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Battery rack mount tail light

Old 05-21-20, 11:18 PM
  #1  
MarcusT
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Battery rack mount tail light

Hello all.
While swinging my leg up to mount my bike, I hit the rack mounted tail light and chipped off a piece of the red lens. Obviously, any water proofness is gone and started to shop for a new one. I found an Amazon off brand which had hundreds of positive reviews and went for it. This model has the sensor where it turns on when it senses motion or darkness, but a constant light also. Well, I am not happy with it. No instructions and sometimes it turns on, sometimes it does not. Not really a safety device one wants on a long tour. Started looking at the big names and it seems the biggest name in rack mounted lights is Busch-Muller.
Any thoughts or impressions with this brand?
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Old 05-22-20, 08:19 AM
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You might want to start by deciding your power source first and then narrow down from there.

I see the two main categories as being:
  1. Tail-lights with integrated batteries that charge via USB.
  2. Tail-lights that take standard cells, typically AAA type.
Both types have advantages/disadvantages:
  1. USB with integrated battery often offers better performance to size ratio.
  2. USB uses just a cable to recharge, standard cells must be removed and replaced, more hassle.
  3. If USB runs dead in use you need to recharge before using again, standard cells can be replaced quickly and you can carry as many spares as you like.
  4. The li-ion cell in the USB model has a limited useful life. Likely 2 years of strong performance and a couple more years of degraded performance. It becomes waste at that point or may be able to have a new battery DIY installed.
  5. The USB can be "topped off" easily. With standard cells it is more wasteful to replace cells with life remaining (though you can use NiMH rechargeable to offset this).
My personal preference is to standard cells but the USB can make a lot of sense especially if you are travelling with a battery bank you can charge from.
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Old 05-22-20, 11:32 AM
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I'm a big fan of the current crop of high-power USB-charged taillights. Here in the USA, drivers are inattentive, distracted, and increasingly driving for rideshare companies (so looking at the phone, talking to passengers, and driving as a distant third priority). So I want an extremely bright daylight-visible light with the most annoying possible blinking mode. I haven't yet seen a truly daylight-bright safety-blink model from the traditional European makes like Busch-Muller (maybe the antique German laws prevent it, I don't know).

I really like the current Cygolite Hotshot Pro line, which have a full-power blink mode with variable frequency. On 1 or 2 blinks per second, the battery lasts for 60+ hours per charge. Charging is so quick that you can just top it up (from the USB power bank just about everyone uses on tour these days) while you eat lunch. I've used their 150 and 200 lumen tailllights, now they have 250 and 350 lumen models. They sell a rack mount for USD$4. These lights are not good rear reflectors though. Also these lights can be disassembled with tiny screws to replace the battery if it goes; no glue, no ultrasonic welded enclosure. (And for what it's worth I had a 100-lumen Niterider flasher that I got 4 years out of before the battery started to run out on 6 hour rides. 2 years is probably pessimistic). There are a number of different modes for night time or riding in groups.

Now I know from experience that Italian roads and drivers are better than USA. Question is where you'll be touring, and if you want a daylight safety light, a twilight/darkness light, a legally-required running light and/or reflector, etc.

Personally, I try on principle to avoid devices running on disposable batteries when there's a viable rechargeable option.

Last edited by fourfa; 05-22-20 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 05-22-20, 11:42 AM
  #4  
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IIRC, B-M lights are German and thus don’t blink because a blinking tail light in Germany is verboten. That aside, I understand they are very high quality.

I have a Planet Bike rear blinker (steady mode as well) that came with a bracket that works perfectly with the mounting hole of my Nitto Big rear rack. It has 5 led lights and runs on two AAA batteries. (I have rechargeable ones.)

Seems to be the precursor to this:

https://www.planetbike.com/grateful-...ke-tail-light/

There is a USB version.

Last edited by indyfabz; 05-22-20 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 05-22-20, 11:45 AM
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fourfa, good information and questions.

Just remember NiMH rechargeables work quite well too if you get a good brand (LSD types, Sanyo Eneloop for example though there are many others now).

If you are ever running in very cold conditions you have the options of running L or EA series lithium primaries as well which don't suffer nearly as much from cold-weather performance sag like a Li-ion or NiMH can.

