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  1. #1
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    HotShot Pro 150, HotShot Micro 30, or Cateye Rapid 3?

    Hi all:

    Looking for a rear light recommendation for local neighborhood roads at dusk plus for extra visibility during the day. I don't use my mountain bike for commuting in any city type setting, but do want to be seen on our local roads. Seems like the HotShot series are pretty good, but then I found the Cateye Rapid 3 which advertises 180 degree visibility which I don't think the Cygolites HotShot offers.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    RAKC Industries
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    The hotshots are rather narrow angle lights. Not great unless used as a flasher along side something with a decent viewing angle. I have one and it's in a drawer somewhere now. I think is was designed more solely for the narrow but long range throw for daytime (but forgetting the just as important details of being seen at other angles.

    Stick with something that has a solid viewing angle, 180 is definitely better if it's being used by itself. Combining the 2 wouldn't be bad either.

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  3. #3
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    I have a Hotshot SL. As RAKC noted it has a very "directed" output. I mostly use it on the road during the day just to get driver's attention. I think it does a very good job of that. In an urban setting at night, I would think a more diffused light would be better.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  4. #4
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    @will... Lot's of good rear lights to choose from out there. Each has their own plus and minuses. What you choose to buy depends on how who want to use it. Since you mentioned wanting something to ride thru your neighborhood at dusk with, perhaps a light like the Cateye Rapid 3 might serve your needs very well. I've seen someone using a CR3 before so I know what it can do. CR3 provides >180° visibility and is VERY noticeable when viewing from the sides ( this in an urban setting with street lamps ). When I viewed the lamp directly from behind I was not as impressed but likely in a darker environment it would have been more conspicuous.

    I own and currently use a Cygolite Pro 150 on my road setup so I'm a bit biased I suppose when it comes to tail lights but I'm very impressed with the 150. Pro150 is VERY BRIGHT when viewed from behind. That said I believe a rear lamps primary function is to garner attention from traffic that is approaching from behind. I'm of the opinion that the sooner someone see's you ( when on approach ) the better ( safer ) you are. The Pro 150 is not going to be anywhere near as bright from the sides as the Cateye R3. That said the translucent lens of the Cygolite Pro 150 does have some exposure to the sides. I've tested this myself and it does supply a bit of 180° light. ( likely about the same amount as a typical car side light when viewed from the sides ).

    Once again these are only a few of the good choices to be had. If you want a lamp that has great visibility from the sides and an over all awesome output you might consider the new ITUO Bolt. I've not seen one of these in action myself but the photos in the review look very promising.
    Not to mention that the Bolt uses a replaceable 18650 li-ion cell which makes it a unique offering.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 02-21-2017 at 01:43 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks folks! I really appreciate your detailed replies and you have confirmed my suspicions that the HotShots are good but primarily designed for rear-directed light. I like RAKC Ind's idea of maybe combining two lights. I have the HotShot Micro 30 and was going to get a brighter HotShot, but maybe now I'll get the CatEye Rapid X3 and use them together (if they don't look too goofy stacked together!). One concern is that it looks like the CE Rapid X3 is mounted with the long direction vertical which will chew up a lot of my saddle post. I still don't have a good saddle bag and had thought I needed a large saddle bag, but after reading other posts on the topic, now understand not everything has to go in a saddle bag and you can use pockets in your jersey. So, if I stick with a small saddle bag and use the jersey for a spare tube and the like, I should be OK if with the height of the CE Rapid X3 on the seat post. Or I guess I could try and mount it on one of the seat stays but then it is not centered in the rear and I suppose the rear tire might block some of the side light.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will90 View Post
    Or I guess I could try and mount it on one of the seat stays but then it is not centered in the rear and I suppose the rear tire might block some of the side light.
    The micro and the cateye both seatstay mount. In terms of side brightness they are in the same ballpark, the type of battery is the main difference, and the micro has the nice low power steady group mode which is bunch friendly.
    My first micro got water inside, but I liked it enough to get another.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I have a Hotshot SL. As RAKC noted it has a very "directed" output. I mostly use it on the road during the day just to get driver's attention. I think it does a very good job of that. In an urban setting at night, I would think a more diffused light would be better.
    The Pro has a wider beam.
    I have a Bontrager Flare that's daylight-visible.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will90 View Post
    Thanks folks! I really appreciate your detailed replies and you have confirmed my suspicions that the HotShots are good but primarily designed for rear-directed light. I like RAKC Ind's idea of maybe combining two lights. I have the HotShot Micro 30 and was going to get a brighter HotShot, but maybe now I'll get the CatEye Rapid X3 and use them together (if they don't look too goofy stacked together!). One concern is that it looks like the CE Rapid X3 is mounted with the long direction vertical which will chew up a lot of my saddle post. I still don't have a good saddle bag and had thought I needed a large saddle bag, but after reading other posts on the topic, now understand not everything has to go in a saddle bag and you can use pockets in your jersey. So, if I stick with a small saddle bag and use the jersey for a spare tube and the like, I should be OK if with the height of the CE Rapid X3 on the seat post. Or I guess I could try and mount it on one of the seat stays but then it is not centered in the rear and I suppose the rear tire might block some of the side light.
    There are other ways to carry your gear. I used to use a saddle bag but it ended up not being large enough to carry everything I usually wanted to take. There are larger seat-saddle bags but like you said, they limit mounting room for rear lights. My solution was to use a frame bag. The bag I use mounts in the area between the head, down and top tube. The bag itself holds my battery for my front lamp, spare tube, mini pump, C02 inflator, tire levers, patch kit and a few other small bits.

