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Old 11-25-09, 11:05 PM   #1
bionnaki
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recommended strobe?

I am shopping for a front strobe light. I live in a dense urban environment with endless streetlights and never really need a constant light. Basically, I need a "to be seen" light; I can see the road just fine 99% of the time. I am more concerned about motorists seeing me.

What torch would you recommend? I am considering a Fenix LD20, but I think there might be a more simple solution.

I would like a strobe that is bright enough to cut through the constant streetlights but not blinding to myself or drivers. Run time 3-5 hours is fine for my application (late night commuting). And I'd prefer AA batteries (no battery pack). Smaller body the better. I'd prefer not to order from Deal Extreme -- I need the light soon and I'd rather not order from overseas.

Should I even consider a torch? Or should I go with a PB Blaze 2W if I'm just using the strobe?

Thanks
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Old 11-25-09, 11:07 PM   #2
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Planet Bike 2 watt headlight... the strobe is seizure inducing and it provides more than adequate light for night riding.
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Old 11-26-09, 12:39 AM   #3
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Shining beam is good to deal with. http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...ode-LED/Detail
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Old 11-26-09, 10:49 AM   #4
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Do everyone on the road a favor. Forget the strobe. Strobe lights are distracting, and overly dangerous to all those who see them. You're reacting to marketing hacks using the ability of LED sources to modulate efficiently to add just another "feature" to their products, despite absolutely NO evidence that it's necessary, a good idea or productive.

What makes you think drivers comming toward you don't see you? With all the death and injury to motorcyclists and scooter riders over the years from drivers turning in front of them, why is it only "The Cyclists" who feel the need to strobe their headlights? I propose it's because "The Cyclists" are typically knee shakingly paranoid of falling off their bikes. The unthinking adoption of, and dependance on helmets. Riding on the sidewalk. Riding against traffic. Helmet mounted lights. All evidence of excessive reaction to fear mongering by marketing hacks and bike club nannies.
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Old 11-26-09, 10:52 AM   #5
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Good Light Good Price:
Get two

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail.htm?stylepkey=17094
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Old 11-26-09, 12:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RapidRobert View Post
Do everyone on the road a favor. Forget the strobe. Strobe lights are distracting, and overly dangerous to all those who see them. You're reacting to marketing hacks using the ability of LED sources to modulate efficiently to add just another "feature" to their products, despite absolutely NO evidence that it's necessary, a good idea or productive.

What makes you think drivers coming toward you don't see you? With all the death and injury to motorcyclists and scooter riders over the years from drivers turning in front of them, why is it only "The Cyclists" who feel the need to strobe their headlights? I propose it's because "The Cyclists" are typically knee shakingly paranoid of falling off their bikes. The unthinking adoption of, and dependance on helmets. Riding on the sidewalk. Riding against traffic. Helmet mounted lights. All evidence of excessive reaction to fear mongering by marketing hacks and bike club nannies.
I base our observations on experience... having worked as a messenger and being a full time 16,000 km a year cyclist I put down a lot of miles at high speed and there is nowhere I will not ride my ride.

The reason I know that drivers fail to notice me is because I have been cut off in intersections more times than I can count but the incidence of that dropped to almost zero when I adopted the habit of running a daytime blinking light. It would seem that a solid light gets ignored while a blinking light get's driver's attention.

I am not afraid of falling off my bike although this is a really uncommon experience unless I am mountain biking where crashing is part and parcel of the activity or winter cycling... I have fallen off my bike twice in the last 4 years when conditions were not fit for man or beast.

The wearing of a helmet is something I do because I have worked with too many brain injured clients, many who were injured because of cycling accidents while they were not wearing a helmet... if a car hits me at 30 mph or I get run over by a bus the helmet probably isn't going to save me but in a low speed crash it might be the difference between walking away or spending the rest of my life being fed by others.

I also run helmet mounted lights front and rear as this brings the light source higher and increases visibility and while riding through dense traffic makes me more visible to motorists.

I don't ride on the sidewalk or against traffic because I am traffic and know the things I do to make myself as visible as possible have kept me from becoming road kill.

I have had motorists make positive comments on the helmet mounted lights saying that these really helped them see me... I do not run the seizure inducing strobe light at night because that is dangerous for everyone but still use secondary blinkies.

That 2 watt strobe is great when you are coming down the street at 20 plus miles an hour as it really gets the attention of motorists who might cut in front of you in intersections... this happens more often with cyclists who are fast as most drivers have trouble judging the approach speed of a bicycle as they just don;t expect them to be moving as quickly as other traffic.

Putting myself in the middle of the lane also helps because I don't want to blend in with the curb because motorists don't look there either.

