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Old 05-20-11, 11:30 PM   #1
smasha
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which rear blinky? to compliment a radbot-1000

i've got a radbot-1000 on my commuter and i'm quite happy with it. i've also got a "bspoke" light that's functionally very similar to a PBSF and i've got no particular complaints about it.

i'm thinking about replacing the bspoke with something a bit more... well, just more.

top of the list i'm thinking about:
* radbot-1000 (another one)
* danger zone
* PBSF turbo

anything else i should consider? which of those would best compliment a radbot-1000?
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Old 05-21-11, 03:38 PM   #2
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I have a PB rack blinky 5. I usually use it as a 3rd light/backup as I have 2 others (NiteRider CherryBomb and Ultrafire 501b red). The CB I use in flash mode and the 501 is steady.

The Rack Blinky serves as a passive reflector when not in use and is pretty bright when I do use it.
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Old 05-21-11, 03:54 PM   #3
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I use a PB Super Flash and had two compliments on it this am. Another rider saw it way off and at an angle as the road bent. Driver pulled up next to me and said she had been distracted but the flash caught her eye and she didn't hit me and was glad I had it. I'm glad to know Ms. Not Paying Attention had the gusto to tell me that my flashy saved me from her hurting me....
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Old 05-22-11, 02:03 PM   #4
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Really depends on your usage. I ride 2 lane 50+ MPH roads in all weather conditions, and I consider something like the Dinotte 140L or the Magicshine to be minimum necessary, and the Radbot or the like is just a fair-weather backup. For fair weather riders, the danger zone or another radbot would be fine.

I actually have one of the DealExtreme PBSF clones, and it's "all flash" mode is one that I like. It's not the seizure inducing pattern, but rather all three LEDs blink together and in a slower steady blink rate. That's what I use on it now as a backup to the Magicshine.
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Old 05-22-11, 04:38 PM   #5
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For a more symetry type of pattern, I think another Radbot 1000 is a better match. For a more random strobe effect, then another PBSF turbo can help achive that. Having the second flash away from your Radbot will also assisst in a more stand out appearance. I think having one on the rack and the second on the helmet will provide a more area coverage for some drivers who either just stare down or stare up at the road.
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Old 05-22-11, 05:31 PM   #6
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Really depends on your usage...
i wouldn't say "fair weather"... i ride sub/urban roads all year, all weather. no highways, though. the current generation of <$50 blinkies seems good at getting the attention of most drivers here, who don't know the difference between a cyclist and a speed-bump, and they're too busy TXTing to care.

i run the radbot in slow blink (on my unit this is zZz, not zZzPOP - so a 2nd blinky can run in flash-tastic mode), since i came across this - "However, the primary reason I went with the PDW Radbot over the Planet Bike Superflash is that it includes a slow-pulsating blinking pattern, much like E.T.’s heartbeat, or more importantly, a car’s hazard tail-light... Unlike other blinkies, the Radbot 1000 speaks closer to the language that drivers understand universally, warning drivers not only of the hazard but also warning them to slow down. Visual cues and signals can function to send very powerful and important messages to others. Drivers use them all the time, hence turn signals, brake lights, and slow-blinking hazard lights, which drivers understand universally as a message to avoid the hazard and slow down if it is coming up from behind it." - http://thehum.bostonbiker.org/2010/1...ot-1000-rules/

so i guess i'm looking for something that's comparable in output/intensity but more of a traditional or "superflash" blink pattern. what i've got now comes close.

i'm sure all of the blinkies i mentioned have spurred anecdotes similar to what alexw reported - they're all good attention getting blinkies. so what it comes down to is any other factor that might be a consideration when pairing with a radbot in slow-blink.

i usually have one rear blinky mounted on the the rear-rack and one mounted under the seat. i'm averse to mounting blinkies on myself (this includes my helmet) because i can never tell where it's aimed. i've seen too many blinkies on backpacks and helmets pointed up at the sky or hidden by rider position.

my concern about the danger-zone (and similar 2x 0.5W blinkies) is that, at close range, the "wobble" between two LEDs seems to give it some space, but i think that effect is lost at farther ranges and it just divides the light between two sources, loosing some ability to punch through fog the way a single, brighter, LED would. but this is just conjecture. the more i think about that, the more i'm leaning towards a PBSF turbo or a 2nd radbot-1000.

in any case, other factors i'm thinking about are side visibility, accidental on/off, use with gloves, durability... some people are put off by the radbot's battery access, but i have no problem with it. in fact, i'm confident that it won't accidentally split open, and there's no gasket to curse at. i also really like the "mode memory" of the radbot... i don't have to tap-tap-tap every time i turn it on or off.

