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  1. #1
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    back of helmet visibility light ?

    i have cateye LD1100 on the seatpost right now and the reason i oringally got it is because it takes standard alkaline or NIMH battery. it is better than nothing but really it isn't so hot.

    it tends to sort of sink under its own weight and point towards the rear wheel rather than horizontally up, and even if it stays up it doesn't project light evenly in different directions but rather essentially has one beam straight back and two more beams straight to the sides, and nothing in between.

    but i already have it ... so rather than upgrade i was thinking add another light to the back of the helmet. of course i could also simply replace it as well - that is also an option.

    i would like something that has good side visibility as well as visibility from all kinds of odd angles, and i don't want anything that makes you buy new coin cell batteries after each ride etc - i want something that is either rechargeable, or ideally something that will take standard rechargeable AA or AAA batteries like my Cateye.

    if you're suggesting a light for the helmet it must be super light as i will already have 190 grams of other equipment on the helmet even before it. but if you're suggesting a light for the seatpost then weight is not really an issue.

  2. #2
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    niteflux red zone 4 is on backorder from niteflux. is there anywhere i could get it ?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    i have cateye LD1100 on the seatpost right now and the reason i oringally got it is because it takes standard alkaline or NIMH battery. it is better than nothing but really it isn't so hot.

    it tends to sort of sink under its own weight and point towards the rear wheel rather than horizontally up, and even if it stays up it doesn't project light evenly in different directions but rather essentially has one beam straight back and two more beams straight to the sides, and nothing in between.

    but i already have it ... so rather than upgrade i was thinking add another light to the back of the helmet. of course i could also simply replace it as well - that is also an option.

    i would like something that has good side visibility as well as visibility from all kinds of odd angles, and i don't want anything that makes you buy new coin cell batteries after each ride etc - i want something that is either rechargeable, or ideally something that will take standard rechargeable AA or AAA batteries like my Cateye.

    if you're suggesting a light for the helmet it must be super light as i will already have 190 grams of other equipment on the helmet even before it. but if you're suggesting a light for the seatpost then weight is not really an issue.
    I took a look at the lights you said you had and I don't see why you don't like them. The LD1100 looks like it would be very visible ( after looking at it on youtube ) Any light on your wheel is going to draw attention because it's moving. That said those cateye wheel lights should get you noticed. Coin batteries are a b*tch though.

    I use a Cygolite hotshot on back of my helmet. It has a nice clip and works well. I saw someone else with a Blackburn Flea rear led light and I thought that was a nice light for the helmet as well ( very small but bright ) Both are USB chargeable. Just make sure that whatever you buy has a good strong clip.

    The only problem with mounting a rear blinkie on your helmet is that your head moves all the time. Unless the light you buy has a wide dispersion beam pattern I really can't say how useful they are. Still any light is better than no light at all.

    About the Rimfires wheel lights I mentioned before; Basically it is three leds per wheel but they are very bright and the base unit holds the three AA batteries. I use the rechargeable AA's. You can even buy a recharger for the base which is easier than taking the batteries out. Really not a big issue though as one charge last a long time. The base unit has 10 different flash modes including one steady mode. While they're not as fancy as the Monkeylites they're the next best thing and a lot cheaper. To tell you the truth I was happy with just those cheap valve cap lights but unfortunately the ones I had were so cheap they kept going out even though they had new batteries.

    When riding around town with the Rimfires on I get lot's of reactions. On my most recent ride one girl passed me in her car, wound down her windows and yelled to me that she loved my bike. A half hour later a dude passed me in his car and he yelled out that he *cough* loved me. Would of been nice if those two responses were reversed but at least I got noticed. The usual response is , "Wow, those are cool". Nothing like riding down the road looking like a carnival on wheels to get you noticed. If I get a chance maybe I can post a mini video of what they look like moving.

    Another cheap alternative for side visibility is you buy those peal off reflectors called
    "Lightweights®". I bought some of these a while back and they really do work great. You can even buy ones that will match the color of your bike making them almost invisible during the day but at night they reflect white light just like the regular white version.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-27-2012 at 06:07 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I took a look at the lights you said you had and I don't see why you don't like them. The LD1100 looks like it would be very visible ( after looking at it on youtube ) Any light on your wheel is going to draw attention because it's moving. That said those cateye wheel lights should get you noticed. Coin batteries are a b*tch though.

    I use a Cygolite hotshot on back of my helmet. It has a nice clip and works well. I saw someone else with a Blackburn Flea rear led light and I thought that was a nice light for the helmet as well ( very small but bright ) Both are USB chargeable. Just make sure that whatever you buy has a good strong clip.

    The only problem with mounting a rear blinkie on your helmet is that your head moves all the time. Unless the light you buy has a wide dispersion beam pattern I really can't say how useful they are. Still any light is better than no light at all.

    About the Rimfires wheel lights I mentioned before; Basically it is three leds per wheel but they are very bright and the base unit holds the three AA batteries. I use the rechargeable AA's. You can even buy a recharger for the base which is easier than taking the batteries out. Really not a big issue though as one charge last a long time. The base unit has 10 different flash modes including one steady mode. While they're not as fancy as the Monkeylites they're the next best thing and a lot cheaper. To tell you the truth I was happy with just those cheap valve cap lights but unfortunately the ones I had were so cheap they kept going out even though they had new batteries.

    When riding around town with the Rimfires on I get lot's of reactions. On my most recent ride one girl passed me in her car, wound down her windows and yelled to me that she loved my bike. A half hour later a dude passed me in his car and he yelled out that he *cough* loved me. Would of been nice if those two responses were reversed but at least I got noticed. The usual response is , "Wow, those are cool". Nothing like riding down the road looking like a carnival on wheels to get you noticed. If I get a chance maybe I can post a mini video of what they look like moving.

    Another cheap alternative for side visibility is you buy those peal off reflectors called
    "Lightweights®". I bought some of these a while back and they really do work great. You can even buy ones that will match the color of your bike making them almost invisible during the day but at night they reflect white light just like the regular white version.
    i dunno 11 bucks is scary cheap for those rimfires. how bright can they really be for 11 bucks ?

    the problem with my cateye LD1100 is

    1 - its not very bright ( i estimate 0.1 watt based on claimed 50 hour runtime from two AA batteries ). based on my calculations Light & Motion Vis 180 is 0.5 watt. and of course there are 2 watt lights out there such as one you use, or Niterider Solas. and then Dinotte is even more powerful.

    2 - but even a bigger problem is utterly crap beam pattern - it is basically three lasers - one straight back and two to the sides - there is no dispersion whatsoever.

    i am toying with the idea of using three tail lights now and aiming two of them sideways, but my leg will probably rub on them if i try to install them on the seatpost.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I took a look at the lights you said you had and I don't see why you don't like them. The LD1100 looks like it would be very visible ( after looking at it on youtube ) Any light on your wheel is going to draw attention because it's moving. That said those cateye wheel lights should get you noticed. Coin batteries are a b*tch though.

    I use a Cygolite hotshot on back of my helmet. It has a nice clip and works well. I saw someone else with a Blackburn Flea rear led light and I thought that was a nice light for the helmet as well ( very small but bright ) Both are USB chargeable. Just make sure that whatever you buy has a good strong clip.

    The only problem with mounting a rear blinkie on your helmet is that your head moves all the time. Unless the light you buy has a wide dispersion beam pattern I really can't say how useful they are. Still any light is better than no light at all.

    About the Rimfires wheel lights I mentioned before; Basically it is three leds per wheel but they are very bright and the base unit holds the three AA batteries. I use the rechargeable AA's. You can even buy a recharger for the base which is easier than taking the batteries out. Really not a big issue though as one charge last a long time. The base unit has 10 different flash modes including one steady mode. While they're not as fancy as the Monkeylites they're the next best thing and a lot cheaper. To tell you the truth I was happy with just those cheap valve cap lights but unfortunately the ones I had were so cheap they kept going out even though they had new batteries.

    When riding around town with the Rimfires on I get lot's of reactions. On my most recent ride one girl passed me in her car, wound down her windows and yelled to me that she loved my bike. A half hour later a dude passed me in his car and he yelled out that he *cough* loved me. Would of been nice if those two responses were reversed but at least I got noticed. The usual response is , "Wow, those are cool". Nothing like riding down the road looking like a carnival on wheels to get you noticed. If I get a chance maybe I can post a mini video of what they look like moving.

    Another cheap alternative for side visibility is you buy those peal off reflectors called
    "Lightweights®". I bought some of these a while back and they really do work great. You can even buy ones that will match the color of your bike making them almost invisible during the day but at night they reflect white light just like the regular white version.
    hey bro have you seen this:

    Fibre Flare

    i am thinking blue will cut through the night well because most lighting at night is yellow.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    hey bro have you seen this:

    Fibre Flare

    i am thinking blue will cut through the night well because most lighting at night is yellow.
    Yes I've seen similar lights before, usually though on motorcycles. I've also seen similar light sticks on the Chinese web sites. A little too much for my tastes. Actually I would be fine just using the valve cap lights like I said if the darn things would work like they're suppose to.

    Anyway, here's a photo of my road rig with the rimfires on static. Notice that the lights reflect off the walls, rims and floor. Now if I pass in front of a vehicle coming out of a side road with these going, my front bar light and mini-strobe in front, Moon shield and Cygolite hotshot in the back....I'm a virtual glowing kaleidoscope riding down the road. If someone claims they didn't see me they would have to have a screw loose somewhere.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Yes I've seen similar lights before, usually though on motorcycles. I've also seen similar light sticks on the Chinese web sites. A little too much for my tastes. Actually I would be fine just using the valve cap lights like I said if the darn things would work like they're suppose to.

    Anyway, here's a photo of my road rig with the rimfires on static. Notice that the lights reflect off the walls, rims and floor. Now if I pass in front of a vehicle coming out of a side road with these going, my front bar light and mini-strobe in front, Moon shield and Cygolite hotshot in the back....I'm a virtual glowing kaleidoscope riding down the road. If someone claims they didn't see me they would have to have a screw loose somewhere.
    problem is there is no way for me to tell from that picture whether it is brighter than my cateye orbits. the orbits are definitely NOT bright. they cost about the same as these rimfires, but they use much smaller batteries. also the orbits housing is not fully transparent so that must trap some of the light.

    logic suggests that rimfires should be brighter - but by how much ? also during daytime the orbits look completely normal - just like standard spoke reflectors - and the battery carrier on these rimfires looks a little weird.

    and ultimately even if rimfires are 4X brighter ( which is likely ) the real question is - are they the BRIGHTEST thing i can use for side visibility ?

    yes i don't know anything better at this time ... but there probably is something no ?

    i can't use monkeylectric because crackheads would steal the bike in a heartbeat.

    on the other hand these glowsticks ... i suppose i could use both the rimfires and the glowsticks.

    i wish there was a way to quantify the brightness in a picture. maybe if you had your tail light on at the same time it would show the relative brightness ( as long as you know how many lumens or watts your tail light is ).

