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  1. #101
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    This one is incredibly effective.
    I've had several people stop and ask me where I go it.

    I wish it were brighter, but position and self leveling radically increase effectiveness.

    Amazon.com: Planet Bike Blinky "3H" 3-Led Rear Bicycle Light with Self Leveling Helmet Mount: Sports & Outdoors

  2. #102
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    The Planet Bike SuperFlash is very good. It's good enough for most people. It's also better than cheap, crappy tail lights. There are definitely better lights, by all measures, but the SuperFlash is still worth consideration.

    The Sette ST-316 may be good enough, too. Other than that model, I would recommend setting a budget of at least $35.
    I run a super flash turbo. It is very bright, great beam, reasonably priced.

    Downside the mount sucks. But that is easily "fixed" with a rubber band wrapped around it.

  3. #103
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    Is there a tail light at around $50 or less with good side visibility?

  4. #104
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
    Is there a tail light at around $50 or less with good side visibility?
    Currently, I run a

    cateye tl-ld1100 bolted to the rack. Very visible from 180 degrees. Long runtime on 2 AA batteries.
    Cateye TL-LD1100 10 LED With Battery | Chain Reaction Cycles

    They're discontinued, so I bought an extra one for when it finally fails.

    a pbsf on the chain stay. Very bright, long runtime on 2 AAA batteries.
    Amazon.com : Planet Bike Blinky Superflash Turbo 1W Tail Light : Bike Taillights : Sports & Outdoors

    and a 360+ on my helmet
    Vis 360+

    running a ml-880 clone as a headlight similar to this:
    Robot Check

    The 360+ works great, however it is expensive (less so now). Helmet mounted lights work great on chasing dogs. I've received complaints about the head light in flashing mode from drivers and pedestrians.


    Best bang for the buck in what I've tried, is the always level helmet mount and the 880 clone.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
    Is there a tail light at around $50 or less with good side visibility?
    Light and Motion Vis 180 micro has very good side visibility, reatils for $50 but you can pick one up for $37 on Amazon.
    See Review Light and Motion Vis 180 Micro Review - The Bike Light Database

    NiteRider Solas is a good option as well, retails for $40 but can find it for around $30. Good alternative to Cygolight Hotshoot with much better side visibility

    NiteRider Solas 2W Review - The Bike Light Database


    This site, The Bike Light Database - Bike Light Reviews, Information, and Suggestions has some good data, though it is not comprehensive. The original blog entries, such as The Best Bicycle Taillights of 2013 « Stack Exchange Bicycles Blog do a good job of detailing visability at 0, 45 and 180 degrees.

  6. #106
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
    It's available, with shipping, for 20 euros from the German Amazon. There are several other Smart cycling lights there; several look like a variant branding of what I'm used to seeing from Planet Bike in the US.

    It's out of stock in the Canadian Amazon and I don't see the brand on other Amazons.
    Does Germany have a limit at too how many watts a tail light can put out? I ask that because that light you mention only puts out 1 watt total, actually 1/2 watt for each LED. In America the Light and Motion VIS180 puts out 2 watts out of the main single LED.

    The next brightest light is the new Serfas USL-TL80 which supposedly has 80 lumens for $75. If a comparison can be made of the new Serfas and the Light and Motion and the lumens are accurate the Serfas could/should be brighter but it doesn't run half as long as the Light and Motion. The best deal on the market is the Cygolite Hotshot, 1 watt single LED that only cost $35 and is among the brightest on the market beating out the Planet Bike Super flash and the one you mention.

    It doesn't take much imagination to see that brighter lights are coming.

  7. #107
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    Thanks null and mstraus.

    All cars have side lights so I"m thinking a bicycle should also (both sides).

  8. #108
    Senior Member Deal4Fuji's Avatar
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    You said Cheap. these are That [from another thread]

    Sette ST-316 Glo Safety Light | Sette | Brand | www.PricePoint.com

    I dont use them .. just reposting ... I'm a Dynohub wired Head& taillight guy , now

    B& M 4D toplight on my (tubus) rear rack (comes in battery only too )

    Toplight line flat also in wired or battery powered [My Brompton & Bike Friday use those]
    Thanks for that, ordering.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
    Thanks null and mstraus.

    All cars have side lights so I"m thinking a bicycle should also (both sides).
    This is exactly what Light & Motion is trying to do with its Urban, VIS 180, and Vis 360 lights. I think they are quite effective from other riders I have seen with them.

