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new Cygolite PRO 80 tail light

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new Cygolite PRO 80 tail light

Old 01-08-16, 01:34 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Well, depends on conditions. I have a DS500, because I ride in bad weather. In heavy fog, heavy snow, heavy rain, I definitely want more than a hotshot on the back.
If I rode in those conditions I might agree with you, but I don't so the hotshot is fine for me.
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Old 01-08-16, 02:09 PM
  #52  
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some say the brightest tail light is the DesignShine DS-500

$229 though

DS-500 Taillight w/Mount


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Old 01-11-16, 01:19 AM
  #53  
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Definitely two tiers of lights here...
Tier 1: 3W and less. Usually all plastic housing (the old Magicshine being one notable exception), and self-contained batteries. Most have traditionally produced a tightly focused spot beam, which is bright when view from nearly straight back, but move off-angle and the intensity falls off very rapidly. Pretty much any of these lights are good for night time use, but even the best of them should be considered only marginally adequate for the challenging, brightly lit daytime conditions. The Cygolight Hotshot Pro80 attempts to address the weakness of a single spot lens by replacing it with an elliptical lens. This spreads the beam over a wider and flat angle, which is ideal for taillights, but when you spread the same amount of lumens over a larger area, the perceived intensity will go down. There are a few other makers that have picked up on the need for a wider beam in back, and it may have been the NightRider Solas that introduced it first in this "tier" of lighting. There is even a Chinese light (called the ESSEN EL 601R) that uses the dual lens technique with one spot and one elliptical, however, the power just isn't there. Kudos for the right idea though! One thing to keep in mind about the elliptical lens is that it MUST be oriented with the ridges perpendicular to the ground.

Recently there are some "in-between" lights that toy with the $100 mark (such as the Specialized FLUX taillight). The Specialized is unique among this group in that it uses indirectly focused light for a more efficient use of the available lumens. A very smart design, but not particularly friendly when it comes to mounting flexibility. Although not new to the taillight world, the NightFlux RedZone is also as step above most of the lights in the same category as the Pro80. The RedZone takes the shotgun approach with NO focusing optics, which throws light in every direction, but is not particularly efficient for a bike-mounted taillight. GREAT for the helmet though!

Tier 2: 6W and up (DesignShine, Dinotte, and a few others, possibly ORFOS), but you have to pay for the extra power. These usually require a metal housing with heat sinking features (heat is the great killer of RED led efficiency) or some other method of extracting heat. Some of these lights cannot be used safely at night (such as the Dinotte Daytime Red). Most (not all) use an external battery to get effective run times at the higher power. The higher output can produce higher intensity over a MUCH wider beam compared to Tier 1 lights. So not only are they much brighter, but they offer a greater "field of view" so you can make your presence known even sooner on that winding 2-lane road. They also provide a much longer range daytime awareness. Some will grab your attention at a MILE or more in bright sun! Cost is definitely a factor, but it's just like buying insurance... only you can decide how much is enough.

With the amount of distractions that can vie for a drivers attention and/or prevent a cyclist from being seen in time to be avoided, I prefer to generate enough light power out the back to IGNITE the cars behind me, and then back it off just slightly..

Last edited by Recumbentracer; 01-11-16 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 01-11-16, 07:21 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Recumbentracer View Post

Tier 2: 6W and up (DesignShine, Dinotte, and a few others, possibly ORFOS), but you have to pay for the extra power. These usually require a metal housing with heat sinking features (heat is the great killer of RED led efficiency) or some other method of extracting heat. Some of these lights cannot be used safely at night (such as the Dinotte Daytime Red). Most (not all) use an external battery to get effective run times at the higher power. The higher output can produce higher intensity over a MUCH wider beam compared to Tier 1 lights. So not only are they much brighter, but they offer a greater "field of view" so you can make your presence known even sooner on that winding 2-lane road. They also provide a much longer range daytime awareness. Some will grab your attention at a MILE or more in bright sun! Cost is definitely a factor, but it's just like buying insurance... only you can decide how much is enough.

