PDA

View Full Version : Red Blinky in Back - Required or Retired



pfunkallstar
10-13-2011, 09:23 AM
Thought I would throw this question out to the masses. Should you be running the ultra-bright red blinkers on the trails? This morning was a difficult enough ride, which was made all that more difficult by the apparently quantum-flux powered rear light of the guy I caught up with on the Custis trail. I understand the need for the gigawatt red light on streets, but it doesn't seem all that necessary for trail riding, especially when your fellow bikers are dealing with stealth ninja runners, torrential rain, and the occasional bike spray from fenderless front wheels.

What say ye? My own 2 cents: I don't run a red tail light on the trails and then switch on a medium powered light on my bag when I get into DC.

jabberwocky
10-13-2011, 09:33 AM
When I commuted on the W&OD, I would leave the light on but set it to constant. Far less annoying to stare at.

americancyclo
10-13-2011, 09:47 AM
quantum-flux powered rear light of the guy I caught up with on the Custis trail
Sounds like you were behind Dirt?

CCrew
10-13-2011, 09:53 AM
Sounds like you were behind Dirt?

Or me. I run my Dinotte on flash from the moment I get on the bike until I get off. If it annoys you you're more than welcome to pass?

americancyclo
10-13-2011, 10:08 AM
I do appreciate seeing the red light on the trail, helps me gauge whether or not its safe to pass, and often I'm still surprised by how quickly I catch up with folks.

Dirt
10-13-2011, 10:14 AM
Might have been me, though I think that my light was not flashing this morning. It is still fritzing a bit and I think it was either off, or in non-blinky mode.

This is a good topic. I probably should turn my rear light off when I hit the trail and turn it back on when I get back to the streets. I always dim my headlight when I hit the trail.

cephas
10-13-2011, 10:28 AM
I always leave mine on blinky. I'm way too apt to forget to turn it on otherwise when I get back on the streets. I don't mind too much when I see it on others, and it sure beats running up on a ghostrider.

Dirt
10-13-2011, 11:15 AM
Changing the lights is actually part of my routine. I change over to flashie mode up front before entering the Rosslyn Death Zone. I just need to swing my leg off the bike and switch the flashie back on.

GreyBear
10-13-2011, 11:19 AM
Just don't put the red blinkie on the front--I see this way too often. I usually tell such people that the red light belongs on the back, but nobody listens to me.

pfunkallstar
10-13-2011, 11:21 AM
I did end up passing Captain Retina Burn this morning, not only because of the stroboscope but also because of the waterfall coming off of his wheel. I make it a point to dim my mega-light when I hit the trail and cover up when I meet someone coming the other way on uphills and downhills. What really stews my prunes is when helmet-mount dudes give me the 10 feet or less stare down - totally unnecessary. On the upside, I saw a jogger this morning who was rocking no fewer than THREE blinky lights, maybe he is doing some freelance motion capture or something?

DaveK
10-13-2011, 11:35 AM
I put mine on solid but I don't turn it off. I dim my front light if the trail is lit but going through NPS land I've got no choice but to go full supernova.

Greenbelt
10-13-2011, 11:45 AM
This is a helpful discussion. I used to turn my blinkies off for trail sections to save battery. But now with the rechargable, I just leave it on. We don't have lots of full dark trail traffic in my direction though, so hopefully I'm not offending anyone. Besides, I'm not going fast in full dark because of all the critters on or near the trail. Easy to pass me if somebody wants.

Maybe it's for safety, but my new helmet light system doesn't have a separate switch for the rear, and it's surprisingly hard to turn the whole thing on and off while riding, especially with full finger gloves. The switch is sort of tucked down and hard to feel with gloves on or without stopping and taking the helmet off. I do try to cover my headlight when someone approaches the opposite way, but sometimes I forget. It's not that bright though -- not full retina burn. Medium burn only.

MCL1981
10-13-2011, 12:38 PM
When I'm on the CCT or Rock Creek, I always use some "old school" dimmer LED flashers on the front and back. I do this so I stand out to those not paying much attention. I save the quantum flux devices for the road because I don't want to annoy people on the train.

