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  1. #1
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    starting all over again from scratch :)

    ok so last year i had NiteRider 3600, Lupine Piko 3 and Dinotte 300R and i sent ALL OF THEM back. but it wasn't all for nothing because i learned a lot, and i made a video of NiteRider and 300R which a lot of people on YouTube found useful.

    now i'm starting all over again but this time i want to spend only a fraction of what i spent last year, and i want to have SMARTER lighting whereas last year i just went with "more is better" logic.

    to recap the lights are to provide safety for riding IN THE CITY ( Brooklyn ). we have pretty good bike paths here, but we also have no shortage of cars.

    i already received the new bar light YESTERDAY and it is Philips SafeRide. but i haven't ordered any other lights yet.

    so far i have tested the SafeRide in the hallway of my apartment building - the beam pattern appears OUTSTANDING but i fell asleep before sunset yesterday so i didn't get a chance to test it out on the street yet.

    last year the biggest problem i faced was SIDE VISIBILITY but this year we have the NiteFlux R8 - which i am hoping to use to get both rear and side visibility.

    if i can't use the NiteFlux to get my side visibility then i will probably use this: Bike Lights by Bike After Dark

    i'm also debating whether to use a helmet light or not.

    so do you think Philips SafeRide + NiteFlux RZ8 is all i need to get 360 degree coverage and visibility in the city ?

    or would you still add spoke lights and a helmet light ?

    i was thinking Light & Motion SECA 800 for a helmet light - it's $230 now, compared to $330 for the Lupine Piko. yes it is more than double the weight of the Piko but on relatively flat pavement i think the weight should be OK. on the more bumpy stuff i would probably not want extra weight on the helmet.

    is there anything better than ( or equally as good as ) NiteFlux or Dinotte for the tail light on the market now ? somebody mentioned Exposure ?

  2. #2
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    OK i ordered Light & Motion Vis 180. I wanted Red Zone 8 of course, but i can return the Vis back to Amazon if i don't like it so i decided to give Vis a shot. I will compare it to my old Cateye LD1100 and i better notice a difference LOL. Maybe i will make some videos too.

  3. #3
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    Ordered 2 x Half-Wheel Bike After Dark spoke lights.

    Bike Lights - Half Wheel Night Bike System by Bike After Dark

    shipping is $8. no tax. $98 total.

    i decided to get 2 half wheels instead of 1 full wheel because i don't want that cable in between.

    i'm really curious to see how it works out ! if i do receive them and if they work i will definitely make a video

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    Ordered 2 x Half-Wheel Bike After Dark spoke lights.

    Bike Lights - Half Wheel Night Bike System by Bike After Dark

    shipping is $8. no tax. $98 total.



    i decided to get 2 half wheels instead of 1 full wheel because i don't want that cable in between.

    i'm really curious to see how it works out ! if i do receive them and if they work i will definitely make a video
    Well after looking at the video of the "Bike after Dark" full wheels...all I can say is, "Overkill". These have to be the brightest wheel lights I've ever seen. As bright as they are I'd have wonder if the "reflective bounce" of the lights off the road would cause distraction to the rider. They're so bright I would almost have to say they were "too bright" but hey, everyone has an opinion right.

    These aren't inexpensive. Running just the half-wheel you might notice an "unbalanced" feel to the wheel....just saying. Too bad there isn't a mini-version. ( think half-wheel split in two and mounted for a more balanced fit ) Even with just the half wheel the output is more than you need.

    Like I said before, I have no desire to provide a road-side show but I do want to be seen. I just picked up several of the Atozi spoke lights a couple weeks ago and so far I'm pleased with how they work. Two per wheel should be enough ( about $6 ea. ). I'll likely remove the "Rimfires" once I'm assured the Atozi's are going to be my "Go to" wheel lights. The nice thing about the Atozi's is that they are cheap, easy to put on or take off. I like cheap and I like easy on/off. No where near as bright as those "Bike after Dark" wheel lights but I have no need for that kind of side visibility.

  5. #5
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    we're not going to know how bright or dim it really is until i try it, and make my own video. i expect them to be bright for spoke lights, but dim for any other kind of light.

    my plan is to put both halves on the rear wheel, so they don't distract me. the only reason i didn't just go for a single full wheel set is because in the set the two parts are joined by a cable ( for more convenient charging ) but i decided i would prefer a cleaner look without cable - the downside will be each half will need to be charged separately.

    i can then put the 4 cateye orbits i have on the front wheel, and compare the conspicuousness of the lights. hopefully that will help me not look like a unicycle

    one big downside with these is they're sized for a road bike wheel - so it will be impossible to fit them in a pretty fashion on a MTB wheel - it will not look like a single line, but as two separate lights, but whatever - if they actually ship it and it works we'll see.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    ......i'm also debating whether to use a helmet light or not.

    so do you think Philips SafeRide + NiteFlux RZ8 is all i need to get 360 degree coverage and visibility in the city ?

    or would you still add spoke lights and a helmet light ?

    i was thinking Light & Motion SECA 800 for a helmet light - it's $230 now, compared to $330 for the Lupine Piko. yes it is more than double the weight of the Piko but on relatively flat pavement i think the weight should be OK. on the more bumpy stuff i would probably not want extra weight on the helmet......
    I've been riding/commuting in New York City for about 6 years now.
    About a third of those miles were at night, used to work night shifts
    and daylight is shorter in the winter. I prefer my headlight on the
    helmet. I can easily point it in any direction looking for potholes or
    to light up a driver who is thinking of running a stop sign ahead of me.

    I haven't put to much thought on side visibility in terms of lighting. I
    have a decent front and rear light, try to wear light colored clothing
    w/ reflective trim and use those reflective ankle bands(I also put some
    on my wrists).

    SET F1RE TO THE RA1N - YouTube

    SINGFIRE SF-90 BIKE LIGHT REVIEW - YouTube

  7. #7
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    Cancelled the Vis 180 order. I just had somebody ride my bike with the cheap Cateye LD1100 tail light that i have and really there is no problem with it - it was visible from a block away both from the rear and from the side. Yesterday when i looked at it up close i thought it would probably not be visible from distance, but now that i had the chance to look at it from proper distance it's really not bad.

    there just isn't any tail light that i really like on the market. the RZ8 doesn't seem to have any cooling for such a powerful light. dinotte is too focused. Vis has this annoying side blinker which apparently doesn't turn off ? plus i think a single 1W LED with no diffuser probably will aggravate people.

    i also like that with the cateye you have 2 separate circuits so you can put one on solid and one on flash - although it doesn't work anywhere close to as well as Dinotte's flash modes.

    if only 300R came with a choice of flood lens it would have been perfect.

  8. #8
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    I'd really be interested in something like the Phillips, but for nighttime safety I consider the "see" trait, to be no more important than the "be seen". I don't think the MTBR review mentioned the latter.

  9. #9
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    OK i placed the order for NiteFlux Red Zone 8. What convinced me to get the Red Zone after all is the fact that it can be helmet mounted. And while there may be better seatpost mounted tail lights ( Dinotte 300R ) there aren't any better Helmet mounted tail lights, so worst case scenario the RZ8 can always be combined with another light with the RZ8 on the helmet and a more directional light on the seatpost.

  10. #10
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    ordered Light & Motion Seca 1400 "multisport" for helmet light. for some reason "multisport" was $120 less than "bike" light, although supposedly it actually has more mounting options. if i can't mount it where i need it i'll just send it back to Amazon.

    this helmet light is to work with my Philips SafeRide bar light. here are the beam shots of both of them:

    philips:

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/wp-content/u...-SafeRide1.jpg

    seca 1400:

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/wp-content/u...Seca-14001.jpg

    so the brightness of 400 lumen Philips and 1400 lumen Seca is actually about the same - the Seca simply has a wider beam.

    when i rode with just the Philips nobody squinted so i knew it was doing what it was supposed to, but at the same time nobody paid any attention to me either. with NiteRider Pro 3600 everybody froze from a block away and waited for me to pass - both cars and pedestrians did this - but with Philips it was as if i don't exist. so with a combination of Philips + Seca i hope to strike a middle ground - let others know i'm coming without totally blinding everybody.

    if you're not in a rush to get a helmet light it would probably be best to wait for the 1200 Lumen Lupine Piko to become available, but i decided not to wait for that. besides i already had the 900 lumen piko, so it is more interesting for me to try something different.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    OK i placed the order for NiteFlux Red Zone 8. What convinced me to get the Red Zone after all is the fact that it can be helmet mounted. And while there may be better seatpost mounted tail lights ( Dinotte 300R ) there aren't any better Helmet mounted tail lights, so worst case scenario the RZ8 can always be combined with another light with the RZ8 on the helmet and a more directional light on the seatpost.
    I would tend to think the RZ8 would be better on the seat. Then buy a good USB seatpost rear lamp ( something like the Cygolite Hotshot, Serfas TL-60/Moon Shield,..etc. )
    Used together they would make an awesome triangle pattern for the rear. The ad for the RZ8 does show that it can be used on the back of a helmet but my gut tells me that it might be a bit heavy for helmet use. For the helmet you want something lite-weight. One of the Blackburn Flea's ( or Super Flea ) might work well on back of a helmet. If you want a bright wide light on back of the helmet the RZ4 might be the thing to buy.

    If you're riding in the city I don't know why you would put a Phillips Saferide on the bars and THEN decide to put a Seca 1400 on the helmet. I'd put the 1400 on the bars then consider a torch or single emitter lamp for the helmet. Personally I like to keep my helmet "wireless" and light-weight. I use a torch on the helmet and only use it when needed ( for additional throw ). If I was riding in an urban setting I might use it on low so I can point it at cars when necessary. Other than that I usually rely on just the bar light when riding on the road. To enhance front visibility I also run a front USB type 70 lumen blinkie on my front fork. Doing this gives the viewer two points of reference ( one steady, one flashing ) when viewing me from the front. ( not to mention that my wheel lights are also visible from the front...when I use them ).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I would tend to think the RZ8 would be better on the seat. Then buy a good USB seatpost rear lamp ( something like the Cygolite Hotshot, Serfas TL-60/Moon Shield,..etc. )
    Used together they would make an awesome triangle pattern for the rear. The ad for the RZ8 does show that it can be used on the back of a helmet but my gut tells me that it might be a bit heavy for helmet use. For the helmet you want something lite-weight. One of the Blackburn Flea's ( or Super Flea ) might work well on back of a helmet. If you want a bright wide light on back of the helmet the RZ4 might be the thing to buy.
    the logic for helmet RZ8 was two-fold.

