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what rear tail light

Old 04-02-13, 06:24 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
I hate to say this but Grant is right about the size of the light is important. Even a real intense prick of a tail light is still difficult to judge distance by. I've seen in my town two riders with different type of larger tail lights on their bikes, and I noticed those way faster from a greater distance then the smaller ones like I use and the most of us use. That same phenomena occurs with headlights too; my wife noticed my Phillips Saferide headlight during a dark and rainy night test with her driving towards me far better then the Cygolite MityCross 480 or the ExpiliOn 350. She said she noticed it better because it was larger.

Problem is, die hard cyclists don't want a tail light that measures 6" x 4", and it does look ungainly on a bike. I guess it just depends on your interpretation of how safe you want to be.

I'm just happy with using more smaller lights instead of one larger one, but I admit the larger one is probably better.

There is a nice one made by Phillips too called the Lumiring but it doesn't blink due to European laws. I did find a comparison of a bunch of tail lights but their all European lights so there are none being compared against what you would typically find in America; see: https://swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tes...eride_lumiring
Anyone having difficulty in imagining this effect, look to automotive lighting, specifically the current generation of the Dodge Charger. The rear light stretches the full width of the car. The lights aren't any more powerful than the next light, but the enlarged surface area catches the eye.

OP, I have a 4D Toplight, as well as a NR Cherrybomb 1/2 watt and two PBSF clones. The Toplight has two advantages- it doubles as a reflector when turned off and has a broader coverage area- unless you use panniers that block the sides. The Toplight also gets washed out by the others when doing a indoor wall test, due to the other lights have a more focused and intense beam pattern. On the bike, though, I find it more visible than the others- unless I just happen to be in the 'sweet spot' and get blinded.

That being said, there is another light that hasn't been mentioned yet (kinda surprised at that) that is a decent blinkie and has a reflector... the PDW Radbot 1000.
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Old 04-02-13, 07:20 PM
  #27  
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I just installed the Topeak explorer rear-rack, and there's a mount on the back for one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Topeak-RedLite...ywords=redlite
anyone have any experience with them?

for a headlight I was just going to go with a Knog Beetle since my ride is lit, and I really just wanted a front light to be seen, not to see with.

yay, nay?
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Old 04-02-13, 08:30 PM
  #28  
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On one of my bikes I run 2 Planet bike Superflash blinkies. Plenty bright, on my other commuter I run a single PBSF and the tailight from MagicShine. That sucker is bright for sure. I also ride with a vest with two rows of red blinking lights on reflective material. Never had a problem being seen and have had several drivers remark how cool it was to be able to see a cyclist in the morning.
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Old 04-02-13, 08:43 PM
  #29  
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The only effective lights are the ones you are going to want to use every ride, all the time. Your decision process should include consideration of power source options (rechargeable batteries, USB charger, dyno hub, etc.) and how easy or difficult the process for keeping things in working order is. For me, I prefer to run two taillights - one on blink and one on steady. I prefer using rechargeable AAA batteries and rotating two sets using a charger at my desk. I currently run a PDW Radbot 1000 and a PDW Danger Zone - both use AAA's. I like the Radbot better for it's Philips-head screw case and for its built-in passive reflector. The DZ has a snapcase that is quicker for changing batteries, but a little trickier. I like the DZ for my steady light because it has two red LED's and is thus about twice the surface area of the Radbot, which is brighter but smaller (and which is super for flash mode).
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Old 04-02-13, 08:59 PM
  #30  
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+1 for the cygolite hotshot. You can get a rack mount for it. Love mine!
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Old 04-02-13, 09:13 PM
  #31  
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Two and a half years in the Pacific NW, year-round, and the Radbot 1000 is still going strong. It has multiple modes, is very bright, and run time is good. ~9 hours flash mode, ~4 hours on slow strobe.
Good unit.
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Old 04-02-13, 11:48 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Scrockern8r View Post
Two and a half years in the Pacific NW, year-round, and the Radbot 1000 is still going strong. It has multiple modes, is very bright, and run time is good. ~9 hours flash mode, ~4 hours on slow strobe.
Good unit.
That's what I have too - and it uses the same mount as Planet Bike lights, so you can switch it out easily. I mounted mine to the rack using rubber-lined P-clamps.
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Old 04-03-13, 12:09 AM
  #33  
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see these comparisons; https://www.thebicyclerepairshop.com/...ison-test.html

This is one of the two large tail lights that I saw, (that one or the one below); see: https://www.reallite.com/details.htm This light puts out about 1 watt total which is what most put out today, but it appears as bright as car tail light. The Cygolite Hotshot, the Serfas Shield, and the Light & Motion Vis 180 put out 2 watts, and those still don't look as bright as the large one.

