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Tail lights with reflectors

Old 11-27-11, 06:24 PM
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Tail lights with reflectors

Whether you have 1 light mounted and carry a back-up in a bag or use more than one at the same time, I think it's a good idea that one of the lights being used has a built-in reflector. I've got two: 4D Toplight and Cherrybomb 1W.

What's your passive/aggressive light?
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Old 11-27-11, 06:32 PM
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I agree on the utility (and generally also legal requirement) of reflectors in addition to tail lights. But I haven't been that impressed by the effectiveness of the combination products. So my bikes have regular reflectors in addition to one or two lights.
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Old 11-27-11, 06:49 PM
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I feel that I don't need to have a taillight w/ a
built in reflector, currently using a Planetbike Superflash.
I ride with clothing that has reflective materials.


NITERIDER by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 11-27-11, 06:58 PM
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^^ The Cherry Bomb actually doesn't have a reflector, despite NiteRider's claims. A comparison above.

My main commuting bike has an 8-inch-square placard of high-performance prismatic reflective tape zip-tied to the rear of my trunk bag. Hard to top that for my legally-required red reflector And for lighting, it uses a Hotshot, although I've been meaning to throw on at least one more for backup.

On the main topic, a few other lights with legit reflectors:

Planet Bike BRT-5
Cateye LD-500 (pretty feeble)
Cateye LD-560/570 (nicely made but actually less potent than the BRT-5)
PDW Radbot and Fenderbot
and of course many dyno-powered ones.

Tangential to the topic: reflective tape is awesome. One of the ways it's awesome, is that it reflects from severe angles, whereas conventional plastic reflectors rely on total internal reflectance, which stops working past a certain input angle. It's also lightweight, cheap and customizable.

Last edited by mechBgon; 11-27-11 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 11-27-11, 07:10 PM
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I ride with a Brooks neon green mesh bib with reflective trim that fits over my shell, Jogalite reflective ankle straps, a my tail set up:


The Radbot 1000 has a reflector, and I've got the round one below. I've also got reflective white tape on both sides of the bike and two front lights.

Last edited by Easy Peasy; 11-27-11 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 11-27-11, 07:16 PM
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^^That PB BRT-5? It looks like it has a better reflector than my 4D. How bright is the light? Youtube search came up empty on the BRT-5...
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Old 11-27-11, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
^^That PB BRT-5? It looks like it has a better reflector than my 4D. How bright is the light? Youtube search came up empty on the BRT-5...
It's pretty bright for budget-class. Here's my thread on the Cateye LD560, which includes the BRT-5 and 1/2-watt SuperFlash (both beamshots and reflector performance photos): https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-amp-comments
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Old 11-27-11, 07:46 PM
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Hmm, I was thinking about a Fenderbot would be the next piece in my collection, but after checking out that comparo, some reflective tape will be a lot easier to work with my so-so DIY skills.

But I do want to augment my 4D with another light. The Cherrybomb is okay, but I think I can do better...
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Old 11-27-11, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
But I do want to augment my 4D with another light. The Cherrybomb is okay, but I think I can do better...
Your commuter's a flat-bar setup, right? And you've been having trouble finding places to put your taillights. So how about AAA-powered bar-tip taillights? https://bontrager.com/model/06988

You get two more taillights, they define your bike's width visually for more clearance, you can tell at a glance if they're on or not, and they even show from the side.

Notes:
1) they come in two varieties, one for drop bars, the other for straight bars.

2) if you need the end of your bar for a plug-in accessory like a mirror, or use pogies in the winter, then this won't work.

3) they do suck down power fast, so I'd throw in freshly-charged AAAs every 15-20 hours. At least this version doesn't take 2 button batteries per side, they're expensive to run.


Regarding the reflective tape, the metallized stuff doesn't conform to two-axis curves well, so the best approach on fenders is to cut it into strips 1cm wide or less. The stuff from Fred Meyer is quite satisfactory, $10 for a 4-pack. You're looking for this:


Last edited by mechBgon; 11-27-11 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-27-11, 07:59 PM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/INFINI-5-Red...item2eb8fcabdc

The best light for the rack, IMHO.

And the best all around:

https://compare.ebay.com/like/2807752...=sbar&_lwgsi=y

Last edited by rfomenko; 11-27-11 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 11-27-11, 08:00 PM
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Portland Design Works RADBOT™ 1000

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Old 11-27-11, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Your commuter's a flat-bar setup, right? And you've been having trouble finding places to put your taillights. So how about AAA-powered bar-tip taillights? https://bontrager.com/model/06988
I am so glad you posted this link...I had forgotten where I had seen these...I am going to use them in the ends of my light bar (flat handle bar)to add to the definition of my trike on night rides. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-27-11, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Your commuter's a flat-bar setup, right? And you've been having trouble finding places to put your taillights. So how about AAA-powered bar-tip taillights? https://bontrager.com/model/06988

You get two more taillights, they define your bike's width visually for more clearance, you can tell at a glance if they're on or not, and they even show from the side.

Notes:
1) they come in two varieties, one for drop bars, the other for straight bars.

2) if you need the end of your bar for a plug-in accessory like a mirror, or use pogies in the winter, then this won't work.

3) they do suck down power fast, so I'd throw in freshly-charged AAAs every 15-20 hours. At least this version doesn't take 2 button batteries per side, they're expensive to run.


Regarding the reflective tape, the metallized stuff doesn't conform to two-axis curves well, so the best approach on fenders is to cut it into strips 1cm wide or less. The stuff from Fred Meyer is quite satisfactory, $10 for a 4-pack. You're looking for this:

Those bar end lights look interesting. Couple of questions about those:

1. How distracting are they to the cyclist?
2. How rugged are they?
3. How easy are they to install and remove?

I ask because my current commute requires that my bike lay on its side in the back of vehicles every day that I go to work.
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Old 11-27-11, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Those bar end lights look interesting. Couple of questions about those:

1. How distracting are they to the cyclist?
2. How rugged are they?
3. How easy are they to install and remove?

I ask because my current commute requires that my bike lay on its side in the back of vehicles every day that I go to work.
1) They're not distracting, thank goodness. My biggest challenge is remembering to turn them on

2) They should tolerate incidental laying-down OK, based on my experience, but I did shear one off by clipping a tree with it at ~20mph on an off-road descent.

3) They slide in by hand and are retained by that soft finned rubber tube shown in the photo. It can wear out (Trek even sells replacements), but I imagine I could MacGuyver a substitute out of... *looks around* ...CHEWING GUM!
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