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what rear tail light

Old 04-19-13, 07:16 AM
  #101  
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Actually, when I'm not sure if an oncoming driver sees me, I wiggle my handlebar in order to wiggle my headlight. I'm pretty sure it works, as I've gotten some drivers to dip their high-beams that way.

Anyway, in general, bikes are pretty invisible on the road, so the more you can do to make yourself visible, the better. Use as many devices and techniques as you can, rather than looking for the best one device or technique.
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Old 04-19-13, 02:52 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Actually, when I'm not sure if an oncoming driver sees me, I wiggle my handlebar in order to wiggle my headlight. I'm pretty sure it works, as I've gotten some drivers to dip their high-beams that way.

Anyway, in general, bikes are pretty invisible on the road, so the more you can do to make yourself visible, the better. Use as many devices and techniques as you can, rather than looking for the best one device or technique.
That's a good idea actually, I use a helmet light in addition to the bar light, so I just use the helmet light to shine/flash through their windows.
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Old 04-23-13, 01:49 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
THIS! Of course. Criminy. Did it really take 80 posts before we got this wisdom?? I wish the cyclists with money burning holes in their pockets would consider that cyclists with a LOT less disposable income can, and do, commute safely to work (and other places) and back. I mean... I could spend $99 on a rear flasher but it isn't going to keep me warm, or dry. For $89 I can buy a hi viz soft shell that will make me visible AND warm And dry. With the leftover ten dollars I can buy a Viewpoint blinky that strobes to alert the motorist to my presence. For another $10 (optional) I can buy a flashing arm band that can be seen from a full 180 degrees.
I have yet to see one of those armbands that is bright enough to not be useless.
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Old 04-23-13, 06:28 AM
  #104  
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Yeah, the armbands and flashing vests that I've seen are quite dim compared to even mid-range current tech blinkies. You need only look at the batteries they use and the stated run time - the popular one I've seen claims 168+ hours from two AA cells - so clearly they aren't putting out a whole lot of light - something on the order of PBSF but spread out over a large area and divided in half for front and back. And their reflectivity isn't great either, they use that prismatic vinyl which is mediocre at best compared to proper reflective material.
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Old 04-23-13, 07:14 AM
  #105  
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Well this thread turned out to be quite timely - my blinker fell off my bike on the way home yesterday. I was actually headed to an appointment first and really felt naked riding the last few miles without one. Advise - don't clip blinkers to rack packs... that's the second one I've lost (I'm dim and a slow learner)
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Old 04-23-13, 08:52 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
Well this thread turned out to be quite timely - my blinker fell off my bike on the way home yesterday. I was actually headed to an appointment first and really felt naked riding the last few miles without one. Advise - don't clip blinkers to rack packs... that's the second one I've lost (I'm dim and a slow learner)
If you have the money seriously consider the Serfas Shield, it's not unreasonably priced and it's very bright with a flood type of beam instead of a pinpoint narrow beam. Here is a beam comparison of the 4 most popular rear lights: https://www.thebicyclerepairshop.com/...ison-test.html

The Light & Motion VIS180 full size light cost about $89, whereas the Serfas Shield is about $60, and the Cygolite HotShot is about $35; do an Amazon search for prices on those if they interest you.
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Old 04-23-13, 08:54 AM
  #107  
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The L&M lights perform well, but build quality is poor from my experience, and the mount sucks donkey balls.
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Old 04-23-13, 09:25 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
The L&M lights perform well, but build quality is poor from my experience, and the mount sucks donkey balls.
The problem with the brackets is now pretty much market wide with all rear tail lights. You see LED's last forever, light manufactures know this, and if they made durable mounts then they would never sell enough tail lights to stay in business, so they make schity brackets that will either break or come lose losing your light so they can sell you a new one every couple of years instead of once every 25 years. I have a two old tail lights, one is a 25 year old Vistalite and the other is a 11 or 12 year old LED Cateye, both of those brackets could easily take a pounding of off road rough riding and not care in the least bit which is why those brackets still work today, but todays crappy brackets are either little rubber bands or zip ties (welded) to the light, both of which are odd sized so finding replacements at Home Depot or some such place would be impossible, so when they break you'll need a new light. OR, the battery is self contained and either impossible to replace when it no longer holds a charge or expensive to replace thus screaming for a new light to be bought every 2 to 5 years.

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Old 04-23-13, 12:41 PM
  #109  
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I'll agree with the Serfas Shield being a good light, but I have two caveats - the clip mount is HOPELESS - I put it on the belt on my seat wedge pack and it fell off the very first day after just a few miles of riding - the clip is too smooth and just falls off very easily.

Also, mine had water inside it after two days of riding in light rain (with the USB cap on properly). I sent a photo to Serfas and they immediately offered to replace it, so I assume it's not common, but we'll see after I get the replacement back and take it out in the wet a few more times.
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Old 04-23-13, 12:45 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
The L&M lights perform well, but build quality is poor from my experience, and the mount sucks donkey balls.
Which one are you speaking of? My dyno-powered L&M taillight is mounted very sturdily to my rack.

