Interesting... 2W USB-rechargable taillight for $40- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Interesting... 2W USB-rechargable taillight for $40

    http://www.jbimporters.com/web/check...t_number=97427

    I'm going to get one once they become available, sounds good on paper.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    http://www.jbimporters.com/web/check...t_number=97427

    I'm going to get one once they become available, sounds good on paper.
    This is going to drive me crazy but my LBS has something very similar, different brand rechargeable USB lights to the left of the sales counter for about the same price. They have tons, wish I could remember the brand. Looks like Blackburn sells some larger ones.
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    The Knog is only 'UP TO' 15 lumens!? Buy two Turbos and NiMH AAA's for them instead.

    That is only about 20% over the PBSF. 60% of a Radbot 1000, less than half of a Turbo. I am underwhelmed. If I am going to accept a hard to replace battery (it will fail sooner or later) I want more performance than that.

    The Cygo cites a 2 W LED but 100 hour run time. There is no way a 100 W-hr supply fits in that body. I assume that is the run time on the lowest output mode No claim for max output. Max lumens (if the top setting is max current), should be 150-200 judging from my 1.2 W LEDs. THAT would be interesting. That would give a short life but good 'Day ' mode.

    I expect my pair of NiteFLUX's RedZone 4's any day now (shipped 07/21). Similar concept, but twin red CREE XP-E LED's and a wide output. I will have a post in 'Another Commuting Thread About Lights' when I get the videos.

    'Can you see me now?'

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    I did get a PBSF Turbo when they came out. Darn thing keeps turning off by itself, so I reverted to my standard SF... and my DiNotte 300R

    I'm guessing the 100-hour runtime of the Cygolite must be in a strobe mode that has a low "duty cycle." Anyway, we'll see when I get my hands on one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    I did get a PBSF Turbo when they came out. Darn thing keeps turning off by itself, so I reverted to my standard SF... and my DiNotte 300R

    I'm guessing the 100-hour runtime of the Cygolite must be in a strobe mode that has a low "duty cycle." Anyway, we'll see when I get my hands on one.

    I'm gonna be pulling the trigger on a DiNotte 300R soon. What do you have to say about it?
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dann C View Post
    I'm gonna be pulling the trigger on a DiNotte 300R soon. What do you have to say about it?
    I put up a brief review here, including beam shots: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...cs-amp-remarks

    In a nutshell:

    1. it's a bit large and chunky

    2. it's nice to be able to easily move it from bike to bike, thanks to the bayonette-style mounts

    3. the beam pattern is a massive flood beam, so aiming it precisely doesn't matter

    4. it's lighter than a DiNotte 140 with 2-cell battery pack

    Over the long haul, mine has been satisfactory. The rubber plug that's supposed to stick into the USB charging port won't stay in there, but no harm done so far.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    I did get a PBSF Turbo when they came out. Darn thing keeps turning off by itself, so I reverted to my standard SF... .
    My friend and I are having the same problem. ****ing junk. I'm emailing Planet Bike.

  9. #9
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    Ah thats a fantastic write up. That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks alot!
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dann C View Post
    I'm gonna be pulling the trigger on a DiNotte 300R soon. What do you have to say about it?
    After killing 3 Dinotte taillight repairs & 1 replacement on the model with the 4 external AA's, (all valiantly warranteed because this "never happens"), I paid them another questionable sum to upgrade to the 300R. I have not used it in the dark yet, so I'm reluctant to judge, but it doesn't seem 10x better than the swerve, PBSF, etc. It is nice not to have to mess with the batteries to recharge, just plug it in overnight still on the bike if u want (reinserting the plug for waterproofing for the ride sometimes takes a few tries). Bigger than I thought, which probably helps the viisibility, but takes up a lot of real estate, barely fits on the seatpost over my QR fender. Comes with a bunch of mounts, but a sideways one on the seat rails would be perfect but not supplied (perhaps difficult to accomodate different saddle designs). The light itself is rugged, reminds me of a RR x'g signal in appearance & toughness.

  11. #11
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    Well, on steady mode, here's the PBSF and the 300R:





    That's got to be a factor of 10 better, although the DiNotte 140 actually tops both of them for intensity at the center of the beam:



    Anyway, I hope the upcoming Cygolite 2W gets close to a DiNotte on low or medium, with no showstopping faults to spoil the picture.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, Mech, for the pix, I feel less foolish about my $100 upgrade now. I know when it gets dark for commutes it will make me more confident of being seen, & will feel any amount was worth it. I agree on the 140R intensity, when I first got that one, I was like, wow, I can't even look at that thing!

