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Tail lights

Old 05-01-21, 01:11 PM
  #26  
unterhausen
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I'm curious what dyno light you have seen from behind. I think the Secula is good enough, and most others are okay. Not that I doubt your statement, but even on PBP, dyno taillights are in the minority. I doubt there are 1000 riders with dyno taillights on that ride, maybe just a few hundred. I have seen way too many riders take off from the start of a 300k or 400k with extremely dim battery lights or even lights that don't make it more than a few miles before giving out. So basically they are guaranteed to be dark from the rear for a couple of hours on a ride. Even my dimmest dyno taillight is brighter than those. Having said that, I use a blinky as backup. I wish there were blinky dyno lights, but apparently the market is too small.
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Old 05-01-21, 03:09 PM
  #27  
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All of them. Every single one. All three or four. 0.3 Watts does not create many lumens or lux, however you wish to characterize the brightness. Are there better newer ones? I dunno.

Has anyone ever conducted a comparison with a light meter?

What percentage of randonneurs use a dynamo? I have no idea but would not be surprised if it were the majority. I also have no idea the vintage of a fellow rando's dynamo. It is merely my general observation that dynamo tail lights are not bright.

At one time a few years back, I spent a lot of time trying to find comparative data on battery vs dynamo tail lighting. I found none. I recall I believe that the Supernova headlamp was said to be very bright as was the tail light, relatively. I do not think those are as common as the German B & M and Schmidt. In the best research I could do then, I had considered the Supernova that was very tiny with three LEDs. The side ones were angled. I cannot say I have ever seen this model in person.

I do know that battery powered rear lights can output up to 2 watts. I know the German standard requires at least 0.3 watts for the tail light although some will consume up to 0.5 watt depending how it is powered. One is much more visible to my eye than the other.

Then the requirement of some states to have a reflector, some have one and some don't. I forget now which would comply.
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Old 05-01-21, 03:15 PM
  #28  
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I forgot to say. I agree most do not attend to their batteries and would go so far as to say, most should definitely use a dynamo.

I made that mistake in 2019 in France. I struggled pretty bad with some medical conditions. I forgot to change my tail battery as planned. I slept four times and left the light on during a 6.5 hour snooze at Tinteniac. Another rider alerted me to that fact going into Fougeres. I stopped and changed it. Guilty.

I'd like to see some comparisons. Say side by side from half a mile and a quarter of a mile.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:10 PM
  #29  
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I would say that the percentage of people that use dyno headlights has gone up considerably since 2011. Most of those people use battery taillights. I think you are seeing battery taillights and thinking they are dyno taillights.

I was happily descending a hill outside of Carhaix with plenty of light, and there had been a crash so they had a volunteer telling people to turn on their second headlight. I couldn't see as well with the second headlight, but I didn't really feel like stopping to turn it off on the downhill. I guess it didn't look as blinding as the people that had battery lights, which is the idea, don't blind people in front of you.
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Old 05-01-21, 11:03 PM
  #30  
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The secula is probably brighter than any steady battery light you could buy 10 years ago, and probably brighter than any with a 4 day runtime today. It's a nice brightness for group riding too. It doesn't have the bright flash which is useful for dawn/dusk and fog, so I do supplement mine with other lights.
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Old 05-02-21, 03:40 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
...
I know this is a controversial statement but the dynamo rear lights are not very bright and I have come up on hundreds of riders who use them, I would mount a blinky in addition to one of those for times on less than optimal roads like narrow ones at sunrise or sunset.
You are making a pretty broad statement, but how often you are riding into a sunrise or sunset is a small percentage of the time that most people are riding. I would not judge dyno powered vs battery powered lights based on only sunrise and sunsets.

That said, I was a bit nervous riding into a sunrise, the outline of my touring partner in front of me was not easy to see with the sun in the fog in front of me.

I had both of my taillights on at the time of the photos below. My touring partner had somewhat depleted batteries, his lights were off. I stayed behind him so a car would see my taillights first.



Based on my photo time stamps, 12 minutes later the conditions were much improved.



The fog lifted soon after that and conditions were quite good.

There are far to many factors in play, the light beam shape, how well the light is aimed, the charge level for battery lights, etc., to state that one is better than the other.

That said, in daytime I prefer a flashing light.

Photo below, not my bike, I was walking past it and saw it, snapped a photo of it. Now if you REALLY want to be seen, no dynohub will power all these lights. But if the sole goal is total brightness, we have a winner.

