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Old 10-10-09, 08:45 AM   #1
deepakvrao
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Blackburn Mars 4 better than PBSF? Rack mountable?

Planning a bit of touring and getting the Tubus Cargo rack. Does the Mars 4 come with a rack mount? Have heard that it is actually brighter than the PB Super Flash? True?

For the PB SF you need to buy a separate mount for a rack.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Planning a bit of touring and getting the Tubus Cargo rack. Does the Mars 4 come with a rack mount? Have heard that it is actually brighter than the PB Super Flash? True?

For the PB SF you need to buy a separate mount for a rack.
The Rack has a light mount:
The flagship of Tubus racks, the Cargo comes in two sizes: 26", which fits most 26" wheeled mountain bikes and 700c road bikes, and the 700c, which is designed to provide extra clearance on road bikes with full-wrap fenders. Please choose your size from the options below.

Cargo Rear Rack Features:

Fillet brazed chromoly, hollow steel tubing construction
One-piece, "triangular" struts are incredibly stable

Two upper mounting arms adjust forward-backward and side-to-side
Compatible with most braze-on configurations

Second lower eyelet for fender mounting or use with the QR axle adapter
Mounting bracket for a tail light
Incredibly light weight for its strength
Works on 26" and 700C wheels
Maximum load: 88 lbs (40 kg)
Weight: 22oz (0.62 kg)
Color: Black
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Old 10-10-09, 09:18 AM   #3
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Yes but I thought that was the two hole thingie which would take this light:



And you need an adapter for the PBSF or Mars? Like this?

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Old 10-10-09, 12:05 PM   #4
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The Mars does come with a rack mount adapter. But it is for mounts with two vertical holes.

The SF flash pattern is certainly more noticeable while the Mars might be a tad brighter when on steady. Neither are really that great in terms of side visibility but the side facing LEDs on the Mars do make it more visible than the SF. I run one of each.
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Old 10-10-09, 02:32 PM   #5
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Per an earlier comparison reported on here the Mars4 has MUCH shorter battery life than the Superflash. Apparently it uses much less sophisticated LED driver electronics as well as a claimed higher power LED.
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Old 10-10-09, 03:35 PM   #6
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User comments here:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego.../mars-40-32411
indicate that it's not really significantly better than the Superflash, and is not well sealed.
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Old 10-10-09, 03:44 PM   #7
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The Mars 4 and PBSF may be using the same LED, but the Mars's electronics keep it on "pure" steady while the PBSF's steady mode is actually very rapidly flickering. It's like the difference between a Dinotte's High and lower-output modes -- you can't really tell by looking, but if you wave it around, you can see the difference.

So, the 4 is brighter, but the PBSF lasts longer. IMO, the PBSF is bright enough and has a neat flash pattern.

The Mars 4 does come with a rack mount.
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Old 10-10-09, 05:38 PM   #8
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Like others have said the Mars 4.0 is slightly brighter than the PBSF; but the latter is more attention getting on strobe. Also the PBSF has a lot longer run time.

I don't think the PBSF comes with a rack mount but you can buy one off amazon or somewhere. I think the clip portion of the mount is universal for PB. I have a PB Rack Blinky 5 I sometimes take off my rack and clip on my PBSF.
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Old 10-10-09, 05:52 PM   #9
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Thanks guys.

Is this as bright as the PB Super Flash?

http://www.rei.com/product/776955
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Old 10-10-09, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Thanks guys.

Is this as bright as the PB Super Flash?

http://www.rei.com/product/776955
This one is brighter then the PBSF.
http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/193...fety-Light.htm
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Old 10-10-09, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Thanks guys.

Is this as bright as the PB Super Flash?

http://www.rei.com/product/776955
No, but it's pretty good as a rack light. The reflector is a bonus (neither the PBSF, Mars 4, or the Sette mentioned above work as reflectors).

I've also seen that Sette light labeled under the Serfas brand.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:34 PM   #12
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This one is brighter then the PBSF.
http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/193...fety-Light.htm
Wow, really? If so that's a heck of a deal. It looks almost exactly the same. Is the flash pattern similar?

At $10 each, if they're decent, I'd like to pick up a few.
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Old 10-11-09, 12:37 AM   #13
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I've got the Mars 4, SF, AND a Tubus rack, so I'll try and break it down for you.

During daytime I've found that the Mars 4 is more visible than the SF. Others I've asked agree with me.

