most bicycle taillights are unusable junk

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Squat'n Dive, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Squat'n Dive

    Squat'n Dive Guest

    Fizik taillight came in:
    CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    you.
    I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    that seat somewhere
    instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.
     
    Tags:


  2. In article
    <1d031c68-7c84-4469-baea-443e2f073d17@d4g2000prg.googlegroups.com>,
    "Squat'n Dive" <sndive@gmail.com> wrote:

    > Fizik taillight came in:
    > CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    > you.
    > I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    > integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    > minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    > that seat somewhere
    > instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.


    ?!?!?

    <http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524
    441774555&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302692895&bmUID=1198804838183>

    At C$7, that's the light that's too expensive for me to bother with. I
    get the one that uses AAA batteries and costs $3.75. I buy about one a
    year, and try to have two lit up (one on the helmet, one on the
    seatpost) at any one time, because redundancy is good.

    Here is a similar product for US$5, shipped anywhere in the world. I
    have used this company before, and despite the ridiculous-looking site,
    every order has arrived, shipped via regular mail, a few weeks after
    ordering. Some of their lights have proven to be hopeless knock-offs of
    other designs, unusable even out of the box. But it's pretty hard to
    screw up a basic 5-LED taillight. I'd order one, test it, and order more
    if it works out. Also, this one, unlike the MEC unit above, doesn't
    include batteries.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau rcousine@sfu.ca http://www.wiredcola.com/
    "My scenarios may give the impression I could be an excellent crook.
    Not true - I am a talented lawyer." - Sandy in rec.bicycles.racing
     
  3. Jay

    Jay Guest

    "Squat'n Dive" <sndive@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1d031c68-7c84-4469-baea-443e2f073d17@d4g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
    > Fizik taillight came in:
    > CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    > you.
    > I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    > integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    > minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    > that seat somewhere
    > instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.
    >

    I am willing to pay more than $25, to be sure cars see me:

    http://www.dinottelighting.com/Photography.htm

    J.
     
  4. On Dec 27, 11:35 pm, "Jay" <jbol...@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    > I am willing to pay more than $25, to be sure cars see me:
    >
    > http://www.dinottelighting.com/Photography.htm


    I'm willing to check out my bike at night, by observing what it looks
    like when its taillight is on.

    AFAIK, I've _never_ been in a situation where a very ordinary
    taillight was not adequate. In fact, I've gotten several spontaneous
    compliments on my lights and reflectors. I've satisfied my wife and
    family that I'm extremely visible. And I've never gotten any remarks
    from anyone that I was the least bit hard to spot.

    It's just not that bad out there!

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  5. Jay

    Jay Guest

    <frkrygow@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:6f5f36a9-e755-4252-8e69-f3a215d16fcf@w38g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    > On Dec 27, 11:35 pm, "Jay" <jbol...@gmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >> I am willing to pay more than $25, to be sure cars see me:
    >>
    >> http://www.dinottelighting.com/Photography.htm

    >
    > I'm willing to check out my bike at night, by observing what it looks
    > like when its taillight is on.
    >
    > AFAIK, I've _never_ been in a situation where a very ordinary
    > taillight was not adequate. In fact, I've gotten several spontaneous
    > compliments on my lights and reflectors. I've satisfied my wife and
    > family that I'm extremely visible. And I've never gotten any remarks
    > from anyone that I was the least bit hard to spot.
    >
    > It's just not that bad out there!
    >
    > - Frank Krygowski
    >

    You are right, any taillight will make you visible to cars at night.

    I pay extra for bright head and taillights, to make me visible in bad
    weather, overcast days, twilight, etc. My city commute involves very busy
    streets with plenty of distractions. My DiNotte lights are bright enough to
    stand out from the clutter. They are not simply noticed - they are so bright
    and unusual they command attention. Especially the taillight in flash mode.

    Bikes in Chicago's winter are an unusual sight for drivers. I feel I need
    all the visibility help I can get. If I get hit, it will not be because I
    was not very visible with puny lights.

    Paranoid J.
     
  6. On Dec 28, 8:17 am, "Jay" <jbol...@gmail.com> wrote:
    > <frkry...@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >
    > news:6f5f36a9-e755-4252-8e69-f3a215d16fcf@w38g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > > On Dec 27, 11:35 pm, "Jay" <jbol...@gmail.com> wrote:

    >
    > >> I am willing to pay more than $25, to be sure cars see me:

    >
    > >>http://www.dinottelighting.com/Photography.htm

    >
    > > I'm willing to check out my bike at night, by observing what it looks
    > > like when its taillight is on.