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Old 04-23-13, 12:56 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by aspired View Post
Well this thread turned out to be quite timely - my blinker fell off my bike on the way home yesterday. I was actually headed to an appointment first and really felt naked riding the last few miles without one. Advise - don't clip blinkers to rack packs... that's the second one I've lost (I'm dim and a slow learner)
No need to feel alone.

I have lost 4 rear lights, a battery pack w 4 brand new batteries, and a B & M head light when it fell off on a highway ride (cracked it).
Learned to double connect everything on the bike.
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Old 04-23-13, 01:18 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
No need to feel alone.

I have lost 4 rear lights, a battery pack w 4 brand new batteries, and a B & M head light when it fell off on a highway ride (cracked it).
Learned to double connect everything on the bike.
There's a lbs across the street from my office and I walked over just to get something to use short term. I told the guy this was I buy cheap ones because I go through 2 or 3 a year. He asked if I'd ever zip tied them on... duh... um... no?! I have zip ties on everything else... duh again
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Old 04-23-13, 01:26 PM
  #113  
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Have 2 bikes with dynamo front hubs, I just get on them and Ride.. wired LED lights on both ends..
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Old 04-23-13, 01:27 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Which one are you speaking of? My dyno-powered L&M taillight is mounted very sturdily to my rack.
I was referring to the VIS180 and the Micro version. I had the Micro version but never used it because the USB charge port broke off the PC board inside the housing the first time I plugged it in after taking it out of the package. And I could tell that the mount was crap.

The mount that came with my Hotshot seems to work pretty well. The light clips in and out very "solidly". I also used a few small washers on the clamping screw in between each side of the clamp so that the screw had something to tighten up on, but that's true with most any clamp mount.
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Old 04-23-13, 07:42 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I'll agree with the Serfas Shield being a good light, but I have two caveats - the clip mount is HOPELESS - I put it on the belt on my seat wedge pack and it fell off the very first day after just a few miles of riding - the clip is too smooth and just falls off very easily.

Also, mine had water inside it after two days of riding in light rain (with the USB cap on properly). I sent a photo to Serfas and they immediately offered to replace it, so I assume it's not common, but we'll see after I get the replacement back and take it out in the wet a few more times.
Since it's rechargeable just put a thin skinny film of clear flexible silicone around the seam.
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Old 04-23-13, 09:16 PM
  #116  
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So I received my Niteflux Redzone 8 and have used it for a couple of commutes now.

The light is very bright. It has a blast like effect. Bathes everything near in light unlike other lights where the beams are more on the narrow side. Niteflux suggest that they need not be positioned in any particular way. However I've noticed that the light does shine brighter in the direction in which the LED faces. So I take care to rotate the light in order that motorists have the best chance to see it.

Seems to be well built with strong materials. A velcro strap is used to attach on to seat post, rack bag or anything handy. Battery life remains to be seen.

Interesting point of note. The battery (not sure what type) is supposed to be voltage regulated so when the battery weakens the light does not dim along with it. If the battery can't produce the required voltage it just stops working. Fortunately the light is supposed to have a built in battery level measurement that warns you of low charge via "single blinks", and "faster single blinks" that a recharge is in order.

Far too expensive at $99, but I'm hoping it will last me long enough to warrant the expense.

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Old 04-23-13, 09:22 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
So I received my Niteflux Redzone 8 and have used it for a couple of commutes now.
Far too expensive at $99, but I'm hoping it will last me long enough to warrant the expense.
I've read about that light and it kind of intrigues me. Have you compared it in real life to other lights? If so which ones and how did yours fair against them?

Does it also have side illumination?

$100 isn't too bad if it's really much more noticeable then the likes of the Cygolite Hotshot, Serfas Shield, L&M Vis 180 and others. People here spend $800 or more on a head light (I wouldn't) so $100 for a tail light is not real bad.

I did find this by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFNH6MWfN6g which makes look very effective.

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Old 04-23-13, 09:57 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
I've read about that light and it kind of intrigues me. Have you compared it in real life to other lights? If so which ones and how did yours fair against them?

Does it also have side illumination?

$100 isn't too bad if it's really much more noticeable then the likes of the Cygolite Hotshot, Serfas Shield, L&M Vis 180 and others. People here spend $800 or more on a head light (I wouldn't) so $100 for a tail light is not real bad.

I did find this by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFNH6MWfN6g which makes look very effective.
I don't have the Hotshot or other lights to do a comparison. I bought one but it was never delivered . Lost in the mail. Still trying to get my money back! Anyway...

From what I understand, and in the video, the Hotshot has a very strong beam, but focused straight on and needs to be aimed. The narrow beam is the chief criticism. But IMO even narrow beams spread out with distance. So in all likelihood the Hotshot is plenty visible at medium to long distances but may struggle a bit at short.

