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  1. #1
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    Dinotte 400L upgrade (30% boost)

    I just contacted Rob @ Dinotte again regarding a possible upgrade of the white light head engine on their current Dinotte 400L model.

    He kindly informed me that they are offering one for a 30% increase in lumen output (theoretical or actual, I'm not entirely sure). Price for this is US$70 plus shipping. It involves swapping out the drive circuits and optic internals with the aluminum light head housing being left untouched. The additional change in LED efficiency does not affect run times either apparently.

    I just thought I'd share this with current owners of the D-400 front light who might not fancy shelling out for an entire new light head or light head system (batteries, charger etc.) I am seriously considering this as it would bring theoretical output to 520 lumens from 400 lumens - in the ball park of the 1st generation Lupine Piko.

    This may or may not be significantly noticeable to the naked eye however and I might end up not like the new beam pattern or beam color. In any case, all my Dinotte light heads, batteries and chargers have been going great since their purchase well over a year back despite harsh weather conditions. A boost in lumens for my current existing helmet light will be a welcome addition.

    Your thoughts and/or comments are appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dinotte 400L upgrade (30% boost)-img_1093.jpg  

    Last edited by Chromagftw; 08-10-2011 at 09:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    Good info....
    I can tell you though, having played around a LOT with variable lumen output, that if you had the two lights side by side (upgraded vs. non-upgraded) AND if there was no change to the optics, you would definitely be able to notice a slight difference. Minor, but noticeable. The MUCH bigger factor is the optics. IF the new lenses were spreading the beam angle even by only a few degrees wider, this would require more lumens to match the perceived intensity of the original, but then you would have a bigger area of illumination, which could be as much of an upgrade as anything else.
    Just IMO

  3. #3
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    I've had a 400L for a few years now and love that light. I do wish for more brightness though. However, I'm not sure if an extra 120 lumens is worth $70 to me. Maybe for $40-50 would be ok.
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  4. #4
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    Very Interesting. I wonder if this offer is going to be extended to the 600L or 200L owners.
    I will most definitely send an e-mail off when I get home tonight.

  5. #5
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    Hi

    Thanks for posting this. I was aware of the light upgrade a few months back but got a bit of a vague response with regards the level of improvement so didn't do anything for this winter (down under).

    I would be keen to hear from others who have done the upgrade. Any early adopters?

    Regards
    Andrew

  6. #6
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    I also understand that they have a quick release mount for the 400 now but it requires an upgrade in the case.

    J.

  7. #7
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    Appreciate all the replies folks.

    I've gone ahead and decided to do the upgrade. I have two 400L light engines as they were on special when i bought them. I will upgrade 1 of them and keep the other as is (still new and unused) for a beam shot and battery usage comparison.

    I am waiting on an email still with some specific questions that i need answered and will post back here thereafter.


    EDITED

    Rob @ Dinotte answered my email within a few hours. Thanks for that!

    Here is some additional info:

    1. does this 30% figure apply uniformly to the low, medium, high settings & strobe?
    yes, the upgrade is across the board.

    2. will i still be able to switch out and use the extra lenses that came with the original 400L light system?
    You will receive new lenses to do the same.

    3. does the new reflector for the upgrade project a wide or spot beam pattern?
    the new lenses start with a standard beam like you have, and you can go one level wider - and one level more narrow.
    Last edited by Chromagftw; 08-16-2011 at 11:18 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    Appreciate all the replies folks.

    I've gone ahead and decided to do the upgrade. I have two 400L light engines as they were on special when i bought them. I will upgrade 1 of them and keep the other as is (still new and unused) for a beam shot and battery usage comparison.

    I am waiting on an email still with some specific questions that i need answered and will post back here thereafter.


    EDITED

    Rob @ Dinotte answered my email within a few hours. Thanks for that!

    Here is some additional info:

    1. does this 30% figure apply uniformly to the low, medium, high settings & strobe?
    yes, the upgrade is across the board.

    2. will i still be able to switch out and use the extra lenses that came with the original 400L light system?
    You will receive new lenses to do the same.

    3. does the new reflector for the upgrade project a wide or spot beam pattern?
    the new lenses start with a standard beam like you have, and you can go one level wider - and one level more narrow.
    Did you ever get beam pattern pics of the old and new Chromag?
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble View Post
    Did you ever get beam pattern pics of the old and new Chromag?
    Unfortunately I don't mate and I regret not having done so...

