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  1. #1
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    Tail light modes and reflective gear

    I bike a mile and a half on the road to get to the trails that I usually ride. I have a tail light that has a bunch of modes:
    constant on
    flashing
    quick flashing
    each of the 5 led flashing sequentially up and down, or just up

    Which mode is most visible to drivers.

    Also, any recommendations for making myself more visible? I'm considering adding something reflective to my Camelbak

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I bike a mile and a half on the road to get to the trails that I usually ride. I have a tail light that has a bunch of modes:
    constant on
    flashing
    quick flashing
    each of the 5 led flashing sequentially up and down, or just up

    Which mode is most visible to drivers.

    Also, any recommendations for making myself more visible? I'm considering adding something reflective to my Camelbak
    Buy a more powerful tail light (no snark, just the most direct and correct answer).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Buy a more powerful tail light (no snark, just the most direct and correct answer).
    Any recommendations?

    I just tested out my current tail light. It seems to be most visible when it's in the fast blink mode. It seemed to work well as is, but there's a full-moon tonight and some light from the street so I'll test it in a darker setting tomorrow

  4. #4
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    I use the Xeccon Geinea rear light. I'd say that's the minimum level of brightness you should be considering if you want to really be seen out there. The best thing I can say about it is that I got complimented on it from a DesignShine DS-500 owner, so I would consider that a recommendation.

  5. #5
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    Tail light modes and reflective gear

    Niterider cherry bomb 5 watt is the best bang for the buck. I use a dinotte 300r but commute 5K a year. Their new quad red light is fantastic.

  6. #6
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    A mile and a half? Is it a major hwy? I can't imagine that many cars in that amount of time. The quuck flashing light is best it is meant to catch someone's attention. You could add something to your helmet too. Perhaps a reflective vest if you really want additional reflection.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzank6 View Post
    A mile and a half? Is it a major hwy? I can't imagine that many cars in that amount of time. The quuck flashing light is best it is meant to catch someone's attention. You could add something to your helmet too. Perhaps a reflective vest if you really want additional reflection.
    Yeah, part of it is a hwy -- not major, but plenty of cars going 55+ and not much of a shoulder. The other part is a backroad 55mph with no shoulder. I'll ride on the grass if things are busy.

    I can avoid the roads, but it requires trespassing for a bit in a popular hunting area so I'll take my chances on the road.

    No matter what, I have to cross over the hwy -- a four lane road with a large grass median. The light at the intersection is the most dangerous intersection I've ever seen so I usually go beyond the light and then cross when no cars are coming (sometimes having to wait in the median for the other side to clear).

  8. #8
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    Reflective tape is the best bargain going. On a recent night ride everybody like my reflective gloves.
    . Later, mike
    . www.geekonabike.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I bike a mile and a half on the road to get to the trails that I usually ride. I have a tail light that has a bunch of modes:
    constant on
    flashing
    quick flashing
    each of the 5 led flashing sequentially up and down, or just up

    Which mode is most visible to drivers.
    Use a mode where all the LEDs fire at the same time. Fast flashing is likely to be best.

    Also, any recommendations for making myself more visible? I'm considering adding something reflective to my Camelbak
    Reflective legbands are an easy win. Their up-down motion catches peoples' eye and sends the right signal (oh, it's a person). They're visible from all directions, and they're down low where a low-beam headlight is strongest. The wide Jog-A-Lite ones that REI sells are good.

    On your Camelbak, if it has a loop to hang a light, then I have a recommendation: Blackburn Central 20. This is a USB-rechargeable taillight with an omnidirectional beam, so it doesn't matter exactly where it's aimed. The clip is steel and feels really strong, it's not likely to come off accidentally.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I bike a mile and a half on the road to get to the trails that I usually ride. I have a tail light that has a bunch of modes:
    constant on
    flashing
    quick flashing
    each of the 5 led flashing sequentially up and down, or just up

    Which mode is most visible to drivers.

    Also, any recommendations for making myself more visible? I'm considering adding something reflective to my Camelbak
    On a couple of the rides I do sometimes I have to ride a couple miles as well along some busy roads before getting to a trail-head. While it sounds to me like you're not using the latest and brightest LED blinkie, regardless your rear light is more visible when blinking. Forget the sequential setting. I use one of the better 80 lumen rear lights, two actually , one seatpost mount and one on back of the helmet. When I get to the trail head I take them off until I'm ready to ride back to the car. I also put a couple of the silver "Lightweights" 3M brand reflectors on my hydration pack. My bike shoes also have silver white reflectors on back so I get that effect as well. If I have to cross a busy or highway intersection I'll use a couple clip on wheel lights as well although most of the time I don't need to use them.

  11. #11
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    Apparent flashing lights draw attention but drivers find static ones are better for judging distance, so use two! Another reason for using two is you have at least one should one of them die. Has happened to me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Apparent flashing lights draw attention but drivers find static ones are better for judging distance, so use two! Another reason for using two is you have at least one should one of them die. Has happened to me.
    Judging distance at night between moving objects is always going to an issue ( with some folk ) regardless of whether or not the lamp is flashing. A single static red lamp on the side of the road doesn't jump out at you because most vehicles on the road use static rear lighting. If you are in a more urban setting there are many lights both on and off the side of the road. A single static rear lamp tends to just blend in with the mix. A flashing or pulsing rear lamp on the other hand tends to stand out from the crowd. When riding on a busy road I want to stand out from the crowd. Using more than one rear light is always a good idea.

    Personally I don't have too many issues judging distance between objects in front of me when I drive or ride at night as long as I can actually see something there. I do however have a problem judging distance to an object I can't see.

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