Another commuting thread about lights...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    a lazy pedaler
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    Another commuting thread about lights...

    So guys... besides his health...another thing that really concerned me from the Joshed third car crash was something J_Hopper said about being seen.

    due to my work schedule I have a dark commute one way in summer and both ways in winter time...I know my current setup (Sigma Triled/Cuberider) really $ucks and riding in a non bike friendly city really made me think... I already order a second tail light (Topeak 10leds UFO) but I feel like I need to add more lumens to my ride so...

    ...what I'm asking here is for your light commuter setup.... the one you fell comfortable with, something like this:

    Model/Location/setup

    My current setup (when the UFO arrives actually):
    Front Lights:
    1st: Sigma Triled / Handlebar / Blinking.
    2nd: None.
    Tail Lights:
    1st: Topeak 10Leds UFO / Trunk Bag / Blinking.
    2nd: Sigma Cuberider / Helmet / Steady.

    If you want to add pics fell free...and comments about blinking and steady lights will be awesome.

  2. #2
    i also unicycle
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    FRONT:
    princeton tec switchback 3, bright, 3 brightness options with a blinky pattern if needed
    REAR:
    2 planet bike super flash lights. one on messenger bag, one on seat pack. both flashing. also plenty of reflective stuff on my bags, coat, shoes, etc.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
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  3. #3
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    Swerve into traffic to be seen.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  4. #4
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    FRONT:
    Magic Shine P7 headlight on bars - usually on Low or flashing depending on the road
    Eveready LED Headlight on helmet - used more to be seen than to see with.

    REAR
    Blackburn Mars 4.0 - This is a great tail light. Extremely bright and has 2 yellow leds mounted for side visibility. I plan on grabbing another one of these for my backpack.

    I also have reflective tires (Schwalbe Big Apple & Michelin City on my commuters), a big reflective stripe on my backpack and reflective ankle straps. None of this has kept cars, pedestrians and (occasionally) other cyclists from doing stupid stuff around me, but I know I am at least more likely to be seen by those who drive with their eyes open.

    edit: had wrong product name

  5. #5
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    I have a L&M Seca 700 for the front. I wouldn't buy one just to commute with, but happened to have it for night rides on the MTB. Totally overkill, but awesome. Especially riding on the path in the dark and fog.

    These spoke lights help with side visibility: http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Safety-B...3&sr=8-2-spell

    They don't fit on my current wheels, so I have an Infini light wrapped around the hubs.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Swerve into traffic to be seen.



    I have a Planet Bike Superflash rear and an older Cateye LED headlight. The Cateye is decent, but there are much better options out there now. With new batteries, it makes cars dim their headlights when they see me, but the beam is narrower than I would like, especially on pot-hole patrol on my dirt road.

    The superflash is great. No question that cars notice it and scoot further out into the other lane compared to a cheaper blinky that I had before.

    I also have lightweights (www.lightweights.org) on my spokes. On non-colored spokes, they're basically invisible in the daylight, and they weigh virtually nothing. The set of lightweights comes with 4 extra 'dot' shaped reflector stickers designed for the ends of quick release skewers... I put two on each heel of my shoes. A reflector on the pedal/foot isntantly lets cars know that you're a bike... no mistaking that movement.

    Sorry, the cateye isn't in the pic, but here's a flash pic that shows the lightweights, and the superflash on the seatpost.
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    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Swerve into traffic to be seen.

    Hahaha! You beat me to it! Nicely done!
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    Your no longer a virgin... and your ass hurts?
    I think you're doing something wrong there

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy



    I have a Planet Bike Superflash rear and an older Cateye LED headlight. The Cateye is decent, but there are much better options out there now. With new batteries, it makes cars dim their headlights when they see me, but the beam is narrower than I would like, especially on pot-hole patrol on my dirt road.

    The superflash is great. No question that cars notice it and scoot further out into the other lane compared to a cheaper blinky that I had before.

    I also have lightweights (www.lightweights.org) on my spokes. On non-colored spokes, they're basically invisible in the daylight, and they weigh virtually nothing. The set of lightweights comes with 4 extra 'dot' shaped reflector stickers designed for the ends of quick release skewers... I put two on each heel of my shoes. A reflector on the pedal/foot isntantly lets cars know that you're a bike... no mistaking that movement.

    Sorry, the cateye isn't in the pic, but here's a flash pic that shows the lightweights, and the superflash on the seatpost.
    Nice! Liked the lightweights in your pic & ordered some so I will be stylin' soon. To anyone with the superflash, how's the switch on it? Currently have a princeton tec swerve (dumb name for a good light) with a nice big lever, easy with gloves and you don't have to cycle thru 8 flash patterns to turn it off like my other blinkies. Thx

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy



    I have a Planet Bike Superflash rear and an older Cateye LED headlight. The Cateye is decent, but there are much better options out there now. With new batteries, it makes cars dim their headlights when they see me, but the beam is narrower than I would like, especially on pot-hole patrol on my dirt road.

    The superflash is great. No question that cars notice it and scoot further out into the other lane compared to a cheaper blinky that I had before.

    I also have lightweights (www.lightweights.org) on my spokes. On non-colored spokes, they're basically invisible in the daylight, and they weigh virtually nothing. The set of lightweights comes with 4 extra 'dot' shaped reflector stickers designed for the ends of quick release skewers... I put two on each heel of my shoes. A reflector on the pedal/foot isntantly lets cars know that you're a bike... no mistaking that movement.

    Sorry, the cateye isn't in the pic, but here's a flash pic that shows the lightweights, and the superflash on the seatpost.
    I have a SWOBO Del Norte, and the drop bars are just too much. I was going to switch to straight MTB bars, but they just don't quite fit. I think your ride just gave me the answer I was looking for!

  10. #10
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    ^^ TransX Bullhorn bars. Got them at Pricepoint I think. They have those Cane Creek 200TT levers on sale for something like 10 bucks right now too...


    On the Superflash, it's crazy easy to operate. The 'button' is actually inside the case, you push up on the bottom of the case to turn it on to blinky mode, then solid mode, then off. The plastic of the case bends in to push the button, which is hidden from the elements, inside the case. Some folks have had issues with them cycling through modes or turning off (myself included) because of jarring around during bumpy sections of road, etc. I fixed this by taking the case and wedging a stick into it overnight, to bend the plastic in the other direction, so it wasn't so close to pushing the button...I've never had an issue since. I have also heard that they have addressed this issue on newer models, and it's no longer a concern. No experience with a newer one. But to answer your question, I operate mine with my pearl izumi lobster gloves, which are about as bulky of a glove as anything. It's really easy to operate.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  11. #11
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Front: PB 1/2-watt Blaze, usually on steady, sometimes flashing if it's overcast or an area where a lot of people are pulling out of driveways/side streets.

    Rear: PB Superflash on flash. Reflective stripe (actually an extra reflective leg band) on my backpack.

    Sides: 2 reflectors per wheel, pedal reflectors, reflective leg band.

    I really should add more reflective stuff, though.
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  12. #12
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    Front
    1 Sette white blinky (usually not blinking - too distracting) kinda cheapo constr
    1 bar shape red blinky (seatpost mount snapped, now velcroed on)
    1 helmet light by Cateye Nicad/Halogen, lasts thru a.m. & p.m. commute
    1 handlebar Nightstick headlight by Vistalite (not made anymore & not recommended, battery looks too much like a pipe bomb) Mostly for a backup if helmet lite dies.

    Rear
    Princeton Tec Swerve (nice!)
    2 unknown brand blinkies go on helmet & backpack

    Reflective leg bands, reflectors on booties (when used), reflective stripes that came on backpack

    Yellow jacket

    When I looked up the name of my Princeton tec Swerve, I see they have a rear red blinky, the RF6, rated 1 lumens - don't recall seeing Lux ratings on others..anybody got 1?
    http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/100

    Ordered one of these Hi-Viz Camelbaks but apparently from the slowest company on earth...not here yet. Looks great for road & hunting season, OK for commuting "light", not much cargo room.
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  13. #13
    jrm
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    Same here

    with the magicshine up front. Cateye something or another blinkie out back. Need a better brighter one.

  14. #14
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    Front: I used to have a Light & Motion Seca 700 (pretty good for lighting the roadway, very good for being seen). I sold it, so now I use:

    Front:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecTwoL4LjJ4 DiNotte 600L plus Dereelight DBS V2, as compared to my Dodge Caravan w/ commentary

    I may also throw on a helmet-mounted light to help attract the eye. Depends how paranoid I'm feeling that day

    Rear:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThwjZ6j11mc Nova BULL emergency-vehicle strobe head, Trek Beacon bar-tip blinkies, and I now have a PDW Radbot 1000 on my helmet, not shown there (sort of a turbo-SuperFlash).

    ^That's my winter commuter. My three-season commuter has a DiNotte 140L taillight and Trek Beacon bar-tip lights, plus a SuperFlash on the rack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDhwTV229E0

    Both commuters are dosed up pretty good with reflective tape, and so am I:







    BTW if anyone gets the hots for reflective tape after seeing that, let me recommend the Reflexite V82 that I've been using. It's thin so it doesn't try to peel itself off, it's got very high reflective performance, it's the premium 10-year grade, and you can get it in colors if you don't want silver (although silver is the most reflective). night-gear.com carries it and doesn't have a minimum order charge.

    but I feel like I need to add more lumens to my ride so...
    If you can remember to turn them on, the Trek Beacon bar-tip lights are a great add-on. They give you a visible horizontal width, and if they're aimed level, they're pretty bright to the viewer, as you can see from the YouTube videos I linked to. They use one AAA per side, so you can use rechargeable AAAs. They do burn through batteries relatively fast, so throw in freshly-charged AAAs every 20 hours or so. They're also easy to install and you don't have to make room on your seatpost for their mount.

    I'm also a big fan of the SuperFlash as long as you get it aimed dead level and straight back. People seem to not comprehend that bike blinkies are directional and have to be aimed at the target.

  15. #15
    a lazy pedaler
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    thanks M, I read the first 2 chapters about safety on your website, good stuff, will try to read it all during lunch time...sad I can't see youtube from the office

  16. #16
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    I just got the Dinotte 400R taillights and holy sheisse are they bright! Very awesome. For the front, I use these Turbo Cat lights that I used to use for mtb (before I got the Dinotte 800/400L combo). I wouldn't recommend the Turbo Cats because the battery is heavy, it only lasts a couple of hours or so, and it takes 10-15 hours to charge.

  17. #17
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    I have 2 separate LED lights (one on one bike, one on the other) that I like but I find that supplementing them both w/ the a $50 led flashlight really removes all doubt when I feel like I need it. The flashlight devours batteries (less than 2 commute legs per charge) so I don't use it too often but I'm glad to have it.

  18. #18
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    I turned into a bit of a light nerd a couple years back. Here's what my wife and I run on our bikes [lights on daily from October - March]:

    Me
    Front - DIY Dinotte [MC-E LED - 700+ lumens]
    Back - 2-LED red flasher [one on seatpost, one on helmet]
    Wife
    Front - D-Star Altair Triple [3 x MC-E LED - ~2000 lumens max, usually run at ~600]
    Back - PBSF on seatpost, 2-LED red flasher on helmet

    My light is bright enough that cars assume I'm another car with a headlight out and move over. She switches her light to high when riding in high-collision areas or on our daily downhill. The brightness might seem like overkill, but all our riding is on the streets. We have to compete with streetlights and car lights, and it's too easy for drivers to simply not notice a dim light.

    My wife is using her current light in place of a Princeton Tec Switchback 2. I love Princeton Tec. They have fantastic customer service and make great products with the exception of the Switchback series. OMFG, what a pathetic excuse for a bike light at that price. Check out the MTBR Bike Light Shootout for a comparison of light output for a wide variety of lights. The Switchback series is expensive, but has horrible output/$. It's too bad, because the battery technology is good, the accessories are amazing and it's really easy to use. I think they just put in crap LEDs, which kill the performance. Until that gets fixed, I'd stay away from the Switchback.

    I'd recommend the Magicshine. Massive bang for the buck - under $100 shipped for that amount of light is amazing. I know a few people who have them, and they are very happy with the performance.