But I hear you on avoiding waste with disposable batteries.
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Old 05-22-20, 11:56 AM
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I have two of the Cygolite HotShot Pro tail lights (one on each bike). For my bike that has a rear rack, I purchased a rack mount for it on Amazon for just a few dollars.

The light is so bright that I get comments from drivers and even from the police (one time an officer pulled a u-turn so he could come ask me what light I was using, so that he could recommend it in his bike safety program). It's also small, and USB rechargeable. And it lasts a good long time on a charge. It can be mounted on the seat post, which is where I usually mount it, but when I have something on the rack that obscures the seat post, I move it to the rack's adapter mount.

If I needed another light for another bike, I would get the same one again.

The rear rack mount is easy to use; it connects to the plate at the back of many of the better racks on the market (such as the Tubus series). And then the light just snaps in.
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Old 05-22-20, 01:36 PM
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Touring, I use my Planet Bike Superflash or Superflash 65 (two different models) in flash mode during daytime while I am riding. After a week they appear to still be bright, but I charge up the pair of AAA batteries after a week to make sure that they stay bright.

Some of the really bright USB powered ones do not stay lit very long. A friend of mine wanted a really bright light and was really shocked to find that the battery was dead after five hours. Touring, he almost never rode less than five hours a day.

I always run two taillights when touring, one usually off as a spare but in fog or overcast I often have both on. On one rainy trip, one of my taillights (not a Planet Bike, another brand) died from corrosion from too much water getting in the light, I was quite happy to have a second taillight on the bike.

Touring, I use Ikea Ladda (white color) AA and AAA NiMH rechargable batteries. I used to use Eneloops but the Ikea ones seem to work very well. But if you do not have an Ikea store nearby, Eneloops are probably a good choice too. Ikea used to sell some that were not white, they did not work as well for me.

***

I never kick my taillight or rear panniers or anything back there. I bend my knee quite sharply and swing my knee over the top tube in front of the saddle. If you try that, stand very close to the handlebar, put both brakes on so the bike does not roll which gives you a bit more support. And the first time you try this, try it really slow so you can watch and think about what you are doing. Works best if you lean the bike to the side a little if it is a horizontal top tube, but sloped top tubes that are lower are easier to clear. When i was a kid and had a paper route, I had giant chromed steel baskets on my single speed bike and this was the only way I could get on my bike when I had a big stack of papers piled up on top of the baskets in the rear.
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Old 05-22-20, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Hello all.
While swinging my leg up to mount my bike, I hit the rack mounted tail light and chipped off a piece of the red lens. Obviously, any water proofness is gone and started to shop for a new one. I found an Amazon off brand which had hundreds of positive reviews and went for it. This model has the sensor where it turns on when it senses motion or darkness, but a constant light also. Well, I am not happy with it. No instructions and sometimes it turns on, sometimes it does not. Not really a safety device one wants on a long tour. Started looking at the big names and it seems the biggest name in rack mounted lights is Busch-Muller.
Any thoughts or impressions with this brand?



I use a Busch & Müller rack mount tail light like this one. https://www.amazon.com/light-Battery...176616&sr=8-23

I also have a Superflash mounted on the seat post, but I love the big rack mounted light.

You may also be able to simply replace the lens. https://www.amazon.com/Müller-Toplig...176843&sr=8-36
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Old 05-22-20, 11:27 PM
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Thanks for the replies
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Old 05-23-20, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post


I use a Busch & Müller rack mount tail light like this one. https://www.amazon.com/light-Battery...176616&sr=8-23

I also have a Superflash mounted on the seat post, but I love the big rack mounted light.

You may also be able to simply replace the lens. https://www.amazon.com/Müller-Toplig...176843&sr=8-36
phughes...thank you for the link. I have searched Peter White for a light like this and for some reason I can't find it there.
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Old 05-23-20, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
phughes...thank you for the link. I have searched Peter White for a light like this and for some reason I can't find it there.
Yeah, I tried Peter White too. Their website leave a bit to be desired.
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Old 05-24-20, 12:08 AM
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Having a hard time finding the Dtoplight in battery model.
Will just go with:
https://www.bumm.de/en/products/akku...kt/329bs.html?
Any experience with this model?
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Old 05-24-20, 08:06 AM
  #13  
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I use CygoLites. I have both the Hotshot and the Hotrod styles. I think both styles are very good. The Hotrod style offers more mounting possibilities, my only hesitation is the one could lose the strap—once it's off the bike, it's not held to the light. I haven't tried their Dice style...perhaps the strap stays attached on that one, I'm not sure.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Having a hard time finding the Dtoplight in battery model.
Will just go with:
https://www.bumm.de/en/products/akku...kt/329bs.html?
Any experience with this model?
MarcusT...no experience with it but I don't like the aesthetics...Personal choice maybe? I think the manufacturer is solid and German engineering is great so from that perspective if it suits your need I would go for it!
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Old 05-25-20, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post


