Hot answers tagged

51

The short answer is that 'safer' is subjective and depends on your requirements. You are both correct. Movement attracts the eye, so your blinking light is noticed. It is easier to judge the position of a steady state light. For a motorist to pick out your tail light, particularly, from a sea of noise is very difficult. The surface area of the light is ...


22

Take the lights and anything else thats likely to be stolen off your bike. For things that can't be removed easily, you may want to use something like Pitlock security skewers (or security bolts) or glue in ball bearings or similar into the head of the bolts (which will make them hard to remove when you need to remove them, but a casual thief can't remove ...


19

Wood et al. (2009): Drivers’ and cyclists’ experiences of sharing the road: incidents, attitudes and perceptions of visibility. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 41 (4), pp. 772-776 About differences in the visibility as perceived by bikers and drivers: The largest difference relates to the visibility of cyclists using lights on their bicycles, where ...


18

There is some interesting research here (pp 56-60), in amongst some decent comparisons of methodologies, they suggest that reflective material on the major joints makes the real difference in having cyclists being identifiable and identified. The thinking, as I understand it, is that lights are just lights and could be on (more or less) anything but ...


14

In terms of accessories like lights, GPS, etc. the only way to be safe is to remove them entirely. Remember that if something is quick-releasable for you, it's also quick-releasable for thieves. Bike lights will frequently get stolen even if they aren't easily removable, because they're valuable. There is an assortment of "anti-theft" bike accessories ...


13

The main advantage, in my view, is that you can more easily add/remove battery-powered lights. Why this may be desirable: Theft resilience. I take my lights off the bike and carry them with me if I'm parking my bike outdoors for longer than a few minutes. Caveats: This can be more of a downside than a benefit, depending on your situation. (I can't imagine ...


11

Cheaper, easy to fit, more widely available - and don't take any effort! Probably most people's memory is of the side wheel dynamo systems when they were a kid that wore away tires, put out a feeble light and turned off when you stopped.


11

I found something on the homepage of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. They have an article about bicycle helmet lights, listing the pros and cons of them: Summary: Lights on bicycle helmets can be useful, but must have a breakaway mount. Especially about the breakaway mount: The importance of breakaway mounts The first and most important ...


9

Car headlights are more complex than bike lights. The beam is 'shaped' to throw light away from oncoming drivers and has a sharp cutoff on dipped beam. therefore bike lights will always cause a greater degree of glare (for relative brightness) than car lights. Point the beam so its shining at the ground about 10-20meters in front, and slightly towards the ...


9

OK so I do a lot of bike light reviews. I originally started writing them for this very site's community blog, and now I run a separate website called The Bike Light Database. Has anyone used one? I can't seem to find a review of the dang thing on youtube, as popular as they are supposed to be! I've reviewed this light specifically, and can say that ...


8

As well as getting a powerful set of front lights on your bike, get yourself a good head torch (or helmet light). You wish to light what you are trying to look at that may not be in the same direction your front wheel is pointing. Combining two front lights so you have a wide beam and a long beam can work well. By using two lights you have a backup when ...


8

i have been using the Supernova e3 Triple for night-time singletrack missions for the past two winters.....all I can say is awesome, completely awesome. 870 Lumens. bright. I used a Shimano Alfine dynamo hub and built a complete 'night wheel' with a DT 4.2d rim, it has rubber and a rotor mounted so swap-over time is very quick. We have months of mud, ice ...


8

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 ...


8

As already suggested by @Batman, have a look at this Bike Light Database write up. What to look for ... LED - with cheap lights don't believe the claimed Lumen, Look at the LED specification - a CREE XL-M T6 or U2 are probably the one you want. There's not much difference in them, you typically get about real 600 Lumen out of the cheap lights, more ...


7

There are a few terms bandied about that have significance. Watts, Lumens and Candlepower (Candela). In my experience lumens has the most significance in that it typically reveals, generally speaking, how bright the light is going to be. What it doesn't refer to is what type of beam pattern it will have, how bright it will be at the centre as compared to the ...