    1 - it would be more than twice as high up as on back of seat, which in traffic means it would be far less likely to be obstructed by some car's hood or even roof. a scenario where some other car is obstructing a driver's field of view is likely the more dangerous one, so it would be a great advantage to have the light high up.

    2 - yes it would add weight, but if i will have a SECA on the front of the helmet then it will help to counter-balance it by adding weight to the back. this is why i liked the PIKO - you could put the battery in the back of helmet and the light in the front and achieve some sort of balance this way. If i was using the PIKO now then there would no longer be a place for the RZ8 on the helmet because there will already be plenty of weight from the PIKO battery on the back of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    If you're riding in the city I don't know why you would put a Phillips Saferide on the bars and THEN decide to put a Seca 1400 on the helmet. I'd put the 1400 on the bars then consider a torch or single emitter lamp for the helmet. Personally I like to keep my helmet "wireless" and light-weight. I use a torch on the helmet and only use it when needed ( for additional throw ). If I was riding in an urban setting I might use it on low so I can point it at cars when necessary. Other than that I usually rely on just the bar light when riding on the road. To enhance front visibility I also run a front USB type 70 lumen blinkie on my front fork. Doing this gives the viewer two points of reference ( one steady, one flashing ) when viewing me from the front. ( not to mention that my wheel lights are also visible from the front...when I use them ).
    a "wireless" helmet is nice. if the 1200 Lumen piko was out today it would have been a better choice than Seca. we know the 1200 Lumen piko is coming but without a certain date for when i didn't want to wait.

    the logic for having Seca on helmet and Saferide on bars is as follows: i can control the direction of the helmet light, but not of the bar light. this means that the bar light must BY ITSELF, AND ALWAYS be non-blinding to others ( Philips fits the bill ). on the other hand the helmet light needs to be of the kind where if i can aim it away from other people's eyes if necessary OR i can aim it AT something.

    The Seca has a pattern that is fairly directional, and most of the spill is on the bottom, with some on the sides, and little on top. This means if i rotate the head slightly, lower it and turn it to the side i should be able to get most of the light out of the eyes of whoever would otherwise be blinded by the helmet Seca.

    Additionally last year when i tried a 3600 Lumen bar light with 900 Lumen helmet light i realized that i can't even see where i aim the helmet light because it is swamped by the bar light. Which is why this year i decided from the outset that i will try to use the more powerful light on the helmet, and use the bar light only as supplementary.

    You may be thinking - if you already have a Seca on the helmet, you might as well return the Philips to the store ... but there's 2 reasons why i won't do that.

    1 - When i turn the head to look at something on the side ( like cars at intersection ) the Philips will continue to provide the light in the direction in which i'm going, which will help me keep track of things ahead of my direction of travel with peripheral vision, as well as help keep me visible form that direction.

    2 - if i am on MUP with no cars i will turn the Seca off and run on just the Saferide.

    on the other hand when riding among cars Philips by itself doesn't give you enough presence on the road - the only person i managed to upset with it so far was a toddler in a baby stroller ( because he was lower than the beam cutoff ). the Philips is just TOO gentle on the eyes of others - doesn't draw enough attention - it is definitely seen from all directions, but it doesn't grab anybody's attention. which is where the Seca should help.

    another selling point for Seca to me was that the lens wraps around the sides and spills light to the sides:

    http://www.lightandmotion.com/bike/i...00_enviro2.jpg

    which combined with the high position on the helmet should help with side visibility. the Philips also has a glowing ring around the edge for help with side visibility, but the Philips is much lower on the bars.

    BUT THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING ! all of this is just speculation until i put it to the test.

    by the way, my "bike after dark" spoke lights - i have received a tracking number for - but so far the tracking status is "electronic shipping information received" which means that they weren't actually shipped yet, only the tracking number was created so far ...

  13. #13
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    Ordered 2013 model, 400 Lumen Dinotte 400R tail light with 2 cell Lithium battery pack. It states 400 Lumens on it's spec page, while the 300R states 150 Lumens. Judging from the fact that it only has 2.5 hours of burn time from 2 lithium cells i think the 400 Lumen figure is real ! The 300R has 4 hours of burn time from a much smaller internal battery.

    What really convinced me about this light is that the lowest power level is only 10% whereas on the 300R the lowest level is 25%. This means that both 300R and the 2013 400R have 40 Lumen output at the lowest setting, however at the highest setting the 400R has 400 Lumen versus 150 Lumen for the 300R. This means the 400R should not be any more blinding at night than the 300R but should be much more visible in the dusk or daytime than the 300R.

    Also i like that 400R comes with a quick charger, while the 300R you have to use your iPhone charger for, but i already have THREE OTHER USB powered lights on order ( one helmet, and two spoke ) so i don't really have any extra USB chargers.

    Probably the main reason i didn't order the 300R though is because i already had it, so it wouldn't be fun.

    OK this completes my light shopping spree ! Now i just need to wait for the goods to come in.

    So the sum total is:

    Bar: Philips SafeRide: 400 Lumen
    Helmet: Light & Motion Seca 1400: 1400 Lumen
    Helmet Rear: NiteFlux Red Zone 8: 120 Lumen
    Seat Post Tail: Dinotte 400R 2013: 400 Lumen
    Spoke Lights: 2 X Bike After Dark "half wheel" lights ( i'm estimating about 20 Lumens each based on battery size and run time - it doesn't list Lumens )

    So far i have only received the Philips ...

  14. #14
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    update: i received "bike after dark" today. i already installed it, tested it, and even shot the video of it. i will edit the video and upload it, then i will link it.

    i can already tell you this though - this light is BRIGHT ! it is very fragile however - the power switch is the size of the head of a pin ! ! ! i'm not exaggerating ! ! !

  15. #15
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    video is up ! bike after dark spoke lights unboxing, installation and quick demo - YouTube

    if you wan to comment on this particular light i suggest you do it in this thread:

    bike after dark - fireball mark 2

  16. #16
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    OK bad news and my apologies ! My order with Dinotte was placed on hold ( actually it said backorder, but it was a hold ) so i called them to ask what's up. When i ordered in the "note" space i left a typed note saying that "i'm ordering the 2013 model 400 lumen 400R" so that they don't ship me an older model by accident ...

    but it turns out there is no such model ! they screwed up and the 2013 model is only 240 lumen. so when i left the note about 400 lumens they thought * I * made the mistake and really wanted the daytime red light which really is 400 lumen, so they put my order on hold ...

    they said they will fix their store page which incorrectly displayed "400 lumens" in the spec sheet ...

    so the actual numbers are:

    300R - 150 Lumen
    400R ( 2013 Model ) - 240 Lumen
    400R ( Daytime Red ) - 400+ Lumen

    so i will be getting the 240 Lumen one ...

  17. #17
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    OKAY ! ALL THE LIGHTS ARE IN AND I TESTED ALL OF THEM !

    i'm currently working on ( editing ) some other videos for my youtube channel but i do the video on these lights shortly.

    my impressions on all the lights so far:

    BIKE AFTER DARK SPOKE LIGHTS - outstanding ! great great great spoke lights ! bright enough to grab your attention ( not just be "visible" ) from a block away.

    DINOTTE 400R - outstanding ! great great great tail light ! dinotte markets it as night and day light ... i really think you will want more light than this during the day, but it does provide an excellent beam at night - bright and wide enough to make sure it hits the entire width of the road, not just your own lane. unless there is another bike behind me i just use the "high" setting of 240 lumen, but it does also have a gentle 10% power setting that i think could be used during group rides - this is great ! there really is a very serious drop off in output between "medium" setting of 50% and "low" setting of 10% - it is not just a step down, it really dims significantly - this is something i missed in the 300R - all the 3 levels weren't that different from each other.

    PHILIPS SAFERIDE - outstanding ! i did run into 2 problems with the philips so far: 1 - the light will overtime sink down so before every ride you have to readjust it up, but this doesn't require tools and only takes seconds. the 2nd problem is that i depleted 4 x fresh and fully charged Eneloop XX batteries rather quickly. i don't think XX batteries are very good though, i now put the included philips batteries in, but even if the philips batteries are better the battery life is not stellar. with super bright lights like NiteRider 3600 you never use the high power mode so the battery lasts and lasts, but with the philips you are ALWAYS on the high power mode and the battery feels the pain. however since the battery can be replaced with generic NI-MH AA cells when it runs down this is not a huge downside. also when the batteries ran down it didn't cut out - it stepped down to low power, so it isn't a real safety concern.

    the beam pattern on Philips is PERFECT - it puts most of the light with laser precision exactly where you want it, and has just enough of a spill to let others see you without blinding them - pure perfection. this spill however is all going to the front - there is no spill to the sides. the little glow ring was supposed to help with side visibility but it doesn't produce much light at all - which is actually good, because i was worried if it would blind me, but the glow ring is not bright at all and not a problem whatsoever. if this light had a little more power and Li-ion battery it would be priceless, but even as it is - it is very good, especially for the $139 it sells for compared to most other quality lights which sell for $250+

    SECA 1400 on helmet - very good ! not perfect, but it certainly delivers that which it is famous four - the beam pattern. it makes a bit of electrical whine which on the helmet is audible in a room, but not audible when you ride. the Lumens aren't as much as i expected - it is only slightly brighter than my Single XML Fenix TK22 flashlight, which is rated at 650 Lumens. the difference between brightness of TK22 and Seca 1400 is really marginal - maybe somebody i got a used light. i paid $120 for the Fenix and $297 for the Seca, and the Seca runs hot while the Fenix is barely warm so this shows you that Seca 1400 uses LEDs that aren't close to being as efficient as the latest LEDs ... so you may be wondering, why do i still say it is a very good helmet light ?

    because it is quite lightweight and the beam pattern is PERFECT for a helmet light on the road. this may not be the pattern you want on a twisty trail - the pattern is quite tight - you might want a wider pattern on the trail - but on the road Seca 1400 can throw a perfect column of light down the road if i aim my helmet this way, or i can turn my head slightly and get 95% of its light out of the eyes of the drivers in the opposite lane. the beam is tight and perfectly shaped - no rings or artifacts whatsoever ! ! ! exactly what i wanted !

    i certainly wouldn't have minded 2X more brightness, but the next model up, the Seca 1700 while being much brighter ( actual brightness difference between 1400 and 1700 is much more than numbers suggest ) but the 1700 pattern isn't as tight - it is more of a flood pattern than a spot, and i wanted a spot because i didn't want to aggravate any more people than i need to with my beam - i wanted to be able to aim it precisely where it is needed like a sniper, rather than "spray and pray" approach. and the 1400 delivered that pattern.

    this is a great helmet light for road riding ! great great great ! if you want to do trails MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that you get the Seca 1700 instead - you will get wider pattern, much more output and longer battery life per lumen ( more efficient LEDs ).