Can I help you with anything else ?
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Old 11-26-09, 01:43 PM   #7
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Your points about DAYTIME use of a strobe are good, and I should've focused my comments on nighttime use of strobes. At night, as you agree, they're dangerous. But I'd suggest it could just as easily be that oncomming drivers see a blinking white light comming toward them and associate it with an emergency situation, the only other and by far more common situation where a strobing white light is used on the road, and yield extra time accordingly. Getting cut off by left turners involves situational blindness, distraction, bad judgement of bike speed and time of convergence by the driver, their state of rush and consideration for cyclists in general. Not just their physical ability to "see" the rider, despite what they say after causing a collision.
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Old 11-26-09, 01:54 PM   #8
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Robert - If a driver thinks I am an emergency vehicle that is a good thing because being seen is how you win this game.

I am not in favour of people running strobes at night as they become a problem for oncoming motorists and other cyclists if one is taking a MUP and the folks who run bicycle lights that are brighter than car headlights also tick me off.

Sure... they can see like it's high noon on a summer day but they blind everyone else.

I have some insanely bright off road lighting that I rarely use on the road and if I do I switch them down to their lowest setting... if I come up behind another cyclist I can actually wash out their lights or create a shadow in front of them that makes it impossible for them to see what is ahead.

In an urban environment a 3 watt light is usually sufficient and a bright but non seizure inducing front blinkie really adds to one's ability to be seen.

As far as main rear lighting goes... it's a PB Superflash all the way. I like being seen from a mile away but again... the flash mode is too harsh on the eyes if you are riding with other people.
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Old 11-26-09, 02:09 PM   #9
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Thanks for the thoughtful comments and consideration. Bike headlights' lumens/dollar is quickly increasing. I see very little of your kind of consideration with light amongst "The Cyclists" I encounter, and see only problems as their lights' power increase. I'm a lighting professional, and a member of the International Dark Sky Association. People, in general, throw light around with total disregard for what, where or who it hits. Cyclists are no different. Some may eventually think that shining a laser beam toward oncomming drivers will be justified to "get their attention". Where do we draw the line?
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Old 11-26-09, 02:13 PM   #10
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This discussion inspired me to start this thread...

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...n-of-etiquette
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Old 11-27-09, 12:54 AM   #11
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+1 on Shining Beam.

I've found that in heavy urban daytime traffic a helmet mounted strobe is really helpful as you can quickly flash inattentive drivers.

For instance earlier this week a woman in an SUV was about to fly around a corner whilst fiddling with something on her passenger seat. She didn't see me at all until I quickly flashed her, at which point she started to once again pay attention to where she was driving. She stopped and gave me my right of way instead of blindly running me over. Helmet mounted strobe rocks!
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Old 11-27-09, 02:22 PM   #12
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so the Kingpower K2 is a good one for my application? Thanks.

rapidrobert: Like I said, I live in a major metropolitan area. Lights of a cyclist have to compete with flashing street ads, street lights, car lights, lights from buildings and businesses, lights from passings trains/subways/buses with lighted advertising to even being to draw the attention of motorists. where I ride, there is no darkness. If that means a strobe/blinking front light or two to help prevent from being run over by a taxi, so be it.
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Old 11-27-09, 02:34 PM   #13
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I understand your point Bionnaki, but you might be stuck on a simple, single aspect of the situation. Where do you stop being seen (achieving your goal) and start being a distraction, making everyone around you more at risk? How would you know you crossed the line? I propose that being close to that line results in drivers just being pissed off at yet another inconsiderate and selfish member of "The Cyclists".

How about riding defensively instead of as fast as you can? Do you wear reflective clothing? Are there retroreflectors on the front of your bike? All three of these cheap things achieve your goal using light provided by the vehicles approaching you, without adding to the problem for everyone else on the road.
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Old 11-27-09, 02:48 PM   #14
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I know I am not a distraction (or others' a distraction) because I also drive for a living. I commute by bicycle to work and make deliveries through the city at night. Trust me -- I have never been blinded by any cyclist or any light that I encounter. I do, on the other hand, encounter cyclists every single night that are barely visible -- who have nothing but reflectors and a knog blinky.

And who are you to insinuate that I am selfish and inconsiderate?

I ride safely and I have some 3M reflective material on my helmet and bag as well as two superflashes on the back. And if you think that reflectors and riding slow is sufficient enough to draw attention from a sleep-deprived cabbie, you're living in a fantasy world.

Go ride your high horse to another thread. Thanks.