    I sent in my 2nd light engine the next day to have it upgraded to the dual XPG once I saw how it faired compared to the 1st. I was impressed enough.

    The 30% boost is very noticeable to the naked eye. Coupled with the dual clear lens setup (it comes fitted with 1 clear and 1 frosted), the effect is even more pronounced. Its not a super cheap upgrade at 70 bucks but on that same note, the charger, battery, helmet mount are really top notch and have all proven their worth.

    I did all this in a time frame prior to any mention of the Gemini Xera 2 and way before the Gloworm X2 was launched. So really depending on what you are running on your bars lumen/beam pattern wise this might or might not be worth your while. Personally I have no regrets and would recommend the upgrade.

    My current setup for trail use is for 400L Plus on high (helmet) and BD dual Stryk (bars) on medium. The upgraded 400+ high beam is by no way, shape or form lost in the Double Stryk on medium. I hope this helps out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    ...I did all this in a time frame prior to any mention of the Gemini Xera 2 and way before the Gloworm X2 was launched. So really depending on what you are running on your bars lumen/beam pattern wise this might or might not be worth your while. Personally I have no regrets and would recommend the upgrade.

    My current setup for trail use is for 400L Plus on high (helmet) and BD dual Stryk (bars) on medium. The upgraded 400+ high beam is by no way, shape or form lost in the Double Stryk on medium. I hope this helps out.
    So how do you like the Double Stryker? On high is it giving you the distance throw you expected? Glad to hear you like the upgraded 400L

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    So how do you like the Double Stryker? On high is it giving you the distance throw you expected? Glad to hear you like the upgraded 400L
    Hey Cat, the Double Stryk does have a very nice extended range that is focussed primarily towards the center. This is entirely due to the narrow reflector on 1 side. What is often overlooked is the peripheral spill offered by the wide reflector on the other side. The combined effect of both lenses together is really what makes it a great light. This beam pattern is uniform at all 3 light level settings and that consistency among other things make it a terrific piece of kit.

    The 400L Plus is an awesome little light in every respect. I wasn't too fond of it with the lens combo it arrived with (1 clear, 1 frosted) but with 2 clear lenses I find the light much better suited for what a helmet light for biking is supposed to do. I can run the light engine on the highest setting constantly with a 4400mAh battery (the larger of the 2 Dinotte offers) and get about 5 hrs run time. The dual clear lens is just 1 large hot spot as far as beam pattern goes and is vastly different to what is depicted of the regular 400L (not 400L Plus beam shot found in the 2012 MTBR light shoot out. If i were to rate cooling efficiency a factor that this light head offers, hands down it gets a 10/10. Granted, the 400L Plus might not be hitting the high triple digits lumen wise but for what it does, it does so very very well.

    Attached to our helmets with battery in back pack, we recently took these on a 4 hour jungle trek hike, fitted with a single clear and a single frosted lens setup (a batter combo for winding twisty routes) running on medium power. Even at walking speeds the light engines never once became hot to the touch. Merely warm.
    Last edited by Chromagftw; 12-24-2011 at 05:45 AM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the info Chromag. I'm going to send mine in. I have two sets of reflectors/lenses/optics (not sure what the term is) for mine so that I can run dual of any of the flood/spot patterns.
    Sounds like the old reflectors/lenses/optics won't fit though? Do they send you enough to run dual clears/dual frosted etc?
    And what is a "standard beam like you have", I got the impression in an email from Rob that the upgrade allows a tighter beam than the old allowed. Is that right? Narrower than dual clears on the old setup?
    Thanks again for the info, I never would've known about this otherwise.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble View Post
    Thanks for the info Chromag. I'm going to send mine in. I have two sets of reflectors/lenses/optics (not sure what the term is) for mine so that I can run dual of any of the flood/spot patterns.
    Sounds like the old reflectors/lenses/optics won't fit though? Do they send you enough to run dual clears/dual frosted etc?
    And what is a "standard beam like you have", I got the impression in an email from Rob that the upgrade allows a tighter beam than the old allowed. Is that right? Narrower than dual clears on the old setup?
    Thanks again for the info, I never would've known about this otherwise.
    You're very welcome.