    NITEFLUX RED ZONE 8: i'm considering returning this light. it is small, light, mounts to helmet great, i sort of need it on back of my helmet to balance out the weight of Seca 1400 on the front. the visibility it provides when set to flash mode and on the back of the helmet is outstanding ! ! ! from the back, even in flash mode, it isn't as bright as 400R - the 400R largely overwhelms it from the back, but the 400R shoots out its beam ONLY to the back and the 400R sits low to the ground where it is easily blocked by cars. the RZ8 sprays in all directions and when it's on the back of the helmet it is higher than most car roofs so you will be seen from all sort of directions with this light from which you wouldn't be seen with 400R. in fact its usable beam is wider than 180 degrees. when i tried it in room at night it was probably projecting about 240 degrees when mounted to the back of helmet, compared to about 45 degrees of dinotte.

    if you could use only one light to make yourself visible the RZ8 would probably be it - it projects in just about all directions ( except front, where you have a headlight ) and it sits high up on the back of your helmet - this light really delivers the conspicuity, and is surprisingly bright for a light that doesn't have any heatsinks. its total output lumens look very comparable to Dinotte - i don't know how it is even possible to put out so much light without a heatsink.

    so why do i consider returning it ? because the F***ING SILICON CAP IS DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO PULL OFF which you need to do in order to charge the light ! i already pulled a muscle trying to get it off and i used vaseline as instructed. terrible, terrible design !

    and it really contrasts with the absolutely perfect feel dinotte cable has when you connect or disconnect it - the dinotte cable sounds like a wet kiss when it makes or breaks contact and the amount of effort is exactly perfect, but this RZ8 cap when you need to take it off it's like your clawing for your life - like trying to get a nail out of a piece of wood with your bare hands. i can't believe they put this thing on the market. they might as well have simply asked you to use a stapler to staple the circuit board to the back of your head !

    this RZ8 in terms of design and build really isn't anywhere near to being on the same planet as something like Dinotte. the Dinotte craftsmaship is truly fapworthy - i actually think it is better than Lupine. I have used Piko 3 last year and Dinotte 400R is BETTER MADE than the Piko ! THAT'S RIGHT. and the 400R is only $189 while Piko is $330. Dinotte 400R quality is head and shoulders above Lupine Piko. YES I SAID IT AGAIN. It's too bad Dinotte doesn't offer headlights with serious Lumens like Lupine's 4500 Lumen upcoming Betty ...

    But the quality of RZ8 is ABYSMAL. The mount works well enough, and the switch works well too, and the unit is really compact and lightweight BUT **** THAT CAP IS TERRIBLE. WORST EVER ! ! ! and it takes quite a long time to charge over USB as well. i couldn't even wait for it to finish charging becaues it was so slow.

    You don't get no manual or even a box with RZ8 - it's just the light in an envelope with a USB cable, and a velcro strap - that's it ! YOU PAY $150 FOR THIS ! with 400R you get a box full of attachments , light, battery, extension cables, SMART CHARGER, the light itself is beautifully machined and all of this is only $189.

    so you're probably thinking - if you don't like it then stop b*tching and just send it back ! the problem is ... there isn't anything to replace it with ! THERE IS NO OTHER LIGHT YOU CAN PUT ON THE BACK OF YOUR HELMET THAT WILL APPROACH THE PERFORMANCE OF RZ8. your choice is basically break your hands trying to get the cap off or get run over by an SUV.

    i'll keep the RZ8 long enough to make the video with all the lights in it, and then i will make the final decision on whether to send it back or not ...

    i know it seems like i made things more complicated than they needed to be, but when you see the video it will make more sense. in the video i will focus on worst case scenarios in terms of conspicuity, such as side visibility as well as having a car between the bike and the camera partially blocking the view - then you will understand the reasoning behind the apparently frivolous complexity of this setup.

  18. #18
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    Simple. The instructions recommends putting vaselene on the usb side cap only. If air pressure prevents that cap from staying put, peel the lip up slightly as you push it to the very end.

  19. #19
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    THE VIDEO IS UP ! ! ! Bike Lights at Dusk in Brooklyn Traffic in the Summer Rain ( Canon Vixia HF M500 ) - YouTube

    note that at several points during the video i would have disappeared from view if not for the helmet lights, because i was behind the row of cars or bushes and only the helmet lights were above it.

    note also that Seca 1400 is visible through MORE than 180 degrees due to its convex front shape, but is only blinding when aimed directly at you.

    the philips saferide was properly aimed down - it's direct beam never hit the camera lens in the video - all the light you saw from it in the video was its spill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    ...the 2nd problem is that i depleted 4 x fresh and fully charged Eneloop XX batteries rather quickly. i don't think XX batteries are very good though, i now put the included philips batteries in, but even if the philips batteries are better the battery life is not stellar.
    Hey androgen,
    If you ever find yourself wanting more battery life on the Philips, it's definitely hackable. Doing a simple electronics change out while adding an external battery is not too bad. Changing out the emitters is a bit of a different story. In case you hadn't already seen it, you might get a kick out of my old thread on the DIY forum where I performed a Saferide conversion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    Hey androgen,
    If you ever find yourself wanting more battery life on the Philips, it's definitely hackable. Doing a simple electronics change out while adding an external battery is not too bad. Changing out the emitters is a bit of a different story. In case you hadn't already seen it, you might get a kick out of my old thread on the DIY forum where I performed a Saferide conversion.
    i know about your SafeRide upgrade / conversion - i think it is very cool, but i don't have the skills to do something like that. that's why i just went with the combo of SafeRide + Seca 1400, and if i'm on MUP i can turn the Seca off, then turn it back on when on the road.

    if it was possible to angle the Philips around its axis ( not just Left-Right ) i might have put two of them on the bar, but my bar is shaped such that unless you put it right next to the center it will be crooked, and the SafeRide is so wide you can't put two of them close to the center.

    if somebody has some kind of accessory rack on their bar maybe they could use two, or three ! saferides.

    i do think that SafeRide is an excellent candidate for modding of course - it has great reflectors and a large metal body for heat dissipation, but both the power output and battery capacity are low.

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    i was just out riding at night and i realized that the Seca 1400 isn't bright enough to work with Philips Saferide !

    last year i had NiteRider Pro 3600 on bar and Piko 3 on helmet, and since my bar light was exactly 4X lumens than my helmet light i could never tell where i even was pointing my helmet light. so this year i made it a point to get a helmet light that's rated at more than double the Lumens of bar light - but guess what ?

    I STILL HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM !

    I still can't see where i'm pointing my helmet light because the bar light is still brighter despite having half the lumens !

    that's because the Philips puts down all the lumens where you see them right in front of you while the Seca projects its Lumens far ahead down the road so actually the Philips looks twice as bright ! and i can't even tell where my Seca is pointed ! ! !

    and if i try to aim the Seca lower to make it brighter then i just get a tiny hotspot in front of me because the Seca is not designed to be aimed down - it's designed to be aimed forward, and it's not bright enough for that ! ! !

    this is even more apparent when watching my own video - when watching the video most of the time i can't see the beam from Seca landing anywhere ! when i made a video of Niterider with the same camera there was a tsunami of light and it was always there, but with the Seca i can't see where it puts down its light at all on the video ! It was supposed to be more than 1/3 the output of NiteRider but it LOOKS as if it has only 1/10th the output.

    This is primarily due to the beam pattern, but also the Lumens were clearly overstated based on my comparison to my Fenix flashlight as well as based on MTBR testing, which puts this claimed 1400 Lumen light at approximately 1100 Lumens which is less than the upcoming Piko ...

    The entire time i was testing the Seca 1400 i had it on max output and the entire time i was thinking to myself - DIM DIM DIM DIM DIM DIM - never NOT ONCE did it look bright to me - the opposite of NiteRider which always looked bright even on 1/8 power.

    I remember when i first turned on NR 3600 i was like HOLY **** this is bright ! And then i realized it was at 1/4 power ! By contrast the first time i turned Seca on i was like hm, this isn't good - the lowest power on Seca is a full 25% so if this is 25% then 100% isn't going to be that much - and then i realized the Seca was ALREADY at 100% but still looking dim !

    the Seca 1400 is SHOCKINGLY DIM. when you turn on a top-of-the-line headlight that comes with a 6 cell lithium battery and it isn't any brighter than your pocket flashlight you know something is wrong ...

    and did i mention ( i know i did ) that despite this pathetic output level the Seca really gives its large heatsink a good workout ? this thing could be a good space heater. it needs a 6 cell lithium pack just to make it 2.5 hours on "high" - what a waste ! the battery is too big to put in a pocket - i thought i was going to get a 3 cell because 2.5 hour run time to me sounded like a 3 cell battery, not a 6 cell battery, but no - i got the 6 cell, and it still only gets an advertised 2.5 hours.

    this light is useless ! its going back first thing tomorrow !

  23. #23
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    i've given up on the idea of finding good spoke lights for the front wheel - i'll just leave it as it is probably.

    on the other hand what do you think about doubling down on the spoke lights on the rear wheel ? have 4 lights instead of 2 there ? aside from doubling the lumens i think this would help with a bit of a strobing problem i'm having - when i ride i can see the light from my rear wheel but it's not even - it is pulsating. i don't see it as pulsating, but every few minutes i look over my shoulder because i think i'm painted by somebody's headlights but it's just my rear wheel - and i think part of the reason for this is that the light is pulsating so the brain detects "motion" when it sees it and begins to worry about cars behind which aren't even there. i think with 4 lights instead of 2 the pulsating nature of the wheel light should go down by a factor of 2X while boosting the lumens 2X at the same time.

    what do you think ?