The redzone is more like a grenade. It just explodes! It's visibility is fair at medium to long distances, but really good up close. It illuminates my rear, the saddle and seatpost, nearby trees, pedestrians and pavement, in rich glowing red. Without a doubt it can be seen from the sides and from the front as well since I notice a little spill.

I would say the Hotshot is good enough for straight roads with low traffic. I would prefer the Redzone for busier areas like in the city where I am. The red zone does well in competing with other motorist lights. It could also be that due to the heavy spill and illumination of adjacent objects - long range visibility is enhanced.

A nice middle ground may be the Niterider Solas - similar to the Hotshot but with more spill.

Last edited by Shahmatt; 04-24-13 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 04-24-13, 04:49 AM
  #119  
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No love for the Dinotte on here, I don't get it. Too expensive?
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Old 04-24-13, 07:03 AM
  #120  
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For most of us, yes.
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Old 04-24-13, 07:07 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Since it's rechargeable just put a thin skinny film of clear flexible silicone around the seam.
I don't think I should have to repair a SIXTY DOLLAR BRAND NEW light. Sure, I could fix it, and I considered it, but it's ridiculous that a light that expensive has such a problem in the first place, and decided that the manufacturer should make it good, if for no other reason that they need to get the light in hand to see why it failed, so they can fix the problem in the future.

It would actually be quite easy to fix since it's closed with four hex cap nuts, so it's easy to take apart and reseal the seam. I would bet that the O ring probably wasn't seated properly.
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Old 04-24-13, 07:11 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
No love for the Dinotte on here, I don't get it. Too expensive?
There's nothing wrong with the Dinotte, but IMO it's too much light. Yes, I think there is such a thing. I have a Serfas Shield (well, will once it gets back from the manufacturer, see elsewhere in the thread) and it's right at the limit of what I would want to run. In fact in high mode it's probably a little too bright. So that sets $60 as about as much as one needs to spend on a tail light to get as much light as I really want to run anyway.

I had a Dinotte taillight (140R) in the past, but I sold it and bought a Magicshine taillight for $30 which ran off my headlight battery and was pretty much exactly the same light as the $120 Dinotte (and is still working 3 years later - the Dinotte's AA cell pack is a BAD IDEA and died on me every time it rained).
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Old 04-24-13, 07:13 AM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I don't think I should have to repair a SIXTY DOLLAR BRAND NEW light. Sure, I could fix it, and I considered it, but it's ridiculous that a light that expensive has such a problem in the first place, and decided that the manufacturer should make it good, if for no other reason that they need to get the light in hand to see why it failed, so they can fix the problem in the future.

It would actually be quite easy to fix since it's closed with four hex cap nuts, so it's easy to take apart and reseal the seam. I would bet that the O ring probably wasn't seated properly.
Serfas doesn't claim it is waterproof or even water resistant as far as I can tell.
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Old 04-24-13, 07:49 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
Serfas doesn't claim it is waterproof or even water resistant as far as I can tell.
That just made me check my Cygolite lights since I'm doing a charity ride likely in the rain on Saturday. Yup, the ExpiliOn and Hotshot both say they're made to be weather resistant (Hotshot actually says "weather proof"). We'll see how they fare afterwards.
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Old 04-24-13, 08:37 AM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I don't think I should have to repair a SIXTY DOLLAR BRAND NEW light. Sure, I could fix it, and I considered it, but it's ridiculous that a light that expensive has such a problem in the first place, and decided that the manufacturer should make it good, if for no other reason that they need to get the light in hand to see why it failed, so they can fix the problem in the future.

It would actually be quite easy to fix since it's closed with four hex cap nuts, so it's easy to take apart and reseal the seam. I would bet that the O ring probably wasn't seated properly.
I agree, but today's world of made in China cheap and break products your sometimes forced to take added steps. First you need to get it handled under warranty, this well tell you who can then tell us how good their customer service is. If you continue to have problems with the new light then I would personally, and I've done this, e-mail the company and explain your issue and give them ideas on how to correct the problem; and tell them that cyclists do belong to forums where bad and good products are discussed, and by them making a poor quality product that it for one will prevent you from buying their brand again; and for two, that information is shared with other riders; and for three most online retailers have reviews of products and negative reviews will effect their profits.

They may or may not care, that's not your decision, but eventually bad products get talked about and companies will eventually lose market shares if your problem is not a fluke. And speaking of reviews, if the replacement light is not satisfactory and/or the customer service is bad or slow, then you need to do some reviews and warn others; equally if the company quickly solves the problem and the replacement light is satisfactory then you need to do a review for a positive rating. If you can spend time on a forum then you can spend time doing positive and/or negative reviews for others to read.

If you get the replacement light and rain still gets in then get it replaced again and tell them it's not sealed against water and give them ideas on how to fix it. But I would bug them and keep sending the damn thing back until the warranty period expires then I would do the thin silicone trick.
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