a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle, Wasshington
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2009
Strengths: Incredibly bright. Compared to the standard $20 blinky you look like a police car.
Weaknesses: Pretty expensive, until you compare it to the cost of getting hit by a car.
I'm a commuter in Seattle, and during the winter I ride a lot in the dark. When I drive at night I notice that it's hard to see bikes, even when they have blinkies for taillights. In the city there's lots of other lights and distractions, and it's easy to lose sight of a taillight because of other light sources like car lights and signs and reflections. I got rid of my blinkies and got this light, and now I KNOW I'm seen. I've noticed that cars seem to give me more room, and I feel a lot safer. The mount is pretty basic, and the light is easy to remove and take with me. If you ride in traffic, or if it's important for you to be seen, this is the light for you. There's nothing else like it.
A K Rider
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2009
Strengths: Brightness, construction, design and customer service
Weaknesses: None so far
commute to work and wanted a taillight that could actually be seen.
When I drive, I have noticed that all the $25-40 red flashers I see on other bikers are pretty weak. Even PB Superflashers, which I was using, are pretty lame.
So, I started looking at high end taillights. To my surprise, DiNotte was the only manufacturer who offers this. OK, DiNotte it is!
The DiNotte 400R looked like overkill and I really didn’t want to spend that much on a taillight anyway.
No regrets on the DiNotte 140R. It is extremely bright.
The unit actually lights up the road itself behind the bike.
Many red flashers look bright inside the store when held at arms length. Out on the road, from any distance at all, proves how weak they really are. The DiNotte 140R is different.
It is so far ahead of the regular blinkys that comparison is really not possible. It would be like comparing a candle to a Surefire.
I have absolutely no doubt that every motorist overtaking me sees this light from a long way off. (Unless they are texting, reading, putting on makeup, etc.)
I like fact that DiNotte offers, even suggests, to sell the unit with or without a charger and AA batteries. These are readily available at any store for very little money.
I also like that this unit doesn’t use an expensive proprietary battery. Sure, run times may be less than a larger Li-Ion unit, but charged AA spares are easily carried. I really don’t want another proprietary charger around the house anyway.
I have reflective tape all over my bike, pack and helmet. I also wear Hi-Viz yellow jackets, use a front flasher, and have a 700 lumen Seca headlamp, so I am pretty visible.
With this taillight, I’ve done all I can do.
a Cross Country Rider
from White Bear Lake, MN USA
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2007
Strengths: Extremely bright, beautifully constructed, nice seatpost mounting bracket, 6 light patterns, decent run time for AAs.
Weaknesses: When mounted on the included seatpost bracket the on/off button is somewhat difficult to access. Making the bracket stick out a 1/4 inch longer would solve this trivial issue.
The Dinotte tail light is second to none! Motorists WILL give you more room when passing. I was amazed at the pattern it puts down on the road. Just the aura is attention grabbing. If you’re sick of dealing with junk do yourself a favor and buy a Dinotte tail light. I’m sure I have enough cheap-o blinkies lying around to almost pay for a Dinotte.
In my opinion, the o-rings mounting system is awesome. In less than a minute you can have it mounted on another bike. This is unlike other blinkies in which you’ll have to purchase extra mounting brackets or spend much more time moving them from bike to bike. Should an o-ring break or you need one with better tension for your mounting needs just make a trip to the local hardware store.
I also make use of it in daylight hours. During the Fall long shadows are cast from trees on to the roads. Again, the Dinotte tail light prevents you from becoming lost in the shadows. Other tail lights simply cannot put out a commanding flash in such conditions.
I don't criticize the price one bit. This is a safety device in a league of its own and well worth the expense.
Similar Products Used: LOTS of other cheap-o blinkies. Should have bought the Dinotte to begin with!
Bike Setup: Commuting. I probably wouldn't use this light on trails due to its blinding nature.
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: October 17, 2007
Strengths: EXTREMELY bright. There is no way a car wont see you. Very small and compact so it is easy to find a spot to mount it.
Weaknesses: Idiotic and flimsy mounting system. For this much money I'd expect something much much better. Battery life for NiMH AA's is not stellar.
