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Old 07-16-08, 06:41 PM   #1
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Blinky comparison

I was on a group ride yesterday and noticed the rear blinky of someone on the ride. The light was really attention getting. I took a look and it was a Serfas TL-311. Has anyone compared the Serfas TL-311 with the PB Superflash and/or the Cateye TL-LD1000 or the Cateye TL-LD1100? Cateye site appears behind the times as they don't list the 1100 unit.

I like the Cateye for side visibility, but don't know how practical it is.

That Serfas got me interested in blinkies... haven't investigated this subject before. A search here seems to favor the Superflash, but I didn't find anything on the Serfas.

Edit: this will be for daytime usage.

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Old 07-16-08, 07:21 PM   #2
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Get the Serfas if that is what you like.
Are you talking about night or daytime use?
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Old 07-16-08, 07:47 PM   #3
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I've used all three, and I like the Planet Bike SuperFlash.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:46 PM   #4
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Get the Serfas if that is what you like.
Are you talking about night or daytime use?
Ah, that's a good question. I'm talking about daytime use.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:39 PM   #5
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And another thing... of these units, do any have battery replacement issues like the Mars 3.0 unit? Or do they all offer easy battery replacement?
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Old 07-16-08, 09:43 PM   #6
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You can find that dirt cheap in dollar stores. It's just a rebadged, like most of Serfas's products.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:47 PM   #7
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What, the Serfas? It's a rebadged something? (which is not necessarily a bad thing)

I stumbled across the PT Swerve in my quest. Mixed reviews to date on that. But I have a Dick's Sporting Goods card with some cash on it I could use. However, the video here sells me on the PBSF. At least for night time use. Does it do well in the daytime too? (I don't ride at night).

Edit: I believe I'll pass on this option.

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Old 07-17-08, 02:04 PM   #8
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Bought a PBSF today.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:42 AM   #9
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I've used all three, and I like the Planet Bike SuperFlash.
Did I forget to mention the great customer service at Planet Bike? I went on a short ride the other night and the white plastic on the PBSF that holds onto the black mounting bracket broke. My poor PBSF hit the road and sustained damage (it still worked BTW). Anyway, I sent a quick email and digital picture to warranty@planetbike.com Within one day, they responded and will send me a replacement PBSF. I'm lovin' it.
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Old 07-18-08, 05:24 AM   #10
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That's good to know. Did they send you the white one or the stealth one? I couldn't find the stealth one in a single pkg. Only combined with a headlight.

Reviewing the different models on display, the Mars 3.0 was very bright and impressive too. But for the battery replacement issue, that would have been a contender. It was significantly cheaper than the PBSF too.
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Old 07-18-08, 10:44 AM   #11
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Batteries -- the Planet Bike SuperFlash goes a long time on a set of batteries. Like months. I've never seen anything like it.
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Old 07-19-08, 01:20 AM   #12
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Cool

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Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
That's good to know. Did they send you the white one or the stealth one? I couldn't find the stealth one in a single pkg.
I have the red and white PBSF. That is the one they will send me as a replacement. When I first saw the stealth PBSF, I thought is had a white LED and could be used for a front blinky. That would be nice. Overall, I'm happy with the PBSF and customer service.
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Old 07-19-08, 01:22 AM   #13
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Batteries -- the Planet Bike SuperFlash goes a long time on a set of batteries. Like months. I've never seen anything like it.
I recently switched the batteries in all my PBSF's to Sanyo Eneloops. However, when I tested the battery strength of the OEM Toshiba batteries, they were still like new. I think I'll use those batteries for my remote controls and digital clocks.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:27 AM   #14
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+1
PB Superflash
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Old 07-21-08, 05:16 PM   #15
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We have three blinkers. (Mars 3.0, PBSF Stealth, Viewpoint Flashpoint) so can make direct comparisons, if you want to see something.

The Mars indeed has a little bit of a nagging battery replacement issue in that you need jeweler's screwdriver to replace batteries on the fly. However, it's not too horrible as the light gradually dims as the batteries run down, so you usually have ample opportunity to figure out you need to change them out at home. Having the screwed case does seem to make the light a bit "tougher" than the other two in terms of surviving a fall off the bike, for whatever it's worth.

