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  1. #26
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    I've been commuting in Texas for the past year, where when it rains, there's usually a lot of lightning. I don't ride in that stuff. So my commuter bike has had relatively few wet days. Mostly hot and dry weather.

    I bought whatever it was that walmart had in stock in the automotive section and it's been fine for the past year. no signs of peeling. it might have even been the 3m stuff, which is highly regarded.

    On my frame, I put electrical tape underneath because the package had warnings about the adhesive being strong enough to peel off paint. elsewhere, however, I didn't bother. I put some on the bare metal of my cranks and on some plastic bits.

  2. #27
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    I'll add another vote for a bright taillight such as the Magicshine MJ-818. I got one and am very pleased with it. It is very bright and I use it on my dedicated commuter during daylight and night time rides. Did I say it is bright already? I may get another one or some other taillight with at least .5 watt for use on my other bikes. The Magicshine that I have is sort of a permanent fixture on the dedicated commuter. I have other bikes that I sometimes use and would like a brighter taillight on them when riding at night. In fact, only one has a rear blinkie, but it's such a toy compared to the MJ-818.

    As others have said, I'd recommend passive "lighting" such as reflectors and reflective tape and active lighting in the front and rear. Highly recommend something with some serious lumens.

  3. #28
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    I forgot to mention that I have reflective rims and tires with reflective sidewalls. I also have blinkie spoke lights that spin round and round as I ride. This time of year I ride with reflective velcro straps around my ankles to keep my pants out of the chain, too. But I also wear one on the non drive side since that is the traffic side

  4. #29
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    It was dark. I was driving. A vehicle approached going the other way, I thought it was a motorcycle with those winking headlights used to gain extra attention. It was a bicycle. I was impressed. I do not know what kind of bar light it was, it seemed to be a slow flash, or maybe not really a flash but a pulse to higher power.

  5. #30
    weirdo
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    ^^Images of the Duchess reflected off cloudcover from Indiana.
    Recalculating....

  6. #31
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    ^^ Yes, I should have known.

  7. #32
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    ^^ Ha Ha. Very funny. I wish. Here I was wondering if you'd taken a wrong turn in Montpelier and ended up here in SE Indiana. Then I remembered, my headlights don't pulse. Maybe it was variable cloud reflectivity.

    A pulsing headlamp would be good.True flashes leave you unmarked for too long. The guy who builds the electronics I used for my light periodically upgrades the software. That will be a request from me.

    BrianMc

  8. #33
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    The Magicshine flash setting is more like a pulse. If you look at the light head, it is somewhat seizure-inducing. But if you look down range from it, the light output appears more consistent. This is why I use that setting on my commutes. Pedestrians hate it, but as long as it's aimed down a little bit, no cars have had an issue. I have also been mistaken for a motorcycle at times.

  9. #34
    Squeaky Wheel
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    My Dinotte headlight has a very distinctive flash pattern...the light never goes completely off, it flashes from the low setting to the highest setting five times. It takes about two seconds to get all five flashes out. Then it pauses on the low setting for a second and starts over. It's a real attention getter.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    The Magicshine flash setting is more like a pulse. If you look at the light head, it is somewhat seizure-inducing. But if you look down range from it, the light output appears more consistent. This is why I use that setting on my commutes. Pedestrians hate it, but as long as it's aimed down a little bit, no cars have had an issue. I have also been mistaken for a motorcycle at times.
    My MS headlight has five settings, three steady modes and two flash modes. The fifth mode has an interesting flash pattern, which I don't think is very optimal. It has a few quick flashes followed by a few slow fashes. I use this mode for daylight riding. The pulsing flash that sort of resembles "slow motion" lighting that one might see at a concert is what I normally use for night riding. I never bothered to look at it head on, but I think I will just to see if I have the headlight at a safe angle so that it won't bother people. As you said, it doesn't bother the eyes when looking from the cockpit. I would normally use one of the steady modes fpr night rides, but the headlight is sharing the battery with an MS taillight, so I want to make use of battery power.

    Btw, speaking of the MJ-818 taillight, does yours seem to change settings by itself during operation? It has three modes: steady, flash1, and flash2. Say I set it to flash1 (main central LED flashes) and later when I look at it I see that it is on flash2 (with the auxillary LEDs flashing). Is this normal?

  11. #36
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    ^ Looked them up. The newest LED drivers have this feature now. You can set lower and upper intensity and their durations.

    BrianMc

  12. #37
    weirdo
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    Good a place as any to post...
    I see REI has Fenix LD-22 on sale for $45. If anybody is thinking about a backup light or an inexpensive, durable single light for occasional streetlit wanderings, I`ve heard good things about this one. Just might get one for myself.

    Fenix LD22 Flashlight - Free Shipping at REI.com
    Recalculating....

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    My MS headlight has five settings, three steady modes and two flash modes. The fifth mode has an interesting flash pattern, which I don't think is very optimal. It has a few quick flashes followed by a few slow fashes. I use this mode for daylight riding. The pulsing flash that sort of resembles "slow motion" lighting that one might see at a concert is what I normally use for night riding. I never bothered to look at it head on, but I think I will just to see if I have the headlight at a safe angle so that it won't bother people. As you said, it doesn't bother the eyes when looking from the cockpit. I would normally use one of the steady modes fpr night rides, but the headlight is sharing the battery with an MS taillight, so I want to make use of battery power.

    Btw, speaking of the MJ-818 taillight, does yours seem to change settings by itself during operation? It has three modes: steady, flash1, and flash2. Say I set it to flash1 (main central LED flashes) and later when I look at it I see that it is on flash2 (with the auxillary LEDs flashing). Is this normal?
    My MS headlight is one of the older 4 ones with high-med-low-flash settings. I don't have those issues with my taillight. I am not sure what the settings are, but I'm pretty sure mine has more flash settings than what you describe for yours. Some of the settings go back and forth between the central LED and the outer LED's. the one I use has an irregular pattern of fast and slow flashes from the central brighter LED. I can't remember if the outer ones light up, too. I'll look next time I use it.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    My MS headlight is one of the older 4 ones with high-med-low-flash settings. I don't have those issues with my taillight. I am not sure what the settings are, but I'm pretty sure mine has more flash settings than what you describe for yours. Some of the settings go back and forth between the central LED and the outer LED's. the one I use has an irregular pattern of fast and slow flashes from the central brighter LED. I can't remember if the outer ones light up, too. I'll look next time I use it.
    Maybe my taillight has more than three settings. I may have the dial set to a mode that gives me the flash pattern I mentioned. I just prefer the main central LED to flash but somewhere the outer mini LEDs give outb a burst flash followed by a burst flash of the main central LED. But in any case I'm happy with the MS taillight.

  15. #40
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    Lots of good ideas in this thread. I have a Planet Bike Superflash on my rear rack, a high-vis vest/gloves/ankle strap and a Niterider Mininewt up front. Not quite as much illumination as I want (need moar $$$) but I feel safer at night than in daylight.

    I guess if people have my blinky lights to focus on, they realize I am a live thing they should avoid. knock on wood...

    Also, on days that I ride in, I wait till 530pm to leave as I find it avoids a lot of the crazies.

  16. #41
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    I've been using a Bike Glow in blue as as 'light me up' light, along with a 7" long red tube shaped light I just got (forgot the brand) that straps to the downtube. That gives me side lighting. Also Nathan reflectors and LightWeights on the wheels, but lights don't require the correct angle to a light source to function as reflectors do.

    In back, I just got a new Serface strap-on red blinkie that is very bright and USB rechargeable, the Thunderbolt. It is awesome. Use that and a Magicshine rear light, and a Denotte 300r. (Is this overkill??) I am contemplating getting another Thunderbolt and retiring my Magicshine, as it weighs a lot less and is self contained. The Denotte is daylight visible so I use it on my ride home, as it is still light when I leave work. I highly recommend it for daylight commuting, those superflashes really aren't so super until the Sun goes down.

    Up front, I use a NR mininewt 600 on the bar and an L&M Stella 150 on the helmet in blink mode. Having a helmet light is really useful. Up high, you can shine it into a driver's eyes over the top of parked cars, say if someone is exiting a parking lot on the right and is just not paying attention. If I think someone is not noticing me, I just look at them .

    Of course, those reflective leg bands and a reflective jacket and vest. and reflective tape on the helmet round out my holiday light parade. It's part fun and part serious, and I usually get odd looks and people making comments as I wait at the light so I am getting noticed by drivers.
    Tzvia.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    My MS headlight has five settings, three steady modes and two flash modes. The fifth mode has an interesting flash pattern, which I don't think is very optimal. It has a few quick flashes followed by a few slow fashes.
    The fifth flash mode is morse code for S.O.S.