  11. #111
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstraus View Post
    This is exactly what Light & Motion is trying to do with its Urban, VIS 180, and Vis 360 lights. I think they are quite effective from other riders I have seen with them.
    I own the VIS180 (not the micro vis180). This light does have side amber led lights though they're not as bright as the main light but more than effective, however the main red light is so bright that it casts a red plume of light onto the pavement and onto nearby building walls as you go by with a 180 degree beam pattern instead of 25 to 45 degree patterns that most lights have. This light during the full sunny day appears like a safety flare! The light has handled a downpour rain with no problem, and it handled an error on my part being thrown onto the pavement without a scratch. The light can be used with the amber lights only if you're in a pack of riders and don't want to blind those behind you. This is the brightest self contained light currently on the market but a new one which I mentioned called the Serfas TL80 might be brighter but this hasn't been confirmed yet with video side by side comparisons, but it has no side lights, and the VIS180 runs at least twice as long on high and even longer on other settings than the Serfas.

    As you can tell I am extremely pleased with this light, it makes my now second brightest light, a Planet Bike Turbo Super Flash appear dim by comparison, and my now 3rd brightest light a Cateye LD600 seem a lot dimmer. I do however use all 3 lights, the VIS180 is on my seat bag tab and it either is on steady mode at night or flashing mode during the day, the Cateye LD600 is on my seat post and is only on at night on flash mode, and the PB Turbo is on my helmet and only on at night on flash mode.

  12. #112
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I own the VIS180 (not the micro vis180). This light does have side amber led lights though they're not as bright as the main light but more than effective, however the main red light is so bright that it casts a red plume of light onto the pavement and onto nearby building walls as you go by with a 180 degree beam pattern instead of 25 to 45 degree patterns that most lights have. This light during the full sunny day appears like a safety flare! The light has handled a downpour rain with no problem, and it handled an error on my part being thrown onto the pavement without a scratch. The light can be used with the amber lights only if you're in a pack of riders and don't want to blind those behind you. This is the brightest self contained light currently on the market but a new one which I mentioned called the Serfas TL80 might be brighter but this hasn't been confirmed yet with video side by side comparisons, but it has no side lights, and the VIS180 runs at least twice as long on high and even longer on other settings than the Serfas.

    As you can tell I am extremely pleased with this light, it makes my now second brightest light, a Planet Bike Turbo Super Flash appear dim by comparison, and my now 3rd brightest light a Cateye LD600 seem a lot dimmer. I do however use all 3 lights, the VIS180 is on my seat bag tab and it either is on steady mode at night or flashing mode during the day, the Cateye LD600 is on my seat post and is only on at night on flash mode, and the PB Turbo is on my helmet and only on at night on flash mode.
    The Dinotte 300R is considerably brighter (150 lumens vs 50 lumens), and also self-contained. It also has twice the runtime on strobe.

    300R RED Taillight with built in battery ? DiNotte Lighting USA Online Store

    Vis 180 Quartz

  13. #113
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    The Dinotte 300R is considerably brighter (150 lumens vs 50 lumens), and also self-contained. It also has twice the runtime on strobe.

    300R RED Taillight with built in battery ? DiNotte Lighting USA Online Store

    Vis 180 Quartz
    It should be considerably brighter, it cost over twice as much! Trust me, I haven't seen a brighter tail light then the VIS 180 in my city of 250,000 people on any other bike, and quite frankly you really don't need one any brighter, but if you got the $209 for the light and want the brightest thing then by all means pay up and get it.

