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FYI, $4 flashing light for night riding

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FYI, $4 flashing light for night riding

Old 08-25-22, 10:31 PM
  #26  
CrimsonEclipse
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I always suggest something with a AA or AAA so you can swap out rechargeables on the ride.

When the integrated L-ion goes bad, the whole thing is trash
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Old 08-25-22, 11:39 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Yeah, maybe the OP can report back after they've used it for a while. My general experience with being cheap has determined that these things are usually fragile and/or not very bright.
I have $4 rechargeable front light with horn. After 3 years using day and night, all-weather, still works like new, straps are still intact. No issues whatsoever.
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Old 08-25-22, 11:50 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I'm quite sure I made my reasons clear. A light isn't better than nothing if it runs out of battery on you, falls off, falls apart, or otherwise stops lighting... which has happened to me before. Then it literally is the same as nothing, except $4 more. Like I said, it's entirely possible this bargain light is a treasure find, but that remains to be seen until someone has actually used it and not just posted that they will be getting something in the mail soon.
Never had those issues on my $4 rechargeable front light + horn 3 years and counting, all-weather use.

I also have $1 rechargeable tail light. 3 years and counting as well. Absolutely no issues for riding at night in the city. Although I'd get something brighter if I had to ride at night on rural roads but that never happened yet so I have no use for more expensive lights at the moment and I may never do as I really don't like, would hate to get caught in the middle of nowhere at night so I plan my long rides carefully to avoid these situations.

I doubt this is luck. I do carefully pick the sellers where I buy these products. Both product and seller must have high ratings and no horrifically bad reviews.
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Old 08-25-22, 11:55 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr View Post
I'm using a RockBros set of usb blinkies. They were inexpensive, and the quality is good so far. Been using them for about a month.
Rockbros is a good brand if you got a legit product. I have a few bike wear from them and the quality seems as good as much more expensive product / brands.
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Old 08-26-22, 12:03 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Never had those issues on my $4 rechargeable front light + horn 3 years and counting, all-weather use.

I also have $1 rechargeable tail light. 3 years and counting as well. Absolutely no issues for riding at night in the city. Although I'd get something brighter if I had to ride at night on rural roads but that never happened yet so I have no use for more expensive lights at the moment and I may never do as I really don't like, would hate to get caught in the middle of nowhere at night so I plan my long rides carefully to avoid these situations.

I doubt this is luck. I do carefully pick the sellers where I buy these products. Both product and seller must have high ratings and no horrifically bad reviews.
That's great, and if you want to post links to the specific products, even better. However, unless your light is the exact same product as the OP's, the OP's post is not helpful until they or someone else posts favorable long term experiences with that specific product (like you just did for yours). That's all I'm saying.
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Old 08-26-22, 12:16 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
That's great, and if you want to post links to the specific products, even better. However, unless your light is the exact same product as the OP's, the OP's post is not helpful until they or someone else posts favorable long term experiences with that specific product (like you just did for yours). That's all I'm saying.
The one I use is designated front light with horn. The $4 package also came with tail light but tail light wasn't rechargeable so I bought a $1 rechargeable tail light later.

My $4 looks like this. Search keywords in aliexpress is "bike light with horn". I can't find the seller anymore (I have no seller loyalty, just avoid ones with horrifically bad reviews). My $1 tail light unit looks exactly like the OP's link but I got it for a lot cheaper.

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Old 08-26-22, 03:31 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
I always suggest something with a AA or AAA so you can swap out rechargeables on the ride.

When the integrated L-ion goes bad, the whole thing is trash
That’s why I went with the battery version of Planet Bike’s Grateful Red instead of the USB version. I do multi-day and multi-week tours and don’t always have access to power. If I accidentally leave the light on and kill the batteries I can slip in backup rechargeables, which I carry for my headlamp anyway.
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Old 08-26-22, 03:37 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
That's great, and if you want to post links to the specific products, even better. However, unless your light is the exact same product as the OP's, the OP's post is not helpful until they or someone else posts favorable long term experiences with that specific product (like you just did for yours). That's all I'm saying.
Or links AND photos of the product claimed to be owned so people can see what it looks like “in action.”
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Old 08-26-22, 06:36 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Rockbros is a good brand if you got a legit product. I have a few bike wear from them and the quality seems as good as much more expensive product / brands.
agreed. I have their chromatic sunglasses ($29) and waterproof panniers ($85), and they too are very good quality for the price.
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Old 08-26-22, 09:04 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Does anyone mount a light on their bike to flash behind them?
What? Are you talking about a rear flasher? Of course they do.
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Old 08-26-22, 09:06 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
What? Are you talking about a rear flasher? Of course they do.
You must be new around hear.
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Old 08-26-22, 10:55 AM
  #37  
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I have also tired those "Too cheap not to be a great deal" lights and have had bad results.