    The upgraded light head will include 2 clear lenses AND 2 frosted lenses. The old ones will no longer fit. Also included is a quick release install bracket system (they do machine drill very small mounting holes in the back of the light head for this application) I wasn't aware of this the 1st time around and no mention was made anywhere. On my 2nd light head I sent in, I included a written note NOT to do this alteration but it was ignored. So just a heads up to also phone Dinotte if you don't want this.

    The upgraded light head arrives with 1 clear and 1 frosted lens already installed. It is a significantly tighter and more intense beam pattern than the old 400L but it wasn't until I ran dual clear lenses that I realised how much light the frosted lens was taking away intensity wise, I found the peripheral spill actually better running dual clear lenses. Definitely play around with the lenses though - see what works for you depending on usage (hiking versus biking) and trail conditions (twisty winding versus smooth flowy) Just a note: care must be taken not to over tighten the phillips head screws on the light head's front plate when switching out lenses. Due to their small size it is easy to strip the screws.

  14. #14
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    Sent both of my 400Ls in, one will be plusified and the other goes toward an XML-3. $255 with shipping. Not a bad deal, something to do with older lights that would otherwise become outdated. One of my 400Ls was always obviously dimmer than the other which Dinotte said at the time was due to improved LEDs, although that was between the 2009 and 2010 years.

    Quick question though, does the 400L upgrade make it identical to the new 400L? As in the specs will be identical to those Francis tested this year? They said ALL internals are replaced, we can assume that means they're using the nice batch of LEDs?
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble View Post
    Sent both of my 400Ls in, one will be plusified and the other goes toward an XML-3. $255 with shipping. Not a bad deal, something to do with older lights that would otherwise become outdated. One of my 400Ls was always obviously dimmer than the other which Dinotte said at the time was due to improved LEDs, although that was between the 2009 and 2010 years.

    Quick question though, does the 400L upgrade make it identical to the new 400L? As in the specs will be identical to those Francis tested this year? They said ALL internals are replaced, we can assume that means they're using the nice batch of LEDs?
    Very good choice mate. At that price point you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal based on quality and reliability. Dinotte is not too generous when it comes to trade in value of their older light heads towards something else in their product line. The way I see it, they could have simply opted not to offer this option. Coupled with their reasonable domestic shipping charges and turn around time though, I have no genuine reason to complain.

    Yes, the upgraded 400L = new 400L Plus. They are one of the same thing now with replaced XPG emitters, new internal circuitry and lens optics.

    The specs and beam shot pics Francois listed in ths year's 2012 MTBR shootout are NOT for the upgraded 400L/new 400L Plus, they are of the older regular 400L. I've received confirmation from him already after writing him to enquire about this. Having seen the field pics he posted, I knew instantly they couldn't be of the upgraded/new light engine so I contacted him. I was correct.
    Last edited by Chromagftw; 12-31-2011 at 11:37 PM.

  16. #16
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    Got mine plusified, it was $50 with a second lighthead traded in as well for an XML3. The 400L is now equal in output to my older MS 808. The 400L may be a bit brighter, but I think it's just because the light is more white/blue than the yellowish MJ808.
    Just a heads up for comparison purposes if anyone is on the fence. I know from much experience using the old 400L and the MJ808 side by side that the 808 was always significantly brighter, so there was obviously a substantial gain.
    The XML3 is great btw. Amazing flood and throw, a perfect bar light.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I also understand that they have a quick release mount for the 400 now but it requires an upgrade in the case.

    J.
    Do you have any more info on this quick release for the 400L?
    Looked all over their site but could not find any info.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
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    I just had them update my 400L and 400R to quick release. It's a metal spring tab that engages a plastic tang that you mount using their standard bike mount hardware. My understanding is that if you have an older light, you may need to pay to update the case otherwise they can retrofit to the case directly. When all is said and done, the lights are the same mounting scheme used for the 300R.

    It's a great upgrade and makes it easy to take the lights off the bike - which was the main objection to the lights in the first place.

    I heard about it when I called to ask them about lights in general and wound up talking to Rob. He explained it all to me. Another example of the excellent customer service that Dinotte offers.

    J.

  19. #19
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    Sounds like BS to me that they don't provide you with this QR mounting when you pay to have an old 400L plusified.
    WTF Dinotte...
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble View Post
    Sounds like BS to me that they don't provide you with this QR mounting when you pay to have an old 400L plusified.
    WTF Dinotte...
    Why don't you call them up before you rip them? There are several ways to upgrade your 400L, decide what you want and what you want to pay for.