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Old 05-03-21, 06:09 AM
  #32  
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I did a 600k in Florida where a tandem rider had a "board" of hotshot tail lights, probably a dozen or more. After seeing the roads and observing drivers road behaviours, I understood why he had such a monstrosity and decided to sleep the night rather than ride one minute in darkness.
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Old 05-03-21, 07:21 AM
  #33  
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I've driven support on a bunch of brevets and pretty much any tail light is visible from a long way off in the dark. Up close, a good reflective vest is much more visible than any light. Blinking lights are no more visible but much more annoying to ride behind. Lights in the daytime are totally unnecessary as far as I'm concerned since I can see the rider anyway. I use either dynamo or AA powered battery tail lights and have never given a second thought to how bright they are or how long they last. Tail lights don't draw a lot of power and all the battery powered ones I use will easily last a 1200k.
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Old 05-03-21, 09:41 AM
  #34  
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According Edewaard's study, "The Conspicuity Benefits of Dynamic and Static Bicycle Taillights at Night" blinking tail lights on the seatpost provide 3.1 greater distances in recognition (response time) although not nearly as beneficial as placing lighting on one's ankles.


Most of our deaths on the road are from being struck from behind. It is a pretty complicated topic and risk management is never terribly precise. Redundancy helps. Not too long ago there was a terrible rash of ultra cyclists hit from behind and I knew or rode with some of them. I tried to "study" this topic. Some research indicated drivers have but a few seconds to perceive something is out there and then recognize the object as a cyclist. I developed guidelines for me myself that I try to follow. Just sharing what I do to try and reduce risk.


1. On training rides during the day, I run my front light and rear blinky

2. My helmet, shoes, and socks are brightly colored

3. At night I run a steady rear light with other cyclists and both a steady and blinky when riding alone

4. I have reflective 3M tape on wheels, frame, crankset arms, pedals, shoes, helmet, visor, etc.

5. Reflective gillet with extra 3M tape and ankle reflective straps at night

6. I will not ride into a sunrise or sunset unless the road is a very, rural quiet and a broad shoulder.

7. I use two mirrors and test driver's response (are they on autopilot....selective attention) upon approaching

8. I rarely ride long distances in rain on busy roads and never ride busy, narrow roads at night.

9 I used to use the Conti GP4000 reflex tires, the reflective "bead" was astonishingly effective....motorists immediately know they are dealing with a bicycle

10. I always have a spare front and rear light when night riding.

11. I always carry ankle straps and if it rains, even during the day, they go on

12. I used to carry a Spot device and am considering a Garmin InReach currently. Thought about a Varia but balked at price and battery life.

13. If a long brevet goes into Saturday night in areas of bars, I sleep from around 10-2am at least.


I would be most interested in what steps others take to lower risks.


This study is one of the more realistic ones.

https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstr...=1&isAllowed=y

I have developed the need to sleep a lot on long events but being on a fast recumbent, it gives me that luxury. I do not know the make and models of different tail lights when catching and passing other randonneurs but I do know that there is a tremendous variance in conspicuity from cyclist to cyclist and the distances sometimes are not very great. I wish there were better studies out there. This article probably summarizes the overall challenge as well as any.


https://www.bicyclelaw.com/stay-seen...ivers-see-you/
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Old 05-03-21, 11:29 AM
  #35  
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Running a blinky by itself does seem to be a mistake. I used to use a radbot, which had a "throbbing mode" which gets brighter and dimmer, but never goes dark. I always figured that was better than the lights that flash and go dark. At least, when I'm following someone at a distance that has something that flashes, it's really easy to lose track of them before the next flash. So the dyno light always being on and never flashing is a good way to augment a blinky. I wish they would update the radbot.

I think the other thing that some randonneurs and a lot of long distance racers do a poor job of is maintaining their reflective gear in good condition. In my experience, good reflective gear is more conspicuous than lights. The lights don't always make sense right away, but a good reflective vest and ankle bands convey a lot of information right away. Those goofy runners vests aren't technically legal on RUSA rides and don't work very well. Which reminds me, I need to get some Solas tape for my vest.
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Old 05-03-21, 11:34 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I've driven support on a bunch of brevets and pretty much any tail light is visible from a long way off in the dark. Up close, a good reflective vest is much more visible than any light. Blinking lights are no more visible but much more annoying to ride behind. Lights in the daytime are totally unnecessary as far as I'm concerned since I can see the rider anyway. I use either dynamo or AA powered battery tail lights and have never given a second thought to how bright they are or how long they last. Tail lights don't draw a lot of power and all the battery powered ones I use will easily last a 1200k.
An unlit cyclist in the shade on a sunny day is totally invisible to a driver wearing sunglasses and most are. Color of clothing makes no difference. That's a fact. I was quite shaken the first time I drove sag on a tour in the PNW. I run my 300 lumen blinky in the day and have been complemented on it by drivers.