OTOH, the PBSF turbo's "super-flash" mode seems to be a particularly well-thought blink-mode. perhaps better than the comparable mode on the radbot?

has anyone seen a PBSF turbo side-by-side with a radbot-1000?
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Old 05-22-11, 08:55 PM   #7
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someone with weak blinky was almost invisible to me.
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Old 05-22-11, 10:20 PM   #8
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What about a Radbot 500? I know that's like going backwards but it has better battery life than the 1000.
I hear you on the slow blink issue. I don't ride at night but love lights. I put an amber filter on my 3w headlamp with a busted battery cover, I rigged it up with those silicone livestrong bracelets to attach it to my seatpost.
I ride during rush hour, lot's of taxi's and black car private livery cars. I've noticed I was given more room when I had the amber flashing light.
I've also had a weak blinky, totally useless.
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Old 05-22-11, 10:48 PM   #9
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What about a Radbot 500? I know that's like going backwards but it has better battery life than the 1000.
i'm commuting, not touring, so i can charge up my batteries and swap then on a schedule before they get dim. i suspect the radbot-500 in flash-tastic mode is comparable to the secondary rear light i've got now. i think it's a re-branded one of these -
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=42479

it's functionally similar to an original PBSF - some bright blinks from the small LEDs followed by an OMG! blink from the big LED.

that reminds me of one of my gripes about it... turning it on, it goes straight to the flashing mode i want, but starts flashing at the weak part of the sequence. i find myself staring at it (from the side - not staring into it!) for half a second waiting for the BRIGHT flash before i attend to the rest of my lights and gadgets. i'd prefer if it started out bright. this doesn't seem to be a problem for the radbot i've got.

so... does the PBSF turbo start off with the brightest flash? does it have a mode-memory?
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Old 05-23-11, 01:20 AM   #10
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PBSF Turbo has just one brightness of flash. Successive presses of the switch cycle through off/flash/steady.
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Old 05-23-11, 05:20 AM   #11
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PBSF Turbo has just one brightness of flash. Successive presses of the switch cycle through off/flash/steady.
but the flash mode uses two different intensities... bright with the two small LEDs and OMG with the top LED... right?

when you say "off/flash/steady" does that mean there's no mode memory? does it always turn from off to flash? from the flash mode, do you have to press the button twice to turn it off? does it change modes as soon as the button is pressed, or does the button need to be held for a few seconds? is there any tactile feedback from the button?
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Old 05-23-11, 12:22 PM   #12
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but the flash mode uses two different intensities... bright with the two small LEDs and OMG with the top LED... right?

when you say "off/flash/steady" does that mean there's no mode memory? does it always turn from off to flash? from the flash mode, do you have to press the button twice to turn it off? does it change modes as soon as the button is pressed, or does the button need to be held for a few seconds? is there any tactile feedback from the button?
When you press the switch once, the LEDs flash. With the second press, the large LED stays on. With the third press of the switch, all of the the LEDs go off.

You do have to press and hold the switch to turn on the light, but it's not very long. IIRC, that is to prevent the light from turning on in the event of unintended switch activation or vibrations when riding. There is no tactile feel to the switch, but you can tell the switch makes contact because it reaches the end of it's travel.

When the light is in the flashing mode, if you hold the switch about 2 seconds, the LEDs go off (or you can cycle through steady to off with two switch presses). There is no mode memory, but since there are only 2 modes, that's not much of a problem.

The Turbo light has an unusual flash mode. I'm sure there is a pattern, but I have not determined what it is. It appears that the large LED and the small LEDs flash independently and neither flash at a constant frequency.

I've always thought the PBSF was pretty bright. The Turbo model is noticeably brighter. Not amazingly brighter, but the difference is noticeable.
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Old 05-23-11, 03:29 PM   #13
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I like using the Nathan Acid Reflex Snap Leds.. These can be worn around your arms or I put them around the rear triangle of my bike just above the brakes.. They stay in place and give 360 degree flashing leds.. Not the brightest but material is reflective / yellow and has flashing nichia leds..

http://www.night-gear.com/acid-refle...-by-nathan-359
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Old 05-23-11, 05:36 PM   #14
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I like using the Nathan Acid Reflex Snap Leds..
every time i've seen these types of products that incorporate reflectors and LEDs, the LEDs are a joke and the reflectors are decent but nothing special. i think these types of products are designed to look impressive while holding them at arm's length in the store, but on the road the LEDs are useless. totally. i've never seen this type of product that produces light from the LEDs that's visible or attention getting from more then 50-100 ft.

get some good blinkies, get some good reflectors, ignore the junk that tries to be both and always fails.

edit: the other thing about this type of product that consistently fails - the LEDs either stop working as soon as they see any rain, or the batteries can't be replaced. in either case it becomes an overpriced, overweight, underperforming reflective band.