    J.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Why don't you call them up before you rip them? There are several ways to upgrade your 400L, decide what you want and what you want to pay for.

    J.
    Because I just got mine back from being plusified, in some four emails they never mentioned this as an option. Dinotte used to be fairly generous with supplying extra mounts etc. I'd think they'd have mentioned it as an option, or modified it and included the upgraded mount automatically.
    I'm on my fifth Dinotte now (an XML 3), I'm not ripping them as a quality company, just saying: wtf? How is anyone supposed to know about this stuff?
    They don't advertise any of the upgrade or trade in options on their site.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  22. #22
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    maybe they made a mistake. happens sometimes. Call them and give them a chance to fix it.

    IMO, they tend to be too generous with their stuff. It's nice but unnecessary.

    J.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble View Post
    ....I'm not ripping them as a quality company, just saying: wtf? How is anyone supposed to know about this stuff?
    They don't advertise any of the upgrade or trade in options on their site.
    You tell um' stum-mum...That's the thing about DiNotte. They don't release new information publicly through the expected channels. When I e-mailed them to ask about refits they acted like they have been doing this S--- all along! F-me!... and I'm just now finding out about it?! You would think that since they advertise on MTBR that some one there would release the new information to people using the forums.

    I bet you sooner or later some one will post up and claim that DiNotte refit their old 600L with newer LED's ( making it an 800L+ ). When they do I will likely pitch a fit since I've been waiting for that option for the last 2 yrs.

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    Stumblemumble, the additional retrofit quick release bracket upgrade was never mentioned to me either but it ought to have been part of the upgrade. Based on my correspondences, only what I stated at the beginning of this thread was was to be included. I'm convinced Rob @ Dinotte will fix the issue for you.

    When I sent in my 1st light head, I was shocked to see 4 screw holes at the back along with the mounting hardware in a separate zip lock pouch after it was returned upgraded. Being that I intended the plusified 400L solely for helmet mounting it pissed the crap out of me that such authorization was assumed.

    Shortly after, I sent in my 2nd light engine to be plusified and wrote an email, in addition to filling out upgrade PDF form stating "NO DRILLING OF BRACKET MOUNT HOLES - option not wanted or needed." It was either overlooked or ignored. The light head came back same as the 1st.

    The bracket mount retrofit in no way affects functional performance and it can be argued that I essentially got something extra for nothing. Regardless, I always prefer full transparency from the get go and as Cat pointed out such info should have been made public knowledge given the media channels available in this day and age.

    Dinotte and Rob have always taken care of me when I encountered a few small issues and have done their best to accommodate so in that regard I'm leaving it at that. I think their products are tremendous, especially considering the price point they are being offered at. When I first started out night riding many moons back, I never really factored in long term durability and reliability as 1 of my top priorities to look for in a product. I'd like to believe I'm a little smarter now and thus far Dinotte has delivered - light engines, batteries and chargers.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I just had them update my 400L and 400R to quick release. It's a metal spring tab that engages a plastic tang that you mount using their standard bike mount hardware. My understanding is that if you have an older light, you may need to pay to update the case otherwise they can retrofit to the case directly. When all is said and done, the lights are the same mounting scheme used for the 300R.

    It's a great upgrade and makes it easy to take the lights off the bike - which was the main objection to the lights in the first place.

    I heard about it when I called to ask them about lights in general and wound up talking to Rob. He explained it all to me. Another example of the excellent customer service that Dinotte offers.

    J.
    Thank for the info. I was hoping for the older 800L type of bar mount.

  26. #26
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    This is actually a better mount than the 800L type.

    J.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    You tell um' stum-mum...That's the thing about DiNotte. They don't release new information publicly through the expected channels. When I e-mailed them to ask about refits they acted like they have been doing this S--- all along! F-me!... and I'm just now finding out about it?! You would think that since they advertise on MTBR that some one there would release the new information to people using the forums.