  19. #19
    I rather be cycling...
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    when I do night rides, I usually leave the office at 7pm , go home, change clothes and ride from "El Obispado" to "Chipinque" I ride with NiteRiders MiNewt X2 on the handlebar, and a couple planet bike flashers and also a NiteRider TriNewt on the helmet...

    and a generic led flasher in the seatpost for the back

    also I wear one of those reflective vests , I got it @ the home depot like $100 pesos or so...


    the only "safety" issue I have had was one time returning home at about 11.30 pm some punk as* kids throw me a big mac but they failed,,, then Uturned their car and passed again this time they throw the soda, missed again but when it hit the floor splashed my feet...
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  20. #20
    a lazy pedaler
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    So I didn't read the specs...the 10 leds Topeak UFO are:

    6 Super Bright Red LED’s
    4 Super Bright Yellow LED’s (this ones in particular are not super bright!!!)

    yes...I didn't get any huge improvement...the setup will remain the same though... but I'm adding this ...green version...already on its way..I'll give it a try.

    for the front I'm thinking on a double set of magicshine

  21. #21
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    I use a Sefras 5 led light up front, set blinking (roads are well lit so it's about being seen in my case.) In back, I use a superbright flashing LED light (Planet Bike knock-off that is quite bright) from Performance Cycles. I also use the Sefras TL-ST blinker on the rear seatstay, and got some of that reflective tape mentioned in a post in this thread, in white, yellow and some red. Did the rims, helmet, seat/chain stays, fork and even the pump and crankarms. To make myself even more visible from the sides, I bouight the Bike-Glow-Safety-Light at REI. Thought it was silly at first, a thin glowing tube about as thick as two spaghetti strands and about 4ft long that you wrap around the main triangle and power with 2 AA batteries. It comes in several colors, but blue was all they had so I got that. It lights up, blinks slow or fast, and illuminates the bike and ME. No missing what I am from the side, it's like someone is lighting me up with a spotlight. I also found a 2032 powered red lightstick at REI that I clip on the back of my backpack, and it can be set to blink. And of course, I wear a reflective orange vest.

    So the first time I rode to work with all this on, the guard at the gate took one look and called me the Christmas tree lady. Fine, whatever makes people notice me, even if they are laughing at it, is better than being hit.

  22. #22
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    I'll chime in even though I'm somewhat late to the party. I also commute early in the morning and at times after dark after work. I have one of those SSC P7 torchlights mounted on a gun barrel scope I came up with from Wal-Mart. It's sturdy, weather resistant, strong, and doesn't flop around.




    For the rear, I have a smoked version of the Superflash. Highly effective and like someone said above, installed at an appropriate angle. Just because it's back there, doesn't mean people can see you effectively. Physically get in a car or truck, and drive a hundred yards behind and in front of your bike so you can actually see what the people around you see.



    I also recommend you have it in flash mode versus constant, not only because it will prolong your battery life, but also because the average eye is attracted to something pulsating versus something that's just plain lit.

    I'm waiting on reflective vinyl so I can put it on my new bike. It's effective as you can see above, so why not have it? Good luck!

  23. #23
    a lazy pedaler
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    Thanks LUNARFX....actually would be great if all the commuters on the forum share their setup as well... I think this won't only help me...

    ...yeah I already set it up on flash mode and will also add some reflective tape but for that I'm going to wait for when the Trurly is done...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I also have lightweights (www.lightweights.org) on my spokes. On non-colored spokes, they're basically invisible in the daylight, and they weigh virtually nothing. The set of lightweights comes with 4 extra 'dot' shaped reflector stickers designed for the ends of quick release skewers... I put two on each heel of my shoes. A reflector on the pedal/foot isntantly lets cars know that you're a bike... no mistaking that movement.
    My lightweights arrived today. 2 grams for 68 or something. I should be rocking them by next week

  25. #25
    fux
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    Quote Originally Posted by blunderfonics
    FRONT:
    Magic Shine P7 headlight on bars - usually on Low or flashing depending on the road
    Eveready LED Headlight on helmet - used more to be seen than to see with.

    REAR
    Blackburn Mars 4.0 - This is a great tail light. Extremely bright and has 2 yellow leds mounted for side visibility. I plan on grabbing another one of these for my backpack.

    I also have reflective tires (Schwalbe Big Apple & Michelin City on my commuters), a big reflective stripe on my backpack and reflective ankle straps. None of this has kept cars, pedestrians and (occasionally) other cyclists from doing stupid stuff around me, but I know I am at least more likely to be seen by those who drive with their eyes open.

    I use the same setup but have marathon winters with the same reflective stripe.

    The magicshine is always on full blast and I have an Exposure joystick on my helmet, no street lights here.
    Disclaimer. I now sell bicycles and bicycle tyres.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    I'd recommend the Magicshine. Massive bang for the buck - under $100 shipped for that amount of light is amazing. I know a few people who have them, and they are very happy with the performance.
    I have a Magicshine it's the best $85 I've spent on my bikes. I won't ever use a lesser light again. Cars will definitely notice you, I had some close calls with my old 1 watt LED, but you'd have to be blind not to notice the Magicshine. I also use 2 PB Superflashes on the back, along with a generic blinkie light on my messenger bag, and reflective tape on the fork, chainstays, seatstays, and the mud flap on my rear fender.

  27. #27
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    I bike commute half time (10 miles each way). One way is always in the dark.

    Front: MS on the bars (I carry a DiNotte 200L in a bag as backup because I have it)
    Rear: DiNotte 140L down low with a cheap blinky next to it pointing sideways to give more side visibility; PB SF on the back of my helmet

    You need to remember, visibility is both active (lights) and passive (reflectivity and bright clothing). You should have the best you can do in both. I plan to stay in the "never-been-hit" club.

    I don't know about other riders, but I ride with traffic. Meaning, in the US, I ride on the right side of the road. This means the main threat is going to be approaching from the rear. People buy great headlights to be seen by other vehicles. This way, the other drivers see them as another car on the road, presumably with a headlight out. This makes sense on the trail, but makes NO sense on the road. Your money should be spent protecting you from the rear. If/when you've got that covered, get yourself a good headlight. Follow LowLow's example. S/he bought the best tail light available and made due with a mediocre headlight. On the road this is exactly what you should be doing (if you value your health/life).

  28. #28
    Wierdo
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    Wintertime:

    Front: Dinotte 600L mounted on my helmet
    Rear: Dinottle 140L mounted on the bike, PB Superflash on the back of my helmet

    Summertime:
    Front: Dinotte 140L Amber daytime running light mounted on the bike
    Rear: Dinottle 140L mounted on the bike, PB Superflash on the back of my helmet
    Both Dinotte lights are powered off a single battery.

  29. #29
    Wierdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper
    People buy great headlights to be seen by other vehicles. This way, the other drivers see them as another car on the road, presumably with a headlight out. This makes sense on the trail, but makes NO sense on the road. Your money should be spent protecting you from the rear.
    I don't completely agree with this. I agree with the good taillight part. But I think you also need a good headlight. A good headlight, one that is BRIGHT and has a flash mode, will ensure that you are seen and recognized by drivers who may want to turn left into your path, or pull out of a side street/driveway into your path.

  30. #30
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    I guess I wasn't clear... in a perfect world the commuter would have a great tail light and a great head light.

    I've read a lot on these and other forums about lights, night riding, commuting, etc. Most people, for whatever reason, don't take rear visibility as serious as they take front visibility. I know, I was one of them, I had a cheap blinkie and would go on night rides on dark roads with little to no shoulder. I figured out one day that the blinkie probably wasn't enough, so I bought a PB Superflash. I used that for a while and then graduated to the DiNotte. I was never hit while using a cheap blinkie, probably because I was lucky.

  31. #31
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    ^^ Ditto. I can't believe I used to ride with a 5 dollar blinky light strapped to my backpack, pointing at the sky. I got smart after a year or so.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  32. #32
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    In the last few snows, it has really been bugging me to see so many cars with drivers too lazy to clear the windshield and side windows properly, so they might have some chance of seeing a biker, ped, or animal in the road - well lit or not. And this is not in horrid conditions where it is difficult to keep the windshield clear - just 2-3 inches of fluffy stuff. I think I will do a test of my lights with just the peek-through visibility that many drivers seem to think is sufficient. It will probably be alarming.

  33. #33
    rob
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    I love my 140R. I also supplement it with a PB SuperFlash. I get more passing room at night than during the day, mostly. Upfront I run a 200 on my helmet. I'll burn it at low beam for most of the commute that has street lights and can easily point it to get driver's attention just by looking at them.

    Public Service Announcement: I had a driver pull over a 100 yards in front of me, into a parking lot. He got out of his van and flagged me down. I pull over hesitantly. He wanted to let me know that where I had the blinkie mounted on my pack was not very visible when I was hunched over in a tuck position. I wasn't running the 140R this day. I thanked him and repositioned the blinkie to a better location.

  34. #34
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    ^^ I had a similar experience with a guy who slowed down and rolled his passenger window down (rural two lane road). Nice when the first words out of someone's mouth are "I ride too"... That's what motivated me to upgrade the rear light and mount it on the bike instead of the pack.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper
    I guess I wasn't clear... in a perfect world the commuter would have a great tail light and a great head light.

    I've read a lot on these and other forums about lights, night riding, commuting, etc. Most people, for whatever reason, don't take rear visibility as serious as they take front visibility. I know, I was one of them, I had a cheap blinkie and would go on night rides on dark roads with little to no shoulder. I figured out one day that the blinkie probably wasn't enough, so I bought a PB Superflash. I used that for a while and then graduated to the DiNotte. I was never hit while using a cheap blinkie, probably because I was lucky.
    Side visibility is also quite useful in city-type environments. I'd like to see a company make a powerful 15cm-long amber LED light bar powered by 2 AA's, that I could Velcro or zip-tie to the underside of my top tube and down tube. Bonus points if it's also reflective.

  36. #36
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    I appreciate your feedback. BTW, you were one of the people on these boards who inspired me to take my visibility to the next level. Thanks for enlightening me!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    :I also have lightweights (www.lightweights.org) on my spokes. On non-colored spokes, they're basically invisible in the daylight, and they weigh virtually nothing. The set of lightweights comes with 4 extra 'dot' shaped reflector stickers designed for the ends of quick release skewers... I put two on each heel of my shoes. A reflector on the pedal/foot isntantly lets cars know that you're a bike... no mistaking that movement..
    Wow! Here I am saving for reflective Velocity Deep Vee 700C rims and reflective side wall tires, but I can have the same effect much sooner! Hate that we have to do this. Love that someone has such a product. Thank's for reporting on it.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    To anyone with the superflash, how's the switch on it? Currently have a princeton tec swerve (dumb name for a good light) with a nice big lever, easy with gloves and you don't have to cycle thru 8 flash patterns to turn it off like my other blinkies. Thx

    You might like http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=240120 thread.

    I added my 2 cents on the Princeton vs PB Superflash/stealth in a long post.

    Short answer: No big issues with switch itself. You press through the lens to engage. I have three and one wants to be a little less consistent in switching on (harder press needed). This is a problem for the helmet: I have to turn it on before putting on the hemet to make sure it is on, though a mirror would, do too. But no problem to operate with my gloves.

    In the case of the Swerve you could feel it was in either on or flash and did not need to see it. The problem was that though the switch was in the position, the light would switch off over bumps and stay off. On the two I had, that got worse over time. Too bad, It was much more annoying flash so better at penetrating mental fog. But multiple PB's do the same.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    You might like http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=240120 thread.

    I added my 2 cents on the Princeton vs PB Superflash/stealth in a long post.
    In the case of the Swerve you could feel it was in either on or flash and did not need to see it. The problem was that though the switch was in the position, the light would switch off over bumps and stay off. On the two I had, that got worse over time. Too bad, It was much more annoying flash so better at penetrating mental fog. But multiple PB's do the same.
    Thanks for the tip on the PTec Swerve switch problems you had - I haven't run into that yet, but I'm still on the 1st set of batteries.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    Thanks for the tip on the PTec Swerve switch problems you had - I haven't run into that yet, but I'm still on the 1st set of batteries.
    My Swerves were early and late summer 2008. The second was a warranty replacement! It's a backup mounted horizontal (less bounce for switch) on slower fat-tired (softer) bike.

    The SF had the case-button and the come free issues. Both fixed now. So there's hope!

    Anyone got some miles on newer Swerves? I don't think they are quite as narrow in their best output as the SF's because neighbors commented on how far they could see me many times yet the o-ring mount rotates during rides (a ltttle sandpaper stops that). Plus, they are so delightfully, obnoxiously, in-your-face, hard to ignore!

    Lightweights on the way. I'll check my SF's Thanks OP: nice thread, even if 'another'.

  41. #41
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    The Swerve comes with two different sizes of 'O-rings' with a flange or tongue. The small one is for mounting to the stays. The large one for the seat post. The large one is also perfect to hold my POS LED emergency flashlight on the bar when needed. The tang lets you stretch it a lot more easily when attaching the light.

    Don't know if those are available separately.

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    Great examples. If you haven't taken the time to prop your bike up, like I mentioned in between the pictures above, physically take a ride far enough behind you as if you were an actual motorist and see if you can see your own light. It takes no more than a few minutes. A few of you have been lucky enough to have concerned cyclists take the time to stop and let you know that you were or were not visible enough for your own safety. You don't have to wait for someone to tell you that. Help protect yourself, and take the initiative!

  43. #43
    a lazy pedaler
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    look mechBgon "el cheapo" version of the Trek barend lights

    just If they weren't gray ...I need to do something with me trying to match everything.

