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  1. #1
    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    Cateye new tail light

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  2. #2
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfomenko View Post
    I've got two.
    They are very good.
    Nice range of modes. OK runtimes.
    Light and bright.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfomenko View Post
    I see there's also a Rapid 1 and a Rapid 5.



    I was pretty disappointed with the (lack of) brightness of my last Cateye "high-powered" taillight, the LD-560. How do these stack up to other common taillights, znomit or anyone?

  4. #4
    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    The specs state that the LEDs are 0.5 Watts each, so it should be about the same as the Superflash. I am on never-ending quest to rid myself of the AAA battery plague & wonder if the next iterations of Radbot or Turbo Flash will have no choice but move to AAs because of more powerful LEDs... Some reviews here:

    http://reviews.wiggle.co.uk/7867-en_...ws/reviews.htm
    Last edited by rfomenko; 07-14-11 at 10:38 PM.
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  5. #5
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Its only a single AA so not much more power on hand than the PBSF. Thing is its regulated so brightness is constant as the battery runs down.
    Its a little brighter than the Cateye LD1100 and Superflash and a bigger spot than both of them(this is with fresh batteries in the LD1100 and PBSF ). Doesn't have the side visibility of the LD1100.

  6. #6
    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    Anyone used this one?

    http://www.probikekit.com/us/lights-...cle-light.html

    Is it possible to bolt it onto a rack?
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  7. #7
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    One thing I noticed was the HUGE disparity between the constant and the flashing battery run times. Unless this is a typo:

    Runtime: Approx 3hrs in constant, 80hrs in flashing, and 20hrs in rapid mode
    Last edited by ccd rider; 07-20-11 at 09:11 PM.

  8. #8
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccd rider View Post
    One thing I noticed was the HUGE disparity between the constant and the flashing battery run times. Unless this is a typo:

    Runtime: Approx 3hrs in constant, 80hrs in flashing, and 20hrs in rapid mode
    Flashing uses much less power, only the outer LEDs blink slowly.
    Rapid is very attention getting and its the mode I use.
    Steady is very bright, hence the short run time.

  9. #9
    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    Frankly, I do not understand the reason why the tail lights moved away from AAs to AAAs while increasing the output at the same time. I would rather have a light weighing 120 grams instead of 70 & which runs 8 hours in constant/ 50 hours in rapid modes instead. Having a tail light flashing is much more important than couple of grams of extra weight, IMHO.
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  10. #10
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfomenko View Post
    Frankly, I do not understand the reason why the tail lights moved away from AAs to AAAs while increasing the output at the same time. I would rather have a light weighing 120 grams instead of 70 & which runs 8 hours in constant/ 50 hours in rapid modes instead. Having a tail light flashing is much more important than couple of grams of extra weight, IMHO.
    AAAs are smaller/lighter and the lights look better in the shops.
    Runtimes are ridiculously long because they keep counting until you can barely see the light. Should be done to 50% brightness.

  11. #11
    Fair Weather Cyclist Transformer's Avatar
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    I love the rapid 3 (in theory) and can't wait to buy one along with the saddle rail mount. My headlight is a single AA and I've been searching for a single AA tail light for a year. I hate having to carry two different sizes as backup batteries.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    The Rapid 3 light is not as bright as newer models from other companies. Their using less then 1 watt total light output while there are other lights that use 1 and 2 watt led's.

    I own a Blackburn Mars 4 and it uses a 1 watt main LED plus a regular LED on each side of the light for side illumination. This light is very bright and can be seen in broad daylight, but the battery life is way shorter then Blackburns claims...about 75% less! But I knew this buying it and knew that AAA bats were not going to power it for that long, so I carry spare bats just in case and use rechargeables for my main bats. This light is inexpensive at around $21.

    The other even brighter light then my Mars 4 is a Cygolite Hotshot, this thing uses a 2 watt LED and comes with a rechargeable battery and charger, but it cost more at around $40. Side illumination is not as good as the Mars 4 but it's a lot brighter from the rear.

  13. #13
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    The Rapid 3 light is not as bright as newer models from other companies. Their using less then 1 watt total light output while there are other lights that use 1 and 2 watt led's.

    I own a Blackburn Mars 4 and it uses a 1 watt main LED plus a regular LED on each side of the light for side illumination.
    The Cateye is a little brighter than the Mars 4, and the flash pattern is more attention grabbing (I have both).
    LED wattages and claimed runtimes are often quite optimistic.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    The Cateye is a little brighter than the Mars 4, and the flash pattern is more attention grabbing (I have both).
    LED wattages and claimed runtimes are often quite optimistic.
    Well lets ponder this logically, If Mars 4 uses a ultrabright 1 watt bulb and the Cateye uses bulbs less then 1 watt total how is that going to be brighter then 1 watt? And neither would be brighter then 2 watts, so why spend the money for either if the Cygolite is the brightest of the 3?

    It would be interesting to see a You Tube video on the Cateye and compare it with the Mars 4 but so far it's not available.

