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Recommendations for a decent tail light

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Recommendations for a decent tail light

Old 07-15-22, 10:54 AM
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DB77
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Recommendations for a decent tail light

Does anyone have any recommendations for a quality taillight? I'm looking for something well made that is both very bright and lasts long on a single charge as well as being fairly easy to mount.

-Thanks
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Old 07-15-22, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DB77 View Post
Does anyone have any recommendations for a quality taillight? I'm looking for something well made that is both very bright and lasts long on a single charge as well as being fairly easy to mount.

-Thanks
The Cygolite Metro series of USB-charged taillights are my go-to choice. I've been using them for I don't remember how long.

I recently picked up the Hypershot 350, their brightest taillight, for daytime riding. With the recent spate of "hit from behind" motorist killings, I want to be sure distracted motorists see me.


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Old 07-15-22, 11:09 AM
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Cygolite or Garmin tail-light+radar
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Old 07-15-22, 11:14 AM
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I'm using the Cygolite Dice TL 50 as a backup to my dyno-powered taillight. One of many that ticks all the boxes in the OP.
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Old 07-15-22, 11:52 AM
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Another vote for Cygolite. I have the 150 lumen model with is almost too bright.
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Old 07-15-22, 03:00 PM
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I have a Cygolite Hotrod 90 and I like it. (The latest version is Hotrod 120.) I also have a Cygolite Hotshot 100. The Hotrod is a vertical lightbar design, and despite having lower lumens than the Hotshot, is more visible.
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Old 07-15-22, 08:30 PM
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I know you are asking about lights but you may also want to consider a Proviz 360 jacket or vest or something similar. Improves my night time confidence along with my light.
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Old 07-15-22, 09:02 PM
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HS 350 & an on-board battery bank if you ride 3+ hours.
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Old 07-16-22, 07:53 AM
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I use a NiteRider Solas on 3 of my 4 bikes* and I have yet to find a flaw or weakness that would make me want to get a different taillight if I ever needed to buy another. Bright, excellent side visibility, multiple patterns including a "paceline mode" for nighttime group rides, recharges quickly and a charge lasts longer than most rides I would ever consider undertaking, plenty of mounting options, and they seemingly last forever. Highly recommended.


* The 4th of my 4 bikes still has a Planet Bike Superflash USB, which if I ever lose -- it kinda amazes me that hasn't happened yet, because Superflashes are notorious for falling off my bikes -- or if it ever dies, I will replace with another Niterider Solas.
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Old 07-17-22, 11:29 AM
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Dinottte Quad red
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Old 07-17-22, 01:44 PM
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I use a knockoff Lezyne tail light and it's bright enough to be used as a daytime light.
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Old 07-18-22, 08:36 PM
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Another vote for Cygolite.

I like the hotrods - they strap on to my seat stays. Bright lights and the charge lasts a long time. I use them for daylight blinkies and for night time. If riding at night in areas that might not be very well lit, I put one on either side.
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Old 07-19-22, 01:09 AM
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Way beyond merely decent, my favorite taillamp is the Specialized Stix Elite. I have no idea what constitutes “very bright and long lasting” for the OP, but as someone who has been using bicycle lighting since the 1980s, the Stix Elite meets my standards for both, and is additionally cleverly designed, extremely versatile, and good looking.

Ijn particular, I like the flash mode options (especially the pulse) and really appreciate the cordless USB charging. Specialized also offer a variety of mounts, so I have optional rack and fclip mounts which allow me to optimally deploy the light as my different types of riding demand.

I’ve been on Stix since they launched, so many years, and have moved through the improved model iterations from the original, to Comp, to Elite, and up to the latest Switch (which has selectable color for both front and rear use; clutch for the kids’ bikes) and have never had one fail or break, so quality is high. In comparison, although I’ve been using Knog lights of all types for even longer than Stix and continue to use them, man, I’ve had at least one of each of the probably 8 models I’ve had— from the original Frogs up to Blinder Road and Cobber— fail in some way, so Knog quality is neither great nor reliable, but their styling is pretty ace. The Knog Lil Cobber is runner-up to Stix Elite for favorite taillight.

As aside, the Stix Elite headlamp is my favorite daytime marker lamp, too, since I can mount it on my spacer stack below the stem…super sleek, uncluttered look. On one of my older bikes, I run an older Stix Comp simply Velcro’d to the head tube!
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Old 07-20-22, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DB77 View Post
Does anyone have any recommendations for a quality taillight? I'm looking for something well made that is both very bright and lasts long on a single charge as well as being fairly easy to mount.

-Thanks
Any 50$ light should do the job. If you want to have something more fancy, you can buy one of these saddles with a mounting system underneath & a compatible light. This is what I have on both of my bikes. It lasts 24+ hour on the blinking mode and it's bright.

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Old 07-21-22, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Another vote for Cygolite.

I like the hotrods - they strap on to my seat stays. Bright lights and the charge lasts a long time. I use them for daylight blinkies and for night time. If riding at night in areas that might not be very well lit, I put one on either side.
I have been trying to find good LED rear lights that strap onto the seat stays to complement my Garmin radar rear light, but LED's tend to be so directional that they are virtually useless unless they are pointing directly to the rear.

Are these Cygolite Hotrods able to be seen when angled forward 45-ish degrees, maybe they have a diffuser?
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Old 07-21-22, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by scutchin View Post
I have been trying to find good LED rear lights that strap onto the seat stays to complement my Garmin radar rear light, but LED's tend to be so directional that they are virtually useless unless they are pointing directly to the rear.