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    Front: Dinotte 800L on bars
    Rear: Dinotte 400R rear tailight on rack (looks like a red sun flashing)
    Frame of bike: Green Bike Glow Safety light wrapped around main triangle
    Arms: Nite Ize Marker Bands - figure this helps cars to see me signalling for a turn

    The 400R tailight is very bright and the flash patterns are obnoxious, so it gets noticed. I had a guy today while we were stopped at a traffic light get out of his car to ask me what tailight I have - he thought it was a UFO landing it is so bright. Another time I stopped for a bagel and left the light on, and the employees thought there was a police car outside - they were wondering what happened .

    John B.

  45. #45
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    Pseudo commuting: no job. Just keeping in shape (weight off) for interviews, reducing stress, lowering BP. Well with traffic, maybe not, so much. At least I'm making myself more stress tolerant. No bike trails.

    'Between rush hour' has it's own flavors of drivers. Most are sane. There are the retired low mileage drivers who don't practice the craft enough and do not know where the right side of their vehicle is. A fraction of these should no longer drive, and as for any sub group, some should never have had a license, EVER!

    There are the distracted mothers reaching back/over to screaming pre-schoolers and/or driving while talking with an ear clamped on a cell phone. (Child endangerment? )

    Then there is the smattering of people late for meetings, running home for emergencies, (or nearly overdosed on caffeine?) chronically impatient, self-important, or megalomaniacal (Say 3 x fast. , I always wanted to use that word! But I digress), who can't afford even two seconds for your right of way and safety.

    There are drivers who "don't see" school buses stopped with flashing reds after their flashing yellows announced the stop or who decide they are much too busy or important to wait for someone else's kids. How can you "not see" a big black and yellow bus with all those big flashing lights and be able to keep your car going in the right direction? Some pull out in front of loaded bright red dump trucks speeding downgrade (Suicide? Darwinian selection?). You can't fix stupid, and we all can be from time to time. Scary, that.

    In 'light' of this and threads like this one, I have been upping the ante. Started 3 years ago nearly ninja: reflector only. What was that I said about being stupid from time to time? Well, maybe just overly trustingly naive.

    The ANSI vest, new headlight, and helmet lights actually get them to yield in sequence at stop signs! Every one I have met at 3 or 4 way stops so far, when that would have been 10-20% before the vest. Anecdotal, I know, but I am NOT going to run statistically valid tests to determine which of these added how much. Don't ask. YMMV, anyway.

    The lightweights are due today or tomorrow. Won't help much in the day, but night riding is warming up and the streets are much emptier and safer, then.

    I actually got to nod and cede my right of way after adding the vest and new light! (Often WAY more safe and the 'brownie points' when you are this conspicuous ion a small town are good too. They will recognize you.) Drivers overtaking me are now passing full in the other lane on the narrow street (20 feet maybe), to and from my subdivision, and not almost hitting me only 5-20 inches away like I'm a construction barrel.

    So this leads me to suspect that the three Super Flashes are trumped by the ANSI vest for overtaking drivers. That suspicion makes me think that more rear light with a wider angle is called for, as per bergjm's post on the Dinotte. The Super Flashes, though bright and annoying, are sensitive to aiming. How can you aim them well for drivers of anything from a Corvette to a Mack truck from 500 to 20 feet behind, up or downgrade, around bends?

    The further back the driver can see you, the more likely your image will be bounced from the subconscious 'autopilot' mode into the conscious "I've got a bike ahead, how's oncoming?." You won't get through to them all so a mirror and readiness to ditch is a good backup compared to joining them in the frontseat after going through their windshield or any other scenario. If the Dinotte 400 is not enough for you, here is a way to flood the road behind you in red light:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=252835

    My next project. Scorched earth.

  46. #46
    a lazy pedaler
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    almost there...

    lights on steady mode for the pic...



    lights off and flash...



    and front.



    I need to add more reflective tape and yes...I already change the battery in the rack taillight!

    I think (or at least I want to) that I don't need more lumens on front...the streets have lights and I think the two lights in flashy mode are doing the job.

  47. #47
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    Hey Martin, what is that bar that the headlights are mounted on?
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  48. #48
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    was an old handlebar that I got for free from a lbs...cut it to desired length, sandpaper work (it was bright yellow), and black spray enamel paint from HD

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinsillo
    was an old handlebar that I got for free from a lbs...cut it to desired length, sandpaper work (it was bright yellow), and black spray enamel paint from HD
    How did you attach it?
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  50. #50
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    second adjustable stem...remember I change the fork and leave the steerer tube uncut


  51. #51
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    Oh wow, OK cool. Must have missed that from your build thread (there have been so many lately). How do you like those Sigma headlights? That was my first commuter headlight, but I've since switched to a 1/2-watt Blaze. I still keep it in my bag though as a back-up.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  52. #52
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    I really think these Sigmas are very intense for their 3 leds...it always amaze me the distance from where I can begin to tell the flash on the road signs (and they are not pointing to the sky!)...now with two is really nice.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUNARFX

    For the rear, I have a smoked version of the Superflash. Highly effective and like someone said above, installed at an appropriate angle. Just because it's back there, doesn't mean people can see you effectively. Physically get in a car or truck, and drive a hundred yards behind and in front of your bike so you can actually see what the people around you see.
    i was looking in to buying this exact light...how does it work? have you had it in the rain at all?
    Just a Kid chasing his Dreams

  54. #54
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    'Reflections' on Visibility and the 'Red Light District'

    First. I thought some might like to see my current 'kit' in action.

    A stationary video of the kit minus vest is here:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...7&postcount=16

    To save me a lot of cutting and pasting until I know you want me to, here is the link showing day, lit street and dark road situations from a motorists point of view:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...6&postcount=62

    Started a new thread (help from Troutie) discussing a better DIY taillight for daytime use is here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...39#post3361439

    If you think I should meld these into a new thread in this sub category on MTBR, I can, but it will be the reader's digest condensed version. Anyone wanting all the gory details can go to the CPF threads. Or I can simply repost them in this thread.

  55. #55
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    Both my phone and video camera are poor tools to capture the small brief pulses of light from a Planet Bike Super Flash (PBSF) in daylight conditions. So it is a long verbal report only:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...1&postcount=67

    It tells of what Kathryn and I both saw or did not see. See had light adjusting sunglasses on (polarized light filters), I did not. She is normally sighted, I am extremely near sighted. We are both approaching 60, so our eyes are no longer young, but they are not yet failing.

    Drivers are not seeing at a distance what these lights seem to promise when we see them as we turn them on at our bikes. Bright clothing and relfective bands are best, but I hope to throw some light on the subject of being seen and recognized as a cyclsit early enough for the dirver to plan best how to proceed. Surprising drivers does not help us.

    Traveling the same route at the same times of day with mostly the same drivers will help a lot. They get used to seeing you about the same place each day depending on wind and departure times. My non-commute not-working-commuter miles do not fit any pattern so I am breaking in new drivers all the time. This may have a lot to do with my perception of a lot of dumb/careless drivers. The other part is that my rear lights are all but useless in the daylight.

  56. #56
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    I'm late to the party too...

    My dark commute on the Cx bike has me running: 15W halogen (Planet Bike Alias) going forward, Trek Beacon bar lights (I run a drop bar, so they replace the plugs) and a Blackburn Mars 4.0.

    The fs mtb has a DIY triple Cree XR-E on the bars (~850 lm on high), a Superflash on the seatbag and a flasher on my hydration pack.

    Both bikes have reflective tape on some spokes (rather than proper reflectors, which look just wrong on a fs mtb) and I also wear clothing with reflective striping.

    Be seen folks...it's a lot nicer than being a scene.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  57. #57
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    From earlier in the thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...1&postcount=14

    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    I now have a PDW Radbot 1000 on my helmet, not shown there [in the video clip in original post] (sort of a turbo-SuperFlash). ...I'm also a big fan of the SuperFlash as long as you get it aimed dead level and straight back. People seem to not comprehend that bike blinkies are directional and have to be aimed at the target.
    That thread has links to some nice video, too. Thanks. mechBgon! My issue is increasing daytime visibility and the ANSI vest works very well, but safety is a 'belts AND suspenders' or 'defense in depth' kind of thing. So I wanted better day blinkies than the Planet Bike SuperFlashes (SBSFs) I have.

    The PDW Radbot 1000 came up in a different forum with some nice video, though none in strong daylight with bike going into the distance.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...07#post3377607

    I post this here for those, like me, who favored the PBSF but want/need something more, at less outlay than the DInnote 140L or 400L, or that is self contained, or with side output. The Radbot 1000 may be what you are looking for. I orderd two. There will be video once I figure an optimal deployment.

  58. #58
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    Front - B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo
    - PB Blaze

    Rear - B&M Toplight Line Plus
    - PBSF

    And liberal amounts of misc reflective bits.

  59. #59
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    You guys need to visit the DIY Lights forum topic area for real. Seriously. You think your expensive-ass store-bought lights are bright??? Learn how to make your own for pennies on the dollar (no, really, no B.S.). For example, a 600 lumen light setup ought not cost $400.00, let’s try more along the lines of $50.00. 2,000 lumens (including battery pack) for around $120.00??? Well of course!!!
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  60. #60
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    DIY isn't a whole lot cheaper than Magicshine it sounds like, and it's more work.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryball
    Front - B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo
    - PB Blaze
    I was starting to wonder if I was the only Dyno Dork around here.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    I was starting to wonder if I was the only Dyno Dork around here.
    I LOOOOOOOOOVE not having to worry about batteries.

  63. #63
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    3N71, Inoled 10+ (piece of crap), Seculite Plus.
    One of these days I`m going to get myself a Cyo to replace that stupid, overpriced Inoled.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    3N71, Inoled 10+ (piece of crap), Seculite Plus.
    One of these days I`m going to get myself a Cyo to replace that stupid, overpriced Inoled.
    I got the Lumotec IQ Cyo R N Plus which is supposed to be the near field version. Has a taller beam to light up closer to the bike. I have crappy roads.

  65. #65
    weirdo
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    If I had bought a few months agao, I`d have gone for the R. From what I`ve read recently though, it doesn`t sound like there`s really much difference. I`ll take whichever is in stock. Have you tried the one without nearfield, any chance?

    I got the Inoled about 18 months ago to replace a cheap round Lumotec. For three times the price, I can`t say the LED lights up the road any better- the only advantage is that I don`t have to keep changing the bulbs since I never switch it off.

  66. #66
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    If it makes you feel less 'weird and dorky' there are a couple of great DIYers who run dynos, Krotonik's K-lite is available in headlight and tailight generator versions.

    I am seeking to eke the last out of a once 4.5 Ahr nominal 12 volt NiMH playing with LED lights while I save for a Schmidt, the disc bike to mount it on, and for LEDs to cross 200 lumens per watt (later this year according to leaks from CREE). I have some not nice roads, too, and possibly worse drivers and would love to ditch the battery.

  67. #67
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    Brian, it seems to me that you have a few close calls or other incedents about twice a week. You might look into dyno as a backup, but I think I`d keep the batteries as a principle if I were you. Both LEDs and Dynos have come a long way in the past few years, but dyno lights still don`t put out anywhere near as much light as a heavy duty battery system. I love dyno, but I think your mileage WILL vary.

    .02

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Brian, it seems to me that you have a few close calls or other incedents about twice a week.
    Some references are to expereinces over 45 years of cycling. Thirty eight with 'nice bikes'.

    But yes I have had more close calls in the last 3 years that in all previous ones combined. Close call frequencies have made me up the conspicuousness ante and have me carefully considering routes. The roads are narrow, curbs, and other obstacles can remove outs, and drivers are NOT prepared for fast cyclists. Those are the ones that are aware at all. Even pedestrians in crosswalks are at risk here. I love getting out into the country roads where the lower traffic volume lets me come out of RED alert mode to a reduced level of orange.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    You might look into dyno as a backup, but I think I`d keep the batteries as a principle if I were you. Both LEDs and Dynos have come a long way in the past few years, but dyno lights still don`t put out anywhere near as much light as a heavy duty battery system. I love dyno, but I think your mileage WILL vary.
    .02
    The lights I have would be adequate for 25 mph at about 6.5 watts total with a little more honing of the low beam's lenses. But really nice at a total of 10 watts and good for 45 mph descents at 20 watts. More efficient LED's would bring all but the highest level output to a dyno system. Keeping the high beam on battery would be a good option as the battery will gradually lose runtime.

    A plan to install a 90 mm drum brake/dyno (Sturmey Archer) on the errand bike as a winter emergency back-up brake system (discs are not an option without a new bike) and to always have lights on it, ready to go. Since it will never ride unlit roads in darkness outside my subdivision, it doesn't need as much lighting up front. Tail light, yes.

    I take your point about replacing the POS emergency backup light I have with a dyno system. It had crossed my mind to start my next bike piecemeal, generator first.