At night it's a wash as both are very visible.

The Mars 4 doesn't come with a mount for a Tubus rack. Both Cateye and Planet Bike sell adapters to fit their lights on European style (Tubus) racks.
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Old 10-11-09, 03:55 AM   #14
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PBSF = 1/2 watt
Mars 4 = 1 watt and flashes twice as fast.

It's a case of 'you do the math'.

My view is PBSF is a good light but not brilliant. Over-rated.
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Old 10-11-09, 04:24 AM   #15
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PBSF = 1/2 watt
Mars 4 = 1 watt and flashes twice as fast.

It's a case of 'you do the math'.

My view is PBSF is a good light but not brilliant. Over-rated.
The math is confusing.
2 1000mAh 1.5V batteries... being generous on the volts and the capacity here.
=
3 watts for one hour.
50 hr steady runtime claimed for the Mars.... thats 60mW.

The light is likely much brighter than that with fresh batteries, its not regulated and does't run anywhere near 50 hrs steady.

The led wattage is irrelevant, the Mars isn't pushed anywhere near that power.

ps, both bright lights. The SF wins on runtime.
Here they are on steady after 12 hrs, PBSF, LD1100, MARS4


More here:
Blinkie testing: PBSF vs MARS 4.0 vs Cateye LD1100
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Old 10-12-09, 05:38 AM   #16
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znomit,

Thanks - informative review. Had seen it earlier but forgotten.
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Old 10-12-09, 07:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Thanks guys.

Is this as bright as the PB Super Flash?

http://www.rei.com/product/776955
No, but it includes the rack mount AND has an integral reflector.

FWIW, I use both the PBSF and the Rack Blinky 5. Rack Blinky 5 will likely go on every single rack I buy from now until the end of time (there are two on the back of our Burley trailer... trying to figure out how best to put one on our Madsen).

Unless, of course, I happen to have a Dyno on a bike. But, that's a separate set of issues.
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Old 10-15-09, 01:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
This one is brighter then the PBSF.
http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/193...fety-Light.htm
Wow what a great price! Is that a seat post only mounting? One thing about nearly all the PB lights over the years is mounting options - clothing clip, seat stay, seat post etc.
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Old 11-14-09, 11:40 PM   #19
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I had to throw in my 2cents after just receiving a Mars 4.0 from Amazon ($19.99) after losing my beloved Superflash off my backpack.

The Mars 4.0 is definitely brighter and more noticeable than the venerable and excellent PB Superflash. It's remarkable, actually. I'm pretty sure that for AAA systems (2 x AAA), this is the current best & brightest solution out there. The side lights also help some.

Importantly (crucially?) they also fixed the horrendous Mars 3.0 screwdriver requirement for opening the case. It's now like the Superflash, openable with a coin.

All in all, I'm am VERY impressed with this light. And as of now, it costs less than the $25 Superflash. You should buy this, hands down, if you're getting a new tail-light that isn't a pricey Dinotte.

PS - Also not surprised at all with the inferior batt life of the Mars 4.0. It puts out more light - so would expect it to be shorter on battery life.

Last edited by agarose2000; 11-15-09 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 11-15-09, 08:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by znomit View Post
ps, both bright lights. The SF wins on runtime.
Here they are on steady after 12 hrs, PBSF, LD1100, MARS4
]
12 hours on steady is the wrong point to test a bright 2 or 4x AAA light. Any decently bright light will have almost exhausted its cells by then. My state of the art 2xAA non-bike light burns through 90% of the its cells capacity in less than 2 hours on its brightest setting.
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Old 11-15-09, 04:52 PM   #21
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12 hours on steady is the wrong point to test a bright 2 or 4x AAA light. Any decently bright light will have almost exhausted its cells by then. My state of the art 2xAA non-bike light burns through 90% of the its cells capacity in less than 2 hours on its brightest setting.
The quoted runtimes for the mars is 50 hours on steady. 12 hours is a full winters night ride so a reasonable point to compare lights at.
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Old 11-16-09, 02:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
This one is brighter then the PBSF.
http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/193...fety-Light.htm
The comparison I saw seemed to indicate it is just as bright as the PBSF, but not brighter. It didn't appear brighter to me. I also like the flash pattern of the PBSF better, more eye-catching. All that said, the Sette is only $8 and the PBSF is $25. Sounds like a good deal to me.
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