7

Yes, with easy to spot 'caveats'... On 'Critical Mass' bike rides there are all kinds of imaginative lighting setups that give individual riders individuality. We like creativity in cycling and how everyone is different. Undoubtedly these lights are cool and would be fab on a Critical Mass ride. Therefore, for that reason 'yes'. Caveats... LED lights are ...


7

I don't believe these are "better" or "worse" than other lights, rather they are a supplement to other lighting systems. I think the inventors' claims about forward and rear illumination are somewhat questionable as it won't compare to a real head/taillight of similar cost. However, I think they would provide some improvements in side and off-angle ...


7

What the code is saying is that your headlight has to be visible on the sides. That's why most modern bicycle headlights have those little clear plastic channels on the side for the light to seep through and be seen from the side. ( The idea isn't to blind people GordonM ) Maybe it really reaches 300 feet, maybe it doesn't, the traffic police probably aren'...


7

Sellers on Amazon.com have a lot of leeway in the naming of their products and advertising script they use. In that sense, Amazon is becoming more and more like ebay. Rather than the feedback (or lack thereof), the technical specs of the light should be warning you to stay away. Powered by only 3xAAAs, there's no way this light is getting more than a few ...


6

If you're just riding city streets, with street lights, you aren't going to need much in terms of illumination. More likely you will need a light that is bright enough so that The other drivers can see you. I picked up a 7-LED head lamp light from my local dollar store for $2, and mounted it to my handle bars. You can get a second one and mount it to your ...


6

The Dinotte series of lights is great, and I love mine. I can get almost 2 hours out of my 200L on high mode. It meets all of your requirements, except for the one about bumpy/gravel roads -- if you mean by that something durable, then it meets all your requirements. Dinotte 200L headlight and battery mounted on my helmet.


6

I would go with a helmet mounted light, as this meets your swapable requirement, and if you're riding at night, you should always be wearing a helmet anyway. As for the light itself, a name brand light from a bike or specialty manufacturer (Bontrager, Light & Motion, etc, etc) LED lamp should give you the best bang for your buck. Also don't forget a red ...


6

You should fully charge the battery after every use. Ignore outdated concerns about early NiCad batteries that exhibited a 'memory effect' when discharged repeatedly to the same Depth of Discharge (DOD)/ State of Charge (SOC). Almost all secondary (rechargeable) batteries will benefit from regular, complete charging. The less you discharge a battery, the ...


6

The only helmets with built-in light mounts I know of are by Bell, which can mount the Blackburn Flea. I don't know if any of them are full-face. The Flea is pretty useless for offroad riding, it's too dim. Lights usually mount up with velcro straps through the vents. When I was racing my MTB after dark Ay-Ups were common - small, extremely bright, and a ...


6

Pretty much all bike-related lights for helmets are mounted with velcro straps. My mate was riding in full-face helmet with lights on helmet. He had vents on top of the helmet and mounted the lights through the vents. Worked just fine. We use Light and Motion for "battery in the pack, light on the head" set up. If you are planning a DH in the dark, I ...


6

Head light: [+] points to where you are looking at (good while cornering) [-] bumps, rocks, roots may not clearly be visible since their shadow is behind your sight of view (since the rays come a couple of inches above your eyes) Bar light reverses the above two points: [-] is very late while cornering, making you blind [+] casts good shadows on bumps, ...


6

I have actually dramatically improved the cutoff on my 1200 lumen dual LED (just for reference) with a sort of brim made out of aluminium plate. On road I run it on minimum brightness (guessing about 1/4 -- 1/3 power). On pitch dark bike paths I do change the angle a little as well as turning up the brightness. Super-speedy sketch (go inkscape!): The ...


6

Blinding road users will be the result of the following factors: Total light output Mirror design (how is the light shaped) How you aimed your light Most trail lights (and high output battery powered lights) use a mirror that casts the light in a symmetrical shape. This means light is cast up, down, left and right. Light cast above the horizon is what ...


6

You can get lights that are powered by a dynamo (generator) in the front hub. Combined with bright LED front and rear lights you get excellent visibility (both seeing and being seen) and very little maintenance. The downside is that the equipment is not inexpensive – figure you'll need to spend at least $250 US for a front wheel, headlight and taillight. My ...



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