|Clever name- Bang for the buck|
The cycling world is full of red blinky devices that are designed to warn of your presence on bike paths, roads, and on trails whether it is dark or not. So, when another light hits the market, it gets a "ho-hum" response. I mean.....how many different models of blinky tail lights do we really need?
The red blinker market has some pretty heavy hitters that have the latest in LED emitters, high Lumen out put, and recharge via USB ports, since, ya know, everybody lives and rides near a computer, right? You'd think so anyway.
The Planet Bike company doesn't seem to think so, and felt that maybe not everybody would pony up for $25.00-$60.00 rear blinkies. So, they introduced the "Grateful Red" tail light. Planet Bike has always had some pretty decent rear blinkies all along, so I had big expectations for this cleverly named light. Here's the spew from their site:
- PB power array™ and reflector provide visibility for up to 1 mile
- Steady, Superflash™ and Courtesy™ flash modes
- Ultra compact case is weatherproof, lightweight, and durable
- Rear rack and seat post mounts included
- Up to 150 hours of run time on 2 AAA batteries (included)
- 85 grams
|The Grateful Red comes with a nice mount, or you can clip it on a strap|
The "Courtesy Mode" is what I ended up using almost all the time. It is a mode that melds a steady light with an "on-off", slow, soft glowing that I found pleasant, and resulted in much more courteous passing by motorists during my Winter commutes. It was definitely a noticeable thing, as I found out if I left it off, the cars were passing me much closer, as usual without a light, than if I had the light on Courtesy Mode".
Okay, so what else? It's a replaceable battery powered light, isn't that a bad thing? I don't know.......is it? Get some rechargeable AAA's and go with that then. My take is that if the light goes dim or quits, I probably will not be around a computer, or I won't have time to sit and wait for however many minutes or hours that an LED light that recharges via USB would take to recharge. Batteries? A few minutes or less, swap out two batteries, done for another 150 hours of use. Sounds good to me. Plus, if you ride any all-nighters or do lots of long distance, "out there" type of stuff, packing two triple "A"'s isn't a big deal, and you don't have to try to find a computer to recharge your "device light".
UPDATE: A friend gently reminded me about rechargeable power packs and that those could be used as a way to extend a USB rechargeable blinky's battery in a pinch. Okay, but that's really not much different than swapping batteries, only batteries work right away. Plus, batteries, and the Grateful Red light, cost a lot less. Still, that's a great point and a viable way to go.
My only quibble is that the clip, like so many LED blinky light clips, isn't very "clampy", and I ended up losing my Grateful Red just yesterday somewhere. The thing is, the MSRP is $19.99, so I'm not out a lot for replacing it.
And trust me, I am replacing this one. It's a good little blinky for not a lot of cabbage.
Planet Bike provided the Grateful Red used in this review at no charge. I was not paid nor bribed for this review, and I really am going to buy another one to replace the one I lost. So there!