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Speaking of bike lights: A great ad from a local company

Posted by on February 15th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Check out the new bit of advertising from local company Portland Design Works. …

Awesome new ad poster from PDW by Kevin Murphy.

PDW’s Dan Powell says they’re going to do a run of these posters to hang in their local dealers. “If people are into them, we can print some more… We’re pretty stoked with how it turned out!”

The art was done by new PDW employee Kevin Murphy. Thumbs up Kevin!

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Brad
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Brad

Don’t you think this is as tasteless as combining bike fatality and “Portlandia”?

Harald
Guest

I agree on the tasteless assessment. In addition, this is very close to good ol’ victim blaming. If only the cyclist had had a better/three/ten bike lights, worn a helmet, …
I’m sure that was not the intention of Jonathan, but that’s what it says to me.

Toby
Guest
Toby

Wow, talk about a streeeeetch. You’re seriously pulling out your “Blame the victim” card on this? Also, I don’t get the fatality/Portlandia referrence, but then I s’pose I tend not to read so much into things. (and I thought I was a cynic)

Speaking of Portlandia; (not adressed to anyone in particular, btw) A week or so ago I was waiting at the bike crossing above the steel bridge while it was red and I heard a tweat. Then this DB comes blowing through the light with whistle in mouth. Even though he blew through that light he waited at the transit center light as well as all the lights along the Williams corridor. Passing people on the right, nearly hitting an old man crossing the street in a marked crosswalk by the park (seriously, the DB was behind me at this point and I stopped for the old guy to cross, as did the cars and DB blasts past me and when he was inches from the ped, he blows his freakin whistle at him!), nearly running into a cyclist that was merging into the bike lane while the rest of us were stopped for the ped, whistling whenever he stopped and at least once when he started back up.

It takes all kinds!

Perry Hunter
Guest
Perry Hunter

Not even a little bit.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I have the danger zone back light .. how i roll..
BTW PDW using some sweet LEDS. : )

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh

I want a poster!

NW Biker
Guest
NW Biker

Me, too!

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Awesome poster, no need to conflate a bike accessory company with situations which they were not a part of.

I own a Radbot 1 watt, and it is bright as all get out. The strobe-pulse-strobe is seriously eye-catching.

Dominic
Guest
Dominic

Feel free to ship one to Out-Spoke-n Cycles in Huntington Beach, CA

David Haines
Guest
David Haines

Love my Radbot. People on 2, 4, and 6 wheels have commented on how bright it is.

Gregg B
Guest

How do the lights, and the mounting hardware, compare to the PlanetBike SuperFlash?

Mark C
Guest
Mark C

I have both, and these are better.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Gregg B,
The PDW guys came from Planetbike. The mounts are identical (both lights will work on the same bracket). The Radbot 1000 even comes with a rack bracket.

The Radbot 500 uses the same strength LED as the Superflash (1/2 watt), while the Radbot 1000 has double the brightness (1 watt). Plus you get a built-in reflector. Can’t go wrong.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

the mounts are well-designed and secure, the switch is easy to use and they don’t short out when wet.

they are much brighter than a superflash. in fact, they are brighter than the low setting on my dinotte 140R.

Tim
Guest

I don’t understand how a company with a name like Portland Design Works could design such an aesthetically disgusting collection of lights.

Here! Take your beautiful custom frameset and strap these hideous plastic orbs onto it!

Rob
Guest
Rob

Ahh, but your beautiful, custom frameset isn’t Portland functional (why – other than vanity – would one buy an uber-expesive frame to ride in the rain?). It’s just like the cool black rain jackets…very aesthetic, but not for riding in PDX….

toby
Guest
toby

Well, there is a sweet (and dirty) Vanilla that I see nearly every day at school, rain or shine, not what lights she has though 😉

maxadders
Guest
maxadders

Oh my god, what will your racing-club-mates think if they see a non-aesthetically-perfect safety device strapped to your designer velocipede?!?!

Actually, PDW’s stuff is generally way too pricey for my average-joe-commuter needs. My Superflash is more than adequate (I’ve even had a cop pull up and ask where he could buy one for his own bike).

Anyhow, I dig the poster.

Tomas Quinones
Guest

Really? Isn’t this subjective?

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

great poster! I want one!

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I like it! (Hope it’s enough original that they don’t get into some kind of copyright problems.).

I’m always grateful seeing that cyclists have at least some kind of lighting on their bikes, but much of the lighting being used is barely adequate for being seen.

There definitely needs to be more effort to somehow acquaint the public with the difference between a legal bike light of minimal illumination, and one that’s bright enough and big enough to allow a driver to readily detect a cyclist’s presence on the road.

PDW’s light housing design for its headlights look o.k. in the poster. The general styling is not unlike some of NiteRiders and Cygolite’s. I’ll probably go check their website for a closer look.

Benjamin
Guest
Benjamin

Beats the heck out of the Knog ads….

Carl (BTA)
Guest

PDW rocks. That’s why we used their lights in our most recent bike lights PSA: http://vimeo.com/19678357

Keep up the great work, guys. We need one of those posters here at the office!