With the amount of distractions that can vie for a drivers attention and/or prevent a cyclist from being seen in time to be avoided, I prefer to generate enough light power out the back to IGNITE the cars behind me, and then back it off just slightly..
I went on Amazon and the Hotshot Pro 80 goes today for 68 and the Hotshot Hotrod 50 goes for 34. How about taking two Hotrods and mouting them on the seat tubes aimed at left and right with the Pro 80 at the rear? Total cost $110. Still less than what would be the "Tier2"

https://www.cygolite.com/product/hotrod-50-usb/
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Old 01-11-16, 09:25 AM
  #55  
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say what? The pro80 is $42 with free shipping on Amazon.
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Old 01-11-16, 12:21 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
... How about taking two Hotrods and mouting them on the seat tubes aimed at left and right with the Pro 80 at the rear? Total cost $110. Still less than what would be the "Tier2"
This is certainly not bad idea, but there are some considerations when using multiple, low-power lights. Using two, aimed right/left, does improve your off-angle visibility, BUT, unless the focused beam overlaps at the viewing distance, the intensity remains unchanged. So, yes, better viewing angle, but not with any more intensity than the single light. To increase viewing angle AND intensity, you simple have to burn more wattage over the full beam pattern. You’d probably be better off using multiple PRO 80’s, aimed identically. If in an on/off flash mode, even with identical aiming, you’d have to ensure that they were flashing in synchronicity in order to boost the intensity.

That said, however, I do think there is some benefit to increasing the overall “size” of your taillight footprint or even introducing some randomness to the flash pattern. In other words, multiple lights, separated by some distance is always a good thing (helps with depth perception as well). Do note that at night, you don’t want to use an on/off flash mode as this really destroys depth perception. Some of the tier 1 lights have picked up on this and now have “pulse” modes where the light stays on constantly but pulses up to higher power levels.

Comparing to a true “tier 2” light, the DS-500 has 3-CREE XPE2 LEDs behind an elliptical lens, throwing a maximum of almost 400 lumens over a 45 degree angle beam width PLUS another 400 lumens behind a tight 10 degree spot lens. So to “paint” the same intensity you’d need roughly 5 of the PRO 80s PLUS another 8 of the Hotrod 50. Obviously, this is not a practical (or cost effective) solution. A cheaper way to approach a “tier 2” taillight is to re-purpose a cheap Chinese headlight (XML reflector type) with one of the aftermarket red elliptical lenses. However, you have to get a little creative with mounting, and you do take a pretty large hit in efficiency in the process of filtering out everything but the red wavelength. The other drawback is that the flash patterns and lack of "pulse mode" can leave a lot to be desired.
Cheers
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Old 01-11-16, 03:47 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Recumbentracer View Post
A cheaper way to approach a “tier 2” taillight is to re-purpose a cheap Chinese headlight (XML reflector type) with one of the aftermarket red elliptical lenses. However, you have to get a little creative with mounting, and you do take a pretty large hit in efficiency in the process of filtering out everything but the red wavelength. The other drawback is that the flash patterns and lack of "pulse mode" can leave a lot to be desired.
Cheers
This wouldn't be nearly as effective as having actual red LED's aimed to the rear. A red lens will block out nearly all of the visible light from a white LED, leaving only the red wavelengths, meaning much of the perceived brightness of the white light would be lost.

I found this out first-hand a number of years ago when I compared red vs. white LED replacements for my car's tail lights. The white LED inside the red lens appeared much dimmer than the red LED inside the red lens (almost all the light gets through, none filtered).
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Old 01-11-16, 04:09 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
say what? The pro80 is $42 with free shipping on Amazon.
OK, you're right Pro 80 = 42.43 and Hotrod 50 = 34.25 each. total 110,93.
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Old 01-11-16, 04:14 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Recumbentracer View Post
This is certainly not bad idea, but there are some considerations when using multiple, low-power lights. Using two, aimed right/left, does improve your off-angle visibility, BUT, unless the focused beam overlaps at the viewing distance, the intensity remains unchanged. So, yes, better viewing angle, but not with any more intensity than the single light. To increase viewing angle AND intensity, you simple have to burn more wattage over the full beam pattern. You’d probably be better off using multiple PRO 80’s, aimed identically. If in an on/off flash mode, even with identical aiming, you’d have to ensure that they were flashing in synchronicity in order to boost the intensity.

That said, however, I do think there is some benefit to increasing the overall “size” of your taillight footprint or even introducing some randomness to the flash pattern. In other words, multiple lights, separated by some distance is always a good thing (helps with depth perception as well). Do note that at night, you don’t want to use an on/off flash mode as this really destroys depth perception. Some of the tier 1 lights have picked up on this and now have “pulse” modes where the light stays on constantly but pulses up to higher power levels.

