Product Review/Sneak Peek: Planet Bike Super Flash….TURBO!

(STAFF WRITER’S NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, this post was delayed…A WHILE)

I arrived home from work the other day to find a small brown box addressed to ‘lil ol’ me!

Oh! What could it ever be!?!?

Planet Bike

Mark from Planet Bike sent out a new product to try out that will be released this  Spring!

Introducing the NEW 2011 SuperFlash TURBO!

Planet Bike Super Flash Turbo

Here is an into from the ‘wordsmiths’ at Planet Bike:

In 2006, our introduction of the Superflash tail light ushered in a new era of innovation in bicycle lighting.  Building on our tradition, we are now proud to introduce the evolution of bicycle safety: the Superflash Turbo.  We paired our time-tested design with a powerful 1 watt LED, then added the new attention-grabbing Turbo flash pattern. It’ll give you peace of mind riding day or night.

Superflash Turbo tail light (#3070)

  • 1 Watt Power LED plus 2 red LEDs for visibility up to 1 mile
  • New attention-grabbing Turbo flash pattern
  • Soft-touch power switch accesses flashing or steady mode for up to 100 hours of run time on two AA batteries
  • Ultra compact vertical design is weatherproof, lightweight and durable
  • Includes bike mounts and clip mount for multiple mounting options

MSRP     $34.99

In my initial inspection of the light I couldn’t find any major differences. The Turbo is the exact size of the tried and true original Super Flash. The housing is identical, with the exception of the red “TURBO” printed on the clear face and the big RED Super Flash lense

Since I had just ridden home from work, my first chance to test this light out would be on my next trip to and from work.

The next day, I suited up and clipped the Super Flash Turbo onto my bike. It was a bit overcast, so ambient light was at minimal levels. I felt as if I was being followed by a group of glow-stick swinging club kids! The TURBO light pattern is definitely more eye catching…

(side by side comparison of the Turbo & Standard Super Flash light pattern)

I am excited to say I was one of the most visible people out on the wet streets of Portlandia!

Many more miles of commuting ahead of me… I’ll give you an update at a later date…gotta ride!


  1. harry krishna March 1, 2011 9:28 am 

    that light is almost as bright as its price point – $35!?. i have a $20 headlight so bright i can’t look at it. i’m glad to see that planet bike recycled the zefal tail light body. i still have two of those (bought extra for parts).

  2. Steve A March 1, 2011 4:18 pm 

    I would appreciate a life comparison compared to the original which already had a shorter life than many competitors. I didn’t really need brighter than the original as much as more reliable and longer lived.

  3. PhilGE March 1, 2011 9:03 pm 

    @Steve A – Longer lived? Please define. I have a few PB Superflashes and have had no problems with them over two years minimum use.

  4. Ghost Rider March 1, 2011 9:04 pm 

    Steve A — what do you mean by shorter life? Shorter battery life, or shorter overall life before the light was unusable? I’ve killed a couple of originals and “stealths”…actually, the weather killed ’em, but have had great battery life with them.

  5. clever-title March 1, 2011 9:55 pm 

    Does it include anything for mounting it to a helmet (I mean, other than the usual zip-tie hack). I’d like to us this in combination with a Radbot 1000 on the frame

  6. Raiyn March 2, 2011 3:03 am 

    This, after I just replaced all the taillights in the house with plain ol’ Superflashes?

  7. VinceR March 2, 2011 7:16 am 

    @SteveA : I will keep track of the longevity of this light. As I have just recently received the light, it’s a bit premature to give that kind of feedback at this time, but keep checkin’ back!

    @Clever : No, it does not include any helmet mounting options, but I will pass along your GREAT suggestion to Mark at Planet Bike!

    As far are durability goes, I’ve been commuting in some pretty wet weather… Rain…Snow…Snail (snow & hail together)…

    It is still going strong.

  8. q`Tzal March 2, 2011 11:45 am 

    Do we have any idea how the intensity of this tail light compares to the DiNotte 140?
    After all the kludges I’ve made I’ve come to love the solid engineering of a DiNotte but if their is cheaper alternative I’d hook up my buddies.