  69. #69
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1
    DIY isn't a whole lot cheaper than Magicshine it sounds like, and it's more work.
    Ooooh, and it’s a hectic lazy world we live in here in ’mericuh. Yeah, hands-on projects are for time-wasting dreamers. Besides, who uses their hands anymore? I hear they have hand factories in China lined up by the hundreds of dozens.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    Ooooh, and it’s a hectic lazy world we live in here in ’mericuh...
    OK some people DO have money and little time. Some I wouldn't trust to screw a light bulb in a socket without cross-threading it. Buying rather than building a light is the right thing for them.

    The MJ-808 has some fundamental issues that made some label it as 'disposable'. It's a good enough light for many. It wasn't good enough for many of us who elected to build lights rather than buy the MJ-808.

    Those who could see themselves making their own light, can with patience and dilligence do bettter. Some much better. Those who can't see wasting time making a light rather than buying one and riding won't. We are not all the same. Thank goodness.

    As this is a thread about bike lights, IMHO, ALL are welcome to post and their choices are their choices. It is what it is.

  71. #71
    weirdo
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    I agree with what you`re saying, Brian. I think you and I took different meanings from L.P.`s post, though.

    I built a battery powered halogen setup, but that`s about the limits of my electrical capabilties. Dyno and LED both fall under the "Keep Out" category for me. Kind of a bummer because there`s lots of cool stuff going on with the more advanced DIY lights.

  72. #72
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    Leopold & Tom93R1 & rodar y rodar

    Apollogies extended if I misunderstood.

  73. #73
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    I work a swing shift, and have a nice early afternoon ride in, and a white knuckle race with drunks leaving bars on the way home. I run a Schmidt hub to power a Schmidt Edelux headlight and a Busch & Müller 4D LITE Plus taillight on my fender, with Velocity ELVS rims, and Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres for extra visibility.

    It is a pretty visiable bike.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/seditio...ry/3283769786/

  74. #74
    weirdo
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    But if it was ME who misunderstood?
    Hey, where did he go? No more 3R1 post.

  75. #75
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeditiousCanary


    Whoohoo! Edelux, even! We`re pedaling up some juice now!

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    I agree with what you`re saying, Brian. I think you and I took different meanings from L.P.`s post, though.

    I built a battery powered halogen setup, but that`s about the limits of my electrical capabilties. Dyno and LED both fall under the "Keep Out" category for me. Kind of a bummer because there`s lots of cool stuff going on with the more advanced DIY lights.
    LED lighting isn't bad. I built my first light a few weekends ago and it came out well. Using a buckpuck or other current driver, you can wire it up as simple as halogen. My only caution would be to make sure to buy some heat transfer compound for the back of the LED. keeps it cool - i just bought some cheap 2.99 stuff from radioshack. works good so far. Total spent was about 80, but that included unnecessary items and extras - actual costs for the light would be closer to about $50. I haven't found a cheaper solution and it took about less than 10 hours to make with hand tools and a drill.

    Back to the thread topic, my current setup which I haven't tested a huge amount yet...

    Front light
    DIY LED setup - 2 luxeon rebel LEDs w/ 8.7 degree and 12 degree optics
    Battery pack is either a 5xAA setup or drill battery pack, giving 3 - 5 hours of runtime at full output.




    Rear light
    blackburn mars 3.0 (amazing light for $17.99 - hard to make a better DIY setup)
    schwinn taillight from walmart (works alright with 5 modes)

  77. #77
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    DIY lights do take time, yes, I will not dispute that fact. My latest setup (sextuplet CREE XP-G @ 2A) took over one week of “free time” after work to produce. Mind you, I have two children and am the “head chef” of the household, so what ever time is left over is for projects in the garage. Just gotta have some motivation (and some good beer, in my case).
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  78. #78
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    Front
    Magichine 900

    Rear
    Selle Royal ICS Blinkie Light

    I also have reflective tape every on the bike which is black but have read on the fenders.
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  79. #79
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    Increasing numbers of close calls where the driver blew me of as "just a bicycle" and misjudged my speed (and I am not longer THAT fast, but I am no traffc cone, either), has led me on the quest to up the conspicuity index.

    At night I have no issue. Lightweights, reflector tape, and bright lights. I can see headlights on cross streets before the vehicles, and my front lights puzzle drivers a lot, making them stop and look, and think. Haven't had overtake issues either.

    Day is the problem. An ANSI vest helped a LOT and made me suspect that the three Planet Bike Superflashes were not super in the day. I was operating under the delusion they actually helped. One aspect is that they drop output A LOT with long-used cells. I suggest 6 hours if on full mode with 700 mAhr cells, 8 with the best 1000 mAhr ones. Flash modes are easier on power, I haven't had the patience to test, so play it safe with 2-3 times the run time but no more. Yes they can take 100 hours to drain alkaline cells but the last 70 hours or so are at decreasing output. The second aspect is that they have a VERY narrow beam and must aim straight back, and lastly, they are better than nothing in the day, but not by much.

    So I have three lights in evaluations:

    1. PBSF (never intended for day use, BTW)
    (Review of stealth version: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...d.php?t=240120)

    2. Radbot1000 (one of two blinkies the Mfr says are decent in daylight, The other the Cateye TL1100)
    (Discussion and review: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...d.php?t=274251)

    3. And two 1 watt MR16 DX red spot lights modded to fit twin Marwi housings:

    https://img31.imageshack.us/i/twintailights.jpg/

    Build guide:
    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...3&postcount=99

    <$20 each but you need a 12-16 volt power supply or replace the drivers.

    Indoor static test:
    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...&postcount=102
    Hot darn!

    Outdoor static test:
    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...&postcount=109
    Brighter than brake lights.

    So how well do these lights work in daylight? Obviously I can't ride and watch at the same time so I needed a video for my own purposes. This is about the best video I can do with this camera, at nearly high noon. Enjoy.

    https://img64.imageshack.us/img64/8811/radbot3.mp4

    Sorry, about the aim. It was about 20 minutes before local solar noon, so the monitor screen was black and the aim is slightly off. I had to sacrifice focus for more pixels, but it shows what I wanted to show.

    Notes:

    1. The light poles are 200 feet apart. It is 1/4 mile from the camera to the Stop sign/turnaround.

    2. The 1 watt spots are aimed about 5 degrees outboard. So you see a fade/bright effect as the bike weaves and the beams swing past your eyes when up close. Cheap flash mode, I guess. Nice warning of pothole dodging.

    3. There is a PBSF on the back of the helmet. You can see it at 6-8 seconds, sort-of. Bending over to change gears (DT shifters) makes it useless. It needs a pivoting mount to keep it vertical.

    4. The side marker PBSF's are visible at 7-8 seconds. That is their usual side view. So if you have a single PBSF and hope drivers can see it from the sides, well, good luck with that.

    5. The narrow intense beam of the flashing helmet light (3 XPG R5's with aspheric lenses @ 1 A in Bflex's flash mode), shows up early and well at the turn around but at closer distances, the handlebar light (same LED's Carclo 10417 18 degree FWHM @ 0.5 A) takes over unless I turn my head to aim the narrow high beam right at the driver (camera).

    Conclusion: adequate lighting for daytime augmentation of ANSI vest. If a lowering sun will wash these lights out some, the vest will be even brighter, glowing like Neon. On cloudy days or passing into shade the lights will take over.

    So what about the Radbot1000 compared to the Planet Bike Superflash? I have to say I was disappointed in my fiest day video that showed me how poor the PBSF's were in bright daylight. I am impressed with the way the Radbot1000s add to the red spot lights. They were visible at the turn around 1/4 mile away. The PBSF's narrow beam and low output mean they aren't too useful (50-100 feet?), so I am using them as side markers and on the helmet which is more helpful at night.

    I am still invisible to too many drivers, but I at least have reduced the percentage some.

    I hope this is of some use to some of you. Obviously, a night video is in the plans. Are 4 watts of tail lights enough for good night conspicuity? The plot thickens...

    Ride safe. Ride on.

    Brian.

  80. #80
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    Thanks for taking the time to shoot and post that, Brian
    It`s a good thing nobody stole your camera and tripod while you were trying in vain to ride out of sight!

    What I found most interresting was the stubbornness of the Radbot after a few hundred yards. Initially, it looked like it would soon fade into nothing, but that last remnant of light kept on flashing and calling forever. And that through a video camera- I suppose it`s more noticeable to the eye.

    Yeah, the PBSF is all but invisible. I didn`t even notice it the first time through. When I came back to the thread, I read your equipment breakdown and went back to the video- had to keep "rewinding" to that point in order to kinda-sorta see it. While I still think the SuperSpaz wins by a nose in the dark (can`t ignore that seizure inducing pattern), it clearly doesn`t hold a candle to the Radbot in the day.

    Also, very nice DRLs up front. I never thought about that pothole flash mode, but it does seem to work out well.

    A few things I wonder about concerning the test itself. Since the camera is in line with you for the tail light view, if it were in line with your headlight view path, do you think the angle difference would make much difference as far as lower TL visibility and higher HL visibility? Second, at high noon the day is very bright, but the worst time is probably that few minutes of sun in your eyes right before sunset or after sunrise. I`m sure that`s occurred to you and probably a cape lighthouse wouldn`t help for those situations. Anyway, I have seen a lot of night time light footage, but this is only the second daylight demonstration of bike light effectiveness I`ve seen, so it`s very helpfull. I think the biggest point that applies directly to me is not to put much faith in the daytime usefullness of my Superflashes and to consider a Radbot if I find myself in more sketchy traffic riding. For those who stumble into this thread and don`t know about Radbot, they`re not available from many sources, but Google will find you one and they`re very cheap- looks like a bargain. Brian, any guesses why they still haven`t taken off? Maybe just not in a good financial point to get a new product distributed from a small company trying to compete with the big boys?

  81. #81
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    I got a compliment today on my ride. Guy in a truck flagged me down to see what was up with my rear light. Said he saw a “strange red laser light” from “a couple miles away”.


    When I explained the homebuild process, he said he thought they should cost more and of course was shocked at how cheaply a good daylight visible beam could cost.

    I always ride with my lights on, day or night. My reason for this is the increase in driver inattention thanks to advancements in technology which make it more convenient for them to not pay attention to what they are doing while driving. Got to toot the car horn at someone today too. Lady was totally startled, put her non-hands-free cellphone down even!
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    It`s a good thing nobody stole your camera and tripod while you were trying in vain to ride out of sight!
    As Alice Cooper sang "School's out for Summer". That is the eastern access road to the new consolidated elementary school (5 years old, I think). There are some summer programs, but mostly that side is deserted. I got some strange looks setting the camera up on the Ranger's hood (no tripod) so I MacGuver's a flat surface. Its old enough it is 9" x 3" x 5" and maybe not very desireable. The Ranger was neatly parked in the last center parking space neatly lined up on the access road. When I shoot at night, people driving by on the road at the stop sign call the cops but I have been leaving as they arrive. I have a night shoot in my near future. (Tomorrow night?) Hope I stay lucky.


    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    What I found most interresting was the stubbornness of the Radbot after a few hundred yards. Initially, it looked like it would soon fade into nothing, but that last remnant of light kept on flashing and calling forever. And that through a video camera- I suppose it`s more noticeable to the eye.
    I think that is partly the pixelation of the camera responding to the Radbots AND the spots. But I agree, they performed better than expected. Worth keeping freshly charged cells in.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Yeah, the PBSF is all but invisible. I didn`t even notice it the first time through. When I came back to the thread, I read your equipment breakdown and went back to the video- had to keep "rewinding" to that point in order to kinda-sorta see it. While I still think the SuperSpaz wins by a nose in the dark (can`t ignore that seizure inducing pattern), it clearly doesn`t hold a candle to the Radbot in the day.
    I posted a video in the first posting here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=272339

    Didn't run for me right now, maybe it needs to be reloaded. The two rear facing PBSFs dissappeared afte about 50-100 feet and started my quest.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Also, very nice DRLs up front. I never thought about that pothole flash mode, but it does seem to work out well.

    A few things I wonder about concerning the test itself. Since the camera is in line with you for the tail light view, if it were in line with your headlight view path, do you think the angle difference would make much difference as far as lower TL visibility and higher HL visibility?
    Let's see if I understand. If I had parked my 'tripod' Ranger in the slot to the left of where it was, in line with the left lane, it would emulate an overtaking vehicle with the cyclist on the shoulder or in the right lane of a four lane road or street, and in the case of the return trip of the bike with headlights, it would emulate someone passing and headed straight for the cyclist.

    In the case of the headlights, I already know that the high beam would be almost blinding especially as I got close if I was looking straight at the oncoming windshield. I would likely be heading to a ditch, unless the driver just pulled out. I have the option with one click of doubling the output of the light on the handle bar, too.

