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  1. #1
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    Need help with tail light selection

    This is for my road bike.
    I was using a PB Superflash but it fell off the seat bag strap and lost it.
    Now I realize I would like something brighter and with a wider angle.
    Also would like to mount to seatpost (less likely to fall off) but I only have a few inches of space there. Here is what I have narrowed it down to:

    Exposure Trace Rear - Seems well made, bright enough, nice mount and doesn't need much space. Price is reasonable. Not sure about how wide the beam is although some reviews mention good side visibility. This light is probably my first choice right now.

    Niteflux RZ4 - Seems to have the wide angle. The mounting seems versatile although quirky as is having to pull the end cap off to charge it. Probably would be too tall to mount on my seatpost so would have to mount to seat rails or seat bag strap. I don't really like the fast flashing pattern. Reports of bad customer service. Price is a bit high.

    Niterider Solas - This would be a contender because of the price, brightness and angle, but too many reports of the clip and USB connector breaking. Seems like they didn't put enough thought into the design of those parts.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Have you looked at the Serfas Thunderbolt?
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    Have you looked at the Serfas Thunderbolt?
    I think it is too long to fit on my seatpost. Would have to put on seat stay which I am not sure would work as they are very thin. Reports of short battery run time.

  4. #4
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    Need help with tail light selection

    It's only about 2 1/2 inches, but if you don't have the space, you don't have it. Most of the guys I know around here are using the Thubderbolt, and there's no complaints of short battery life. On high flash, I get almost four hours, and low flash is indeed a 9 hr life time (left it on at work one day by accident). The range is great, and if you get the white, it allows more light through on the sides which aids in side view visibility. Something to consider, I suppose. Good luck on your search!
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    It's only about 2 1/2 inches, but if you don't have the space, you don't have it. Most of the guys I know around here are using the Thubderbolt, and there's no complaints of short battery life. On high flash, I get almost four hours, and low flash is indeed a 9 hr life time (left it on at work one day by accident). The range is great, and if you get the white, it allows more light through on the sides which aids in side view visibility. Something to consider, I suppose. Good luck on your search!
    Ok, one of my bikes is a tandem and not much seatpost, maybe it would fit but then it would be covered by the seatbag, so would have to ride without the bag which might be doable since we have a second bag on the stokers stem. Curious why you and others you know chose this light over others?

  6. #6
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    If you want a Tail Light, see this thread....

    Red Amoeba

  7. #7
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    Need help with tail light selection

    It's extremely bright and offers a great coverage, mounts anywhere easily, is waterproof, and it's price is reasonable.
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    If you want a Tail Light, see this thread....

    Red Amoeba
    I am an EE and built my own head light once. It was about 200 lumens and worked pretty good, but since have replaced it with a MJ-808e that is 900 lumens was about $60. I have no desire to build another light although I can appreciate those who do.

  9. #9
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    The Red Amoeba is a product, not a DIY.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    It's extremely bright and offers a great coverage, mounts anywhere easily, is waterproof, and it's price is reasonable.
    Thanks for the feedback.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    The Red Amoeba is a product, not a DIY.
    Ok, more like a DIY that somebody is selling.
    In any case it is overkill in terms of size, price and light output for my needs.
    Thanks anyway.

  12. #12
    because GIANT
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    I have a carbon tube RZ4 and it is the BOMB ! I love the thing and tossed my dinottes and PBSF aside and use this RZ4 all the time. fuggin visible !!!!!!!

    tiny
    easy to mount and bombproof
    bright as hell

    super easy to program. just go to the mode you want to delete, and hold button down for a while until it starts to flash again, now that mode is deleted. when all modes are deleted, then all modes are available (5 flashing and 3 steady) and you can pick and delete what you want. MAN is it bright and nothing beats it's side visibility

  13. #13
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    Cygolight Hotshot
    Dinotte
    Magicshine 818

  14. #14
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    You didn't mention price range, but Dinotte IMHO is still among the safest rear lights available. Especially for the flash mode that keeps the light on between flashes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    You didn't mention price range, but Dinotte IMHO is still among the safest rear lights available. Especially for the flash mode that keeps the light on between flashes.
    Price up to $100 so Dinotte is out, also it is pretty large in size.
    I believe the Exposure Tracer also leaves the light on between flashes.
    I wonder why nobody has mentioned this light, maybe being from the UK they don't sell many here. I am still thinking its my best option although I appreciate the other suggestions.

