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Old 11-20-10, 06:51 PM   #1
sknhgy 
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I need a super-bright taillight because...

.......the roads I ride are completely dark and have no shoulder. If a vehicle comes up behind me when I'm meeting another vehicle, I will take the lane. I want to make sure the car behind me knows I'm there. I'm afraid if I only had a blinky, the car behind me might not see me in the lane due to the glare from the oncoming car.
What's your reason?
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Old 11-20-10, 07:34 PM   #2
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Also consider a reflective triangle, or a reflective vest. I ride my bike often wearing a backpack, so I purchased a reflective triangle (some joggers use them), and safety-pinned it to the back of the pack. Works well. Also have the Planet Bike Superflash. Lastly, stock rear reflector.
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Old 11-20-10, 08:00 PM   #3
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I think that the Dinottes are considered the brightest. What is your price range?

+1 on the reflective vest or triangle
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Old 11-20-10, 10:54 PM   #4
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Well I've done a few things since I too ride on totally dark rural roads. 1st in the red blinkie light cycling through it's5 LEDs. Then I've put a ton of red reflective tape on my seat stays, seat post,pedals, etc. And I were a reflective vest.
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Old 11-20-10, 10:54 PM   #5
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Dinotte's taillights are excellent (I've observed them from 1/2 mile away) but pricey. Planet Bike Superflash (PBSF) is excellent in strobe mode and less expensive, I've had good results with the similar knock-off (Viewflash?) Performance and Nashbar sell. My commute setup has a Dinotte 140 as primary, a Viewflash on the back of my helmet in strobe mode, and a PBSF on the bike in case I need a backup for the Dinotte.

Depending on where you live, your state may require a reflector. Get one (I mounted a cheap trailer reflector I picked up at an auto parts store). If nothing else, it eliminates a reason for claiming contributory negligence against you. Reflective vest or triangle may be worthwhile, too.
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Old 11-20-10, 10:55 PM   #6
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I think that the Dinottes are considered the brightest. What is your price range?

+1 on the reflective vest or triangle
For me, reflective vest, reflective triangle, and a DiNotte 140R, 2 rear reflectors and reflective tape.

I use a DiNotte not because I want the attentive driver to see me. Rather, I want to force the inattentive, texting, 16 year old to notice me and have time to react.
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Old 11-20-10, 11:24 PM   #7
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I just bought the Dinotte 300r, very nice but $$$. Before I was using 4 planet bike superflashes all over. I will still use a couple of superflashes as backup.
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Old 11-20-10, 11:31 PM   #8
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The Dinotte 140. I have been nearly 1/2 mile behind one in broad daylight and could still see it. Brighter than a cars brake lights.
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Old 11-21-10, 12:52 AM   #9
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DiNotte 140L with a backup PlanetBike should do the trick. Folks here say they are visible from a 1/2 mile but I'd say that range is closer to a mile. I've driven buses across the I-90 floating bridge for years and commute by bike across it. I have no problem picking out DiNotte taillights at the other end of the bridge which is over a mile in length, even in heavy rain.

I finally upgraded to the 140L myself. After comparing the 140L to my SuperFlash, I wonder why I waited so long.
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Old 11-21-10, 06:00 AM   #10
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I think a couple of people kind of missed the OP's question. Your response should probably go something like....

I need a super-bright taillight because...

I get scared to death passing ninja joggers when I drive my car and realize that I do not want to be a ninja cyclist. I ride on pretty well lit roads with a pretty good shoulder, but it's just not worth cheaping out on a dim light. Bright lights are a little more pricey, but worth it. I have lots of dollars but only one life.
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Old 11-21-10, 11:46 AM   #11
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I have a DiNotte 400 taillight, it's a definite attention getter, to the point that I ran it in medium steady mode so as not to blind rear approaching urban motorists. On dark, higher speed rural roads with little or no shoulder, using the full power flashing mode would be the order of the day.
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Old 11-21-10, 05:50 PM   #12
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I need a super-bright taillight because...
...my life is worth more than any taillight (to me anyways). I have had police officers pull me over at night and ask where I got that light from. It got their attention from over a mile away. If someone does hit me, they will never have the excuse in court that they did not see me!
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Old 11-21-10, 08:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by vantassell View Post
I think a couple of people kind of missed the OP's question.
I for one.