I don't doubt that every now and then someone gets a good product from a decent manufacturer for a ridiculously low price. However (and particularly given my understanding (however correct it is) of Communist China's knock-off industries) quality control and materials are not a priority for a lot of companies---build 'em, sell 'em, change the company's name, repeat. Move on to more profitable knock-offs after a few repetitions.

The issue I have is that I might have to spend a bunch of money to find the good product .... whereas I can send a bunch of money and have a good product, pretty much guaranteed .... and with bike lighting being a pretty serious safety issue (and having gotten caught out by cheap lights a few times) I find most of the "Too cheap not to be a great deal" stuff to be a bad deal.

Again, if a few people can say they have had a particular product from a particular manufacturer and have used it heavily for a year or so .... but usually these are companies that make a single run and move on .... so a year later you can't find them.

Like myself, alto of people on this forum have been riding since "lights" were cheesy friction rollers you pressed against the tire which dimmed when you slowed, who graduated to huge honking double- or quadruple D-cell lights which were decent for about three rides and thn got continually dimmer .... but the batteries still had a lot of life left, so you had to pay a ton for (heavy) batteries often or run dim lights .... to trying rechargeable batteries (the early ones didn't hold a charge well--you might get a few good hours, but if you recharged them before you drained them, they would max out at whatever level you started, i.e. if the battery was a third drained, it would never get more than 2/3 charged after that.) Nicad and better batteries came along, Li-ion or whatever ,... and finally you could carry batteries which wouldn't drain even when not being used, where a set would last a whole night ride (handy if you worked nights) and your spare set didn't weigh as much as the rest of the bike ...... Nowadays most lights just plug in which is awesome (I don't mind dismounting the lights but I suppose I could rig a charger with long cables in my garage) and frankly, with a good light lasting many years in all conditions, I cannot see where experimenting with an endless stream of cheap lights to finally find one which works is worth the hassle.

If someone wants to send me gear for testing, I am all with that. if you think your cheap lights are tough and long-lasting, I will put them to the test---rain and ruts and long runs and whatever else. You buy 'em, I try 'em .... and I will report back, or simply chime in to sustain whatever claim is made here.

By the way .... I used to ride free bikes, because I picked trash and rebuilt. Living by the argument, "Such a component would be worth X percent of the cost of his whole bike" would have militated that I never replace tubes, because a $3 tube would be infinitely more expensive than the bike itself. And if I put a $3 tube in, then a $15 ties would be five times the monetary value of the bike ..... so I could have to ride on rims or else I couldn't justify the spending.

or maybe .... ride a bargain $300 Giant and because you got a great bike for so little, you have extra cash left over to do upgrades. Whatever.
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Old 08-26-22, 11:01 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
I always suggest something with a AA or AAA so you can swap out rechargeables on the ride.

When the integrated L-ion goes bad, the whole thing is trash
A lot of lights with integrated Li-ion batteries simply don't want to you to know you can replace the batteries. I had a Light and Motion Urban 250 which lasted almost forever .... and when I realized it wasn't holding a charge so well, I looked online and found that you can send the light back and Light and Motion will replace the battery.

This led me to try to open the light myself .... which went pretty okay until I touched the bulb, which connects to the circuit board with a wire filament so tiny I could not see it without a magnifying glass .... and so fragile, that since I didn't know it was there, i broke it. Next one goes dead, I am going to be much more careful opening it .... but I am for sure going to take a shot. it is Meant to be re-openable, after all.

As for light dying mid-ride I bring two lights if I a doing more than a short jaunt because you just don't ever know. I am not a racer, so the extra few ounces is meaningless.
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Old 08-26-22, 11:48 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
A lot of lights with integrated Li-ion batteries simply don't want to you to know you can replace the batteries. I had a Light and Motion Urban 250 which lasted almost forever .... and when I realized it wasn't holding a charge so well, I looked online and found that you can send the light back and Light and Motion will replace the battery.

This led me to try to open the light myself .... which went pretty okay until I touched the bulb, which connects to the circuit board with a wire filament so tiny I could not see it without a magnifying glass .... and so fragile, that since I didn't know it was there, i broke it. Next one goes dead, I am going to be much more careful opening it .... but I am for sure going to take a shot. it is Meant to be re-openable, after all.

As for light dying mid-ride I bring two lights if I a doing more than a short jaunt because you just don't ever know. I am not a racer, so the extra few ounces is meaningless.
Agreed
That's kind of my point.
Even if the L Ion battery IS easily replaceable, you can't always pick them up at the local store.
So if you use rechargeable AA and AAA like Panasonic and something goes wrong, you can purchase a Duracell just about anywhere to get you home.
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Old 08-26-22, 05:44 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
I have $4 rechargeable front light with horn.
That's cool. I have a light, but no horn. However, I can sorta do an impression of a horn, like Tig Notaro (at 2:14 below).

