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Lights

Old 10-18-13, 10:49 AM
  #1  
kronz66
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Lights

I just recently started commuting daily, and with winter coming up, my nightime commute will often be after dark. My bike is left outside in the city during work hours, so I dont want expensive lights that someone could easily remove.

Would something like this be ok? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Waterproof-5...item35c9f04712
5 bucks for two lights sounds cool to me.

Was also considering these https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-Bright...item3f2238510a
since I could just take them on and off easily so nobody steals them.


I don't feel like I need super bright lights so I see where I'm going, as my way is mostly lit. I am mostly looking for lights so that people can more easily see me. Any other reccomendations?
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Old 10-18-13, 11:53 AM
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I would get a decent light that is easy to remove and put on. It seems leaving ANY light on a bike outside in a city during work hours is an invitation to thieves.

I have one light that has a easy clip on/off from the mount (takes 1 second), and removing the mount only takes about 15 seconds. many other lights have rubber straps to put on and off that only takes a few seconds as well.

No idea about that first light, but I have to think there will be a bit of you get what you pay for. The second one you link to is also on Amazon and seems to get decent ratings considering how cheap they are. I guess you could just buy a bunch of them in case they dye or get stolen.

You definitely want a bright rear light to make sure you can be seen well enough by cars. Whatever you pick ask someone to see how well they can see you at night where you will be riding from a couple hundred feet back. If your lights are much dimmer then all the other lights around you drivers may not see them.
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Old 10-18-13, 11:54 AM
  #3  
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That light looks very weak, even to be seen.

For a more usable light, kick up to a proper mounted flashlight. The UltraFire WF501b has been good for me. You can use it to see if you kick it up to medium or high, and it's an incredibly useful flashlight too.

Here it is with two batteries and charger for $16 shipped:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/310535278517

Add this to mount it:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/360699279195

For a taillight, my experience is limited to $30+ taillights so I can't help much. If you can find a Planet Bike Superflash or clone for < $15 that's decent. I can't say I think much of the dinky things like your 2nd link.

All of this stuff would go on and off your bike in 10 seconds.
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Old 10-18-13, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
That light looks very weak, even to be seen.

For a more usable light, kick up to a proper mounted flashlight. The UltraFire WF501b has been good for me. You can use it to see if you kick it up to medium or high, and it's an incredibly useful flashlight too.

Here it is with two batteries and charger for $16 shipped:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/310535278517
That is a nice package, I have the same but I bought it piece meal.

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I had one of these and didn't like the way the light bounced in the rubber straps. I got one of these mounts which, although much heavier, is more stable and easy to snap on and off.
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Old 10-18-13, 12:25 PM
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Front hub dynamo and wired LED head and taillights, dont have the limited run time

of a battery powered light. just saying ..


Planet Bike has a removable wire down to the hub dynamo plug 1W handlebar mounted,
Headlight , but it wont have a connecting wire to also run a taillight.

you got a rear rack?

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-18-13 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 10-18-13, 01:15 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Front hub dynamo and wired LED head and taillights, dont have the limited run time

of a battery powered light. just saying ..


Planet Bike has a removable wire down to the hub dynamo plug 1W handlebar mounted,
Headlight , but it wont have a connecting wire to also run a taillight.

you got a rear rack?
Not yet, but I plan on it. Are there any baskets that are as large as a milk crate? I use my bike to carry a bunch of roller hockey gear, and it used to work perfectly with a milk crate attached to the back of my old bike. Do you guys know of any rear baskets that are as big, or should I just get the mounting piece, and bungee cord on a milk crate?
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Old 10-18-13, 01:19 PM
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If the need is to be seen there is no need to mail-order a <$15 cheapo light and pay $5.99 in shipping for it. Just go to your local LBS and buy a front/rear set of LED flashers. Simple, cheap, effective and you get it in your hot little hands today, not next week. O-ring lights do not bounce. Ok, shouldn't bounce. If they do you are using the O-ring for 31.8mm bar diameter with a 22.2mm or 24mm handlebar. And why a flashlight? Flashlights are for hands. I get that flashlight makers won't mind if you buy a lock-block and use a flashlight on your handlebars and if you already have a flashlight you like and want to get a lock-block, who am I. But, if you don't have a flashlight and your need is for a bike light?? I just don't get it, why are flashlights recommended 2:1 vs bike specific lights whenever this topic comes up? While I am stirring the pot... dare I ask... what is the cheapest Hub/Light combination that is available? Would someone considering <$20 lights be a good candidate for even the cheapest of dynamo lighting? FWIW Performance Bike aka Bike Nashbar sell a front/rear light set marketed to commuters by Ascent ~$14. The front light is prolly 1/2 watt, big lens though, lots of light. Some people use them as to see lights, God Bless Them. The rear flasher is especially nice because it slides into its clip sideways. Most hits you take on a bike have a vertical component. Conventional flashers pop right out and you never see them again. The Ascent rear flashers stay put through anything that will not also trash your rear wheel. I have two sets of these. No longer use them. I only ever ran the headlights in flash mode as a be seen always on back-up to my main light which ran only in the darker sections. I could give either set away for the postage.

