Improved from last year, the Road Toad now features a high/low beam, a low battery indicator light, and comes in fun translucent colors. Xenon bulb features 2.4 watts of power on low beam, and 4.8 watts of power on high beams. Low battery indicator comes on when battery reaches less than 20% battery life to warn you of impending doom. Mounts easily to handlebars with a quick-release mounting system that requires no tools. Weatherproof cover lets you ride in inclement weather. Batteries are included. Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.
Strengths: reply N\A at this time due to lack of use of product.
Weaknesses: reply N\A at this time due to lack of use of product.
I cannot give an accurate summary because at the time I purchased this Vistalite Road Toad (#VL600) which was 15 years ago, I was trying to fix an old bike. I never got the bike fixed right . Fifteen years later I pruchased a new bike and my problem is I cannot find the mounting bracket to the light. How do I go about purchasing a mounting bracket?
a Weekend Warrior
from Birmingham, Al USA
Date Reviewed: November 8, 2005
Strengths: Easy to mount.
Weaknesses: Very dim light, bad light pattern, batteries do not last very long.
I recently purchased this light and was very satisfied at the ease of installation. Unfortunately once on a well known trail at night I had to ride behind my friend who has a battery LED light just to see (this was after the crash DUE TO LOW LIGHT). This light is extremely dim and I would only recommend it to a roadie who is going to ride on a well lit street. It works well letting traffic know you are there. Other than that, it's garbage.
Weaknesses: Battery life, turns off when you hit bumps, even small ones
I pretty much agree with what's been said in the other reviews, but wanted to add something about the problem with the light turning off when you hit bumps, even small ones. It's not the switch that's at fault, it's the dumb decision they made to have springs only on the negative end of each battery slot. The end of the slot where the positive end of the battery sits is just a flat bit of metal, and any very brief interruption in the current will cause the circuit board to switch the light off. You can make it far more resistant to this by making little pads of aluminum foil to pad the positive ends of the batteries, ensuring a tighter fit. Be careful not to short circuit anything though. Springs on both ends would be even better, of course...
Weaknesses: Lousy light pattern, eats batteries, glare from the semi clear case kills your nightvision.
I wouldn't pay for one of these. I got this one because I bought a rear light at my LBS ... that one broke in the box, the next one had messed up electronics so the only rear LED light the LBS had left was a the classic big square Vistalite in a package with the Road Toad front light. So basically I paid nothing for the front light and $8 for the rear. First off, the rear light that comes in this package is awesome ... I have an older model that I bought years ago and it still works after being drenched dozens of times (it's now on the back of a small tractor snow plow). The new model has a "Cylon" mode that is equal to flashing for power saving and way better than flashing for visibility (easier for a driver to judge your distance) not to mention it looks damned cool. However I find several flaws in the front light ...
The semi clear case was the first thing I noticed. It looks stupid for one, but it also has a very negative effect on night vision. I have better than average night vision and when I drive a car I'm used to lowering the dash lights to the barest minimum. The glare from the case is just awful ... what were the designers thinking?!? I took the whole thing apart and spray painted the *inside* black which fixed that problem. The second thing I noticed was the light pattern isn't that good. Not unusual for this type of light, but I'm used to the wonderful pattern of my LED Cat Eye EL 500. At least, the light pattern is somewhat even. The light eats through batteries big time as well. I killed the batteries it came with in a single night.
Since I didn't pay for this light I'm not to disappointed right now, but considering how wonderful the rear light is it's surprising the front is not very functional. I'm hoping the LED version of this light is better. For now, I have this mounted as a secondary light, in addition to my Cat Eye EL 500, pointed down to light up the area immediately in front of my tire for really dark places, and as the only light when I ride in the well lit city in the rain as only a safety light (since I would hate for my Cat Eye to get trashed). I'll probably give this light to a little kid soon though, as it really isn't useful to me.
Spend a little more on a better light. If you ride regularly in the dark the extra cost of the batteries will equal the price difference in a month, or maybe even less than that.
Similar Products Used: Cat Eye EL500, Trek Celestial and tons of cheeper lights over the years.
Bike Setup: Old School Mongoose Alta, Shimano Exage 500 LX everything, Biopace, Araya rims, WTB Nanoraptor tires, Proponent canti's, Kool Stop brake pads, Zefal full fenders, Delta rear rack, Sigma sport computer ... my wet weather city / path bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2003
Strengths: makes a rider visible at night
Weaknesses: light pattern is terrible (not very good to see where you are going), battery life is short, uses too many batteries (4 AA), separate mounting bracket which is awkward to re-attach after removing.