  13. #13
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    So would you say i'm better off with the 140 or the 300? I would say about 90% of my riding is done in the city so I am never really riding in very dark terrain.
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  14. #14
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    I would get the 300, it's plenty bright and easier to charge. With the 140 you have to take the battery pack off, remove the 4 batterys, put in charger, and then reverse when done charging, instead of just plugging one cable directly into the light (I leave it on the bike to charge). Plus the 300 has quick release, so you can take it with you easily if you park your bike. And for me, it has been more reliable.

  15. #15
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    The Cygolite came into stock and I have one on the way from California, so I may have some firsthand info by Monday night.

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    Perfect. 300R will be ordered shortly. Really going to benefit from it this winter. I have a commute to a different campus in the winter down a very shady but pretty busy street with a lot of careless drivers so this light is exactly the piece of mind that I need.
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    The Cygolite came into stock and I have one on the way from California, so I may have some firsthand info by Monday night.
    Ok, I received it and put up an initial review here, for those interested: Cygolite Hotshot 2W rechargable taillight

    In brief:

    1. size and weight comparable to 2AAA blinkies

    2. $40

    3. adjustable flash rate on flashing modes, adjustable intensity on steady-burn, remembers your settings

    4. beam is fairly focused, so aiming it correctly will be important (not hung off a bag loop)

    5. the beam's hotspot is significantly brighter than my DiNotte 300R, which is a complete flood beam.


    For beam comparisions, right-click each of these links and open them in new browser tabs, then switch back & forth:

    https://i240.photobucket.com/albums/...n/IMG_0573.jpg
    https://i240.photobucket.com/albums/...n/IMG_0572.jpg
    https://i240.photobucket.com/albums/...n/IMG_0571.jpg

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Ok, I received it and put up an initial review here, for those interested: Cygolite Hotshot 2W rechargable taillight
    I saw your review on the TWT blog - thanks for posting that!

    Obviously it's brighter than my other two lights, a PBSF and a Radbot 1000. I would like to know how long the battery life is in the most attention-getting flashing mode. I consider the Radbot 1000 to be a piece of junk since the batteries last less than 8 hours in flashing mode; the PBSF lasts so long that I can't remember when I put fresh batteries in it.

    If the only way to get decent battery life is to use a lower setting, then I might as well get another PBSF so that I can replace the (rechargeable) batteries as necessary.

  19. #19
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    The HotShot is available for under $25 here currently.

    The HotShot appears to be able to max out at close to 200 lumens (shorter undisclosed runtime) or run a long time at lower output, say for group rides. It is a narrow beam thrower not a wide angle light like the RedZone 4 or Dinotte 300. The Light and Motion VIS 180 uses side amber LEDs but it is about 35 lumens. At the above price, the HotShot is an incredible bargain. Buyer beware. I found two reports of early examples failing at the 2 week mark. You may wish to deal with a seller you trust for handling a bad example.

    WRT PBSF's and Radbot 1000s they are now passe in my book. However, for those who have or are interested in those two lights, the PBSF starts on fresh NiMH at about 15 lumens into a beam about 1/2 the size of the RB1000, runs for hours at 11-13 lumens then slowly fades. I measured a PBSF at 3 lumens at about 80 hours on the original alkaline cells. Pitiful.

    The Radbot 1000 and the PB Turbo run about 7 hours. They both have beams almost two times taller and about the same width as the PBSF. The RB1000 starts at about 40 lumens then settle down to 28 or so. The Turbo starts at as high as 80 lumens, rapidly drops to 50, and then settles in at 35 lumens. Both lights drop little after settling in until the NiMH cells hit close to 1 volt for each, then the outputs crash. All tests done on two samples of each light, 3 in the case of the PBSF. So I liked the PBSF in its day, and the RB1000. Neither are on my bikes amy more. However, the question I ask myself concerning runtime and output is: Do I want to be seen and so be willing to manage recharging my blinky cells, (or carry spares if I plan a weekend bike camping run), or do I want a to be able to ignore the batteries as easily as drivers will ignore me and my blinky while riding in traffic?

    Ride like your life depends on it. 'Cause it does.

    BrianMc

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    However, the question I ask myself concerning runtime and output is: Do I want to be seen and so be willing to manage recharging my blinky cells, (or carry spares if I plan a weekend bike camping run), or do I want a to be able to ignore the batteries as easily as drivers will ignore me and my blinky while riding in traffic?
    The question to everyones answer...
    3W dyno driven tail light?

  21. #21
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    Question for those of you running these insanely bright taillights. I currently have a PBSF Turbo, which I find pretty darn bright. Do you think some of these lights are so bright that they would blind drivers coming up behind you? Do you have to keep them on low?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    The question to everyones answer...
    3W dyno driven tail light?
    Bicycle taillights for dynamo "The Toplight Line Plus...is now the very best taillight Busch & Müller makes for dynamo power."

    It is recommended here.

    Phillips has a new tail light which swhs has not reviewed though it should be there soon as he suggested it might be reviewd in October.