H
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Old 10-18-13, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
If the need is to be seen there is no need to mail-order a <$15 cheapo light and pay $5.99 in shipping for it. Just go to your local LBS and buy a front/rear set of LED flashers. Simple, cheap, effective and you get it in your hot little hands today, not next week. O-ring lights do not bounce. Ok, shouldn't bounce. If they do you are using the O-ring for 31.8mm bar diameter with a 22.2mm or 24mm handlebar. And why a flashlight? Flashlights are for hands. I get that flashlight makers won't mind if you buy a lock-block and use a flashlight on your handlebars and if you already have a flashlight you like and want to get a lock-block, who am I. But, if you don't have a flashlight and your need is for a bike light?? I just don't get it, why are flashlights recommended 2:1 vs bike specific lights whenever this topic comes up? While I am stirring the pot... dare I ask... what is the cheapest Hub/Light combination that is available? Would someone considering <$20 lights be a good candidate for even the cheapest of dynamo lighting? FWIW Performance Bike aka Bike Nashbar sell a front/rear light set marketed to commuters by Ascent ~$14. The front light is prolly 1/2 watt, big lens though, lots of light. Some people use them as to see lights, God Bless Them. The rear flasher is especially nice because it slides into its clip sideways. Most hits you take on a bike have a vertical component. Conventional flashers pop right out and you never see them again. The Ascent rear flashers stay put through anything that will not also trash your rear wheel. I have two sets of these. No longer use them. I only ever ran the headlights in flash mode as a be seen always on back-up to my main light which ran only in the darker sections. I could give either set away for the postage.

H
I'm a bit confused, but it sounds like you're saying go with the cheapies. Those lights that I originally posted with the rubber band things at my LBS are like 14.99 each, and like 3 dollars for the pair on ebay. Maybe I'll just order a couple pairs off ebay.
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Old 10-18-13, 01:34 PM
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Q: you got a rack yet?

Not yet, but I plan on it. Are there any baskets that are as large as a milk crate? I use my bike to carry a bunch of roller hockey gear, and it used to work perfectly with a milk crate attached to the back of my old bike. Do you guys know of any rear baskets that are as big, or should I just get the mounting piece, and bungee cord on a milk crate?
You can get a Wald steel basket made to go on the front , but mount it on the back rack .

the Newsboy version is pretty darned big.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-18-13 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 10-18-13, 01:43 PM
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Those rubber band style lights absolutely stink. Lots of people here in NYC have them, and they can barely be seen until you're right behind them. Avoid.

If you just want some small lights so people can see you, I like the Blackburn Flea set. Easy to remove and take with you, rechargable, and fairly bright for what they are. These are priced all over the place, so shop around to get the best deal.

A better rear light at only a bit more cost is the Cygolite Hotshot. These babies are BRIGHT.
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Old 10-18-13, 02:19 PM
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If you wear a helmet and don't leave it with the bike, consider mounting lights on the helmet. That is the most visible location on your bike, and there'll be no need to remove/replace bike-mounted lights.
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Old 10-18-13, 02:25 PM
  #12  
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Even if your way is mostly lit, it's never a bad idea to have nice bright lights. I coughed up the money for mine and love them. My headlight is a Serfas True 250, and I just pop it off and take it with me after parking the bike.
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Old 10-18-13, 03:00 PM
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I use the Terralux Lightstar 300 flashlight from Amazon. Held in place with a two fish lock block. I like the flashlight because its cheap, compact, easy to remove. Less desirable to a thief (I think) than your bike specific light. Speaking of which. I'd put the $28 lightstar up against any $150+ bike specific light. Sure, some bike specific lights may be brighter. But not by much. At least not to justify the price difference. And a similarly priced bike light would be junk compared to the Terralux. And no way a $20 bike light will come close to the 300 lumens of the lightstar. The lightstar also uses AA batteries, which are everywhere. I use quality rechargeables. I've used the same batteries for over six years. Which means the batteries and charger(LaCrosse) have already paid for themselves. Talk about durable. I've used mine in all kinds of weather. From sub-freezing temperatures to pouring rain. I get about 2.5 hours of runtime on a set of Eneloops. Cars see me, and it has a wide flood with a nice spot in the middle. I use two tail lights that I get at the LBS for about $12 each. The more the better.