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    I packed up the Seca 1400 and returned it ...

    and ordered Seca 1700 instead.

    The funny part is that the 1700 actually ended up being 4 dollars cheaper than the 1400 was !

    also the 2014 Seca 2000 is already in stock, but it was outside of my budget.

    you're probably thinking why bother exchanging 1400 for 1700 - that's almost the same number ? but those are "claimed" numbers. MTBR measured 180 Lux for the 1700 versus 112 Lux for the 1400 which is a significant difference. The difference in beam shots also looks significant.

    the 1700 is $319 from treefortbikes with no tax and free shipping ! looks like they are clearing out the inventory because they already have the 2014 Seca 2000 in stock. i think this is a good deal for those of you looking for a light with a good pattern and don't absolutely need to have the latest and greatest model.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails starting all over again from scratch :)-seca.jpg  


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    ordered 2 more "half-wheel" spoke lights from BikeAfterDark. these two will also go on the rear wheel. basically i'm going to leave the front wheel more or less dark as it is so it doesn't distract me. on the other hand i wanted to have 4 spoke lights instead of 2 on the rear wheel, because i thought 2 spoke lights looked odd ( i hope 4 will look more like an actual wheel ) and also because 2 spoke lights produced uneven pulsating light when riding - which i hope will be more even with 4 lights.

    OK hopefully that should do it ! because i am really, REALLY broke at this point !

    when i get the Seca 1700 and the second set of Spoke Lights i will do a new video again. i'll try to make the video different from the last one somehow so it is not excessively boring.

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    Those wheel lights seem to put out a good light patch on the ground. Would you say that's true, and does it aid much in visibility?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    Those wheel lights seem to put out a good light patch on the ground. Would you say that's true, and does it aid much in visibility?
    you have RZ8 and 300R right ? i can make a quick video here in my room to compare the light output of the spoke lights, RZ8 and 400R projected onto my white walls if you want. it would need to wait until the sun sets though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    you have RZ8 and 300R right ? i can make a quick video here in my room to compare the light output of the spoke lights, RZ8 and 400R projected onto my white walls if you want. it would need to wait until the sun sets though.

    Cool. You're right I have now the 300R and RZ8, but also previously had the 400R.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    Cool. You're right I have now the 300R and RZ8, but also previously had the 400R.
    here you go ( NEW VIDEO ) !

    you can open 2 windows side by side and run 2 instances of the video - fast forward one to RZ8 and another to Spoke Lights.



    my analsysis of this is if we take 0 degrees as straight ahead, 90 degrees as straight to the side and 180 degrees as straight back, then somewhere around 50 - 60 degrees there will be a zone where neither the headlight nor RZ8 are very bright, but the spoke lights are still going to be at near full power at those angles. so i think it definitely adds to visibility at an angle such as in the screen shot below. the main advantage of a spoke light however, in my opinion, is that it makes you instantly recognizable as a bike, while something like RZ8 has less "character" to it.

    the only downside to these spoke lights i can tell so far is the light they bounce off the ground. it constantly makes me think i'm being painted with headlights from a car behind me but when i turn around there is nothing there. i hope having 4 spoke lights will help with this by making the light more steady.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails starting all over again from scratch :)-nite-lights-screen-shot.jpg  


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    Ordered a pair of Trek Beacon bar end lights in Mountain Bike flavor.

    I really wanted more lights on the front of the bike because my rear spoke lights are so much brighter than front ones and it really distorts the perception of where my center of gravity is.

    Now i will have to wait for these as well before i can do a video.


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    Excellent video, thanks for your efforts. It will influence my future light upgrades. I hope the wheel lights provide adequate longevity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    Excellent video, thanks for your efforts. It will influence my future light upgrades. I hope the wheel lights provide adequate longevity.
    there is very little feedback on these wheel lights, but from what little feedback i did see i believe ( if i remember correctly ) a user broke the USB charging port on his light - so i try to be careful with that. maybe he mounted the light in a way that limited access to the USB port - this happened to me when i first mounted them, so i had to re-position them on the wheel.

    the company that makes these Kineteka Systems - Innovation. Technology. is based in Texas but it seems they have no experience with any outdoor products - so the ability of this light to resist the elements is suspect even though it is billed as " water resistant " ...

    i believe i referred to it as "waterproof" in my unboxing video, but i just checked the actual language is "water resistant" whatever that means ...

    there are no visible signs of any attempts at waterproofing on this product ...

    i don't use my bike for commuting so the lack of any visible waterproofing didn't put me off as i don't plan to ride in the rain on any regular basis ...

    for somebody who would actually ride in the rain on regular basis i think it would be somewhat an experiment to see how long these hold up. i did ride in the rain for a few minutes in that one video i made and so far they work, but this could be the difference between "water resistant" and "water proof" i think ...

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    I'll stick with what I have for now, but will get the 400+Lu 400R eventually. I consider my original magicshine, and the RZ8/300R to be a pretty good setup. Wouldn't be surprised if something more advanced came out in the meantime.

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    Have a look at this tail light mate. It's the "AfterBlaasta" made in New Zealand.
    It truly looks like it would have a 360 deg beam.
    I don't have personal experience with this light, though I've used other Nightlightning products before.
    Eric (who owns the company) can fit the light with way more than the standard 3 red XPE's if you want - I think up to about 12!
    I reckon it would be the PERFECT city tail light. Although the frosted lens would absorb a fair percentage of the output, the net result could come close to that of the Dinotte 400R but in every direction.
    They have a distributor in the USA called XC Leds.
    When you are ready to spend some more money in your quest for the perfect rear lighting set-up give it some thought. I'm going to be getting one for myself soon that Eric will build to the maximum specs for me.

    p.s The only downside I can see is the fact that you'll have come up with your own mounting system.

    Lights

    http://www.nightlightning.co.nz/Aftablaasta.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post


    Interesting. Since I was already an early adopter of the RZ8, which we have come to realize does not come close to 400 Lu, I look forward to your input!

    Btw, the RZ8 mounted easily.



    IMG_0474 by pigmode, on Flickr

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    it would be interesting if they made a lightweight, helmet mounted version of such a 360 degree light, so you could put it not at the back, but on top of the helmet and project in all directions. like a beacon.

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    OK i received the Seca 1700 ( and also the refund for the 1400 ). The unboxing video for the 1700 is already on YouTube but it doesn't feature any demonstrations because i had to charge the battery first:



    However since making the video i have had the chance to try the light out indoors ( the sun was already up by then ) and it produces a much fuller light. The beam of 1400 seems anorexic by comparison - too thin and weak. The 1700 light is much much better.

    Another positive is that when i put it next to my ear it is silent - the 1400 made a high pitch whine which i wasn't happy about.

    On the other hand the 1700 makes a squeaking noise when you press the power button, which of course is not sexy, but oh well.

    The LEDs on the 1700 look huge - they almost look bigger than XMLs - of course the Seca only gets 300 Lumens out of each LED so i don't know what's up with that. But i like the idea of not driving LEDs to the max - this should help with longevity of the light hopefully.

    6 hour charger is disappointing but i guess i'll have to live with it. I am spoiled by much faster chargers from Niterider, Lupine and Dinotte.

  38. #38
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    EDIT: sorry, this thread tree structure really confuses me.
    Last edited by androgen; 08-05-2013 at 02:32 AM.

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    UPDATE ON RED ZONE 8 !

    I FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE THE CAP WORK !

    ok so you need to do 3 things to make it work:

    1 - don't put the cap on until right before your ride. store the RZ8 with the cap OFF.

    2 - when it is time to ride, you have to apply a lot of Vaseline - not just a little bit - but as much as you reasonably can. i apply vaseline both to the cap and to the light itself, and then remove excess using Q-Tips and Paper Towels.

    3 - you have to take the cap off IMMEDIATELY after you finish the ride. don't leave the cap on till next day. the Vaseline dissolves into the silicone cap and if you wait long enough you will be basically trying to pull the cap off without any lubrication.

    basically you have to beat the clock here - apply more Vaseline than the cap will be able to absorb by the time you need to take it off.

    when i first tried to remove RZ8 i had used a little bit of vaseline and i had let it stay on for a day or two - as a result when i was pulling it off both sides started coming off with equal difficulty - and that's a problem - if the wrong cap comes off you will have nothing to pull on to get the right one off ! ! !

    both sides were coming off equally hard because the button side has no vaseline, but the USB side had most of the vaseline absorb into it.

    but today when i did it right ( used a lot of Vaseline and took the cap off within 2 hours or so from applying the Vaseline ) the USB side cap came off without excessive effort while the Button side cap didn't move at all.

    so the Verdict is - this design works, but only if you do it right - it really doesn't help that the light doesn't come with a manual. they should really include the vaseline with it, and a huge warning label to not put on the cap without it. but of course these characters don't even include a box - they just ship the $150 light in an envelope.

    when you do it right the cap still takes maybe 10 seconds to come off, but it's 10 seconds of moderate effort versus several minutes of very high effort if you don't do it right.

  40. #40
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    I have to say though the only benefit to Red Zone 8 is for helmet use.

    Because if you compare it to a tail light like Dinotte 400R its not as well designed, not as well made, and not as powerful. If you compare the two, the RZ8 should cost half as much as 400R, but it costs almost the same.

    And if you compare the RZ8 to side lights like a pair Fireball MK2 spoke lights - while both are neither well designed nor made a pair of Fireballs puts out more light than RZ8 overall, and puts out several times more light than RZ8 sideways, becaues Fireball puts almost all of its light sideways while RZ8 only puts about 20% of its light sideways. And to add insult to injury - a pair of Fireballs is much cheaper than a single RZ8.

    So the Dinotte 400R beats RZ8 hands down as a tail light, and Fireball beats beats RZ8 hands down for side visibility. When i rode today i looked at my reflections in parked cars and it was the Fireball that i saw more so than any other light.