Tomas Quinones
Guest

I really appreciated my light! Thanks BTA…I just wish mine wasn’t stolen a month later 🙁

David Feldman
Guest
David Feldman

As proprietor of a micro-bike business who stocks Radbots, I love it! Suggestion–an ad for the light called “Red Planet” that takes off on Cold War/McCarthy era/Bircher warnings. “Red Menace” or something like that!

Ross Nicholson
Guest

Here in Tampa, running down bicyclists with huge cars is a competitive sport, with more than one vehicle often racing to take part in the fun. The Chamber of Commerce and the new Florida State Department of Commerce plan to advertise this vacation happening in other parts of the country as well as overseas. Look for it soon!
We have to realize that riding a bicycle here in Tampa is like donning a bunny suit at a rabbit hunt. We just have to take our chances down here.

Judge: “Mr. Scott, you’ve run down and killed 169 cyclists under your Hummer so far this year. What have you got to say for yourself?”

Scott: “Well! They should have armed themselves! Or ducked. I never noticed them. They should wear bright reflective clothing so they can be easier to pick off.”

Judge: “You mean, pick out?”

Scott: “Sure, OK.”

matt picio
Guest

Ross, I salute your bravery riding in Tampa – and congratulate you for one of most awesome sarcastic posts ever.

Jay R.
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Jay R.

I’m really tired with this new trend of putting red lights and/or reflectors on the FRONT of bikes. Red goes on the back, white goes on the front. It’s not that hard to understand.

OuterToob
Guest
OuterToob

I think it might even be ‘the law’ that red lights only go in back. But considering how many people still don’t have lights on their bikes, I guess getting it backward is better than nothing.

Joe M
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Joe M

Great poster! I want one. If this goes retail, please put pricing/ordering info on PDW site.

Aaronf
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Aaronf

“These lights are so bright that when you are run over and killed, the driver might actually be reprimanded!”

peejay
Guest
peejay

I wish I could recommend that light, but I had to return mine because of a major design error in the way the circuit works. Once the battery starts getting low, it’ll turn on as normal, but after a few seconds, it just goes dark. If you happen to notice it, you turn it back on thinking you forgot the first time. And off it goes again AFTER you start riding. I know that batteries don’t last forever, but I prefer the behavior of my Superflash, which, like all other lights I’ve used, just start getting dimmer and dimmer.

The PDW light should be recalled as a safety risk, if you ask me. And I agree that it’s ugly also. Other than that, it’s perfect!

jim
Guest
jim

Is this a sequel to “The day the bikes stopped at a stop sign” ?

Tourbiker
Guest

Nice Poster, great take on the War of the Worlds theme.
I’ve taken the position that you give up the right to complain if you don’t do everything you can to be seen.
I’ve owned both as well (PDW & superflash).I’ve also noticed it shuts off on bumpy roads, for whatever reason.(circuit, Battery connection or switch).
It is however one of the brightest I’ve used.(when working)
The superflash has a rather distinct heartbeat kind of flash I like, but half the rated pwr of the Radbot. .It’s switch is completely enclosed. It also clips easily on a pack,Pannier or trunk.

dp
Guest

Tourbiker,

If your light is shutting off on a bumpy road, get in touch with me, and I’ll replace it for you.

Dan

Murph
Guest

I for one welcome our Radbot overlords…

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

All hail the radbot!

I love the poster just like I love the cheesy movies that its design is lifted from. If there’s extra prints floating around anywhere. I think one of these framed in my living room would be hilarious and cheesy. Thumbs up for its zaniness.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

Oops. “If there’s extra prints floating around anywhere[, let me know!]” Sorry about the fragmented sentence.

Editz
Guest
Editz

peejay
I wish I could recommend that light, but I had to return mine because of a major design error in the way the circuit works. Once the battery starts getting low, it’ll turn on as normal, but after a few seconds, it just goes dark. If you happen to notice it, you turn it back on thinking you forgot the first time. And off it goes again AFTER you start riding. I know that batteries don’t last forever, but I prefer the behavior of my Superflash, which, like all other lights I’ve used, just start getting dimmer and dimmer.
The PDW light should be recalled as a safety risk, if you ask me. And I agree that it’s ugly also. Other than that, it’s perfect!

You mean grow dimmer to the point of uselessness? I think the theory at work here is the light will generate a specific luminosity for as long as it can. After that, it shuts off. Not a flaw in my book.

DiNotte lights tell you when batteries are getting low and even have a special low power emergency mode, but more advanced circuitry designs like that cost more money.

It’s the responsibility of the owner to periodically check their gear to make sure it’s functioning as intended. That means keeping tabs on total battery usage and probably carrying spares with you.

peejay
Guest
peejay

The problem is that when the battery is low and you turn it on, it shines as bright as normal for a few seconds to a few minutes — just enough for you to get on your way thinking that you’re properly lit up from behind. If there were a low-battery indicator, that would change everything, but because there is not, this behavior is a fatal flaw.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

I’ve had that happen to me while out on rides as well, but the nice thing about the Radbot is that once it does die, it has a built-in rear reflector.