IME GhostRider62 has it exactly right. I'm putting my ankle bands back in my day ride tote.
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Old 05-03-21, 12:15 PM
  #37  
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One of the studies or articles I linked talked about selection bias. They (cagers aka motorists) do not see us. They are on autopilot. I know the risk of shade but never considered how sun glasses on drivers affect our conspicuity.


I very often see cyclists fixing a flat on the road or even sitting resting on the road. All's I can think is how dangerous that is.


Now that I am older and slower, when I get a flat (and I get few), I look for shade and if possible a spot well off the road to park my derriere.


I have come full circle. As an upright rider, I thought drivers were out to kill me. They would beep and some would tell me to get off the road. As a bent rider, I have to take a lot of extra precautions like waving and riding a little wobbly to get their attention, but inevitably they wave or shout out nice things (mostly). Grudge passes are rare. I guess some of this perceived improvement is the effort I have taken to be seen and I think they appreciate it. Some probably think I am disabled. I even had a really pretty young female racer (national class type) offer to fix my flat tire for me.....she spoke real slow and used small words.


One of the studies said fast blinking tail lights were more effective during the day and very slow but not extinguishing (as Unter said) were best at night.


The reflective material on gillets wears off. It is easy to test. It is also easy to buy replacement reflective tape and cut it to match or just slather a bunch onto the gillet or rain jacket.


I had a velomobile for a little bit. I was very surprised to learn how many of them get hit by cars. To my eyes, those things are like flying saucers, how can a driver not see them. Perplexing. Drivers that is.
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Old 05-03-21, 12:22 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
An unlit cyclist in the shade on a sunny day is totally invisible to a driver wearing sunglasses and most are. Color of clothing makes no difference. That's a fact. I was quite shaken the first time I drove sag on a tour in the PNW. I run my 300 lumen blinky in the day and have been complemented on it by drivers.

IME GhostRider62 has it exactly right. I'm putting my ankle bands back in my day ride tote.
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Old 05-03-21, 12:44 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
An unlit cyclist in the shade on a sunny day is totally invisible to a driver wearing sunglasses and most are. Color of clothing makes no difference. That's a fact. I was quite shaken the first time I drove sag on a tour in the PNW. I run my 300 lumen blinky in the day and have been complemented on it by drivers.

IME GhostRider62 has it exactly right. I'm putting my ankle bands back in my day ride tote.
Even if I agreed with your claim that cyclists are invisible during the day in the shade, which I don't, it wouldn't be worth it to me to annoy everyone behind me to insulate myself from the extremely remote risk, by any objective measure, of a car running into the back of me on a country road in the daytime. I've ridden behind people with bright blinking tail lights hundreds of times both day and night, and it's obnoxious. That's a fact.
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Old 05-03-21, 01:05 PM
  #40  
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Shaded rider with and without light on rear


https://cyclingtips.com/2017/02/see-...unning-lights/
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Old 05-03-21, 01:13 PM
  #41  
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If you do a bike trip or bike tour with Adventure Cycling Assoc, they issue you one of these triangles and require that you have in on your back or the back of your bike.

About four years ago I started using it for my bike tours that are not with ACA too. On a hazy rainy day, that thing really stands out. And on this trip one day I put it on my left pannier instead of centered on the dry bag on top of my rack, perhaps I imagined something that was not there but I got the feeling that traffic gave me a little more room with the triangle on my left pannier.



But nothing stands out in fog, but the traffic was not going very fast either so this was safer than it looks.



But at least in weather like that, none of the drivers felt that they were so good that they could send texts to their friends, their eyes were on the road.
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Old 05-03-21, 02:55 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Running a blinky by itself does seem to be a mistake. I used to use a radbot, which had a "throbbing mode" which gets brighter and dimmer, but never goes dark. I always figured that was better than the lights that flash and go dark. At least, when I'm following someone at a distance that has something that flashes, it's really easy to lose track of them before the next flash. So the dyno light always being on and never flashing is a good way to augment a blinky. I wish they would update the radbot.

