Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    swag ho Administrator
    Reputation: francois's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1996
    Posts
    17,966

    What is the ideal tail light?

    For road riding or commuting, what is the ideal tail light?

    price?
    Lumen output?
    disposable or rechargable?
    flashing or solid, what kind of flash?
    side visibility or just rear?
    where to mount?

    Do you use it in night only? day, foggy?

    I have a few tail lights now and figured I'd ask some opinions and experiences on the issue. What do you use now and what would you like to see? Brands and models?

    fc

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slacks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    32
    I have the Dinotte 400R -- and while it's great, it's almost too bright on full power -- blasphemy, I know. But it blinds anyone behind you unless tilted downward ever so slightly.

    I think the new Dinotte 300R with it's integrated battery looks like the best combination of quality, convenience, and run time have seen.

    And enough lumens to get the attention of cars, low flying planes, the dead, etc.

  3. #3
    www.HSmtb.org
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    756
    I like the Magicshine tail light. It's very bright, but the mount isn't ideal and I'm not a huge fan of turning the head to change patterns. I used to have the Niterider universal tail light and that was excellent as well.

    It seems like many people light a steady rear light, but I have always preferred a blinking light. This way vehicles know to expect something other than a car (cyclist, pedestrian, etc) even if I'm too far away to be seen. I can't be a car, motorcycle, etc.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EBrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    3,307
    I have had cars pull up next to me and roll down the window to tell me they could see my Superflash from 200 yards away. I have that on my seat stay and I recently purchased the vis 360 for my helmet. Super bright, but I'm not sure its pointed the right direction on my Giro.

    I would be hard pressed to believe you can beat the Planet Bike Superflash, especially for the money.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: VT Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    896
    Quote Originally Posted by EBrider
    I have had cars pull up next to me and roll down the window to tell me they could see my Superflash from 200 yards away. I have that on my seat stay and I recently purchased the vis 360 for my helmet. Super bright, but I'm not sure its pointed the right direction on my Giro.

    I would be hard pressed to believe you can beat the Planet Bike Superflash, especially for the money.
    +1 on the Planet Bike Superflash. In strobe mode it looks like something that should be on an ambulance. I've had many cars move over completely into the oncoming lane to pass me while using that light

    I had it on the seat post, but then I started putting my headlamp battery there, and moved the taillight to the upper end of the seat stay. I'll put it on during the day if it is overcast / raining, or even just if I'm wearing all black.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    150
    I've got the P/B superflash & the Radbot 1000.
    The Radbot is only slightly brighter despite having twice the wattage output. The superflash has a longer run time & seems to not dim as fast either. They are both adequate for night conditions, but I've always wanted a much brighter tail light for daylight road riding.
    I think the Dinotte 400L could be the best choice.
    Nightlightning have a very bright 360 deg visible one called the "Afterblaster" which is possibly in the same league as the 400L, and also down here in the Southern Hemisphere is Niteflux & they have a new tail light coming out soon which I think will be 4 watts.

  7. #7
    swag ho Administrator
    Reputation: francois's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1996
    Posts
    17,966
    How much lumens is ideal for the night? Some say 30 lumens, some say 300.

    Also, is flash mode more visible at night?

    I've heard folks refer to a study called the 'moth effect'. Drunk drivers tend to focus in on a flashing light and run into it. Thoughts?

    http://www.roadrules.ca/content/road...nd-moth-effect
    http://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/motheffect.html
    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/archi...p/t-12261.html


    fc

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    66
    Tail lights should only be used if you ride alone or are the last guy in a pack and are good with staying there.

    On the trail and even on the street - tail lights can be blinding. Also along that line, after being blinded by other rider's head lights (lights have really gotten bright - burn a hole in the night), I've gotten into habit of either turning light off or placing my hand over light so as not to blind fellow riders

  9. #9
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    I believe a mixed-flash mode, with dim and bright lights, is more effective than a constant strobe flash.

    The Planet Bike Superflash uses a combination of dim and bright flashes, which has been very effective in my experience. Cars can see it from far away, but they aren't mesmerized by it, which I think reduces the "moth effect."

    The battery also lasts a long time and it's a relatively cheap light. But I don't use it for MTBing, as it's definitely overkill. A few people had them at the last 24 hour race I attended and I found it very annoying as I came up behind them.

