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Best Tail light

Old 04-28-11, 03:16 PM
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Best Tail light

Here's what I want in a tail light:

1. Built in reflectivity. This seems like an obvious element that a surprising number of lights don't have.
2. Bright, but doesn't need to be so bright it blinds airplanes.
3. At least 180 degrees of visibility. I want to be seen from the side too.
4. A mounting bracket that screws down with a clamp. Elastic band straps always break or slide down on me.
5. $20 - $40 price range

I started researching but found it annoying how hard it is to get all these elements in a light. Anybody have a light with all/most of these features that they'd recommend? The Cateye Reflex LD560 seems good...anybody use that light?
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Old 04-28-11, 03:18 PM
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Portland Design Works Radbot 1000.
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Old 04-28-11, 03:31 PM
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What about the Planet Bike Super Flash?

https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Bl...4026317&sr=8-1
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Old 04-28-11, 03:43 PM
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I own 4 or 5 Superflashes and I'm pretty sure they do not have a reflector.

The Radbot does have a reflector. I have a couple of them and generally like it better than the Superflash except that you need to change out the batteries more frequently than the 1/2 watt Superflash.
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Old 04-28-11, 03:54 PM
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I would highly recommend the SuperFlash from Planet Bike
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Old 04-28-11, 04:05 PM
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I bought a few of these from DealExtreme. I have used one for a couple months and it has not fallen off yet or died from being exposed to downpours. I think it is about as bright as a 1/2 watt Superflash, but not as bright as the 1 watt Radbot. It is hard to beat it considering how cheap it is and I am comfortable with it as a secondary blinky light. It uses the same mounting bracket that the Superflashes and Radbots use.

https://www.dealextreme.com/p/3-led-3...ht-2-aaa-35036
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Old 04-28-11, 04:09 PM
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Yes, I've been using that light (Cateye Reflex LD560) for a couple of months. It has a bright center LED plus several smaller ones, large reflective area, and multiple eye-catching patterns, most of which are very noticeable from many angles. I really like having a reflector built into the tail light. Uses the current standard Cateye rear light mounts.

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Old 04-28-11, 04:30 PM
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I *love* my SuperFlash from Planet Bike. It's the best I've ever seen. I've personally been driving down the road, seen a blinking red light, and only about 1/2mi later caught up to it and realized - yep, that's a PB SuperFlash. Amazing.

If you really want to dazzle them, you can grab one of these bad boys:
https://www.aervoe.com/paints_coating...re-single.html
See it in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxbg9xyeXA4

I saw one of these at a conference and I've wanted to get one ever since. I was thinking of strapping it down to my rack on the back of my bike. Unbelievable visibility - these things are painfully bright, 360 visibility, multiple flash modes, multiple charging options, and durable as all heck! They promise you can run them over with a car and have it still work fine. Not to mention fully waterproof. Surprisingly, only $35 each!

Only thing it really lacks is built-in reflectivity. Although the rubber cover is pretty bright, it doesn't do you much good in the dark unless its turned on.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:37 PM
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Radbot 1000. If you're concerned about battery life, then the Radbot 500 is half as bright.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM
Yes, I've been using that light (Cateye Reflex LD560) for a couple of months. It has a bright center LED plus several smaller ones, large reflective area, and multiple eye-catching patterns, most of which are very noticeable from many angles. I really like having a reflector built into the tail light. Uses the current standard Cateye rear light mounts.