    I think you'll be fine with just the CE Rapid 3 but doesn't hurt to add an extra. When I ride my road set-up I use four rear lamps. I don't always turn all of them on but usually I do. Two mini flashers on the seat-stays, Cygolite Hotshot 150 on the seat post and a Gemini IRIS clipped onto the back of my helmet. Like I said before I usually don't worry about the side lighting. If I turn my wheel lights on I have all the side lighting I could every need. Yeah, it's a bit of over-kill but it's better to "have" some over-kill than to "be" the over-kill. I'm so noticeable when I ride the road at night that I've actually had people take video of me while going down the road.

  9. #9
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    Thanks again all. Such a great site with friendly helpful folks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    There are other ways to carry your gear. I used to use a saddle bag but it ended up not being large enough to carry everything I usually wanted to take. There are larger seat-saddle bags but like you said, they limit mounting room for rear lights. My solution was to use a frame bag. The bag I use mounts in the area between the head, down and top tube. The bag itself holds my battery for my front lamp, spare tube, mini pump, C02 inflator, tire levers, patch kit and a few other small bits.
    cat-man-do, can you tell what bag you use? I reviewed a heated thread some time ago about the Super Strap and didn't want to go that route and figured I would just go with small saddle bag and fill the jersey pockets. However, as I think about this, I don't like carrying stuff on my body either in a fanny pack style bag or pockets. Maybe a small frame bag is my solution.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will90 View Post
    Thanks again all. Such a great site with friendly helpful folks!



    cat-man-do, can you tell what bag you use? I reviewed a heated thread some time ago about the Super Strap and didn't want to go that route and figured I would just go with small saddle bag and fill the jersey pockets. However, as I think about this, I don't like carrying stuff on my body either in a fanny pack style bag or pockets. Maybe a small frame bag is my solution.
    My bag is one of the bags in the "Bushwacker" series. It was originally designed to be used between the seat tube and top tube but I flipped it around and got it work in front by doing some minor modding. There are all types and sizes of frame bags. Amazon or ebay is a good place to start. First you need to know where on your bike you want to use it and then what size limitations you are looking for. Scroll through the options on Amazon, you should find something that might work. On mine I had to use a couple extra pieces of Velcro so I could attach a strap to the down tube so the bag wouldn't swing. It works for me and have had no major problems. Now if I want to carry extra articles of clothing ( like a wind breaker ) I have to use a fanny pack ( which like you I hate to do ). My wind vest fits in the pocket of my jersey so I'm usually fine without the jacket as long as it doesn't get too cold.

    You'd be surprised to see what people are willing to carry on their backsides. I saw a guy yesterday carrying what looked to be a small back pack that was sitting on his backside ( butt ). To each their own...

  11. #11
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    Thanks so much. I didn't even know these types of bags existed. I sort of resolved myself to the fact that I was stuck with saddle type bags, the super strap, jersey pockets, or fanny packs based on what I saw at REI and other local bike shops. I'm going to definitely check out these options! I don't need something for commuting, just enough to carry a snack, few tools, etc. This could be just the ticket.

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