Monday, December 21, 2009

Planet Bike Super Flash LED Rear Light Review

OK - kind of weird to be reviewing a $15 rear blinkie.  Not much to be said about this - I've been cycling through crappy rear lights (pun intended) for over 10 years and this is simply the best for two reasons: 1) it's bright as hell with the 1/2 watt led flash and 2) it has a solid bracket and mounting system.  I just bought another one so I'll have two of these going at once.

The brightness of this thing is superior.  You are visible from a long ways away and the blinking pattern creates a defining flash that really captures your attention.  You get two brackets with this - one for a seatpost mount and one for a seat stay mount.  You can also just clip the thing, sans bracket, on a belt, cloth loop on your bag, etc. (see below)  The seat stay mount is great if you have a short seat post with a seat post bag.  I assume you could mount the seat stay bracket on a rear rack, as well.  Once the thing is put into the bracket, it stays there.  I've lost many a removable rear lights through shoddy bracket mounts, so this is key for me - I commute on crappy pavement and have several bumpy downhill stretches, so I need something that won't go flying off.

One this really needs to be addressed by Planet Bike in order to make this the perfect rear light - it needs a locking mechanism on the "clip" so when you clip it onto a bag it doesn't come flying off.  Nothing fancy - just a little thumb screw that you can tighten that would "complete the loop" on the clip, preventing the thing from flying off of your bag when you hit a bump.  The other night, this new light flew off my Seal Line backpack when I was hammering home (late for dinner!) and hit a little bump.  I really appreciate the fact you can clip it onto things, but there needs to be a better way to secure it once it is clipped on.  For now, I'll make due with a piece of duct tape on the bottom.

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