    Cygolight Hotshot: Read the beam is narrow so side visibility isn't so good, otherwise seems good.

    Dinotte : Price too high
    Magicshine 818 : Huge separate battery, I could hook it up to my head light battery which I think is the same one, but would have to run a long a wire to the back, not ideal especially on the tandem.

  16. #16
    because GIANT
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    rz4 mang..100 bux...blows all the rest out of the water in visibility

    that's like, just my opinion man....but I have dinottes and niterider and
    pbsf and can also compare others I see on the peeps on the road...rz4 is something else

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gharddog03 View Post
    Cygolight Hotshot
    Dinotte
    Magicshine 818
    I looked at 818 some more and there are some things I like about it.
    Simple mounting and doesn't take much space., although looks like it would be pointing down some.
    Looks pretty rugged. Seems like good side visibility.
    I could put the battery in my seat bag, but would have to use the larger bag.

  18. #18
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    I've had the RZ8 since it first came out, and I'm still pretty happy with it. It comes with one strobe mode that goes down to RZ4 level.

    It is what it is. A simple design with opaque rubbery lenses that filters some brightness, but also has good side visibility.

  19. #19
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    I own this: Xeccon Geinea Super Bright Micro Rear Light

    Very small, very bright. The videos on the link speak for them self quite nicely. I bought one for my gf too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    I own this: Xeccon Geinea Super Bright Micro Rear Light

    Very small, very bright. The videos on the link speak for them self quite nicely. I bought one for my gf too.
    It does look very bright, I would almost be afraid it would blind drivers and other cyclists. Also the mounting is kind of clumsy with a separate battery and remote. I realize there are advantages to this, but I would prefer everything self contained in the light. If I wanted max brightness then this might the light to go with.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    This is for my road bike.
    I was using a PB Superflash but it fell off the seat bag strap and lost it.
    Now I realize I would like something brighter and with a wider angle.
    Also would like to mount to seatpost (less likely to fall off) but I only have a few inches of space there.
    I use the cat eye rapid3. Its a bit brighter than the PBSF and mounts nicely to the seat stay, leaving the seat post free. You could get three for your 100$ budget.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    It does look very bright, I would almost be afraid it would blind drivers and other cyclists. Also the mounting is kind of clumsy with a separate battery and remote. I realize there are advantages to this, but I would prefer everything self contained in the light. If I wanted max brightness then this might the light to go with.
    I've never seen (or heard of) a self-contained light that even comes close to emitting the minimum amount of light that I would consider to be acceptable for a rear light. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  23. #23
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    Xeccon looks pretty sweet.

  24. #24
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    Re: Need help with tail light selection

    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    I've never seen (or heard of) a self-contained light that even comes close to emitting the minimum amount of light that I would consider to be acceptable for a rear light. Good luck with whatever you decide.
    What is it that you consider acceptable?
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  25. #25
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    What about mounting one light on each chainstay?

  26. #26
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    Well I decided to stay with my original idea and bought an Exposure TraceR from Amazon.
    It just seemed to tick all the boxes and the price was right.
    I will post a review when I receive it.

  27. #27
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    Need help with tail light selection

    I really like my Portland Design Works Danger zone rear tail light that I use on my cross bike.

    Side visibility may not be the greatest but it works for me. You could always use two: one on each side of the bike.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    What is it that you consider acceptable?
    That's a fair question and one that is hard to directly answer. Instead, I have to defer to the "I know it when I see it" argument. More generally though, self-contained rear lights are simply under-powered. The real reference point should be that of an automobile tail light. That is to say, how does your light compare to that of an automobile tail light. And when I say "compare", I am not implying equivalency. I'm simply stating that these are the kinds of lights that you are competing against on the road to be seen.