Last edited by scoatw; 10-19-13 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 10-18-13, 11:27 PM
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I go with a flashlight bungee strapped to the front, and a pair of 2-buck LED flashers in the back. Run one steady and one blinky for extra visibility. But then, the roads I ride on are pretty empty so anything brighter than pavement stands out. If you're in a city you'll want something brighter to compete with all the car/traffic/street/shop/etc lights.
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Old 10-20-13, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by kronz66 View Post
I'm a bit confused, but it sounds like you're saying go with the cheapies. Those lights that I originally posted with the rubber band things at my LBS are like 14.99 each, and like 3 dollars for the pair on ebay. Maybe I'll just order a couple pairs off ebay.
"Rubber band things..."?? There are no lights commercially available that are held on with rubber bands. O-rings are not rubber bands. Lupine Tesla's are held on with O-rings and they cost $488. Cheap? There are lights that use a rubberized plastic extension of the housing as a sort of intergral 0-ring. I cannot vouch for these lights. What I can tell you is that if your LBS sells them for $14.99, so does E-bay. One way or another. If you do get those same lights for $3.00, and the shipping is free, please be sure to send me the proof. I will eat a certain body part and upload the video on YouTube.

H
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Old 11-04-13, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
"Rubber band things..."?? There are no lights commercially available that are held on with rubber bands. O-rings are not rubber bands. Lupine Tesla's are held on with O-rings and they cost $488. Cheap? There are lights that use a rubberized plastic extension of the housing as a sort of intergral 0-ring. I cannot vouch for these lights. What I can tell you is that if your LBS sells them for $14.99, so does E-bay. One way or another. If you do get those same lights for $3.00, and the shipping is free, please be sure to send me the proof. I will eat a certain body part and upload the video on YouTube.

H
I got them. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-Bright...item3f2238510a

3.98, not 3 dollars, sorry.
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Old 11-04-13, 12:07 PM
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I am a big fan of reelights (www.reelight.com) - powered by a magnet on the spokes, so no need to worry about batteries running out, and they attach on the quick release or axle so it's a little more trouble to steal them. I'm a year round commuter, and they are more than sufficiently bright as a "be seen" light for city commuting, and I leave them on the bike all year round.
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Old 11-04-13, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by peliot View Post
I am a big fan of reelights (www.reelight.com) - powered by a magnet on the spokes, so no need to worry about batteries running out, and they attach on the quick release or axle so it's a little more trouble to steal them. I'm a year round commuter, and they are more than sufficiently bright as a "be seen" light for city commuting, and I leave them on the bike all year round.
Which model do you have and can you see with them or are they strictly a "be seen" setup?
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Old 11-04-13, 01:15 PM
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This bright rear red light is cheap, free shipping and very bright: https://dx.com/p/jy-528-3-mode-2-led-...2-x-aaa-242378
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Old 11-04-13, 01:42 PM
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Spend money on lights. It's worth it. Even if you don't need it to see by, I'd still get a bright light, especially if you'll be against a backdrop off streetlights.

I have a Magic Shine MG-808. On its brightest setting, it's easily as bright as a motorcycle headlight. On its lowest, it's a great "be-seen" light. The light is attached with a simple rubber-band loop that is easy to put on and take off.
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Old 11-04-13, 08:21 PM
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I've used all kinds of inexpensive lights over the years and they lasted fine. But when I finally got serious and bought a $100 Nightrider usb rechargable high powered light, I learned that quality and performance are priceless. It doesn't really throw any more light than a cheap light but the design build and mounting bracket are so thoughtfully engineered it stands head and shoulders above most.
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Old 11-04-13, 09:16 PM
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With lights, you really do get what you pay for.
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Old 11-04-13, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
Spend money on lights. It's worth it. Even if you don't need it to see by, I'd still get a bright light, especially if you'll be against a backdrop off streetlights.
I agree. I have two USB-rechargeable lights (a Serfas True 250 and a Cygolite Expilion 700). They cost $100+ each but are well worth the money IMO. I'm cheap, but I decided that bike lights are something I shouldn't be frugal on.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by curly666 View Post
Which model do you have and can you see with them or are they strictly a "be seen" setup?
Sorry for the slow reply - I don't log on very often. I bought mine several years ago when they only had one model, the simple axle mounted blinkie. That one is definitely a "be-seen" light. It is similar to a single LED type light - you can see the reflection of the blink on a sign post ahead of you or on the back of someone in front of you, but you are not going to see cracks or potholes in the road way.
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Old 11-12-13, 12:30 PM
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Yea Reelight has more models , now , Capacitor charging smooths out the light from blink pulses,
and at their top model has a wire to raise the light above axle level .. the 700.
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