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  1. #1
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    bright rear light on a tight budget - recommendations please

    I'm going to start bike commuting to work again, on fairly well-lit city streets, but with fairly heavy traffic as well. I need a good rear blinker.

    What's the brightest one currently available for the least amount of money? Say, less than $30?
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  2. #2
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    Cygolite Hotshot

    It's bright, visible in daylight, and rechargeable via USB cable. Great light for the money.

  3. #3
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    I second the Hotshot.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    I second the Hotshot.
    Thirded.
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  5. #5
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    Fourthed

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1Gel View Post
    I'm going to start bike commuting to work again, on fairly well-lit city streets, but with fairly heavy traffic as well. I need a good rear blinker.

    What's the brightest one currently available for the least amount of money? Say, less than $30?
    I love the Hotshot but it is over your budget. Just go down to the LBS and see what they have on their shelves. Chances are they will have something in your price range that will work great. Cat-eye and Planet Bike have some good/bright medium priced blinkies.

    It still amazes me that when I drive around town I still see people using rear lights that are barely visible. Usually these are the cheap-mart type of rear light. Maybe they're just using half-dead batteries or something. Undoubtedly the cold has an effect on any type of battery so fresh batteries in the winter is a must.

  7. #7
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    Check these videos out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w01pMVVGXhk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...rzgHdWz28&NR=1

    Compares the Cygolite Hotshot to the Magicshine.

    Magicshine on top, Cygolite on bottom.


    I know you are on a budget...but for $45 with battery pack...it is considerably brighter.

    Action-LED-Lights — MJ-818 Bike Tail light

  8. #8
    TCW
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    I also recommend the Hotshot. Those youtube tests don't show the Hotshot on one of the brighter modes. In both videos it appears to be the flash mode with the least amount of output. There is another flash mode that ends with a huge pulse of light on the last flash of the series. IMO, the Hotshot is the best value out there (I got mine for under $30). It's self-contained, small, rechargeable, limited program-ability, etc. Drawback: it's a concentrated beam that requires proper installation. If you need better side visiability then something like the Magicshine might be better.

    I recall an evening ride at dusk last year where I got dropped the last few miles (dieting = bonk). My wife's Hotshot was on the bight pulse mode. Others in the group had good rear lights but her Hotshot was far brighter. Interestingly, the Hotshot seemed even brighter the further she got, even at around a hlaf mile. The other lights just kinda grew smaller as they proceeded. Bonking sucks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCW View Post
    I also recommend the Hotshot. Those youtube tests don't show the Hotshot on one of the brighter modes. In both videos it appears to be the flash mode with the least amount of output. There is another flash mode that ends with a huge pulse of light on the last flash of the series. IMO, the Hotshot is the best value out there (I got mine for under $30). It's self-contained, small, rechargeable, limited program-ability, etc. Drawback: it's a concentrated beam that requires proper installation. If you need better side visiability then something like the Magicshine might be better.

    I recall an evening ride at dusk last year where I got dropped the last few miles (dieting = bonk). My wife's Hotshot was on the bight pulse mode. Others in the group had good rear lights but her Hotshot was far brighter. Interestingly, the Hotshot seemed even brighter the further she got, even at around a hlaf mile. The other lights just kinda grew smaller as they proceeded. Bonking sucks.
    I too was surprised by that video. While I've never seen one of those MS rear lights in person I had a hard time believing that the Hotshot paled so much in comparison. Definitely something wrong with that video.

    About the group ride: You should of told the wife to have the light set to the steady mode where you can dial in an output more appropriate for the group ride. On group rides using a rear light that is too bright completely sucks as no one wants to have that light shining in their face if they're right behind you. On group rides lower output rear lamps coupled with some reflective gear is the way to go.

    Dieting sucks, I know. It also sucks to have wifey kick your butt on a group ride......even worse if she rubs it in afterward. As we all know, "afterward" can sometimes last for weeks.

  10. #10
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Thanks to everyone for their inputs. I just ordered the Hotshot. It's a little over my original budget (USD33.95) but your comments here and a little research on the web sealed the deal
    (it was going for less on Amazon, but the shops selling them don't ship to the Philippines and if they did, the shipping cost would've doubled the total cost )
    Last edited by r1Gel; 02-14-2013 at 01:56 PM. Reason: added a statement
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  11. #11
    TCW
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    Haha, yeah I heard about getting dropped for a while. The group of spazzoids specifically stuck her in the rear because she had the "super light." She was wheel-sucking to victory. All that mattered was my failure.

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