55

A quick search, however, shows other colors available to purchase. Concerning "to be seen" bicycle lights, should they be avoided? Yes, they should be avoided. First, off-colors might not be legal in your area. Second, and more importantly, no one will know what it is. If a driver sees a flashing red taillight, or what looks like a normal white headlight,...


53

Don't show a red light of any kind on the front unless you want a head-on crash. Red is for the back only, steady or flashing. In the shadows it will look like you're riding the wrong way down the street and confuse everyone. As a worst case consider narrow roads where any cyclist will be in the middle to avoid the doors of cars parked on both sides. A ...


43

There are now many bike lights on the market which have a shaped beam with a "horizontal cutoff" giving strong light onto the road or path, but much less above the horizon. When adjusted correctly these allow you to see where you're going without dazzling oncoming traffic or pedestrians. I use a Busch & Muller Ixon IQ (pictured), but there are ...


42

Most places will legally require you to run with white lights on the front and red lights behind. This is crucially important because it immediately tells everybody else on the road whether you're coming towards them or moving away. I once nearly hit somebody because they had a red light on the front of their bike. I saw that at the usual distance and ...


41

Legality aside, this is a bad idea. The entire point of putting distinctly colored lights on emergency vehicles is to make them instantly recognizable as such, letting people know that they need to make way for the emergency vehicle. By placing them on another vehicle, you are desensitizing people to these important warning indicators. This desensitization ...


40

Consider how you feel when a fellow cyclist approaches you will full beam straight ahead. It's pretty blinding, even for a moment, and especially off-road when your eyes aren't used to it. So in a park: Dim your light to its lowest setting (within reason). Put it on steady beam. Flashing is more visible but also more annoying and disorientating. Physically ...


39

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 ...


33

Regulation 16 of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (1989) states: Restrictions on fitting blue warning beacons, special warning lamps and similar devices No vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, shall be fitted with– (a) a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp, or (b) a device which resembles a blue warning beacon or a ...


33

UNITED KINGDOM Intro I ride a 50" Penny-Farthing almost daily on the UK's public roads, both individually and as part of groups in daylight and evening conditions. Before venturing out onto the UK's roads when I began my Penny-Farthing journey, I asked myself this very question. And when people see me on my PF, many will invariably ask me: "Is that ...


29

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 ...


24

The topic has been discussed here in the Netherlands, and found an answer summarized in the below chart (text translated into English from the original): Wrapping up: lights should be fitting the standards and fulfill their scope. No blinding, no lighting up in the sky or down the floor, no fancy colors.


19

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 ...


19

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 ...


15

As Chris H notes, the clerk was wrong. And he suggests a good suggestion to raise the light above the bag. However, you can also mount the light below the bag as well. Operating on the same principle as fog lights on cars, low mounted lights can do a better job of showing some road hazards. They are also much less likely to blind drivers and pedestrians (...


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

If we check the helmet's documentation, there's guaranteed to be some legalese text in there similar to: modifications to the helmet will void warranty, and may decrease the effectiveness of the helmet. Do not modify your helmet. Or words to that effect. A helmet has three main components A foam inner, to absorb impact and "lengthen" a ...


12

Restrictions on fitting blue warning beacons, special warning lamps and similar devices 16. No vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, shall be fitted with (a) a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp, or (b) a device which resembles a blue warning beacon or a special warning lamp, whether the same is in working order or not. https://www....


11

There are standlights, which are essentially supercapacitors combined with LED headlights. They're designed to be charged from the dynamo while riding and give you a few minutes of extra lighting when stopped at a stoplight. However, all the ones I know will self-dissipate after a while, so they're useless for your purposes of starting off the day with full ...


11

Batteries, especially most types of rechargeables don't work well in cold conditions. The chemical reaction that powers the electric voltage does needs some temperature to perform as intended. If you then have a consumer load that requires a bigger amount of power, they tend to drain rather quickly since they cannot set free much energy when cold. You could ...


11

There are two reasons why it might not work: The batteries don't like the cold. Many battery chemistries don't like the cold -- notably alkaline, manganese (heavy-duty), and NiMH/NiCad batteries. To test this hypothesis, put your light (or even just the batteries) in your freezer. If your light gets weaker the colder it gets, this is your problem (...


11

The light is better on your handlebars or fork than on your frame - the frame lags and always points at some tangent to where you're going while turning, so either you need a really wide beam, or you have to ride into the dark. Fortunately there are solutions, and some of them are pretty vintage. Steerer mount. In the days of threaded headsets, there was ...


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, ...


10

USB rechargeable lights are not typically designed to be run off of USB power continuously, they're only designed to be charged over USB. I run The Bike Light Database, and have tested dozens of different USB rechargeable lights. A few models will run while plugged in, but typically do not charge if turned on, and only run at the lowest output setting. If ...


10

The problem is that you have to start considering the failure modes of the failure detection system. You're quite likely to end up with a less robust system or a lot of false alarms if you have a system designed to warn you of failure. You also have to consider what faults would be detected: a dead battery? You'd need another power source to feed your ...


10

I had to face exactly this on an old commute. Dipping the front light was absolutely necessary in a park and another stretch of unlit bike path. It was a bright enough light to illuminate the road, though not well enough to ride at any decent rate on low power. The solution I found to this was to add a narrow-beam head torch. This can be dipped hands ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

In case you can read German, here's a nice explanation how to adjust the bike front light. Summary: put bike 5m from a wall measure distance (height) of the light from the street make sure that the upper rim of the light at 5m distance (wall) is below that height. Official German regulation: center of light beam should be at half height at 5 m distance = ...


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