I just upgraded my rear blinkies in advance of the winter dark and was wondering what everyone else is using.
I already have a Cateye LD-1000 (?) rear, with two rows of 5 leds that can do different patterns on each bank (solid/flash/Knight Rider/epileptic) that I’m happy with, but my other ones were cheap and nasty.
I now have the Planet Bike Superflash (Disco Stu approves!), which has two 5mm blinkenlights and a 1/2 watt led that pulses quickly, or can run with the 1/2W on steady. I’m still seeing spots from looking directly at it 10min ago. For $29, including batteries (2xAAA), clipon, seatpost & seatstay mount it’s good value and comes in red/white or clear/black colour schemes.
I also grabbed the Planet Bike Blinky 3H ($25), which has 3x 5mm leds, but is on a gimball mount that you velcro to your helmet so it’s always vertical whether you’re riding a recumbent or a funnybike. Flash or steady modes, 1xAAA and the same seatpost/seatstay mounts as the superflash are supplied.
Both claim 100hrs (flashing, I assume) lifetime.
Planet Bike also donate 25% of profits to ‘causes that promote and facilitate bicycle usage’, so that’s a good thing™
What else do you like? Anyone have a Dinotte?
Next lighting upgrade is likely to be Ay-Up headlights, all reports I’ve read seem positive, and I hear some hack MTBer from around here uses them.
I also increased my light output today. I just picked up a front and rear single LED blinker set. They’re actually pretty bright though, and only cost $11 for the pair. They’re being used in conjunction with a cateye opticube on the front and some random 3-LED blinker on my bag.
I’m considering the Ay-Ups as well, as I’d like a helmet mount light that people will notice. I’m always really impressed by the visibility of proper MTB-style lights on the road, they’re pretty much like car headlights. I think it’s worth the money to ensure cars notice you. The Ay-Ups are sweet for night time mountain runs as well.
Yes and no. I believe that flashing lights are far more effective in two ways: firstly because they attract more attention due to the way our eyes pick up movement and secondly because when a driver sees a steady beam they register it as a distant motorbike. That said, I guess a head mounted light may help to define the shape of a cyclist over a motorbike, for example.
I like blinckys both front and rear for the reason that cyclists have to sit way over on the left, so what ever gets you noticed the better. I run 2 front blinckys (cateyes). I think that constant lights are better when you are riding a motor bike, motor bikes generally sit in the right hand tyre track of the lane where they’re easier to see. Whereas bicycles sit over to the left, where cars don’t tend to notice you, so a flashing light ‘should’ draw more attention.
Knog wrapped around a spoke pair?
I saw a dude last night with a 4/5 led WHITE Knog on his seattube pointing backwards, confusing motorists and blinding cyclists and a little Knog on the front hubshell spinning around doing stuff all. The bike was also brakeless and missing bartape.
Trial run of the superflash and the helmet mount last night, the helmet on steady and the superflash pulsing away. Set them up in a dark street and walked away, visibility is good, and the superflash is still very bright ~15-20º off axis. The helmet mount also has a built in reflector, and white Scotchlite tabs on the sides.
I agree blinkies say “Cyclist”, but you can’t judge distance with a flashing light. I like the combo of steady and flashing, likewise for the front a flashing LED plus a good beam to see by. I’ll definitely be looking at the CREE Ayups soon.
Kingsville: Are you helmet or bar mounting them? If you’re trying to highlight potholes etc, lower is better, so on the fork would be ideal, but I’m not sure if the mounting system will allow it, let alone the battery lead length.
Another thumbs up here for the ayups, I’ve got them on the handlebars for commuting and have used handlebars and helmet for mountainbiking where the track isn’t always going where your handlebars are pointing and being able to look where you are going is useful.
The standard kits come with an extension cord so potentially you could put them on the fork if you wanted, teh independent rotation of the two ligts also lets you do a bit of one down on the ground and one forward.
Standard bar mounting should do me. I’m really taken by the design: bracket that straddles the stem and battery afixed to the stem. The bar mounting bracket uses zip ties so could easily attach to the fork - if you can live with a swoosh of darkness in your life (caused by the front rim)
As far as blinkies are concerned… the best thing I have every done is to switch to rechargeable AA and AAA batteries. Now, instead of risking it by trying to squeeze every last bit of juice out of disposable batteries, I just charge the damn things. It resolved the constant struggle between being a tight-arse and not wanting to die.
While we’re on the topic, an email came through from a guy in my club praising the wonders of AyUps:
Anyone who’s ridden with me or listened to me for more than 5 minutes in the
past couple of months will know that I’m truly, madly, deeply in love with
my AyUp lights. Fair enough, so they’re good, tough, lightweight, long
running, bright, good looking, easy mounting lights at a great price? Fair
enough I hear you say, but what’s behind them? What happens when something
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a couple of niggling issues when
using my lights with one battery in particular. Difficult to pin down,
intermittent problems of going flat too quickly some of the time. Flicking
off and back on and so on. Problems that go away when I recharge the
battery. So being at a bit of a loss to pin it down I sent an email to the
warranty department, describing the problems and asking what to do next. I
received the following email in response.
Thanks for your mail. Very sorry to learn you have a battery problem. We
will replace the battery ASAP and send a return satchel for the faulty one
so we can have a closer look.
Expect a new one tomorrow morning.
The replacement battery and a postage paid satchel did indeed turn up the
following day. They had looked up my address and anything else they needed
from my original purchase, no questions asked, no need for me to do
anything. I’m no longer in love, I want to bear their offspring.
I’d like to contrast this with my experience with a certain Feline Ocular
Organ brand of lights where my very expensive LED headlight had a handlebar
mount break, making the light useless. I dutifully contacted the Australian
Distributor who told me they couldn’t do anything because they were only a
warehouse. I would have to return it to the store I had bought it from.
So, after traveling halfway across the universe and arguing for sometime
about my lack of a receipt, I managed to make it clear that all I really
wanted was the opportunity to purchase a replacement mounting bracket.
After 3 weeks and several phone calls I finally got the answer that I
couldn’t buy a replacement bracket because the Australian Distributor is
only a warehouse and doesn’t carry spares. I eventually managed to purchase
a replacement bracket over the net from the US and it took another 4 weeks
to get here. All up I was without a usable light for about 3 months.
When you’re looking for new lights, have a look at what this
innovative Australian Business<http://www.ayup.com.au/>has to offer.[/quote]
Snap. My first set lost its charge in about an hour. The AY-UP guys sent a new one immediately. I’ve since bought another set for my other bike (both colour-coordinated - sweet!) plus a set for a friend to ride in the snow and ice in Sweden. How good are these lights?
I was running quite powerful blinkies, but when I nearly hit a f*cken labrador that some moron in black was walking in the middle of the road, I decided it was important to see as well as be seen. I saw in the 07 TDF what a labrador does to a perfectly good front wheel. Hence the Ay-up investment.
I like to have a baby white LED flasher on the front of my helmet so I can aim it right into cars when coming to t-intersections, it’s very noticeable, combine that with an ay-ups to see where you’re going and all is good. Keep the ay-ups simple and therefore more reliable, I reckon …