I think this is the same light just different brand; see: https://www.ledsafetylights.com/safet...p?ProductID=85

Last edited by rekmeyata; 04-03-13 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 04-03-13, 12:46 AM
  #34  
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Serfas Thunderbolt

I have two of them. They mount on different parts of the rack on my main commute bike, or on the rear triangle of my mountain bike; the straps make it easy to locate them almost anywhere. Each one is brighter than my Radbot 1000 and the boyfriend's Planet Bike Superflash combined. I like that they can be recharged instead of having to use batteries. The only downside is that the runtime is fairly short, so I have to recharge every other day or so.
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Old 04-03-13, 06:18 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
ok, I gotta ask the question no one asks - is there really a difference? As the slow guy who's always following someone else I see lots of rear flashers. None stand out as brighter than any other. Does anyone have any evidence of better visibility or is it all anecdotal? Don't anyone get their panties in a wad - I'm a gadget geek and love the latest gizmos. But is a $40 hotshot really "better" than $10 cateye?
Yes, there's a difference, but it depends on your needs and budget. For the money, a PB Superflash is hard to beat and you can buy it for about $20. I have a Radbot 1000 that is a little brighter but burns through batteries much faster than the PBSF. However, if you really want to be seen and can afford to spend more, the Dinotte lights are incredible. I have the Dinotte 140, and it is like having a red headlight on the back of my bike. In the dark, it casts a red beam on the pavement, and it is very visible in daylight. However, it costs about $100 -- when it's on sale. Dinotte makes another taillight that is even brighter, but it costs about $200. I was willing to buy a Dinotte because I bike commute about 30 miles almost every day year-round on urban streets with no bike paths. BTW, I use all three lights most of the time.

Last edited by tarwheel; 04-03-13 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 04-03-13, 07:32 AM
  #36  
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Um, a PB superflash is pretty darned easy to beat. It was a great light 5 years ago, not so much now. It's not really that bright, it's not particularly waterproof, many people have reported having it fall apart when traveling on rough roads, etc. For not much more you can get into way better lights.

I have a Hotshot and a Knog Blinder 4V. I like the Blinder better but the mounting is "seatpost or nothing". The Hotshot is good but the field is too narrow. I'm thinking about buying a few more and playing around. Really I think the deciding factor will be mounting options.
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Old 04-03-13, 09:53 AM
  #37  
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I had the Knog Blinder 4v, it broke in two days of use, I took it back and got another it too broke about a month later, I took it back and said forget it so instead I ended up converting my Cygolite ExpiliOn 350 into a tail light which has worked out great, besides those two large ones I saw on the road mine is the brightest I've seen on the road around where I live but it does have the smaller diameter lens which is far less noticeable then the two larger ones I saw.

Heck, about 90% of all people riding bikes in my city don't even use tail lights at all at night, and another 60% of those have no reflectors either! And the cops don't care, I asked a cop friend of mine why they don't issue tickets and he said because the law says that if they get hit by a car without any lights and or reflectors the cyclists is automatically at fault regardless if the motorist was technically at fault. I think that's weird law, I understand the reasoning but the cops should try to prevent injuries and fatalities by issuing citations to cyclists who don't have lights and or reflectors, and beside the extra money from the fines will go toward needed city funds.
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Old 04-03-13, 09:59 AM
  #38  
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Yeah, I like the beam pattern on the Blinder but I suspect that the mounting is less than it should be. I really wish they'd produce a version that used a conventional mount of some sort - clone the Superflash mount (though fix its brittleness) or something.
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Old 04-03-13, 09:20 PM
  #39  
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my wife and I both ordered this pairing tonight: https://www.amazon.com/Portland-Desig...rks+red+planet
I was originally going to get the Radbot 1000, but, since we don't know how much morning/evening riding we'll be commuting or riding in, we decided to get a pretty good light, for a little less money.
The reviews on Amazon were pretty good though. So, we'll see!
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Old 04-03-13, 09:28 PM
  #40  
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What's odd is today's lights, be it front or rear, but especially rear, are coming out with cheaper and cheaper mounting brackets, now most of them have a rubber stretchy band...great, just try to find that band when it breaks, which it will in about 18 to 24 months. I guess since they know LED bulbs last forever they had to come up with something that would force you to buy a new light every other year instead of every 20 years. Even head light brackets aren't what they use to be either, one look at the Knog will leave you shaking your head, but mine didn't break at the bracket it broke at the switch both times.
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Old 04-03-13, 09:56 PM
  #41  
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I have a Cygolite setup... Hotshot - Rear, Expilion 600 (internal battery) - Front. I love these lights. I don't encounter many other riders in my area who are riding brighter... (unless it's a true roadie with a gang of individual blinkies/lights, looking like a space ship that's landed & is riding down the street. lol) Most don't even come close to the brightness & look at me with those 'hater' eyes. HA!
I also like the Cree XLM T6 (external battery) & the Serfas USL-TL60 Tailight. (both are BRIIIGHT!)
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Old 04-04-13, 01:02 AM
  #42  
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I purchased a Hotshot but it was never delivered. It's been 3 months now and I'm trying to get my money back. The seller keeps dallying - customs delays and whatnot.

