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Monday, October 5, 2015

Autumn Bike Lights

10.05.2015 9m
Two bike activities today: riding and working on my bike-lighting given the shortening daylight.

I started at 18th Street/ SouthSide River Front Park. Hot Metal Bridge to the Point. It was such a pretty day that I kicked back on the stonework and chilled for an hour. It was almost beach weather, sunny and 70F. I like Pittsburgh's fall (and spring) weather so much.

Departed Downtown via Second Ave, took the 10th Street Bridge, stopped at Thick Bikes to order a small piece: a cadence magnet for the crank arm. Continued back to River Front Park.

Light-wise, I ordered and received a new battery and charger for my tail light, which is a Design Shine DS500(build 3). This is the brightest tail light I've ever seen. It generates between 60 and 800 lumens (for daylight use). They're currently out of stock but expect more in October.


People familiar with the DesignShine seek ways to describe the brightness. One owner made this video to contrast the DS with the rising sun (drivers pointed at the sun often use that as a reason for running over cyclists)


I bought an MJ-6038B battery, which is a 7.4V li-ion unit with 5600mAH. I've had the light running for about eight hours now at full strength and it's still going full blast. Very impressive. I usually get two years out of one of these batteries, and I try to get a new one at the start of winter riding.

For a less expensive but very bright tail light, I recommend the Cygolite Hotshot Pro 80 USB with 80 lumens for about $50, and the L&M VIS 180 with 70 lumens for about $100.

For my headlight I'm running the Cygolite Expilion 850 which retails for around $140. I like the light and the mounting bracket a lot.

I think lights and tires are two areas where it makes sense to buy really good equipment. It's wonderful using Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and just not getting flats, and it's really nice to have sufficiently bright lights to see where you're going and to be seen by drivers.



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