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  1. #1
    The Land of Living Skies
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    How do I make sure I am seen?

    It is getting to the point when I leave home in the morning it is not totally daylight. I am thinking I need to have a tail light and headlight. Do you think this is the best place to start. Is one brand the best and worth every penny or will any set up do?

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Lights are a must for dusk and evening riding.

    You don't need a light that illuminates the road perfectly, just that get you seen well.

    I use a Cygolite Rover NiMH extra - It is very much bright enought to be seen (and to illuminate the road actually for 22mph speeds), but not excessively costly like the Night Rover brand which are powerful enough for full dark riding on single track trails. It cost me $74 on sale at REI, but runs $94 normally.

    A good rear light (or several, one on seatpost, one on head or upper body) is important (see recent thread about a bright one)

    Make sure you have pedal reflectors - they move and cars see that as a cyclist.

    Wear a high visibilty yellow shirt or jacket - that helps for the dusk/dawn and catch headlights better.


    Al

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    If your purpose is to be seen, get some reflectors from the auto parts store and attach them to your bike/rack. Reflectors don't need batteries and can give back lots of light. Get the 3" round monsters. I like the JogALite ankle reflectors. I wear them on my ankles and on my wrists so my turn signals can be seen. JogALite also makes a reflective vest. JogALite products can be found at a few bike shops and at many stores that cater to runners. Another be seen soluition is a piece of reflective tape on your rims between your spokes. I do about 4 or five spoke-gaps in a row and leave the rest of the rim without reflective tape. I think this will give a blinking reflection to approaching cars from either direction.

  4. #4
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    you can also get cheap blinking lights that attach to a back pack or shirt. i have two of them on when i ride at night during dusk hours. i also have a reflective strap i attach to my ankle that is highly visible in the dark. there are many lighting options, but the most important thing is that people can see you from all angles.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    There are two schools of thought on this:

    1. You don't. Just do what you can and assume you aren't seen.

    2. Light yourself up like the Fourth of July.

    I go between these two groups. I keep an eye on traffic behind me with a mirror, and use a variety of lights.

    For a headlamp, I use the Topeak Moonshine, with which I'm quite happy at this point.

    For a tail light, I use a red blinkie, and a Lightman Amber Xenon Strobe.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    The red blinkie lights are quite directional, so be careful how you mount them. I have seen them mounted on backpacks so they are very visible when the wearer is walking, but when leaning forward on a bike they only show themselves to passing birds and aircraft.

    I like the pedal reflectors, but my clipless SPD pedals dont have any provision for them, so I put white reflective tape on the front and back of the cranks.

  7. #7
    slower than you Applehead57's Avatar
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    Christmas tree is a great analogy. You must always assume you are invisible.
    I have a red blinkie light, reflective tape, bright clothes and reflective ankle straps.
    Err on the side of ridiculous, otherwise the results are severe.
    "Lack of opportunity does not constitute virtue". Diana Tickle.

  8. #8
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    I bought an alert vest. I don't know the URL, just type "alert vest" on google. This thing is awesome, very bright and obnoxious.

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I bought two Hi Visibility moisture wick T-shirts from this vendor:
    http://www.alertshirt.com/index.html

    The t-shirts are well made, low cost and very bright. The ANSI lime/yellow is supposedly better for low light (dusk/dawn) lighting. They also have a wide range of other hi-visibility gear.

    Al

  10. #10
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Wear lots of reflective materials and add tire flies (they attack to your valve stem and light up only when you are moving makes a nice red halo in your rim) a rear blinking light as for the front if you are riding in an urban area with lots of street lights, a white flashing light maybe all you need on your front.
    Matthew 6

  11. #11
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    Wear lots of reflective materials and add tire flies (they attack to your valve stem and light up only when you are moving makes a nice red halo in your rim) a rear blinking light as for the front if you are riding in an urban area with lots of street lights, a white flashing light maybe all you need on your front.
    I don't think I want anything attacking my valve stems. Won't that let the air out?

