Rear Light Recommendations

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
AndyBSG
Posts: 382
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 11:16am

Rear Light Recommendations

Postby AndyBSG » 20 Jan 2015, 1:38pm

And the topic i'm going to pester people for advice on today... Rear Light recommendations!

Fitted my Topeak Aero Wedge Saddle Bag and Crud Catcher mudguard at the weekend and found myself prevented with a problem when attaching my Topeak RedLite II rear light to the saddle bag.

The way the saddle bag fits and the way the light attaches to it has ended up with the light mainly pointing down with barely a centimeter's clearance from my mudguard. This means the curve of the mudguard largely obscures the light.

So, it seems i'm going to have to go with rear stay lights instead and these are the criteria I have.

Price - Not too expensive as I want to get two so prefer them to be under £15

Waterproof - Been reading a lot of reviews saying that lights seem to pack in after a bit of rain.

Mount - Needs to be Rear Stay mounted

Solid & Flashing setting - going to put one on each stay so want a solid and a flashing setting.

Battery Powered - I'd never remember to charge a USB one!
Last edited by AndyBSG on 20 Jan 2015, 1:44pm, edited 1 time in total.

AndyBSG
Posts: 382
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 11:16am

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby AndyBSG » 20 Jan 2015, 1:44pm

Also, seen some comments on rubbing a bit of grease around the seals in any lights to help with waterproofing. Anyone do this and know what sort of grease I should use?

Bicycler
Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby Bicycler » 20 Jan 2015, 2:01pm

In all honesty a stay mounted light is going to get drenched in the rain on a bike without full mudguards. In that case I'd go the whole hog and tape over the join if at all possible. Batteries last ages in rear lights so it's not too much of a faff to pull it off and replace when needed. The other problem is side visibility with the lamp being obscured by the bike, but I assume this is why you want two - one for each side?

AndyBSG
Posts: 382
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 11:16am

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby AndyBSG » 20 Jan 2015, 2:17pm

Yeah, going to have a flashing one on one side and a solid one on the other.

Will still be keeping my saddle bag mounted one for extra lighting but don't have much faith that it isn't too obscured to be useless.

The Smart 1/2 Watt light seems to get good reviews but not sure if it can be mounted on the rear stay.

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2823
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby Vantage » 20 Jan 2015, 2:40pm

AndyBSG wrote:
The Smart 1/2 Watt light seems to get good reviews but not sure if it can be mounted on the rear stay.


I've had mine mounted on the stay a few times when I did without the rear rack. I can't remember if it was supplied or not, but I just used a smaller diameter clamp.
The power button is underneath the light so should still be accessible. The seals I'm sorry to say, aren't brilliant. I'm not sure if grease is a good idea (I've heard stories about oil eating through rubber...not sure if it's true) but Vaseline helps keep the bulk of water out. Mines been fine in all but the worst downpours and even then the water ingress hasn't been too bad. A squirt of WD40 has to date, in each circumstance where water has caused reliability problems, brought it back to life.
The lens pops off using a penny (no special tools required) so it can be opened and left to dry out before your next ride.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

ferdinand
Posts: 374
Joined: 31 Oct 2014, 6:59pm

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby ferdinand » 20 Jan 2015, 2:56pm

AndyBSG wrote:Yeah, going to have a flashing one on one side and a solid one on the other.

Will still be keeping my saddle bag mounted one for extra lighting but don't have much faith that it isn't too obscured to be useless.

The Smart 1/2 Watt light seems to get good reviews but not sure if it can be mounted on the rear stay.


I run two of those, mine are on a pannier rack.

I buy them for 19.49 in a set with a matching front light from here:

http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/smart-lu ... 64043.html

Normal price about 50 but rrps are meaningless in cycloland.

F

IanW
Posts: 176
Joined: 9 Aug 2013, 2:10pm

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby IanW » 20 Jan 2015, 3:07pm

Lghts (front or rear) that are mounted to anything at all flexible, like a saddlebag or a clothing or a rucksack always tend to sag.
So apart from lights that are intended to be suspended like a plumb bob, they always tend to point downwards.
I have sometimes tried reinforcing / stiffening flexible mounting locations using stiff plastic / bits of wood / metal but it never infallibly works.

So mouting a light on to a rigid part of the bike frame is almost always better IMHO.
Front lights that are for the rider to see where they are going really need to be rigidly mounted because a wobbling light is really unusable.
Rear lights can be allowed to wobble / vibrate a bit, and in some ways this flickering effect can approximate a flashing rear light, but they really need not to point downwards (or even skywards) and instead make best possible use of their light horizontally backwards (and sideways).