Not sure it helps, though.
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Old 08-27-22, 06:07 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
That's cool. I have a light, but no horn. However, I can sorta do an impression of a horn, like Tig Notaro (at 2:14 below).
Not sure it helps, though.
Hmmm... Clown horn on a road bike... Might not be safe, they may think you're just goofing around!
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Old 08-27-22, 09:44 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Rockbros is a good brand if you got a legit product. I have a few bike wear from them and the quality seems as good as much more expensive product / brands.
They are not though, they are just making knock-off products. They even kind of took the name from Crank Bros. Fakes and knock-offs aren't a good thing.
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Old 08-27-22, 10:11 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
Never had those issues on my $4 rechargeable front light + horn 3 years and counting, all-weather use.

I also have $1 rechargeable tail light. 3 years and counting as well. Absolutely no issues for riding at night in the city. Although I'd get something brighter if I had to ride at night on rural roads but that never happened yet so I have no use for more expensive lights at the moment and I may never do as I really don't like, would hate to get caught in the middle of nowhere at night so I plan my long rides carefully to avoid these situations.
The brighter your surroundings, the brighter your taillight needs to be to stand out.
For night riding I think wheel spoke lights are much more visible because it is spinning around. Hub lights seem promising as well.
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Old 08-27-22, 10:36 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
The brighter your surroundings, the brighter your taillight needs to be to stand out.
For night riding I think wheel spoke lights are much more visible because it is spinning around. Hub lights seem promising as well.
I really don't need superbright tail light nor use tail light at all during the day. I have flourescent reflectorized stickers on my frame, rack, and rims. They're really bright on the brightest day, I myself get dazzled when I look down on my bike.

I only begin to use tail light during the day when it's overcast and relatively dark the stickers aren't as bright.
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Old 08-29-22, 06:44 AM
  #45  
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Daytime lights need to be Much brighter than night-time lights---contrast.

The best (according to some possible actual tests, done with actual drivers and cyclists) is that a pedal or ankle light says "cyclist" better than anything else, because nothing else on the road has the same pattern of motion in the same place on the road.

Now we can open the debate into solid versus flashing .....

Spoke lights are good because cars coming out of side streets can see you very clearly just before they hit you --- or possibly, if they are aware (and we know how few are) the can see the moving lights more readily than just the dim cone of your headlight seen from the side. However, cyclists can usually see cars in side-streets very easily at night, because of cars' brighter headlights. I'd say a tail light is by far the greater safety appliance, with a headlight being helpful so oncoming cars are potentially less likely to turn across your path (or into you.)

I keep planning to buy reflective rim tape but keep forgetting.
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Old 08-29-22, 07:04 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Now we can open the debate into solid versus flashing ......
Best of all worlds, if you only want one tail light: Garmin Varia. While it has several modes, each adapts to a vehicle's distance.

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Spoke lights are good because cars coming out of side streets can see you very clearly just before they hit you --- or possibly, if they are aware (and we know how few are) the can see the moving lights more readily than just the dim cone of your headlight seen from the side.

I keep planning to buy reflective rim tape but keep forgetting.
There are plenty of good tail lights that have side lighting, and there are plenty of tires with reflective sidewalls. But I reckon a good headlight is the best defense against cars pulling out in front of me.
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Old 08-29-22, 06:56 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Daytime lights need to be Much brighter than night-time lights---contrast.

The best (according to some possible actual tests, done with actual drivers and cyclists) is that a pedal or ankle light says "cyclist" better than anything else, because nothing else on the road has the same pattern of motion in the same place on the road.
I keep planning to buy reflective rim tape but keep forgetting.
Reflective Rim Tape=Your inner tube will appreciate that. And while I agree with the ankle light saying 'cyclist' better than anything else, it reminds me of the time I passed a jogger with a small dog on a leash and they'd fastened a blinking red light to their collar (dog's collar, not jogger's). Until I caught up with them, I was trying to figure out the bouncing light that kept pace with the jogger.
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Old 08-29-22, 09:39 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr View Post
agreed. I have their chromatic sunglasses ($29) and waterproof panniers ($85), and they too are very good quality for the price.
I bought their chromatic sunglasses and they don't chromat (become darker or lighter) with light changes.
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Old 08-29-22, 11:13 PM
  #49  
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There is cheap stuff and there is Cheap Chinese stuff good luck with you purchase, and by the way why so generous? buy one, test it , if it works buy another one
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Old 08-30-22, 07:34 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
You get what you pay for.
Even with the pictures on that page showing the light shining in the dark, it doesn't look like they're all that bright.

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