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  1. #1
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Question Speak to me of Taillghts...?

    I see a lot on headlights but I must be missing the tail light threads. What do you guys like? Right now I'm using a $1.50 blinky thing. It's quite bright but I'd like something brighter. (It's one of these things, but in red LEDs)

    Oh, and I'm cheap.. or budgeting as some may say.

    Anyone use these?

    This one is supposed to blink or something if you brake. I think..

    This one supposedly puts out dots too.

    So... what do you guys use?

  2. #2
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    It's not cheap, but I use a Dinotte. I don't know of anything brighter.

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 12-14-13 at 09:31 AM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  4. #4
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    The MagicShine MJ-818 - it's essentially half of a Dinotte 300. Buy two of them and a battery pack (assuming you aren't already running a compatible battery pack) for about $80. It does use a separate battery pack, so it's a little more complicated. If you are running a compatible battery pack already you can power it from a Y cable and buy it with the Y cable for $30. This is a ridiculously good value.

    However, assuming you're looking for a stand-alone light:

    In the less expensive camp, the Cygolite Hotshot is quite good, though the beam is pretty spotty - max visibility only directly behind you. $28 on Amazon.

    The Serfas Shield is VERY good, nice wide pattern, decent side visibility. They've recently dropped the price from about $53 to $39 (on Amazon) so that's probably my choice if I have to choose ONE taillight. BEWARE of the strap clip for that - it's useless. Mine fell off three times on me, the 3rd time I never found the light again.

    I have a Knog Blinder 4V, which has the best dispersion I've ever seen (equally as bright from any angle behind you) and is very bright, but the battery in it is very short lived - I have to charge it more frequently than any other light I own. It's nice to keep on the road bike in the summer just in case you get caught out after dark, because it totally blends in with the seat post and weighs little. But I wouldn't buy it as a primary light in the winter when I was using it daily.

    Here's a video I shot a while back:
    http://youtu.be/12xDjS-ot8w

    As you can see, the Serfas is a friggin' blowtorch.

    IMO, running two completely independent taillights is an absolute must. If you lose your taillight you're in trouble, and you won't know it's out. I personally usually run three; a Hotshot on my helmet (fast blink), a Magicshine on the rack (steady), and a Knog Blinder 4V on the seat post (fast blink). Even if I had a Dinotte 300, I'd still want a 2nd taillight on at all times.
    Last edited by ItsJustMe; 12-14-13 at 09:58 AM.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  5. #5
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that the Dinotte is the best, but $389 worth of best? I'm mulling over whether it's worth $24 for a magicshine clone with a red wide-angle lens. I think that would be bright enough and extremely visible.

  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I have no doubt that the Dinotte is the best, but $389 worth of best? I'm mulling over whether it's worth $24 for a magicshine clone with a red wide-angle lens. I think that would be bright enough and extremely visible.
    Might be brighter than a Dinotte,

    Get Two...I now have 4.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._email_1p_0_ti
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  7. #7
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Might be brighter than a Dinotte,

    Get Two...I now have 4.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._email_1p_0_ti
    I've had one for almost a month and I'm happy with it so far. Except that I had to cut into the battery connector and re-attach the ground wire (my fault for yanking on the cord).

    Being cheap I buy one of something like that and evaluate. But I'm leaning to getting two more, for another bike and to replace my tail light. I'm not sure about this lens http://www.amazon.com/Angle-Magicshi.../dp/B00B9JJPPM but if it's not red enough I reckon I can tweak it with some kind of insert.

  8. #8
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I've had one for almost a month and I'm happy with it so far. Except that I had to cut into the battery connector and re-attach the ground wire (my fault for yanking on the cord).

    Being cheap I buy one of something like that and evaluate. But I'm leaning to getting two more, for another bike and to replace my tail light. I'm not sure about this lens http://www.amazon.com/Angle-Magicshi.../dp/B00B9JJPPM but if it's not red enough I reckon I can tweak it with some kind of insert.
    http://www.action-led-lights.com/col...angle-lens-red
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  9. #9
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I think putting a headlight with a red lens on back is overkill, in that I think it's way past the point of diminishing returns (I don't think there's a significant increase in the odds of being seen versus a 30 to 50 lumen light, and it runs your battery down a ton requiring much more frequent charges.

    I just noticed that Serfas now has an 80 lumen tail light. For $75. I'm kind of tempted. The 40 lumen was excellent. I think I might just go with the 40 again, this time not using their crap strap mount.

