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  1. #1
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Rear light, flashing or not

    In the US where flashing rear lights are legal, do you prefer flashing or steady for the rear tail light?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    For me it depends upon the conditions, I use the rear light in flashing mode during daylight since it seems more noticeable; however, at night or in inclement weather I use it as a steady rear light since that is what the motorists are going to expect in a tail light.

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Flashing front and rear.

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  4. #4
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I like my Dinotte rear light, which combines a bright enough steady light to throw a big pool of red on the road with flashing still brighter to grab the attention.

  5. #5
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    Prefer flashing.
    While driving a vehicle, I've seen steady and flashing lights mounted on bikes. For bikes, I find flashing lights are easier to spot in general. I like having a steady and a flasher as best of both worlds.
    - Solo Attack: When you attack, let the sprint group lead you out. You take no points. But when they sit up, you put your head down and hold threshold. Remember: When you see Jesus you are still about 2 minutes from blacking out. Hang on.

  6. #6
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I want flashing, but I prefer to have one steady as well. If I have to ride with only one light and that's the choice, I'll take flashing, but that's because I'll also have at least a reflector, and probably a lot more reflective material as well that has the "steady" covered.

    The Dinotte covers both at once; between bright flashes it's back to steady lower brightness.
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    i like to ride in the dark and like a ninja....like a tiger sneaking up quietly behind their preys...and dodging cars improves your skills

  8. #8
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    I prefer flashing with lots of random pattern. I find that the more random pattern there are, the better I get noticed. I just got done with trying out a MS tailight with two PBSF on either side of the MS. I personally thinks that a lot of cars will see me just the same if I am running a single MS tail light as I do if I was running the MS plus the two PBSF, however with the random extra flashing from the PBSF, they will actually slow down as they passed me to see the setup which is a good thing. Not only do I get seen, but I get enough attention for them to observe what I got. I did a video of the setup and I will post it after I do some editing. All I can say so far is that at 1/3 of a mile it is eye catching
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
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  9. #9
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
    In the US where flashing rear lights are legal, do you prefer flashing or steady for the rear tail light?

    Thanks!
    Flashing. Steady red lights blend in too easily in traffic:



    There's a difference between being visible, and being noticed. Get noticed.

  10. #10
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    I use steady on my front lights as they are mainly so I can see. My rear light I always use flashing mode, but not to get noticed. I use flashing on the rear light because I can get almost 3 months out of a set of AAA cells. Steady only nets me around a month or so. Here soon though I will have a new generator powered light and it will be steady (though it has to be as it's a German light).

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Flashing. Steady red lights blend in too easily in traffic:



    There's a difference between being visible, and being noticed. Get noticed.
    +1

  12. #12
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    The flashing mode gets longer battery life, but I always thought the modes might be better used to indicate a cycling condition. I figure constant on is a cyclist under normal riding conditions. Blinking might be a cyclist stopped at the side of the road, perhaps in distress like the flashers on a car when you have a flat tire or the car/bike is having mechanical problems. And the blinking chasing mode, that's more reserved for police on bikes, chasing somebody or perhaps a crime victim ? The chasing mode probably indicating that a dangerous condition with a criminal still in the area exists ? For the blinking modes, a motorist might stop and assist someone in whatever distress ? Constant on and the motorists need to yield right of way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bat56's Avatar
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    Both. Blink to get their attention, and solid so that they can focus on me and figure out where I am.

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    For rear lights, I use one flasher and one not. The non-flasher is on the left side, the flasher on the right.

    ---------
    Heresy follows (if you don't like heresy... go to next post/thread).

    Flashing front lights are basically UNSAFE for others whether coming towards you are travelling in your lane/direction. As others have noted, they may attract the eye better than "constant on" lights. However, in doing so, they may cause a temporary loss of acuity in the person looking to see what was flashing - depending on the distance to the light source, its strength, and the angle at which the light is looked at with respect to its beam pattern/strength. A rider's perception of safety or desire "to be seen" does not obviate a need to be concerned about others. This is why driving a car with high beams on is usually unlawful unless the distance between yourself and anyone in front of you is more than 500 feet.
    End of heresy....

  15. #15
    Senior Member trx1's Avatar
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    Where i live, im safest riding on the sidewalk.
    since all our factories closed, theres ALOT less traffic then b4.
    overall win for cyclists(not many, but those who do r WAY SAFER nowadays)
    Last edited by trx1; 09-24-10 at 09:03 AM.