Comparing to a true “tier 2” light, the DS-500 has 3-CREE XPE2 LEDs behind an elliptical lens, throwing a maximum of almost 400 lumens over a 45 degree angle beam width PLUS another 400 lumens behind a tight 10 degree spot lens. So to “paint” the same intensity you’d need roughly 5 of the PRO 80s PLUS another 8 of the Hotrod 50. Obviously, this is not a practical (or cost effective) solution. A cheaper way to approach a “tier 2” taillight is to re-purpose a cheap Chinese headlight (XML reflector type) with one of the aftermarket red elliptical lenses. However, you have to get a little creative with mounting, and you do take a pretty large hit in efficiency in the process of filtering out everything but the red wavelength. The other drawback is that the flash patterns and lack of "pulse mode" can leave a lot to be desired.
Cheers
After considering angle and intensity, I will need to compromise and give up some of both. If I use the Hotrod on the seat tube, those two will be adjusted anyways, depending on where and when I ride. My primary thing is to get some kind of angle that's greater than 45 degrees.
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Old 01-12-16, 10:18 AM
  #60  
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I don't understand the need for such a wide angle of throw on the rear light. How often do you have traffic approaching your behind from a 45 degree angle? By and large most traffic approaches me from directly behind or one lane over, and the angle off-center is only slightly increased if the road curves and they are very far back. By the time they get closer to me, they're much closer in-line with the throw of my Hotshot lights.
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Old 01-12-16, 12:53 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I don't understand the need for such a wide angle of throw on the rear light. How often do you have traffic approaching your behind from a 45 degree angle? By and large most traffic approaches me from directly behind or one lane over, and the angle off-center is only slightly increased if the road curves and they are very far back. By the time they get closer to me, they're much closer in-line with the throw of my Hotshot lights.
True, if your light is very intense and can alert a driver to your presence from 500 ft back, the angle from drivers eyes to your light is around 2.7 degrees and the wide angle issue is less important. However, in challenging sunlight conditions (and a whole host of limiting visibility issues from the driver's perspective), the PRO 80 just isn't anywhere near enough power for long range warning. Therefore, the vehicle has to be ***closer*** to get the warning. It's at these closer ranges that angle becomes an issue. I should also point out that there is a big difference between trying to see a light vs. having a light that FORCES you to be seen. Sure, if you look hard, you might notice the lower power taillight under these conditions, but your goal should be to MAKE the driver look at you when they are not.

Cygolite is trying to widen their beam because the spot beam is SO narrow that the rolloff in intensity can be very significant at small angles as small as 4 degrees off of the centerline (especially in the daytime). Let's say you're riding 2 feet off of the lane on the right hand shoulder of a 4-lane road during the morning with low sun off to your right shoulder, and you have a truck 50ft back in the right lane at highway speeds, distracted, so he didn't see you at a distance. Do you want to become invisible in that last critical 100 to 50 ft. or do you want to still be pumping out some serious lumens? At 100ft back the driver's line of sight to your taillight is around 7 degrees, and by 50ft it doubles to 14 degrees and quickly just gets worse from there, rendering a tight spot beam nearly useless. So you can see that even without a curvy road, a wider beam is still important. I just described the situation in this YouTube Video. He did recover, by the way, but only after a broken scapula, 7 broken ribs, collapsed lung, and a gash to the head. Could very easily have been a fatality. Painful to watch...

Last edited by Recumbentracer; 01-12-16 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 01-12-16, 01:36 PM
  #62  
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Yeah but I want to be seen farther back than 100 feet, and I think the Hotshot Pro80 does a fine job with that. Plus in daylight I will be using one of the flashing modes which will help get the motorist's attention.

I recently was told by a friend that he noticed my 2 flashing gen1/2 Hotshots from nearly a mile away (over 4,000 feet) in daylight. And he didn't know I was going to be on that road that day so it's not like he was looking for me. So I can only assume the Pro80's will be that much better.
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Old 01-12-16, 01:55 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Yeah but I want to be seen farther back than 100 feet....
Yes! Absolutely, the sooner drivers can become aware of you, the better. Don't expect much (if any) noticeable increase in intensity between the 50 and 80, when viewing them from the same distance from a single point. Although lumens may have gone up slightly, the fact that they are now spread over a wider angle brings the intensity back down. Think "laser pointer." When collimated down to a tiny spot, it doesn't take much power to project a long way. Now spread that same amount of light over a much greater area, and the effective illumination distance goes down.