    I bet you sooner or later some one will post up and claim that DiNotte refit their old 600L with newer LED's ( making it an 800L+ ). When they do I will likely pitch a fit since I've been waiting for that option for the last 2 yrs.
    You know, if I were Dinotte, I'd say screw the upgrades. It can't be profitable for them and it's a royal PITA. Then you guys rip on them for not advertising etc.. that which is probably a loss leader to retain customers instead of a profit opportunity for them. How many other light suppliers offer upgrades? It's a small number, you would need only the fingers on one hand to count them and still have 2 or 3 left over.

    So this is actually a good problem to have - a light supplier that is still willing to provide customer service at a level like this. It's quaint that there still is a manufacturer out there who you can call up and talk to and find a solution for what works for you. Just make a note that if you want to find out what Dinotte is up to, give them a call.

    J.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    You know, if I were Dinotte, I'd say screw the upgrades. It can't be profitable for them and it's a royal PITA. Then you guys rip on them for not advertising etc.. that which is probably a loss leader to retain customers instead of a profit opportunity for them. How many other light suppliers offer upgrades? It's a small number, you would need only the fingers on one hand to count them and still have 2 or 3 left over.

    So this is actually a good problem to have - a light supplier that is still willing to provide customer service at a level like this. It's quaint that there still is a manufacturer out there who you can call up and talk to and find a solution for what works for you. Just make a note that if you want to find out what Dinotte is up to, give them a call.

    J.
    Fair enough point.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  29. #29
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    Nothing like being punished for good deeds, is there?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Nothing like being punished for good deeds, is there?
    So when you pay for an upgraded light, should you not receive such? How tough would it be to include the mount? Now we have to recontact Dinotte about a mount that they don't advertise on their site, and order one separately?
    Had I known about it at the time of my upgrade (3 weeks ago), I would've gotten it.

    So I say again, wtf?
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    ....So this is actually a good problem to have - a light supplier that is still willing to provide customer service at a level like this. It's quaint that there still is a manufacturer out there who you can call up and talk to and find a solution for what works for you. Just make a note that if you want to find out what Dinotte is up to, give them a call.

    J.
    The problem John is that when you contact them, you don't know everything ( service wise ) that's available to you. This means that if you don't ask the right questions you won't necessarily find out what you might need to know. I don't mind asking questions but you don't know what you don't know.

    There really needs to be some transparency on the part of DiNotte when it comes to upgrades and other service type options. Their website ( which has always left much to be desired ) needs to be updated with a section that gives full disclosure concerning upgrades, modifications and trade-ins. There should be no guess work on the part of the customer. If you lay this out in black and white you will have no beef from me. ( ** Really though, is this too much to ask? )

    In the mean time people who bought DiNotte products and were lured in thinking the products would be upgradeable are going to continue to feel let down or worse, cheated.

    DiNotte has reliable products. Service of those products has never been a problem or issue. "Product and service disclosure", on the other hand has always been one of their shortcomings and it reflects badly on their image as a high quality bike light manufacturer.

    As has been pointed out to me before, "When you're good, people expect more out of you than maybe they should". It kind of goes with the territory I suppose.

  32. #32
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    That's why if I were Dinotte I'd not mess with the upgrades. Take it for the good thing it is. The transparency comment is a bit off.

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    I would probably just say as a small business owner that there is a very fine line between keeping your existing customers and servicing them better than your competitor and trying to make a profit which IS part of the reason we are in business. Not the whole reason but certainly the most important.

    And in the bike light industry, it can't be easy to negotiate the two when someone else sells a similar but inferior product for far less and offers no customer service however, at a price tag that would put them out of business. ($45)

    I'm sure DiNotte and other US light makers not only pay higher salaries, but also pay SS taxes, workers comp, disab, medical or partial medical, etc, etc, etc. It's not really a fair war but they have to somehow satisfy their customers while selling to new customers all while trying to make a profit, all while competing in that environment.

    After all, no profit, no DiNotte or any other light maker unless it's a labor of love from an individual.

    I can't even figure out how they all stay in business w/ those $45 lights out there which aren't too bad. You just take a chance if there is a problem, No C/S.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble View Post
    So when you pay for an upgraded light, should you not receive such?

    So I say again, wtf?
    I'm sorry, I don't get it.

    You pay, you send the light, you get the LEDs replaced...

    wtf's with all the wtfs?

    Is it that you didn't get an unadvertised bracket upgrade?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    I'm sorry, I don't get it.

    You pay, you send the light, you get the LEDs replaced...

    wtf's with all the wtfs?