I think I want one of these. I really want to mount a light to the back of my rack, and I would like it to be reflective, so I don't have to mess with a separate reflector. I would probably get the PDW Radbot 1000, but I don't think it has a rack mount. I could rig something up, I'm sure, but I'd rather not.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by wernst
Radbot 1000. If you're concerned about battery life, then the Radbot 500 is half as bright.
As a former fan of the PBSF and a convert to the Radbot1000, it fits the (your) bill. Very nice taillight. And battery life is easy to cope with when you invest in rechargeables.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by waynesworld
I would probably get the PDW Radbot 1000, but I don't think it has a rack mount. I could rig something up, I'm sure, but I'd rather not.
It definitely includes a rack mount.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rex_kramer
It definitely includes a rack mount.
Thanks so much for that info. Actually, I'm an idiot. I just looked at their site again, and it's right there. It's the Danger Zone that doesn't say it comes with a rack mount.
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Old 04-28-11, 05:36 PM
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Radbot 1000 hands down, as others have said. It's the best light I've ever used.
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Old 04-28-11, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Titmawz
I would highly recommend the SuperFlash from Planet Bike
Mine no longer works when it rains hard, which happens to be one of the times you really need it.
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Old 04-28-11, 06:34 PM
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I like the PBSF too, but those of you recommending it are ignoring the OP's first requirement. I really wish it had that, but it does not.
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Old 04-28-11, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcap
I bought a few of these from DealExtreme. I have used one for a couple months and it has not fallen off yet or died from being exposed to downpours. I think it is about as bright as a 1/2 watt Superflash, but not as bright as the 1 watt Radbot. It is hard to beat it considering how cheap it is and I am comfortable with it as a secondary blinky light. It uses the same mounting bracket that the Superflashes and Radbots use.

https://www.dealextreme.com/p/3-led-3...ht-2-aaa-35036
I just checked, as I have a couple of those two, and that light does have a reflector built in.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:03 PM
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I don't see why you'd need a reflector if the light is turned on.. as long as it's a good light that's giving off a decent amount of light.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bhop
I don't see why you'd need a reflector if the light is turned on.. as long as it's a good light that's giving off a decent amount of light.
For whatever reason, it's the law in Ohio.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:09 PM
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Some people let their batteries die out. Some lights stop working unexpectedly.

Light or reflector required in Indiana.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by waynesworld
I like the PBSF too, but those of you recommending it are ignoring the OP's first requirement. I really wish it had that, but it does not.
With good lights, the reflector is practically if not legally redundant. IME lights that are also reflectors are nowhere near as bright as the Radbot 1000 or the PBSF. So, run one of the good lights, and ALSO run one of the reflector lights so you comply with the letter of the law, too.

Also, another good taillight in the OPs price range is the Cateye TL-LD1100. Not as bright as the PBSF from directly behind, but it has a much wider "beam pattern", if taillights can be said to have a "beam pattern". Also, it uses AA batteries instead of AAAs, so it also has a really good battery life.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo
With good lights, the reflector is practically if not legally redundant. IME lights that are also reflectors are nowhere near as bright as the Radbot 1000 or the PBSF. So, run one of the good lights, and ALSO run one of the reflector lights so you comply with the letter of the law, too.

Also, another good taillight in the OPs price range is the Cateye TL-LD1100. Not as bright as the PBSF from directly behind, but it has a much wider "beam pattern", if taillights can be said to have a "beam pattern". Also, it uses AA batteries instead of AAAs, so it also has a really good battery life.
The Radbot 1000 is also a reflector, so with that you are covered either way.

I don't know if this is current, but it's what I found of Ohio bicycle law via google:

" 4511.56. Bicycle signal devices.
(A) Every bicycle when in use at the times specified in section 4513.03 of the Revised Code, shall be equipped with the following:
(1) A lamp mounted on the front of either the bicycle or the operator that shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and three hundred feet to the sides. A generator-powered lamp that emits light only when the bicycle is moving may be used to meet this requirement.
(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from all distances from one hundred feet to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle;
(3) A lamp emitting either flashing or steady red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear shall be used in addition to the red reflector. If the red lamp performs as a reflector in that it is visible as specified in division (A)(2) of this section, the red lamp may serve as the reflector and a separate reflector is not required."


Honestly, I just don't get why people continue to recommend things that clearly don't meet the OP's first stated criteria. I use some of them too, but that isn't what OP asked.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:51 PM
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I'm going to following this thread, as the Zefal combo pack appears to be having issues...
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Old 04-28-11, 08:38 PM
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https://cgi.ebay.com/Portland-Design-...#ht_863wt_1141

That's where I got my Radbot 1000 from. The batteries were basically dead out of the box, but rechargeables are highly recommended for this light anyways. It's cheap and arrived quick, it's worth a shot. My 2 PBSF lights will get helmet mounted now.
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Old 04-28-11, 09:42 PM
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I too recommend the Radbot 1000.
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