    >
    > > AFAIK, I've _never_ been in a situation where a very ordinary
    > > taillight was not adequate. In fact, I've gotten several spontaneous
    > > compliments on my lights and reflectors. I've satisfied my wife and
    > > family that I'm extremely visible. And I've never gotten any remarks
    > > from anyone that I was the least bit hard to spot.

    >
    > > It's just not that bad out there!

    >
    > > - Frank Krygowski

    >
    > You are right, any taillight will make you visible to cars at night.
    >
    > I pay extra for bright head and taillights, to make me visible in bad
    > weather, overcast days, twilight, etc. My city commute involves very busy
    > streets with plenty of distractions. My DiNotte lights are bright enough to
    > stand out from the clutter. They are not simply noticed - they are so bright
    > and unusual they command attention. Especially the taillight in flash mode.
    >
    > Bikes in Chicago's winter are an unusual sight for drivers. I feel I need
    > all the visibility help I can get. If I get hit, it will not be because I
    > was not very visible with puny lights.
    >
    > Paranoid J.


    I usually put velcro on my helmet and on the back of two flashing red
    tail lights. Then I velcro the taillights to my helmet. I look like a
    Christmas tree, or an ambulance. I am really visible. Kids scream at
    me out of cars telling me how cool I look. Car go around me thinking
    that I am an ambulance or a cop. I usually buy my taillights in the
    bicyle section of a superstore like target, walmart or kmart. I will
    also attach another taillight to the saddle bag, or to my jersey. I
    know that I am really visible. I usually put the helmet on top of a
    car and then walk really far. I can see the flashing lights from far
    away.

    I have a good handle about making myself really visible for little
    money. My problem is with the headlights.

    Andres
     
  7. Squat'n Dive wrote:
    > Fizik taillight came in:
    > CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    > you.
    > I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    > integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    > minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    > that seat somewhere
    > instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.


    The Fizik light is really just a gimmick, it's a very poor tail light,
    but it fits into their saddle.

    The best tail light is probably the CatEye TL-LD1100, but it's not cheap
    at around $30.

    The Blackburn® Mars 3.0 Rear Light is also good, and it's about $14.

    Whatever you get, ensure that it has side pointing LEDs as well as rear
    pointing LEDs.
     
  8. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 01:25:35 GMT, Ryan Cousineau <rcousine@sfu.ca> may
    have said:


    >Here is a similar product for US$5, shipped anywhere in the world.


    I think you forgot the link.

    --
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
    Typoes are not a bug, they're a feature.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  9. Squat'n Dive

    Squat'n Dive Guest


    > > I pay extra for bright head and taillights, to make me visible in bad
    > > weather, overcast days, twilight, etc. My city commute involves very busy
    > > streets with plenty of distractions. My DiNotte lights are bright enough to
    > > stand out from the clutter. They are not simply noticed - they are so bright
    > > and unusual they command attention. Especially the taillight in flash mode.

    >


    i'm sure they are. but i've supplied jose with a few $20 taillights in
    my riding
    career and i'm not anxious to supply them with a $260 light. for some
    reason
    headlights don't get stolen as readily. not that i mind.

    > > Bikes in Chicago's winter are an unusual sight for drivers. I feel I need
    > > all the visibility help I can get. If I get hit, it will not be because I
    > > was not very visible with puny lights.

    >
    > > Paranoid J.

    >
    > I usually put velcro on my helmet and on the back of two flashing red
    > tail lights. Then I velcro the taillights to my helmet. I look like a
    > Christmas tree, or an ambulance. I am really visible. Kids scream at
    > me out of cars telling me how cool I look. Car go around me thinking
    > that I am an ambulance or a cop. I usually buy my taillights in the
    > bicyle section of a superstore like target, walmart or kmart. I will
    > also attach another taillight to the saddle bag, or to my jersey. I
    > know that I am really visible. I usually put the helmet on top of a


    and constantly turning on/off all your ornaments does not drive you
    nuts (yet)?