    I suspect that neither one is 3 W.

    Meanwhile, one of two drivers went bad in my DIY tail lights making them a good candidate for permanent installation on the errand bike, driven by the dyno. I will update when that project is done. They are 3 W total at 700 mA but the dyno is 500 mA, so more like 2.5 W max. It will require the voltage doubling board be rebuilt to match the higher load, too bad I didn't think of doing this last winter.

    QUOTE=Straz85;8586595] Question for those of you running these insanely bright taillights. I currently have a PBSF Turbo, which I find pretty darn bright. Do you think some of these lights are so bright that they would blind drivers coming up behind you? Do you have to keep them on low?[/QUOTE]

    Too bright? You may be sorry you asked.

    One cyclist's opinions :

    It depends. If I was riding in New York under street lighting about traffic speed, maybe it is. But how do you stand out as a cyclist in all those lights? Here? Not a chance. Little street lighting, drivers don't stop and take time to look at intersections, too many are just too busy to pay attention to driving, and too few bikes in the day let alone at night. They are not used to bikes, let alone ones in the 15-25 mph range. So I have been upping the ante so they can judge my speed better. I want the blame of "I did not see you!" to bounce off me and right back at them as "I was not looking as well as I should have been, how could I have missed seeing THAT!"

    The Turbo has an almost too-brief flash and not a lot of perceived size and a very narrow beam. By the time it has widened enough to cover the driver of a car approaching from behind, it is a larger area and so lower in intensity, and about the same as a car brake light from my observations of it. Maybe a little brighter. I think it is a bit fast for the driver to be "blinded". It's pattern is very obnoxious which is good if traffic isn't trapped behind you for blocks and blocks. Encourages them not to sit too close at lights and not to pass without enough room. The lack of a lower setting is a pain for group rides. Aim it down (as it is very beamy) so you see a bright spot flash on the road and only have spill light to deal with. or find a plastic bag to cover it and disperse the light more. Unfortunately, a rack mount will require some engineering to be able to dip it, as they are fixed in place. Since the mounts are the same, and old PBSF, maybe with half discharged cells can be substituted for the group ride.

    Lights like the Dinotte 300R and the NiteFLUX Red Zone 4, have very wide beams diluting all that power. Coverage not brightness is he goal. Though with twin overlapping beams, 2 RZ4s aimed out at 45 degrees each side, have a 90 degree beam area that is brighter than a single Turbo (when they are on the highest setting). There are 5 levels flashing, and the three lowest are available on full. It too dilutes with distance as the overlap widens out. Discourages tailgating.

    The HotShot can be adjusted for output, too. Very neatly, in fact. The idea is for full power for day riding lower for night. Easy to drop power for the MUP or group rides. The HotShot has a beam a bit larger than that of the Turbo, but at least 3 and maybe 6 X the power. That sort of light really helps riding into the sun with drivers squinting to see under lowered sun visors. Riding the shoulder of a fast road sets following traffic to the side enough that the beam has expanded and diluted in strength, so you need that power to be seen at a distance (in a timely manner), with those higher closing speeds.

    Redundancy to cover bad batteries/forgot to charge means at least two tail lights with separate power sources. The HotShot for punch and either the RZ4 or 300R look like a great combination to me in my situation.

    Ultimately, you have to place yourself in the diver's seat and mind's eye and give the driver enough info soon enough to deal with you safely. (ssuming their nose isn't in the newspaper or they are texting, of course). Defensive riding beforehand, so to speak. A light that is apparent only after you are identified as a bike is not quite useless as it meets the letter of the law. Knowing how I appear is why I find beam shots informative but not enough, and seek video (which admittedly has its own issues in accurately modeling what people see, but with allowances, it works). Check out the "Another Commuting Thread About Lights" for some video.

    I have gotten compliments from drivers for my lights. Except the DIY narrow beam tail lights before their bubble lenses. Got some honks. Well they saw me! They were flame throwers at 3 x the Turbo output into about the same beam or a bit smaller, with no flash and no lower setting. I aimed them at the pavement so drivers got the spill, then the bubble lenses solved that.

    Hope this helps.

    BrianMc

  23. #23
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    I hadn`t heard of the Line Plus. It isn`t very expensive, but I kind of doubt there`s enough difference between it and the Seculite I already have to be worth replacing.