Fantastically bright and compact tail light. Havent seen anything brighter than this. I will probably make a mounting system that is better than the flimsy piece of O ring crap it comes with. Battery life on AA's is kind of mediocre, bring spares. All in all a great light since the mounting issue is solvable. I'd certainly recommend this for use in traffic. I dont think this is needed for on the trail, it will blind the person behind you and destroy their night vision.
from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2007
Strengths: Bright! Light, compact design. Bike commuter's dream, crushes the competition.
Weaknesses: None yet. Costs alotta coin. The only real drawback is that it blinds riders you pass. I heard a guy mutter, "Jeezus", when passing him at 6 A.M. the other day.
Brilliant tail light. Expensive relative to cheaper LEDs, but worth every penny. I bike commute and my ride home takes about an hour at 2 A.M., so I need to be seen. So far I've been amazed by the response of motorists. Cars leave me a lot of room. People have told me that at several hundred yards it still looks "like a star or constellation". Enough said.
If you are a dedicated bike commuter or just need to be seen on the road, look no further.
Purchased At: Bike Tires Direct (came with rechargeables and recharger)
Similar Products Used: Many cheaper LEDs costing $15 to $30.
Bike Setup: Cervelo R3 w/DA gruppo.
from Titusville, FL, USA
Date Reviewed: April 6, 2007
Strengths: Brightness, size and apperance, multiple modes, time of operation.
Weaknesses: Nothing significant. The strap / battery pack needed a little fiddling for my application, but no big deal.
I recently started riding a Catrike Road, recumbent tricycle, switching from a DF bike after 30 years. I ride on the road, in traffic, so with a recumbent trike, being visible to traffic is very important. The DiNotte tailight is an extremely bright red light, with bright, dim, and flash functions. I mounted two on 45 degree Swingrips flanking my rack bag and use them day and night in the flash mode. If you want to change modes you just reach over the shoulder and push a button. I had an A Type rider pull up and talk to me about the lights on a recent ride; I have never had an A Type do this before in 30 years of riding. The lights run 12 hours on flash, and you can switch battery packs if necessary.
DiNotte lights, besides being very bright, add a nice high tech complement to my already unusual Catrike.
The icing on the cake has been the super way the DiNotte customer service has treated me.
I recommend DiNotte lights to anyone who plays in traffic and wants to be seen.
Bike Setup: Catrike Road, recumbent tadpole tricycle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dallas, Texas, USA
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2007
Strengths: Small light weight, water proof, and most important BRIGHT!
Weaknesses: Poor mounting location, rubs on your leg.
I bought the light and could not stand how it rubbed on my leg. I fashioned a mount out of a 3" section of broom handle (high tech) and mounted it to the saddle rails using sections of a old tube as heavy duty rubber bands.
Now I can adjust the elevation of where it is aimed and no more rubbing on my leg. I showed a buddy of mine the light and how it lights up the alley at night and he bought one as well. Great light, I have tried just about all the higher quality lights out there and this one is simply in a league of it’s own.
Do not let the price determine if you buy one. It’s safety equipment, and arguably the best of it’s kind (tail lights) currently on the market!
a Cross Country Rider
from Charlottesville, VA
Date Reviewed: November 29, 2006
Strengths: Quality of construction. Very well thought out in terms of operation. Uses rechargable NiMH batts.
Weaknesses: Brushes the inside of my thigh with every pedal stroke.
OK, I have to ditto all of the positives from the other reviews. I really love well made things, and this light certainly fits this description The issue of leg contact is minor to me--The light gently reminds me that it is there, but I can't help but think that some bright person at Dinotte(no pun intended) could come up with a simple and effective mount to place the light under the seat. It is far too bright to consider a helmet mount. Speaking of which, I am expecting a helmet mount from Dinotte and will attempt to use it to mount under the seat. I have heard comments that being hit from behind is far less common than other types of bike-car altercations, however the percentage of fatalities from being rear ended is higher. I am glad this product exists, and I am very motivated to use it.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fayetteville, Arkansas
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2006
Strengths: VERY bright, good spillbeam, good AA battery life, flash sequence
This was $120 well spent. This tail light is far and away the brightest, most attention-getting example I have seen. The instructions even caution you to mount it to prevent aiming it directly at the drivers behind you! After years of wondering if the cars coming up behind me actually notice my tail light, I now have confidence they do. What a great feeling! The LED (a 3W Luxeon I think) emits 140 Lumens, and the flash pattern reminds me of that of a highway patrol car. And the Dinotte is not subject to the criticism I have read for other "bright" tail lights; that the beam is too unidirectional. This light is quite visible for a significant arc away from the center. Since I regularly ride two bikes, I mounted the Dinotte on my helmet. By lucky coincidence, the Schwinn helmet I bought at Wally has a little shelf at the rear which easily accepts the light and battery with minimal modification. This light is so bright I use it during the day as well. Buy this light if you can afford it. If a driver rear ends you, it won't be because he didn't see you!
