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Product Geek: PDW’s Daybot is a locally designed, consciously crafted tail light

Posted by on December 27th, 2017 at 10:01 am

The new Daybot from Portland Design Works.
(Photos by James Buckroyd)

— JBucky (James Buckroyd) is an avid cyclist and “product geek,” — he blogs at buckyrides.com which he set up to document interesting routes, but also houses product tech reviews. Read his past BikePortland contributions here.

Jbucky in his element.

Portland Design Works designs, engineers, markets and ships a growing assortment of bicycle accessories from their headquarters in southeast Portland. You might remember a while back I reviewed their Full Metal Fenders. The fenders are still going strong and I’ved used them on an almost daily basis for 13 months now. It’s a bomber setup.

But could they repeat that success with a light? Is a locally designed, consciously crafted bike light a fallacy?

I picked up one of their latest tail light models, the Daybot. I was impressed by the Daybot as a product, but also because it’s a local company. With a peak behind the scenes, I saw they had some some good ethical practices in place as well. The Daybot is a $35 rear light specifically designed so it’s effective during daylight hours, this means a switchable light mode where the output is higher so you go noticed during the day. 100 Lumens is the benchmark nowadays for daylight flashers.

Dual LED’s – a high power above and a low power below the weatherproof on /off button

Easy to use silicone band for quick mounting to seatpost & sealed USB charging port.

Thick silicone with pull tab.

Ample brightness for daytime riding.

Summary: The Daybot rear flasher by PDW is a great experience overall: the packaging, instructions, installation and use of the product are all excellent. It’s well-designed, rechargeable, features five flash modes, has easy-to-use controls, comes with great seatpost and seatstay mounting options that are durable and easy to use (which is more than can be said for most) and is backed up by a two-year warranty. Thus the Daybot offers great value at $35.

Read my in-depth review of the PDW Daybot over at at Buckyrides.com

— JBucky

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MoleskinJames Buckroyd (Contributor)RiveloMiddle of the Road GuyStephen Keller Recent comment authors
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Matthew in Portsmouth
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Matthew in Portsmouth

My problem with this tail light, like quite a lot of tail lights, is that it is designed to attach to the seat post. That’s all well and good, however, on the back of my road bike I have a luggage rack, and unless I am out for a two-hour leisure ride, I will have a bag on my rack that will obscure the light. I have had several tail lights that attach to the back of the rack, and have had them come off and smash when hitting one of the many, many bumps in Portland’s multi-user paths.

What would be really nice is a tail light that can stand up to the MUP’s bumps and ridges that attaches to the back of a luggage rack. In my dreams I would like a functioning brake light and turn signals that are highly visible to other road users and easy to use.

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh

Ok… found PDW’s youtube presentation of it…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=80&v=B9jOQhAAGYM

I see it comes with a seat stay bracket. However my rack and pannier bags prevent that location for my bike. I need something that clicks into my tail light mount.

https://ridepdw.com/collections/lights/products/tail-light-rack-bracket?variant=24830355649

I called them, and was told that there is an adapter, but it’s not included in the stock.

Now I just need to get the scratch together to score one.

Pat Lowell
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Pat Lowell

My Cygolite Hotshot has a rack mount that works great.

Pat Lowell
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Pat Lowell
Will
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Will

I have a PDW Danger Zone on my bike rack and it’s great. Their lights last way longer than all others I’ve tried (still on my first set after years of daily use). Highly recommended.

Glenn
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Glenn

is it fully recyclable/fixable/compostable? Or is it going to be just another electronic device in our landfill after it is broke/etc…

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

I concur…nice that PDW offers a secure bracket option, as commuter bikes really need lights that either avoid the silicon strap or offer a secure bracket. Silicon / rubber type straps may be 100% convenient…but all too easy to lose a light and thus generate a “re-purchase condition”.

The daytime run feature sounds like a great idea…for a front lamp (clear white) but not so sure about the need (based on collision frequency) for a rear lamp (red) daytime flasher… perhaps someone can pick up this thread question…

Pat Franz
Guest

We make adapters to allow you to put regular seatpost lights on small diameter things. We sell them to go on flagpoles, but we have other IDs. We’ve used them to attach lights to racks many times.

t-cycle.com/RubberLightMounts

They are dead simple as you can see. They work well with lights that use a bolt to tighten the clamp. Not sure about rubber strap lights- they might not develop as much tension.

As soon as I get a chance to update the website, we also are coming out with a rear light mount that is configurable to clamp to anything from 1/4 inch to 1-1/4 inch and has a adjustable angle tube for the light to attach to. It’s made to allow vertically oriented lights to mount to tubes that aren’t vertical enough- like racks and seatstays. We developed it for recumbents, because they have all sorts of unusual mounting points, but they work on all kinds of bikes.

So, there’s at least one commercially available option out there to solve the “can’t attach my light, tube’s too small!” problem.

Organic Brian
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Organic Brian

What makes the light “consciously crafted”? I mean what makes it any more than a light that has a brighter LED for daytime? Probably these are made in China as PDW’s other lights? I noticed there’s a link to a video, but I’m commenting on the title of this article not the video and I have limited i-net bandwidth where I am right now.

Rivelo
Guest

Daylight flashing TAIL lights are good. Tail lights at night –the super bright flashing ones, that is–are a drag to ride behind on the Eastbank Esplanade and up N. Williams.

And bright flashing HEADlights? The worst! They blind everyone, and they’re super disorienting when they’re coming at you. Others must agree because this was our most popular Instagram post for the second year in a row. #solidbeam2018

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZq0mkZgigs/?taken-by=rivelo_pdx