Last edited by bionnaki; 11-27-09 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 11-27-09, 03:08 PM   #15
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And who are you to call me selfish and inconsiderate? I ride safely and I have some 3M reflective material on my helmet and bag. And if you think that reflectors and riding slow is sufficient enough to draw attention from a sleep-deprived cabbie, you're living in a fantasy world.

Go ride your high horse to another thread. Thanks.
I'm a driver who has been flashed to the point of seeing afterimages by "The Cyclists", using too much light on their helmet and pointing it right into my face. And you can load your bike up with blinking Christmas tree lights and get the same visibility result as using a barge light on a helmet at night. But no, you choose the barge light. That's the origin of my opinion and description, and I stand behind it.
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Old 11-27-09, 04:35 PM   #16
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Recently, "RapidRobert" posted enough stuff about not using lights that he actually got his threads deleted from several posts.

It's not worth arguing/debating with him - his idea of a bright bike light is something on the power of a Mini Mag Lite, and complains that 100-200 lumen bike lights are a serious road hazard despite the lack of any evidence whatsoever of a bike light causing a fatality due to blinding an oncoming car (for heavens sake).

Just let him be.
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Old 11-27-09, 04:42 PM   #17
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Recently, "RapidRobert" posted enough stuff about not using lights that he actually got his threads deleted from several posts.

It's not worth arguing/debating with him - his idea of a bright bike light is something on the power of a Mini Mag Lite, and complains that 100-200 lumen bike lights are a serious road hazard despite the lack of any evidence whatsoever of a bike light causing a fatality due to blinding an oncoming car (for heavens sake).

Just let him be.
This is a derailing post, only a personal attack against me, and misrepresents the facts about the threads mentioned. He also obviously, ignorantly misrepresents my "idea of a bright bike light". What a putz.
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Old 11-27-09, 04:43 PM   #18
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like I said before, where I ride, there is little darkness at night and plenty of light noise. let's just say that you can regularly hear birds chirping at 3am. so, perhaps you should take that into consideration. your streets are different from my streets. therefore, our application of lighting will be different. your opinion has so far been irrelevant to this thread. stay on topic...or dont post.
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Old 11-27-09, 05:19 PM   #19
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Heavy urban lighting in the field of view of a bicyclist isn't significantly city dependant, Vegas and Reno aside, so of course I know what you're talking about. In my opinion, the choice of active visibility means (that is, helmet mounted strobe lights at night) over passive ones, to the point of belligerant distraction and increased risk for everyone else, should be discouraged. And I don't care about your opinion of my opinion.
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Old 11-27-09, 05:52 PM   #20
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yeah, that's wonderful.

keep your opinion to another thread, ok? I am not convinced by your argument nor do I care to be proselytized any further.

I started this thread for specific suggestions for a front light -- not a discussion about road courtesy. The whole forum topic relevancy concept isnt that hard. Take a deep breath, lower your obviously high blood pressure, come back and post in relevant thread...everything will be ok.
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Old 11-27-09, 06:04 PM   #21
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You guys both make good points and should be aware that this is not a black / white issue and that there are shades of grey.

I think Robert recognizes that under some circumstances brighter lights are required (he has said as much) but is also correct in saying one can go too far when it comes to applying lights to one's bike.

Any discussion on lighting should include a discussion on safety / etiquette / courtesy as most of us who ride any amount have found ourselves getting blinded by motorists and with better technology cyclists now possess the same capacity.

bionnaki - get the PB Superflash... you won't get better bang for your buck than you can with this light.

But don't run the strobe at night... it is viciously bright.
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Old 11-27-09, 09:38 PM   #22
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another superflash wont work. I need a white light for the front to stay legal. And I run my superflash in the rear on strobe regularly -- it works quite well for for the environment that I am riding in and I often ride with my girlfriend that also has a superflash on blink. I am never blinded by her rear light when I am behind her.

Last edited by bionnaki; 11-27-09 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 11-27-09, 09:45 PM   #23
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Sorry... Should have said Planet Bike 2 watt headlight w/ superflash.
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Old 11-27-09, 10:23 PM   #24
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Sorry... Should have said Planet Bike 2 watt headlight w/ superflash.
Agreed. I have the original 1w version, and it's definitely caused me to be noticed by vehicles, which is exactly what I was striving for. PB markets it as the "Blaze"

http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3045.html
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Old 11-30-09, 06:15 PM   #25
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I have the 1/2 watt PB Blaze helmet-mounted just for the 'see-me and please don't run over me' effect. I mostly use it when going through intersections or along busy streets; it is easy to turn off with gloved hands, so when I ride on sections of the MUP, I can quickly turn it off. It is bright enough to get noticed, but not quite enough to blind. Recommended. YMMV
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