Are these Cygolite Hotrods able to be seen when angled forward 45-ish degrees, maybe they have a diffuser?
Proper taillights for seat stay mounting are angled so they don't have that problem.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by scutchin View Post
I have been trying to find good LED rear lights that strap onto the seat stays to complement my Garmin radar rear light, but LED's tend to be so directional that they are virtually useless unless they are pointing directly to the rear.

Are these Cygolite Hotrods able to be seen when angled forward 45-ish degrees, maybe they have a diffuser?
The Cygolite Hotrod does have a plastic lens over its vertical LED array which increases its off-axis visibility from the side. I held mine at arm's length tilted at 45 degrees and the brightness is noticeably diminished; I don't think it is designed to be mounted at an angle much less than the > 70ish degree for most seat posts. I also wouldn't mount anything to a seat stay with just a rubber band mount; doing so risks getting it knocked into the spokes with severe consequences.
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Old 07-22-22, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by scutchin View Post
I have been trying to find good LED rear lights that strap onto the seat stays to complement my Garmin radar rear light, but LED's tend to be so directional that they are virtually useless unless they are pointing directly to the rear.

Are these Cygolite Hotrods able to be seen when angled forward 45-ish degrees, maybe they have a diffuser?
Hotrods are quite popular with riders in my club, particularly as seatstay lights, and yeah, they look to perform fine to my eye.

My coach runs one on his seatpost, and here again, it looks fine and bright to me.

They also seem reliable; over the years, I can’t recall any failures over MI’s notoriously bad roads. I suppose, though, that strap mounts in general are quite effective, as I can’t recall any brand light failures of the mount in many, many years. I did have, myself, some Knog strap failures about 10 years ago, Nothing catastrophic like popping off during use, bit they did start to tear. I stuck with the brand though, and they resolved the issue some time ago, as I have some Knogs which are fairly old.
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Old 07-22-22, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by scutchin View Post
I have been trying to find good LED rear lights that strap onto the seat stays to complement my Garmin radar rear light, but LED's tend to be so directional that they are virtually useless unless they are pointing directly to the rear.

Are these Cygolite Hotrods able to be seen when angled forward 45-ish degrees, maybe they have a diffuser?
I don't have any problem with visibility with these lights on my seat stays - they are quite visible from a distance and at an angle.

I don't follow what you mean about 45°. Unless your bike has an unusual design, seat stays are not oriented any where near 45 ° from vertical. Maybe 20 °
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Old 07-22-22, 07:53 AM
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I like my Knog Blinder Road R70. Expensive, but super bright and good selection of flashing and stationary modes. It also looks kind of stealth on a black seatpost.
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Old 07-22-22, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I don't have any problem with visibility with these lights on my seat stays - they are quite visible from a distance and at an angle.

I don't follow what you mean about 45°. Unless your bike has an unusual design, seat stays are not oriented any where near 45 ° from vertical. Maybe 20 °
I just did an embarassingly crude check, and my Roubaix is about 43 degrees from vertical.

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Old 07-22-22, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by la rosa View Post
Dinottte Quad red
While admittedly heavier than some, the Quad Red is a workhorse. I love the ease of removal from its mount for charging. Been using them for many years. Also like the multitude of mounting positions available with the provided hardware.
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Old 07-22-22, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I don't have any problem with visibility with these lights on my seat stays - they are quite visible from a distance and at an angle.

I don't follow what you mean about 45°. Unless your bike has an unusual design, seat stays are not oriented any where near 45 ° from vertical. Maybe 20 °
1. If a bike frame has a horizontal top tube and seat stays which intersect with the top tube, then the seat stay angle is steeper, maybe around 70° (from horizontal), which comparable to the angle of the seat tube and seat post, where the HotRod is designed to be mounted.

2. But if a bike has both a slanted top tube and dropped seat stays, then the seat stay angle is much shallower, maybe around 50° (from horizontal). A HotRod mounted at this angle is noticeably less visible.

An example of #1 is my vintage CAAD, and an example of #2 is the Roubaix posted by scutchin above.
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Old 07-23-22, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Hotrods are quite popular with riders in my club, particularly as seatstay lights, and yeah, they look to perform fine to my eye.

My coach runs one on his seatpost, and here again, it looks fine and bright to me.

They also seem reliable; over the years, I can’t recall any failures over MI’s notoriously bad roads. I suppose, though, that strap mounts in general are quite effective, as I can’t recall any brand light failures of the mount in many, many years. I did have, myself, some Knog strap failures about 10 years ago, Nothing catastrophic like popping off during use, bit they did start to tear. I stuck with the brand though, and they resolved the issue some time ago, as I have some Knogs which are fairly old.
I picked up a couple of hotrods recently because the batteries in my cateye lights were becoming iffy. They aren't directional (no lens on the LEDs so throw light in all directions) so work well on seatstays (and helmets).

I do wish someone would make something in this form factor that would sent the light out at whatever the average seat stay angle is. It would be a lot more efficient.
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Old 07-26-22, 11:13 AM
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Many thanks to those who suggested the Cygolite Hotrod. I bought the 50 and it is perfect for seat stay mounting!

Here are some pictures to compare against a Planet Bike Superflash. Not to trash the Superflash, it's great when mounted pointing directly to the rear, but it is so directional that it is pretty much worthless on a seat stay. Since I have a Varia 510 on the seatpost, that's not an option.


Superflash pointing to the rear.



Hotrod 50 to the rear.



Both at a 45 degree angle, the Superflash is the bright spot pointing to the sky.



Awesome light from all angles, cars will have no trouble seeing this!
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