    Is it that you didn't get an unadvertised bracket upgrade?
    The bracket costs little and would be a boost to customer satisfaction. It's one of those, "Wow, wasn't expecting this" when you open the box.
    Dinotte used to do this. When I would order some random part, they'd include a handful of spare mounts, new straps and such. It was always a very nice gesture.
    From a cost/gain perspective it strikes me as a no brainer, why did they stop?
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The problem John is that when you contact them, you don't know everything ( service wise ) that's available to you. This means that if you don't ask the right questions you won't necessarily find out what you might need to know. I don't mind asking questions but you don't know what you don't know.

    There really needs to be some transparency on the part of DiNotte when it comes to upgrades and other service type options. Their website ( which has always left much to be desired ) needs to be updated with a section that gives full disclosure concerning upgrades, modifications and trade-ins. There should be no guess work on the part of the customer. If you lay this out in black and white you will have no beef from me. ( ** Really though, is this too much to ask? )
    I agree 100%.

    The problem is *not* that they didn't include something for free - it's that even after reading through their website you didn't know about additional options.

    Look, one can complain about them without "villifying" them. My complaint is that I own several other lights from non-dinotte companies just because I have more than 1 bike and found moving my 400L around to be to much hassle. Had I known that they had mounts, I could have saved money that I sent to other companies and paid Dinotte for an upgrade. Or, when my friends ask about what light do buy, I wouldn't immediately dismiss Dinotte because their 400l can't be move between bikes - you know?

    The problem is that you have to read the forum and pic up bits and pieces to find out what's really available from them.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    ....The problem is that you have to read the forum and pic up bits and pieces to find out what's really available from them.
    Thank you Paul. That is precisely my point and by the way you give a very good example as to why "a lack of transparency" can work against a company. Now if DiNotte had a link on their website that gave the details or had a representative post up on the forum giving all the new information no one could claim ignorance. If you're going to offer refits or trade ins it needs to be done right. Knowing all the options available is really important because "When it's your money being spent, it matters".

    Now if I was the only one with a bad experience I'd probably just keep it to myself but unfortunately ( as others have shown ) that is just not the case.

  38. #38
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    Open letter to DInotte:

    Dear Rob,

    Here's some Market advice - get rid of the specials and upgrades you do for your customers because there are two guys that don't think you broadcast it well enough. It's just not worth the hassle. As you know, no good deed goes unpunished.

    J.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Open letter to DInotte:

    Dear Rob,

    Here's some Market advice - get rid of the specials and upgrades you do for your customers because there are two guys that don't think you broadcast it well enough. It's just not worth the hassle. As you know, no good deed goes unpunished.

    J.
    Dear John,

    Here's some Personal advice - learn the difference between someone complaining about one specific topic, versus disparaging the entire company/person in general. You're going to have a lot of trouble dealing with people if you believe that every time someone feels you did something they didn't like that it's a giant and very personal attack - they don't like your shirt, you stop being friends with them? They're annoyed you didn't return their call, tell them it's to much hassle being friends with them and never call them back again?

    What you're saying is basically "My new friends said they liked blue more than red, and my shirt was red, so I'm taking my toys and I'm going home!". Sorry if you don't understand the difference between "Their whole company sucks!" and "I think they could really do better if they took their useful service and made it easier to figure out that they actually do it".

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Dear John,

    Here's some Personal advice - learn the difference between someone complaining about one specific topic, versus disparaging the entire company/person in general. You're going to have a lot of trouble dealing with people if you believe that every time someone feels you did something they didn't like that it's a giant and very personal attack - they don't like your shirt, you stop being friends with them? They're annoyed you didn't return their call, tell them it's to much hassle being friends with them and never call them back again?

    What you're saying is basically "My new friends said they liked blue more than red, and my shirt was red, so I'm taking my toys and I'm going home!". Sorry if you don't understand the difference between "Their whole company sucks!" and "I think they could really do better if they took their useful service and made it easier to figure out that they actually do it".
    Completely agree. It's unfortunate people do get so defensive at complaints toward certain companies. Takes the 'review' out of MTBR.
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  41. #41
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    Here's some personal advice back - since we're being so helpful to one another. Complaining also gets tiring especially when it's about a company that was trying to be helpful (and I don't care who that is).