  8. #8
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    Dinotte 300R. Has a seatpost QR mount and is guaranteed to get you seen.

    J.

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    I have heard good things with some friends that have the Serfas TL-60.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Dinotte 300R. Has a seatpost QR mount and is guaranteed to get you seen.

    J.
    i just ordered it. there didn't appear to be any tax or shipping fees.

    this is obviously for the seatpost.

    as for the helmet i thought Niteflux Red Zone 4 would have been perfect, but it's backordered ... but i guess it will be back in stock someday. at that time i could re-assess the situation.

    OK ! now that i am officially broke i can finally relax !

    i still need to figure out side visibility but i'm not going to think about it today.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Yes I've seen similar lights before, usually though on motorcycles. I've also seen similar light sticks on the Chinese web sites. A little too much for my tastes.
    arrgh ! i just found exactly what i needed:

    LED By LITE

    but it is still in prototype stage, even though for some reason the prices are listed ... but you can't order it.

    these glow sticks pack a 12V battery and 48 LEDs - not bad ! also instead of omnidirectional you can aim the light more or less.

    besides, why aren't we here:

    Side Visibility - Mtbr Forums

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    problem is there is no way for me to tell from that picture whether it is brighter than my cateye orbits. the orbits are definitely NOT bright. they cost about the same as these rimfires, but they use much smaller batteries. also the orbits housing is not fully transparent so that must trap some of the light.

    logic suggests that rimfires should be brighter - but by how much ? also during daytime the orbits look completely normal - just like standard spoke reflectors - and the battery carrier on these rimfires looks a little weird.

    and ultimately even if rimfires are 4X brighter ( which is likely ) the real question is - are they the BRIGHTEST thing i can use for side visibility ?....
    I think you're missing the core issue. You want to be seen from the side. Once you "are seen" it doesn't matter if the output is 60 lumen or 200 lumen. That's because with side lights you aren't worried about "seeing" only "if you are being seen". With front lights you want to "be seen" and to "see what's in front of you", a completely different agenda.
    Having any source of light being emitted from the side that is blinking and spinning in a circle at night is going to draw lots of attention because it is unusual. I think you need to determine what is the point of diminished returns. I could mount two DiNotte 200l's on my bike pointing to the sides on strobe but that would be **"Big time Overkill".

    ** While thinking about this I took an XPG torch and mounted it to my seat tube pointing down. On strobe mode the reflected light ( coming off the ground in all directions ) is awesome!. Don't think I'll do it though because it really is overkill. I also tried it with a smaller front led blinkie. It still is bright as hell. Yeah, I really do think there is such a thing as too much light.



    I have no doubt the glow sticks you mention will work fine. The only problem might be figuring how to mount them depending on how many you want to use. The only thing I don't like about the rimfires is that I have to leave them on the bike because they are not so easy to put on. Not a big deal though.

    The base unit of the Rimfires comes in different colors. Mine is clear. As you indicated it is not easy to ignore. Riding down the road it is not so visible. If you buy something like the monkeylites you have to buy more than one to keep the wheel balanced. BTW there is a Chinese version of Monkeylites which are cheaper but about twice the cost of the Rimfires.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    BTW there is a Chinese version of Monkeylites which are cheaper but about twice the cost of the Rimfires.
    check this:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-...-a-815865.html

    my beef with monkeylites is not price, but the fact that they will attract junkies and other types of zombies.

    i think a pure white version is more elegant and also not as interesting to 4etards

    also i disagree about too much light. if it is indeed true that most bike accidents occur at intersections then most of the light should be coming off from the side of your bike.

    what if i am making a left turn and am not looking in your direction AT ALL because i am looking at oncoming traffic ? if your light was bright enough i would still see you in my peripheral vision, but i'm certainly not going to see the rimfires until you are in front of me and then it's too late.

  14. #14
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    ok looks like there is actually not a single viable solution for side visibility on the market. i will probably have to do what cat-man-do mentioned, namely fabricate a custom DIY solution.

    we'll see ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    .....what if i am making a left turn and am not looking in your direction AT ALL because i am looking at oncoming traffic ? if your light was bright enough i would still see you in my peripheral vision, but i'm certainly not going to see the rimfires until you are in front of me and then it's too late.
    The statement you made that I highlighted is speculative and hypothetical. It cannot be proven either way. I will only go as far to say that ( IMO ) it is highly unlikely that with the 360° illumination I use which includes a very bright front bar lamp, a 600 lumen helmet light ( set on strobe ) that I can aim wherever I want, a very bright mini strobe on the bars along with the rimfires and my very bright rear set-up not to mention standard reflectors and reflective clothing, I feel it highly unlikely under normal circumstance that I would be missed.

    There are of course, "unusual circumstances". If the driver is impaired by either drugs, a medical condition or is simply not looking at the road in front of them for what ever reason then it won't matter what lights you have because they are not looking where they are going. Having all the lights in the world at that point won't save you. At that point the only thing that might save you is what "you do" at that moment to prevent the accident. I've got brakes, good eyesight and a good head on my shoulders. If I have to run off the road or eject from the bike I can. Being a MTB'er has given me good evasion skills.

    Something else you might consider: I've heard of police cars going through intersections with full lights and sirens on and still get broadsided by an inattentive or impaired driver. It is of course extremely rare but it happens. You can't prepare for something unusual you don't know is going to happen. All you can do is use common sense and take practical steps to increase your safety.

    Personally I feel with the lights I'm using I'm more safe at night than I am in the day. I say that because from what I can tell, people acknowledge me more at night than in the day. However with everything I have already said I don't delude myself by believing that all the lights I use will prevent someone from hitting me. That's because, You-Just-Never-Know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The statement you made that I highlighted is speculative and hypothetical. It cannot be proven either way. I will only go as far to say that ( IMO ) it is highly unlikely that with the 360° illumination I use which includes a very bright front bar lamp, a 600 lumen helmet light ( set on strobe ) that I can aim wherever I want, a very bright mini strobe on the bars along with the rimfires and my very bright rear set-up not to mention standard reflectors and reflective clothing, I feel it highly unlikely under normal circumstance that I would be missed.

    There are of course, "unusual circumstances". If the driver is impaired by either drugs, a medical condition or is simply not looking at the road in front of them for what ever reason then it won't matter what lights you have because they are not looking where they are going. Having all the lights in the world at that point won't save you. At that point the only thing that might save you is what "you do" at that moment to prevent the accident. I've got brakes, good eyesight and a good head on my shoulders. If I have to run off the road or eject from the bike I can. Being a MTB'er has given me good evasion skills.

    Something else you might consider: I've heard of police cars going through intersections with full lights and sirens on and still get broadsided by an inattentive or impaired driver. It is of course extremely rare but it happens. You can't prepare for something unusual you don't know is going to happen. All you can do is use common sense and take practical steps to increase your safety.

    Personally I feel with the lights I'm using I'm more safe at night than I am in the day. I say that because from what I can tell, people acknowledge me more at night than in the day. However with everything I have already said I don't delude myself by believing that all the lights I use will prevent someone from hitting me. That's because, You-Just-Never-Know.
    I agree with this but you have to use the sort of lights that get that respect. You can't use whimpy hard to see lights. You need to approximate everything else on the road, like cars.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I agree with this but you have to use the sort of lights that get that respect. You can't use whimpy hard to see lights. You need to approximate everything else on the road, like cars.

    J.
    Agreed.....but judging from my experience as a road ( vehicle ) professional I think it's more true with a front light than a rear ( in normal conditions ). A small dim steady "see me: light on the bars can easily be lost in the mix if in heavy traffic. A brighter light ( when called for ) is needed to help set you apart. I think this is why I like strobes so much. When you feel threatened nice to have a good strobe on stand-by.

    The newer compact red rear led lights on the other hand have come a long way in the last couple of years. Lately I have been seeing more and more people using the newer brighter self-contained red led lights. When ever I see them now i am always amazed at how well they work. They really are hard to miss, at least at night. Shouldn't be too long before they get even better. Nice if you can afford the Dinotte 300R or DS400 but not everyone feels they need that much light on the rear. On the other hand if I was riding a recumbent bike I would definitely want me a really bright rear light as well.

    Yes John you are right though, in most cases brighter is better as long as it's not blinding. While we might not always agree on how much is enough I think we can agree that if you feel like you are being seen when riding at night than you have succeeded at becoming more visible at night.

    Right now I feel pretty good at where I'm at although I could stand for some improvements to my rear light set up. For the time being at least I know I'm being seen. Now if someone comes out with a very small omni-directional rear blinkie with a 100 lumen output that I can put on the back of my helmet that would be nice. More light from a higher angle is always welcome and can only add to your visibility factor. Not surprisingly more and more motorcyclist are also buying into this concept as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Agreed.....but judging from my experience as a road ( vehicle ) professional I think it's more true with a front light than a rear ( in normal conditions ). A small dim steady "see me: light on the bars can easily be lost in the mix if in heavy traffic. A brighter light ( when called for ) is needed to help set you apart. I think this is why I like strobes so much. When you feel threatened nice to have a good strobe on stand-by.

    The newer compact red rear led lights on the other hand have come a long way in the last couple of years. Lately I have been seeing more and more people using the newer brighter self-contained red led lights. When ever I see them now i am always amazed at how well they work. They really are hard to miss, at least at night. Shouldn't be too long before they get even better. Nice if you can afford the Dinotte 300R or DS400 but not everyone feels they need that much light on the rear. On the other hand if I was riding a recumbent bike I would definitely want me a really bright rear light as well.

    Yes John you are right though, in most cases brighter is better as long as it's not blinding. While we might not always agree on how much is enough I think we can agree that if you feel like you are being seen when riding at night than you have succeeded at becoming more visible at night.

    Right now I feel pretty good at where I'm at although I could stand for some improvements to my rear light set up. For the time being at least I know I'm being seen. Now if someone comes out with a very small omni-directional rear blinkie with a 100 lumen output that I can put on the back of my helmet that would be nice. More light from a higher angle is always welcome and can only add to your visibility factor. Not surprisingly more and more motorcyclist are also buying into this concept as well.
    I think you have to have lights (ultimately) that make you be seen as a vehicle and not as a bicycle. My riding is on twisty turning country roads with little shoulder and speed limits of 50mph+. 1500 lumens or more on the front is great and as beefy of a rear tail light as I can get. I'm enthusiastic about advocating for such a powerful tail light since I've been surprised at the change in driver behavior as I stepped it up.

    J.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    You need to approximate everything else on the road, like cars.