  14. #114
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    It should be considerably brighter, it cost over twice as much! Trust me, I haven't seen a brighter tail light then the VIS 180 in my city of 250,000 people on any other bike, and quite frankly you really don't need one any brighter, but if you got the $209 for the light and want the brightest thing then by all means pay up and get it.
    I've found that for daytime city use I like to have a light as bright as possible. Horses for courses and all of that.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    I've found that for daytime city use I like to have a light as bright as possible. Horses for courses and all of that.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    To the best of my knowledge I have not seen one of the Day Time only Dinottes. However, Mrs. Fred and I used to live on a peninsula used by the local teams (school, junior and senior) as well as plenty of individuals training and quite a few commuters. We paid a reasonable amount of attention to what got our attention as drivers, what work to enable us to recognize and avoid cyclists and what didn't.
    If you had, you'd remember it. It's so visible that I've had motorists pass me, stop up ahead and want to know all about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I own the VIS180 (not the micro vis180). This light does have side amber led lights though they're not as bright as the main light but more than effective, however the main red light is so bright that it casts a red plume of light onto the pavement and onto nearby building walls as you go by with a 180 degree beam pattern instead of 25 to 45 degree patterns that most lights have. This light during the full sunny day appears like a safety flare! The light has handled a downpour rain with no problem, and it handled an error on my part being thrown onto the pavement without a scratch. The light can be used with the amber lights only if you're in a pack of riders and don't want to blind those behind you. This is the brightest self contained light currently on the market but a new one which I mentioned called the Serfas TL80 might be brighter but this hasn't been confirmed yet with video side by side comparisons, but it has no side lights, and the VIS180 runs at least twice as long on high and even longer on other settings than the Serfas.

    As you can tell I am extremely pleased with this light, it makes my now second brightest light, a Planet Bike Turbo Super Flash appear dim by comparison, and my now 3rd brightest light a Cateye LD600 seem a lot dimmer. I do however use all 3 lights, the VIS180 is on my seat bag tab and it either is on steady mode at night or flashing mode during the day, the Cateye LD600 is on my seat post and is only on at night on flash mode, and the PB Turbo is on my helmet and only on at night on flash mode.

    No it's not and not by a long way. The Dinotte 300R blows it away (~200 lumens) as does the Niteflux Nightzone 8 (~400 lumens). Both are self contained. Also, Knog now has their Blinder 4 series that is 44 lumen ($40) and their Blinder R ($55) series that is 70 lumens. All of which are about half the price of the vis180 or less. The vis180 is a two or three year old light, is old technology, and is therefore way overpriced compared to what you can get now. I'm looking forward to see what Light and Motion does if and when the update the whole vis180 product line. We love L&M products and would expect them to come up with a winner on taillights to keep pace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    The Dinotte 300R is considerably brighter (150 lumens vs 50 lumens), and also self-contained. It also has twice the runtime on strobe.

    300R RED Taillight with built in battery ? DiNotte Lighting USA Online Store

    Vis 180 Quartz
    Yep. Exactly.

    Here's the difference between that which can be called a blinky and something more powerful (I'd say in excess of 100 lumens). Instead of being a blinky point source of light, it put out a bloom of light that is enhanced by moisture/particles in the air and dirt etc... on the driver's windshield. At that point, you no longer look like a bike to a driver, but something much larger and potentially more troublesome. That causes drivers to slow down reflexively and to give you a lot of room.

    There is some sort of assumption in this thread that you want a driver to understand you are a bike. I disagree - I think you need to be seen as a big hazard worthy of being given room and caution. I also think that drivers tend to overestimate the distance of separation they have from a cyclist at night and, as a result, are often too close.

    I've ridden with a Dinotte taillight for years (firsts the 140R, then the 400R and now the 300R). I still chuckle every time a car comes up on me at night. They typically slow way down, and go way around. They never did that with any of the other blinkie lights I've had including the SuperFlash etc... I know this is out of the OP's budget, but if I were worried about a budget, I'd go for something like the Knog Blinder R. When it comes to taillights with current technology, the most lumens wins. That said, given my experience with the uber bright lights, I'd not be comparing the cost of the light to the cost of the bike, I'd be thinking about the value of safety to me and what the alternative would be. The marginal cost difference gets to be pretty small when/if you are involved in some sort of incident and the difference would be having been more visible. Then, I don't think, one would be too worried about the cost difference in lights.

    At any rate, there are a bunch of great choices out there. I'd definitely go for one of the high lumen tail lights - in 40 or more lumens.

    If I were going for bright and cheap, I'd go Cygolite Hotshot teamed up with a Serfas Thunderbolt on the seat stay. Hotshot gets you noticed by approaching drivers behind and the Serfas light is bright to the rear but also gives good side vis.

    That all said, I still think the safety of the uber bright tail lights and what they do to driver behavior are well, well worth the additional cost.

    J.

  17. #117
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    I've found that for daytime city use I like to have a light as bright as possible. Horses for courses and all of that.
    Exactly, and the VIS180 during broad daylight looks like a road safety flair it's that intense, and it can be seen easily from a mile away. Again how much does one need to spend?