    The only area where RZ8 shines is its high-mounting point on the helmet. While the 400R and Fireball are both brighter in direct line of sight their advantage vanishes as soon as something blocks this direct line of sight while the helmet-mounted RZ8 is still visible.

    So my verdict is if you're not going to helmet mount the RZ8 there are better solutions for both side and rear visibility ( mentioned above ). However as a helmet light the RZ8 is still king.

    Dinotte has 2 LEDs but they are mounted on a massive heatsink. Fireball doesn't have a heatsink but a pair of Fireballs pack 80 LEDs so even without a heatsink they can put out a lot of light. The RZ8 has 4 LEDs and no heatsink - physics here tells us there is simply no way to get much light out of this setup before the LEDs burn out - and reality proves this to be the case - this light isn't very bright, and worst of all because it tries to provide both rear and side visibility at once it fails at both because it really only has enough power to do one of those things.

    But the height to which it is mounted makes up for all of its shortcomings - if you choose to mount it this way. If you mount it on your seat post or bottom of your seat you're just wasting your money.

    The RZ8 is not any dimmer than i expected, but it is also not any brighter. The fireball on the other hand is brighter than i expected. I thought the promo video for the fireball was some kind of trickery and that it wasn't really that bright - but it is. However i wouldn't rely on it for all of my side visibility because of how low to the ground spoke lights are - i would still put an RZ8 on the helmet for backup when you are behind an obstacle.

    Once again - on the helmet in flashing mode - the RZ8 is worth its weight in gold. On the seatpost in steady mode - waste of money.

  41. #41
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    Well my Bike After Dark order for second set of spoke lights is still "processing" six days after i placed it. I sent them an e-mail asking them to cancel the order. I hope it gets cancelled.

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    UPDATE: Ordered 2 X Monkeylectric M232 spoke lights for the front wheel.

    i really like what Bike After Dark fireball is doing on my real wheel A LOT ! but it's too damn bright to be put on the front wheel - i would go blind - it is painful to look at. So i was looking for something similar but less bright and preferably dimmable and i couldn't find anything more suitable than Monkeylectric.

    i knew about Monkeylectric last year but i didn't want to get it because i didn't want any color designs or anything like that - when i discovered Bike After Dark Fireball i was super excited ( and still am ! ) because it was basically MonkeyLectric but cheaper, lighter, brighter and without any of the nonsense that i didn't want like changing color patterns.

    but the advantage of the Fireball ( massive output from a minimalistic design ) is also its disadvantage - because there is no way to dim this light - there is only an ON/OFF switch.

    the Monkeylectric on the other hand is inherently dimmer because it runs off AA batteries versus Lithium cell of the Fireball, and then you can further dim it because it has a "high" and "low" modes whereas Fireball only has "ludicrous" mode.

    you might be thinking - didn't you already have dim spoke lights on the front ( cateye orbits ) and the answer is of course yes. but the Orbits are so dim that when paired with Fireball on the back it looks like i am a Unicycle. i want something on the front that is bright enough to be seen next to the Fireball on the rear wheel, but not so bright as to blind myself. I have no real way of knowing if MonkeyLectric m232 will deliver this, but there is only one way to find out.

    PS: i needed two M232s for balance, as they are pretty heavy. i would guess they are probably 4X heavier than Fireball or more, but we'll see.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    Once again - on the helmet in flashing mode - the RZ8 is worth its weight in gold. On the seatpost in steady mode - waste of money.



    Imo, that would be an exaggeration.

    Now I cannot recommend (but would not discourage) buying an RZ8, mainly for lens material durability, its lumen sapping opaqueness, and it current going price. Otoh at the introductory price of $100 I'm pretty pleased to use the RZ8 alone, or as a light system multiplier, and for its convenience. The RZ8 puts out great visibility.

    I use it below the saddle and on the seatpost. Of course I don't use a standard 400R anymore, and I know you're not too hot on the 300R. My experience in the real world ( as opposed to lumen ratings) is the 300R is 90% as effective as the 400R in terms of visibility.

    Furthermore I'm surprised at the lack of mentioning of the Dinotte's very effective flash mode where the light stays on between pulses. I personally choose this over the christmas tree concept. ymmv




    Again these pics which show first, the RZ8 saddle mounted on top, and 300R seatpost mounted. Below, the 300R alone.
    starting all over again from scratch :)-93xl.jpg

    starting all over again from scratch :)-n3j4.jpg

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    I agree the difference between 300R and 400R is not going to be noticeable unless you compare them side by side - they look very similar. I think both lights are top notch - just a matter of what you're looking for.

    As for Dinotte flash modes - yes they are very sexy - but i prefer not to use flash modes unless i feel the light isn't bright enough to be visible without them - and with 400R i feel it is visible enough on steady WHERE I RIDE. I haven't even tried the flash mode on the 400R yet, but i have tried them on 300R and they were very nice - the 400R should have the same modes i think.

    as for RZ8 yes for the introductory price you got it for it makes much more sense. also since you don't have any dedicated side lighting ( from what i can tell ) you do need something with wider beam than 300R to increase your coverage, because 300R and 400R despite having a very wide beam do not have much spill.

    as for your photos - they are misleading because the RZ8 is physically much wider than the 300R so the halo in the photo looks bigger, but that's not because of more light - just because of larger size of the light source.

    however i will give you this - in flash mode the RZ8 may be close to 300R but in steady mode the RZ8 is nowhere near 400R. since you probably use flash all the time i guess you don't care about the steady mode, but i use Dinotte in steady all the time so for me it matters.

    perhaps we are not disagreeing - but simply talking about different things. i am thinking more about steady mode and you more about flash.

    i wouldn't feel safe with only 300R/400R due to the lack of spill. you added the spill via RZ8. my preferred way would have been with the Fireball spoke lights, because they compliment the Dinotte well. To me it just makes more sense to aim one light ( Dinotte ) back and one ( Fireball ) sideways, rather than aim both lights ( Dinotte and NiteFlux ) backwards. But that's me ! I ride in the city where there are more intersections than there is road so i am more concerned about side visibility than rear visibility.

    your choice may be perfectly logical for where you ride given the introductory price you paid. most of the time i just write what comes to my mind at the moment - what i say may not be true for everybody in every scenario.

    i guess the reason i'm biased against RZ8 is because i never see its output. because its mounted to the back of my helmet no matter where i turn my head the RZ8 automatically turns in the opposite direction so i never see what it is doing, and my mind is starting to think that it's not doing much at all. but this could be entirely an illusion ! however the videos i made could be an illusion as well because of the limited dynamic range of cameras !

    so it is really quite difficult to judge. i just offer my opinion but it really is just an opinion - nothing more.

    in fact i was wrong. you're right. now that i think about it the RZ8 holds its own even when on the seatpost. i was basically so down on RZ8 because of the ratio of price to build quality, but at the end of the day it's the performance, not build quality that matters. and RZ8 can do something very unique - step output up from 120 to 400 lumens when in flash mode - the Dinotte cannot do this, so while the Dinotte heat sinking affords it an advantage - it is only an advantage in steady mode which you're not going to use. basically the Dinotte is better made but the RZ8 is more clever.

    please accept my apologies - my analysis was crap - the RZ8 is actually a solid product, even on the seatpost - i just allowed myself to mistake my emotions and impressions for facts and logic. again, i apologize.

    thank you for pointing out my mistake.

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    No apologies needed.

    Its pretty clear that you're super focused on setting up for your own street environment, and we all tend to pick and choose certain light characteristics that *we* feel are the best for our own safety.

    Very helpful write ups, descriptions, and analyses from you over all. Thanks!

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    Installed Trek Beacon bar end lights today. Here is the Unboxing video, and some pics:



    starting all over again from scratch :)-trek-beacon.jpg

    the pic below with the Beacons on was taken at 7.45 AM as far as i remember. so it is early morning, but it's not dawn any more.

    starting all over again from scratch :)-trek-beacon.jpg

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    so i was able to get through to Bike After Dark to cancel my second order of their spoke lights. i still think these lights are super-awesome, rather my plans changed for reasons that have nothing to do with this light.

    my plan was to put a second pair of spoke lights on the back wheel to eliminate the pulsing nature of having 2 bright spoke lights on a wheel.

    but then i ordered two MonkeyLectric lights for the front wheel, and these will provide all sorts of flashy light right on the front wheel to the point where it simply didn't make any sense to worry about any flashing light coming from the rear wheel - so i had to cancel the second pair of Fireballs. not to mention, i needed the money.

    now Amazon is playing mind games on me again. when i ordered Seca from them it said "shipping now" for 4 days before i called them to ask what was up and they said everything was fine and it finally shipped the next day. well the Monkeylectric has been "shipping now" for two full days now. history is repeating itself. damn Amazon and their "free super saver shipping" they should call it "free super snail shipping"

    PS: the tree structure of this forum is killing me ! i keep trying to reply to my original post and it keeps replying to my last post. how do i reply to my original post ?

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    well, the MonkeyLectric M232s are on !

    i counted the spokes to make sure the 2 lights are mounted in a perfectly symmetrical fashion. ( it may not look this way because spokes are not in a plane ). there are also two battery cages on the hub with 3 x AA eneloops in each.

    the reason i mounted them relatively close to center has to do with spoke arrangement. this is the position in which i felt the light was most securely mounted.

    each battery cage can drive two lights, so i could have left one of them off, but i wanted symmetry. the extra outputs would allow you to install 4 lights on a wheel even though you can only mount two battery cages max. however if you need four Monkey Lights per well you might as well go for the Monkey Pro light, which is way better.





    it is not far behind the Fireball in terms of Lumens and then it flashes different colors while the Fireball is steady white.

    the build quality difference is night and day - MonkeyLectric quality feels military grade - it feels as well made as Dinotte or Lupine. by contrast the Fireball quality is the absolute bare minimum that they could get away with and still have it work. when it comes to build quality there can simply be no comparison between the two.

    but the Fireball has a few tricks up its sleeve:

    1 - when the cost of AA rechargeables ( that you provide yourself ) is included the MonkeyLectric costs almost double the Fireball

    2 - the Fireball provides similar conspicuity as MonkeyLectric in a package that weighs about ONE FIFTH as much as MonkeyLectric, is free from any cables, and is much less noticeable on your bike when it's not on.