    J.
    i agree. this concept is simply new for bikers because until maybe 2 - 3 years ago it would simply not be possible.

    with headlight you don't need as many lumens as a car, because your stopping distance is shorter than that of a car at 60 mph for the most part.

    your tail light however will rely on the car's stopping distance, so it must be as bright as car tail lights.

    from my research HID headlights is 6,000 lumens and in my experience that's enough to go comfortably at ~ 50 mph or so with high beams in pitch black darkness on a good road. i was going at 80 mph but i could have used more light at that speed.

    if a bike is going at 25 mph or half the speed means you only need 1/(2^2) = ~ 1,500 lumens ON A GOOD ROAD. i squared the two because light falls off as square of distance and at 1/2 the speed you only need 1/2 the throw. on the other hand bike brakes are not as good as car brakes ( that have electronic stability control ) so depending on your braking skills make that 1,500 lumens for 15 mph.

    as for tail light - according to my research car tail lights are HUNDREDS of lumens, although they are less focused than bike tail lights. a dinotte tail lumen output is still LOWER than car tail lights, although it may be brighter straight on axis. the number i have seen is the bulbs used in car signal lights etc are up to 400 lumens EACH. whereas a dinotte is about 250 lumens, and normal bike tail lights are up to about 100 lumens only.

    ps: my piko arrived - i'm going to go upack it. so i may not post for a while while i am busy.
    Last edited by androgen; 09-28-2012 at 07:15 PM.

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    I'm not as worried about stopping distance - I want the other drivers on the road think I'm another vehicle (as opposed to a bike) because then they pay attention and respect intervals, don't pull out in front of you etc... That means headlights in the 1500 lumen range or greater and it means pretty much the brightest flashiest tail lights available.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I think you have to have lights (ultimately) that make you be seen as a vehicle and not as a bicycle. My riding is on twisty turning country roads with little shoulder and speed limits of 50mph+. 1500 lumens or more on the front is great and as beefy of a rear tail light as I can get. I'm enthusiastic about advocating for such a powerful tail light since I've been surprised at the change in driver behavior as I stepped it up.

    J.
    In environments like that I don't think anyone can argue that more is not better. The need for maximum lumen is situational. The more hazardous the environment the more your visibility factor needs to be raised.

    One of the things I've noticed about tail light visibility comes from observing motorcycles.
    Some have bright rear tail lights and some not so bright. Regardless, with only one projection point they sometimes get lost in the mix of car traffic. The most visible are the ones that use more than one rear light. Those you almost never lose track of even in heavy traffic at a distance. This is one of the reasons I like using more than one rear light. Adding more projection points gives the viewer more of a sense of depth and makes the cyclist appear larger. This can only add to the visibility and safety factor of the rider.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-29-2012 at 04:36 AM.

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    I do wish I had a light on the back of my helmet like one of my motorcycle helmets has. I'm going to add black reflective tape to my black helmet. Hopefully that goes a long way towards better visibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I'm not as worried about stopping distance - I want the other drivers on the road think I'm another vehicle (as opposed to a bike) because then they pay attention and respect intervals, don't pull out in front of you etc... That means headlights in the 1500 lumen range or greater and it means pretty much the brightest flashiest tail lights available.

    J.
    I think my lights helped me with this tonight. I had a great long throw light on my helmet. A car went around me, then turned on its blinker just before the corner. Since it didn't pass me very quickly, it didn't get to the corner much before I did. I braked, but really it was a bit too late for me at that point if the car continued to turn. Fortunately the drivers stopped and allowed me to go straight. I think it's because my headlight lit up the interior of his car as he started his turn, and he realized he was cutting me off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I do wish I had a light on the back of my helmet like one of my motorcycle helmets has. I'm going to add black reflective tape to my black helmet. Hopefully that goes a long way towards better visibility.

    I think my lights helped me with this tonight. I had a great long throw light on my helmet. A car went around me, then turned on its blinker just before the corner. Since it didn't pass me very quickly, it didn't get to the corner much before I did. I braked, but really it was a bit too late for me at that point if the car continued to turn. Fortunately the drivers stopped and allowed me to go straight. I think it's because my headlight lit up the interior of his car as he started his turn, and he realized he was cutting me off.
    i think what may be going on is that when a driver sees a cyclist on the road he by default assumes that the cyclist WANTS to be killed. sort of like when a man sees a woman in a tiny miniskirt he may assume she wants to be raped.

    so you have to send a strong signal that no in fact i do NOT want it. in case of a woman a burka would send such a signal. in case of a cyclist it may be looking like a Christmas tree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I do wish I had a light on the back of my helmet like one of my motorcycle helmets has. I'm going to add black reflective tape to my black helmet. Hopefully that goes a long way towards better visibility.



    I think my lights helped me with this tonight. I had a great long throw light on my helmet. A car went around me, then turned on its blinker just before the corner. Since it didn't pass me very quickly, it didn't get to the corner much before I did. I braked, but really it was a bit too late for me at that point if the car continued to turn. Fortunately the drivers stopped and allowed me to go straight. I think it's because my headlight lit up the interior of his car as he started his turn, and he realized he was cutting me off.
    Yes, reflective clothing helps a great deal.

    Your story goes a long way in pointing out the importance of "rider awareness".
    Sometimes there is just a "knee jerk" reaction from motorist to "pass the bicyclist" ASAP. Sometimes they will do this and then realize they have to make an immediate right turn. Most of the time it is lack of forethought on behalf of the driver. Other times it may be someone who is unfamiliar with the area and unthinkingly makes a sudden turn. Then there is the small percentage of people who ( I swear ) are doing it on purpose. The later are the most dangerous. Not a person who cycles on the road who probably hasn't had this same situation happen to them at least once. Glad to hear your helmet lamp came to your rescue. This is why when I approach dangerous areas like intersections I keep my helmet torch in "strobe mode" and turn it on before hand if I think the situation merits it. Kudos for making a good call.

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    The issue with reflective clothing is that it pretty much requires the viewing eyeballs to be in line with the light. That means where you need it most is where it's least effective. Front and back lights protect you for and aft, but in a situation like at a cross street intersection, the most visibility from reflectors happens just as you cross into the headlights of the car - the least effective case.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    The issue with reflective clothing is that it pretty much requires the viewing eyeballs to be in line with the light. That means where you need it most is where it's least effective. Front and back lights protect you for and aft, but in a situation like at a cross street intersection, the most visibility from reflectors happens just as you cross into the headlights of the car - the least effective case.

    J.
    Like you said depends on the line of sight and how and when the lights from your car hit the reflectors. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen cyclists only because of their "standard wheel reflectors. Once again, a source of light ( reflective or otherwise ) spinning in a circle always draws attention. If you exam one of these ( wheel ) reflectors you will find that they can gather and reflect light at a wide angle. It doesn't have to be head on although that is when they are the brightest.

    Enhancing side visibility doesn't have to be expensive. I highly suggest that everyone consider the products from Lightweights®. It comes in various colors including black ( all reflect white ) Is sold as tape or stickers and can be used on the bike or on clothing. If I had kids I'd be buying lots of this stuff. Some people put them on their spokes and that is really visible.

    Another cheap option is an led torch/light mounted on the seat tube pointing down towards the road and put on strobe. I discovered this just the other day and it is freakingly bright when viewing from any angle. What happens is the light bounces off the lower part of the bike and the road. If I get a chance I'll try to do a mini video to show folks just how bright this is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    The issue with reflective clothing is that it pretty much requires the viewing eyeballs to be in line with the light. That means where you need it most is where it's least effective. Front and back lights protect you for and aft, but in a situation like at a cross street intersection, the most visibility from reflectors happens just as you cross into the headlights of the car - the least effective case.

    J.
    Reflexite seems to allow a pretty wide angle, and shows up well with little light. It's generally what's used on street signs. The big issue is making sure the reflective surfaces are not perpendicular to the viewer, or very close to it. That's why I'm going to add a class 3 reflective shirt to my night riding apparel. It has a reflective stripe on the sleeves.

    I've been mulling over how to add reflective tape to the frame of my bike. I don't really want to stick it directly to the bike because it may pull off the paint when it's removed. When I'm going to do is add low tack translucent "clear" shelf liner to the bike, and then put Reflexite tape over that.

    I could have sworn I saw a product to make tire sidewalls reflective. It may have been on Kickstarter. Or maybe it was this: Fiks:Reflective Rim Stripes for Bicycles by Nick Drombosky — Kickstarter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Another cheap option is an led torch/light mounted on the seat tube pointing down towards the road and put on strobe. I discovered this just the other day and it is freakingly bright when viewing from any angle. What happens is the light bounces off the lower part of the bike and the road. If I get a chance I'll try to do a mini video to show folks just how bright this is.
    you are obviously not a perfectionist like me. you have a mindset of a chinese manufacturer - if it seems to work at all it is good enough. i have a mindset of a german manufacturer - if it can be made better, then it MUST be made better.

    i will add that my father is a lot like you, only he goes further. his mindset is - if it doesn't work just pretend that it does, or pretend that you don't need it. one time when car brakes weren't working i said they must be fixed and he said "what for? just don't drive fast." then he rammed a Mercedes SUV when making a left turn - if his brakes were good he might have stopped in time - instead his insurance went up by thousands of $$$ when the brakes would have only cost maybe $100 to fix.

    but as questionable as my father's logic was at least he was driving 207 inches long slab of metal, so while the Merc was destroyed he got out without a scratch. i don't think it would work out quite the same on a bike.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-01-2012 at 06:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Like you said depends on the line of sight and how and when the lights from your car hit the reflectors. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen cyclists only because of their "standard wheel reflectors. Once again, a source of light ( reflective or otherwise ) spinning in a circle always draws attention. If you exam one of these ( wheel ) reflectors you will find that they can gather and reflect light at a wide angle. It doesn't have to be head on although that is when they are the brightest.

    Enhancing side visibility doesn't have to be expensive. I highly suggest that everyone consider the products from Lightweights®. It comes in various colors including black ( all reflect white ) Is sold as tape or stickers and can be used on the bike or on clothing. If I had kids I'd be buying lots of this stuff. Some people put them on their spokes and that is really visible.

    Another cheap option is an led torch/light mounted on the seat tube pointing down towards the road and put on strobe. I discovered this just the other day and it is freakingly bright when viewing from any angle. What happens is the light bounces off the lower part of the bike and the road. If I get a chance I'll try to do a mini video to show folks just how bright this is.
    That's where I use my headlight - aimed in the direction of a car at a cross street to get their attention. Reflectors are not a bad idea for sure, but active means are just better.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    That's where I use my headlight - aimed in the direction of a car at a cross street to get their attention. Reflectors are not a bad idea for sure, but active means are just better.

    J.
    i couldn't find any good reflectors for the wheels. they either use inferior technology or are very small or both.

    i had an idea to buy some reflexite tape and make some DIY reflectors for example by using regular 99 cents 12" plastic rulers, drilling 3 holes in them and then mounting on spokes using plastic tie wraps similar to monkeylectric. i could also cut custom shapes from some hard plastic rather than using rulers.

    but i am worried if such a setup will produce wind noise, vibration or simply act as a sail during crosswinds and make riding more difficult.

