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Best sub $50 tail light?

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Best sub $50 tail light?

Old 08-14-12, 11:29 AM
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no1mad 
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Best sub $50 tail light?

We got a thread for headlights in this price range, so might as well have one for the rear...

Any of them with a good spread? I'm notorious for not being able to align things perfectly straight.
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Old 08-14-12, 01:00 PM
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Superflash is the best blinkie on the market IMHO.


I've read on BF's that there is a knockoff available that is just as bright for $7.

I've lost two of them, one to clusminess (I was undergoing physical Therapy for acute tendonitis in my hip and after one session I missed the first time that I tried to swing my leg onto my bike, but didn't have full range of motion, and acccidently kicked my blinkie out of the holder, which I didn't realize until way later. the other one was just pure stupidity on my part. I had a million things going through my head on the commute home one day, when I pulled over to do some quick maintenance and wound up leaving my blinkie behind.

I've regulated myself to using a cheap Schwinn blinkie that I bought from LL Bean for 2 bucks. I've never used it, but I can't imagine it's close to the Superflash in brightness.
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Old 08-14-12, 03:46 PM
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I'm using a Superflash myself, but I'm interested in what else is out there. I also have 2 of the cheap knockoffs on order, but they haven't arrived and I'm getting a little anxious about that.

It occurs to me that while we like having bright headlights and they get brighter each time I look, we are not looking to blind the drivers coming up behind us, so maybe the Superflash is all we really need.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:40 PM
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I haven't used a superflash turbo, but I do like my Radbot 1000. I keep meaning to buy a Hotshot, but never really felt the need.

I do tend to think we need more light than a Superflash puts out, but possibly spread out a lot more.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:44 PM
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I have seen the superflash turbo and not been impressed.

I have the Hotshot and get good comments from other riders in the daytime.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I'm using a Superflash myself, but I'm interested in what else is out there. I also have 2 of the cheap knockoffs on order, but they haven't arrived and I'm getting a little anxious about that.

It occurs to me that while we like having bright headlights and they get brighter each time I look, we are not looking to blind the drivers coming up behind us, so maybe the Superflash is all we really need.
Maybe it has something to do with the color spectrum? I've noticed cheap red blinkies are a bit more noticeable than their 'be seen' front light counterparts.

But I'm severely night blind. There's no way I'm gonna be able to ride more than 10 mph safely, no matter how much OTF lumens I have. The glare of oncoming traffic just overwhelms me too much. I would rather people notice me as they are coming up from behind.
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Old 08-14-12, 05:21 PM
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I use a combination of a HotShot and a NiteRider CherryBomb. On a different bike I have a RadBot 1000 and a SuperFlash Turbo. All 4 of these lights are great, but my favorites are the HotShot and the CherryBomb in tandem so they're on the bike that's getting most the saddle time. Don't ask why I have so many, because I have no idea lol
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Old 08-14-12, 07:39 PM
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I just purchased a Cygolite Hotshot 2 watt rechargeable light with USB cable for $29.10 on Amazon. It has 4 flash patterns plus a steady burn option. I've not had a chance to use it yet but it does look pretty darn bright. I've seen some complaints of how it doesn't do well with the clip so I'm going to try to use a zip tie to hold it to the seat bag just to be safe. I've also seen complaints that it has to be parallel to the street to be at it's brightest so I'll just have to work on that since I plan to use it on the bag.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:11 PM
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I have the Cygolite Hotshot rechargeable light with USB cable and couldn't be happier. I've tried many. I use a PBSF for a backup.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:39 PM
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For what it's worth on the Superflash models, I own both the original and the Turbo, and they're pretty close. The Turbo seems just a bit brighter, but it's not a huge difference.

Honestly, for me, sometimes I wonder if the Turbo is overkill. The regular Superflash is already very strong, and I don't know how much more retina-searing brightness I'd want on my taillight. I'm pretty sure the regular Superflash is already well into the "annoyingly bright" category in the minds of many drivers. (Better that than getting hit, of course...)

Maybe for biking on roads in the daytime, or really severe conditions, the Turbo is a better choice. I think it depends on where and when you're riding. But the good old original Superflash will always be great in my book.
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Old 08-15-12, 02:29 AM
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I have a PBSF original and a PDW Danger Zone. I think if you use two of these 1 watt or more lights, you are in good to go. If you ride in HEAVY traffic, it's more difficult to stand out from all the automotive red lights and you might want to consider a different strategy with better/more lights.
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Old 08-15-12, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by lgvincent View Post
I just purchased a Cygolite Hotshot 2 watt rechargeable light with USB cable for $29.10 on Amazon. It has 4 flash patterns plus a steady burn option. I've not had a chance to use it yet but it does look pretty darn bright. I've seen some complaints of how it doesn't do well with the clip so I'm going to try to use a zip tie to hold it to the seat bag just to be safe. I've also seen complaints that it has to be parallel to the street to be at it's brightest so I'll just have to work on that since I plan to use it on the bag.
The beam on the HotShot is more focused than most lights, however it is so bright (if you have it set up correctly) it's not really an issue. It's plenty visible. The brightness can be adjusted, so be sure to read the instructions to set it on its brightest setting. I think like me you'll be very happy with it.
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Old 08-15-12, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Turtle Speed View Post
For what it's worth on the Superflash models, I own both the original and the Turbo, and they're pretty close. The Turbo seems just a bit brighter, but it's not a huge difference.

Honestly, for me, sometimes I wonder if the Turbo is overkill. The regular Superflash is already very strong, and I don't know how much more retina-searing brightness I'd want on my taillight. I'm pretty sure the regular Superflash is already well into the "annoyingly bright" category in the minds of many drivers. (Better that than getting hit, of course...)