  15. #15
    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    And neither would be brighter then 2 watts, so why spend the money for either if the Cygolite is the brightest of the 3?
    Because the Mars has the "side visibility" which is "very important" and Cygolite doesn't.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    If you don't have 2 watts - well you don't have a really, really bright light.
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  17. #17
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Well lets ponder this logically, If Mars 4 uses a ultrabright 1 watt bulb and the Cateye uses bulbs less then 1 watt total how is that going to be brighter then 1 watt? And neither would be brighter then 2 watts, so why spend the money for either if the Cygolite is the brightest of the 3?

    It would be interesting to see a You Tube video on the Cateye and compare it with the Mars 4 but so far it's not available.
    Keep in mind that the wattage rating isn't the last word. Take a 1-watt LED from three years ago, and a 1-watt LED from the latest generation. The new ones put out much more light per watt. Equally important: how is the light dispersed, is the flash pattern good at grabbing the viewer's attention, and is the LED actually being driven at the rated wattage or not.

    This is where some hands-on testing and observation can give surprising results... for example, the classic SuperFlash has a good attention-grabbing pattern and even though its main emitter only fires in very brief bursts, they're very strong. Compare it against a Princeton Tec Swerve, which has two 1/2-watt LEDs (twice as good, right?) but uses them in a lame fashion:


  18. #18
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfomenko View Post
    Because the Mars has the "side visibility" which is "very important" and Cygolite doesn't.
    Ahh, but that's me, that's not you!!

  19. #19
    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Well lets ponder this logically, If Mars 4 uses a ultrabright 1 watt bulb and the Cateye uses bulbs less then 1 watt total how is that going to be brighter then 1 watt? And neither would be brighter then 2 watts, so why spend the money for either if the Cygolite is the brightest of the 3?

    Ahh, but that's me, that's not you!!
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  20. #20
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Well lets ponder this logically, If Mars 4 uses a ultrabright 1 watt bulb and the Cateye uses bulbs less then 1 watt total how is that going to be brighter then 1 watt?
    Ponder this, they both have about the same battery power (1AA = 2AAA) but the Mars runs 50hrs and the cateye 4hrs.

    The Mars is currently my favorite light. Mainly because on the weekend I got lost in the bush, ended up swimming down a river with the bike, and the I had to use the mars to find my way down the river and out through the forest.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Ponder this, they both have about the same battery power (1AA = 2AAA) but the Mars runs 50hrs and the cateye 4hrs.
    That's not how it works. Since it is in a series (At least this is what it looks like given the 1 page manual) the capacity is the same at whatever the AAA's are rated at but the voltage is doubled. 2 AAA's in a series would pump about 3v vs 1 AA cell which would be 1.5v. The AA cell would have the better capacity (runtimes) in this situation, given the same load is put on the two units. You cannot tell which is better really, unless you have a multimeter and check amps to see usage.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Ponder this, they both have about the same battery power (1AA = 2AAA) but the Mars runs 50hrs and the cateye 4hrs.

    The Mars is currently my favorite light. Mainly because on the weekend I got lost in the bush, ended up swimming down a river with the bike, and the I had to use the mars to find my way down the river and out through the forest.
    The Mars will not run 50 hours, it's closer to about 8 to 10 hours on constant. Blackburn lied big time about their battery run times. They were about 80% off on their estimates. I have a Cateye LD600 and that thing lasts about 20% longer then Cateye estimated; whereas with Cygolite (at least their headlight burn times) have been very accurate for the 3 models that I own. So I'm not sure if any advertised run times by any manufacture is a indication of much of anything.
    Last edited by rekmeyata; 08-19-11 at 08:23 AM.

  23. #23
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8Fishes View Post
    That's not how it works. Since it is in a series (At least this is what it looks like given the 1 page manual) the capacity is the same at whatever the AAA's are rated at but the voltage is doubled. 2 AAA's in a series would pump about 3v vs 1 AA cell which would be 1.5v. The AA cell would have the better capacity (runtimes) in this situation, given the same load is put on the two units. You cannot tell which is better really, unless you have a multimeter and check amps to see usage.
    I measured the power draws today.
    BattV Wmars Wcateye

    0.7 0.0 0.1
    0.9 0.02 0.2
    1.1 0.1 0.3
    1.3 0.3 0.5
    1.5 0.5 0.3

    Both max around 0.5W power draw, LED power will be lower.
    Cateye stays quite bright for its entire runtime, and visually its brighter than the Mars with fresh NiMH batteries.

  24. #24
    sic transit gloria mundi rfomenko's Avatar
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    It's all well & good, but with the arrival of 2W Cateye Hotshot at $35-40, there is no reason to buy any of those lights anymore...
    Last edited by rfomenko; 08-22-11 at 04:33 PM.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Someone could buy the Cateye Hotshot and then add two Cateye LD630's one on each stay and have a blazing bright tail light configuration. I did something like that a couple of years ago with the SuperFlash as my seatpost light and 2 Cateye LD600's and it worked good...until the SP broke after just a few months.

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