    > car and then walk really far. I can see the flashing lights from far
    > away.
    >
    > I have a good handle about making myself really visible for little
    > money. My problem is with the headlights.
    >

    I have zero problem with headlights. A $110 light and magic
    works well for me and i won't be too terribly upset if it gets stolen
    one day
    given that i already got a pretty good use of it.
    Taillights are another story. I have two already and i have to
    sequentially
    press the one i got 4 times to get it into the flashing mode i want
    and 2 more times to shut it off when i get off.
    the saddle light is just on/off.
    You see, i'm lazy and turning two headlights and two taillights (three
    if i get a helmet taillight per advice here) is just way too much
    hassle for daily riding
    (i have 4 legs mon-fri: one to work, one to lunch, one from lunch and
    another back home
    and a varying number of rides on weekends). after a while all this
    prep
    is getting on my nerves. a simple shock sensor in those detachable
    lights
    just like in the Bell saddle would have solved the problem: the light
    does not
    move for a few minutes: it better shut itself off.

    I guess i really need to pay my dues for a generator hub and solve
    this problem
    once and for all. I have less and less of an inclination to give any
    money to the poorly
    thought out addons that are time consuming to use.

    i assume with a hub generator there is at most one switch to flip.
    is that correct?
     
  10. On Dec 28, 10:01 am, SMS $B;[h\J8(B* $B2F(B <scharf.ste...@geemail.com> wrote:
    > Squat'n Dive wrote:
    > > Fizik taillight came in:
    > > CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    > > you.
    > > I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    > > integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    > > minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    > > that seat somewhere
    > > instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.

    >
    > The Fizik light is really just a gimmick, it's a very poor tail light,
    > but it fits into their saddle.
    >
    > The best tail light is probably the CatEye TL-LD1100, but it's not cheap
    > at around $30.
    >
    > The Blackburn(R) Mars 3.0 Rear Light is also good, and it's about $14.
    >
    > Whatever you get, ensure that it has side pointing LEDs as well as rear
    > pointing LEDs.


    Once on tour with no lights I found myself riding after dark. I
    bungeed a flashlight to the left pannier pointed at the ground. It
    was quite bright and lit up a big spot on the ground and cars gave me
    lots of room as they passed. So, if you want to be more visible,
    consider illuminating the ground beneath you.

    -dkl
     
  11. doug.landau@gmail.com wrote:
    > On Dec 28, 10:01 am, SMS 斯蒂文* 夏 <scharf.ste...@geemail.com> wrote:
    >> Squat'n Dive wrote:
    >>> Fizik taillight came in:
    >>> CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    >>> you.
    >>> I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    >>> integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    >>> minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    >>> that seat somewhere
    >>> instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.

    >> The Fizik light is really just a gimmick, it's a very poor tail light,
    >> but it fits into their saddle.
    >>
    >> The best tail light is probably the CatEye TL-LD1100, but it's not cheap
    >> at around $30.
    >>
    >> The Blackburn(R) Mars 3.0 Rear Light is also good, and it's about $14.
    >>
    >> Whatever you get, ensure that it has side pointing LEDs as well as rear
    >> pointing LEDs.

    >
    > Once on tour with no lights I found myself riding after dark. I
    > bungeed a flashlight to the left pannier pointed at the ground. It
    > was quite bright and lit up a big spot on the ground and cars gave me
    > lots of room as they passed. So, if you want to be more visible,
    > consider illuminating the ground beneath you.


    Ironically, some of the best, and most inexpensive bicycle lights
    currently available are the Cree LED flashlights, attached to the
    handlebars with a dual clamp.

    See "http://nordicgroup.us/s78/flashlights.html".
     
  12. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 16:15:37 -0800 (PST), "Squat'n Dive"
    <sndive@gmail.com> may have said:

    >Fizik taillight came in:
    >CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    >you.
    >I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    >integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    >minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    >that seat somewhere
    >instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.


    I'd be delighted (or perhaps better-lighted) if the damnthings came
    with an internal selector of some sort that allowed me to simply
    decide *once* which mode I wanted it to operate in (be that fast
    flash, slow flash, constant or whatever) and then simply toggle off
    and on with the external pushbutton. It's the multiple switch pulses
    to achieve the task which annoy me. Yes, it's nice that they give me
    a choice of ways that the device can work. No, it's NOT nice that I
    have to make that choice *every damn time* that I turn it on.

