open topic, for anything cycling related.
To be honest it doesn't look that bright and wouldn't stand out enough against the background clutter of other lights. Better off with a way more intense flasher aimed off to the side.
I just bought a zebralight sc51 (1xAA battery, 4 hertz 200 lumen strobe) which I'm going to use angled left to cover my front and front left, although I suspect its going to be way too bright for nighttime use (read - motorists crashing into poles) and will be for daytime use. Will give it a go at night though, perhaps at night I will need to aim it down at the ground - which would still be rather good. They're a top notch little product, tiny little things (pictures are deceptive and make them look bigger than they are) that are really well built. You pay for it though - $64 aud incl delivery depending where you order it from. But you can use it off the bike as well. You only get about 0.9 hours with a constant 200 lumens, with the strobe I guess it will be more like 1.5 hours - 2 hours (don't quote me).
Zebralight have a "red" version as well with a red led in it around 105 lumens. Which is a loooooot of red, and prob not suitable for use as a direct rear flasher, but would also work if aimed down.
actually there is a review about these lights on BikeShopGirl.com http://bikeshopgirl.com/2012/03/review-bike-after-dark-fireball-mark-ii-wheel-light/
they look insane bright on her video, and she even talked about how bright they are. plus they run off of a rechargeable lithium battery not those heavy double A batteries which would weigh you down...
They do look cool and its a good review, but I'd still say they're not that bright. 40 low power leds on each strip powered by a single li-ion battery aren't going to be that bright in intensity vs a single much brighter light source. The intensity matters when it comes to visibility. The reviewer says you can dimly see 3-5 meters using their light. That alone suggests there's not that much light coming out of them. Even a single AA zebralight sc51 at 200 lumens will easily light up my entire 15x10 meter backyard with a lot of light to spare. Combine that with 4hz flashing and its a great daytime be seen light. At night in my backyard, its bad enough looking out at the yard from behind the light. If I go into the yard and look back at it (from any angle within an 80 degrees arc where its at its most intense), it makes me feel sick for the rest of the evening, hence why I wouldn't use it pointing straight out at night.
Re weight your weight comparison doesn't seem legitimate - the zebralight is 36grams + 13grams for an AA eneloop = 49 grams on my handlebars or helmet (plus double it for a rear light), whereas those after dark fireballs are 89grams per wheel, and they add to rotating weight and I imagine are terribly non-aero giving they're spinning on the wheel (not that this would matter to some commuters).
They have generally different purposes anyway.
Still, you can never have enough lights, and I'm all for that
Do you ride through Neutral Bay? Last winter, I saw a rider with a single circle of light around each wheel and it REALLY caught my attention . . . . maybe as it was something unusual.
I also found that as a pedestrian, bikes with 2 sets of front lights are much more visible than those with a single front light and think that this may be environmental conditioning to look for cars. This was also not especially brightness related, if I leave out those retina burning ones.
The world is round, so what seems like the end may actually be the beginning.
no. sorry. That must be someone else.
http://www.kathmandu.com.au/Accessories ... 2Pack.html This is them though if anyone wants any.
I have 2 sets of front lights anyway - partly as I finish late often, and partly that I'm half blind so need all the help i can get.
I came across these late last year, look pretty bright and visible from all angles. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/revolights/revolights-join-the-revolution
Trek Domane 5.2
More lights is always a good thing
But can I just say, it is better not to get into the situation where the wheel lights are needed. Obviously it depends on your route and the roads so your mileage may vary. But my experience at night has been that I am most vulnerable to cars approaching from the front left side, eg at an intersection. For those wheel lights to have much apparent area and for their brightness to have an effect, you have to already be fairly close to the car. If there is bright street lighting and they aren't bright enough, they may get totally lost in the background clutter. If the driver hasn't seen you at this point, you need to ride defensively rather than rely on the wheel lights to save you at the last moment when you are nearly opposite the car.
What I'm saying is its better that the car sees you from a longer distance, so a flashing light angled off the front of the bike at say 30 degrees (covering you from, for example, 70 degrees to the left to 10 degrees to the right) or a helmet mounted light that you can aim as required, will do a much better job of making you visible in the most vulnerable spot. Nothing screams "bike" better than a bright blinky light.
You often get more time and space to deal with cars approaching from the right of an intersection and the rear is easily covered by red blinkies etc. Reflective ankle straps help with rear and frontal visibility because of their up and down motion.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't mind the wheel lights as part of a defence in depth type of approach, but they shouldn't be the primary defence for being seen from the side.
Bit lo tek but not requiring batteries, how about using something like 3M's spoke reflectors (search for Sekuclip)? These are just a stiff grippy plastic tube coated in reflective material, clip over individual spokes and weigh nothing, works for round or only slightly bladed spokes. Takes seconds to install or remove. They come in a box of 36 and recommended as all on the same wheel however just 4 per wheel is very effective, even noticeable to cyclists following (hence why I had to give some away to friends). Cost 5 bucks a packet.
Bring back spokey dokeys I say!
More seriously though, where'd you find them for $5? The best I can see the 36pk for is GBP10 on amazon.co.uk.
Rose Versand UK www.rosebikes.Co.UK
They had them on special once, mind you they're cheap anyway. There's a compact version, I think that means more race than commuter bike.
Cateye also make a wheel light, resembles the things that you find bolted (by law) to the spokes of your new bike and the first thing removed when you get home, only Cateye has a light built into these. Not as good as a programmable multi-coloured revolving light show, as discussed by the OP, and probably weighs as much.
I was doing an early ride up to Church Point early this year and some dude had the most amazing setup with wheel lights, it scared the showtime outta me, was a tri bike too. Dude was flying and the lights were changing colours and it looked like he was floating, it was 4am and no one around LOL
If you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough.
Just had a thought about wheel lights.
Could reflective tape (either the 3M silver or black, depending on wheel colour that sticks properly) be cut carefully and applied around the rim below the braking surface, then put some smallish, wide angle lights on the sides of the forks facing forwards? They would serve as head lights (albeit fairly low) and light up the rim to the side as the angle of the wheel rim would tend to scatter it to the side.
Really don't know how effective this would be, but it would be cheap and not rely on fancy electronics.
Reflective tape is great but I doubt it would work in the way you've described. Only benefit would be for other unlit projectile would see you if they are coming from the same direction as the light source.
This is the flaw with reflective tape, a pedestrian or car with it's lights off or looking up the road from a side street will not see you.
The benefit of reflective tape is mostly for front on or rear on visibility. If another cars lights are hitting it, they will see it not you.
fair enough. Back to the drawing board then I guess it's off to buy some funky lights
I've got reflex tape on my rims and it does the job better than any plastic reflectors.
I've also got a white 2 led blinky on the RH fork blade angled in at about a 45deg angle, adds some glitter to the spinning spokes. The Radbot on each seatstay does the same job on the rear.
London Boy 29/12/2011
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