    ???

    ultimately i think there isn't enough surface anywhere on the bike for reflective solutions. on the clothes ? that's another story. i do have a reflective vest, but mother refuses to wear it. also this vest mostly has surface front and back - precisely where i am already covered. it would be nice to have something reflective on the sides ...
    Last edited by androgen; 10-01-2012 at 08:53 AM.

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    I haven't had good experience with reflectors. I find having a helmet mounted light is much more effective when I aim it in the direction of cars on cross streets. I don't now, or plan to in the future, put much time or effort into reflectors.

    J.

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    Received my Dinotte 300R ... it is extremely impressive ! In terms of build and output level it feels more like my Lupine Piko than my old Cateye 1100 blinky. It would have been nice to have something in-between those two - but there doesn't seem to be any such thing. The next step down from Dinotte is probably L&M Vis 180 which is 50 lumen, or about 1/5th or the Dinotte. I guess 50 would be enough depending on where you ride.

    The beam pattern is tighter than i expected - the L&M Vis is probably wider but because Vis is lower output i doubt it will not be brighter probably until you go about 60 degrees off axis.

    40 minutes to sunset here.

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    The Dinotte has a a lot of light to splash around.

    I had the vis180 and my issue with it was the softer heartbeat style of "flashing" if you can call it that and that it wasn't that bright. This discussion has helped me focus my thoughts - I think you need to have lights that are approximately as bright as other vehicles (i.e. cars) to be really noticed. Dinotte does that, vis180 doesn't

    You're going to be one lit up dude here in about an hour. LOL.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    you are obviously not a perfectionist like me. you have a mindset of a chinese manufacturer - if it seems to work at all it is good enough. i have a mindset of a german manufacturer - if it can be made better, then it MUST be made better.

    i will add that my father is a lot like you, only he goes further. his mindset is - if it doesn't work just pretend that it does, or pretend that you don't need it. one time when car brakes weren't working i said they must be fixed and he said "what for? just don't drive fast." then he rammed a Mercedes SUV when making a left turn - if his brakes were good he might have stopped in time - instead his insurance went up by thousands of $$$ when the brakes would have only cost maybe $100 to fix.

    but as questionable as my father's logic was at least he was driving 207 inches long slab of metal, so while the Merc was destroyed he got out without a scratch. i don't think it would work out quite the same on a bike.
    Sorry but somehow this post got by me and I'm just now seeing it. Let me clarify some things...

    What does being a perfectionist have to do with bike lights? Nobodies perfect and no products are perfect so why worry about it.

    Now about my mindset: You have no idea what my mindset is because you aren't me. When I post up it is to share ideas and information. Some of those ideas involve products that cost little and some a bit more. I try to cover all the bases. Not everyone reading these forums has money to burn. I try to keep that in mind when I'm posting. If I can give some kid an idea to help keep his skin alive for just pennies I'm going to do it. I could care less if something is Chinese, U.S. or German made. If something works it works...period. Now if a product has limitations or short-comings that is what we discuss here on forum. Having the biggest,baddest, brightest, most expensive German made light doesn't make you Albert Einstein or Mr. Now-nobody-will-hit-me-because-I-have-the-best. Hey, if you want your bike to glow like a Neon sign, knock yourself out. No skin off my nose. I might even like what you come up with.

    Lastly, I'm not your father. When brakes go out on my car I get them fixed. Why you would endeavor to compare me to your father is beyond me. None of your comments had anything to do with bike lights. A couple weeks ago you started posting on MTB'ers Lights and Night riding forum and now you seem to think this entitles you to start judging the mindsets of the posters and making "personal unparalleled comparisons"?...I think not.

    It's okay to be critical. Just remember not to be too quick to jump to any conclusions. If you step on toes just be ready to apologize if you don't have a good reason. Respect for others is very important here on MTB'er. Do unto others....

    Moving on....the other day I saw a cluster of red lights at the side of an intersection. Having no idea what it was ( @200ft. ) it drew my attention. It turned out to be a cyclist waiting at the light. He had a couple of those Spokelit LED lights that attach to the spokes. In his case they were red and only one per wheel. They were not blinking. This is the first time I''ve seen this set-up so now I can comment: They looked damn bright to me. They certainly caught my attention and the bike wasn't even moving. I'm sure these have a blink mode which would be more eye-catching to say the least. Certainly a cheap way to increase your side visibility.

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    I'm ordering a pack of these.

    Red keychain lights

    I'll velcro a few to my helmet. They don't blink, and probably won't last long, but they're cheap.





    I have a couple patches of black reflective tape on my helmet. I'm about to put some red reflexite tape on my rear forks and yellow reflexite on my top tube. The tape will go over translucent shelf (plastic) paper so that it's easy to remove from my bike.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post

    Moving on....the other day I saw a cluster of red lights at the side of an intersection. Having no idea what it was ( @200ft. ) it drew my attention. It turned out to be a cyclist waiting at the light. He had a couple of those Spokelit LED lights that attach to the spokes. In his case they were red and only one per wheel. They were not blinking. This is the first time I''ve seen this set-up so now I can comment: They looked damn bright to me. They certainly caught my attention and the bike wasn't even moving. I'm sure these have a blink mode which would be more eye-catching to say the least. Certainly a cheap way to increase your side visibility.
    you have eagle eyes ...

    even so, a car's stopping distance is about 115 feet from 60 mph if we are talking about brand new car in perfect condition. my guess is that the cars we should most worry about ( those driven by half blind seniors and drunk teenagers ) are closer to 140 feet. add to this a reaction time, which for said group is probably 2 seconds, which at 60 mph is 90 feet. so if a half blind or drunk person can see you from 200 feet they can still very well run you over.

    you seem to be happy with preventing 90% of people ( those with good vision and reaction ) from killing you, and don't mind the other 10%.

    Dinotte 300R is visible from basically any distance. when my mother was testing it i could see it from 1/3 mile at 90 degrees off axis - and it is only about 5% as bright at 90 degrees as it is head on. i would probably be able to see it from 1 mile head on.

    when i was suffering from minor alcoholism and had a sports car i sometimes went as fast as 120 mph in 30 mph zone @ 2AM and without really being able to see anything except signal lights - and even those by the time i saw them i already passed the intersection. your tail light would probably need to be 50,000 lumens for me not to kill you at that point. the stopping distance alone would have been ~ 500 feet at that speed.

    what good is it to protect yourself against good drivers when most people are killed by sh1tty ones ?

    do you know those lights on police cars ? i am guessing they are 10 X brighter than Dinotte. they are also much higher up. do you think there maybe a REASON why they din't just go with spokelits ? i live next to a highway and i see cops pulling people over all the time - their color LEDs light up the whole street. by comparsion Dinotte lights up about 6 feet of pavement and my spoke lights - i can't see ANY light from them reflecting off pavement. in a speeding drunk driver scenario i described those police lights would be just BARELY enough to avoid collision.

    i think you underestimate drunk people. drunk people are known to get into cages with tigers in the zoo and try to fight them ( they always get eaten ). one drunk fella cut his own head with a chain saw to impress his buddies. trust me - a spokelit will not stop them.

    chain is only as strong as the weakest link. you have to be prepared for the worst.

    anyway my tip to you is don't ride on the road between 10 pm and ~ 5 am on friday and saturday night. maybe it's just brooklyn - but at these times i am afraid to even drive my car.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-06-2012 at 05:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I'm ordering a pack of these.

    Red keychain lights

    I'll velcro a few to my helmet. They don't blink, and probably won't last long, but they're cheap.





    I have a couple patches of black reflective tape on my helmet. I'm about to put some red reflexite tape on my rear forks and yellow reflexite on my top tube. The tape will go over translucent shelf (plastic) paper so that it's easy to remove from my bike.
    the other night i was driving and i paid special attention to reflective tape on the back of trucks - it seemed visible enough until you squinted - then you could still clearly see their LED tail lights, but the tape disappeared. to me this means anything short of POWERFUL led lights is not going to work.

    you may increase your visibility 2X, 4X even 10X but it still is going to be only 5% of what it should be.

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    Brighter isn't always better. Sometimes it's worse as it draws people in.

    As far as spoke lights go, is that not only for side visibility? I can't see anyone expecting them to work well from the rear. The wheel itself would block the view no matter how bright it is.

    There isn't a single solution. That's why some of us use multiple lights plus reflectors plus reflective tape plus bright clothing.

    Even all that may be pointless if the driver doesn't cannot identify what's being seen. That's why so many drivers hit motorcyclists that were clearly visible. Even though they could see them, their brain deemed the abnormal shape irrelevant or hadn't finished identifying it. What we perceive is not quite what our eyes see.

    So if you want to view this from an engineering perspective, then you have a lot of research to do on how to get motorists to recognize cyclists.

    This book has a good chapter on the subject.
    Automotive Lighting and Human Vision

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    the other night i was driving and i paid special attention to reflective tape on the back of trucks - it seemed visible enough until you squinted - then you could still clearly see their LED tail lights, but the tape disappeared. to me this means anything short of POWERFUL led lights is not going to work.

    you may increase your visibility 2X, 4X even 10X but it still is going to be only 5% of what it should be.
    That only happened because those LED tail lights were as intense (concentrated) as they were. Without them, either you would have opened your eyes more or been driving blind. It's a bad test.

    Besides, I don't think anyone is talking about using reflectors without lighting.

    Also, powerful is relative. And as I said elsewhere, if it's bright enough, it'll actually serve to draw in drivers. And if that light and what it's for cannot be mentally processed, it's useless.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    ...you have eagle eyes ...

    ....so if a half blind or drunk person can see you from 200 feet they can still very well run you over.

    you seem to be happy with preventing 90% of people ( those with good vision and reaction ) from killing you, and don't mind the other 10%.


    ....what good is it to protect yourself against good drivers when most people are killed by sh1tty ones ?

    do you know those lights on police cars ? ..... in a speeding drunk driver scenario i described those police lights would be just BARELY enough to avoid collision.

    i think you underestimate drunk people. a spokelit will not stop them.


    ....anyway my tip to you is don't ride on the road between 10 pm and ~ 5 am on friday and saturday night. maybe it's just brooklyn - but at these times i am afraid to even drive my car.
    eagle eyes? I'm a focused and attentive professional driver. My life and livelihood depend upon it. Undoubtedly my skills behind the wheel are better than most.

    10%?....I think not. If I for one moment thought that ten out of every hundred drivers couldn't see me or were impaired in some way, not only would I NOT ride my bike on the road but I wouldn't drive on the road either. This is a difference in perception. You have yours, I have mine.