  9. Mark Angevine March 2, 2011 1:34 pm 

    Vince! How are you? Long time no see. I gather from your review you have migrated to Portland. Hope all is well with you. How is Henry? Can you send me his email? I’m still in Whittier, still riding, same as.

    Anyway, you made my Amazing Internet Moment for this month.

    Mark Angevine

  10. Cycling For Beginners March 3, 2011 9:35 am 

    It definitely looks bright! I somewhat concur with other comments — I was already pretty happy with how bright and eye-catching the regular Superflash is, so I’ll be interested to know how long the battery life lasts compared with the original. I’m also a bit curious whether this could be viewed as “too bright” for drivers at night — some have claimed the original might be.


  11. Rider March 4, 2011 12:13 pm 

    Yes, talk to PB about a helmet mount. Almost every commuter I see has a Superflash ziptied to the back of the helmet.

  12. Danny Clayton Veseth March 7, 2011 3:50 pm 

    Can’t fault PB for attempting an improvement–but I tell ya, the original is awesome. From the first time I saw one way, way up ahead and chased the guy down to see what it was—I was sold on these things I commute in a lot of dark conditions and never worry about NOT being seen.

  13. dan March 8, 2011 10:21 am 

    Is there anything wrong with the zip tie to the helmet hack? It works well for every brand of light on just about every helment. Cheap and versatile.

  14. VinceR March 9, 2011 8:29 am 

    @DPOW!:I agree, zip-ties are a gift from the cycling gods! Their uses are never ending! I even used them once to mount a brake lever on my bike just to get through the day!

    @CyclingForBeginners: I have been pretty happy with the performance of my Super Flash(es). The only time one has failed me is when I hit a large pot hole in NoPo and it flew off of the strap on my seat bag. Well, the light didn’t fail at that point, it was still flashing as it lay helpless in the road… It was when the car that drove by ran it over, that’s when it gave up it’s ghost…

  15. Matt March 24, 2011 12:33 pm 

    Ow. That video made my eyes hurt!

    I have to say the side-by-side comparison didn’t do much for me (again, apart from hurting the eyes). I have the original PB Superflash and 1w Blaze – they’ve been doing fine thus far, and I’ve had them both about 1 1/2 years through a variety of weather conditions.

  16. Michael - Cyclomuting in Tampa Bay June 21, 2011 3:57 am 

    Really? Are you kidding me, battery life?? You’d give up brightness to avoid having to charge your batteries more frequently?

    I’ve used the Super Flash for the last few years, ok a couple of them as the LED section can separate from the battery/mount at the most inconvenient times. 😉 I use it in combination with the Cateye LD1100 which is a great combo for rear visibility.
    I charge my rear lights once a week whether needed or not. They use very little power but they can dim slowly with use, if I have to buy new batteries once a year that’s fine!

    Actually, I normally cycle the batteries from my headlights (dual Fenix LD20s), to the rear lights when the batteries start to lose their charge faster. My PowerEx charger also has features to “refresh” batteries which provide extra serviceable life. I charge the headlights after every ride, no exceptions.

    Since I started my strict charing policy I’ve never been caught out w/waning lights, although during the Winter I have to charge the headlights at work as well since dark in both directions of my 46 mile round trip.

    Sorry to ramble… give me brightness over battery longevity… at least until our lights are as bright as 12 volt systems!

  17. Michael - Cyclomuting in Tampa Bay June 21, 2011 4:05 am 

    Ok, before I get caught… I cycle the batteries to the LD100 with takes AAs but the Super Flash takes AAAs. But, I think the AAA rechargables have been in use now for over a year with the weekly charges. They are available for under $10/4 so that’s pretty inexpensive protection. (Chargers have dropped in price too)

  18. Bryan H October 5, 2011 4:42 am 

    Thank you for the the standard and Turbo (I’ll be buying a Turbo at lunch today). As a walker (though I used to be an avid biker when I was younger), I have two suggestions which I’d like to share:

    1. Make them brighter still. I have to compete with drivers who are texting and so they are totally distracted from driving.

    2. Make them adaptable for walkers/joggers. I find the clip to be useless – I don’t have handy pockets in all weather jackets etc….and need to have some sort of way to fasten them to my apparel. This is a vast untapped market for

  19. Bryan H October 5, 2011 4:42 am 

    …planet bike. :-)

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