    Your question about the tailights is very interesting. I was focused on the functioning of the lights and not how I actually use them for a significant portion of my riding. I ride a lot of shoulder, though close to the traffic lane to be seen, and a repeat with the lights as they are and the left ones aimed the left would be very interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Second, at high noon the day is very bright, but the worst time is probably that few minutes of sun in your eyes right before sunset or after sunrise. I`m sure that`s occurred to you and probably a cape lighthouse wouldn`t help for those situations.
    The sun-in-the-eyes time of day I think is one of the most dangerous to be in traffic on a bike. As a driver, it is hard to see anything unless you have polarized glasses or the self darkening sunglasses. I do. On the other hand, the lowering sun before it gets low enough to make a visor useless, shines straight at tailights and washes them out. That is the time of day of the link to the static road test. It is a worst case scenario and my favorite time to test daylight intensity and the vest looks radioactive in that light. The car's left brakelight is glare because the camera lens has no polarized filter. No issue with my glasses (polarized). You can just make out the Radbots beside the Spots. More a pixel thing of the cheap cell phone camera than actual performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Anyway, I have seen a lot of night time light footage, but this is only the second daylight demonstration of bike light effectiveness I`ve seen, so it`s very helpfull. I think the biggest point that applies directly to me is not to put much faith in the daytime usefullness of my Superflashes and to consider a Radbot if I find myself in more sketchy traffic riding. For those who stumble into this thread and don`t know about Radbot, they`re not available from many sources, but Google will find you one and they`re very cheap- looks like a bargain. Brian, any guesses why they still haven`t taken off? Maybe just not in a good financial point to get a new product distributed from a small company trying to compete with the big boys?
    Guesses:
    1. There is the Radbot 1000 and the Radbot 500. The 500 is the same light output as the Superflash without quite as effective a flash mode. The PBSF is better than the 500, so maybe the 1000 got 'lost' in that? An early post in this thread http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...1&postcount=14 reports on using the Radbot. 1000 as a "kind of Turbo superflash" on the helmet and that was my first discovery it existed. No one was reviewing it.

    2. If you search here or in CPF the PBSF was deemed the answer about 2007. Better and cheaper than the Priceton Swerve (flash mode and mounting), and brighter than the Cateye TL1000 (now upgraded as the TL1100). So I think a lot of bike and bike light people thought they had all the blinkie they'd ever want.

    3. I think the quest for a good daytime tail ight is relatively recent and spurred by increased numbers of inattentive drivers. Yes Dinotte has powerful tail lights, and there are others, but it hasn't reached critical mass, yet. So the Radbot1000 is a product to answer a need that cyclists are just discovering in larger numbers.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    I got a compliment today on my ride. Guy in a truck flagged me down to see what was up with my rear light. Said he saw a “strange red laser light” from “a couple miles away”. When I explained the homebuild process, he said he thought they should cost more and of course was shocked at how cheaply a good daylight visible beam could cost.:
    Like minded here. Could you spare a mo' and write up your homebuild? Here or in a new thread?

    My impression is that constables there are more than happy to point out where you have violated the law. The fact you are getiing away with it indicates a good chance we can do it too in the law enforcement deprived areas we ride.

    BTW the camera still doesn't do the lights justice, but 2 miles is unlikely. I may need to see if I can borrow better camera and see how far they do work.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Like minded here. Could you spare a mo' and write up your homebuild? Here or in a new thread?

    My impression is that constables there are more than happy to point out where you have violated the law. The fact you are getiing away with it indicates a good chance we can do it too in the law enforcement deprived areas we ride.

    BTW the camera still doesn't do the lights justice, but 2 miles is unlikely. I may need to see if I can borrow better camera and see how far they do work.
    Well, I have not read the laws that pertain to maximum lumen output, but I do realise that a 900+ lumen shot of 635nm red light is highly visible during the day—people seem to pay attention. Couple that with the 2,200+ lumen (estimated, 6-up XP-G @ 2A) front white LED light, and it is a formidable force against the light of day.

    Oh yeah, the homebuild. Well, two 3-UP CREE XP-G up front, each has it’s own 1A 3023 Buckpuck. Out back, two claimed 10W 9-emitter red (635nm) LEDs of unknown origin (can find them on eBay with a search for “10w red led”), driven by one 1A 3023 Buckpuck, light ported through two E27 LED bulb housings (of the heatsink variety), with a narrow optic (less than 20°) and a somewhat mid-wide optic (35° or so). Front and rear lights each get their own 14.8V 4400mAh Li-Ion battery pack.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    Well, I have not read the laws that pertain to maximum lumen output, but I do realise that a 900+ lumen shot of 635nm red light is highly visible during the day—people seem to pay attention. Couple that with the 2,200+ lumen (estimated, 6-up XP-G @ 2A) front white LED light, and it is a formidable force against the light of day.
    Yep. Much the same in the video except the high beam light is a narrow full cutoff beam. and I was runnig the bar light at 0.5 amp. .

    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    Oh yeah, the homebuild. Well, two 3-UP CREE XP-G up front, each has it’s own 1A 3023 Buckpuck. Out back, two claimed 10W 9-emitter red (635nm) LEDs of unknown origin (can find them on eBay with a search for “10w red led”), driven by one 1A 3023 Buckpuck, light ported through two E27 LED bulb housings (of the heatsink variety), with a narrow optic (less than 20°) and a somewhat mid-wide optic (35° or so). Front and rear lights each get their own 14.8V 4400mAh Li-Ion battery pack.

    This the red LED? http://cgi.ebay.com/1PCS-10W-HIGH-PO...item439f3027cb

  86. #86
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    I decided I needed to know and not guess how often to swap cells in the Radbots when they are in flash mode. Running a runtime for flash mode two: Dash-dot-dot (or is it Dot-dot Dash, or Dot-dash-dot)? I get those mixed up. Results in a few more hours.

    Here is a video of the lights in Side view at night, no headlights, so no reflectors or tape activated: an active lighting evaluation only. PBSF's aimed out to side:

    http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/1416/radbot5.mp4

    Due to operator error I lost the left to right pass with the 1 Watts on but slowed the right to left pass with a pause. The next two passes are Radbots and side firing and helmet PBSF's without the 1 watt spots.

    My summary: I like the side firing PBSF's: they would help a pedestrian. A motorist who sees them at this point, and is about to pull out will be well warned, especially if I am staring at him with the high beam! No help for a driver blowing the stop at speed, so constant vigilance and riding like you are invisible remains the best defense.

    As expected, no side visibility from the 1 watts. Could put a short snoot on them, but I think the Radbots and PBSF's have the side covered for pedestrians or dolts driving with no lights.

    http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/7014/radbot9.mp4

    This one is the full complement (2 x 1 watt spots, 2 x 25 watt radbots on Dash-dot-dot, and 3 x 13 w PBSF one rear firing on helmet two side firing on stays), headlights on half power (0.5 amp). Don't really need them to see in this much street lighting. I parked my 'tripod' in marked parking space to the left and one back from the previous videos. I weaved so different angles of approach could be evaluated (straight behind, to side as if bike is one shoulder, car turning in behind bike, etc). I suspect the red flash at turn around is the side firing PBSF lining up just right and combined with output of the other lights kicking off enough pixels to show. The road rises so the light would be at camera level. So that makes me think the daylight shot had the same thing with its flash at turn around, the PBSF being in shadow of the bike and rider from a slightly east of overhead sun. If so, that can explain observations of PBSF's sometimes showing well at distance in daylight. Shade of trees buildings, less intense light before sunrise/sunset and overcast would all help its relative contrast. So PBSFs can be seen at a distance in daylight, just not reliably or intensly enough for distracted drivers.

    Nothing exceeds like excess. A total of about 250 lumens aimed back and maybe 20 to each side. Looks like I have small JATO's attached. Can't imagine the fury of two of the 10 watt 550 lumen red modules at night. Even with lens losses that would be 4 X as much light! Saturn V to the JATOs!

    http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/7591/radbot11.mp4

    Lastly, a repeat of the Radbots and PBSFs without the 1 watts and a ride straight at the camera with the headlights (only half power) You can see the extra flash mode of the PBSF's laid over the Radbot flashing for about 400 feet. Nice heartbeat pulse. Calming but demands attention.

    The helmet PBSF works much better, but still needs a pivot to remain pointing back.

    A question was asked the previous day video camera placement. What would the lights look like off to the side as if the bike was on a shoulder, the car was passing, or was in a second lane of a multi-lane road?

    At a distance, the angles are so close there is no real dfference and for the most part, that early long distance warning is what I am looking for. Still, there are a number of places on my routes with short sight lines where a motorist would happen on a cyclist much closer with no previous warning. I think the swerving shows that the 1 watts are significantly brighter straight behind, but are far from weak at minor angles (about 30 degrees max) of approach. I could sacrifice some output to a difuser lens giving a wider shallower beam to cover the car coming around a corner with me up ahead at 45 degrees off axis, but then I am more visble at that angle, and the passive vest is a big help, too. I could increase the diverence angle and gain a lot of that with little effort.

    Hope this helps and remember YMMV. Especially with 1000 lumens of tail light. If this (250 lumens) isn't enough, Leopold has shown the way!


    PS: The flash mode results are in with two 'rides' and a night downtime between. Two hours faster decline to 95% of the 1 hour output and steady slow decline for 8 hours to 87%. The next 30 minute drops output to 74% anoither 30 to 67%. So no more than 4 hours on steady-on and eight on the Dash-dot dot mode.


    Ride safe. Ride on.

    Brian.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 07-02-2010 at 09:15 AM.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    That’s the one, except I buy mine without heatsinks since I’m just using a different one for my designs.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  88. #88
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    The fall equinox is past for us north of the equator, and riding in the dark if it hasn't arrived already for your NH commute, will return as it does this time of year.

    I posted in the DIY forum a couple of cell phone shots of my lights in action for those interested in road lights.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=654206

    There is a reason the normal photo parameters in MTBR DIY forum are for a longer exposure at a specific F stop. The cell phone exposure is too short, so the lights are dimmer and don't show as far as they do with human eyes adapted to the dark. I didn't feel like lugging the film 35 mm and blowing the cost of a roll of film and developing for a couple of pics, when I have new video cams coming that I hope will show them in action.

    On full power each light is as powerful as a normal halogen car light but the beams are more concentrated. I don't need all that to see, 1/3 power is fine on dry pavement, but it seems to convince drivers overtaking me not to hit their highs before they are by me (and mess up my night vision).

    I get a bit more than three hours run time from an old NiHM (12 volt, was 50 W-hr, now maybe 40) and a new DIY 11.1 v 50 W-hr LiPo pack, that will only drive either head light to about 70% discharged, but can run the taillights on the remainder until discharged. I haven't run them down to shut down in this arrangement and forced my backup mode, though, so the runtimes are best guesses based on experience with both batteries. Both headlights warn of lowering voltage and I can drop to half power to extend runtime. I like the fast charge time on the LiPo and the fact it is about half the weight of the NiMH in a smaller package. I will milk the old battery until its runtime gets too short (It's about 4 years old now, and spent 2 year in the box which is not good for it), then build another Lipo pack.

  89. #89
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    I use a Planet Bike combo:
    Blaze 1 watt front, and Superflash tail-light in the back.

    I cannot speak for how visible I am to motorists. But I know I live on serious hills and before the Blaze, I would blast down a quite steep hill, Penn Ave, for my commute to work at 30+mph in attack mode(when your ass is off the seat and you have your knees and elbows bent to absorb shock) with my front shock unlocked. Also there is a shortcut to my work behind my recycling center where I have to go through a very brief dirt trail that has tree roots sticking up. Before the Blaze I had to go into very low gearings and try to stay in attack mode all the time, but still alot of days I would have to have my feet touch the ground after stumbling blindly.

    Now with the blaze, I don't have to be in attack mode all the time, because I can see all the potholes and manholes before they are coming.

    These are types of hills I live ontop:
    Liberty street top view, looking down:

    Liberty street bottom view, looking up:

    Penn Avenue top view, looking down:

    Penn Avenue bottom view, looking up:


    Though I try to never go down Liberty even in daylight, it is too dangerous, there are cars parked on both sides and only one lane, so if a car is coming up or down or a car is pulling out, you are risking to get blasted.
    Last edited by RoyFokker; 10-05-2010 at 10:48 PM.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker
    WHEEEEE!!!
    Looks like fun. Sure glad I don`t have to ride up it, though.
    Recalculating....

  91. #91
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    Street lighting is a big help. Some Blaze users upgraded to the 2 W. It looks like a very good for the money. On unlit roads is is an OK to see light a very good to be seen and backup light.

    I also find that I get WAY more respect at night than in the day. So I could likely get away with less except I ride a lot of unlit roads and have older eyes.

    I want a claim of "I didn't see you!" to be an admission of fault, not a disclaimer of responsibility and a finger pointed at me for not standing out.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Swerve into traffic to be seen.

    Still working for me....did it again this morning whole line of cars moved across the yellow line to pass the lump of four riders going down 10th ave.

    Right now the issue is the sun rise occurs right at rush hour, so every one heading east is blinded...

    Not even a big red light helps much.

    Best way to mitigate the problem if the driver behind you is blinded, get the **** out of the way cause he can't see you at all...