Last edited by smasha; 05-23-11 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 05-23-11, 09:21 PM   #15
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Old 05-23-11, 10:46 PM   #16
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Your primary light should be Dinotte or something similar. The rest of the bunch are only good for redundancy imo....better than nothing kind of thing.
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Old 05-24-11, 05:59 PM   #17
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Been using a radbot 1000 with the Nathan band as a secondary light, been working fine for a couple years now..
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Old 05-25-11, 03:49 AM   #18
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Your primary light should be Dinotte or something similar. The rest of the bunch are only good for redundancy imo....better than nothing kind of thing.
+1 on that. I will never understand the philosophy of using anything but the brightest light for a tail light. Drivers approaching at 40mph (or better) from behind need as many seconds as possible to alter their course, a super bright tail light gives them warning in time to do this.

If you want to debate the merits of a weaker headlight OK but a weaker tail light, no way.
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Old 05-25-11, 06:49 AM   #19
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+1 on that. I will never understand the philosophy of using anything but the brightest light for a tail light. Drivers approaching at 40mph (or better) from behind need as many seconds as possible to alter their course, a super bright tail light gives them warning in time to do this.

If you want to debate the merits of a weaker headlight OK but a weaker tail light, no way.
brighter is better... but only up to a certain point. beyond that point it can actually be dangerous. that point depends on several factors, and those factors for me lead me think that a dinotte isn't necessary. YMMV.

off the top of my head, i can't recall the last time i was cycling on a road with a speed limit higher than 50k/h (30m/h). i'm comfortable with a radbot-1000.
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Old 05-25-11, 07:58 AM   #20
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If you like the radbot then get more of them. same batteries - same mount - why complicate things?

Anyone that depends on a "blinkie" as their tail light - should own at least three and have two running most of the time. I mean, how many $30 dollar items do you own that may save your life?
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Old 05-25-11, 08:44 AM   #21
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If you like the radbot then get more of them. same batteries - same mount - why complicate things?

Anyone that depends on a "blinkie" as their tail light - should own at least three and have two running most of the time. I mean, how many $30 dollar items do you own that may save your life?
Amen to that!

My $30/ea MS tailight X 3 save my rear end at least once that I know of. One times I was out waiting at an intersection for a green light and there is a driveway 20ft behind me with a blind spot. I almost got reared ended when I ran only a single PBSF. A car comes flying out the driveway looking left and making a right. All I saw was his light making the turn in my mirror and then sound of tire screeching to a stop as the light came within several feet back of me. It would have been safer for me to run a red light instead of waiting.

A brighter tailight lights up everything behind me. The driver coming out already see blinking red warning flashes even before coming out of the driveway. Not knowing exactly what it is, they slow down as they come out.
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Old 05-26-11, 10:26 PM   #22
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Love my magicshine. $30 is a goddamn steal as far as I'm concerned. (Battery is a bit more though, but already had one with front headlight)

I just keep it on the first pattern and charge the battery every week or so. Love looking behind me and see street signs lit up a mile back!
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Old 05-27-11, 12:19 AM   #23
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http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.35036 two or three of these. Well, if you have a Radbot already, just one will be good, but two is nice too.

And with the money saved, buy six more and load them all up with batteries and put them in your bag and give them to cyclists you encounter without taillights.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:06 AM   #24
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http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.35036 two or three of these. Well, if you have a Radbot already, just one will be good, but two is nice too.

And with the money saved, buy six more and load them all up with batteries and put them in your bag and give them to cyclists you encounter without taillights.
is that a PBSF clone?

i've still got a few of these i've been giving away - http://www.dealextreme.com/p/9-led-b...ght-2-aaa-3639

it's a very close clone of the Serfas TL-2100 (which i also have) - http://www.buzzillions.com/reviews/s...llight-reviews

the serfas is sealed better against rain. otherwise, it's hard to tell them apart. i've been complimented on the brightness of the serfas, and the radbot is noticeably brighter. from what i can tell, those are comparable to an original PBSF in terms of light output, but the flash patterns are much simpler.

next time i order from DX i'll get ten or a dozen or whatever the price-break quantity is and have some more giveaway lights... for myself, i'll spend the extra 5-10x the money and know that i'm getting the real thing.

i can't find any of the good lights in NZ so i'll be getting this double shipped from the states... since i'll be paying more for shipping than for a light i'm thinking about a PBSF-turbo and a danger zone or another radbot-1000.
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Old 05-27-11, 05:30 AM   #25
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A brighter tailight lights up everything behind me.
Sorry to beat a dead horse but only a Dinotte or something similar will do this. And as far as them being dangerous....uh, no and the sucker is daytime visible. Let's see one of those cheap blinkies do that.

One other point, how does somebody know what they have is working well? Simply because they are still alive?

I still maintain if you are going to share the road with cagers, you need the brightest light possible no matter the conditions. Money spent on a Dinotte is well worth it.
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