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Home » bicycle commute » Bike Commuting Part 3 of ???: Bike Tail Lights

Bike Commuting Part 3 of ???: Bike Tail Lights

With how little attention people pay to the road when they’re driving (there are texts to be sent and emails to be read, after all), I want to make myself as visible as possible to drivers approaching from behind. I figure that some drivers are only going to look up at the road for a split second, and I need to grab their attention in that small amount of time.  For this reason, I ride with at least one tail light on at all times, day or night.  I often think that we cyclists pay so much attention to how visible we are at night, that we neglect to think about how easy/difficult it is for drivers to see us on the road during the day.

It didn’t take me long to determine what tail light I wanted on my bike. When I first saw a review and video of the Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo, I knew it was the one I wanted to be riding with. Since then, I’ve seen a few other cyclists with the light (it has a very distinct flash pattern), and it definitely outshines most if not all other tail lights that I’ve seen in use.

Here’s a quick video I took of my light in action, taken from about 25′ away.

As you can see, it randomly alternates between bright flashes and less bright flashes.

On the downside, I ran into an issue with my SuperFlash Turbo a couple of months after I purchased it. The plastic over the button began to crack, and I would often have to open the case to turn it on or off. I emailed Planet Bike about warranty service, and was told to send it in and they’d replace it. I have another tail light that I could use while I sent the light away, but it pales in comparison to this one. Since I didn’t want to ride without the SuperFlash Turbo, I ordered another one to use while I sent in the original, and to have a backup for the future.

Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo - old style button (broken)

Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo – broken button (broken)

When the new one that I had purchased arrived, I discovered that they had since changed the button style on the unit, a welcome improvement. Not only does it appear to be more durable, but you can now feel the clicks as you turn the light on/off. This is handy when turning the light on while sitting on the bike. (The replacement I received from Planet Bike was the newer style button as well).

Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo - Old button style (left) and new button style (right)

Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo – Old button style (left) and new button style (right)

The SuperFlash Turbo has two modes – on and blinking. Previously I had only used the blinking mode, but now that I have two lights I keep one on steady and one on blinking. I feel that this increases my visibility even more.  Here’s a quick video with both lights on, also taken from about 25 feet away (the brightness made my camera go wonky, sorry for the blue line down the middle of the video!):

Do  you use a tail light day or night?  
What light do you use?

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2 Comments

  1. piratebobcat says:

    That’s a good idea. I’m scared every time I ride my bike, and even when I have to run on a street. It seems like everyone is on their phones when they should be paying attention to the roads!

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