Here goes,

I need a super-bright taillight because I want it to grab all rear approaching motorists by the eyeballs and say "Here I am!"
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Old 11-21-10, 08:56 PM   #14
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I need a super-bright taillight because...

I got a wheelset with a dynohub and figured a nice constant-on tail light would complement my PBSF nicely.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-21-10, 11:49 PM   #15
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I need a super-bright taillight because...

I got a wheelset with a dynohub and figured a nice constant-on tail light would complement my PBSF nicely.
Do you notice the increased resistance by the hub?
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Old 11-21-10, 11:54 PM   #16
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Not at all. The new wheel set had 35s; the old wheel set had 25s, and yet I'm still doing my commute in about the same time. The amount of drag is minimal. I have a SON 28 hub.
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Old 11-22-10, 12:07 AM   #17
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Because I'd like to be able to ride tomorrow night as well.
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Old 11-22-10, 12:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
I for one.

Here goes,

I need a super-bright taillight because I want it to grab all rear approaching motorists by the eyeballs and say "Here I am!"
Ditto One of my commuters has the DiNotte 300R, the other's got a Nova BULL.

For those of you with SuperFlashes, do critique your aim. Their "hot spot" isn't too big, so you don't want it sagging or aimed at the sky. Working at the LBS, I see many taillights, and very few are aimed in a "mechBgon-approved" fashion
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Old 11-22-10, 01:30 AM   #19
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Because I'd like to be able to ride tomorrow night as well.
+1

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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Ditto One of my commuters has the DiNotte 300R, the other's got a Nova BULL.

For those of you with SuperFlashes, do critique your aim. Their "hot spot" isn't too big, so you don't want it sagging or aimed at the sky. Working at the LBS, I see many taillights, and very few are aimed in a "mechBgon-approved" fashion
Explain your aiming strategy, I think I might need to tweak my setup a little bit so it's more effective.
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Old 11-22-10, 08:02 AM   #20
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I need a super-bright taillight because...
I like the Sunrise that's after my ride rather than ceiling lights at the hospital.
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Old 11-22-10, 09:29 AM   #21
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I need a super-bright taillight because...
I've seen the posterior truck removal surgery on the surgery network and it looks painful.
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Old 11-22-10, 10:01 AM   #22
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I've been using a Nite Rider Cherry Bomb, about $25.00. It's the brightest tail light I've found for the price, 1/2 watt LED. I run it on steady mode and it looks like a brake light on most cars. Check your state bike laws. California states you need one steady red light to the rear, not that I've seen anyone given a ticket for flasher rear lights, but there is always the chance you could get one. I did see a study done on drunk drivers and flashing red lights, the study said drunks were drawn to flashing red lights like moths to a candle.
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Old 11-22-10, 03:38 PM   #23
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+1



Explain your aiming strategy, I think I might need to tweak my setup a little bit so it's more effective.
Namely, to aim the light's beam straight at overtaking traffic, rather than angled down, up, or sideways. If you project the SuperFlash's beam on a wall, you can see that the bright part of the beam isn't very wide, so you want that aimed where it'll count.
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Old 11-22-10, 04:28 PM   #24
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The time it takes for someone driving at 30mph to recognize there is an obstacle that needs to be avoided and then make their vehicle change direction to avoid contact with said object is several seconds. In those several seconds a car traveling 30mph will pass about three telephone poles. That is why you need a very bright light so that you can be seen far enough away for the driver to recognize and react to you. Get a DiNotte and point it just slightly above level and just slightly away from the chain side of the bike. It will only shine directly in the eyes of the driver for a split second but it will be noticed by everyone driving up from your rear.
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Old 11-22-10, 08:36 PM   #25
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The time it takes for someone driving at 30mph to recognize there is an obstacle that needs to be avoided and then make their vehicle change direction to avoid contact with said object is several seconds. In those several seconds a car traveling 30mph will pass about three telephone poles. That is why you need a very bright light so that you can be seen far enough away for the driver to recognize and react to you. Get a DiNotte and point it just slightly above level and just slightly away from the chain side of the bike. It will only shine directly in the eyes of the driver for a split second but it will be noticed by everyone driving up from your rear.
DiNotte taillights have such a diffused beam that the aim's not super-critical. Here's the 140 and 300R respectively:



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