    As I have already stated, if you mount a police strobe bubble on your bike there still are no guarantees that someone won't come along and hit you. Even the police get hit ( as I already pointed out ). As far as being hit by an impaired person it really won't matter how much light you use because they will still claim afterward that they didn't see you. If you live after being hit by a drunk driver it won't make a difference to the Judge when you go into court and tell them you had 3000 lumen of light going. You could just as well state, " I had a front light, two side lights, wheel reflectors and one rear light". As soon as you say that it's all over, you win. That's because the Judge will know under normal circumstances you would of been seen by the unimpaired or attentive driver.

    Once again, it comes down to diminished returns in deciding what is going to best serve your personal needs. Since you ride in NY I won't argue that you don't need to be seen. Just how much is enough though depends on the usual conditions and places that you ride. For the record, I've heard stories of people riding bikes in NY. Not a place I would want to ride my bike on a regular basis. On the other hand I drive through Washington DC on a regular basis. DC is a real bike oriented town. Bikes everywhere. Most people there just use a front and rear blinkie and they're good.

    Andro I think it boils down to this: Don't fool yourself in thinking you can protect yourself against all possible scenarios by using an over abundance of lights. Make yourself reasonably visible. Keep your eyes open and try to leave yourself an out when possible.
    In city riding or commuting try to avoid dangerous junctures or intersections. Planning your route can go a way in protecting your skin.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 10-06-2012 at 07:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    eagle eyes? I'm a focused and attentive professional driver. My life and livelihood depend upon it. Undoubtedly my skills behind the wheel are better than most.

    10%?....I think not. If I for one moment thought that ten out of every hundred drivers couldn't see me or were impaired in some way, not only would I NOT ride my bike on the road but I wouldn't drive on the road either. This is a difference in perception. You have yours, I have mine.

    As I have already stated, if you mount a police strobe bubble on your bike there still are no guarantees that someone won't come along and hit you. Even the police get hit ( as I already pointed out ). As far as being hit by an impaired person it really won't matter how much light you use because they will still claim afterward that they didn't see you. If you live after being hit by a drunk driver it won't make a difference to the Judge when you go into court and tell them you had 3000 lumen of light going. You could just as well state, " I had a front light, two side lights, wheel reflectors and one rear light". As soon as you say that it's all over, you win. That's because the Judge will know under normal circumstances you would of been seen by the unimpaired or attentive driver.

    Once again, it comes down to diminished returns in deciding what is going to best serve your personal needs. Since you ride in NY I won't argue that you don't need to be seen. Just how much is enough though depends on the usual conditions and places that you ride. For the record, I've heard stories of people riding bikes in NY. Not a place I would want to ride my bike on a regular basis. On the other hand I drive through Washington DC on a regular basis. DC is a real bike oriented town. Bikes everywhere. Most people there just use a front and rear blinkie and they're good.

    Andro I think it boils down to this: Don't fool yourself in thinking you can protect yourself against all possible scenarios by using an over abundance of lights. Make yourself reasonably visible. Keep your eyes open and try to leave yourself an out when possible.
    In city riding or commuting try to avoid dangerous junctures or intersections. Planning your route can go a way in protecting your skin.
    OK Cat i found something you may like !

    FlexPro N-Vision Bicycle Safety Lights | Night Lights for Bikes

    its $20 for single color wheel set including battery case and 3 lights. it is very similar to rimfire except that it uses a single 9V battery instead of three AA batteries and the LED lights are different shape.

    what do you think ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    OK Cat i found something you may like !

    FlexPro N-Vision Bicycle Safety Lights | Night Lights for Bikes

    its $20 for single color wheel set including battery case and 3 lights. it is very similar to rimfire except that it uses a single 9V battery instead of three AA batteries and the LED lights are different shape.

    what do you think ?
    Interesting. The fin version certainly covers more surface area than the rimfires. While they may be brighter they may also be heavier. Judging from the video definitely is very visible IMO, maybe more so than rimfires. My only concern would be if the battery box would unbalance the wheel. Hard to say unless I had one. Looking at the video they look great. Wish I could find a video of the rimfires to compare but none on Youtube and none on their website. There is a still photo though of rimfires that shows how it can look depending on how you position the lights and what mode it is in ( Rimfires have 9-modes ) This is a fairly accurate representation although the middle area should not be lit unless they are just showing it with the green colored base.

    Anyway, what do you think about them ( FlexPro )? Think people will see you with these? Now if you tell me "No" I'm going to fall out of my chair. Be forewarned: It's not nice to make the Catman fall out of his chair.

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    There seems to be a lot of assumptions about the visibility of LEDs and reflective materials on and off axis. I'll see about taking pictures starting tomorrow night and putting together a report. Hopefully I can start posting the results early next week.

    I don't think the type of LEDs matters much, but I'll note the type of light and where it's pointed.

    I have black reflective tape that I believe is Scotchlite. I have yellow and red Reflexite...the stuff is what's used on highway signs. I also have a new Class 3 reflective shirt coming in. I have old reflective ankle straps too, and I'll go ahead an photograph those too because I think there's going to be a huge difference between that and the Reflexite and Class 3 shirt tape.

    The camera will be shooting fully in manual mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Interesting. The fin version certainly covers more surface area than the rimfires. While they may be brighter they may also be heavier. Judging from the video definitely is very visible IMO, maybe more so than rimfires. My only concern would be if the battery box would unbalance the wheel. Hard to say unless I had one. Looking at the video they look great. Wish I could find a video of the rimfires to compare but none on Youtube and none on their website. There is a still photo though of rimfires that shows how it can look depending on how you position the lights and what mode it is in ( Rimfires have 9-modes ) This is a fairly accurate representation although the middle area should not be lit unless they are just showing it with the green colored base.

    Anyway, what do you think about them ( FlexPro )? Think people will see you with these? Now if you tell me "No" I'm going to fall out of my chair. Be forewarned: It's not nice to make the Catman fall out of his chair.
    i think that the combination of neon colors and motion certainly makes limited lumens go a long way for visibility.

    i was comparing it to the video of "bike after dark" / "kineteka systems"

    Bike After Dark - Dallas at Night - YouTube

    and while the bike after dark certainly has the lumen upper hand by some margin, it tends to blend in with street lighting more than color spoke lights.

    now i am wondering what would be the better color scheme in terms of aesthetics and / or DOT regulation

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    ok so by googling i found this:

    bicycles:

    'Bicycles are required to have spoke-mounted side reflectors that are amber or
    essentially colorless for the front wheel and red or essentially colorless for the rear wheel.'

    cars:

    "In North America, amber front and red rear side marker lamps and retroreflectors are required."

    so i think i'm going to stick along these lines. i want visible, not hypnotic - so i think sticking with standard colors is better.
    Last edited by androgen; 10-07-2012 at 11:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    ok so by googling i found this:

    bicycles:

    'Bicycles are required to have spoke-mounted side reflectors that are amber or
    essentially colorless for the front wheel and red or essentially colorless for the rear wheel.'

    cars:

    "In North America, amber front and red rear side marker lamps and retroreflectors are required."

    so i think i'm going to stick along these lines. i want visible, not hypnotic - so i think sticking with standard colors is better.
    Regulations are local. My wheel lights are red, blue, green. If I wanted to I could go all amber or red but so far I'm good and no one is pulling me over. There are so many versions of side lighting coming out that regulation would be almost impossible. Since it's on a bike no one really cares because in short it makes people safer.

    I think "hypnotic" is the wrong word. No one is going to be incapacitated by a bike wheel set-up ( unless they''re on acid or something... )...

    Oh...something I almost forgot to mention: The stick version of the FlexPro could also be mounted on a bike frame. You would have to lengthen the wires a bit perhaps but that is not something too difficult for anyone with basic DIY skills. The battery could easily just be strapped to the seat tube.

    Regardless, I still wish those valve mounted lights were made better. Personally I like small and simple. They're just so cheaply made that they really don't work well. That's unfortunate because they really do make a bike stand out ( more so than usual ). Even if you don't think they're so bright it's still like the difference between a bike that has no rear light and one that has a cheap frog rear light. It might not be much but it is better than nothing at all.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Regulations are local. My wheel lights are red, blue, green. If I wanted to I could go all amber or red but so far I'm good and no one is pulling me over. There are so many versions of side lighting coming out that regulation would be almost impossible. Since it's on a bike no one really cares because in short it makes people safer.

    I think "hypnotic" is the wrong word. No one is going to be incapacitated by a bike wheel set-up ( unless they''re on acid or something... )...

    Oh...something I almost forgot to mention: The stick version of the FlexPro could also be mounted on a bike frame. You would have to lengthen the wires a bit perhaps but that is not something too difficult for anyone with basic DIY skills. The battery could easily just be strapped to the seat tube.

    Regardless, I still wish those valve mounted lights were made better. Personally I like small and simple. They're just so cheaply made that they really don't work well. That's unfortunate because they really do make a bike stand out ( more so than usual ). Even if you don't think they're so bright it's still like the difference between a bike that has no rear light and one that has a cheap frog rear light. It might not be much but it is better than nothing at all.
    i'm not concerned with legality of spoke lights - but rather i want to make sure the light is not confusing the the driver. i think if the lights are close to standard colors, PROVIDED THAT THEY ARE ALSO HIGHLY VISIBLE they will be easier for driver's brain to recognize as a vehicle of some sort.

    on the other hand if the lights are overly funky ( think monkeylectric ) they will attract attention of various crackheads who will try to steal your bike because they will think it is cool.

    as well if the lights make the driver curious to see what they are he will consciously on unconsciously get closer to see them better - not what you want ! read reviews for monkeylectric on Amazon - that is actually what happens - when people ride with monkey lites drivers will pull up right to them to get a closer look .

    that's why i want something that is very simple ( no unnecessary curiosity ) and very standard ( no unnecessary effort required to understand what is seen ) but at the same time as bright as possible.

    i can either go bright white on both wheels with "bike after dark" or i can go with yellow front and red rear with "flex pro n-vision". the yellow/red combination is closer to standard regulation colors, but less bright. the white/white is NOT regulation for cars, but still passes regulation for bike reflectors ( except it is obviously not a reflector ).

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post

    on the other hand if the lights are overly funky ( think monkeylectric ) they will attract attention of various crackheads who will try to steal your bike because they will think it is cool.

    as well if the lights make the driver curious to see what they are he will consciously on unconsciously get closer to see them better - not what you want
    ! read reviews for monkeylectric on Amazon - that is actually what happens - when people ride with monkey lites drivers will pull up right to them to get a closer look .

    that's why i want something that is very simple ( no unnecessary curiosity ) and very standard ( no unnecessary effort required to understand what is seen ) but at the same time as bright as possible.

    i can either go bright white on both wheels with "bike after dark" or i can go with yellow front and red rear with "flex pro n-vision". the yellow/red combination is closer to standard regulation colors, but less bright. the white/white is NOT regulation for cars, but still passes regulation for bike reflectors ( except it is obviously not a reflector ).
    When you say someone will try to steal your bike do you mean if you leave it somewhere or do you mean something else? If I left my bike somewhere I doubt I would leave any lights on my bike for someone to pick-over. Anyway, yeah if you mean leaving your bike somewhere I too would worry about someone picking off the lights. If that's the case I would consider simpler more quick release / easy on-off options.