    --
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
    Typoes are not a bug, they're a feature.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  13. On Dec 28, 2:09 pm, Werehatrack <raul...@earthWEEDSlink.net> wrote:

    > I'd be delighted (or perhaps better-lighted) if the damnthings came
    > with an internal selector of some sort that allowed me to simply
    > decide *once* which mode I wanted it to operate in (be that fast
    > flash, slow flash, constant or whatever) and then simply toggle off
    > and on with the external pushbutton.


    I'd be next in line to buy one.

    That said, the new Cateye LD610 has a press-and-hold to turn off, so
    at least the 'off' motion is consistant. And it appears to be very
    light and very bright. Four modes, reasonable mount, about $15 on the
    street.
     
  14. Squat'n Dive

    Squat'n Dive Guest

    On Dec 28, 12:01 pm, SMS ˹µÙÎÄ* ÏÄ <scharf.ste...@geemail.com> wrote:
    > Squat'n Dive wrote:
    > > Fizik taillight came in:
    > > CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    > > you.
    > > I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    > > integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    > > minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    > > that seat somewhere
    > > instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.

    >
    > The Fizik light is really just a gimmick, it's a very poor tail light,
    > but it fits into their saddle.
    >
    > The best tail light is probably the CatEye TL-LD1100, but it's not cheap
    > at around $30.


    $30 and no automatic shut off. plus i have to cycle thru 4 modes to
    switch it off.
    isn't that amazing?
    >
    > The Blackburn(R) Mars 3.0 Rear Light is also good, and it's about $14.
    >

    it needs a jeweler's screwdriver to change batteries?!?????
    why i'm not surprised, i spent considerable amount of time trying to
    pluck
    the two AAs from the bottom compartment of my cateye front light
    last night. ended up using a pair of pliers. i wonder who designs
    these
    things

    > Whatever you get, ensure that it has side pointing LEDs as well as rear
    > pointing LEDs.


    i see some dynamo/battery dual lights, such as
    Busch&M¨¹ller DToplight Senso Multi with has a puny two diodes facing
    sideways,
    but a battery option is an invitation for a stolen light.
    i'm torn between staying el Bell cheapo and getting a dynamo taillight
    without a battery backup.

    i kinda understand why Lance wannabe crowd in the states does not want
    a commuter
    lookalike seat with an integrated light but i'm surprised a wide
    selection of
    taillight seats is not readily available in $6/gallon europe

    do i miss something obvious?
     
  15. Jay

    Jay Guest

    "Squat'n Dive" <sndive@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:457827d0-20a3-43c6-8152-f22af5893040@i12g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
    On Dec 28, 12:01 pm, SMS ˹µÙÎÄ* ÏÄ <scharf.ste...@geemail.com> wrote:
    > Squat'n Dive wrote:
    > > Fizik taillight came in:
    > > CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    > > you.
    > > I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    > > integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    > > minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    > > that seat somewhere
    > > instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.

    >
    > The Fizik light is really just a gimmick, it's a very poor tail light,
    > but it fits into their saddle.
    >
    > The best tail light is probably the CatEye TL-LD1100, but it's not cheap
    > at around $30.


    $30 and no automatic shut off. plus i have to cycle thru 4 modes to
    switch it off.
    isn't that amazing?
    >
    > The Blackburn(R) Mars 3.0 Rear Light is also good, and it's about $14.
    >

    it needs a jeweler's screwdriver to change batteries?!?????
    why i'm not surprised, i spent considerable amount of time trying to
    pluck
    the two AAs from the bottom compartment of my cateye front light
    last night. ended up using a pair of pliers. i wonder who designs
    these
    things

    > Whatever you get, ensure that it has side pointing LEDs as well as rear
    > pointing LEDs.


    i see some dynamo/battery dual lights, such as
    Busch&M¨¹ller DToplight Senso Multi with has a puny two diodes facing
    sideways,
    but a battery option is an invitation for a stolen light.
    i'm torn between staying el Bell cheapo and getting a dynamo taillight
    without a battery backup.

    i kinda understand why Lance wannabe crowd in the states does not want
    a commuter
    lookalike seat with an integrated light but i'm surprised a wide
    selection of
    taillight seats is not readily available in $6/gallon europe

    do i miss something obvious?
    >

    Yes, I think perhaps you have missed something.

    $30 USD does not allow for extensive R&D.

