2009 Top Commuting Products : Lights

It seems weekly I’m modifying one bike or another, trying out the newest or greatest product.  Most of the time it is on my own dime, working in a bike shop I get to see all the cool things, and crave all the cool things too.  Here are some of my favorite things I’ve tried out personally, reviewed for the site or Bike Shop Girl.

Starting off with my favorite niche of riding, bike lights! One of my goals for 2010 is to research and expand my knowledge of generator lights.  In the past weeks we’ve talked about bike lights so continue on with the conversation.

Light & Motion Vega 200 Light & Motion Vega Lights


We’ve had an introduction to this light before and my long term review is in the works but I love the ease of use.  Rechargeable lights that are all enclosed with batter and light in one unit.  The mount needs some work, but you can pick up an older style Light & Motion handlebar mount that works well with the light. Waterproof, quick charge time, various light settings (high, medium, low and flashing) gives you a long run time if needed.  In various locations they are on sale right now, so it makes this light an even better bang for your buck.

Planet Bike Superflash/Blaze LightPlanet Bike Superflash/Blaze Combo

The front light is a 1 watt LED that has a low, high and flash mode.  The flash mode is very crazy mode, nothing like I’ve seen and could easily distract or blind drivers if you aren’t careful..  The rear light claims to be able to be seen from 1 mile away with multiple LEDs.

Cateye TL-LD610 Rear Light

Cat Eye TL-LD610The bees knees for rear lights.  This is my go to rear light for racks running it horizontal, or any bike that has a good amount of seatpost showing for the light to run vertical up the seatpost.  The only qualm I have with the light is the new mounting bracket it changed to last year, using a turning knob the band through.  This does two things, sticks out the side when mounted on your seatpost (be warned if you have bigger thighs) and can leave a sharp end when you cut the band to size.

Reelight Battery Free Bike Lights

ReelightThe Reelights have been talked about before on CommuteByBike and other places.  The points easy, we love these lights.  They run off magnets attached to your wheels, blinking off as the wheel goes around.  You install them, and forget them.  It helps often when I forget my messenger bag, or my battery is running low.  It is a good feeling to know that no matter what there are no batteries and others can always see me.

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0 thoughts on “2009 Top Commuting Products : Lights”

  1. Todd Scott says:

    I found the Reelights to be unreliable. Both of mine failed within a year of use.

  2. Chrisg says:

    I have two TL-LD610s one vertical one the seatpost and one horizontal on the rack. These are great lights and work well on rechargeable batteries too.

    On the front I run a cateye Single Shot which has a rechargeable internal battery and has a good wide spread. I’ve found the charge lasts long enough for a full weeks worth of commuting (approx 5 hrs of which is in the pitch dark with no street lighting)

  3. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    I’m a real fan of generated lights. When looking at picrures of Dutch bikes I see a lot of Reelights. A friend had some put on her bike, but she hardly ever rides it. As a person who thinks being visable is my responsibility, I’m always looking for reliable and practible lights. So far, the best I’ve seen are Hub generator LED lights. The newest generations really rock. There are brighter, but none last as long, even in very cold or wet weather, they just work, period.

  4. Soulfull Commuter says:

    I found a real need for the battery to be separate from the light. When the weather turned cold, the battery of my Magic Shine light gave out. I now use the longer cord and keep the battery in my pocket where it stays warm and my Magic Shine lights the way to and from work on the cold dark days.

  5. WheelDancer says:

    I have a set of Reelights on my commuter and the front one failed within a week but the shop replaced it without a problem and they have worked great all fall. My main headlight is a DiNotte 200 Lumen AA Bicycle Headlight that is the best of the best as far as I am concerned. Very bright with three levels of brightness, it runs on standard AA batteries and connects to the bike with a slick “O” ring so I change it between all my bikes as quickly as turning on most lights.


  6. KFo says:

    I have Reelights on my coffee shop bike. They work just fine ridden 10 miles/week. Two friends who bought them at the same time had them fail after less than 500 miles riding. Neat idea, junk implementation.

    The PB superflash is a decent light but can be a little fragile. I mount them in pairs in case one falls apart.

    If you want to get serious about rear lights get a Dinotte 140. My Dinotte is brighter than a BMW’s brake lights and has multiple flash modes for inducing seizures in motorists that come too close. Get one if you are serious about being seen and don’t whine about the price. Mine has seen 3 years of hard commuting use and still works great.

  7. Tim says:

    I installed Reelights, and the white (front) one failed after about a year (~2000 mi), and the rear red light has weakened substantially and only continues to flash for about 15s after a stop. At first they were great, but they didn’t hold up well.

  8. Jeff Frederick says:

    Dinotte 400L as a taillight is the very brightest light out there. Without a doubt it makes a difference in commuting. I have a rear view mirror on my commuter and notice cars changing lanes a long time before they even get close to me. I wear it on my helmet (helmet mount included) so that cars behind the cars at the traffic lights can see me. It is a quality product that costs a little more but is well worth it in my opinion for serious commuters.

  9. Jim says:

    I have a great rechargable front headlight, but I am tired of always replacing the batteries of my rear light. Does anyone make a great rechargable rear light? Thanks

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