  18. #118
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Exactly, and the VIS180 during broad daylight looks like a road safety flair it's that intense, and it can be seen easily from a mile away. Again how much does one need to spend?
    One can spend as much as they feel comfortable spending. I'm not to say how anyone else should spend their money. Good thing that there are taillights at varying price points for people with different needs and amounts of disposable income.

  19. #119
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    One can spend as much as they feel comfortable spending. I'm not to say how anyone else should spend their money. Good thing that there are taillights at varying price points for people with different needs and amounts of disposable income.
    Exactly, and that's why I asked the question: "how much does one need to spend?" And the answer is different for each person. Heck the Cygolite Hotshot and the Serfas Shield are two very good lights that cost roughly half of even the Vis180 and both have been very highly reviewed.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Exactly, and that's why I asked the question: "how much does one need to spend?" And the answer is different for each person. Heck the Cygolite Hotshot and the Serfas Shield are two very good lights that cost roughly half of even the Vis180 and both have been very highly reviewed.

    I don't think the vis180 is the benchmark at that brightness - look for it to be refreshed soon. The two you mentioned and the Knog Blinder R are all about the same brightness or brighter and half the price. So that's probably not a fair comparison - $100 for 50 lumens (vis180) compared to $40 for 70 lumens (Knog) in a gross sense.

    I think your choice and a better comparison is that you can go with the wimpier blinkies at lower pricing vs the ones you mention and you'll have to judge the incremental safety you gain from a more attention grabbing and brighter light. I guess my opinion is that the incremental money from $20 to $40 buys you way more than 2X as much visibility. Given that cyclists are pretty vulnerable on the road at night, I'd say that's a good value.

    J.

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
    What is your preferred brand of 18650 battery? Buddy gave me an Ultrafire, and I made a bar mount for it out of old nightsun parts. Its great, but the batteries are crap. One goes dead in 20 minutes, the other was not so bad, but not very good either.
    Thinking about getting a couple more, mounting two on the bar. That should be very bright, but need to get better batteries for them.
    The last time I researched 18650s, the Panasonic NCR18650B was a well-rated protected battery. It's limited to five amps (!) discharge so should work fine in LED lights. TrustFire and UltraFire are other brands. I haven't had great results with the EFEST 2250 mAH batteries, but to be fair it's the casings rather than the cells that I'm not impressed with. As for chargers, I have a Nitecore Intellicharger 4 that handles Li-ion, LiFePo4, Li-Mn and household AA and AAA. I've used it with 18650 and RCR123 batteries. You should be able to get 300-500 charges out of the Panasonics.

  22. #122
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Road View Post
    The last time I researched 18650s, the Panasonic NCR18650B was a well-rated protected battery. It's limited to five amps (!) discharge so should work fine in LED lights. TrustFire and UltraFire are other brands. I haven't had great results with the EFEST 2250 mAH batteries, but to be fair it's the casings rather than the cells that I'm not impressed with. As for chargers, I have a Nitecore Intellicharger 4 that handles Li-ion, LiFePo4, Li-Mn and household AA and AAA. I've used it with 18650 and RCR123 batteries. You should be able to get 300-500 charges out of the Panasonics.
    Here's a good rundown on 18650 cells.

    Battery test-review 18650 summary

  23. #123
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I don't think the vis180 is the benchmark at that brightness - look for it to be refreshed soon. The two you mentioned and the Knog Blinder R are all about the same brightness or brighter and half the price. So that's probably not a fair comparison - $100 for 50 lumens (vis180) compared to $40 for 70 lumens (Knog) in a gross sense.

    I think your choice and a better comparison is that you can go with the wimpier blinkies at lower pricing vs the ones you mention and you'll have to judge the incremental safety you gain from a more attention grabbing and brighter light. I guess my opinion is that the incremental money from $20 to $40 buys you way more than 2X as much visibility. Given that cyclists are pretty vulnerable on the road at night, I'd say that's a good value.

    J.
    Actually those two, or actually 3 are not; see this for comparisons of those plus a few more. Note the Serfas Shield has an extremely bright spot area but not as bright off to the sides as the VIS180 but the Serfas does have a larger spot then the Hotshot which has a very small but intense brightness. The larger flood area of the VIS180 makes it more visible from a larger viewing area instead of just directly behind. Word of weird caution, if you hover your mouse pointer over any of the pics the pics get darker, not sure what that's about, it may be representing the lights on a dimmer mode.