    If he isn't blinded make sure he sees you and then try to ride in front of that guy so he knows your there....down 10 th ave that is doable, given the lights and speed of traffic.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    ...Right now the issue is the sun rise occurs right at rush hour, so every one heading east is blinded...Not even a big red light helps much...if the driver behind you is blinded, get the **** out of the way ...If he isn't blinded make sure he sees you and then try to ride in front of that guy so he knows your there.....

    +1 Though different streets. I HATE riding into the sun at either end of the day. The closer in latitude to the poles, the slower the sun sets, too stringing out the agony. So Calgary has it worse than Cincinati-Inianapolis area.

    The roads are so narrow I must take the lane or get run over, with the driver's all sqinty eyed, and the cyclist a mere silhouette, and them driving too fast. The direct alternate routes are even worse. Working less traveled and more sanely driven roads to come home with the Sun behind on the worst section is one method. Another way to stay out of the way is to leave earlier or later or hang for a while. I wonder if car-bike accident stats are broken down by time to civil dawn/dusk?

    A big light doesn't help much but a HUGE one might. This is the one situation where Leopold's SuperNova of rear tailights might pay off.

    Maybe he has tested that and wishes to respond?

  94. #94
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    FYI: Nighlighning's AftaBlasta day visible tail light and the rest of their range now has a North American Distributor:

    http://www.xcleds.com/page2.html

    A comparably priced (but more visible?) alternative to the Dinnote but requires a 12-18 V battery pack. 360 degree output is unique.

  95. #95
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    Wow!!! Got the rechargeable AA batteries for my new Dinotte taillight (140-R-AA) and turned it on last night - it is crazy-bright. You can't bear to look at it flashing in your hand. I'll report back after using it on the commute, but I'm impressed so far.

  96. #96
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    The 140 is brighter than car tail lights (with the lights and brakes on) based on my tests of lights with 70% of the power.. It will light up the backsides of street signs behind you or if aimed down more make a trailing pool of red light.

    My impression from talking to local motorists who have seen my lights (200 lumens non-flashing and another 60 flashing) is they first appreciate the effort made to be seen by them, and secondly they respond with increased respect and courtesy (not stated that way but derived from what they said nad what they do). Give some respect; get some respect. Most of them are trying to be ghood drivers, they just need their attention refocused.

    I for one would be interested in whether you detect any change in motorists' behavior approaching you aon the bike with this light. Anecdotal and not scientific, but we'll take it.

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    The cheapest, most effective safety device is a reflective vest you can get at walmart for $10 bucks. (Google search "ANSI Class 2") Any automobile's headlights will light you up like a christmas tree.

    I use a hub dynamo (Shimano Alfine) light setup, Supernova E3 Triple (800 lumens) and the E3 taillight. I never have to worry about recharging, replacing, loosing, failing, falling off, or the running out of batteries. It reaches near full luminance at 8mph (i'd say 75% brightness or so, non-scientific measurement of course) on my 700cc rim. It'll still run 5-10 minutes on internal supercapacitors if you come to a stop, too.

    I still use a Dinotte 140R in the back with the dynamo rear light, the Supernova taillight isn't quite as blinding as I want my taillight to be!

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by seth586
    The cheapest, most effective safety device is a reflective vest you can get at walmart for $10 bucks. (Google search "ANSI Class 2") Any automobile's headlights will light you up like a christmas tree.

    I use a hub dynamo (Shimano Alfine) light setup, Supernova E3 Triple (800 lumens) and the E3 taillight. I never have to worry about recharging, replacing, loosing, failing, falling off, or the running out of batteries. It reaches near full luminance at 8mph (i'd say 75% brightness or so, non-scientific measurement of course) on my 700cc rim. It'll still run 5-10 minutes on internal supercapacitors if you come to a stop, too.

    I still use a Dinotte 140R in the back with the dynamo rear light, the Supernova taillight isn't quite as blinding as I want my taillight to be!
    Do you find the E3 triple to be too much for the road? I want to be seen, but I don't want to blind drivers into crashing or hitting me.

  99. #99
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    The two Key Fob cameras I demo'd in the How was your commute thread, were bought specifically so I could see what my bike lights were doing. When you DIY you don't have a huge research budget. I also want to be assured of what I am showing to drivers, if ther is a debate on the matter. Note the cameras were built with the camera out of square with the housing (cheap). I forgot the tape to hold them lined up better, just lean right for a bit.

    They are posted on CPF, but rather than drop you into threads of little interest to you, I will repost the videos here.

    The access road to the grade school is almost abandoned at nigh and on weekends. I have made it my own sort of 'Red Light District'.

    First up is a video of increasing lumens aimed rearward. I would have loved a Dinotte 140 and Leopold P's flamenwerfers, but...

    <embed src="http://img256.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pblinkys" width="480" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    A video exploring the Radbot1000. About 2 X the output of a PBSF. Both of these when paired on seat stays combine to look like a much bigger light and since the cameras are at low light they are running only 6 frames a second instead of 30 so the true frenetic action of two inteacting blinkys is not done justice here. Not by a long shot.

    <embed src="http://img85.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pradbot1000" width="480" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    So how well do they work in the day? This video is taken with the light low and shing (washing out) the lights. I did not ride slow at the start to help the lights actions be noted well. As a video on daytime rear lights it makes a huge argument in support of light coloered clothing!

    <embed src="http://img826.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Psuperflash" width="480" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    This is where Leopold P's rear lights would shine (well they do when turned on about anwhere except a dry uce freezer). Still the human eye sees more detail than these cameras can show and the pulsing effect on the distant image draws you attention excatly as wanted.

    <embed src="http://img826.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Psuperflash" width="480" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    Now for the headlights. They are described here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=260534

    In this video the helmet light is on the bars as it is for the ride along video further down this post. The high was intended for the helmet, it was easier to do the night road shoot without worrying about aiming the light for the camera, and so that mount wasa carried over for this video. When looking directly back at them they are much more intense (like in a rear view mirror), and yes, I have aimed the helmet light in the mirror of a right hooker at the next stop. I seem to be slowly educating the locals.

    embed src="http://img233.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pheadlightsday" width="480" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/><br/>
    <a href="http://profile.imageshack.us/user/BrianMcB">[More videos from BrianMcB]</a>

    The Sony was recalled to action because the keyfobs are useless in low light. I elected not to record in 'Nightshot' mode as it records a lot of IR. The light is too low for the Sony and it isn't sensitive enough to pick up the outer reaches of the high or the wider spill of the low. On high, the lights are defintiely brighter than car's low beams. Their high beams flood everthing somthing, my high was never intended to do. I could argue for a nice floody thrower as a true high and consider these as low and medium.

    <embed src="http://img824.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pheadlightridethemusi" width="480" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    Taming the highs so I don't force neighbors into the ditch (nearly happened 3 X), means taht I might hev done it too well. The day video indicates not. So have I done it well enough?

    <embed src="http://img820.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pbeam" width="480" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>


    So other than designing and building a flashing unit to drive the 1 Watts, and test whether flashing is truly better than raw power at the same power (looks like it is), I only have to save for my hub generator!

    I wondered how the ligths affected the passive reflectors on the bike. It has white tape on the forks, Light Weights on the spokes fender stays and pedals, red reflective tape on therear fender and seat stays, red reflectors on the Radbots. I have light weights on the helmet, ANSI vest with rflective tape, and reflective parts of teh shoes, light colored pants. Try to look through the red haze of the tailights, a lot of that is camera aberartion, though it is clear that unless I am under a street light there isn't much of a signal relative to the lights.

    <embed src="http://img242.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Mpassive" width="640" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    So the light colored clothing and reflectors don't do a lot for oncoming or approaching drivers IF you have good, bright functioning lights. BUT they are essential for cross traffic as their lights will be closer, full at you, and you aren't putting out near the lumens to the sides. It suggests that hunkering down in the drops won't hurt night visibility much. Though from the day videos above, it has to hurt daytime visibility. It is sort of a defence in depth. If your batteries run low you still have a good reflective system. It also suggests that for winter riding when commutes both ways are in the dark, a dark winter coat isn't a big issue if you had a crossing guard-like belting of reflective tape to help cross traffic.

    I wish I had recorded the minimal tailight blinkys with the truck lights on too. Except where the street light lit up the reflective tape on the back of the ANSI vest, I wasn't too impressed with the amount of visula signal from the reflective bits.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 10-15-2010 at 10:40 AM.

  100. #100
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    hey! I was going for the 4th video and the internet police at the office blocked me to watch the others!

    will come back later....

    those Radbot1000 look great!...added a couple to my amazon wishing list! it would be great add to my humble setup.

    Edit: this is why I'm allowed to post again:

    The Final Post#1000 Disclaimer:
    There won't be no ride...there won't be no new bike...pretty much there won't be any of the bike related stuff I want for this christmas...last night the wife come to me and said "we need to talk.." it wasn't a divorce "we need to talk" talk...
    it was more about our future expenses and goals...at least I was able to negotiate the gps unit I wanted ...hopefully I will get to know some different trails on the state
    Last edited by martinsillo; 10-15-2010 at 02:21 PM.

  101. #101
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    Thanks. I first read of them in this thread, so it is appropriate they get a good review here too.

    I should have bought stock in them.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Thanks.
    Make that a big one- he spent his post number 999 to comment!
    Recalculating....

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  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Make that a big one- he spent his post number 999 to comment!
    I guess so. Hope he got to see them all.

    I was about 990 posts when he checked in, now 1026, past the Binary 1024 for 1 K, too. No biggie for me.

  105. #105
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    My Dinotte taillight died - again! Dinotte repaired or replaced my 1st taillight after the LED burned out after only a couple trips. The new one lasted a couple weeks and now appears to have the same problem - the power up indicator goes on & responds through the hi-med-low clicks, but the taillight itself does not go on at all. Luckily I had a backup blinkie, but it seems strange that a light with such a good reputation would have 2 die so quickly. I will write the company but I need to try it again tonight with 100% re-charged batteries, as that was the first thing they wanted to know last time. Anybody else have this problem? Starting to wonder if I want a 3rd one or not.

    When it works, the light itself is amazingly bright & makes me feel safer.

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    My Dinotte taillight died - again! ... Starting to wonder if I want a 3rd one or not. ...When it works, the light itself is amazingly bright & makes me feel safer.
    This was an unpleasant surprise and a quick Google showed no pattern, just lots of recommendations. So I might make sure they know your complete history and give them a last try to get it right. (No one is sabotaging it are they?) I wouldn't advise buying any lottery tickets, though. If it wasn't for bad luck....

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    This was an unpleasant surprise and a quick Google showed no pattern, just lots of recommendations. So I might make sure they know your complete history and give them a last try to get it right. (No one is sabotaging it are they?) I wouldn't advise buying any lottery tickets, though. If it wasn't for bad luck....
    Yes, I thought the same thing, very strange given their reputation. I tried it with the batteries 100% charged and the taillight is still 100% dead. I emailed them today,I expect they will have me send it back again. I do not think it was sabotaged,it has been parked inside at work. If for example,someone found the small switch and figured out to double click it on, I believe someone else going thru the corridor would notice it and tell me before it would burn out from overheating (if that even happens). Maybe it was a lemon and replacing the LED did not address some underlying electrical issue. I could not tell if Dinotte repaired or replaced. it last time.

  108. #108
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    Dinotte says they have never had this problem repeat, I guess that's good, but Bri is right, not my lucky day. It's going back tomorrow, luckily only 1 state over. Very speedy customer service replies, they wrote back right away on a Saturday.

  109. #109
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    ^^No final word yet from Dinotte on the fate of my 2nd failed taillight. They did get it over Thanksgiving weekend, and they asked a couple questions since. They said it looked like one of my AA rechargeables might be dead (a mystery to me how they can tell that from the light), but I got a tester and all 4 were "good", which I reported back to them. Wait & see for now.

  110. #110
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    Dinotte reports that my taillight is "tested and ok for return to customer", and they have shipped it. Hoping the 3rd one is a charm!

  111. #111
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    I hope for both your sakes it is. They will get a lot of negative publicity here if it isn't.

  112. #112
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    I got my taillight back from Dinotte and it has worked fine so far (2 rides). They said the LED had burned out but were not sure why, it was all dry inside, etc. I will report back, hopefully with good news about the longevity of Try #3. Although I have been disappointed with the reliability problems I've experienced, thank goodness Dinotte has been super responsive.

  113. #113
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    Keeping fingers crossed for both you and Dinotte. Great they did right by you. Weird they said something about a battery, then claim a bad LED. Sounds like they confused service orders to me. If they returned this same light the last time, they may have missed that the LED was defective, as it isn't common. Report in again, as this remains a favorite to recommend to those wanting a bright tail light and who can, or simply will, afford it.

