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  1. #1
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    good-ish rear lights

    So I know about all the top of the line ultra expensive rear lights. I'd like a DS rear but hey its too expensive.

    So now I'm looking at alternatives. I see the Lupine has good output. and its not that expensive. Also the new boxy dinottes. And also the sloas 30/40.

    Does the lupine blink/flash or it is just steady beam? I really want something that flashes. Right now I have a light and motion mini rear. its about 25 lumens or so and it seems adequate. Its slowly pulsing.

    What about the solas? Is that a good light?

    Also on the table is running a single xml frontlight with a red filter on it. has anyone tried that? Preferably something with adjustable flash brightness to prolong battery life.

    Does the mono xml geminis and gloworms have adjustable flash strength?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  2. #2
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    Something else to consider is the Bontrager Flare, not overly expensive USB charge reasonable runtime, 65 lumens is really bright and has varying flash modes for day and night
    Bontrager Flare R Tail Light | Bike lights | Cycling accessories | Equipment | Trek Bikes

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    So I know about all the top of the line ultra expensive rear lights. I'd like a DS rear but hey its too expensive.

    So now I'm looking at alternatives. I see the Lupine has good output. and its not that expensive. Also the new boxy dinottes. And also the sloas 30/40.

    Does the lupine blink/flash or it is just steady beam? I really want something that flashes. Right now I have a light and motion mini rear. its about 25 lumens or so and it seems adequate. Its slowly pulsing.

    What about the solas? Is that a good light?

    Also on the table is running a single xml frontlight with a red filter on it. has anyone tried that? Preferably something with adjustable flash brightness to prolong battery life.

    Does the mono xml geminis and gloworms have adjustable flash strength?
    The lupine has four modes:

    - Steady on
    - Flash
    - Wave Pulse
    - Pulse

    Each mode also is programmable in output.

  4. #4
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    Get an Orfos Red Flare.

    Blinking stems from when LED's didn't produce enough output to be noticeable from more than 50 feet. I've got a rear LED from 1992 that pretty much required the blinking mode to be useful. Sadly, LED rear lights didn't improve for nearly two decades, and many companies still produce pathetic output lights that need to blink to be visible.

    It is hard to track a blinking light. Cars run solid lamps for a reason. With nothing more than two solid lights, one can determine if their closing speed with an object is fast or slow or not at all. This is what drivers need. Modern blinking lights that have higher, focused outputs can also dazzle the eyes of following motorists. By higher output, I mean a 2W. Most 2W LED's are 30-40lm, about the same as a vehicle tail lamp (non-braking). Imagine the distraction and headache if vehicle tail lamps blinked on and off all the time. Now imagine taking those lamps and making them 30 times smaller, but with the same lumen output.

    One seat post / pannier and one helmet LED, both running solid, makes a world of a difference in how drivers approach and pass you. Consistent light sources for tracking, separation to judge closing speed.

    For a car like presence, I suggest a seat post / pannier LED with a nearly even 180 spread of 150-200lm for night, 300-400lm for day. The light should come from multiple LED's as we do not have large reflectors like automobiles. Running very high lumens from a small source like a single LED can dazzle the eyes. I recommend against almost every 2W+ LED for this reason. Multiple low power LED's like Orfos uses, or COB LED's are the way to go.

    I previously used the 30lm Solas on my pannier and a 1/2w on the helmet. When running solid, it worked pretty well, drivers behaved themselves and no one acted surprised to see me.

    My current setup of an Orfos Red Flare on the pannier and the 30lm Solas on the helmet improved driver behavior even more. Vehicles exit the lane entirely to pass, and no longer pass at speed.

    My wife says the Orfos appears to be a vehicle lamp from distance, and without thinking she took her foot off the gas and covered the brake. Close in she says she feels she must remain more separation than with the previous setup. Gave her the feeling she was dealing with a vehicle that was slowing down, engaged her spidey-sense.

    Orfos Red Flare is the best bang for the buck IMO ($120). Sealed, USB charge, 1500 cycles rated. That's 14 years if you recharge twice a week. Seven year half-life = $17.14/year

    If that's too much for your wallet (bike was free?), I would recommend the Niterider Solas series lamps. Seriously, the Orfos is only double the cost. But I digress.. the Solas lamps are great. I love the clip, it works great on my pannier bracket or a rubber or cloth band on my helmet. I was totally sold on the recharge feature, and it has worked great. I like the overall look, stylish in a tidy package. For those that live and die by the blink, it has a unique flash mode that provides a bit more on time that I think would help drivers track it.

    Another good 2W is the Niterider Sentinel. Same styling as the Solas, probably the same LED and modes, adds laser lanes.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  5. #5
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    I use the Cat Eye TL-LD630-R Rapid 3. The light gives enough light to be seen and I just change battery once or twice each winter. The "install and forget" ratio is very high for this light (which I really like).

    I use cable ties to fasten it on the seat post instead of the stock solution.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    (bike was free?)
    not quite...
    I'm actually building a new commuter now. A lynskey. I was just not too happy with the l&m mini I have. First day the mount broke clean off. Had to make a new better mount out of alu. Then the rubber cover over the on-off button disappeared. I had lots of trouble getting a new one. And when I finally got 2 new ones the first one lasted about a week then that disappeared too. Luckily I had one extra and that one I glued in place with CA glue! Also the button is stiff and sometimes next to impossible to engage with winter gloves.

    Never again l&m anything for me.

