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  1. #1
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    Which rear lights to use on the road?

    I commute to work most days on my bike. Recently, I started going in to work at first light. My TurboCat front headlight is more than enough, and I have a Planetbike strobe on back. One day a friend told me that I should improve my rear visibility, because he said that he had passed me that morning and he couldn't see me until he was very close. What do most of ya'll commuters use to help keep you alive? I know that in my day-to-day life safety is not the most important element, but when peddling down a road.....visibility is very important to me. Come on ya'll...let me know what kind of rear lighting you use. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Some reflective tape on my fender and a Planet Bike Superflash.

  3. #3
    thing that should not be
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    Firstly how many LEDs does your current strobe light have??...thats gonna be important.

    My current rear strobe light from SMART has around 6 if im not wrong, i think it looks pretty bright, my front is a single LED from Sigma, which I think is not as bright but I generally travel with the flow of traffic so my rear is what motorists will always see.

    To improve visibility leaving your lights on flicker mode is probably the better way Id say, blinking lights sorta draw the attention more than a static light that is on. lets people know theres movement.

    Coz if i was a driver id equate static lights with vehicles and blinking ones with cyclists so id keep a wider berth.

    since you commute to work (i take its its sorta before youd probably have somesort of bag to carry your gear in, you might add a smaller strobe light there to up your visibily?.

    Sometimes if a large vehicle like a bus or a big truck is right behind you the driver may not be able to see your strobe underneath your saddle so any form of lights or refelctive tabs somewhere above torso level might give additional help

    3m reflector tabs or stickers will help, you can place them on your helmet or on your current bag if it doesnt have any. My chrome messenger bag has 3m tabs and i wear a Buff with a 3m strip sometimes. im thinking of adding another strobe on my bag.

    hope this helps

  4. #4
    Rockfish
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    I use this...

    http://store.dinottelighting.com/sha...unt2=282615303

    I've had my dinotte LED lights (200 lumen headlight, 140 lumen taillight) for over a year. I have nothing to say but great things about them. Not cheap, but you'll be seen.

    On the back of my commuter I roll with the dinotte taillight and two Planet Bike superflash blinkies. You can use the dinotte in either one of two flashing modes, or as a solid beam.

    I leave the house before sunrise. My neighbor passed me one morning and later commented he was blown away by how visible I was from such a great distance. I regularly observe vehicles slowing down and moving to the left as they pass me.

    Being visible is no guarantee you won't be hit, but it doesn't hurt. These lights (and associated batteries) are also lightweight and recharge quickly.

    Type "dinotte light" at YouTube or Google videos and you will find some video clips of these awesome lights.

  5. #5
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    +1 on the Dinotte

    Quote Originally Posted by 028956blh
    http://store.dinottelighting.com/sha...unt2=282615303

    I've had my dinotte LED lights (200 lumen headlight, 140 lumen taillight) for over a year. I have nothing to say but great things about them. Not cheap, but you'll be seen.

    On the back of my commuter I roll with the dinotte taillight and two Planet Bike superflash blinkies. You can use the dinotte in either one of two flashing modes, or as a solid beam.

    I leave the house before sunrise. My neighbor passed me one morning and later commented he was blown away by how visible I was from such a great distance. I regularly observe vehicles slowing down and moving to the left as they pass me.

    Being visible is no guarantee you won't be hit, but it doesn't hurt. These lights (and associated batteries) are also lightweight and recharge quickly.

    Type "dinotte light" at YouTube or Google videos and you will find some video clips of these awesome lights.
    I use the 140 and it's visible day and night. From a mile back it looks like an emergency vehicle when its on triple flash.

  6. #6
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    Another vote for a DiNotte 140 (I use the lithium-ion variant). Here's a video clip I shot that shows a DiNotte 140L at twilight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDhwTV229E0 Note how the DiNotte is visible from a significant off-axis angle as the bike goes around the curve. Its beam is not super-directional.

    A neon-lime ANSI Class II reflective vest can also help, whether it's day, night, or inbetween. I use this one: link The vest can go over whatever layers you need for the day's weather, and doesn't need frequent washing, so you only have one item to buy and it's low-maintenance.

    Also, check the aim of your existing taillight. Most bike taillights don't have a wide-angle beam, so make sure the "hot spot" is aiming directly at the overtaking traffic, not up, down or off to one side. If the taillight is hooked onto a bag, it usually ends up pointing down, for example.

  7. #7
    LCI #1853
    Reputation: PscyclePath's Avatar
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    +100 on the Dinotte 140L. It's some serious light, but you get your money's worth out of it. It runs on 4 AA batteries, which you can get at nearly any convenience store, as well as use the rechargeable kind. Folks say that mine is way too bright even in the daytime; I usually run it in the slow pulse mode.

    On a smaller budget, the Planet Bike SuperFlash or the Cherry Bomb lights are hard to beat.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    [SIZE="1"](with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    More than a little slow
    Reputation: dskunk's Avatar
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    Dinotte 140L.
    I have had a truck driver get out of his truck at a stop light and walk 50 ft up to me to let me know that my light was the most amazing thing he had seen. If they don't see the 140L they are legally blind.
    Cheers, Dave

  9. #9
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    reflective anlkle band(s); stuff that is moving is more distinctive than stationary things.

  10. #10
    PCC
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    If you are on a budget then get a few PB SuperFlashes or Blackburn Marz 3s, etc. Get the higher output ones. I personally run two rear LED lights, one blinking SuperFlash and one PB Blinkie 3 in steady on mode so that I have both an annoyingly flashing light back there and a steady on light that is easier for people to judge how far away you are with.

    I also bought some reflective tape that I stuck on to the rims of my bike in patches so that it looks like a pair of lights chasing themselves (two, space, space, one, space, space two, space, space, etc). I also have reflectors on the cranks, on the frame, etc.

  11. #11
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    How new are the batteries?

  12. #12
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Nother vote for Superflash if you don`t want to shell out for the Dinotte.
    I`ll also add that I started wearing one on my helmet when I`m around traffic since I watched a video demonstrating various lighting techniques. Whatever light you might have below seat level is much more noticeable at eye level. But since my commute is through residential neighborhoods at off hours, all I use for day to day is a solid red dyno driven light on the back of my fender- I leave it on permanently as well as my headlight.

  13. #13
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    The Superflash is awesome! so visible two thumbs up for that! Plus i am a big fan of a reflective triangle mounted either to the seat or your backpack. More than one light is good too. Look at who is ahead of you biking to see what works and what does not. I commuted on a motorcycle for years and cars don't see them. The more visible you are the better.

  14. #14
    Squeaky Wheel
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    I've got a Dinotte 140L on the back of my rack, and a PB Superflash on the back of my helmet. I run the the 140L in both dark and daylight. During daylight hours I also run a Dinotte 140 amber daytime running light in front. I power them both with a Dinotte recharable 4-cell LiOn battery pack and a Y-cable. Very nice setup.

    You will be suprised how much more room drivers give you when you are running the 140L on back.

  15. #15
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    I use a Superflash, and it always seems sufficient. A bunch of lights seems overkill. You're probably more in danger of getting hit from the side or the front than from behind.

  16. #16
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    I use a Superflash, and it always seems sufficient. A bunch of lights seems overkill. You're probably more in danger of getting hit from the side or the front than from behind.
    Good point about getting hit from the side. I don`t remember the statistics or where I saw them (Ken Kifer?), but getting rear ended was pretty far down on the list of ways to get creamed while riding a bike. On the other hand, just because you and I use only SF (and I normally only use even less), doesn`t mean that a Dinotte wouldn`t be a good idea for the OP. DIfferent routes/schedules have different needs.

  17. #17
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    The PB Superflash is bright when seen from behind, but my Dinotte 140L bathes the entire back of the bike, as well as the pavement with red. If people are having issues seeing the PB light from behind you, you might want to try changing the angle of the light relative to the back of your bike and the road. Turn the light on and walk back 50 or 100' and see how bright it is.

  18. #18
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    I run two PB superflash lights, one constant on and one flashing. I also strap on ankle reflectors in the mornings. I wear a vest with reflective strips on it. I have an Ultrafire red LED from DX that I've just mounted and getting ready to try next week. My commute includes one high-speed road with big trucks, and I want to be seen.

  19. #19
    Drunken fool
    Reputation: wheelerfreak's Avatar
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    I use a 4 LED rear light set on blinking mode, but IMO the best visibility comes from the reflective belt that I have wrapped around my back pack. It provides rear and side visibility and is really noticeable when a cars lights hit it. It's just the reflective belt that is required when you PT on a military base.
    You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

  20. #20
    smell my finger
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    rear light

    I use the blackburn marz 3 and have had great luck with it. I do alot of night riding on the road and commute to work at 430am. I have had people comment they can see the flashing strobe light from the blackburn from a mile or so away. They're cheap and will get another for my road bike this spring. aaa batteries, so it's cheap and easy to replace monthly or so.

  21. #21
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    PB Superflash - another vote here. Bright, long life, visible from sides

    Dig it. Buy it.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    The water seal on the Superflash isn't great. Tape over it with electrical tape and you're all good.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    cannondale hindsite plus(five leds) on mtb
    sigma sport cuberider 2 (five leds) on cross

  24. #24
    mtbr member
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    Clip-on rear lights

    I've seen several people riding around here in Austin with an amber-colored led aray that attaches to their backpacks/hydropack somehow. Has anyone seen this thing? It is very bright and can be see forever. I'm going to pull on of those riders over sometime soon to get details on their rear lights. Has anyone here hear of...or seen anything like this?

  25. #25
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Nope, I`ve never seen those arrays.
    I did see my first Dinotte taillight a few days ago. I mean I`ve seem pictures of them, but never saw them on the road. Very impressive. A guy crossing my valley had a pair on the back of his `bent- couldn`t miss them and it was about eleven in the morning. If I did more highway or traffic riding I`d think pretty seriously about shelling out the dough.

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