  114. #114
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    Radbot's at $18.96 and Free Shipping at Amazon

    I'm getting one for christmas

  115. #115
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    Call me...the tail light killer

    Aaaargh! Dinotte tail light #3 is dead one week from receipt! Sorry to say I think I may have to give up (#140R-AA with the rechargeable AA's)... thoughts?

  116. #116
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    What??? No way!
    I think you have a new DiNotte failure record there, MtbX.
    Recalculating....

  117. #117
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    Totally unexpected. I assume no third party has had access, pulling a prank on you. I'd ask for a full refund AND any postage to send it in twice.

    Meanwhile, get a couple Radbot 1000's. Link above has two at the price I paid for each of mine. As a side by side pair, they are alost as obvious as the 200 lumens of the DIY lights. Run them about 6-7 hours max per charge.

  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    ... thoughts?
    Two options:
    1. Hire on to Samsonite as a luggage tester (you`ve proven that you have more killer instinct than that lame ol gorilla).
    2. Go with the Radbots. You brute!
    Recalculating....

  119. #119
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    I must be going soft, I just accepted Dinotte's offer of a 4th taillight, but this time it will be brand new, and they will send it with a mailer for the dead one. Time will tell if this is a crazy idea On the plus side, if it works, my nice collection of rechargeable AA's and chargers will not go to waste.

  120. #120
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    They did the right thing. They sold you a bike light that won't light. I hope this one lives up to its promise. They should have sent you new last time. Service peolpe mess up like anyone else. Wishing you a nice Christmasy red tailight. Wrong-way Rudolph effect.

  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    ...They should have sent you new last time. ... Wishing you a nice Christmasy red tailight. Wrong-way Rudolph effect.
    I agree... in my reply accepting the new light I suggested that if they have a repeat with another customer, that the brand new one should go out on the 3rd try, not the 4th. I also explained that while I 100% believe that they send out thousands of these and have not run into a problem like this, that it is small (no) consolation for me!
    Oh, and they did agree to refund or upgrade (I had asked what that would run me) if the 4th time is not a charm.

    I like your Rudolph effect idea, I may need to decorate the bike to that end, with some antlers, etc. in the vicinity of the taillight.

  122. #122
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    thaats awesome! the pic I mean


    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy



    I have a Planet Bike Superflash rear and an older Cateye LED headlight. The Cateye is decent, but there are much better options out there now. With new batteries, it makes cars dim their headlights when they see me, but the beam is narrower than I would like, especially on pot-hole patrol on my dirt road.

    The superflash is great. No question that cars notice it and scoot further out into the other lane compared to a cheaper blinky that I had before.

    I also have lightweights (www.lightweights.org) on my spokes. On non-colored spokes, they're basically invisible in the daylight, and they weigh virtually nothing. The set of lightweights comes with 4 extra 'dot' shaped reflector stickers designed for the ends of quick release skewers... I put two on each heel of my shoes. A reflector on the pedal/foot isntantly lets cars know that you're a bike... no mistaking that movement.

    Sorry, the cateye isn't in the pic, but here's a flash pic that shows the lightweights, and the superflash on the seatpost.

  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    I agree... the brand new one should go out on the 3rd try, ....if the 4th time is not a charm..... I may need to decorate the bike to that end, with some antlers, etc. in the vicinity of the taillight.
    Looking forward tro a report taht all is well in the red light district (sorry, couln't resist) , A 0% failure rate would make things unaffordable. So it is customer care that takes up where quality research leaves off. Waiting to hear from you that we can post the band playing and multiple thumbs up. Also would like to know if Rudolph flew down your roads and what if any responses you got.

  124. #124
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    Report: Die Another Day!

    Rode my run to church and back. On the return, I rolled to exit the neighboring development in the center of my side of the road, at a 'T' intersection. This road is blind to the main road for drivers coming from the right side, and a sign to the left makes it hard to see in that direction, too. It was dusk, and I had the helmet light on high and flashing. That is bright enough to make a patch of light on the road even at that light level. I checked left, then right and found a Dodge Neon starting to cut the corner, aimed right at me. The driver realigned right after the helmet light swept over his car as I looked to my right and saw him. I suspect the patch of light on the road allerted him, I don't think he could see me that fast. Good thing I wasn't a large van or pickup or he'd of hit me as he still came too close. But a miss is as good as a mile.

    I once thought helmet lights were too dorky. No longer. Heck, I once though helmets were too dorky. I stil think they are dorky. By justifiable. All in a good cause dorky.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 12-28-2010 at 10:30 AM.

  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Ran my run to church and back. ...
    Helmet and lights for running...now that's being UBER cautious!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    I once thought helmet lights were too dorky. No longer. Heck, I once though helmets were too dorky. I stil think they are dorky. By justifiable. All in a good cause dorky.
    I have used my helmet & light for snowshoeing, just because its the best light I have - now that's dorky! Glad he missed...with so many distractions for drivers, we really have to work at being even more distracting to get their attention.

    Also, the taillight has not arrived yet, so the Rudolph imitation may have to wait for next year.

  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Helmet and lights for running...now that's being UBER cautious!
    You've heard of 'running lights'? Fixed it.

  128. #128
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    Hard to do an analysis with sample sizes of one to four. I have a gut feeling that college towns with larger cycling populations have a generally higher average attentiveness or expectation for cyclists by drivers (though my four examples are from pre-cell phone era). In the boonies, where cyclists are rare, and winter cyclists almost non-existent, that means they aren't expecting a cyclist in their midst and have little practice in dealing with us. Some don't know we are legitimate road users. Add in loud sound systems, ear buds, cell phones, and texting (yes, I saw one idiot!), and I have been forced to up the ante. However, if their nose is in their lap, we're carrion. So why do I have hundreds of dollars invested in being seen when they aren't even looking? (Rant:sorry, I fell better now). BTW I was passed on a blind hill a half mile from the bad left turn incident (it's a reckless driving offense here). My neighborhood, but I did not recognise the car, so likely a visitor. My neighbors are generally a bit more respectful than that.

  129. #129
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    Don't you hate it when something you depend on stops working as expected?

    (mtbxplorer knows.)

    After touting (and demonstrating) The Radbot 1000's improved visibility, I regret to say I have had them turn off by themselves.

    I think this is the cold's effects on the contacts from the batteries to the circuit boards and the vibration of crossing a railroad track or rough pavement breaking the circuit. I recurved the one light's contact strips so I have a before and after light to see if this works.

    Has anyone else had this happen? Did they resolve it?

  130. #130
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    this happened to me on another light (Topeak 10Leds UFO) but only when the battery was near it ends, have not happened again with new batteries...I'll check my radbot after-tomorrow when we are supposed to have our coldest morning so far.

    I'm loving mine and hope to get another in the next sale ... I'll try to put it in my helmet.

  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Don't you hate it when something you depend on stops working as expected?

    (mtbxplorer knows.)

    After touting (and demonstrating) The Radbot 1000's improved visibility, I regret to say I have had them turn off by themselves.

    I think this is the cold's effects on the contacts from the batteries to the circuit boards and the vibration of crossing a railroad track or rough pavement breaking the circuit. I recurved the one light's contact strips so I have a before and after light to see if this works.

    Has anyone else had this happen? Did they resolve it?
    I have but I only run ;low end lights etc....


    Two things happen has it gets cold....first the battery output voltage falls not a reflection of discharge just a voltage drop; when it warms back up the voltage comes back.

    Second there is contraction of the metal, more so than the plastic so the battery often does not have a very good connection at that eats up some more voltage drop, or drops the circiut completely...

    So use warm batteries (store bike or battery inside)

    Bend the contacts in as much as possible.

    Use some conductive battery post grease.

    Fourth if it drops out on you and you must have light, try licking the battery post....don't worry it won't stick to your tongue cause batteries arn't big enough to be that much of a cold sink.

  132. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    I have but I only run ;low end lights etc....Two things happen has it gets cold....So use warm batteries ....Bend the contacts in as much as possible....Use some conductive battery post grease....Fourth if it drops out on you and you must have light, try licking the battery post.....
    Thanks. Two winters in Ottawa taught me about shrinkage and starting diesel tractors to plow our farm lane taught me about cold and batteries!

    Both times it has happened, the bike involved was inside prior to the return route, with enough time to rewarm. If it happened where I think, it was less than 2 miles from my start. I suspect contact shrinkage from the back to circuit board so I recurved those, as I said.

    The AAA's are really very well held in these lights. The most difficlt to remove against their spring tension of any light I have used. Just shy of frustratingly difficult to remove whether warm or fresh off a cold ride. I doubt they can bounce or shrink enough to cause a problem, but if the first attempt fails, I will recheck this.

    I have redundant lights. Even losing two still left me with multiple lights. Though on one bike I use one and it is the brightest and best of three. Now I suspect where to check and verify I have them all on. Having two of these was supposed to be redundant, too, interesting that on the bike with two, both bowed out.

    I will report if my tweak seems to have fixed the issue. I need to go in in a bit. Mechbegon has at least one in long-term use (earlier post in this thread) but I think his was on his backpack isolated from road vibration.

    I still think these are a great value. We may have an issue we need to monitor each time we recharge cells (4 hours rather than 8 in the cold).

    Brian

  133. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    ...So use warm batteries (store bike or battery inside)


    Use some conductive battery post grease.
    Depends on the type of batteries though...after reading that LiIon batteries hold their charge better at 40F than 70F (like 2% loss/day instead of 20%), I put my headlamp battery in the fridge at work (only have a charger at home), and I didn't get the blinking "warning" on the way home indicating the battery level is getting low.

    The battery post goop sounds like a good idea, especially if any moisture might be interfering. Some vaseline on the casing O-ring if it has one can help too.

  134. #134
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    Jeff is right that batteries can't produce the current cold, that they do when warm. Hence Cold Cranking Amps on SLA's. The slower self discharge of LiPo is related.

    The 1 watt LED draws a lot of current from these small cells, so at room temp new NiMH run for about 8 hours on the flash mode I want. Since I had recurved both lights' contacts, it seemed a good time for a one pair paired t-test. I had run one by itself, so I had different charges. The lower charged one quit both ways on a 3 + mile one way ride. . Now charging both. One pair of cells will take longer. I may run an outdoor timed test to see what the cold runtime is.

    So for the moment, it appears the high output shortens runtime to maybe 3-4 hours in the cold? The bummer is it runs like a demon warm. So you think your back is covered, but no.

    Never gotten moisture in them or any other lights, though I suspect they are water resistant, not water proof. Both bike have fenders to protect them, so I think I'll forego any goop.

  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Ooh, ooh! Mr Kotter!
    Hows `bout a home brew Dy-Notte tail light? Full strength DiNotte style to the rear for daytime, please. Extra credit for switchable to plain old dyno tail light in the night with the main power going to front mounted Cyo (or similar). Oh, and while I`m placing my order.... let`s skip on Mtbxplorer`s here today gone tomorrow diodes!
    Moved from studded tire thread.

    I have one two light rebuilds, two light builds, and a dyno circuit board build before I can think much about a tail light. I plan on running my lights on that bike day or night. I was thinking a pair of Radbots for the battery lights, rather that a dual fuel tail light, but I'll give it some thought. The winter runtime on the Radbots (to be measured) pushes this a bit.

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Don't you hate it when something you depend on stops working as expected?

    (mtbxplorer knows.)

    After touting (and demonstrating) The Radbot 1000's improved visibility, I regret to say I have had them turn off by themselves. I think this is the cold's effects on the contacts from the batteries to the circuit boards and the vibration of crossing a railroad track or rough pavement breaking the circuit. I recurved the one light's contact strips so I have a before and after light to see if this works.

    Has anyone else had this happen? Did they resolve it?
    I've had it happen. I bought one of the first-gen Radbot 1000's directly from PDW, and it had that problem. Not temperature-related either.

    I waited for a couple months and then exchanged it for one of their revised ones. It would also turn itself off, not temperature-related.

    Sifting through what I know about them, I *think* they are simply drawing too much power for NiMH AAA's to handle for long, they have a high "duty cycle" compared to something that fires the big emitter in brief bursts (SuperFlash, etc), and I suspect they also have a low-voltage auto-shutdown, all of which results in a short runtime followed by auto power-off. That's my hypothesis.

    What would be interesting, is to hitch it up to dual protected 10440 Li-ion cells configured in parallel. Anyone feeling adventuresome? That would run ~3.7 volts, so it ought to be BRIGHT.

  137. #137
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    So far, fresh cells have cured them. Still haven't done the cold runtime thing. If they did this warm, I'd send them back, too. With two, I could run a single exterior pack.

    Maybe get the runtimes today.

  138. #138
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    lights

    I run a MagicShine 900 lumen headlamp in the front--daytime on strobe--dark high. MagicShine tail light on flash, PB Superflash on flash, and an old LED on Steady. Just added some 3M reflective tape all over the place..

  139. #139
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    A partial cool soak test of the Radbot 1000 light:

    Fully charged AAA 1000 mAhr cells fresh from the charger were installed in two Radbot 1000s. One Radbot placed in the Freezer at 20 * F, the other outside at 20*F dropping to 15 * F over 4.5 hours, both with thermometers. with them.