I really did not know much about bicycle lights. I asked for headlights and taillights to be installed on two new 2003 Rincons, as an after thought. The dealer added the Roadtoad combination taillight and headlight.
The taillight is super. I couldn't ask for better. I went out and bought two more of the taillights only, for my kid's bikes.
However, the headlight is really bad. It eats 4 AA alkaline batteries in a couple of hours and the light pattern is confused by dark and light banding both vertically and horizontally. It looks like a confused patchwork that is not very good for seeing where you are going in the dark.
I removed the Roadtoads from the Rincons and put them on my teenage kids bikes, so they could ride home after dark, on rare occasions, and not get hit by a car. (They don't bike very much.) If you rarely bike at night, are mostly concerned that you might get hit by a car, and you just want to be legal, you may consider buying this light since it is inexpensive.
I bought two new BLT Super Doppler headlights ($45 CDN each) for the Rincons. These lights are far superior, with 200 hour battery life (claimed) for 2 AA batteries and enough uniform light (30,000 MCD) to ride single track at night (at moderate speed.)
Similar Products Used: BLT Super Doppler 3-LED head light (30,000 MCD)
Bike Setup: Roadtoad headlight/tailight combo. 2003 Giant Rincons with 11-34 mega-range cassettes, Tranz-X suspension seat posts, RST Capa TL with hard spring retrofit. Echo-7 bike computers. Kenda OEM road/off-road cross-over tires.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2003
Strengths: It emits light. OK mounting system. Mounting clamp available separately.
Weaknesses: Where to start? Light sucks batteries. Turns off spontaneously whenever you go over a bump. Crappy mechanical design/materials: difficult/annoying to open up for battery changes. One of the latches which holds the two halves together broke within days of buying the thing.
I've been waiting for years for this damn thing to break so I can finally replace it. Unfortunately, it doesn't die, even after being dropped a few times from a moving bike.
Basically I'm stuck in limbo with a totally mediocre light which is a pain in the ass to use, but is too durable to just fall to pieces like I want it to. I've really gotten my money's worth from it, but I hate the thing.
Similar Products Used: Planetbike, Specialized, Vistalite blinky
Bike Setup: Which one?
a Weekend Warrior
from Santa Cruz, CA
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2003
Strengths: It lights the road and makes you visible (if people are looking, of course).
Weaknesses: Not the brightest, sucks down batteries, switch sensitive to road noise.
This might be the cheapest light you can find, but you'll end up paying for it in the cost of batteries. I get only 1.5-2 hours on a set. The "low battery indicator" in my experience gives only about 5 minutes warning. Even if you don't see the red light, you notice that the light is much dimmer. Also, the light is very susceptable to road noise-- when I go over a bump or though a pothole it is prone to turn off, causing me to turn it back on again. I wish I had spent $5-$10 more and gotten a better light.
Similar Products Used: Cateye small lights, cygo and cateye headlights
Bike Setup: XT level Sintessi
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle WA
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2002
Strengths: They work
Weaknesses: battery life (same as any)
I used NiCad rechargeable AA batteries and always carried spares. Used only one light for a while but then, decided to buy a second. Use one at a time and then change batteries on the dead one so I could go longer (Seattle gets dark in the fall/winter/summer). Whaddya want for $15 anyway? Replacement/diff bulbs are available at radio shack. The beam of light is actually quite nice. Much better than most pencil beam lights. It's more about being seen than anything else though when you ride at night when urban riding.
a Cross Country Rider
from Royal Oak
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2001
Strengths: Hi/Li adjustment. LED low battery indicator. Cheap.
Weaknesses: Glare from clear plastic housing shines in my eyes. Cheap.
In very dark conditions the glare from this light seriously hinders the effectiveness of this light. Ihave tried to put black electricle tape on it but that will not stick for very long. Also I use lithium AA batteries in it for 2 reasons. They last 2-3 times longer then Alkaline and are much lighter. I wish I had bought the cat eye but my next light will be one of those expensive H.I.D. lighting systems. No more messing around with this Donald Duck stuff for me.
We used the original art:
And came up with this:
[IMG]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Ro6hs-9RXzI/S5rPmMKfnmI/AAAAAAAAAXU/EDOpqQvo5YE/s800/ORT-Decal-set-just-decal-square.jpg[/IMG]Read More »
Has anyone seen this?
it looks like they're coming back. I hope so. They were always one of my favorite bikes back in the day. If they do modern versions of their classics, a 29er would be choice. There's not a lot of info on the site yet. Does anyone ... Read More »