  29. #29
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    ^ Good post, although I'll mention the Dinotte and Niteflux are the exceptions to having adequate lumen power in a self-contained rear light.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    That's a fair question and one that is hard to directly answer. Instead, I have to defer to the "I know it when I see it" argument. More generally though, self-contained rear lights are simply under-powered. The real reference point should be that of an automobile tail light. That is to say, how does your light compare to that of an automobile tail light. And when I say "compare", I am not implying equivalency. I'm simply stating that these are the kinds of lights that you are competing against on the road to be seen.
    Certainly the DiNotte 300R and Niteflux RZ series easily beat out the overall lumen output of the average car rear lamp and both are self-contained. Although not as bright as the previously mentioned lights my favorite self-contained rear lamps are the "Moon Shield" and the Cygolite HotShot. The MShield has a wider angle of projection than the Hotshot and so remains my favorite for the seat post. The Hotshot is just as bright but more narrow in beam pattern. The Hotshot though has the more useable UI. While not as bright as the DiNotte or Niteflux lights they are more compact and are still bright enough to draw lots of attention when using on the road.

    If you want your bike to stand out from motorized traffic that is not too hard to do. Personally I believe in the multi-lamp approach. Most of the time I use two, one on the helmet ( Hotshot ) and one on the seat post ( Moon Shield or other bright rear lamp ). Occasionally I'll add another smaller set of lamps on the seat stays. The positive comments I've received while riding from passing motorist has confirmed that the strategy seems to work well. Lastly I'll also mention that I usually use flashing modes. My opinion is that this helps distinguish you from the passing cars who are usually using lamps in steady modes.

  31. #31
    Action LED Lights
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    Pardon my self promotion, but we just added a new tail light that might be worth considering.
    Name:  LR260-1_grande.jpg
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    The Dosun LR260

    Self-contained, USB rechargeable, wide visible angle, rubber strap mount that corrects for the seat post angle and only 3/4" thick (high)
    26 lumens (PB superflash turbo is 25)
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  32. #32
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    If you REALLY want to be noticed !

    Just wanted to clear up a few things on my Red Amoeba -

    Size - light head is 1 1/2" x wide x 2 2/14" long x 3/4" wide

    Weight of light head - ~50 grams

    Material - bead blasted aluminum extrusion

    LED's - 2x Cree Red XP-E2's (max current rating for these are 1000ma's). Max output would be around 400 lumens! I have not heard of any light manufacturer that is using this new LED in their light.

    Reflectors - Ledil Regina's. If you don't want/need the amazing throw that comes from using reflectors, then I can frost the inside of the Lexan lens to defuse the output a bit. The Lexan lens also provides great side visibility.

    Driver - TaskLED LFlex - Top of the line driver that can be programmed in multiple ways to meet your individual needs

    Mounting - you tell me how you want to mount it, Vancbiker custom aluminum GoPro mount, clamp on bar stlye, seat stay, something else. These are "built to order", customized to your individual needs.

    Batteries - I like to use a 2 cell 2600mah pack that is rubber dipped to survive the elements. If you have a 8.4V battery that you would rather use then I can build it with the appropriate connectors

    Yes, these are hand made by a fellow cyclist. I have been building my Amoeba light for over 6 years, personally touching each and every component in each and every light that I build. Each light is built with "personal pride" and top quality components that I can stand behind for years. I will agree, my lights are not for everybody but if you want to truly stand out in the urban jungle, then I have no doubts that this light will fit your needs.


    ****

  33. #33
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    Bulletproof looking fittings, lightweight--Amoeba is definitely on my list. Can you program pulse mode, where the light stays on between strobes?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    Bulletproof looking fittings, lightweight--Amoeba is definitely on my list. Can you program pulse mode, where the light stays on between strobes?
    +1... Scar if you can provide a video of the available flash patterns that would be a big plus. Anyway to do an under-the-seat mount? Also interested in how a seat post mount would work.