    FWIW, their other mount, the one that stretches around a post, is probably the most excellent tail light mount I've ever seen. It's too bad that the other mount included is about the worst I've ever seen.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Disagree....the T6 with a Red Lens should be much brighter then a Dinotte. (will be seen way back from the rider)
    You can use a separate battery for the tail light.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  11. #11
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    FWIW: Rear red lights use red LEDs so all the light generated is red. A red lens over a white light absorbs all the light output except for the red so much of the energy is wasted.

  12. #12
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Nice lights but way out of budget. The bike didn't even cost that much! Really, I want something that I can either quickly put on or off the bike OR is securely attached and that is a step or two over the little blinkers I have now. I don't do much night riding but I have been enjoying riding in snow. I really want to be seen for that kind of ride.. but I don't have that kind of cash to spend.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    The MagicShine MJ-818 - it's essentially half of a Dinotte 300. Buy two of them and a battery pack (assuming you aren't already running a compatible battery pack) for about $80. It does use a separate battery pack, so it's a little more complicated. If you are running a compatible battery pack already you can power it from a Y cable and buy it with the Y cable for $30. This is a ridiculously good value.

    However, assuming you're looking for a stand-alone light:

    In the less expensive camp, the Cygolite Hotshot is quite good, though the beam is pretty spotty - max visibility only directly behind you. $28 on Amazon.

    The Serfas Shield is VERY good, nice wide pattern, decent side visibility. They've recently dropped the price from about $53 to $39 (on Amazon) so that's probably my choice if I have to choose ONE taillight. BEWARE of the strap clip for that - it's useless. Mine fell off three times on me, the 3rd time I never found the light again.

    I have a Knog Blinder 4V, which has the best dispersion I've ever seen (equally as bright from any angle behind you) and is very bright, but the battery in it is very short lived - I have to charge it more frequently than any other light I own. It's nice to keep on the road bike in the summer just in case you get caught out after dark, because it totally blends in with the seat post and weighs little. But I wouldn't buy it as a primary light in the winter when I was using it daily.

    Here's a video I shot a while back:
    http://youtu.be/12xDjS-ot8w

    As you can see, the Serfas is a friggin' blowtorch.

    IMO, running two completely independent taillights is an absolute must. If you lose your taillight you're in trouble, and you won't know it's out. I personally usually run three; a Hotshot on my helmet (fast blink), a Magicshine on the rack (steady), and a Knog Blinder 4V on the seat post (fast blink). Even if I had a Dinotte 300, I'd still want a 2nd taillight on at all times.
    Right now I've just got a blinker on the front in white and a blinker in red at the rear. I've ordered a flashlight mount for a little CREE flashlight. Hasn't arrived yet. Still, my blinkers are more than 80% of the people around here have even at night!

    The hotshot is both bright and in my price range. I like that Serfas, but it's just a bit over budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I have no doubt that the Dinotte is the best, but $389 worth of best? I'm mulling over whether it's worth $24 for a magicshine clone with a red wide-angle lens. I think that would be bright enough and extremely visible.
    Yes. I have to balance bike $$ with everything else. Such is life. Is that the 'popular 20 dollar headlight' I keep reading about but is seemingly never named?

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    This is The name:

    CREE XML T6 Bicycle Headlight

    Add this and you have a Real tail light.

    http://www.action-led-lights.com/col...angle-lens-red
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  14. #14
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    A reasonably priced, but good tail light is the Niterider Solas. It is Li-ion (and this needs to be charged through its micro-usb plug), is 2 watts (it's really strong), and it has excellent side visibility too, which arguably is better than using trail headlight with a red lens (which will then have no sidelight whatsoever).

    https://www.google.dk/search?q=Niter...cwsPfhBNLNgPAG

    I bought mine from Amazon.de, but I believe they are American, so it should be a little cheaper over there.

    I view the tail light as possibly the most important light, as with the headlight I can take action, whereas with the rear, I need other people to see me and take action if need be. Luckily, you don't need a "to-see-light", but you do need a be-seen-light - and one that also throws light to the sides to be the safest.

  15. #15
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    This is The name:

    CREE XML T6 Bicycle Headlight

    Add this and you have a Real tail light.

    http://www.action-led-lights.com/col...angle-lens-red
    Thanks!

    For those with a knog, is this the one?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Knog-Blinder...item5af9001986

  16. #16
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    A reasonably priced, but good tail light is the Niterider Solas. It is Li-ion (and this needs to be charged through its micro-usb plug), is 2 watts (it's really strong), and it has excellent side visibility too, which arguably is better than using trail headlight with a red lens (which will then have no sidelight whatsoever).

    https://www.google.dk/search?q=Niter...cwsPfhBNLNgPAG

    I bought mine from Amazon.de, but I believe they are American, so it should be a little cheaper over there.