    Those products are essentially 'shot from the hip'. Marketing says, put it
    out there, let's see who bites.

    You are asking for high quality, extensive market testing, for a Wal-Mart
    price?

    Some cheap products work fairly well. Many do not. Roll the dice, take your
    chances.

    J.
     
  16. Martin

    Martin Guest

    SMS 斯蒂文• 夏 wrote:
    > Squat'n Dive wrote:
    >> Fizik taillight came in:
    >> CR2032 battery, $20 and no shock sensor!!! That is just a light mind
    >> you.
    >> I think i paid around $25 for the whole Bell gell seat and the
    >> integrated taillight shuts off after a few
    >> minutes if you forgot to turn it off by itself. I wish i still can get
    >> that seat somewhere
    >> instead of paying an arm an leg for some overpriced garbage.

    >
    > The Fizik light is really just a gimmick, it's a very poor tail light,
    > but it fits into their saddle.
    >
    > The best tail light is probably the CatEye TL-LD1100, but it's not cheap
    > at around $30.
    >
    > The Blackburn® Mars 3.0 Rear Light is also good, and it's about $14.
    >
    > Whatever you get, ensure that it has side pointing LEDs as well as rear
    > pointing LEDs.


    Also remember that most LEDS used have fairly narrow beams, so you must
    get the alignment right (within a few degrees on some lights) to get max
    visibility at a distance.

    Martin

    --
    Removed z before replying by email.
     
  17. cmcanulty

    cmcanulty Guest

    Planet bike has some nice cheap lights with several ways to fasten,
    helmet, seatpost, even a headband to use it as a headlamp while camping
     
  18. Patrick Lamb

    Patrick Lamb Guest

    On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 13:09:40 -0600, Werehatrack
    <rault00@earthWEEDSlink.net> wrote:
    >
    >I'd be delighted (or perhaps better-lighted) if the damnthings came
    >with an internal selector of some sort that allowed me to simply
    >decide *once* which mode I wanted it to operate in (be that fast
    >flash, slow flash, constant or whatever) and then simply toggle off
    >and on with the external pushbutton. It's the multiple switch pulses
    >to achieve the task which annoy me. Yes, it's nice that they give me
    >a choice of ways that the device can work. No, it's NOT nice that I
    >have to make that choice *every damn time* that I turn it on.


    Agreed. Not to mention, if you start home while it's still light, you
    almost have to get off the bike when you turn them on (especially if
    you have >1 lights) to make sure (a) they're all on, and (b) they're
    on the right mode. Did push #2 catch?

    Blech.

    Email address works as is.
     
  19. Jay wrote:

    > $30 and no automatic shut off. plus i have to cycle thru 4 modes to
    > switch it off.
    > isn't that amazing?


    You don't have to cycle through four modes to shut it off. Read the
    instructions. Hint: think about how you can manually shut down a Windows
    based computer using the power button.
     
  20. Guest

    In article <7ff4c436-72c9-43a1-a581-
    787739225e6e@i29g2000prf.googlegroups.com>, frkrygow@gmail.com says...

    > There seems to be a lot of fear of the dark among cyclists. They deal
    > with their fear by buying lights as powerful as those on a crotch-
    > rocket motorcycle - and, in certain cases, by claiming that nobody
    > should cycle at night with less.


    I suspect most cyclists are also motorists, and most motorists have at
    least once experienced a gut-wrenching last-minute avoidance of a
    cyclists with no lights or reflectors. The memory of this terror makes
    them aware of the importance of being visible and the fallibility of
    motorists, leading many riders to overcompensate. Some overcompensate
    by swearing off nighttime riding, others by buying brighter lights than
    most cars.

    As a motorist, I do worry that some of the bicycle lighting systems on
    the market today will increase the overall risk of accidents by glare-
    blinding drivers and other cyclists. Bike lights don't have nearly the
    regulation of motor vehicle lights, and many ultra-bright bike lights
    aim far too much of their light up at eye level.

    I've ridden behind a flashing DiNotte light on an unlit trail, and after
    a few minutes I decided to pull over and let that rider pull ahead until
    I couldn't see him. His tail light was so blinding I couldn't see the
    pavement -- it simply wasn't safe to ride behind that light.

    --
    josh@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
    <http://www.phred.org/~josh/>
    Braze your own bicycle frames. See
    <http://www.phred.org/~josh/build/build.html>
     
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