    Now as to people being curious about what lights you are using ( while riding down the road ) I would think that to be a good thing. That means their attention is on you and that is just what you want. Look at it this way, do you want to be ignored or to draw attention? To fade into the woodwork, or to stand out? Speaking for myself I want people looking at me. To do that you can take various approaches. You can add intensity to your side lights or you can add more lesser lights that are positioned to draw more attention. Either way will work. If they gawk it's no skin off my nose because I consider that the best possible scenario. I look at it as, "positive feedback". I think you need to understand that there is no way you can figure out the perfect set-up. Just buy something that works and start getting seen. Later if a better product comes along that either looks better or is more functional than you can always change up. Basically that's what I did with the Rimfires. I'd rather run something I don't have to leave on the bike but these will work for the time being and didn't cost a boat-load of cash. Twelve buck$ a wheel, I can deal with that and treat it as a throw away item.

    I don't park my bike and leave it in a public place so if you are doing that you have to consider how best to secure your own property. If it were me I'd likely just use the removable valve stem lights, use more reflectors on the wheels and use those cheaper led straps that you can attach to almost anything. Something is better than nothing. Sooner or later better ( quick release ) products will come out to better serve the needs of the daily commuter.

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    I just put some yellow reflexite (3/2 inch X 14 inch) on my top tube and red reflexite (3/4 inch X 6 inch) on the seat stays.

    The yellow reflexite shows up so well I hardly notice the rest of the bike. That might actually be more dangerous, so I'm going to add more to the other tubes.

    The red reflexite is much more reflective than the rear reflector that came with the bike, even if I point my flight directly at the rear reflector. If I point my light away from the bike, the red reflexite still shines a little, whereas the rear reflector is dark.

    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    i had an idea to buy some reflexite tape and make some DIY reflectors for example by using regular 99 cents 12" plastic rulers, drilling 3 holes in them and then mounting on spokes using plastic tie wraps similar to monkeylectric. i could also cut custom shapes from some hard plastic rather than using rulers.
    The tape has a little stiffness to it. I imagine if make double sided reflexite tape reflectors that aren't more than an inch wide, they'll hold up find. I may try it out for you so you don't waste your money on a project that may not work. I found my big roll of yellow reflexite in a bush on the side of the highway, so it's a free experiment for me.

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    This morning I was looking at Action-LED-Lights website and I noticed they now have their wide angle lens available in red for taillight use. Action suggested using a helmet mount wrapped around the seat rails as a mount but you could also just mount the light backwards on a helmet too. Here's another option for those who want a high lumen tail lamp. 39mm lens so it will fit 808/Titan/most clones and anything smaller if you care to modify it. I have alot of miles on these lenses (clear as a headlight) and they have a very wide 30 degree beam. I ordered one this morning so I'll let you know how it works.
    Mole

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    This morning I was looking at Action-LED-Lights website and I noticed they now have their wide angle lens available in red for taillight use. Action suggested using a helmet mount wrapped around the seat rails as a mount but you could also just mount the light backwards on a helmet too. Here's another option for those who want a high lumen tail lamp. 39mm lens so it will fit 808/Titan/most clones and anything smaller if you care to modify it. I have alot of miles on these lenses (clear as a headlight) and they have a very wide 30 degree beam. I ordered one this morning so I'll let you know how it works.
    Mole
    Yes, I'm curious as to how well they will work. Mounting will be the major issue. Probably the best option is to buy a DiNotte ( rear ) mount for the 140R and use that although that brings the cost up a bit. I've tried mounting torches to the side of the seat post but that doesn't work because my leg will rub up against it. Nope, to get it to work you have to keep it away from your legs.

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I just put some yellow reflexite (3/2 inch X 14 inch) on my top tube and red reflexite (3/4 inch X 6 inch) on the seat stays.

    The yellow reflexite shows up so well I hardly notice the rest of the bike. That might actually be more dangerous, so I'm going to add more to the other tubes.

    The red reflexite is much more reflective than the rear reflector that came with the bike, even if I point my flight directly at the rear reflector. If I point my light away from the bike, the red reflexite still shines a little, whereas the rear reflector is dark.



    The tape has a little stiffness to it. I imagine if make double sided reflexite tape reflectors that aren't more than an inch wide, they'll hold up find. I may try it out for you so you don't waste your money on a project that may not work. I found my big roll of yellow reflexite in a bush on the side of the highway, so it's a free experiment for me.
    Just last night i came up behind a truck that had that reflexlite tape along the lower metal protector that prevents cars from going too far under a truck in an accident.
    All I can say is "WOW"!...is that stuff bright! It reflected so much light that it was brighter than his rear lights and looked like he had head lights on the rear!. I think he was using a red/white combo....It was almost too bright!
    Anyway, the stuff isn't cheap. A roll of it is like $70. 3M reflective tape ( or Lightweights® ) on the other hand is much cheaper ( but might not be as reflective ).

  52. #52
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    [QUOTE=Cat-man-do;9777878]Yes, I'm curious as to how well they will work. Mounting will be the major issue. Probably the best option is to buy a DiNotte ( rear ) mount for the 140R and use that although that brings the cost up a bit. I've tried mounting torches to the side of the seat post but that doesn't work because my leg will rub up against it. Nope, to get it to work you have to keep it away from your legs.



    It's kind of hard to evaluate this taillight when I only have a superflash to compare it to. It's alot brighter even on low but I think I'm going to change lightheads from the present 808 to a Titan or 808e so I can get a better flash mode. Riding I can't tell much difference other than the red reflection off the top of the rear tire and the much larger and wider red plume on the ground. Wednesday I rode with some other poeple with very positive reactions. They thought high was a bit too much in a group but they also confirmed that they could easily see me when I was along ways ahead of them. Low is fine for me but the higher levels would be useful in heavier traffic. Mounting was not a problem. I think using a traditional mount on a seatpost would cause access problems for the power button but mounted on the seatrails of a WTB silverado it was out of the way, easy to reach the power button, and very stable. The main draw back to this type of taillight is that there is zero side visability but anything further back than a direct 90 degrees and you can't miss it.

    CAT: I ordered this lens the day after I ordered my Duo and Jim had put one in my Duo order for me to try out so I have an extra I'm not using. If your interested, send me a PM with a address were I can send it and I'll happily pass it along to you to try.
    Mole

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    Mounting rear light idea

    I thought I'd share this since it would solve mounting issues mentioned. Mounted the MJ-818 this way about 3 weeks ago. It will work with 808, Xera or indeed any light. A bit of brainstorming will get torches mounted.

    A flat bracket is cut to length and shaped. In this case, I just needed a thinner one since it's easier to shape while not holding much weight. For my front lights, I used a heavier duty T shaped one.

    Remove the o-ring mount of the 808 (for example). Cut a strip of rubber, mark where the screw will go to secure light head to bracket. This will waterproof, grip and avoid rattling. Shape the bracket using a vice/shifter to control the area where you need to bend.

    Fit the lamp to the bracket, then mount to the saddle's rear bolt. Tighten till the saddle is back to the status quo -imagine the bracket as a washer. Adding some pics to show the end result.

    Leonard
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails back of helmet visibility light ?-mj-818-6.jpg  

    back of helmet visibility light ?-mj-818-4.jpg  

    back of helmet visibility light ?-mj-818-1.jpg  

    Leonard - All things Xeccon + Beyond
    mtbRevolution.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    Reflexite seems to allow a pretty wide angle, and shows up well with little light.
    I spent a little time researching Reflexite for clothing. The prismatic PVC stuff is meant for VERY light duty usage. Something like a reflective vest you keep in the trunk, to wear when your changing a tire. The data sheets show one variety is good for 10 washing, another certified for up to 5 washing. To me, that's a big red X on Reflexite. Maybe Reflexite is just a brand, and we're talking about different products.

    Seeing your later posts, I think you are referring to a retroreflective tape. The DOT rated variety (like the back of trucks) seem to have square reflectors. The ASTM rated (street sign) variety seems to be hexagonal. I suspect it may reflect back from more directions. Bought some, and may add it to the helmet. Very stiff material though. Not sure how well it will work.

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    ... I'm going to add a class 3 reflective shirt to my night riding apparel. It has a reflective stripe on the sleeves.
    If I'm going to be on the roads, day or night, I wear one of these. Ok in the hottest days of summer I dipped down to a Class 2 (ie the short sleeved version).

    If this stuff is good enough to keep cops and construction workers safe, its got to make a biker more visible. Not very fashionable I agree, but its only for when I'm riding.

    If you look around, you'd be surprised at how cheaply you can get the shirts. My Class 3 only cost $19 and change, from the work-ware department of my local "Army & Navy." I know it's probably sweat shop made, but it's still got 2 in wide Scotchlite, bordered by 1 in forescent orange, on a hi-vis yellow mesh shirt. I bought an extra Class 2, (only $15 and change) that I've cut apart. I haven't done it yet, but the plan is to make a pack cover. Until I get that done, I've got a two foot strip of the yellow flapping off the back of the pack. I might also add a "beaver tail" with reflective stripes on the bottom back of the shirt. Heck, there's enough left over to even make hi-vis yellow, orange, Scotchlite lower leg pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I could have sworn I saw a product to make tire sidewalls reflective. It may have been on Kickstarter.
    Looks like he's gone well past the Kickstarter stage now. His website has some cool t-shirts. The "Reflective Bikes" one looks neat!. (fiksreflective.co)

    You can now get the wheel rim stripes, cut to fit your wheel size, in varying widths. The "Black-reflects White" ones would probably look good on my black 29r rims. If you're part of the "Look at Me" generation, you can even get em to reflect in other colours. At about $16 per wheel, seems like a good safety investment.
    Last edited by Ian_C; 10-20-2012 at 11:13 PM.

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    next time you're on the road pay attention to various trucks and buses that have reflective tape on the back - ask yourself whether it grabs your attention.

    i asked myself and answered - no it doesn't. i'm not going to bother with reflectors of any kind. you have to really hit them good with headlights for them to work. 90% of the time that reflective tape is almost invisible.

    try this stuff: Home - Kineteka Systems and let us know how it works. it should be pretty bright.

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    Androgen, I think one of the things that taints your view is that you live in New York City.

    Perhaps there is so much visual "noise" that only the "double the cost of my bike bar/helmet combination" you're debating, and only the brightest, most kinetic side lighting would have a chance of getting noticed.

    I regularly ride down some side streets and back alleys. When my Shadow JM07 and/or Xeccon S12 hit the yellow retroreflective strip on a school bus, it lights up. When they hit the red & white stripe on a trailer several blocks away, it sure jumps out of the dark.