Similar Products Used: innumerable blinkies, beginning with the old "Belt Beacon" in the 70's
Bike Setup: Two bikes, both commuters, one with Golden Eagle bike engine. L&M HID headlight and Dinotte tail light, both helmet mounted
from Portland, OR USA
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2006
Strengths: Until you are holding a DiNotte light in your hand, there is no way to truly appreciate its diminutive size, weigh or the precision that went into its making. It is a "jewel" of a light. On top of that, it is by far the brightest tail light I have ever seen. I think it even out shines my Lightman Xenon strobe!
Weaknesses: On/off button is too small forlarge fingers or gloves. I would like to see an alternative mount, something more traditional and a remote switch.
Similar Products Used: Lightman strobe, various other LED blinkers
from Delmar, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2006
Strengths: Super bright, long life, primo customer service
Weaknesses: Seatpost mount interferes with my pedal stroke
Now that I've figured out a way to get this thing mounted on my bike, I wouldn't consider riding at night without it. I'm told it even draws attention in the daylight.
I'd echo what the previous reviewer said on all points. Rob has been super helpful in answering questions and providing support. A pleasant surprise from a small company.
As for the mounting issues, I found that no matter where I put it on the seatpost, my leg would hit it when I pedaled. I finally settled on a combination of their helmet mount and cable ties to stick this thing under my seat bag. Looks much better than it sounds, honest.
Aside from offering some alternative mounting options, I can't think of a way to improve this thing! I hear people talk about the price compared to other choices, but the other options simply don't compare in terms of visibility. NR makes a bright one too, but that requires their battery, I think.
This tail light is unbelieveably bright! When I first connected the batteries and turned it on I made the mistake of having the tail light pointing at my face. The shock of the brightness blinded me and knocked me over! This is quite simply the brightest tail light I have ever used. I used to swear by the cateye TL-LD1000 but this is in another league so the cateye has been relegated to backup duties!
I won't comment too much on it's trail usage except to say that my riding companions have commented that they could save batteries by turning their lights off when riding behind me as this tail light is so bright.
However I mainly use it for commuting and this is where it's real strength can be seen. I ride 57miles into work most mornings and get the train back. This is not you average 2-3 mile ride! Most of it is on a large multi-lane road with cars passing at 70mph. In the dark it can be a bit hazardous but having tried out this new light I feel much safer! Cars seem to assume that I'm either a bike or a car with only one light so they pass well clear of me rather than zooming by as close as possible. I can't tell you how much safer this makes you feel!
Both front and rear lights also give just enough light spill out to the side to warn drivers coming out of turnings without blinding you at the same time.
Battery life is very good (marginally better than stated on the website I've found) and the best bit is that if the batteries do start to go then I can just buy another set of AAs!
They are very light (I'd say way less than 80 grams excluding batteries) and mounting them is really simple with the o-ring system. It also holds them surprisingly secure.
Finally, I'd like to add that the guys at Dinotte are great! Customer service in the US does seem to be generally a notch above the UK but Rob takes it to a whole new level. All my e-mailed questions were answered within a few hours of asking them, he gave me a discount on the lights AND he threw in some very good batteries.
I think the price is excellent. I paid $300 for both the front and the rear and for that price got shipping to the UK included. You'll be hard pressed to find any light of approaching this quality for up to twice the price. To exceed the quality (in terms of brightnes only) you really have to go for a full on set of Lupines (~$1000 each) and even they aren't that much brighter.
As I've not had them very long at all I can't comment on reliability etc but I will report back when I've had them a bit longer
Weaknesses: Too cool for my bike :(
Amazingly bright, good value, well made, easy to use, good customer service and seriously good looking!
If you commute then buy one (and a front light to go with it)!