    3 - the Fireball is simply much less likely to attract the attention of thieves because it doesn't look as fancy ( both when its on and when its off )

    4 - the row of LEDs on the fireball is 1.5 X longer than on M232 , and it has 40 LEDs compared to MonkeyLectric's 32 although obviously MonkeyLectric's LEDs are full-color so in actuality it is 32 x 3 LEDs, but if we're talking about dots of light then Fireball has more.

    in some sense Fireball is more like a Road Bike and MonkeyLectric is more like a MTB

    of course i will be making videos when i get the chance.
    Last edited by androgen; 08-10-2013 at 07:55 PM.

  49. #49
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    quick video before i go to bed:



    and i'm out to sleep ...

  50. #50
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    OK here is the new video with the MonkeyLights, the Seca 1700 and the Trek Beacons:

    This video shows the lights in different lighting conditions from early dusk to solid night.


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    Ordered a second Seca 1700 Race, identical to the first, from the same store ( TreeFortBikes ). Will attempt to put both of them on the Helmet, see what happens.

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    one cool feature of MonkeyLectric is the ability to choose the color scheme. by default it is set to "random" so it shows different rainbow colors as you ride, but i have now set mine to violet-blue because i feel that color stands out the best against predominantly yellow lights at night. it doesn't look as pretty as when set to random, but i don't want to look like a disco anyway.

  53. #53
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    just placed an order for a 6 cell light and motion battery and a light and motion charger appropriate for that battery.

    so instead of having two Seca 1700 lights with 1.5 hour burn time each ( 3 cell battery each ) now i should have one Seca 1700 light with 3 hour burn time ( 6 cell battery ) and one with 1.5 + 1.5 hour burn time ( two 3 cell batteries, which i will need to switch mid-way through the ride ).

    so the effective burn time on both Seca 1700 that i have on the helmet now should be 3 hours.

    also all 3 batteries should charge in 6 hours because each one will be on its own charger.

    can't wait. it was pissing me off having to run the lights at 1/2 power to extend run time.

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    Can you tell me what the seca 1700 weighs with 6 cell battery and mounts? How about the head by itself with helmet mount?

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    With the purchase of the 6 cell does that put you at about the price of a seca 2000 enduro? But then again that would only be one 2000 lumen enduro... Would you still desire 2 2000 lumen enduros on your helmet?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Can you tell me what the seca 1700 weighs with 6 cell battery and mounts? How about the head by itself with helmet mount?
    Light & Motion Seca 1700 ? 2013 Mtbr Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

    MTBR already weighed everything. except the 6 cell battery, which i don't have yet, but i assume it will weigh about 80% more than a 3 cell battery.

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    Thanks for the link and info.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    With the purchase of the 6 cell does that put you at about the price of a seca 2000 enduro? But then again that would only be one 2000 lumen enduro... Would you still desire 2 2000 lumen enduros on your helmet?
    i paid $235 for a 6 cell battery and charger ( $171 for Battery, $55 Charger, $9 Shipping ) and $319 for each 1700 Race. so altogether i paid $873 and this is total price including any shipping or tax.

    this gives me 6 hours of run time on both lights ( once i actually receive it that is )

    by comparison 2 X Seca 2000 Enduro would have cost 1,138 ( 2 x $569 ) which is about $250 more, but it would be slightly brighter and i would not have to deal with switching batteries mid-ride, as i would have 2 X 6 cell batteries instead of 2 x 3 cell plus 1 x 6 cell.

    very soon for about what 2 x Seca 2000 Enduro costs now you will be able to pick up a 4500 Lumen Lupine Betty. in my opinion 2 x Seca 2000 will provide much better light, and will be able to maintain its output at much lower speeds, however the Betty will have better features such as wireless switch, battery life indicators on the battery etc. both solutions have their cons and pros IMO.

    i don't know how much brighter the 2000 is compared to 1700. when i have two 1700 on full power i feel like i'm close to where i need to be, but not quite there. i doubt two 2000 would be significantly different.

    the beam of the 1700 is much wider than of 1400 but is still narrow in its brightest part. we will probably need to wait for something like Seca 3000 before the beam is wide enough. 2 x Seca 3000 would probably be just right. this would be the equivalent of HID car headlights. as it is right now 2 x Seca 1700 is just as bright as car HID headlights, but the beam is much narrower. it would be nice if they could keep the same brightness of the beam in the center but make the bright part of the beam 50% wider - as i said this would probably require the output of each light to go up to about 3000.

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    Seca 3000... that starts to bring you back around to the light you had previously in the NiteRider 3600. that would be a ton of light to have 2 of those. With all that bright light on your helmet do you have issues with bugs/nats/etc being attracted to the light?

    You mentioned you noticed a big difference between the 1400 and 1700 so it may be realistic to see a similiar change in output and beam pattern from the 1700 to the seca 2000. Then times that by 2 and you may be much closer to your requirement while still having good slow speed heat management.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Seca 3000... that starts to bring you back around to the light you had previously in the NiteRider 3600. that would be a ton of light to have 2 of those. With all that bright light on your helmet do you have issues with bugs/nats/etc being attracted to the light?

    You mentioned you noticed a big difference between the 1400 and 1700 so it may be realistic to see a similiar change in output and beam pattern from the 1700 to the seca 2000. Then times that by 2 and you may be much closer to your requirement while still having good slow speed heat management.
    Seca 1400 measured about 1200 on MTBR while Seca 1700 measured 1800. even if 2000 measures at 2200 ( which is highly unlikely ) it still would be only 20% difference versus 50% difference between 1700 and 1400.

    as for the NiteRider - yes i had a 3600 lumen niterider and now i have 3600 lumen Seca ( 2 x 1800 measured lumen lights ) so actually i do have the same lumens now as with the niterider, but it doesn't look nearly as bright. i think the difference has to come down to the beam pattern. the NR used the lumens to blind you and everybody else, while the Seca uses them to make you see better, farther. the NR appears brighter, but 2 X Seca on the helmet is much more useful than 1 X NR on the bar. at least in the city. in the woods the NR on the bar will probably be great, because it sprays light in all directions which is what you want if you're going slow on a twisty path. but if you're going fast on a straight road you want the narrower beam of the Seca.

    as for the bugs, yes they are attracted to the light, but as i ride in the city it is not a big problem. it maybe a problem if your trail is in an area with a lot of bugs i guess.

    one unexpected downside to a powerful helmet light you see the air itself light up and obstruct the view somewhat. it doesn't happen so much with a bar light because the light is not so close to your eyes.

    also street signs that are reflective look so bright sometimes it is almost impossible to tell what they say because of how bright they look - once again - that's because the light is so close to the eyes so the new, efficient prismatic reflectors look extremely bright. on the other hand you will never miss a sign this way, a prismatic one anyway.

    i do feel that 2 X Seca 1700 run cooler than 1 X NR Pro 3600. the NR Pro and Lupine lights push the limits in terms of cooling - they barely have enough cooling for their power, whereas the Seca seems to take it easy - it seems to have plenty of cooling for the amount of heat it generates.

    i think what happened is that with each generation NR and Lupine upped the watts in effort to win the Lumen race whereas the Seca has kept watts the same or even lowered them so as a result the Seca doesn't have anywhere near the Lumens of the other big boys, but it runs cooler. basically the Seca doesn't compete on Lumens whereas NR and Lupine do.

  61. #61
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    I have generally found that the proper ratio for helmet light to bar light is about 1:2. So, for a 3000 lumen bar light, I'd want a 1500 lumen helmet light. I also prefer the helmet light to have a tighter beam than the bar light.

    For riding in the summer, I do not like to have a helmet light on very high. I can't stand it when I "see the air" as androgen says. I think it causes a lot of detail to be lost. If you ride where it's dusty or where the humidity is high, then I think this is a problem. Those environments are generally mutually exclusive so if you don't have one, you have the other. I think it would be very difficult to find a place where this isn't an issue with big lumens. I didn't find it to be much of a problem at about 750 lumens but at 1500 lumens it is a distinct problem.

    Bugs are a big issue here. I find that when I ride in late summer with a bright helmet light, I get an excessive number of bug hits on the glasses. It's not pleasant at all. Until the bugs start to drop off, I tend to either forgo the helmet light or keep it on low in comparison to the bar light. Helmet lights really cause the insects to key in on your face and head. Hint: do not ride with your mouth open.

    What I'm running now is a 2400 lumen Lupine Wilma on the bars and a 750 Lupine Piko on the helmet although for riding in the dark so far this summer, I've left the helmet light off entirely due to bugs. In the next several weeks the peak of the bug season should be gone and I'm looking hard at going to the 1200 lumen Lupine Piko for the helmet light since the 750 Piko is kind of lost in the Wilma beam.

    If anyone is interested, I have a 1500 lumen Wilma that I'd part with (light only).

    J.

  62. #62
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    Battery and Charger shipped. Tracking information estimates delivery on the 18th ( next Wed ).

  63. #63
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    Just received my new 6 cell Light & Motion battery and 1.5 Amp charger. It's charging up. I actually ran out of space on the surge protector i'm using for my bike lights:



    the new charger is too big to fit in that space that was left, so i had to put this one on a different power strip:



    theoretically this charger should be able to charge this cell up in 4 hours. the chargers that come with the Race model are only 0.5 Amp, but they also only need to charge a 3 cell, and they are rated to do it in 6 hours.

    i just ordered some power strip liberators:


    Amazon.com: Ziotek ZT1212518 Power Strip Liberator Plus with Pass Through, 5-Pack: Home Improvement

    so that i would be able to actually plug all of my bike light chargers into the same power strip. hopefully that will help me keep track of things.

  64. #64
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    Is it really necessary to bump your threads to the top of the forum with pictures of chargers plugged into the power strip?

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    I actually ran out of space on the surge protector i'm using for my bike lights so i had to put this one on a different power strip.
    Why not to connect one to the another?

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Is it really necessary to bump your threads to the top of the forum with pictures of chargers plugged into the power strip?
    thank you for bumping my thread !