Maybe for biking on roads in the daytime, or really severe conditions, the Turbo is a better choice. I think it depends on where and when you're riding. But the good old original Superflash will always be great in my book.
The Turbo bugs me with its weird flash pattern, so I liked the original better. You're right, there's not that much visible difference between the half-watt original and the 1-watt Turbo.
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Old 08-15-12, 06:42 AM
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planet bike super flash and I have a 2nd on my left drop bar. I like them but wish they were smaller and lighter. they are not expensive and easy to replace if damaged or lost. I have not looked into others since getting these. I add a little tape to the seal in the worst weather even though they are water proof.

I just dug up whatever mounting pictures I had from over the years
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Old 08-15-12, 03:13 PM
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I had a superflash mounted to my seatstay and it fell off. The outer shell was still securely mounted, but the battery and guts were gone. I've seen many people with lights downtown and I'll probably get something with a larger surface area, not just a small really bright spot. Maybe the cateye 650 or cateye 560.
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Old 08-15-12, 06:36 PM
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Cat Eye has a 180+ degree tail light.. I have a B&M 4D toplight they have 2 LED's lighting the sides,
got a rear rack?

No? I used 2 Zefal mudguard struts wrapped around the rear bottle cage mount
on my bike friday anchored by the bolts that hold on the bottle cage,
which is low on the seat post. and mounted my wired to the dynohub, rack light there..

because I am Fabricator-Man ! [cue the cartoon theme song]
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Old 08-15-12, 06:47 PM
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+1 for cygolight hotshot. Had many superflashes before that, but who wants to keep/change AAAs constantly.
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Old 08-15-12, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Cat Eye has a 180+ degree tail light.. I have a B&M 4D toplight they have 2 LED's lighting the sides,
got a rear rack?

No? I used 2 Zefal mudguard struts wrapped around the rear bottle cage mount
on my bike friday anchored by the bolts that hold on the bottle cage,
which is low on the seat post. and mounted my wired to the dynohub, rack light there..

because I am Fabricator-Man ! [cue the cartoon theme song]
I have a 4D mounted to the rack and a Cherrybomb on the seat post. I'm 95% sure of ditching the rack, though. The only reason I haven't yet is that I want more than one light.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I add a little tape to the seal [in the Superflash] in the worst weather even though they are water proof.
What type of tape do you use? Is there a kind which is weather-resistant but easy to remove without leaving lots of gunk behind on the plastic? Electrical tape, maybe?

Originally Posted by black_box View Post
I had a superflash mounted to my seatstay and it fell off. The outer shell was still securely mounted, but the battery and guts were gone.
I've had superflashes on each seat stay, facing sideways, and I've actually kicked the lights right off. I mean I bonked them with my feet while pedaling. Happened just like you said - the mount stayed on, along with the plastic clip part, but it split the light where the plastic comes apart (like if you were to change the batteries) and the batteries got knocked off. Luckily, I heard it and found mine right away, undamaged.

I moved them wayyy down the seat stays, as far as I could go, so they're farther away from my moving feet. So far I don't seem to be kicking them. If they were facing rearwards instead of sideways, like they're designed to, I think it'd be less of a problem. (Although for me, when I mount a Superflash facing backwards, it wants to tilt the entire direction of the light upwards somewhat.)
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Old 08-16-12, 05:02 AM
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I'm amazed at how few good choices there are out there. The Superflash and the Hotshot and a few others are mentioned.

When it comes to headlights there are many more, with variations on brightness, focus and features, and then the whole array of flashlights being easily adapted to bikes. Chargeable, USB chargers, different battery types, helmet mounts, handlebar mounts, zooms, one piece, two piece. It is really tough to make a choice, except that they're mostly all good.

I guess I'll stick with my Superflash and the knockoffs that I ordered, if they ever come. Mount compatibility is a virtue when you have 6 different bikes for a family of 5.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:21 AM
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zacster,

I sent you a PM regarding these lights, did you get it?
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Old 08-16-12, 07:39 AM
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re: lost parts to PBSF - I add a rubber band between the top and bottom strobes and the band goes around the mounting bracket cuz I have lost a couple on bumpy roads. no problems since and since I own them I use them. I wold consider replacements at some point
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Old 08-16-12, 09:25 AM
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I light I use and think is pretty good but doesn't get much press is the Princeton Tec Swerve. Certainly comparable to the Superflash and Cherrybombs I have. They do benefit from being aimed.
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Old 08-16-12, 12:09 PM
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Been perusing the offerings from Serfas. Two lights catch my eye- the 'Shield', which is over my budget, and the TL-200, which looks like to be of a similar design to the PDW DZ.

What I like about the Sefas site is that they offer up a video of each of their tail lights in action. It looks like they used the same route and moved at similar speed in every one of the vids- they just couldn't control traffic or weather.
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Old 08-17-12, 04:52 AM
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I have two original Superflashes and recently added a Cygolite Hotshot which I really like. It's awesome, but needs to be level to be effective. I just ordered and received the Serfas TL-60 Shield tail light from amazon for $47 and I really like that a whole lot too. The Serfas Tl-60 is equivalent brightness to the hotshot, just spread out more so that it is more effective on a back pack than the Hotshot. I don't recommend the Hotshot for use on a back pack due to it's narrow beam. So the Hotshot goes on my seatpost mounted level and straight back and the Serfas goes on my back pack. It turns out to be a heck of a good combo. If I could only have one of them, it would be a tough decision, but I think the Serfas is better overall b/c of the wider beam and similar brightness to the Hotshot. I can't complain abut the hotshot mount b/c I recently wiped out horribly on my brand new Sirrus Comp and the bike went crashing and bouncing down the paved path for a long ways before coming to a stop and the Hotshot stayed put. Unfortunately I didn't fare as well and ended up with a fractured collar bone among other things.

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