  35. #35
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    FYI, there's pics in the DIY sub-forum, but pics here would be cool

  36. #36
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    The Xeccon Geinea I Rear has three modes, High(150 lumen)> Low(50lumen)> 3HZ> 7HZ. So you can choose the different brightness according to your needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    It does look very bright, I would almost be afraid it would blind drivers and other cyclists. Also the mounting is kind of clumsy with a separate battery and remote. I realize there are advantages to this, but I would prefer everything self contained in the light. If I wanted max brightness then this might the light to go with.
    Xeccon: Stay Safe, Stay Ahead

  37. #37
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    ^ Dude already bought a light, plus if he lives outside Conus you won't ship to him right, or have things changed?

  38. #38
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    Rear light -- serfas tl80 or tl60. I own then both and also have the hotshot. The main thing the hotshot has going for it is the various number of patterns and the numerous variability option for the patterns.

  39. #39
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    Sorry I am just getting back to this thread...

    Was busy out in the garage yesterday morning finishing up the weekends light builds before the football games came on so I could watch our Denver Broncos. I then had to go to bed so that I could function at a new night shift, weekend, part time job I have taken on.

    Pigmode - I will have to play around with the programming of the strobe to see what is and what is not doable. I can also email George at TaskLED and see if he has any input.

    Cat - yes, I agree that a video of the strobe patterns and some better pictures would help out quite a bit. I am just finishing up another tail light this afternoon and will see what I can do in the that department. I can do the GoPor seatpost mounting system Name:  582930.jpg
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    and have an idea for using the Marwi bar mount. I will get some pictures in the next day or two of the mounting option to show you what I am thinking. Do you have a preferred mount you like to use?


    *****

  40. #40
    Light freak
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    I really like this "under the seat" mount by K-Edge but it is really expensive. The cheapest I can find it is $45.

    Name:  k13-430_saddle.jpg
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    I think it would be a great way to mount using a GoPro mount.


    I see Cateye has one but I also know that Cateye mounts can be difficult to find sometimes

    Name:  I52NKZWlN3775_P660931_500X500.jpg
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    ****

  41. #41
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    No rush J As I have two serviceable rear lights now, and yours will come in good time. I'm really into quality, and will be in the market for a more powerful rear light around summer.

    Still I think a constant-on strobe is an excellent safety feature, if only for maximizing depth perception at night.

  42. #42
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    I know you already bought a light. If you decide to upgrade, any DiNotte taillight ought to do the trick. When I use my DiNotte, cars change lanes to pass for the most part. I also get compliments from people regularly. They're spendy, though. Die not.

  43. #43
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    Just received my Dinotte Daytime

  44. #44
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    Here's a good review of commercially available lights:

    The Best Bicycle Taillights of 2013 ę Stack Exchange Bicycles Blog

    He liked the niterider Solas 2w for all-around visibility and value.
    That being said, you couldn't possibly do better than a red Amoeba for quality and eye-burning visibility.

    Safe setup with an affordable cost:
    The cheapest rechargeable taillight is the Cygolite Hotshot, and itís still every bit the great light it was in last yearís review. Some of the newer lights offer additional improvements, especially in terms of off-angle visibility, but you still wonít go wrong with the Hotshot. Itís currently $28 on Amazon, and probably about $35 at your local bike shop. For a few bucks more, you could get the NiteRider Solas 2W ($35 on Amazon) which is very similar, but solves the Hotshotís off-angle visibility problem with its diffusing lens design. Personally, I think that if youíre just going to buy one the NiteRider Solas is the better choice due to its better light spread, but both are great lights.

  45. #45
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    I personally built a little light that fits in a helmet vent, and runs about 100 lumens with an on-and-flashing pattern.(flashes from low to high and back) It burns at 4w or so on high, but with the MobyDrv driver I can add up to 7 modes, and can easily go up or down one mode without needing to check out the light to see if I got it right. I set up a daylight mode and a night mode.

    Crazy-bright little rear vent-light

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