  67. #67
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    received an extra surge protector and two packs of ziotek liberators ( they are surprisingly well made )

    was thus able to once again consolidate all of the bike chargers in one area

    i organized it so that all of the lights that charge while on the bike plug into the yellow surge protector, and all of the lights / batteries that are from the helmet plug into the white surge protector. also the AA and 18650 cell chargers will plug into the white surge protector.

    the black nitecore 18650 charger i don't actually use for the bike, its for the flashlight, but it was a logical place for it anyway.

    that big white bottle is vaseline for the cap on Red Zone 8, and the paper towel is to wipe excess off ...



    actually there is still one other charger i use for the monkeylectric AA cells, but because it does double duty also charging the cell for my wireless mouse it will stay in its original location:



    also since my hydration pack is now strapped to my helmet with a bunch of wires ( night AND day ) i needed something else for the phone, so i got a maxpedition versipack octa fanny pack:



    i already rode with it - i really like it - its handy ! i will definitley use it next time i ride. its much faster / easier to access than the hydration pack, and it provides plenty of extra organization for your various items.

    yes i could use a frame bag, but i wanted the phone on my body so i could plug in a headset and not be tethered to the bike.

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    All I can say, is OMG!

    J.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    ...also since my hydration pack is now strapped to my helmet with a bunch of wires ( night AND day ) i needed something else for the phone, so i got a maxpedition versipack octa fanny pack....

    ...I could use a frame bag, but i wanted the phone on my body so i could plug in a headset and not be tethered to the bike.
    Well I guess this makes it official; You are now "The Lord of the Wired Helmet". As I write this I remove my tin-foiled cap, bow my knee and utter the words, "I am not worthy oh luminous one". Shine on with more insight into the new sport you have created, "Glow-biking".

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Well I guess this makes it official; You are now "The Lord of the Wired Helmet". As I write this I remove my tin-foiled cap, bow my knee and utter the words, "I am not worthy oh luminous one". Shine on with more insight into the new sport you have created, "Glow-biking".
    never underestimate the power of the helmet !


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    Can we get a picture of this set up on androgen?

    J.

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    ordered 2 more MonkeyLectric M232 spoke lights and a 8 pack of Eneloop rechargeables.

    i am disappointed with Bike After Dark Fireball spoke lights ( don't hold charge, run down too fast ) and will be removing them.

    will run MonkeyLectric M232 on both wheels, 2 on each for balance.

    i considered whether to go with Eneloop or Eneloop XX and decided to go with regular Eneloop as it will provide enough run time in this application and has 1500 recharge cycles versus 500 for Eneloop XX.

    MonkeyLectric M232 is $59 right now from Amazon. was $75 when i got the first pair. there is a lot of design and engineering that you will get for that $59 ! problem is that you need 4 of them for a full bike setup, plus 12 AA Ni-Mh cells, plus a good AA charger, so let's say the total will be $300 to outfit your bike properly with MonkeyLights.

    and even though there are cheaper ways to get good side visibility, like NiteFlux Red Zone 8 which is $150 there is really nothing like spoke lights. nothing else will make you instantly recognizable as a bicycle the way spoke lights will.

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    Picture please.

    J.

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    just received a box from Amazon: my second pair of MonkeyLectric M232s and a 8 pack of Sanyo Eneloops to power them:



    will be removing Bike After Dark Fireball spoke lights as soon as i have some help to install the MonkeyLectric because it does help to have extra hands for this.

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    Fireballs are Removed. I made a video "review" but it's not a real review - just a video of me removing them while talking about why i'm removing them and why i would not recommend them to anybody.


  76. #76
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    MonkeyLectric M232 Installed ( 2 on each wheel ) :

    there is now a total of 12 AA Eneloops powering the spoke lights ( 3 in series on each light ). that's 28 watt-hours of battery capacity on the spoke lights. it would be 38 watt-hours with a high capacity AA rechargeables, but considering that there is about ~ 10 hours of battery run time on high, i didn't see the point in going with high capacity batteries in this application.


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    here is the new video i made yesterday. it shows all the lights i'm using right now including the Dosun D400, 4 X MonkeyLectric M232 and 2 X Seca 1700:


  78. #78
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    decided against adding any more blinkys at this time. no money, and too many potential problems with installation and blinding people.

    ordered another Light & Motion 6 cell battery and 1.5 amp charger.

    damn what a ripoff. i wish i had gotten the Enduro to begin with. battery plus charger costs almost as much as the whole light system! i was an idiot to think 1.5 hours would be enough !

    so anyway, this should upgrade my run time from 3 hours to 4.5 hours. i only really need 3 hours, but that leaves me no reserve. with 4.5 hours i should have reserve plus i should have symmetry - same batteries on both lights. up until this point i was using a 6 cell on one light and two 3 cells on the other. with the extra battery i will have more options, and less switching batteries.

    with the extra batteries i should be able to:

    1 - take 2 x 3 cell for 1.5 hours
    2 - take 2 x 6 cell for 3 hours
    3 - take 2 x 6 cell plus 2 x 3 cell for 4.5 hours

    can't wait ... of course as always i used free shipping so it will probably take forever LOL

    EDIT: SENT E-MAILS TO THE TWO STORES TO REQUEST CANCELLATION OF THE ORDER because i discovered a way to mount 400R to the back of the helmet !

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    decided against adding any more blinkys at this time. no money, and too many potential problems with installation and blinding people.

    ordered another Light & Motion 6 cell battery and 1.5 amp charger.

    damn what a ripoff. i wish i had gotten the Enduro to begin with. battery plus charger costs almost as much as the whole light system! i was an idiot to think 1.5 hours would be enough !

    so anyway, this should upgrade my run time from 3 hours to 4.5 hours. i only really need 3 hours, but that leaves me no reserve. with 4.5 hours i should have reserve plus i should have symmetry - same batteries on both lights. up until this point i was using a 6 cell on one light and two 3 cells on the other. with the extra battery i will have more options, and less switching batteries.

    with the extra batteries i should be able to:

    1 - take 2 x 3 cell for 1.5 hours
    2 - take 2 x 6 cell for 3 hours
    3 - take 2 x 6 cell plus 2 x 3 cell for 4.5 hours

    can't wait ... of course as always i used free shipping so it will probably take forever LOL

    EDIT: SENT E-MAILS TO THE TWO STORES TO REQUEST CANCELLATION OF THE ORDER because i discovered a way to mount 400R to the back of the helmet !
    So are you going to order the 400r daytime instead of the additional batteries?

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    If you were trying not to blind anyone, you didn't meet that goal.

    J.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    So are you going to order the 400r daytime instead of the additional batteries?
    i will try to cancel the batteries, then if at that point i'm not homeless yet i will try to order the daytime red.

    the daytime red should increase safety at dusk.

    at night regular 400R is bright enough i think.

    even if i never go through with any of this i could still make a video of the 400R on the helmet just to test if it would be effective or not in that location.

    we'll see what happens ...

  82. #82
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    Androgen nice job on the video and your bike looks like a carnival on wheels. As for runtime, do you really use full power all the time on your lights? Medium power should be more than enough for most situations. I usually can go for 3-4 rides between charges and my rides last close to 2 hours each. I adjust my lights power level as needed. If I ran on full power I would have to charge them after each ride. My bar light and helmet light combined are 3,000 lumens and it is rare that I need full power on both. Usually about half of that is plenty and many times I get by fine with about 500 lumens. For the most part I run an older Lupine Betty on the bars and a Gloworm X2 on the helmet. I also have a spare Gloworm X 2, a Magicshine, and a Lupine Wilma that don't get much use, but I think I might mount all my lights one night for the heck of it and all combined they should be approaching 6,000 lumens.

    There is no doubt that you are extremely visible from any angle, and completely blinding from the front. I particularly like the red zone mounted to the helmet for all around visibility.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    Androgen nice job on the video and your bike looks like a carnival on wheels. As for runtime, do you really use full power all the time on your lights? Medium power should be more than enough for most situations. I usually can go for 3-4 rides between charges and my rides last close to 2 hours each. I adjust my lights power level as needed. If I ran on full power I would have to charge them after each ride. My bar light and helmet light combined are 3,000 lumens and it is rare that I need full power on both. Usually about half of that is plenty and many times I get by fine with about 500 lumens. For the most part I run an older Lupine Betty on the bars and a Gloworm X2 on the helmet. I also have a spare Gloworm X 2, a Magicshine, and a Lupine Wilma that don't get much use, but I think I might mount all my lights one night for the heck of it and all combined they should be approaching 6,000 lumens.

    There is no doubt that you are extremely visible from any angle, and completely blinding from the front. I particularly like the red zone mounted to the helmet for all around visibility.
    why would you not want to recharge the batteries after every ride ? laziness or trying to increase longevity of the batteries ?

    i only start to lower the output if i think there is any chance to run out of battery life on the ride. so for example my last night ride was 3 hours on 3 hour battery life and i ran on full power for about 2 hours with the remainder or lower power. i also reduce power or turn off completely on narrow paths such as bridges, and whatever other situations call for it.

    the only light where i feel i have "enough" brightness is the Dinotte 400R at night. on all other lights i wish i had more.

    but that's part of my personality though. i cannot stand moderation. it just bothers me.

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    Well I have gotten 6 years out of my Lupine battery packs and they are still going so I think that the way you can extend the battery life quite a bit by only using the amount of output that each situation calls for. You know how much it costs to replace a Lupine battery so if the batteries last longer then all the better. For me to use full output I have to be moving very fast down a hill to feel it's necessary otherwise it seems like a waste of battery. One thing that makes it easier to adjust the power level often is that my Lupines and Gloworms all have external switches that can mount in easier to reach locations either on the bar or helmet. It would be annoying for me now to have to use a light with the power button built into the light head itself after being spoiled by the external switches that I am so used to.

  85. #85
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    I just remembered another reason why I don't like running full power sometimes is because once you do your night vision gets messed up and you can't see anything outside of what your own lights are illuminating. If it is a full moon out I enjoy riding with minimal lighting so that I can see what is outside of my lighting also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    Well I have gotten 6 years out of my Lupine battery packs and they are still going so I think that the way you can extend the battery life quite a bit by only using the amount of output that each situation calls for. You know how much it costs to replace a Lupine battery so if the batteries last longer then all the better. For me to use full output I have to be moving very fast down a hill to feel it's necessary otherwise it seems like a waste of battery. One thing that makes it easier to adjust the power level often is that my Lupines and Gloworms all have external switches that can mount in easier to reach locations either on the bar or helmet. It would be annoying for me now to have to use a light with the power button built into the light head itself after being spoiled by the external switches that I am so used to.
    Lupines do seem to last from what i am hearing. I guess i haven't been in this business long enough to be thinking long-term like you, yet.

