Monday, March 11, 2013

Review - Planetbike Superflash Turbo

Awhile back whilst riding to work I managed to lose my rear flasher that I had clipped onto my backpack. The light must of slipped off the strap it was clipped to because when I got to work my backpack was lightless. As it was my plan to do some serious night riding I was concerned. So after work I stopped at my favorite local bike shop - Thick Bikes and was determined to get a cheap blinker and be on my way. I wasn't going to spend a lot of money to have the light end up in pieces on the street after sliding of the strap like the last one.

That's not what happened.

After tooling into the shop (Indoor bike parking!) and talking to Chris (the owner) for a little while. I looked at the different blinky lights. I noticed that one of the lights was so bright it could only be described as offensively bright. At 34$ this was more than I wanted to spend  considering what happened to the last one.

This is where having a local bike shop really pays off. I told Chris what happened to my last one, I showed him where I had it attached to my backpack and he showed me how to keep that from happening. Try doing that with an online store.

The light I bought is the Planet Bike Superflash Turbo. The light retailed at thick bikes for $33.99 + tax (which is also the price on the planetbike website at the time of this writing) and comes with a battery and several different options for mounting. Here are the specs from the website

  • One Watt Power LED plus 2 red LEDs for visibility up to 1 mile
  • New attention-grabbing Turbo flash pattern
  • Turbo flash mode is highly visible, even in daylight
  • Ultra compact vertical design is weatherproof, lightweight and durable
  • Includes bike mounts and clip mount for multiple mounting options
  • Soft-touch power switch accesses flashing or steady mode for up to 100 hours of run time on two AAA batteries
  • weighs 75 grams with batteries

The website also claims this to be the best taillight in the world.  I don't know about best in the world but it is the best one I have used to date. (did I mention offensively bright) The price was a little more than I expected it is worth every penny. I noticed that I could see the light from the blinky bouncing off the walls of buildings as I rode down the street, and when you are on a bike at night you need everything you can get to be more visible. So if you're looking for a new rear blinky or even if you aren't check out the superflash turbo. I think you will be surprised at how bright this little light is.

Now for how Chris secured the light to my backpack. one word. ziptie.

After clipping the light to the strap he ziptied the clip closed around the body of the light. You might also notice that ziptie lays between the lower LED lights so it doesn't block the light from either of them.


I have had several of my friends ask me why I prefer to have the rear blinky on my back instead of on the bike. Actually I would prefer to have lights on both the bike and my backpack but at the rate I manage to break them I usually only have one blinky. That being said, if I only have one light I would prefer it on my backpack for several reasons.  First reason, if the light is on my backpack it is higher up and, hopefully, more visible. Second reason, being the multi modal person that I am i find myself walking to bus stop in the dark, on morning that I don't take my bike. When walking in the dark the 3/8 mile to the bus stop I feel more visible with that blinky letting drivers know I'm there on the side of the road. Third and final reason, I just feel better knowing when I lock my bike up that the lights and cyclometer go with me. so not having the light attached to the bike is just one less thing I have to take off the bike when I lock it up.

I hope you will give this blinky a gander and if you are in Pittsburgh I hope you will give Thick Bikes a visit.

1 comment:

  1. It's a good idea to zip tie things to the bike when you use it as a commuter. It won't stop someone bent on stealing your blinkies or cyclometer if they're intent, but it will slow them down or prompt them to look for easier pickings on other bikes.