    They ran for the 4.5 hours until bedtime still going strong.

    So it looks like a combination of lower charge, low temp, and the contacts disconnecting over bumps. I have had no issues on the bike since keeping them in the 3-4 hour range maximum before recharging and having recurved the contacts. Which is why this test wasn't a high priority for me. YMMV.

    Carry spare cells and a Phillips screwdriver to open them, if you need more than about 5 hours runtime in cold weather. (7-8 hours is normal for 90% of 30 minute output at room temperature).

  140. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway
    I don't completely agree with this. I agree with the good taillight part. But I think you also need a good headlight. A good headlight, one that is BRIGHT and has a flash mode, will ensure that you are seen and recognized by drivers who may want to turn left into your path, or pull out of a side street/driveway into your path.
    Good headlights are great, but please, if you are going to set them on flash, do not use the high intensity lights. They are very distracting to oncoming traffic. Think along the lines of an oncoming car continually flashing their headlights and how that would effect your ability to watch for other obstacles. Low intensity flashers on the front make you plenty visible, especially paired with a good high intensity continuous light.

  141. #141
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    I think it depends if you are talking about the daytime or nighttime...I don't think too many riders would choose to run a bright headlight in flash mode at night, because it's too distracting for the rider, and doesn't light up the road as well. But during the day the flash mode has to be pretty bright to be noticed, I run my helmet lamp on flash during daylight. Regular blinkies are too wimpy to be much help during the day. I don't find drivers' headlights distracting during the day either.

    p.s., my 4th Dinotte taillight (this time a replacement instead of a repair) is holding up great , I think I just got a bad egg on the first one and whatever the problem was that caused the LEDs to die within weeks was not found in their diagnostics, so they just kept replacing the bulb.

  142. #142
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    +1 on daytime flashing on high. The nice drivers who are a bit spacey and need a reminder, like it. Good drivers think they are a bit excessive, and bad ones don't see anything anyway. Also, "the I didn't see you" is an admission they are incompetent not an indictment of my conspicuity. Though the ANSI vest is a big factor there, too.

    Looks OK to me bike standing in drive an me approaching it on foot checking different driver heights.

    +1 on flashing at night being very offensive to all concerned.

    I can't stand the blinking light in the daytime if I come indoors before getting them switched off. At night? Trying to see and ride? Queasy ramps to nauseous, I fear.

    Thanks for the Dinotte update mtbxplorer. Great they came through. They remain on my highly recommended list.

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    I think it depends if you are talking about the daytime or nighttime...I don't think too many riders would choose to run a bright headlight in flash mode at night, because it's too distracting for the rider, and doesn't light up the road as well. But during the day the flash mode has to be pretty bright to be noticed, I run my helmet lamp on flash during daylight. Regular blinkies are too wimpy to be much help during the day. I don't find drivers' headlights distracting during the day either.

    p.s., my 4th Dinotte taillight (this time a replacement instead of a repair) is holding up great , I think I just got a bad egg on the first one and whatever the problem was that caused the LEDs to die within weeks was not found in their diagnostics, so they just kept replacing the bulb.
    Good points on the day/night issue. Up here in Alaska, I tend to forget about commuting in the daylight in the winter, dark both to and from work.

    I can see that a bright flasher in daylight would not be that much of a contrast and wouldn't stand out nearly that much. At night, it is definitely a different story. There are a few people up here who seem to like running the high intensity flasher. I think it must not effect them as much because they are also running a high intensity steady headlight that would temper the flashing they see from behind the light source.

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    Good points on the day/night issue. Up here in Alaska, I tend to forget about commuting in the daylight in the winter, dark both to and from work.
    Oh, jeez, when do you get back to some daylight in either direction?? I leave 6:45-7a.m. and it is light enough for the flasher here in VT now. Still dark on the way home, though. Hang in there!

  145. #145
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    FYI for those in need of more power/new blinky/first blinky:

    Pack powered:
    For those willing to support a limited edition cottage industry light that does not have a self conatined power sourrce this may interest you. Five power levels so you can back it off.

    USB powered:
    OK there is a USB blinky Thread here.

    Two others:

    Light & Motion have their blinky. MSRP $99.

    Now NiteFlux has the Redzone 4 on preorder. ($20 deposit, $110 total with free shipping). Great for underwater cycling, or for those with a bad case of dropsies BTW (see videos).

    Planet Bike has a 1 watt blinky in the same mold (almost literally), as the Superflash called the Turbo.

    AAA powered:
    The former king of output, the PDW's Radbot 1000 is no more and the Danger Zone replaces it 2 x 1/2 watt instead of 1 x ! W with reflector. Good price here and for Turbo with free shipping on Turbo at the moment.

    Night Video (not mine) Danger Zone left, Superflash Center, Radbot 1000 right.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pnI94_ZusM

    My review of the Danger Zone and Turbo is here.

    Three videos on a cloudy day from that thread (save you the read?): They look good full screen BTW.

    <embed src="http://img571.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pl5b" width="720" height="500" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/><br/>

    <embed src="http://img571.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=P89999300" width="720" height="500" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/><br/>

    <embed src="http://img808.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Mhro" width="640" height="380" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    Applicable?

    The Turbo fits the Superflashes backs so it is a snap in upgrade for my Helmet tail light.

    Night and daytime riding videos later. A wedding graduation and MIL visit will delay my directing efforts awhile.

    Ride safe. Ride on.

    Brian.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 05-02-2011 at 10:24 AM.

  146. #146
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    Now you can call me the serial taillight killer. My Dinotte 140taillight (with 4 AA NiMH rechargeables) that they replaced in January did not work last night after my a.m. ride in the rain. I made sure it was dried it out overnight, and added fresh batteries, but this morning, nothing.

    For $119 I expect more durability. I think they need to design to one of the actual waterproof specs (like my phone and camera are) rather than promising performance (see below) that is not supported by the design. I don't know for sure what caused this failure, but a weak link looks like the battery pack (see pic, $1 at Radio Shack) & connections. I notice they don't show this in the "view package contents" photo on their website (pic 2).

    Q: Is it safe for the battery pack to get wet?
    A: All of our lights can handle brutal weather, even in climates with heavy rain. Your
    light will be fine. Do not intentionally submerge the light or battery pack, but expect
    your light to endure bad weather conditions. It’s a good idea to remove the battery holder
    from the pouch and let all components dry after use.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  147. #147
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    I just ordered one of these.

    http://www.amazon.com/Portland-Desig...5900230&sr=8-5

    Currently using a Superflash but figured I needed an extra one just to be extra visible plus a spare in case one stops working on the commute.

    I have an old Dinotte 600 on my helmet for the front.

  148. #148
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    Mtbx, you`re a monster.

  149. #149
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    Had good experience with DiNotte

    For over two years I have been using a DiNotte 400R taillight (headlights also) everyday in all types (wet, dry, hot, cold) of weather and it has performed flawlessly.

    UR

  150. #150
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    For those wishing some info on the new generation of blinkies this may do for you well enough.

    Summary:

    Planet Bike Turbo gives about 35 lumens after 30 minutes on fresh cells until they drop to 1.8 V under load, about 4 hours on full maybe 16-20 on flash (not tested). That is the max level the PDW Radbot 1000 gave with fresh cells. But the same narrow viewing angle or maybe a bit wider than the Superflash applies.

    The PDW Dangerzone registered 21 lumens with my setup, BUT it puts out light in a wider pattern so I am not sure that it isn't closer to 25 lumens the same as the Radbot 1000 after 30 minutes on fresh cells. It has a much wider viewing angle.

    The errand bike currently has one Turbo straight back on rear rack, two Dangerzones at 45 degrees off the seat stays. I haven't done the ride bys day or night yet but will. Another Turbo snapped into the superfash back on the helmet mount.

    Here is a neat offfering from down under at $110. They are planning a white for the front, too. In this case the three LED's are covered but have no optics so are wide angle. So the power is really needed and used. It can be backed down for group rides and night, cranked to 4 watts on a 1/4 duty cycle for day. Guessing abut 250 lumens out the back equal to my thwo radbots plus my two DIY's in one blinky.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 05-20-2011 at 04:06 PM.

  151. #151
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    No reply yet from Dinotte to my 5/20 e-mail about the dead taillight.
    Perhaps they should hire me on as official product tester.

  152. #152
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    If they do, have them send one my way to test!

    BTW the new Cateye triple may be the new cheap blinky king at a guesstimated 54 lumens, or about 1/3 of the Dinotte on full, and 50% more thatn the Planet Bike Turbo.

  153. #153
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    I heard from Dinotte & they are standing behind their product again. I can send it in for another one or pay $100 to upgrade to the 300R (usually $200). The 300R is their one-piece Li-ion USB-charged taillight with no external battery pack. So despite the $$$ I may try that one, I am burnt out on the 140R. Dinotte's reply said "I've never seen this happen - cannot imagine how this happened." Perhaps they can do an autopsy.

  154. #154
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    Some 'light' philosphy here.

    Got some energy back so rode a few light test videos of a light mod.

    My DIY tail lights are here.

    The bubble lens mod is here.

    Riding with the helmet headlight and its amber hood, generator head light, A Planet Bike Turbo on helmet back and rear rack, a Radbot 1000 each seat stay aimed out at 45 degrees, and the DIY bubble lens lights at 45 degrees out from center line, mounted to seat post.

    This test I rode across infront of the Ford Ranger with it's low beams on, the camera at head height on a tripod immediately in front of the bumper. I left the camera in 170 degree mode so it has a bit of a fisheye curving my path at the extreme left and right. The lot was very well lit so the lights and I think the reflectors like the tire sidewals do not show well. The ANSI vest does well in the 'just before you get run over' spot and under street lights. To save time I show a pass at opposite lane distance with teh truck at the stop line for the intersection, and a near the curb nearside pass and two passes about 60 and 80 feet away. No labels or music this time to keep the file size small.

    A 'Ride-by' video: opcorn:

    <embed src="http://img580.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pnpj" width="1280" height="740" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/><br/>
    <a href="http://profile.imageshack.us/user/BrianMcB">[More videos from BrianMcB]</a>

    The helmet light's amber hood is getting 'waste light' from one of three LEDs. Looks like all three should contribute.

    The Side output on the Turbos is better than I thought it would be. The angled Radbots help some, but the bubbles are about all you see other than headlights at 80' side on.

    Here is a single Radbot 1000 on the rack, the Turbo on the helmet,two DangerZones on the seat stays and aimed out, an dthe bubble DIYs:

    A 'Ride Out' Video: opcorn:

    <embed src="http://img199.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pncw" width="1280" height="740" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>

    Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

    I cut sections out of the ride to cut video size, speed the upload and playback.

    I am guessing even zoomed in, on night mode, and +2 stops, and in high definition, the human eye sees this at least 2 X better. Certainly, the road was bright enough to drive or ride without your lights on. The video does not show that. Still nicely visible 1/4 mile away, and I would guess then, at least a half mile for the eye. Running it in reverse would be how a driver approaching the cyclist would see the lights. Nothing like a little excess to help you excel.

    Now why can't manufacturers do some video like this? It isn't rocket science.

    The aftablasta does the same sort of thing but has power levels and about 50 % more light than my pair.

  155. #155
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  156. #156
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    For those trying to be seen and can afford the entry fee:

    Front: White Zone 5

    Rear: Red Zone 4

    Check the view angles lower on page. I can confirm the RedZone 4 is as shown and see no reason the white should differ. Much more robustly built. When you want the comment "I did not see you" to condemn the driver as an inattentive moron, priceless.

    BrianMc

  157. #157
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    New bike lights make cyclists stand out

    edit: the embeded video didn't work, so you have to go here for that...Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

    (CNN) -- Riding a bicycle around the city at night can be a perilous pastime with traditional bike lights providing a rather dim reminder of a cyclist's presence on the roads.

    But a new prototype light system called Revolights could soon make life in the cycle lane a good deal safer and leave bike enthusiasts beaming.

    The wheel-mounted LED lights not only provide greater illumination of the rider's path, say its San Francisco-based creators, but also make a bike far more visible from the front, back and the side.

    When stationary, as their promotional video shows, the lights flash in a simple sequence. But as soon as you start peddling they form a solid arc of white and red light.

    Revolights shed new light on road safety
    This dazzling effect is created with the aid of a magnet (attached to the fork) and an algorithm. Together, they measure the wheel speed and tell the lights when and where to flash.

    The system is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery housed in the wheel hub.

    Revolights' founders -- inventor Kent Frankovich, Adam Pettler and Jim Houk -- are using the online fundraising platform Kickstarter in a bid to turn their eye-catching patent pending prototype into a finished product.

    Backers pledging $200 or more will receive the finalized design prior to its public release which is scheduled to take place in spring 2012.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Another commuting thread about lights...-revolights-2-horizontal-gallery.jpg  


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