    No, I doubt any current dyno tail lights are 3W. If they were, they wouldn`t be able to run simultaneously with a headlight, which is something that wouldn`t escape mention by the mfgs and dealers. At least it had BETTER not escape mention. You`d either need separate nighttime and daytime setups or an expensive switched system with at least two levels front and rear that would flip-flop. That`s what I was thinking, anyway, and it would probably be a tough sell to most consumers. In truth, I doubt I`d buy in, but it`s nice to think about .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Do you think some of these lights are so bright that they would blind drivers coming up behind you? Do you have to keep them on low?
    I run a 140R. I've had truck drivers get out at red lights, run back to me ( I don't filter all that often) and tell me how awesome my light is. I doubt they would do that if there was an issue. My thought on how bright to go is to keep in mind the other lights that you are competing with for drivers' (limited) attention. That doesn't just include taillights, it could be headlights, high beams etc. If you can't put your bike alongside a car with high beams on and pointed at you and still pick the bike out easily (from front and rear) then drivers can't do so either.
    Cheers, Dave

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the explanations, Brian and dskunk. You're making me think about my taillight choices. I'm running a Blackburn Mars 3.0 on my seat bag and a PBSF Turbo on my helmet. I may need to upgrade.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Thanks for the explanations, Brian and dskunk. You're making me think about my taillight choices. I'm running a Blackburn Mars 3.0 on my seat bag and a PBSF Turbo on my helmet. I may need to upgrade.
    You are welcome. We need more cyclists. Keeping the ones we have rolling until they have to give it up by choice, is a worthy endeavor. I have a HotShot coming to mate with two Red Zone 4s to cover me. I did car brake light versus a single straight back RedZone 4 here, if any are interested. Beam shots, ride bys and aways are in that thread somewhere.

    BrianMc.

    PS. BTW I have a Turbo on rear of the helmet. I debated an RZ4 there and one on the seat post. Now, the two RZ 4's at 45 degrees cover me 270 degrees and yes, they are quite visible when I'm approaching cross traffic. The HotShot is to get throw for traffic overtaking me at up to 60 mph differential (I ride the shoulder). Also holds cars back at lights.

    PPS. Some guys had eight LEDs in a dyno headlight. I have three (about 5 watts at 13 mph and higher. So a couple of 120 lumen tail light LED's are possible. I just happen to have a pair. Let you know how it goes.

  27. #27
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    mechBgon, I'm curious about your thoughts on the the Design Shine tail light.... I have a DiNotte 140R and have toyed with the idea of upgrading. What do you think?

  28. #28
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    Grabbed one at that fire sale price so built on Mechbgon's HotShot review here.

    BrianMc

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Thanks for the explanations, Brian and dskunk. You're making me think about my taillight choices. I'm running a Blackburn Mars 3.0 on my seat bag and a PBSF Turbo on my helmet. I may need to upgrade.
    Keep in mind how that tail light is aimed on your helmet. Even 30 degrees of axis means that the intensity drops about 50%.

    I've seen lights, usually attached to clothing or bags, aimed in all directions including the ground and sky with only maybe 10% intensity pointing backwards.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Question for those of you running these insanely bright taillights. I currently have a PBSF Turbo, which I find pretty darn bright. Do you think some of these lights are so bright that they would blind drivers coming up behind you? Do you have to keep them on low?
    How are you determining the brightness? LEDs are highly directional and the chance that a motorist is looking directly into the LED on axis is low. The intensity of the light drops by 50% once 30 degrees off axis.

    The idea is not to have a bright light pointed straight backwards, but rather to disperse it so it is visible from a wider angle. High power LED does result in a bright hot spot but also makes the beam brighter when viewed off axis.

    The other thing is that look at car lamps. A single dual-filament bulb from a combination parking/tail and brake lamp on a car outputs about 35 lumens and 500 lumens and a car typically has 2 to 4 of these. A single filament turn signal bulb easily produces 500 lumens. By comparison, a Superflash Turbo puts out less than 40 lumens. I think there is little risk of blinding a motorist. As far as the two smaller LED on the Superflashes go, I think they're not very useful and may not even be visible until about 100 ft from what I have seen but the high power one will be visible for several times that.

  31. #31
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    I second the importance of keeping any of the blinkies that have lenses vertical on the helmet as much as possible. My first videos showed that my helmet Superflash disappeared even a t close range with a forward movement of my head and helmet. A complete waste of weight, power, and money. I have shown it before mut it bears a repeat here, so another pic of my mount:



    For cold climates, wire core ties instead of wire ties. The tube was a piece of scrap that I kept from an unremembered source. A piece of aluminum tube, or a round Bic pen body would work, The wire was from a useless soldering gun stand, and it's only advantage is that it had nice tight bends in the tips, and it is stiff and light. A coat hanger wire would suffice. I found a piec of plastic on an obsolete PC case added Gorilla glue (twice). If I had known it would work so well I would have made it a bit tidier. Now it shows up for videos, unless I go into the drops.

    That is a Superfash back with Turbo front. The button doesn't work quite as well, but it is workable.

    If the 45 degree thing didn't work so well, I'd have one Red Zone on the helmet: no worries about angles, then.

    BrianMc

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