Sure, 50 to 80 lumens can be seen, but at a distance like a mile it goes like this:

80 lumen tail light... Driver, "Hey, look I can actually see a small flashing light."

500+ lumen tail light... Driver, "Holy COW! Has there been an accident? Maybe an ambulance up ahead? I better slow down."

Sadly, cost does come into play, otherwise, anyone who rides on the road would prefer option no. 2. Option no. 1 however, is way better than nothing, and a really nice improvement over the 1 watt flashers (i.e. Planet Bike).
Cheers
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Old 01-12-16, 02:57 PM
  #64  
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Well in my area, cyclists are so few, and flashing lights are even more rare, that any sort of flashing light will likely grab a driver's attention and make them wonder what it is. And I already know for a fact that the Pro80's on flash modes are EXTREMELY conspicuous in full daylight from 1,000 feet away. Sure there are brighter options, but it's still great for what it is at the price they're being sold for.
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Old 01-12-16, 03:47 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
How about taking two Hotrods and mouting them on the seat tubes aimed at left and right with the Pro 80 at the rear?
That's what I do often (I assume by seat tubes you mean seatstays?), except in my case, my seatstay is too horizontal, so I mount the rods on the rack frame. I use them not only for partial side visibility, but also to widen the taillight effect, which I think greatly increases visibility from the rear. Multiple lights, even just two, in parallel is much better than a single taillight.

Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I don't understand the need for such a wide angle of throw on the rear light.
Actually, those light strips like Hotrod (similar to Serfas Thunderbolt, I believe) have no throw, only flood. If you direct such a light toward the wall or ground, they do not cast a circular spot or image. If they are white, they'd be definitely the "been seen" and not "to see" lights. They are very bright, though.

This brings up something I' meant to ask for some time: for daytime use of taillight, assuming equal brightness, would a taillight with throw (e.g. Hotshot either generation, Serfas 60, or Axiom Pulse) and a taillight with no/little throw (e.g. Hotrod, Thunderbolt) be equally effective, or the former is better?
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Old 01-12-16, 05:08 PM
  #66  
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Go with the focused beam in the day, and the diffused (omnidirectional) at night. Effective on/off flash pattern for day, ON/Pulse for night. IMO
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Old 01-12-16, 06:35 PM
  #67  
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I use the Cygolite Hotshot older model with the Hotrod. Both are on the seat post. I don't use a saddle bag so there's plenty of space for both to fit. This is early morning before sun up.

To me, there is enough intensity. Yes, there are compromises, but that's life in the city. Besides both are pulse capable. And the Hotrod can be easily adjusted on the post. I mean left or right directional, and not vertical.
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Old 01-12-16, 07:34 PM
  #68  
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160 lumens. 180 degrees horizontally and vertically full power (no weak points). The lens does not look like it would do that, but it sure does. Five brightness levels on all program modes.
$125.

Lupine Lighting Systems - Products ? Rear / Tail Lights ? ROTLICHT
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Old 01-12-16, 11:27 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
160 lumens. 180 degrees horizontally and vertically full power (no weak points). The lens does not look like it would do that, but it sure does. Five brightness levels on all program modes.
$125.

Lupine Lighting Systems - Products ? Rear / Tail Lights ? ROTLICHT
160 lumens for 2 hours! 40 lumens for 8 hours. And this is why I don't like rechargeable lights. I much prefer battery powered lights so that I can carry a spare battery!
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Old 01-13-16, 09:25 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
160 lumens. 180 degrees horizontally and vertically full power (no weak points). The lens does not look like it would do that, but it sure does. Five brightness levels on all program modes.
$125.

Lupine Lighting Systems - Products ? Rear / Tail Lights ? ROTLICHT
That mount is super junk. I would never buy that light because of the mount alone. The Hotshot mount (revised 2-screw version) is far superior.
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Old 01-13-16, 10:19 AM
  #71  
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This rear light is rated at 150 lumens; seen it as low as US$100. Oh; it comes with a 4 cell battery pack and a front light.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G74...6zPoymgKaIoDLA

Stopped using it because it was a hassle to use on my folding bike. Which brings me back to the original topic of this thread.
One advantage of the Pro 80 over the more powerful(and expensive) lights is that it's easily transferred from one to another.
Another is that it's pretty lightweight. It matters to some roadies and myself; I have to carry my folder up 3 flights of stairs
sometimes. So I try to choose light components/accessories. If somebody bought a used or new bike for US$300; would they
really choose a $200 or $300 rear light?