    Rear Bike Light Comparison Test | The Bicycle Repair Shop

    By the way I never said the VIs180 was the benchmark of brightness. New lights keep coming out every year from manufactures trying to catch and pass their competitors such as the new Serfas USL-TL80 which puts out 80 lumens but the battery life is quiet a bit less than half as long as the Vis180.
    Last edited by rekmeyata; 05-06-14 at 07:44 PM.

  24. #124
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    Oh, I agree there are differences in beams. For example, the Hotshot will appear to be much brighter if you are straight on to the LED (narrow beam). The vis180 is much broader - but that's part of the problem.

    A couple of comments:

    1. Beamshots are deceptive at best due to the nature of digital photography. The camera cannot see the range from dark to light that the human eye can (i.e. dynamic range). The dynamic range of the eye is something like 20 doublings (f-stops) of light. A digital camera is 6-7 or so. That means that the gradation of the beam will not show up well in a photo. Therefore, for example, I'd conjecture that the Cygolite Hotshot will have much more spill than is shown in the photo since it's got such an intensely hot spot in the center and that is more than the dynamic range of the camera to the darkest shadows. Light junkie that I am (and photographer), I've observed this numerous times with beam shots I've taken of lights. The subtleties of the light are really minimized or lost in a digital photo.

    2. In general, lumens is the raw light that is projected out and lux is the light per square area. So if I had 50 lumens and sprayed that over a 50 square meter area evenly, I'd have 1/50th of the light output in each square meter. The more you spread it out, the dimmer it will appear. Conversely if you want to have more lux then you need to throw a lot more lumens at it. Lights that aim the photons where they will be seen, and nowhere else, do a the best job. An example of a light that is visible and bright from all directions is the Nightzone 8 (and almost taking the point to an extreme) which has a 300 degree viewing angle but puts out an incredible 400 lumens in flash mode. If you did the same thing with a 50 lumen light, you'd not have much.

    And that's where I think the vis180 is deficient. It's lumen count is too low (or at least marginal) at 50 lumens for the spread of the beam. I think it's a good light but for what it does, it's overpriced but it is a 2 years ago light. I'm hoping they update it with a 100 lumen output (or greater) then it will be state of the art light again. Just need to update those LED and their drive and a bit more battery in order to justify the $100 price tag. Otherwise, against current 2014 lights, it needs to be at about a $50 price point.

    What is important for max safety is to get to enough lumens that it causes vehicle driver behavior to change. All quantitative of course, but I think that happens at about 100 lumens with about a 30-40 degree beam (maybe up to 60 degree). I have not seen it happen with the brightest of the blinkie lights but I have seen it with about were the Dinotte 140R starts (whatever it's beam angle and lumens are). Looking at it that way (and way over analyzing it, of course) is that one would want to put in the minimum dollars to achieve the behavior change as maximizing their light dollars against safety.

    J.

  25. #125
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Oh, I agree there are differences in beams. For example, the Hotshot will appear to be much brighter if you are straight on to the LED (narrow beam). The vis180 is much broader - but that's part of the problem.



    J.
    Normally I would agree with all that you said, problem is when you see the lights in real life at night, (I've seen the Hotshot at night another person had, and owned, and took back, the Knog Binder and the Serfas Thunderbolt, you rapidly discover that the Vis180 was quite a bit more visible from all angles vs the others, and it made you stand out from the others due to the red plume it leaves on the pavement. Even my wife, who has a degree of night blindness, whom I use to test my lights at night by having her drive from behind in me a rainstorm and tell me which light she notices faster from 4 blocks away, and it was the Vis180, which includes the two I took back and several I own and still use. I saw the HotShot while riding one night and though it had a prick of brightness in the center that quickly fell off as you came out of direct alignment with the rear of the bike, and it left no plume of light on the pavement that you could notice from a distance, there was a faint, very narrow plume of light you could see once you were almost on top of the bike.

    Like I said, I'm not out to beat the drum of the Vis180, I think the new Serfas TL80 is probably better but I haven't seen any comparisons, nor seen it on the road yet. I don't know what it is about where I live but I don't own expensive lights either front or rear, yet I've only ever met one other person with headlights that were a bit brighter than mine and none with tail lights that were brighter...heck, I'm lucky to see a cyclist on the road after dark with lights of any sort on, and most of those don't even have reflectors!!

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