    Orfos red flare? Gonna check it out.



    What about red filters on front lights? Has anyone tried that?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  7. #7
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    Is the battery user replaceable on the orfos? Or is it totally impossibly to remove it without breaking the light? Looks like its an 18650 in there to me. I like that.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  8. #8
    Yeah!
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    Red lights on the front are not permitted in many states, and they are a bad idea. You don't want motorists presuming you are moving in the same direction when you are actually moving towards them.

    I've never bothered trying to set my tail lights with gloves on. I put the last glove on after I turn them on, right before I mount the bike. When it gets really, cold, I have glove liners on that mitigate the extreme cold while I set the lights.

    The battery in the Orfos is not replaceable. The whole unit is sealed in epoxy so nothing can ever get in and damage it.

    You won't need to replace the battery. It is indeed an 18650, but it's not a cheap Li-ion battery, it's a LiFePO4. I ride about 30-40 minutes with it on high going in to work, and 60-80 minutes on medium on my way home after work, three times a week. I'm recharging every other ride, but not from a full discharge, so I'll get 2000 cycles to 80% if it is rated at 1500. That's 25 years before I have to start recharging after every ride. I'm fairly certain I'll lose the light, it will be stolen, or I'll replace it with some other newfangled light long before the battery dies. $4.76/year if I still have it then.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  9. #9
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    I really like my cygolite, and I think it's pretty darn bright. ( no idea real lumens ) Definitely visible in the day. I've tried super cheap and it doesn't fly. But this has been a good option for me. Nice mounting, USB recharge, bunch of modes. Lasts for a number of rides before recharge.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage

  10. #10
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    I think the HotShot is in the 30-35 lumen range if I remember correctly, I also like mine quite a bit.

    The Gemini Iris seems like a lot of lumens per dollar, 180 lumens for $60. Run time is not super impressive, though some of the lower settings might be enough for you.

  11. #11
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    Allright. I have decieded to get the dinotte quad red. Why?

    Well the orfos only manages 1,5h at high, and the battery is of the lower energy density lifepo chemistry. Non replacable, also I don't like that I can't attach the light permanently to the bike. Easy to steal, too easy.

    The designshine is simply out of stock.

    The lupine is 180lumen but it only does that for 2h, otherwise it looks like a really good light. I wish they put in a twice as big battery in it though.

    that leaves the quad. It manages 4h at 200lm and much longer when blinking. That means I probably only need to recharge it once a week. I like that.
    The battery is replacable too when that day comes. And its made out of metal so I can make a real mount for it.

    Otherwise i think the designshine looks good. adjustable power, adjustable frequency, adjustable duty cycle/pw and so on. But its not in stock.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by formula4speed View Post
    I think the HotShot is in the 30-35 lumen range if I remember correctly, I also like mine quite a bit.

    The Gemini Iris seems like a lot of lumens per dollar, 180 lumens for $60. Run time is not super impressive, though some of the lower settings might be enough for you.
    Just some quick notes about the Gemini IRIS; Output on all 4 modes is programmable as such > 10-30-50-100-180 lumen. There is a low and high standard flash mode and a low and high double pulse-pause mode. I like the later but both modes I find usable. One big negative, there is no steady mode.

    Even on it's lowest ( 10 lumen ) setting it is bright and very visible. Matter of fact if the Gemini instruction manual hadn't of called it 10 lumen I would of thought it was twice that. I haven't even looked at the 180 setting yet because I'm sure at that setting the run time would drop to less than 1.5 hour. The 100 lumen setting is more than enough and is suppose to last 4 hours. I've set the low double pulse on mine to 50 and that is what I will ride with most of the time. ( I use a Performance Axiom on the seat post with the IRIS on back of the helmet. I use two lamps because I feel two lamps provide better visual reference for the approaching viewer. I've noticed how well this works on motorcycles so just makes sense to do it on a bike. )

    About the Super bright rear lights like the DesignShine, DiNotte Quad Red, Lupine's lastest...etc., All great lights no doubt about that...But...I'm come to the conclusion that once a rear light reaches the 50-100 lumen range THEY ARE ALL VERY VISIBLE FROM A DISTANCE provided they are aimed correctly and have the right optical beam pattern. Any more output and it's pretty much over-kill.

  13. #13
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    Serfas Thunderbolt gets my vote. High and low settings in both steady and blinking modes. One other feature I really like is the low-profile mounting to your seat post.

  14. #14
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    I want something with metal backing, it cant be completely made out of plastic. I need to screw a real mount into the light.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I want something with metal backing, it cant be completely made out of plastic. I need to screw a real mount into the light.
    Not sure how that makes a difference(?) The IRIS though has a completely flat back panel and a single hex screw that allows you to remove the mounting hardware. I figure if you have another type of mounting hardware with the right screw hole size, I don't see why this wouldn't work.

    I'm not completely sure what parts of the IRIS are metal but likely the back and sides. I figure there must be some metal if just to dissipate some of the heat from the LED's.

  16. #16
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    The iris looks like its too small to hold a high cap battery, just like the lupine. Thats why I think the dinotte is the better of them. It will run on 100lm steady (50%) for 8h. and 25% for 16h. Because they put a real battery in there. Other wide the lupine seems to be the best one since it has multiple patterns and all those are adjustable in power. and its has a metal back with threaded holes. But if reding on the german site it only last for 1,5h on high steady and thats not very long time imo. Even though I would run it at 50 or 25%.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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