Whatever light you choose; try to have a 2nd as a back-up.
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Old 01-13-16, 11:14 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
160 lumens for 2 hours! 40 lumens for 8 hours. And this is why I don't like rechargeable lights. I much prefer battery powered lights so that I can carry a spare battery!
I must have linked you to a earlier model year. Like most LED lights, if your light is one year old, the new model is brighter or runs longer. Mine is just a little longer run time.

brightest 5) three hours. Annoying after dark. I can't remember doing any rides less than three hours in the last few years.
4) six hours. Noticeably brighter than all of my Hot shots. I turn this on 2 or 3 hours before dark. On my week end century,
after dark I turn it down to 3).
3) 12 hours, about the same as my hotshots, but much better beam pattern, in all directions. If I was on brightness level 4 for three hours, when I switch to 3, I have half, or six hours left. This gives me enough to finish my century and have a problem, like a flat tire etc.
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Old 01-13-16, 11:29 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
That mount is super junk. I would never buy that light because of the mount alone. The Hotshot mount (revised 2-screw version) is far superior.
For the last three decades or so, I have used screw on brackets for my lights that were my favorite at the time. On at least 10 of my 13 + bikes.
It's a PITA. If I clean the seat post or stay, and the mounting parts of my light with Windex once in a a while, I don't have to stretch the strap a lot, and the mount has good traction, and is secure. Screw on brackets are super inconvenient. Especially when you have lots of bikes and ride 3-5 hours in the dark every week.
I used to think screw on brackets were better too.
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Old 01-13-16, 11:36 AM
  #74  
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Just some clarification and different perspective...

Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
One advantage of the Pro 80 over the more powerful(and expensive) lights is that it's easily transferred from one to another.
Not necessarily...DesignShine and Dinotte make the most power taillights in existence and both have quick-release options. The DS-500 uses an adaptation of Cateye's fantastic glass-nylon clamps and fail-safe quick-release. I can literally change the light from one bike to the next in 5 seconds without doing any re-aiming or tightening of any kind. The nice thing is that the base mounting clamps are super inexpensive, so you install one on each bike, then just clip the light in and out as needed. Dinotte takes a similar approach, although the mounts are not quite as robust (IMO). DS-500 shown below with Cateye quick-release and clamp.

Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Another is that it's pretty lightweight. It matters to some roadies and myself; I have to carry my folder up 3 flights of stairs sometimes. So I try to choose light components/accessories.
A very minor trade-off when comparing performance, but a tradeoff nonetheless. "Gram counters" tend to be in a whole other category (not that there's anything wrong with that...), but for most folks, the difference in weight between the self-contained flasher and a high power light is pretty trivial. We're talking 140 grams for a full aluminum DS-500 with mount (Dinotte very similar), and 144 grams for a 2-cell battery/case. Basically a half-empty water bottle for the entire setup. Of course, one of the benefits of an externally powered light, is that you do have the option to carry much larger (or multiple) batteries for endurance type riding. There's even a nice dyno-hub solution for never-ending power. For comparison, the Pro 80 is somewhere in the 45 gram range.

On a completely different topic, the only place where I've found that a couple hundred grams CAN make a big difference (even for a non-racer) is in the outer rotating weight of the wheels... tires, tubes, rim, rim-tape, spoke nipples, and spokes.

Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
If somebody bought a used or new bike for US$300; would they really choose a $200 or $300 rear light?
Short answer... yes, sometimes. Just because someone may have an older bike that's not worth much, or they choose to save money buying used vs. new, does not imply that they cannot afford and/or might not place a high value on increasing their safety factor on the bike. There's definitely some psychology at work here. The older I've gotten (with more kids), the more importance I put on safety. "Good enough" just doesn't cut it any more for me when it comes to taillights, whereas in my 20's, I wouldn't have cared.

Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Whatever light you choose; try to have a 2nd as a back-up.
Excellent advice!
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Last edited by Recumbentracer; 01-13-16 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-14-16, 08:51 AM
  #75  
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Sorry for dredging up an old thread, but wanted to know if the Pro 80 is a micro USB or mini USB plug?
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