Lights mouted inside the wheel circumference will always get much wetter that those protected by a mudguard or other bits of bicycle "bodywork" from wheel-spray.

A silicone-based grease can help improve water-resistance of a light's seals (if any)
Some sort of tape wrapped round the light casing joint can also help (but only when applied to a dry light case)
So can a wide "rubber-band" made out of a short length of big cross-section inner tube.
Petroleum jelly on battery contacts can help limit corrosion induced within battery lights.

But sometimes, in the end, all lights need a water drain hole somewhere in the base of the case.

If I were really considering a pair of seat stay mounted rear lights then I think I might look at a pair of the fibreflare lights
(but a pair of them ain't a cheap option)

If I were looking at a seat-post mounted rear lights then there are any number of "2 x 0.5 watt LED rear blinkies"
one of which should meet your requirements / needs.

But if you aim to continue to use the Topeak Aero Wedge with a Crud-Catcher, then your mounting options are rather limited.
Would you consider any sort of rigid saddle back support (something similar to http://www.carradice.co.uk/index.php?page_id=product&under=range&product_id=131)
upon which to rigidly attach the light?
Or perhaps you could try a thin strip of metal/wood *inside* the Topeak Aero Wedge to stiffen the rear flap to allow a bolt-through light / light mount to hold the light vertically and thus emit the light (more) horizontally?

AndyBSG
Posts: 382
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 11:16am

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby AndyBSG » 20 Jan 2015, 3:56pm

Must admit i'm not 100% happy with the rear stay lighting solution for the reasons many of you have mentioned... They're too low down, more prone to getting wet and angle the lights in the wrong direction.

What would be useful is if I could mount a light under the seat in the gap between the seat and the top of the saddle bag, possibly on the two 'rails' that are part of the actual seat.

Doesn't look like i'll find something to suit my needs so may have to see if I can jury rig or make something.

AndyBSG
Posts: 382
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 11:16am

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby AndyBSG » 20 Jan 2015, 3:58pm

On a related note, stumbled across this while looking and quite impressed by it even if it's no use to me!

http://www.bikehacks.com/bikehacks/lights/

Image

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 12510
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 20 Jan 2015, 4:16pm

Hi,
Silicone grease from diving supplies etc will not affect any rubber at all.
As with all things you get a good light then cant mount it :?
One on the saddle pillar, one on my ruck sack, one each side of my rucksack.
If I am on a planned night ride or just even getting home in dark then its spare lights in the bag and batts too.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 18064
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Jan 2015, 6:21pm

Note that there are virtually no flashing and solid lights which satisfy the rvlr requirements.

There are a similar number of policemen who care, but probably more in-sewer-ants lawyers who would try to argue it...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16716
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby mjr » 20 Jan 2015, 6:34pm

http://www.cube.eu/en/equipment/accesso ... our-black/ (or the numerous clones on shopping websites) I think satisfies everything except flashing. I don't think flashing lights are good so I've not looked into them. A real stay mount should let you set the tilt so they point the right way.

Another possible approach would be a so-called "UFO" light which might hang below or behind your saddlebag. They usually have a tilt setting. Topeak light mounts aren't very good, so don't rule out all saddle/seatpost lights based on their example.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

andy65
Posts: 43
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 8:37am
Contact:

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby andy65 » 21 Jan 2015, 8:43pm

AndyBSG wrote:Also, seen some comments on rubbing a bit of grease around the seals in any lights to help with waterproofing. Anyone do this and know what sort of grease I should use?


Only use silicone grease otherwise you will rot the rubber seal.

Bikefayre
Posts: 176
Joined: 1 Dec 2014, 3:36pm

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby Bikefayre » 23 Jan 2015, 3:26pm

Comments removed!
Last edited by Bikefayre on 10 Feb 2015, 3:18pm, edited 1 time in total.

AndyBSG
Posts: 382
Joined: 10 Jul 2013, 11:16am

Re: Rear Light Recommendations

Postby AndyBSG » 2 Feb 2015, 4:26pm

Picked up a pair of the Smart 1/2 Watt lights at the weekend with mixed success.

The lights themselves are pretty good and come with two brackets of different sizes.... Neither of which fit on the rear stay of my Carerra Subway!

The smallest bracket is just too small and the bigger bracket is just a touch too big even with both the rubber packing strips. Got a couple of rubber strips from other lights laying around so hoping that adding those will help!