I think the other thing that some randonneurs and a lot of long distance racers do a poor job of is maintaining their reflective gear in good condition. In my experience, good reflective gear is more conspicuous than lights. The lights don't always make sense right away, but a good reflective vest and ankle bands convey a lot of information right away. Those goofy runners vests aren't technically legal on RUSA rides and don't work very well. Which reminds me, I need to get some Solas tape for my vest.
Yes, as a driver I really dislike bike lights which flash super bright and then have a long off period. It's totally disorienting. Our visions systems aren't built for that. I always run blinkies, not flashers. A high speed blink is good, the eye follows it well.

On the subject of super bright blinkies, I was taught to point it slightly at the ground, so that it illuminates a patch of pavement behind me. That works very well. You don't want to blind either oncoming of following drivers or riders. The whole deal is - how much time do you give the driver behind you to react to your presence? And not only that, how much time do you give the possibly distracted driver to see you?
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Old 07-20-21, 12:19 PM
  #43  
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I really like the Apace Vision LED Safety Lights. You can get a two pack for less than $20 and they come with 2 extra batteries. For the size and weight the value is incredible. They take up no space. Yeah there's way better lights out there, but I've used them for about 4 years no and have had no issues
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Old 07-20-21, 01:05 PM
  #44  
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Check Amazon for USB rechargeable lights. Some of them seem to last for at least 8 hours before recharge.
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Old 07-21-21, 09:29 AM
  #45  
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My latest set up is USB Cygolite Hotshots lights, I have 3 different lights ranging from 100 to 150 lumens.
https://cygolite.com/product/hotshot-pro-150-usb/

The nice thing about the lights is that you can adjust the brightness of the steady light and the blinking rate. During the day I run one blinking light set up at a very bright settings, and at night one steady light at the lowest settings. At that setting it will last for about 150-200 hours, plus I also bring two lights for long brevets.
Hotshot light seems to last longer than the AAA battery Planet bike SuperFlash that I used to have and it could be set up brighter . I also make sure the lights are fully charged before the long rides

I also have a dyno Spanninga LED taillight without the blinking mode but I do not bother to run wires to the back of the bike, maybe for a 1200 brevet if I ride one...
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Old 07-22-21, 12:46 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
...
I also have a dyno Spanninga LED taillight without the blinking mode but I do not bother to run wires to the back of the bike, maybe for a 1200 brevet if I ride one...
If that is the Pixeo fender mount light, I have two of them and I like them. The have a wide beam to the sides but a very narrow beam for height, thus the light is back towards the traffic where you need it. But, it needs careful aim to make sure your beam is not too high or too low when you decide where to drill the holes in the fender. I do not know if it is needed, but I bought the wire protective guard for both of mine.

I bought one of mine used, there was a lot of dust inside but there was a screw that I could remove to disassemble it to clean it out. A lot of other lights are glued or melted together, not designed for disassembly.
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Old 07-22-21, 06:21 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If that is the Pixeo fender mount light,.
That is the one I have. It is very bright and shines to the side nicely. I do not mount it on the fenders though. I mount it on the rack or seat post.
https://spanninga.com/product/pixeo/
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Old 07-22-21, 01:29 PM
  #48  
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After barely squeaking by on battery power during PBP 2015, I decided to free up that anxiety for other things and go to dyno-powered lights. I'm trying out a B&M "Toplight Line Plus" taillight on my bike, and really digging how long the standlight lasts once it's charged up.

Here's an example picture from Perennial Cycles, where I bought it:

https://www.perennialcycle.com/busch...-bam-3234.html
https://www.perennialcycle.com/busch...ail-mount.html
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Old 07-22-21, 02:01 PM
  #49  
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My better half bought me a Varia for Father's Day. Other than the short battery life and my inability to hear the Garmin beep at speed, it is pretty nice. I still rely upon my mirrors but having the radar adds more confidence in certain situations on a recumbent where it is harder to see. Also, it seems motorists more alerted by it than my normal tail light although I am not sure why. I probably would not have bought it myself, so, it is a good gift. Is it worth the money. Hard to say but it is a nice to have and since it has a safety component, I kind of like it but can't figure how to make it work on a brevet
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Old 07-22-21, 02:54 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
After barely squeaking by on battery power during PBP 2015, I decided to free up that anxiety for other things and go to dyno-powered lights. I'm trying out a B&M "Toplight Line Plus" taillight on my bike, and really digging how long the standlight lasts once it's charged up.

Here's an example picture from Perennial Cycles, where I bought it:

https://www.perennialcycle.com/busch...-bam-3234.html
https://www.perennialcycle.com/busch...ail-mount.html
I was wondering how that light bracket worked.

Thanks for posting. I bought one of those lights but have not installed it yet. I like the wide bright beam on it.
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