Help Me Select A Bicycle Taillight

JAS

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I am currently looking for a bicycle taillight.

I would prefer to get one that is USB rechargeable.

Do some have more effective flash patterns than others?
 

DRW

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Hands down - Garmin Varia Radar, https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/698001

They have a couple different models.

The one I have has 4 light patterns, and as vehicles approach the flashing increases, based on closing speed and distance.
It pairs with a few apps on the phone, bike computers, and sport watches to give indication of approaching vehicles from the rear.
 

LEDphile

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Bike taillights have been bright and obnoxious enough for probably 20 years at this point. I personally like the Cygolite HotShot series and the Planet Bike Superflash series, but there are other good options as well.

One thing to watch out for is that many of the newer designs have excellent rearward visibility, but visibility from the side isn't so good
 

Dave_H

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Wow, only $150 for the Garmin light!

OP, what is your budget on this?

I use a cheap 2AAA light on the back which suffices for rare dark usage, but not rechargeable. What happens if the battery runs down while using it? You need to be able to swap out, or charge OTF which could be awkward. I stick with what's simple.

I've even found dollar-store or otherwise low cost ($5 or less) 2AAA or 2AA lights which are adequate. Ones I'd avoid have a sequence of (as many as 7) patterns which can't be bypassed. Probably best to avoid any pattern(s) which can be confusing, such as directional motion which could be interpreted as a turn signal. High/low/flash may be good enough.

Dave
 
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1313

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+1 on the garmin varia. I won’t ride my bike without it anymore.

The taillight itself is nice and will blink faster as traffic approaches, as well as the radar when paired with your phone or garmins bike computer.
 

turbodog

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Brightest one I've found. Each time I find something brighter, I trash my old ones and rebuy all new. Extreme? Yes. Justified? Yes.

VERY bright. Noticeable difference from vehicles when using this compared to smaller 2xAAA lights (planet bike superflash).

WATERPROOF. Runs around 12 hours on max output. Drops back to less-bright default flash when battery gets low.

5 stage battery status led. Can't tell you how good/useful this is.


1654177853906.png
 
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turbodog

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Bike taillights have been bright and obnoxious enough for probably 20 years at this point. I personally like the Cygolite HotShot series and the Planet Bike Superflash series, but there are other good options as well.

One thing to watch out for is that many of the newer designs have excellent rearward visibility, but visibility from the side isn't so good

I used to run (14) of the superflash series. They almost all failed with the same problem. Switch is at the bottom... where water collects after it gets inside the case, past the seals. Switch fails. Light useless.
 
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turbodog

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JAS

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Now I want to find a bike headlight or LED flashlight that changes strobe patterns automatically.

Does anybody here know if any exist?
 

turbodog

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Now I want to find a bike headlight or LED flashlight that changes strobe patterns automatically.

Does anybody here know if any exist?

There are some that detect cars and/or deceleration. Easier to go for raw lumens on the front. They will NOT miss you.
 

syga

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I have front and rear automatic lights and would recommend them. These won't light up your path but make you visible.
 

Mmassey338

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+1 on the garmin varia. I won’t ride my bike without it anymore.

The taillight itself is nice and will blink faster as traffic approaches, as well as the radar when paired with your phone or garmins bike computer.
The Varia will also pair with a Wahoo
 

turbodog

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I have front and rear automatic lights and would recommend them. These won't light up your path but make you visible.

I don't know man.... there are no lumen numbers spec'd. Also, on continuous mode it runs 30 hours on 2xaaa. That can't be much output. The reflector looks pretty good though, a feature I wish more lights had... wide angle viewing.
 

WigglyTheGreat

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I am currently looking for a bicycle taillight.

I would prefer to get one that is USB rechargeable.

Do some have more effective flash patterns than others?
I'm not sure on the flash pattern, but I always recommend using more than one rear light. One flashing and one solid, but both bright enough to be daytime visible. I have one mounted my pack and one on the seat post. I've had Cygolite, Niterider, Superflash, Magicshine, and they all got the job done.
 
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pnwoutdoors

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I am currently looking for a bicycle taillight.

I would prefer to get one that is USB rechargeable.

Do some have more effective flash patterns than others?

Take a look at the CygoLite HyperShot 350. I've got a couple of these and would highly recommend it.


It's charged via USB. Very bright. Has a number of flash patterns.

If you install two of them, say one on the rear bike stay and one on the rear of your helmet, you can set to different flash patterns. Extremely attention-grabbing. Some might suggest it's too bright. Myself, I don't think so.


For a good complementary headlight, consider the CygoLite Metro Pro 1100 USB. Similarly great quality, different modes/patterns. Have this one as well. While perhaps not the "traditional" bike beam pattern, it still lights up the roadway very well. And it's highly visible from a great distance. Has daytime flash modes, which I find highly useful in more-crowded, urban settings.

 

smokeybear468

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Exposure lights Blaze Reakt is a great light and it has a sensor that senses when you slow down and makes it a brake light
 
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JAS

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Thank you to everybody that replied.

I did order a Cygolite Hypershot–350.

I mounted it on the seat post.

I am considering buying another one for the back of my helmet, too.
 

DRW

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...
I am considering buying another one for the back of my helmet, too.
Be mindful of the helmet mount for a rear facing light. Frequently they are not effective - due to riding with the head down (light shines up).
 

pnwoutdoors

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Be mindful of the helmet mount for a rear facing light. Frequently they are not effective - due to riding with the head down (light shines up).

As with any light, it needs to be mounted at the proper spot and angle to be visible from the intended approaching direction. Good point, though. Not every helmet, or every mount on a light, has a variety of mounting points/angles.

Even if mounting on the bike or bag, it's always worthwhile to have a trusted person view the light from a distance and different angles, to report what its practical utility and limits are, at that mounting point. As you point out, mounting can change it.
 
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