    In testing out my "so cheep YOU wouldn't even consider it" lights, I've seen them light up street signs over half a mile away.

    In the car, out on the unlighted highway those truck reflectors and signs can be seen well over a mile away. So yea, they are very noticeable and grab attention. The US DOT has done enough testing & studies to prove that they make a huge difference in visibility, and do prevent accidents. Hence the red/white stripes are now required on transport trucks.

    On a suburban side street, those rim reflective strips would be instantly recognizable as a bike, and jump out of the dark. Add to that the standard wheel reflectors, a flashing Spoklit, strobing tail light, strobing head light, constant on bar and helmet lights, class 3 hi-vis yellow orange & Scotchlit shirt, and hi-vis yellow Scotchlit leg bands. I think I'm reasonably visible.

    Perhaps, even with all that, I'd just blend in with the "noise" in NYC.

    I think the context of WHERE you are riding, really does determine how much stuff is ENOUGH to get you noticed.

    Of course NOTHING, not even Jedi lightsabers, can protect us from drivers who are inattentive, drunk, road raged, or those texting behind the wheel.
    Last edited by Ian_C; 10-21-2012 at 04:43 AM.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    In testing out my "so cheep you wouldn't even consider it" lights, I've seen them light up street signs over half a mile away.
    that's the thing though car headlights are not like that. even dinotte 300R lit up a stop sign pretty well from half a block away and it's only a tail light. but when i am driving that same stop sign does not really light up. because headlights are designed not to project light up and to the side. i don't think you have to worry about being run over by another cyclist - the real test is whether those stripes light up when you're in a car.

    also statistically most accidents occur at dusk. sure if you're in the middle of a desert on a moonless night you will be visible even if you just light up a match.

    by your logic 90% of the time you are not on the bike at all, therefore you're safe. wrong. that 10% when you're ON the bike is what matters. also from the time you're on the bike the 10% of the time with the WORST possible visibility is what matters.

    one word for you: FUKUSHIMA. those geniuses designed for a 9 meter tsunami because they figured 90% of the time they're less than 9 meters. and what about that other 10% of the time when it's 10 meters ? well in that case you prepare an official statement and say " this was impossible to predict ! " when in actuality it was only a matter of time.

    it's called Russian Roulette. most of the time you don't die.

    but actually they were not so dumb, because they were not risking their OWN behind. they gambled with the lives of other people and you want to gamble with your own.

    anyway we don't have to agree. some people just like to die. i bet if you ask somebody who signs up to go to war in Afghanistan he will also have some sort of "reasoning" for why he is doing it but rest assured - he will not convince me
    Last edited by androgen; 10-21-2012 at 01:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    when i am driving that same stop sign does not really light up
    If your car headlights don't light up a stop sign, you need to get them adjusted.

    Stop signs are designed for cars. They are designed to light up in car headlights.

    And as I've already said, highway signs light up more than a mile away.

    Car headlights have spill. It's the spotty part that heavily engineered and regulated.

    Reflectivity, combined with motion does catch the eye.

    Based on your return of several high priced, well engineered lights, I can guarantee that the Mom and Pop shop "Bike After Dark" lights won't meet your specifications once you have them in hand. Now maybe if they were made with XM-L U3s . . . (Yea the U3 is on the market) Nope, not even then.

    I'm not saying I reject them. I think they, and all the other spoke lighting options are cool.

    You seem to be under some illusion that having your bike lit up like a supernova will protect you 100% of the time. Nothing will protect you 100% of the time.

    In bike terms, the tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake that we didn't prepare for is the inattentive, drunk, road raged, texting, eating, cell phoning, makeup applying, or otherwise distracted driver. I suppose we need to add inattentive Biker to that list too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Just last night i came up behind a truck that had that reflexlite tape along the lower metal protector that prevents cars from going too far under a truck in an accident.
    All I can say is "WOW"!...is that stuff bright! It reflected so much light that it was brighter than his rear lights and looked like he had head lights on the rear!. I think he was using a red/white combo....It was almost too bright!
    Anyway, the stuff isn't cheap. A roll of it is like $70. 3M reflective tape ( or Lightweights® ) on the other hand is much cheaper ( but might not be as reflective ).
    I'm glad I found my big roll of yellow Reflexite on the side of a highway because there's no way I would have bought it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    I spent a little time researching Reflexite for clothing. The prismatic PVC stuff is meant for VERY light duty usage. Something like a reflective vest you keep in the trunk, to wear when your changing a tire. The data sheets show one variety is good for 10 washing, another certified for up to 5 washing. To me, that's a big red X on Reflexite. Maybe Reflexite is just a brand, and we're talking about different products.

    Seeing your later posts, I think you are referring to a retroreflective tape. The DOT rated variety (like the back of trucks) seem to have square reflectors. The ASTM rated (street sign) variety seems to be hexagonal. I suspect it may reflect back from more directions. Bought some, and may add it to the helmet. Very stiff material though. Not sure how well it will work.
    I've been talking about SOLAS, Reflexite and Scotchlite. I put SOLAS and Reflexite on my bike. I believe it's Scotchlite on my shirt. It's definitely not one of the other two. I've also been wearing a pack with a reflective band, but I don't know what it is.

    I agree that SOLAS and Reflexite would not be appropriate for clothing, although I'd say that just because it's awfully stiff material.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    If you look around, you'd be surprised at how cheaply you can get the shirts.
    I got mine from Amazon for about $16 shipped. Most of these shirts looked to be around $20. That's about the same price as a Champion or Starter shirt from Target and Walmart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    Looks like he's gone well past the Kickstarter stage now. His website has some cool t-shirts. The "Reflective Bikes" one looks neat!. (fiksreflective.co)

    You can now get the wheel rim stripes, cut to fit your wheel size, in varying widths. The "Black-reflects White" ones would probably look good on my black 29r rims. If you're part of the "Look at Me" generation, you can even get em to reflect in other colours. At about $16 per wheel, seems like a good safety investment.
    Thanks for the links. I might do that too, but my next step is installing fenders with reflective strips.


    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    next time you're on the road pay attention to various trucks and buses that have reflective tape on the back - ask yourself whether it grabs your attention.

    i asked myself and answered - no it doesn't. i'm not going to bother with reflectors of any kind. you have to really hit them good with headlights for them to work. 90% of the time that reflective tape is almost invisible.
    I think something is wrong with your headlights, or possibly your eyes. What you're saying doesn't even make sense. These prismatic tapes perform roughly the same when they're the same color. If you don't notice the white tape on the back of trucks, then you must miss a lot of highway exits. If you don't notice the red tape on the back of trucks, then you should also be running a lot of stop signs. If everyone else had this problem, there would be no point in having highway signage, stop signs, speed limit signs or warning signs. Surely you must realize your experience and observations are unusual.

    In any case, on my nightly rides there's a bus along my route. It's on the other side of a 4 lane road with a wide medium, and set back in the parking lot. It has reflective strips along the door, windows and edges. I don't even look at that bus, but the spill from my lights about 100 feet away lights the reflective strips on the bus so strongly that I can't help but notice it and turn my eyes directly at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    because headlights are designed not to project light up and to the side.
    That's 100% wrong. DOT regulations mandate that headlights kick up towards the right to illuminate signs and other roadside objects. I'm surprised you can talk so much about lighting, but haven't seen hundreds of pictures like the one below and understood why it looks this way.



    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    also statistically most accidents occur at dusk.
    I'm not sure what this has to do with this discussion, but having the sun directly in front of you when driving west at dusk is surely a big contributor to that statistic. I avoid driving west at dusk for this very reason, and even avoid some roads when going east bound too because I know that oncoming traffic is getting blinded by the sun.

    You may be happy with having nothing more than a couple square millimeters of active lighting on your bike. I prefer to think like an engineer and have that AND a few square feet of very effective passive lighting. I realize that it's better to have nearly 100,000 times more area on my bike be highly visible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    You may be happy with having nothing more than a couple square millimeters of active lighting on your bike. I prefer to think like an engineer and have that AND a few square feet of very effective passive lighting. I realize that it's better to have nearly 100,000 times more area on my bike be highly visible.
    why do you care about the area ? isn't it the total amount of light that you notice - regardless of what size the source is ? you're not trying to tell me that a light bulb filament is difficult to see because of small surface area ?

    one thing i liked about Dinotte 300R is that it had a rather large and evenly lit area - but the benefit of that was not making it more visible, but making it less blinding by spreading out the light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    why do you care about the area ? isn't it the total amount of light that you notice - regardless of what size the source is ? you're not trying to tell me that a light bulb filament is difficult to see because of small surface area ?
    I think more when more light is sent to the eyes of a viewer, it's better. It doesn't matter if the light source is active or passive.

    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    one thing i liked about Dinotte 300R is that it had a rather large and evenly lit area - but the benefit of that was not making it more visible, but making it less blinding by spreading out the light.
    You should already know I think a visual even light pattern is a good thing. If not, we're talking in circles.

    You bring up something unrelated though. Obviously reflectors are meant to be seen, and do not put light down on the road. A light can also be seen, but its bright area is very small, and in the case of headlights, is visible from a smaller viewing angle than a strip of reflective tape on a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I think more when more light is sent to the eyes of a viewer, it's better. It doesn't matter if the light source is active or passive.



    You should already know I think a visual even light pattern is a good thing. If not, we're talking in circles.

    You bring up something unrelated though. Obviously reflectors are meant to be seen, and do not put light down on the road. A light can also be seen, but its bright area is very small, and in the case of headlights, is visible from a smaller viewing angle than a strip of reflective tape on a bike.
    ok whatever i don't make sense to you and you don't make sense to me. let's just leave it at that.

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    i will only add that when you finalize your reflective setup make a youtube video to show us how "effective" it is.

    because i frankly DON'T CARE what it looks like when using FLASH on a camera. unless you think most drivers have a flash stapled to their forehead.

    have somebody sit in a car with a camera and headlights on and ride around on the bike with your reflectors - see how visible you are - and post on youtube.

    and don't be riding 6 feet in front of the headlights either. no try riding 50 feet away at 30 degrees off to the side of headlights axis or something realistic like that. if it jumps out of my computer screen at me when i watch the video i will admit to being wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    i will only add that when you finalize your reflective setup make a youtube video to show us how "effective" it is.

    because i frankly DON'T CARE what it looks like when using FLASH on a camera. unless you think most drivers have a flash stapled to their forehead.

    have somebody sit in a car with a camera and headlights on and ride around on the bike with your reflectors - see how visible you are - and post on youtube.

    and don't be riding 6 feet in front of the headlights either. no try riding 50 feet away at 30 degrees off to the side of headlights axis or something realistic like that. if it jumps out of my computer screen at me when i watch the video i will admit to being wrong.
    also to make the video realistic ( and useful ) use low beams on the headlights, use a location with street lights ( not some desert on a moonless night ) and have all of the bike lights on - front and rear - while filming.

    certainly a reflector will be visible in pitch black darkness if it is all by itself - but the test is whether it is visible over the other lights that will be present at the scene.

    i will venture a guess that the reflectors will only stand out against other lights when you're directly in the headlights beam meaning directly in front of the car and less than about 50 feet away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    I think more when more light is sent to the eyes of a viewer, it's better. It doesn't matter if the light source is active or passive.



