Planet Bike alternative

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orionz06
Participant
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I love the superflash mode of the Planet Bike headlights but want something that is USB rechargeable. Does it exist? I am going to acquire a Lupine Piko 3 as my primary light so this will be an extra blinky.


dmtroyer
Participant
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A google search brought up the Knog Boomer.

That said, the superflash runs on AAAs, so if USB charging is that important you can get usb chargers for AA/AAA on the cheap.


chemicaldave
Participant
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KBrooks
Participant
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Yes, such a light exists, and it’s pretty cool: Light & Motion’s Vis 180 – http://www.bikelights.com/vis180.html

It’s very bright and has a couple of side amber lights. Very accurate battery life indicator.

Kinda expensive for a blinky light, but worth it IMO. I’m still bummed that I left mine on a parked bike and it got swiped.

Rechargeables are cool, but they decrease in output as they drain, so that your light gets weaker.


orionz06
Participant
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Looking for a front blinky, like the Blaze 2W but without the hassle of AA’s.


BradQ
Participant
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Vetta makes one like what you’re looking for.

http://www.vetta.com/Productlist.aspx?sid=21


KBrooks
Participant
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Oh! I always think of “blinky” meaning red. But I see now you said you were looking for a headlight alternative.

But yes, there are more all the time… for a smaller and simpler one, Blackburn has the Flea, both USB and solar rechargeable. There’s also a Super Flea USB chargeable light.


orionz06
Participant
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How is the flashing on the Jupiter? Comparable to the Planet Bike? PB has what I think is the best flash mode I just want all things to be USB chargeable, if possible. I feel saving the money on disposable cells or a charging set up is better spent on a better light.


benstiglitz
Participant
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Performance has MiNewt on sale for I think $89 right now. Great light. USB.


orionz06
Participant
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Do the NiteRider lights have a flash mode similar to the superflash?


KBrooks
Participant
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The MiNewt lights do have a flash.

There’s also L&M Urban 180, Cateye Econom, and a few others in the $80-$100 range.


dmtroyer
Participant
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the L&M urban line does not have flash, fyi.

I did some research along these lines earlier this month and my personal opinion is that I’d rather have a replaceable battery than not. Even Lithium Ions will kick the bucket after a while.


orionz06
Participant
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Not just a flash, the high-off-low-off-low-off repeat type flash like the PB Blaze has.


KBrooks
Participant
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Ah, none that I know of do that multi-level flash thing.

I wouldn’t be surprised if PB comes out with a USB-chargeable version at some point. Doesn’t help you now, though.


mr marvelous
Participant
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orionz06
Participant
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@kbrooks

I am honestly surprised they don’t have one now. The size of the light could be reduced as well.


dwillen
Participant
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I invested in a pack of eneloop batteries and have been slowly incorporating them into everything I own. They claim 1,500 recharge cycles out of a battery. I’ve been recharging my blinky lights maybe once every month or two, so these should last me until I’m too old to ride a bike.


steevo
Participant
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I have a blackburn flea. It is really small

and easy to switch between bikes. USB charges

and is impressively bright.


dmtroyer
Participant
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there’s a recent review of a serfas usb front light on bikehugger that might suit your needs. the writer is very responsive I’m sure he would tell you what kind of flash it is.

(sorry if there’s a double post, I think my first got filtered).


RoadKillen
Participant
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The Blackburn Flea is the best be-seen light I’ve used so far.

It’s bright enough that I’ve used it as a backup headlight in the woods. The flash mode could possibly induce seizures. I get about 1.5 hours of run time on high.

I just bought a Serfas True 500 a week ago. This thing is bright enough for riding where there are no street lights.

It has 3 light level modes and a flash mode. Charges with a USB. This light is considerably more expensive than a be-seen sort of light though.


orionz06
Participant
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I am waiting on a Lupine Piko for my “see” light, so I am covered there. I am looking for an additional “be seen” light that is USB chargeable with an attention grabbing strobe mode. Planet Bike has that with their superflash mode.


dmtroyer
Participant
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That serfas light I mentioned is on closeout at REI for $10.


orionz06
Participant
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Bought the PB 2w light for my on-bike “see me” light. The alternatives were getting up there in price. Once I factor in a good charger and batteries I can also use those batteries for other devices where as the permanent battery of another does not offer that versatility.


orionz06
Participant
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Yeah this light is an obnoxious POS. Anyone have a decent solution to quiet it down? Their is an internal rattle that is not 100% battery and annoying as hell.


Pseudacris
Participant
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I have an axiom spark front blinky that I bought from performance on sale. On the plus side, its tiny, lightweight, quiet, USB rechargeable – the size of a thumb drive and easy to mount/dismount. On the downside, IMHO it is only good as a blinky, not for finding holes. And, I find the runtime to be shy of what is advertised. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1097527_-1_1588500_20000_400903

I will add that the silicone mounting strap is great but the USB part is really narrow and wiggles around in its slot — I always wonder if it is getting good connectivity.


melange396
Participant
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@pseudacris, that looks like a re-brand of the serfas light that @dmtroyer mentioned above.

i bought it from rei after he told us it was on sale, and ive been pretty happy with it. i agree: its not good for finding holes; but it does have a mode where it flickers at a fast and annoyingly eye-catching frequency, so i think (hope) its good for catching drivers attention. it very easily mounts to my helmet, so i can point the beam at whatever i can see (which is typically oncoming cars).


orionz06
Participant
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I have one of these mounted on my helmet: http://www.lapolicegear.com/streamlight-protac-2aa.html

Very good on strobe, 13hz rate. 4 hours on strobe with 2 AA’s. My Lupine is better except I don’t have it because they haven’t been shipped over and the one I borrowed is no longer with me.

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