  16. #16
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    I ride early and use two red blinkies on the rear and solid white on the front in addition to a helmet mounted light. I also carry a Four Sevens back up light in case one of the front lights poops out.

  17. #17
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    A couple of days ago I decided to run the Magicshine tail on steady with my auxiliary lights (superflashes) on blink. I run the Magicshine on blink during the day, but I decided that at night it's just like poking people in the eye to have it blinking, and having it on steady was better.

    I've run it like that two days so far, and on both days I got multiple positive comments from drivers about my lights. I don't think I'd gotten more than 3 or 4 comments in the last 5 years, then I got 4 in two days after making the change.
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  18. #18
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    I use flashing but in my state (New Hampshire), a flashing red light is technically illegal. I think that's more of a technicality though.

  19. #19
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonikon View Post
    i like to ride in the dark and like a ninja....like a tiger sneaking up quietly behind their preys...and dodging cars improves your skills
    I hope you live long enough to get smarter.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 09-25-10 at 08:42 PM. Reason: removing insults
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  20. #20
    Donde Esta Mi Pantalones? kinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil85207 View Post
    I hope you live long enough to get smarter.
    He's a troll. Just tell him "cool story bro"
    Last edited by unterhausen; 09-25-10 at 08:41 PM.

  21. #21
    Gear Hub fan
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    I like dynamo lights as primary lighting and no dynamo taillights are available that I know of with a blinking mode. I use a blinking battery taillight as an auxillary for added visibility.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian Sharpe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Flashing. Steady red lights blend in too easily in traffic:

    There's a difference between being visible, and being noticed. Get noticed.
    +1

    The blinking red light is far more likely to get a motorist's attention from a distance.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Unfortunately - there isn't an intelligent method of determining what mode of lighting to use.


    Lighting needs are dynamic.

    There is no one "perfect" light for the many different situations cyclists encounter. The reality of "dumb as truck+F" American - is that we all play "catch up" to the mindless automobile/power bar -SUV / cell -phone - CD -shuffle craze" that represents what most motorists are tending to as the scurry from non-event to non-result.

    I "geeked up" my hybrid with dual MS 900s - a flashing front Dinotte and a Fenix LD 20 to aim at driver's eyes, and mated that to two MS tail lights in flash mode with another front-facing Dinotte on "flash" that high lights my entire back side from a rear rack mount.

    Now you would think - I would get noticed- and I do. Just the other night an ******* comes by at two feet - just to show "he's still boss" no matter how many lights I run.

    SO - light up any way you can - they'll still aim at you - never assume you are safe.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmweaver2 View Post
    For rear lights, I use one flasher and one not. The non-flasher is on the left side, the flasher on the right.

    ---------
    Heresy follows (if you don't like heresy... go to next post/thread).

    Flashing front lights are basically UNSAFE for others whether coming towards you are travelling in your lane/direction. As others have noted, they may attract the eye better than "constant on" lights. However, in doing so, they may cause a temporary loss of acuity in the person looking to see what was flashing - depending on the distance to the light source, its strength, and the angle at which the light is looked at with respect to its beam pattern/strength. A rider's perception of safety or desire "to be seen" does not obviate a need to be concerned about others. This is why driving a car with high beams on is usually unlawful unless the distance between yourself and anyone in front of you is more than 500 feet.
    End of heresy....
    I agree with you about running the high(ish) powered front lights at night on flashing.

    However, from experience driving in my area, this isn't true of those AA powered lights that last like 50 hours on a set of batteries - you know, the "to be seen kind". You know, the kind you get that cost $30 and don't put out enough light to bike by really, but the ambient city light is enough to bike by and you just want other people to see you. Those kind I like (as a driver) when they're blinking, they make bikes stand out, but they aren't anywhere near bright enough to be be annoying.

    And of course for maximum visibility during the day a high power blinking front light is nice, but obviously that's a totally different situation than most people get lights for biking in.

    Just to add something to agree with you (and I do agree with your point in general), I'm tempted to wear my really high powered bike lights on my helmet for those people who run bright, high powered blinking lights on our local MUP - damn it those things are obnoxious. I'm tempted to use the helmet light on the people who have those - "What? You're blinded and can't see? Well guess what - so am I, so I guess we're even." Jesus those things are annoying...

  25. #25
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    Rear light should flash. It doesn't need to do anything but attract attention. But you have different flashers. Which one of those work best? Back and forth, plain bar on and off, or random?

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