  18. #43
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    Tzvia, I think we need a pci or vid of that setup.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I bought whatever it was that walmart had in stock in the automotive section and it's been fine for the past year. no signs of peeling. it might have even been the 3m stuff, which is highly regarded.
    I don't know why I hadn't thought of the automotive section for reflective tape... that's a damn good idea. The other place I've heard of getting them from is marine or sign suppliers, which supply a sheet rather than a strip. We have guillotine paper cutters at work though so that makes it easy to convert these sheets to whatever size we want.

    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    I'll add another vote for a bright taillight such as the Magicshine MJ-818.
    I talked to a few people RE: the MJ 800 lumen lights (as in, people in the industry) and the illumination is less consistent than other lights - as in it will start off at around 787 lumens and be around the 687 lumens mark at 50% charge on the battery. L&M put the discharge illumination on their advertising material for the Urban series lights to make their lights a selling point over the cheap knockoff lights. That's the main difference between the MJ lights and something like Light & Motion.

    For a tail light, I think this is perfectly fine, considering my current lights do that anyway! Headlight, that's personal opinion, but I do remember switching mine from low to medium to high as the ride progressed with my old MJ lights.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    I don't know why I hadn't thought of the automotive section for reflective tape... that's a damn good idea.
    The Walmart reflective tepe works well. Both White and Red. Here is the errand bike with the red and white tape red on fender and back of ghetto panniers wrapped around the corner and while for there wrapped around the front though it does not show in this light. While on the front rack struts, too. In use for three years.



    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    I talked to a few people RE: the MJ 800 lumen lights ... will start off at around 787 lumens and be around the 687 lumens mark at 50% charge on the battery. ...For a tail light, I think this is perfectly fine, considering my current lights do that anyway! Headlight, that's personal opinion, but I do remember switching mine from low to medium to high as the ride progressed with my old MJ lights.
    Watch the old Superflashes ass they will drop to a glow. They will run over 100 hourw on alkalines but the output after about 20 hours is not what I'd bet my life on. The new Turbos and the Radbot 1000s are very bright for about 10minutes then settle on a slow drop for about 7 hours then crash on NiMH cells. The self contained ligths shut off to protect the batteries. A recharging regiment is advisable to make sure you are as well lit as you intend to be.

    Some interesting products a previous post enticed me to look for:

    Fibre Flare

    N-Vison Single Stick Night Safety Lights

    The Container Store > Bike Brightz™ Light Stick & Glow Brightz™ Tubing

    Adding weight to wheels is not my favorite from a speed standpoint. If I took off another 20 pounds, I could easily handle the extra load. A light stick on a fork, seat stay or fender stay would light a shiny or reflective rim and may do well enough lighting up a wheel.

    BrianMc

  21. #46
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    I really like my cat eye wheel lights, not too much weight. On steady orange, the circular pattern of the lights are very clearly, on a bike.

  22. #47
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    Those fibreflares are cool. I might have to give them a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    On my frame, I put electrical tape underneath because the package had warnings about the adhesive being strong enough to peel off paint.
    A hairdryer should get that stuff off without damaging the paint. I've removed a bunch without any problems.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetta_mike View Post
    The fifth flash mode is morse code for S.O.S.
    Ah, who knew! I use that mode for my morning commute when it's already bright.

  24. #49
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    Here is what I have done.



    Note that I am wearing a reflective vest and have reflective tape on the wheels. I am in a parking lot with some lighting. There are some head lights and tail lights to compare them to.

    Most of the parts to make the wheel lights came from hobbypartz.com

    LED strips

    11.1 volt 800mAh Li-Po battery O-ring mounted to the hub.

    Battery charger

    Connectors

    I used a carbon arrow shaft to wrap the LED strips around, if you are careful you can get the LEDs to line up in a row. The shaft mounts to the spokes using zip ties.

    I feel that it is important to introduce a color other than red or white, because of all the light pollution in an urban setting.
    James
    "My mountain bike needs a new motor; the current one is fat and lazy."

  25. #50
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    ^^ Shows better than I hoped. Why not the front wheel since it gets there first? Night vision? Do you notice the rotational mass much climbing or accelerating. What sort of run time are you getting?

    BrianMc

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