    This whole thing is ridiculous. They do some favors and work to help out customers and they get whacked for it. I mean, come on - give it a rest.

    J.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble View Post
    The bracket costs little and would be a boost to customer satisfaction. It's one of those, "Wow, wasn't expecting this" when you open the box.
    Dinotte used to do this. When I would order some random part, they'd include a handful of spare mounts, new straps and such. It was always a very nice gesture.
    From a cost/gain perspective it strikes me as a no brainer, why did they stop?

    If you give a mouse a cookie...

    Why did he stop giving you freebies with little orders? Maybe something to do with the fact that more casual riders are giving the cheapo lights a go, which is eating into his profits. Who knows, he may be scraping by just to pay his employees. Seems like a no brainer to cut out frivolous expenses that someone may or may not appreciate. Me personally, I really don't care about getting several free random mounts (as I would in the past with Dinotte). If I needed a mount, I would ask for the mount I needed. I don't need more crap that is eventually going to go into a landfill, and that costs someone else money. It's nice, but not all of us need or want a drawer full of random mounts I will never use.

    I have no problem paying reasonable prices for something that I need/want, from a company that is willing to be there for me. Buy something from China, then good luck with any customer service. Or better yet, buy something for half the price from China, then just throw it away when there is something wrong with it, cause you can afford to and won't feel bad about doing so, right? Not wasteful at all...

    I completely understand that it is frustrating to feel like you're in the dark with what a company is offering, especially when you love the company and their products. Like said earlier, you don't know you want something until you know it exists (ask Steve Jobs about that one). So it is a mystery to me why Dinotte doesn't offer up everything they make that is either profitable, or could keep or attract new customers on their website, or on MTBR.
    I am personally frustrated, cause I feel like they could be shooting themselves in the foot by not letting us all know what we can BUY from them, and make it easy.

    I love Dinotte, and really want them to succeed. However, I just can't realistically see them around five years from now, or many of the other light-only companies out there. Magicshine and the other cheap variants are just too good for too cheap. I see people switching over to them all the time locally, and have even promoted the cheap lights before. Cause lets face it, not everyone who enjoys cycling is as well off as a lot of people in these forums.

    There have been several instances when I have riding buddies who want to enjoy their passion during the dark months, but simply can not afford >$300 for a light to do so. So then a realistic option for them is an $85 light that is actually quite good. Again I've even promoted it to some of my riding group. Cause to be honest, my desire to see them get to enjoy riding at night, and for me to get to enjoy riding with them, far outweighs my desire to see them spend their money on a different company. Because they wouldn't, and then they would miss so many great riding opportunities (life is short), and the quality companies wouldn't get their money anyways if they couldn't afford to spend it.
    However, with those more inclined to spend money cause they can, I surely point them towards the higher quality brands who are actually committed to us.

    Like I say, I'm just as frustrated with Dinotte as you guys, because I wan't to buy what they make, but it's kind of hard when I don't even know what they are offering. I'm also frustrated because I really want them to succeed, and feel they could do more to see that they do stay afloat.

    However, I can guarantee there is no one out there who wants them to succeed more than Rob and everyone else at Dinotte. So I can only hope that they are doing the things they are for a reason, and that there is a method to their madness.

    Let's just hope that the Magicshine/Cheap Chinese light madness doesn't kill off all these great light manufacturers.

  43. #43
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    I think the US light companies have responded to the MS lights. They used to ask $400-500 for 120 lumens. Many quality companies have responded with lights using latest technology, they tell you what LED is in the light, they provide a warranty, the prices are competitive. Look at the 2011 lights shootout. When I wanted to purchase lights for the first time in summer 2009, I checked out the lights shootout and there was no way I was going to shell out that much money for a light.

    My ride, though, is a commute where the loss of lighting will not cause me injury; I can easily apply brakes and walk. Riding downhill nearly out of control, in the way dark, on trail that can hurt you if you suddenly couldn't see is a different matter.

    I would have been all over a Dinotte XML-3, except that I really want a torch rather than wires and a battery pack and the lack of rain has yet to destroy my $25 torches.

  44. #44
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    A lot of that price decrease is just cost of the technology decreasing. The other part is that there is a wide variance in battery packs because of battery cell quality, cost and pack construction. We've seen the results of that too.

    But, yes, competition has brought the cost down just not the whole story.

    J.

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