. The Dinotte is already bright enough that it hurts. But, it's also bright enough to actually compete with all the other lights on a busy street.

Any improvement from here will be in price and in runtimes, IMO.

I also think that it's usually more important to have a good, attention-grabbing front light.
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Old 05-04-08, 10:47 AM   #19
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I have a Dinotte headlight which I love and use all the time, but I think that the taillight is overkill. For much less money you can get 2 of the PB Superflash and have a $100 left over. If someone hits you with 2 of those lit up, he wasn't looking and would hit you no matter what. I also like having 2 taillights for redundancy.
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Old 05-09-08, 12:43 PM   #20
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I wish Fenix would come out with a flashlight head with an actual red LED in there instead of a filter. That would be an ideal solution.
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Old 05-12-08, 01:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
Some time in the future something brighter than the Dinotte will come along and we'll hear from the 'I must have the absolutely brightest light' crowd of the imminent danger we are putting ourselves in if we don't use this new light.
The future is now, its already happened. The Dinotte Triple Tail light, roughly 500 lumens of red out back...
Double-U, Oh, Double-U = WOW

http://store.dinottelighting.com/sha...unt2=345557808

http://acidinmylegs.blogspot.com/sea...ple+tail+light

Last edited by russ3706; 05-12-08 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 05-12-08, 01:27 PM   #22
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The future is now, its already happened. The Dinotte Triple Tail light, +500 lumens of red out back...
Double U, O, Double U = WOW

http://store.dinottelighting.com/sha...unt2=345557808

http://acidinmylegs.blogspot.com/sea...ple+tail+light
Anything less is clearly dangerous.........

F'ing ridiculous.......
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Old 05-12-08, 06:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopperja View Post

Ziemas, your argument "Many of us have ridden for years without a DiNotte taillight and are some how still alive......" is plain silly. I've never hit my head in a crash but for some reason I still ride with a helmet. I would even bet the vast majority of cyclists not only wear a helmet, but have never hit their head in a crash. Using your logic, we should all stop wearing helmets.
How do you figure? The EQUIVALENT of what he is saying is that there are helmets out there that are not as expensive as other helmets that do the job just fine. It's not a silly argument at all. We all put value judgements on EVERYTHING we choose in life. There are risks.....and there are calculated risks. Learn the distinction. If money was no object then we'd ALL have anything out there that is the ABSOLUTE best for our health/life. Some of us don't make enough money to justify spending that kind of cash on a light. And for every point you make for its brightness, it is still no GUARANTEE that you will not die or be injured riding a bike. I think riding smart and defensively (proactively) will take you a lot further than relying....perhaps in a FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY.....on an extremely bright light to save your life.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:00 PM   #24
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Dinotte FTW. But maybe it's fun to ride with no lights and no helmet, juse to make a point.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:03 PM   #25
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I'm kinda surprised by the implication that a dimmer light would be safer.

On second thought, not "kinda surprised"... more like "stupefied".
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