The reflector obviously is not as good as the light itself, but it’s better than nothing considering how many lights don’t have reflectors to begin with.

I try to change the batteries more often now to avoid situations where I think the battery may die mid-ride.

OuterToob
Guest
OuterToob

Jonathan, as an individual who seems interested in protecting an artists rights to their work – (I’ve seen several mentions as to your (justified) negative feelings about people using your photos without permission.) I am surprised that you would post this blatant copyright infringement, and credit the work to the person who actually stole the image.

I hate to point out the obvious but Kevin Murphy didn’t design that poster – some unnamed individual at 20th Century Fox designed and illustrated it in the 50’s for the movie ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still”. KM just dropped product shots on top of someone else’s already extremely well done and popular work.

Unless KM or PDW purchased the rights to that image, they appropriated that copyrighted work illegally, stripped the credits from the bottom of the poster, dropped in some product shots and replaced the logo of the actual owners of that poster (20th Century Fox) with their own PDW logo.

This is no different than if they stole one of your images from this blog, slapped their logo on it, called themselves the photographer – then used it to sell their bike lights and generate income for themselves.

Both equate to illegally appropriating the concept, labor and product of another person for their own financial gain where the original parties are not compensated. The general public would call that stealing or plagiarism or both.

If stealing from others and cutting corners is the business model of PDW, then I’ll be staying away from their products.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

A quick search for ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still poster’, will show you’re absolutely correct the PDW’s poster is based on one of the original poster designs for the 1951 movie. Which doesn’t necessarily mean PDW is infringing on a copyright, because the company may done various things to clear its way to legal use of the original poster.

I hope they’re not infringing, because people are really enjoying what their take on the original poster concept. And of course, it’s a good buzz for the original movie, not that it doesn’t already enjoy a huge, continuing popularity.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

The piece of art in question may very well be in the public domain by now, based on when it was made, and if no effort was made to re-up copyright on it.

Copyrights for art created at that time (1951) was 28 years. If it was not renewed at the end of that period, it would have entered the public domain and would be free for anyone to use however they like.

So it actually is quite different than stealing images from a blog.

OuterToob
Guest
OuterToob

Fair points AK, but the movie was re-released in 2008 by 20th century Fox – they still own the copyright – therefore it should be protected by law.

Honestly, I don’t see the difference of stealing an image from a major film studio vs. stealing copyrighted images from Jonathan – if used in this manner, it is just as damaging to the original owner. I guess the major difference is that Fox would have some big time lawyers compared to the guy w/ a blog.

Beth h – you’re not really suggesting it’s OK to steal from people are you? Even so, I would speak up if I saw someone stealing something that belonged to you.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Jonathan has been justifiably upset by people simply reposting his photos without permission or credit. I’m not aware, though, of his being offended by someone significantly altering one of his photos and using it as part of a parody.

Perhaps you’ve forgotten, OuterToob, that parody is frequently considered “fair use” and not “copywrite infringement.” See: http://www.publaw.com/article/parody-fair-use-or-copyright-infringement/

Our media world (music, writing, visuals, youtube videos…) would be far less interesting without the dialog created by artists’ quoting and sampling other work. I’d rather live in this world than the paranoid litigious world you proscribe.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I checked out PDW’s website, which is nice looking and easy to navigate.

These lights are not expensive; most expensive tail light is $38. Headlight is just $25.PDW could do potential customers a great favor by listing the lumen output…the amount of light produced by the emitter…so people could get a sense of what level of illumination they’re getting compared to other lights of both higher and lower prices.

From what I’ve noticed while shopping around, it’s lumens, not watts, that’s becoming the more common way to indicate bike lights level of brightness.

More bike lights are using rechargeable (at the computer USB port.) lithium ion batteries for extended run times. That doesn’t seem to be true of PDW’s lights. Simplicity is key to having good, bright lights widely used.

beth h
Guest

Brilliant poster concept.
Way too much hand-wringing about political correctness, conpyright infringement and all sorts of boogey-beings that I would never have imagined.
It’s a poster. An advertisement.
And a funny one, at that.
Relax, people.

Lynne
Guest
Lynne

1) I put my Radbot 500 on my expensive custom bike 🙂 I don’t even feel badly about that. Mostly it lives on my Rivendell. I don’t feel badly about that, either.
2) I also have the PB Superflashes. The Radbot 500 seems to be brighter (dark garage testing). I run the Radbot on my commute bike and add it to my rando bike as a second rear light.
3) peejay is entirely correct about the low battery behavior. Mine kept changing to a different flash pattern and then turning off. I’d get home and wonder what was going on. Fortunately, when I commute, there is also a PB Superflash on the back of my helmet, and I wear a lot of reflective bits.
4) great poster!

unotache
Guest

put a bird on it.

Tomas Quinones
Guest

I wish the poster were a bit more original and not just a shopped poster from “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.
http://www.retroist.com/2011/01/25/trailer-tuesday-the-day-the-earth-stood-still-1951/