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I have a permanently mounted basket in front of the handlebars (because I have a child seat on the rack in the back). I also have a headlight on the handlebars (this one, if anyone cares). If the basket is empty, it is somewhat visible, through the mesh that basket is made of. However, if I put anything in the basket, the headlight is useless.

I should mention that I also have a dynamo powered headlight below the basket, but I turn it on only when it's really dark, as the bottle dynamo noticeably slows down the bike.

Any ideas where to move the headlight from the handlebars? To the fork perhaps? That can be a problem as it would point a bit upwards then, and also would be partially obscured by the wheel itself.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As a rather quick solution and possible permanent fix if the look suits you, you could get a piece of plastic PVC pipe just long enough and the approximate diameter of your handlebars, and just affix the plastic PVC pipe to the front of the basket, and mount the light on the PVC tube. If the basket is the wire type, you could slot the bottom of the pipe an it would slip right over the top of the basket and then the clamp for the light could run through the wire and around the light to secure it. This same thing could likely be accomplished with other types of baskets as long as there was a good support at the top of the basket. Just a thought for a quick and cheap possibility using the same light.

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That's probably what I'm going to do. The basket is not of wire, but of mesh (this one to be exact: parts.capriolo.com/proizvodi/korpe/…), the only problem I see is fixing in such way that it stands still and doesn't rattle. There's also a minor aesthetic problem, as the most PVC pipes over here are white or green, and my bike being red/black. :) –  Mladen Jablanović Jan 17 '13 at 11:21
    
If you do deide on the PVC route, it could be made ready for paint and be painted any color you desire. –  Lucky Jan 17 '13 at 18:07

Helmet lights are good. Usually in addition to one on the handlebars.

The pro of the helmet light is that you can light up things that are not directly infront of you. The pro of having an additional light is that it increases the chance of being seen and adds extra illumination for you.

The con is that if you are looking to the side and a car is coming from the front they will not see the light shining at them, so you should not have a helmet light as your only light.

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1  
While this sidesteps the question, helmet lights really are awesome to have. When you point it right at a driver, they are sure to see you. –  Drew Stephens Jan 16 '13 at 18:49
1  
When I'm driving, I find helmet lights really confusing. A friend of mine had a red one on his helmet, I could never tell what direction he was going. –  alex Jan 16 '13 at 21:46
    
I personally find helmet lights to be somewhat rude in a dense city. Seems that at least a few fellow commuters shine theirs in my eyes each evening during my ride home from the office. Helmet lights for the trail or rural road, bar/frame/fork lights for the city –  Paul H Jan 17 '13 at 1:49
1  
@alex This may be an advantage. If people see you but are noticeably confused this may increase their caution. –  sixtyfootersdude Jan 17 '13 at 17:52
1  
@ Paul H, IMHO quite the contrary. With helmet light one can look slightly away from fellow cyclists. –  Vorac Jan 19 '13 at 7:47

The obvious places are on the basket, on the fork crown, or on the fork itself, although they may require mounting hardware or a different light altogether. Reading this may get you some ideas. Looking at the Reelight line-up may also spark your imagination.

Or you could also go with unconventional solutions like Revolights.

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There are various extension mounts you can buy or build to reposition lights and other handlebar-mount items. I have a purchased unit that can be adjusted maybe 2" higher than the bar, and which can mount on either the bar or the stem. You can also craft something with a short piece of plastic pipe, a few screws and brackets, and some cleverness.

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Lucky's solution can be done with any sort of short, black tubular thing. E.g. an old film canister, or a stub of wood or dowel. Use some cheap wire snips to open up the mesh to accommodate the light-mount's adjustable strap about 1/2 inch below the top-front edge, and wrap the strap around the black object and the basket (through hole and over the edge). Cinch it tight and you'd have as much rattling as you would have from attaching to the handlebars in the first place. You could even use some rubber from a used tube or other bike-reflector/light clamps and put it between the block and the basket.

               [Basket below]

                       =====<    [light, on "O" tube]
                      /--\
                |     ||O|
[Bike here,     |     \--/
 forward        |      |
 is to the      |      |
 right]         |      |
                --------

Another idea is to get a small (3-4 inch) piece of flat metal bar, e.g. a metal bracket with holes (pref. aluminum, plastic). At the bottom of your basket, either on side near front or even straight forward, use wire snips to make a little horizontal slit for the bar to go through, but so it can stay flat with the bottom of the basket. Now you lay the bar there with half in, half out, tied to the bottom with black zip ties or a nut and bolt. You could zip tie the light to the bar itself or maybe screw a piece of wood dowel or pipe to the end and attach the light to that.

               [Basket below]

                |      |
[Bike here,     |      |
 forward        |      |           [light, at end of bar, maybe with a tube.]
 is to the      |      |  =====<
 right]         |    ______O
                --------

Depending on how you can recharge the light, and on whether you mind reaching in to press the power button, you could even snip a big enough hole in the front of the basket so the light would simply lie flat (adjusted for angle) on the bottom of the basket, inside, with only the lens up against the outside. This could use black zip ties and be very discrete.

               [Basket below]

                |      |
[Bike here,     |      |
 forward        |      |
 is to the      |      |           [light, strapped inside]
 right]         | =====<
                --------
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Hey, thanks for the answer and for the ASCII effort! I like the third suggestion, the basket is even slightly slanted forward, so no need for angle adjustment. The only problem would be removing and putting back the light (when leaving the bicycle somewhere). Perhaps I should buy the cheapest and just forget about it. :) –  Mladen Jablanović Mar 14 '13 at 21:56

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