CCrew
10-13-2011, 01:57 PM
What really stews my prunes is when helmet-mount dudes give me the 10 feet or less stare down - totally unnecessary.

Oh, I'll agree. In the rare case I do see an oncoming rider I palm my handlebar light and look right and down at the trail edge so my helmet doesn't nail them. I'm usually headed home in the afternoon, so it's the 2:30am ride that I go all supernova for.

Ninja's are fair game though... I light em up!

pfunkallstar
10-14-2011, 07:31 AM
I concur on the megawatt blasting of ninjas - they are fair game.

On that note, the best place to spot real, I mean damn near invisible ninjas, is on the wooden connector bridge right past TR Island. Usually they are Georgetown students who must be studying chameleon DNA or something - that or training for jungle warfare.

rcannon100
10-20-2011, 01:57 PM
First, yes, the brilliant strobes are horrible. If you have a death-strobe, it would be nice to tame them on the trail.

I just have regular LEDs. They are on blinky. While blinky is unnecessary on the Custis, I go: Lee Hwy, to Custis, Crossing Scott, in the Rosslyn Death zone, through the Roosevelt parking lot, along the GW, around the Jefferson, and then to my office in SW. The point is that I am on and off of roads, and crossing roads, the whole way. I can certainly understand why its easier to set a light and leave it.

But those brilliant strobes are simply blinding and a danger on the trails.

americancyclo
10-20-2011, 02:57 PM
After this thread popped up, I've been running solid red in the back. I hope you all enjoy the view.

5555624
10-20-2011, 04:07 PM
After this thread popped up, I've been running solid red in the back. I hope you all enjoy the view.

I recall some study -- years ago -- which said a solid red light was better, but I don't recall why how they determined that.

Jsnyd
10-20-2011, 09:02 PM
I heard that drivers tend to steer into strobe lights. I don't have one but an urban 180 is a really nice rear light. It doesn't strobe but pulses which is actually pretty different. Also goes to steady red light and a pace light. Which is no red light but a dim yellow light if your pulling a few wheel suckers at night.. Or some buddies. Eventually I may get one but they're $100.


---
I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.845369,-76.949823

americancyclo
10-21-2011, 09:13 AM
I don't have one but an urban 180 is a really nice rear light.

Looks nice, might have to look in to that once my led blinky from BikeArlington retires.

Dirt
10-21-2011, 09:40 AM
Been riding with mine on constant since this thread started too.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6240/6265876935_45335c13e2_b.jpg

acc
10-21-2011, 11:14 AM
Something that came up in discussion last night at the Bike Forum Happy Hour was using lights on backpacks with the idea this location is higher off the ground and perhaps more visible. Being roughly the size of a capuchin monkey, this advice resonates with me.

ann

americancyclo
10-21-2011, 11:19 AM
Being roughly the size of a capuchin monkey, this advice resonates with me. ann At a length of 30 to 56 cm (according to wikipedia), you're slightly smaller than the frame of my bicycle. Maybe you need one of these instead http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-58-27-600-Safety-Flag-Orange/dp/B002K2KWK4/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1319213943&sr=1-2 with a blinky on the flag.

DaveK
10-21-2011, 12:15 PM
Something that came up in discussion last night at the Bike Forum Happy Hour was using lights on backpacks with the idea this location is higher off the ground and perhaps more visible. Being roughly the size of a capuchin monkey, this advice resonates with me.

ann

I run a rear blinky on my seat post (PB Superflash) and one on my helmet. I want to run a third light on the clip on the back of my rack but I can't figure out what would mount there - it looks like something should screw into the two holes in it but none of my lights kicking around the house have a mount like that.

acc
10-21-2011, 12:33 PM
I probably just need a good booster seat, but they're so hard to mount.
But certainly I agree with the idea of getting lights up and into the range of a driver sitting behind the wheel.

ann

americancyclo
10-21-2011, 01:16 PM
it looks like something should screw into the two holes in it but none of my lights kicking around the house have a mount like that. Are you looking for someting like the Jandd Reflector mount? I know it works with reflectors, but might be a bit of a kludge to get a light to fit well. http://www.amazon.com/Jandd-Reflector-Mount/dp/B001IOT3YG

Greenbelt
10-21-2011, 01:55 PM
I run a rear blinky on my seat post (PB Superflash) and one on my helmet. I want to run a third light on the clip on the back of my rack but I can't figure out what would mount there - it looks like something should screw into the two holes in it but none of my lights kicking around the house have a mount like that.