    I view the tail light as possibly the most important light, as with the headlight I can take action, whereas with the rear, I need other people to see me and take action if need be. Luckily, you don't need a "to-see-light", but you do need a be-seen-light - and one that also throws light to the sides to be the safest.

    Nice light! Youtube videos show it as blinding.

    Your last line is why I'm willing to spend more than 5 bucks. I don't want to be not seen!

  17. #17
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Yes the one and the same (popular yet unnamed $20 headlight). Probably because CREE, XML and T6 all refer to type of LED etc so it's not a real name.

    10 Wheel's filter lens is the same as the one on Amazon I think,





  18. #18
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Yes, it is a really strong light, and instead of a spotlight effect, it is more of a floodlight effect, which is good in my book.

    I have one myself, and I have gotten great comments about it, but what I like the most is that cars can actually see me properly and behave accordingly, not driving too close to me. I have it pointed ever-so-slightly downwards so as not to blind motorists (they sit so low in their cars).

  19. #19
    vol
    vol is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I just noticed that Serfas now has an 80 lumen tail light. For $75. I'm kind of tempted. The 40 lumen was excellent.
    ItsJustMe, by "the 40 lumen" were you referring to the Serfas Shield? If it's 40 LM, how many lumens would you estimate the Cygolite Hotshot to be? Or, alternatively, how many watts does the Sofas Shield have? (the Hotshot has 2w) (You video is very helpful btw)

    The con (for me) of using a cree headlamp with red filter is that you have to carry an extra battery pack and mount it somewhere near the back (or maybe keep in a bag on the rear rack).
    Last edited by vol; 12-14-13 at 03:33 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I have 4 different taillights that I use, though not all at the same time. For commuting, my primary taillight is a Dinotte 140, which is not as bright as their 300-400 models but less expensive and brighter than any other taillights I have seen except for the 300-400 models. My Dinotte 140 runs off 4 AA rechargeable batteries, and lasts 3-4 commutes per charge -- which for me is about 90-125 miles, 7-9 hours.

    My second brightest taillight (by a wide margin) is a Radbot 1000, which is very bright for a $25 model. It has a very effective blink pattern that they call pop-zzz or something like that.

    I also have two Planet Bike Superflashes, which are almost as bright as the Radbot but last much longer on a battery charge. The Radbot batteries need to be recharged every week or so, but the Superflashes last for weeks and weeks on a charge. If I needed another inexpensive taillight, I would probably try a Superflash Turbo, which is supposed to be about twice as bright as their regular model.

  21. #21
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    I like that superflash! Wow.

  22. #22
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  23. #23
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    No question the Dinnote is the brighter light by far. It's just not a budget friendly choice. At least not for me...but if I was a regular night rider I'd eat rice a few weeks or something for it.




    ...that dog in the video got mine to howl back. A tiny and pathetic ankle-biter howl. Heh.

  24. #24
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    ItsJustMe, by "the 40 lumen" were you referring to the Serfas Shield? If it's 40 LM, how many lumens would you estimate the Cygolite Hotshot to be? Or, alternatively, how many watts does the Sofas Shield have? (the Hotshot has 2w) (You video is very helpful btw)

    The con (for me) of using a cree headlamp with red filter is that you have to carry an extra battery pack and mount it somewhere near the back (or maybe keep in a bag on the rear rack).
    The Cygolite is hard to compare directly with the Serfas (or most other lights) because of how tight its beam is. Check out this video I did (sorry I didn't have the Serfas at that time)

    http://youtu.be/L95eIXswCb0

    See how almost all the light for the cygolite is in the center? Also look at the video posted above. If the observer is right behind you, it's probably about 75% as bright as the Serfas, but at 45 degrees to the side, it's probably half as bright or possibly a bit less. It's still pretty good to the side, but it's not as bright as some of the others.

    Given that the Serfas has been dropped in price down to $39, and the Cygolite is $28, it's kind of a tough call. I really think the Serfas is definitely worth another $10, but they're both good.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  25. #25
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katsrevenge View Post
    No question the Dinnote is the brighter light by far. It's just not a budget friendly choice. At least not for me...but if I was a regular night rider I'd eat rice a few weeks or something for it. ...that dog in the video got mine to howl back. A tiny and pathetic ankle-biter howl. Heh.
    PDSF is very good Light for night riding.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

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