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3898 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2010 10:13 PM by MotiveForcer
GarylDavis Expert 46 posts since
Aug 6, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 4, 2010 7:23 AM

Cycling at night-Best taillights

Winter is upon us...go to work in the dark, come home in the dark.


My biggest fear while riding during darkness is being visible and more important than that is to gain the attention of motorists without-

1. Blinding them

2. Annoying them with some akward light configuration


Tall order, but I have used the Planet Bike Superflash for a couple years now and have had moderate success using it.  I'll never forget the motorist that brushed against my left leg from the front to the back of their car.  Then they honked their horn as if it was my fault and took off when I caught them at a light.


Now I have researched, read comments, read countless reviews and looked for the best light, best bang for the buck and trying not to break the bank in the process.


If money was not the issue I would probably go with "Dinotte".  I have used one for my front light for 2 years and it was probably the best investment I ever made.  My bank account has shrunken since my spouse has retired and I have been looking at other alternatives.


Everybody has their own personal opinions about what works for them and as for me I found a nifty taillight named "Radbot 1000" from a company called Portland Design Works.  Is there anyone out there that has experience using this light?


I received mine yesterday and comparing with the Superflash...WOW!  Wanna know what impressed me the most?  It has a reflector as part of the design, so should you forget to turn it on or your batteries die unexpectedly, this reflector actually works and since the majority of states in the US require one, it could really save your "tail feathers" in an accident case.  $26.60 from 1000.jpg


Beside that-this is absolutely the "brightest" light that I have ever used and although I have not "road tested" it as of yet I can tell that it will be noticed.  It has 3 modes and surprisingly enough it reviews with what they call a "zZz Pop" mode that is missing on the unit I just received .  I have emailed PDW and asked about it, but it is NOT going to be a deal breaker for me.

The 3 modes are "slow flashing-more like a fade effect from low to high", "fast flashing mode" and "steady on".  The slow flashing mode is my preference since it is also the brightest.


Anyway, if anyone wants to chime in, I look forward to your responses.

  • BT.ROB Legend 270 posts since
    May 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 4, 2010 10:11 AM (in response to GarylDavis)
    Re: Cycling at night-Best taillights

    Any blinky is better than none. I say the more the better. It is also important to have reflectors on you, your helmet, your bike, and especially to the side because many cyclists are hit from the side as being unseen. I use the stickons reflectors all over my commuter bike in addition to two rear blinkies and a forward headlight.


    Be safe


  • MotiveForcer Community Moderator 448 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 15, 2010 10:13 PM (in response to GarylDavis)
    Re: Reply from PDW-Radbot 1000

    BT BOB and I agree. Get more than one light.  The lights you use are dependent upon several factors. Getting the brightest light this side of a pulsar might get the drivers attention but if I'm riding with you and following you I might get blinded or a migraine.  So, if just commuting and solo I'd say bright is right but if group or dual riding be wary if the lights are too bright.  I think the Planet light I've followed was impressive but too bright, at least in one of the modes. I think it had another that was tolerable.


    I like to put a light on my saddle height and usually one on my helmet too.  It is interesting but in Michigan, the law  says we need to have a "reflector" and a light, unless it has a reflector in/on it does not conform to the law, even though a reflector is meager in comparison.  Serfas makes a nifty light that easily attaches onto a seat post or seat stay.  It has one light in the middle and several in a line on either side. It is very visable but the battery life does not break any records in my experience or that of my cohort. Nevertheless, I like it because it is easy to release.  I personally avoid purchasing lights that require time to put on or take off and especially if a tool is required.


    SIDE VIEW is crucial.  I've read that most impacts from autos are from the side. So minimally, keep those white relfectors that come with your bike or put them back on when night travel happens. If you don't have them most shops keep them around and probably will give you a set or three.  I like using blinkers from the side. There are many types.  I have some that attach in the spokes and there are some that are motion activated that screw onto the spokes or onto a valve stem.


    Using reflectors as BT suggests is a good idea. In that case you don't have to worry about batteries running out and one reason at least we should use more than one light anyway.


    I think that for just a couple of bucks you can find those tiny lights that emit a pretty darn bright light and are light weight.  As I mentioned elsewhere recently, as you know, many lights use 2032 batteries.  So when you get your ROAD ID, purchase one of their blinkers which has an on switch by turning it so you don't need nimble fingers, and purchase your extra supply of batteries from them as they charge about 20% or less of even discount battery places.


    I think the driver who brushed the rider as told above simply did that on purpose.  Every incident, even if you can't ID the driver should be reported to the police.  I am tired of hearing from the police that drivers complain about us when their malicious acts end up not being reported and then when a real deal incident occurs it is considered an "accident."  We need to report incidents of "aggressive driving" and provide the best descriptors possible.


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