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 ...


35

We have had much more success advertising it and doing it through a local bike shop or bike group. Once each, so far, that I've done. I think the psychology behind refusing a gift from a stranger is much as Criggie says. You're some random dude approaching people at night offering second hand lights of unknown provenance. Why are you doing that? What's ...


30

The answer, as others have said, is "both." However, if you are only going to use one light, there is a disadvantage to that one light being helmet-mounted. When the light is mounted close to the eye, everything that is illuminated is "flattened" since, from the eye's perspective, there are no shadows to provide information about depth. In particular, it's ...


24

According to Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: A controlled experiment. (Madsen JC1, Andersen T, Lahrmann HS.) they give about a 19% reduction in crash rates. There's a copy of the paper in Scribd as pdf. Every reference I've been able to find appears to refer to this one study. The incidence rate, including all recorded bicycle ...


20

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

I'd recommend learning to do arm signals. Arm signals don't run out of batteries, and are plenty visible in most cases. They're certainly bigger than the turn signal lights you could put on a bicycle (which as Moz points out in a comment, makes distinguishing the 2 turn signals a possible issue), and the distance you need to see a bike turning is a lot ...


16

I am from the Bike Lobby in Austria, and we are doing security checks together with the police. We make a checkpoint, the police stops all cyclists and checks their equipment. If everything is O.K. we give the rider a goodie, like some chocolate If something is amiss we have a repair tent nearby where we fix the problems. We have reflectors for free, and ...


12

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 ...


12

Yeah I've thought of doing this too. However people generally don't accept spontaneous gifts because it creates a sense of obligation and humans avoid that. The other viewpoint is they are adults and have made a choice to ride without lights. You are not responsible for their decisions, and they have to live with the results of their actions. Short ...


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 ...


11

In my experience cheap lights die, and some more expensive designs are prone to failure. Bike shops sell cheap lights because that's all some people will buy, and better they have a dodgy light than no light (there are enough cyclists without lights already). All the factors you list come down to one or two factors, depending on whether you consider "built ...


10

Consider offering to lend your spare set instead, and give an address where they can be returned. It doesn't have to be your own address; you could specify a local bike shop, for example. This reduces social pressure on the recipient, because they can then believe they are willing to return the lights to you. Whether they do or not is of little relevance, ...


9

Paint it with fluorescent paint and then illuminate with ultraviolet lights (and white LEDs serve this purpose fairly well). There are also glow strips/panels sold mostly to (oddly) computer hackers who like to light up the inside of their computers. And probably a few other specialty markets. Of course, you'd have to rig up some sort of power supply. ...


9

There's no single answer to this other than "do what works for you". While the optimal answer to this question is to have both a helmet light and one mounted on the bike, not all cyclists have the money to do that. That said, there are a few things that can help you decide, Mac or PC helmet- or handlebar-mounted light: Will you be using more than one ...


9

The main things to look for when purchasing new lights: How bright are the lights? Can you see them for a few feet, a block, half a mile, etc? What is the angle of visibility of the light? It does you no good if you can only see the light from one single point - you want to be sure your light can be seen from a wide range of angles, especially for your ...


8

The Bicycles Stack Exchange Blog now has the most comprehensive bike taillight review on the internet (to our knowledge): Review of the Best Bicycle Tail Lights in 2012 In total I reviewed fifteen different tail lights. The Cygolite Hotshot performed best in the most categories, but there are several other lights which did quite well. If you're looking for ...


8

You haven't said what country you're riding in or whether it's on or off-road, and this makes a big legal difference. In the UK at least, if you're riding on the road you must have a white front light on your bike. In addition, the light must be on the centre-line on your bike, or to the off-side of that (i.e. towards the centre of the road). It must not be ...


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

So, I've done a lot of (non-academic) research on bike lights for this site's community blog and more recently for the bike lights resource site I created, The Bike Light Database. There is a disappointing lack of hard scientific data on bike lighting at all, and essentially none regarding this specific question. I can tell you from extensive anecdotal ...


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

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

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 ...


7

Summary: it's hard to make a light that reliably turns on only when the brakes are used. Most cyclists who want brake lights buy rear flashing lights because they're cheap and ubiquitous. Ignoring cost, to work well a brake light on the back of a bike would need to be paired with a constantly on, non-flashing light, purely so that people who saw it would ...


7

I run The Bike Light Database (which started from a series of blog posts on this very Stack Exchange site). The Cygolite Hotshot and the NiteRider Solas are actually two of my top recommended lights, and I specifically recommend a setup similar to what you're describing. From the recommended taillights page: Putting the Cygolite Hotshot on your rack ...


7

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 ...


6

In an ideal world, use both. A wide beam light on the handlebar keeps the light on the road in front of you, even when your viewpoint changes, which can save you if an obstacle comes up in front of you in a hurry. However, if the trail curves sharply, and your light is fixed to the handlebar, then the light can be pointed in the wrong direction, which can ...


6

I have an Origin rear light and I've seen that it can be charged via usb and also have the lights on at the same time. If you want to have it powered by a Dynamo, what you could do is have the Dynamo connected to it the whole time on the bike and be lighting at the same time. That could be a way to pull it off and never have to take it off. Also, if you ...


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

It's not common in Europe either, but it's getting less rare it seems like. A quick browse in one of the larger German online stores (Rose) shows that several of the larger bike light makers (Busch & Müller, Axa ...) now sell dynamo-powered rear lights with brake light functionality. All lights work in the same manner : They are fed rectified but not ...


6

There may be an element of social debt, as Toby mentioned, especially if the lights are large or otherwise look expensive. By approaching them in the dark and rain they may also be more on edge compared to being approached midday. In Ottawa, Canada, there's been success passing out free cheap lights with a small information brochure. Make sure you approach ...



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