    You should already know I think a visual even light pattern is a good thing. If not, we're talking in circles.

    You bring up something unrelated though. Obviously reflectors are meant to be seen, and do not put light down on the road. A light can also be seen, but its bright area is very small, and in the case of headlights, is visible from a smaller viewing angle than a strip of reflective tape on a bike.
    on one occasion i did see an id1ot on the road only because of his pedal reflectors - so reflectors are not 100% useless BUT !

    but his situation was different for 2 reasons:

    1 - the pedals were moving, and that was what caught my eye - the light coming off of them was extremely dim - but the motion was unusual so i noticed it

    2 - he didn't have any other source of light on him ( which makes him id1ot ). if he had any other lights i would most likely see them FIRST before the reflectors.

    i would also say that pedals are low to the ground which puts them closer to the headlights beam which is directed AT the ground. if you're going to use reflectors - make sure at least some of them are down low - like on the wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    i will only add that when you finalize your reflective setup make a youtube video to show us how "effective" it is.

    because i frankly DON'T CARE what it looks like when using FLASH on a camera. unless you think most drivers have a flash stapled to their forehead.

    have somebody sit in a car with a camera and headlights on and ride around on the bike with your reflectors - see how visible you are - and post on youtube.

    and don't be riding 6 feet in front of the headlights either. no try riding 50 feet away at 30 degrees off to the side of headlights axis or something realistic like that. if it jumps out of my computer screen at me when i watch the video i will admit to being wrong.
    Video is a terrible way to demonstrate lights. Countless videos on Youtube prove this. Because video automatically adapts for the light it sees, a 200 lumen light can appear the same on video as a 20,000 lumen light unless a better video camera with manual modes is used. I don't have a camera with full manual control over aperture and shutter speed. The only real way I can make a valid comparison is to take pictures in full manual mode, with the same settings, and to provide the settings whenever there are changes.

    Flash doesn't work either, but not for the reason you might think. Flash provides a short burst of light. It'll light up the object being photographed, and a little in front and behind that object. Objects further behind haven't received light from the flash yet, and objects in front have already had the light pass it and are no longer illuminated. This video at 3:20 kind of shows what I'm talking about.

    I do have to apologize because I had promised to provide this picture a couple weeks ago, and it seems I didn't. I think when I posted it on bikeforums, I got mixed up and thought I posted it here too. So here is the post I made on the other forum, now apparently here for the first time. All my pictures are unedited, and without in-camera brightness compensation, and with the same metering mode...not that that last one makes a different in full manual mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye
    I've added some reflective strips. They're not attached directly to the bike. I used plastic shelf 'paper' directly on the bike, and the put the reflective tape over it. The shelf paper comes off easily without residue.

    This is how it looks to my eye using a Fenix HP10 on the lowest mode (8 lumens) with a diffuser. I used this lighting set up to show that this lights up well even with minimal lighting. The tape on the bike looks like a beacon when the diffuser on the headlamp isn't used, and even more so on higher settings...it should show up very well with the spill off of car headlights.

    Red reflexite on the seat stays, but they point rearward.
    Yellow reflexite or SOLAS on the sides.
    Class 3 shirt.

    In that post I didn't provide the camera settings because I didn't compare it with another photograph. I plan to do that now, so here are the relevant settings.
    Shutter speed: 1.00 s
    Aperture: F2.8
    ISO: 200
    Focal length: 6.2mm (not sure what this means, but I think it's an indication of zoom)
    28mm

    I also want to note that that 8 lumen setting is enough for me to night hike without the diffuser, but not nearly enough with the diffuser. The reflective shirt looks surprisingly bright to me, but that might be because it's a little closer to the light source.

    The following picture is very close to what the scene actually looked like. I believe the light hitting the sheds was from the street light on the other side of the house, or the moon...probably the moon. The side of the bike is illuminated like it was in the previous picture.

    Shutter speed: 2.46 s
    Aperture: F2.8
    ISO: 200
    Focal length: 6.2mm
    28mm

    Here's another picture with the lights on max. The lights are a Magicshine MJ-818, Sky Ray S6 and Dongrui DR-B18. I'm still illuminating the side of the bike like I was in the previous pictures.

    Shutter speed: 2.46 s
    Aperture: F2.8
    ISO: 200
    Focal length: 6.2mm
    28mm


    A couple other things I wanted to note. The red reflective tape is Reflexite V92. I'm not sure what the reflective stripes on the shirt is, but this illuminating fact sheet from the shirts' maker provides some insight, as well as describing what it takes to be Class 3 apparel. I think the yellow reflective tape is 3M 983-23, but I don't know because it has no markings and I literally found it on the side of a highway.

    I brought up the type of tape because when I compared spec sheets for a few 3M reflective tapes, I found that there is a drop off in reflected light at an angle, and that red reflects less light than white or yellow tape. Even so, the red reflective tape on my seat stays are still visible with only 8 lumens of diffused light.


    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    on one occasion i did see an id1ot on the road only because of his pedal reflectors - so reflectors are not 100% useless BUT !

    but his situation was different for 2 reasons:

    1 - the pedals were moving, and that was what caught my eye - the light coming off of them was extremely dim - but the motion was unusual so i noticed it

    2 - he didn't have any other source of light on him ( which makes him id1ot ). if he had any other lights i would most likely see them FIRST before the reflectors.

    i would also say that pedals are low to the ground which puts them closer to the headlights beam which is directed AT the ground. if you're going to use reflectors - make sure at least some of them are down low - like on the wheels.
    They still worked though. It's quite likely that if you were driving with a passenger and alongside a cyclist, your passenger would block their taillight, and you won't see their headlight because it's in front of you. A case like this, where viewing is from the side and the bike lights aren't visible for any reason, is when reflectors are very important to have. That's why I have reflective strips on my seat stays, top tube, down tube and seat tube, as well as on my body. I want me and my bike to be visible even when my lights are not.

    I don't trust pedal reflectors though. They're in the worst possible place. I'm not going to remove them because as you found, they might somehow be the only reason I'd be noticed.

    You reminded me of a situation a couple weeks ago. I was riding with my lights on their lowest settings, and my brightest light was off, so it was probably less than 200 lumens combined coming from my forward facing lights. Another cyclist comes riding towards me in the oncoming lane, and didn't have any lights, and was wearing dark clothing. He scared the stuffing out of me! I might have noticed him earlier if my lights were on higher settings, but I still wouldn't expect another rider to come right at me. I think he might have been drawn towards me by the light. I believe the attraction towards light is the greatest risk to having too much light.
    Last edited by leaftye; 10-24-2012 at 08:43 PM.

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    Oh no, this forum software doesn't automatically resize photographs.

    So sorry. I'll resize them later. I already spent too long here trying to write that up.

    EDIT: Pictures have been resized. Click them to see them in full size.
    Last edited by leaftye; 10-24-2012 at 08:43 PM.

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    the last pic with all the lights at the same time is the only one that matters. yes the reflectors are still visible but they're not exacty overpowering the front light even though it is pointed away from the camera. i would most likely see the headlight before i saw the reflectors. yes it is providing some additional visibility but it's not a lot.

    i'm waiting for spring then i want to try those bike after dark fireball mark 2 spoke lights - or maybe there will be other powerful spoke lights on the market by that time.

    thanks for the pic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    the last pic with all the lights at the same time is the only one that matters. yes the reflectors are still visible but they're not exacty overpowering the front light even though it is pointed away from the camera. i would most likely see the headlight before i saw the reflectors. yes it is providing some additional visibility but it's not a lot.
    The light put on the road by my lights at their maximum setting would surely be visible, but I hope I don't have anyone trying to pass me during the times I'd have my lights on max. Partially because I'll be going fast, and because I'd surely blind them through their side mirror and rear window.

    As long as the reflectors are visible, they're worth it. It's extra insurance.

    Keep in mind that the reflectors are being illuminated by a light that's 8 lumens before the diffuser is installed. So the OTF lumens are significantly reduced, and the lux is a tiny fraction of the undiffused 8 lumens. I think it's a decent approximation of what it'd look like from the drivers seat when the bike reflectors are only illuminated by the side marker lamps of the car, even though a 194LL puts out 25 lumens.

    I couldn't take that picture with a dimmer light because I don't have a light that can be dimmer. Even my keychain coin lights put out more light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    on one occasion i did see an id1ot on the road only because of his pedal reflectors - so reflectors are not 100% useless BUT !

    but his situation was different for 2 reasons:

    1 - the pedals were moving, and that was what caught my eye - the light coming off of them was extremely dim - but the motion was unusual so i noticed it

    2 - he didn't have any other source of light on him ( which makes him id1ot ). if he had any other lights i would most likely see them FIRST before the reflectors.

    i would also say that pedals are low to the ground which puts them closer to the headlights beam which is directed AT the ground. if you're going to use reflectors - make sure at least some of them are down low - like on the wheels.
    Now Androgen I'm going to have call you out on this. You are admitting here that you have encountered the rider with only pedal reflectors. Those reflectors are cheap, dime-store stuff and don't compare to the better prismatic stuff.

    This tells me that your eyes are normal. ( Ha! you're human after all... ) If you saw those reflectors ( as dismal as they are ) it proves reflectors can be seen. I'm not saying more is not better I'm just making a point.

    My job keeps me on the road for most of the night. I drive through areas that are urban and others that are rural. Lately I've noticed that a lot more bike commuters are using more reflective material on their bike. On the bikes that I've noticed with the extra ( frame mounted ) reflectors ( or reflective tape ) I would have to say they are*three times more visible then a bike without the side reflective material on their frame. ( *when viewed from the side )

    Last night I had to drive through down town DC while doing my job. Very friendly bike town DC is with bike lanes and bikes virtually everywhere you look. What amazed me was just how many people I saw on bikes "that had no lights whatsoever" and this in a traffic ladened urban environment ( at rush hour ) !. For the most part I had no problem seeing them because there are street lights everywhere. Still the ones that did use lights were much more visible. However most of the people that did use lights were only using the small "blinkie type" flashers on the handlebars and perhaps some type of rear blinkie. So much for the mind set of the typical urbanite.

    With all this in mind I think if you're using a standard 650 lumen bike light and a good rear flasher along with some side reflectors and some reflective clothing....you are going to stand out among the masses like a half naked rock star dancing on the front pew of the local parish on a Sunday afternoon.

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    ****

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    Scar...I think the idea is cool. Unfortunately it
    looks like the helmet is not....No air vents.

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