    The features on the Seca are admittedly spartan. A remote switch is one of the many features that Seca is missing. NiteRider is better than Light & Motion when it comes to features, but NR lights tend to be overweight. Lupine is lightweight and feature packed but the beam is less optimized than either L&M or NiteRider. Gotta take a hit somewhere

    anyway, i'm out to sleep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    Well I have gotten 6 years out of my Lupine battery packs and they are still going so I think that the way you can extend the battery life quite a bit by only using the amount of output that each situation calls for. You know how much it costs to replace a Lupine battery so if the batteries last longer then all the better. For me to use full output I have to be moving very fast down a hill to feel it's necessary otherwise it seems like a waste of battery. One thing that makes it easier to adjust the power level often is that my Lupines and Gloworms all have external switches that can mount in easier to reach locations either on the bar or helmet. It would be annoying for me now to have to use a light with the power button built into the light head itself after being spoiled by the external switches that I am so used to.
    True to a certain extent but I think with bike lights it's more the old age that gets them. The cheaper cells can probably only take 300 or so charges and the better ones can probably take 1000 (i.e. Lupine). For me, with Lupine, I wouldn't make 1000 cycles in 6 years so it's moot.

    I was just reading an article about the Tesla car that burned up that led me to another article on their battery. They found that the can prolong the life of the battery by not discharging below 50% and then tapering the charge heavily above 90% - in other words, not hitting either full discharge (anywhere close) or slamming it full of charge. That argues for more frequent charging - but it's a bummer for an electric car since it's like only being able to drive your car between half and 7/8ths full tank of gas.

    Batteries are the consumables of lights. A Li-ion battery starts dying the day it's manufactured. Most of them die of old age, I think.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    True to a certain extent but I think with bike lights it's more the old age that gets them. The cheaper cells can probably only take 300 or so charges and the better ones can probably take 1000 (i.e. Lupine). For me, with Lupine, I wouldn't make 1000 cycles in 6 years so it's moot.

    I was just reading an article about the Tesla car that burned up that led me to another article on their battery. They found that the can prolong the life of the battery by not discharging below 50% and then tapering the charge heavily above 90% - in other words, not hitting either full discharge (anywhere close) or slamming it full of charge. That argues for more frequent charging - but it's a bummer for an electric car since it's like only being able to drive your car between half and 7/8ths full tank of gas.

    Batteries are the consumables of lights. A Li-ion battery starts dying the day it's manufactured. Most of them die of old age, I think.

    J.
    good information. yes. that's one of the reasons i always charge them back up after a ride is that keeping them discharged is something the manual warns against.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    I just remembered another reason why I don't like running full power sometimes is because once you do your night vision gets messed up and you can't see anything outside of what your own lights are illuminating. If it is a full moon out I enjoy riding with minimal lighting so that I can see what is outside of my lighting also.
    what this is saying to me is that you want a light with wider spill.

    NR Pro 3600 probably has the widest usable beam. you probably wouldn't need to see anything outside of its beam.

    the Seca has an even wider spill, but it's not really usable for illumination i think - instead it is very useful for being seen. if you watch my last video you can tell that the Seca is seen from almost 360 degrees, and is quite visible for more than 180 degrees - that's due to the convex shape of the front polycarbonate piece that wraps around the sides of the light.

    this side-visibility feature on the Seca was one of the features that sealed the deal for me for the Seca as a road / city light. however as i said, i don't think the side light is bright enough for SEEING with, only for being seen.

    the NR Pro 3600 though is an exceptionally wide light, yet still throws with the best of them.

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    androgen - i was noticing in your video that the light on the bars seems to have two distinct parts of the beam - the larger hot spot then a dark line and then another beam close in to your front tire. Is that the Seca's beam or is there something else that is causing that?

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    androgen - i was noticing in your video that the light on the bars seems to have two distinct parts of the beam - the larger hot spot then a dark line and then another beam close in to your front tire. Is that the Seca's beam or is there something else that is causing that?

    J.
    the way i did the video it should be pretty clear that it's the Dosun doing this. i have a part of the video with only the Dosun and a part with only the Seca so if you watched the video more carefully you wouldn't need to ask this

    that said the dark line in Dosun beam pattern is mostly on the sides of the beam.

    when watching the Seca beam in my video keep in mind that i am using two of them deliberately aimed slightly to the side each to make the beam wider. there is probably 5-10 degrees between centerlines of the two Secas the way they are aimed. a single Seca by itself is smooth, but two are even smoother, and significantly wider.

    Dosun Beam ( Image by Dosun ) :


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    watch specifically starting at 21 minute 08 seconds mark when i alternate between Dosun and Seca to see the difference in pattern.


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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    what this is saying to me is that you want a light with wider spill.

    NR Pro 3600 probably has the widest usable beam. you probably wouldn't need to see anything outside of its beam.

    the Seca has an even wider spill, but it's not really usable for illumination i think - instead it is very useful for being seen. if you watch my last video you can tell that the Seca is seen from almost 360 degrees, and is quite visible for more than 180 degrees - that's due to the convex shape of the front polycarbonate piece that wraps around the sides of the light.

    this side-visibility feature on the Seca was one of the features that sealed the deal for me for the Seca as a road / city light. however as i said, i don't think the side light is bright enough for SEEING with, only for being seen.

    the NR Pro 3600 though is an exceptionally wide light, yet still throws with the best of them.

    I have seen the NR 3600 beam shots and it does have a pretty good beam pattern. It's not the light for me though. I have owned two NR lights and the quality is very average. The Betty light I have has a 22 degree lens and has more emphasis on throw than spill which I don't mind because my Gloworm X2 has a lot of spill and fills in where the Betty can't. Like you, I realize there isn't one perfect light out there and it helps to have one light with a wider pattern and one with a lot of punch so that they compliment each other. I see your point about having more spill on my lights, but still it is sometimes better to know what is going on outside of my beam so I prefer not to crank up the lumens if I don't have to.

    Johnj80, In using my Lupine batteries I have never actually seen a red Led indicating that the battery is just about completely empty, I only have gotten to the point where a yellow Led appears which in the manual says that it is a warning that a significant amount of battery has been used. The exact amount I am unsure of. At this point if you are on full power it will kick down to the next lowest setting which is 40% on my light and this will still give me a significant amount of runtime on this setting. At least an hour at this level. Anyway I never store them fully charged for long times in the winter months and never completely deplete them either so I guess that may help them to last longer. The newer Lupine batteries have the nice indicators on them which is a nice touch so when I need to finally replace mine that will be kind of like a cool new feature for me.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    The newer Lupine batteries have the nice indicators on them which is a nice touch so when I need to finally replace mine that will be kind of like a cool new feature for me.
    i wish i had that. the Seca doesn't even have a good indicator on the light body itself ( NiteRider Pro does ) my Milwaukee lithium drill has lupine-like battery indicators on the batteries ... but my lights don't have that

    the battery life indicator ( or lack thereof ) is one of my main beefs with the Seca. some of the other ones are the long cable ( versus short one plus extension cord ), lack of quick release mechanism, and that rubber band mount system which while better than rubber rings on Lupine / Magicshine is nowhere near what comes on Exposure or NiteRider Pro.

    the reason i still hold Seca in high regard is because none of these flaws are design flaws - they are all cost cutting measures. i would rather have a product that has cut corners than a product that has made dumb mistakes. in other words i would rather have a product made by cynical people than by incompetent people.

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    Re: starting all over again from scratch :)

    Ok so dinotte says it shipped the daytime red, although it looks like I will not have means to track it, but dinotte is only 5 hours drive from here so I think it should be here by end of the week.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk now Free

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    received Camelbak Mule to replace my TheNorthFace Klamath 8.

    i basically ran out of room for batteries in the old pack.



    when i opened the shipping box my first thought was "WTF it's the same size as my old pack !" then i picked it up and it weighed even less. but when you start to fill it up you realize that that internal space in the Mule is much greater indeed. the reservoir is also much larger - 3 liters versus 2 liters.

    so yeah like i said they look the same size when they're empty, but when you start stuffing them the North Face is flat like an envelope and will not take much. but the Mule expands and expands and has about double the capacity despite being essentially same size and what seems like lower weight.

    the North Face does use thicker material so it is probably more durable, but it's probably excessive. the thinner material on the Mule probably strikes closer to optimum compromise between weight and durability.

    considering that North Face was a lower volume, cheaper pack it had better organization IMO than Camelbak. the Mule can use some improvement in this area - unlike the North Face, the Mule is lacking in the organization department.

    but Organization is at the end of the day a luxury, and volume / space is a necessity.

    since i was happy with the quality of the North Face i tried to get a bigger North Face to replace it but i couldn't find one that i thought had enough internal volume. the volume in the Mule appears to be just right for my needs.

    i also like that it has a larger ( taller ) reservoir because that way i don't need to fill it up all the way so hopefully it will allow it to stay flatter on my back.

    i haven't tested it on the bike though. i just filled it up with some water and stuff, tried putting it on, drinking - so far so good.

    one other area where i really liked the North Face was a magnetic clip for the hose - that was neat as hell. i just loved using it the Mule doesn't have any clip at all - it just has a shorter hose that just hangs there. this is a bummer ... i would have much preferred the longer hose of the North Face with a magnetic clip than a short hose of Mule without a clip. i will need to ride with that pack to see how much of a problem it is in practice.

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    Wrong forum. This is not the pack review area.

  98. #98
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    so this is the helmet setup i will be evaluating. that is a regular 400R on there.

    the Daytime Red is on the seatpost.

    i just tried putting it on my head - it is well balanced - but there is just no getting around it - it is heavy. i'm not sure how it will work on the road, but certainly you would not be able to use anywhere close to this weight on the trail. it simply wouldn't stay on your head.


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    They look like they are mounted so close together that you could have probably gotten by with a single rz8 running along the top of the helmet.

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    Yes Androgen you only need one red zone 8. So send the other one directly to me.

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