In the mean time, I've also purchased a Niteflux Red Zone 8 (8W beasts these are - not cheap). I plan on pairing it with the eventual hotshot. I shall run the Red Zone on blinker but hotshot on solid. I read somewhere that the blinkers get the attention, but the solid tells motorists how far away you are. Eitherway it should compensate for the hotshot's weakness from the side.
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Old 04-04-13, 07:20 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
I had the Knog Blinder 4v, it broke in two days of use, I took it back and got another it too broke about a month later, I took it back and said forget it so instead I ended up converting my Cygolite ExpiliOn 350 into a tail light which has worked out great, besides those two large ones I saw on the road mine is the brightest I've seen on the road around where I live but it does have the smaller diameter lens which is far less noticeable then the two larger ones I saw.

Heck, about 90% of all people riding bikes in my city don't even use tail lights at all at night, and another 60% of those have no reflectors either! And the cops don't care, I asked a cop friend of mine why they don't issue tickets and he said because the law says that if they get hit by a car without any lights and or reflectors the cyclists is automatically at fault regardless if the motorist was technically at fault. I think that's weird law, I understand the reasoning but the cops should try to prevent injuries and fatalities by issuing citations to cyclists who don't have lights and or reflectors, and beside the extra money from the fines will go toward needed city funds.
Interesting idea, converting a headlight to taillight. I've been using a DX UltraFire for about a year now and it's brilliant (pun intended). It would be nothing to make the glass red and mounting shouldn't be difficult.
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Old 04-04-13, 12:54 PM
  #44  
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I've just found the Serfas usl-tl60 - it looks great. It LOOKS to be in the Dinotte realm - probably not as bright but plenty damned bright and extremely durable, for $60. I've got one coming.

I still like the Knog but I agree that its mounting sucks and will probably break after a fairly short amount of time. I can't really recommend something that's probably not going to last at least a few years of continuous use.
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Old 04-04-13, 01:23 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I've just found the Serfas usl-tl60 - it looks great. It LOOKS to be in the Dinotte realm
its the same 2 watt led found in the cygolite ($25-30) ==> ~60 lumens.
the cycgolite has much better batteries than the other similar lights (li ion).
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Old 04-04-13, 02:49 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
Interesting idea, converting a headlight to taillight. I've been using a DX UltraFire for about a year now and it's brilliant (pun intended). It would be nothing to make the glass red and mounting shouldn't be difficult.
I didn't use red glass, I simply used red tail light repair tape found at automotive stores. I tried one layer first and the light still appeared almost white, so I went with two layers and the light appeared sort of light violet, then I tried 3 layers and that did it. Did going from white to red bring down the intensity of the white light? Yes, but not so much to make it useless, it's the brightest tail light I have and the brightest I've seen where I live. The only tail lights I've seen that were more noticeable were a couple of cyclists I saw who had those large 5" x 4" rectangular shaped lights with a dozen or more LED's.

Those larger lights looked like this: https://www.ledsafetylights.com/safet...p?ProductID=85 While each LED is not near as bright as my one single LED, but the combined effort of 18 leds in a large area makes the light extremely noticeable and you can see it fast from very far away...like a car or motorcycle tail light. Those are probably the best bicycle tail light for noticebility you can get currently for a light, but few cyclist want such a large light on their bikes.
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Old 04-04-13, 03:24 PM
  #47  
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I use the Serfas Thunderbolt. It's quick to move between bikes and is charged using a USB cable.
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Old 04-04-13, 03:34 PM
  #48  
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I've got the Flare 2 on mine and its bright as all get out. I can't speak on how reliable it is because I just got yesterday, but I like it so far. Three different modes and uses two AAA batteries.
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Old 04-04-13, 07:24 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
I am a big fan of my Dinotte tail light. I know that I am sharing the road with distracted drivers, the Dinotte helps me to be the distraction.
thread should have ended there....can't believe this same response wasn't mentioned numerous times.
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Old 04-04-13, 07:54 PM
  #50  
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Anybody have a KNOG Blinder 4V?
I am thinking about pulling the trigger. Waterproof is a plus on it:

Ah, I see some have, up this post. I think I don't have enough seatpost with the bag there. So looks like KNOG is out.

Back to drawing board

Last edited by GeneO; 04-04-13 at 08:00 PM.
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