I use a Busch & Müller rack mount tail light like this one. https://www.amazon.com/light-Battery...176616&sr=8-23

I also have a Superflash mounted on the seat post, but I love the big rack mounted light.

You may also be able to simply replace the lens. https://www.amazon.com/Müller-Toplig...176843&sr=8-36

My wife and I used the Muller Top Light for a number of years, probaly 10,000 miles of touring. They were good lights, but when Wayne's The Touring Shop closed it was hard to find parts for them, and we switched over to Planet Bike's Super Flash. The LED lights seem a little brighter. The Muller is sturdy, but they did get broken a couple of times (lens and a switch). They don't get broken on tours, the panniers protect the light. They get broken when riding the bike unloaded. I've aslo "broken" a couple of the Super Flashes by kicking off the rear cover, and not realizing that I did it.

Muller Top Light


The light is well protected by panniers and rack bag

Last edited by Doug64; 05-25-20 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 05-25-20, 07:39 PM
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Old 05-25-20, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
MarcusT...no experience with it but I don't like the aesthetics...Personal choice maybe? I think the manufacturer is solid and German engineering is great so from that perspective if it suits your need I would go for it!
The look is not as important as functionality. They claim the design helps discern how far behind the bike you are, plus they claim battery life is up to 50 hrs on this model.
I will give the original one more shot and if it is still fickle, I'll order this one.
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Old 05-26-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
My wife and I used the Muller Top Light for a number of years, probaly 10,000 miles of touring. They were good lights, but when Wayne's The Touring Shop closed it was hard to find parts for them, and we switched over to Planet Bike's Super Flash. The LED lights seem a little brighter. The Muller is sturdy, but they did get broken a couple of times (lens and a switch). They don't get broken on tours, the panniers protect the light. They get broken when riding the bike unloaded. I've aslo "broken" a couple of the Super Flashes by kicking off the rear cover, and not realizing that I did it.

Muller Top Light


The light is well protected by panniers and rack bag
I still love mine, but I run a SuperFlash as well, and always have. During the day I have the SuperFlash set to flash, at night, solid. I love the big size of the Top Light. So far, so good, I have had it for nine years with no issues.

Nice pictures.
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Old 05-26-20, 10:11 PM
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Just 2 days ago I saw a roadie go over a bump on the local MUP & his tail light fell off & broke. Modern lights are bright & light but they really cheap out on the brackets, would be nice if lights used a standard mounting design so that various brackets would work. I had to rig up an ugly plastic bracket for a Tubus rack since the Serfas tail light didn't have the standard German bolt hole spacing. OTOH, I don't understand why B&M & other German companies don't make flashing tail lights for the export market. Maybe use a nice German rack-mounted tail light & use a helmet-mounted flashing tail-light?
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Old 05-31-20, 04:03 PM
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I now have 3 bikes, 3 B&M top mount Line tail lights. they are dynamo but the battery version has 1 AA along the bottom/..

Took off a 4D senso + the same light minus the + leaves off the power tabs. wired, in off position ,.. on the switch, is run without standlight
without the dynamo power It's just Off. middle position is On..

On senso mode 3rd switch position, it's off in daylight but will come on going through a tunnel, then turn back off on the other side/,,
Motion detector .. even if left in senso mode will turn itself off in the dark when parked, in a minute or 2..
'Permanent' model just on & off.. 2 positions..



..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-31-20 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 05-31-20, 04:21 PM
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PDW & Planet Bike "make" an adaptable bracket .. both 20mm vertical & 50mm horizontal holes.. light slips into it.. pretty secure.

I have 2 brackets 1 bike light winter bike (frozen water) I use the battery light put it im my pocket when off the bike

other bike, high summer where I rarely need it on..
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