  12. #12
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    I don't think I want anything attacking my valve stems. Won't that let the air out?

    ooops got to double check when I use ispell
    Matthew 6

  13. #13
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    The blinky on the helmet probably gets the most attention since it's way up high that even a MiniVan won't lose sight of it. Too often, the blinky on the seat post disappears once the car slides right next to you. I use the Vistalite total Eclipse and Super Nebula for the back of the helmet. These two lights have the most (7) LED's in production.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Some reflective tape on your helmet doesn't hurt. Careful with Tire Flies, as aggressive cops will ticket you for them. I don't like blinking lights up front, as it could be misinterpited as a turn signal.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  15. #15
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Some reflective tape on your helmet doesn't hurt. Careful with Tire Flies, as aggressive cops will ticket you for them. I don't like blinking lights up front, as it could be misinterpited as a turn signal.
    Blinking front lights are legal, and are not easily mistaken for turn signals since they are white and turn signals are not. If you stick to the red tire flies you won't have any problems at least I haven't in the 2 years I have been commuting with them. I have a friend that was pulled over and ticketed for haveing blue ones. If you have any doubts check with your local authorities.
    Matthew 6

  16. #16
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Careful with Tire Flies, as aggressive cops will ticket you for them.
    On what grounds? I can't see how they are any different than flashing lights elsewhere on the bike. Most tail-lights are flashers.

    Regards,

    savant

  17. #17
    Member angrystan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    Blinking front lights are legal, and are not easily mistaken for turn signals since they are white and turn signals are not. If you stick to the red tire flies you won't have any problems at least I haven't in the 2 years I have been commuting with them. I have a friend that was pulled over and ticketed for haveing blue ones. If you have any doubts check with your local authorities.
    I have recently beeen riding at night, like 3AM, with blinkies front and back with yellow tireflies. The theory being that red and blue are regulated and violet is insufficiently conspicuous. They just happened to be on sale at my local Target $8 for the set

    I don't know about regulation, but both pedestrians and motorists practically stop and stare at the odd blinking tires. They are certainly conspicuous. I recommend them, especially the yellow ones.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Frodocious's Avatar
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    If you wear a backpack, then, if it is a dark colour, some sort of reflective cover is a good idea. I use a Respro Hi Viz Hump Rucksack Cover, which is yellow and orange, has reflective strips on it and a little pocket for my blinkie light.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    That blinky is very good but it's not portable. I suppose it would work for a recumbent but a commuter needs something that's not going to become another thing to carry.

  20. #20
    Banned.
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    I didn't have time to read all the posts on this subject but here's how my bike is set up. I have Cateye's 5-LED rear taillight, barend taillights, reflective band on the seat bag, reflective tape on the helmet, 1" wide reflective leg bands, amber xenon flasher on the front along with a dual beam 12 watt light.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Patch29's Avatar
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    I recently finished building my new touring bike and I chose several items that added to its reflectivity.

    Cinelli LUX bar tape.
    Schalwabe Marathon tires with reflective material on tire wall.
    Arkel panniers with built in reflective material, more when the F&R panniers are on.
    I also use the Shimano 324 pedal, clipless on one side, standard platform on the other, they have the orange reflectors on them. They are nice if you need to hop on quickly without biking shoes.


    Here is a quick shot from the side in the dark.



    It was recommended to me to cut little reflective strips and place a few inside the rims, that spaced out well they look like they are flashing while spinning. I have a lot of 3M DOT rated reflective material, I may cut out some white portions and put it on, it can't hurt at night.

    I am also looking for gloves and jerseys that have reflective piping/material built in. My current jersey is bright yellow, but very little (almost no) reflective material. My full gloves have a bit of reflective, but it would be nice if I could find a glove with more to help with hand signals at night. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

  22. #22
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    for the back light cateye makes a light that doubles as a reflector, as far as I know they are the only company that makes such a light.
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

  23. #23
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Next to a good set of lights a road construction workers
    safety vest is a good idea. I ride with one now and cars
    give me a WIDE berth because now they CAN see me.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Trab's Avatar
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    You could put these on your bike:

    http://www.fossilfool.com/down-low-glow.htm


    P.S. Patch29, that is a sweet looking Surley.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Patch29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trab
    P.S. Patch29, that is a sweet looking Surley.
    I'll keep the neon in mind.


    Thanks, I have more photos of my LHT here if you have not seen them.

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