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flying taillights - best replacement?

Old 08-12-19, 06:09 AM
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WizardOfBoz
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flying taillights - best replacement?

When I got back into cycling a few years ago I want a bit crazy with kit. One item I bought was a Bontrager tail-light. I think it was pretty good. But the replacement is about $55!

This weekend, I was zooming around (up a hill at the time, I think) and hit a bump. I seem to recall a flash of red light. I wrote it off as a reflection. When I got back, my fancy taillight was gone. I suspect that the flash I saw was my taillight after failing off my saddlebag and hitting my tire and getting shot forward into my field of vision.

Pretty sure I don't want to spend 50 bucks on a taillight again. What is a good, low cost taillight. I'm think I should be able to find a $20 taillight that has constant and flashing read light options. Or not?
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Old 08-12-19, 07:41 AM
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Sapperc
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
When I got back into cycling a few years ago I want a bit crazy with kit. One item I bought was a Bontrager tail-light. I think it was pretty good. But the replacement is about $55!

This weekend, I was zooming around (up a hill at the time, I think) and hit a bump. I seem to recall a flash of red light. I wrote it off as a reflection. When I got back, my fancy taillight was gone. I suspect that the flash I saw was my taillight after failing off my saddlebag and hitting my tire and getting shot forward into my field of vision.

Pretty sure I don't want to spend 50 bucks on a taillight again. What is a good, low cost taillight. I'm think I should be able to find a $20 taillight that has constant and flashing read light options. Or not?
Niterider Sabre 80. Still available on EBay. Search the various vendors to find the best current price. I picked up a new one for under $18 about two months ago.

Good luck.
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Old 08-12-19, 11:05 AM
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I use a secondary retention system to prevent the light from coming off. A stout rubber band around the light, through the bag loop and over the clip does it for me.
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Old 08-12-19, 11:27 AM
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I still use a Superflash. It is simple, and gets the job done. https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Superflash-Stealth-Light/dp/B0015R40JE/ref=sr_1_4?hvadid=78202817825773&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=superflash+turbo&qid=1565630756&s =gateway&sr=8-4

I also run this light on my rack, it is bolted on, so it won't be flying off anytime soon. https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/...ar-light-30839

Last edited by phughes; 08-12-19 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 08-12-19, 12:06 PM
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If you're on a budget, it's hard to beat one of these cygolites:

https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Hots.../dp/B01IO12LCQ

they make a more powerful version for $12 more. IMO the "pro" version has a much better spread than the original.
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Old 08-12-19, 12:31 PM
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By sheer coincidence, I was riding up a hill in Eastern PA this weekend and found a Bontrager light on the ground right after a big bump in the road.

What are the chances of that?


-Tim-
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Old 08-12-19, 12:50 PM
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Cygolite Hotshot. Best value in a bright light with plenty of modes. And the clips usually hold securely. I've never had one pop off the nylon web straps on my Serfas Speed Bags. However I don't trust the tiny, thin, flimsy strap on the Lezyne Road Caddy seat bag, so I attached the Cygolite plastic mount to that bike.

The earlier 2-watt and SL50 models cost less than $30. But the newer, brighter models like the 150 are better buys, especially for daytime use. Just as lightweight, apparently longer lasting batteries. The early 2-watt and SL50 will be older unsold stock by now and the batteries have aged in storage. Figure on a year or two before they'll need to be recharged after every ride. When new they'll usually last several hours or rides between charges.

If you prefer replaceable batteries, the Bontrager Flare 1 is good for only $15 and uses AAA batteries.

Ditto the rubber band trick to secure them on iffy straps, etc. On group rides I almost always pick up somebody's dropped taillight, usually because they try to clip it onto something unsuitable like the waistband of their jeans or t-shirt hem.
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Old 08-12-19, 01:09 PM
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Digger Goreman
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If you have a front rack that attaches to the brake bosses, I'll trade you a near new, Axiom Pulse 60. Brighter than my Hotshot!
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Old 08-13-19, 06:59 AM
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Moe Zhoost
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I use a secondary retention system to prevent the light from coming off. A stout rubber band around the light, through the bag loop and over the clip does it for me.
This ^^^^. Having lost 2 pricy lights, I now tether them as well. I use a stout cord, though, instead of a rubber band (which I don't trust.)
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Old 08-13-19, 07:55 AM
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Another for the Hotshot. It's all I've ever used. My Pro has to be past 200 charge cycles, and will still go over a week between charges (riding 5-6 days a week.)

Never had an issue with it coming loose from the mount, but if you're particularly worried, you can easily fit a ziptie around the clip and the mount, and that thing ain't never coming off.
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Old 08-13-19, 08:27 AM
  #11  
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(In the past, I've used rubber bands cut from an old inner tube to help secure lights.)

Yes, Cygolite brackets don't let the light pop off. I never worry about it, even slamming over rough RR tracks.
I've seen lights fly off seat bag loops fairly often. Those really need to be secured, perhaps with a band around the light and the base of the clip.

My $38 Cygolite Hotshot 150 is the best tail light I've used. It's 150 lumen flash is visible in bright sunlight. I run it during the day on the single one-flash-per-second mode (sometimes at 2 per second). With these brief flashes, it lasts a very long time before recharging.

During the day: I'm visible way down the road, giving distracted drivers time to notice me. At sunrise or sunset, a bright tail light is critical.

At night: the light is too bright for riders following behind. I switch to steady mode and dial the intensity way down. Riding solo, I switch from sharp flashes to a "waa waa" mode, where the light ramps up and down. I think that's better for drivers at night, and it's very distinctive, too. It's aimed very slightly downward. There's a pool of red light on the road behind that's visible in my mirror.

Their 100 model is $24.

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-13-19 at 09:44 AM.
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