All three are pretty close to each other in terms of brightness. In "blink" mode, I'll give the nod to the PBSF as it has the most unusual pattern of the three, which tends to get more attention. (although the two lower LED's are barely visible in daylight, so it's mostly the blink of the main light you see. ) However, in "steady" I feel it's kind of a push since it only has the 1/2 watt main light on, while the Mars and Flashpoint run all their LEDS (7 on the Mars, 9 on the Flashpoint).

For what it's worth, the Flashpoint and Superflash on the back of my bike at about 25' behind.



Hope that helps!
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Old 07-21-08, 08:00 PM   #16
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Alrighty, as stated earlier in the thread, I bought a PBSF for the rear blinky. Now, I'm thinking I'd like a similar blinky for the front. I have one suggestion for a Cateye 135.

This is for being seen... not for seeing as I ride early morning and sometimes early evening, but no night riding (yet). So I'm thinking something with a similar strobe effect like the PBSF.

And preferably something smallish as I have a Garmin Edge plus a Cateye cyclocomputer already on the handlebar.

Suggestions? AA or AAA batteries preferred. No button cells please.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:07 PM   #17
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I've been quite pleased w/ the Planet Bike Beamer5 as a front blinky. Compact, runs on 2AA. I don't know of any front blinkies that have anything other than the usual blip-blip-blip flash pattern. The only really unusual one I've seen is the Blackburn Quadrant that blinks 2 LED's while keeping the other 2 steady. But it's rather large for a blinky.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:00 PM   #18
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Get the planet bike 1w blaze for the front headlight, its superb.
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Old 07-25-08, 08:07 AM   #19
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I sorta changed direction and bought a Fenix L2DQ5 with lockblock mounts. I believe that will cover my "be seen" requirement and add light for the occasional ride that goes later than planned. It was more expensive than I planned, but I felt it was worth the difference after researching the issue.
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Old 07-25-08, 10:46 AM   #20
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PBSF, best bang for your buck.

I've tried like 15 different rear lights, I end up giving away all the others and stick with my PBSF.
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Old 07-25-08, 11:23 AM   #21
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Agreed. See post #8.
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Old 07-25-08, 11:28 AM   #22
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I have some generic blinky on my commuter bike's rack. But, what I find really bright is my Planet Bike Super Flash. I use that as a second blinky I can attach to my helmet. It is amazing.
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Old 07-25-08, 02:48 PM   #23
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Love my PBSF, and the batteries do last a long time. I finally replaced mine after 6 months of regular use, just because it had been six months. I replaced them all Jan 1, and then July 1, but they were still going strong.
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Old 07-25-08, 10:17 PM   #24
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I've been using both the Planet bike Superflash "stealth" and the MARS 3.0 this year.

Both are literally identical in terms of brightness when set on steady. Absolutely no difference at all in spread or intensity.

Batts seem to last endlessly on both of them. Haven't noticed one dimming before the other.

Blink patterns are great on both. Interestingly, while most people applaud the Planet Bike SF as the superior light, I think for sheer safety, the Mars 3.0 is better, because it has lateral spilling yellow light for side-oncoming cars. The SF has some side spill, but for certain, the MARS spill is superior for side-approaching cars.

As everyone also knows, the SF kills the MARS for battery exchanging - you need a screwdriver for the MARS (it's a pain) versus a coin for the SF (easy.)

Profile is similar as well between the two. The MARS is slightly taller.

You can't go wrong with either light. I prefer the SF mainly because of the battery changing issue, although I admit that even with 3-4 months between batt changes on the MARS, I never had a problem. If you want more side coverage though, the MARS is better.

Last note as well for FENIX users - the FENIX is not particularly effective as a "be seen" light unless vehicles are in your forward-facing cone. If you view the fenix from the side, there's very little spill - it's a very targeted light. Even with strobe on, I found side-approach cars lurching to a stop way too close to me until I affixed my MARS light to my front (in addition the FENIX). It made a significant difference - the FENIX really is not meant well for broad coverage. Also, I found that the white and super-brightness of the FENIX light made cars see me as a motorcycle or possibly even a car with high-beams - people were turning their heads AWAY from my light, and not recognizing that I was a bicycle / pedestrian until way too late. No such problem with the blinkie on front - although I know that technically you're NOT supposed to wear red blinkies in front, only the rear. (Sue me.)
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