Seat stay light? Easy to mount on a rack pretty much anywhere.

http://www.serfas.com/product_details.asp?ID=598

consularrider
10-21-2011, 03:21 PM
I run a rear blinky on my seat post (PB Superflash) and one on my helmet. I want to run a third light on the clip on the back of my rack but I can't figure out what would mount there - it looks like something should screw into the two holes in it but none of my lights kicking around the house have a mount like that.

Planet Bike sells an adapter that works with the Superflash on these rack clips. http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3108.html

@acc:

My problem with people who clip their rear blinky to a backpack is that frequently the light ends up being less visible (if at all). It all depends on where they clip it because sometimes it winds up facing up or to the side instead of to the rear. This seems to be mostly a problem of riders on road bike who are stretched out and hunched over more than those on flat bar bikes. No worries if it's not the primary light, but as I saw last night, for many it is the only rear light.

OneEighth
10-21-2011, 05:12 PM
Consularrider makes a good point about light placement on backpacks, particularly for riders with a big seat to handlebar drop. I hang two lights off the straps that secure the backpack flap at the lower edge of the bag. When I'm riding, they should be facing straight back and be clearly visible.

vvill
10-21-2011, 07:46 PM
I have a mesh bottle holder section on my backpack that I will often attach a red blinkie to. I need more red blinkies though. I had two at the start of the week. Now I have one, and the lens from one. I was thinking of just buying a whole bunch of them as I can always see many places to put them.

I usually run in flashing mode, as I always assumed it was more attention grabbing.

MCL1981
10-23-2011, 03:02 PM
Been riding with mine on constant since this thread started too.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6240/6265876935_45335c13e2_b.jpg

What exactly do you carry around with that? I picture a rotary spreader on the bottom for spreading sand/salt in the winter.

DaveK
10-23-2011, 09:30 PM
Planet Bike sells an adapter that works with the Superflash on these rack clips. http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3108.html

Exactly what I need. A second Superflash timed just off the flashy pattern of the first one should throw everyone behind me into seizures. Thanks!

rcannon100
10-24-2011, 11:25 AM
I was reading a description of the Cygolite and noted that it is described as having these settings:
* High
* Med
* Low
* Daylight flashing

These are the batter powered high powered strobe lights that blind on the bike paths at night. I note that the vendor is describing the flash mode as "daylight flashing." That should tell us something right there - that the flash mode is not intended for night time riding.

I got hit by four of these ultrabright strobes on the way home friday at sundown. It was not fun. Could not see a thing.

ronwalf
10-24-2011, 11:43 AM
I've compromised. The PDW RadBot 1000 has a slow pulse mode which is unlikely to blind. I use it in conjunction with a steady-on taillight.

(also, the Radbot is mount-compatible with the superflash, and comes standard the with rack mount shown above that PB sells for $5)

-Ron

americancyclo
10-24-2011, 11:45 AM
As a tangent: I saw an unusually high number of commuters this morning with flashing front lights. I can see why you would want this in DC, but on the Custis and W&OD it was irritating. Was there a memo I missed?

Dirt
10-24-2011, 12:14 PM
What exactly do you carry around with that? I picture a rotary spreader on the bottom for spreading sand/salt in the winter.
Pretty much anything. Last week I bought a few chairs at a yard sale. Tonight I have to go to the pet store. I'll arrive home with 20 pounds of cat food and 50 pounds of cat litter. I'll likely have a bunch of cat toys too.

It is a great training tool. Nothing builds power in the legs like riding a 75 pound bike with lots of stuff strapped to it.