  10. #10
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Quote Originally Posted by tunajuice
    Tail lights should only be used if you ride alone or are the last guy in a pack and are good with staying there.

    On the trail and even on the street - tail lights can be blinding. Also along that line, after being blinded by other rider's head lights (lights have really gotten bright - burn a hole in the night), I've gotten into habit of either turning light off or placing my hand over light so as not to blind fellow riders

    Good call, kinda what I was trying to convey. And covering your lights or looking away from oncoming riders is definitely good etiquette.

    For trail rides, I stick with a cheap, small blinky that gives other riders a heads-up without blinding them. My team all uses blue blinkies so we know when the next person is coming into the transition area .

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    129
    I can't believe people are spending $200+ on tail lights!, but I'm sure many of you ride in conditions that are much different than mine. I have two Superflash mounted on the road bike, one under the seat, one lower down on the non-drive side seat stay. This gives me the option of using none, one, two, 1 blinking/1 steady or both blinking, depending on conditions. During the season, only use them during weekday evening rides, if riding into the sun, cloudy days, approaching dusk, heavier traffic conditions, etc. I have one mounted on the Cross bike for trail riding, but it seems kinda pointless, unless we hit or cross some roads.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    150
    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    How much lumens is ideal for the night? Some say 30 lumens, some say 300.

    Also, is flash mode more visible at night?

    I've heard folks refer to a study called the 'moth effect'. Drunk drivers tend to focus in on a flashing light and run into it. Thoughts?

    http://www.roadrules.ca/content/road...nd-moth-effect
    http://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/motheffect.html
    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/archi...p/t-12261.html


    fc
    I commute to work a 50km (30 mile) return trip. I work permenant night shift from 4pm to 4am as a fuel tanker driver in 55 tonne B-Double trucks.
    Yes, I know, I am the enemy
    But I feel I am in a good position to comment on this. I always pay attention to other cyclists lighting systems & how effective they seem to be.
    I often ask my work mates about what really stands out at night for bike riders, and every single one of them said that a flashing tail light gets their attention MUCH BETTER than a steady light.
    And I agree 100%. But having said that, I run two tail lights (mainly in case one fails), but leave one on steady & the other flashing. But if I had only one, it would be set to flash.
    I think the "moth effect" is possible, but so unlikely that it would never come close to out weighing the benefits of a flash pattern.
    The issue of drunk drivers is hard to counter. It can happen any time. But my way of minimising exposure to this is to drive my car to work on Friday & Saturday nights.

    Cheers,
    Digger.

  13. #13
    NONDURO
    Reputation: Leopold Porkstacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    6,540
    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    For road riding or commuting, what is the ideal tail light?

    price?
    Lumen output?
    disposable or rechargable?
    flashing or solid, what kind of flash?
    side visibility or just rear?
    where to mount?

    Do you use it in night only? day, foggy?

    I have a few tail lights now and figured I'd ask some opinions and experiences on the issue. What do you use now and what would you like to see? Brands and models?

    fc
    Dude, I will have to show you my homebrew setup again some time. Surely you remember it??? 800+ lumens of red light (roughly 627-630nm) output. No flash, just a steady beam from two 9-emitter LED light engines, one through a narrow beam optic and the other through a somewhat broad beam optic. I think it only cost me $38 to make. Uses one $15 1000mA BuckPuck for current regulation, accepts between 8V-16.8V input voltage (I run mine on a 16.8V 4400mAh Lithium Polymer Ion pack).

    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given out too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  14. #14
    www.HSmtb.org
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    756
    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    How much lumens is ideal for the night? Some say 30 lumens, some say 300.

    Also, is flash mode more visible at night?

    I've heard folks refer to a study called the 'moth effect'. Drunk drivers tend to focus in on a flashing light and run into it. Thoughts?
    fc
    I think that a rear light can be too bright, although I think that the current production models aren't excessive. It just needs to be bright enough to catch a drivers attention so that there is enough distance to react. Also, the busier the area (traffic, street lights, buildings), the brighter it needs to be to stand out. If it's a pitch black country road, you're going to be seen with almost any rear light.

    Flash may not be more visible, but I think it is more recognizable.

    There are only two alternatives to the moth effect. No rear light or don't ride at night. Neither is acceptable.

    Chris

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •