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  1. #1
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Sighted last night- excellent rear safety practice

    Haven't seen this before so I thought I would share.

    Standard:
    Blinking tail light on bike seat post

    Not so standard but common enough:
    Blinking tail light on bike seat post
    Blinking tail light on helmet

    Exceptional:
    Blinking tail light on bike seat post
    Blinking tail light on helmet
    Blinking tail light on riding jacket at shoulder blade height

    3 levels of blinking red lights is very impressive.

    Just thought if you might be more concerned about hit from behind safety this setup might be something to consider
    Hi 'o Silver away

  2. #2
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    I currently have two (back of recumbent seat, and back of helmet). I'm looking to get one more, once I get a bracket mounted to my rear swingarm.

  3. #3
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    Haven't seen this before so I thought I would share.


    3 levels of blinking red lights is very impressive.

    Just thought if you might be more concerned about hit from behind safety this setup might be something to consider
    You've never seen the Tower of Power? Consider this; used for commuting on a busy 55mph highway.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I have been using the 3 rear lights on my commute. Blinking on the rack and near shoulder height, steady red on the seatpack. How many red lights do you think it would take to become a glowing red mass that would make drivers think aliens had landed?
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  5. #5
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    This video is not as recent as I would like. I have since added one more blinky on the left rear pannier. I walk around the bike to show all angles. I have three tail lights, two amber markers, and two LED MR16's for headlights. There is a blinky on the seat post, but it is "OFF" in this picture. I also have the reflective "farm" triangle, and I also have a headlight and a tail light on my helmet.


    Plus, I carry road cones, a red flag, and wear a reflective vest.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    I use three lights... one steady (24 LEDs), one PB flasher, and a small blinky... not to mention a reflector about the size of a desert plate.

    Early in the mornings I get mostly very wide passing from motorists.

    One of the best lighting schemes I ever saw was a small bright white light that shone on the back of the cyclist, aimed up from a rack over the rear tire... there was no doubt that he was a cyclist from a long way off. Blinkies and the like can be seen from quite a long way away, but the observer may not quite know what the light is... whereas this light shining on the cyclist made it quite clear.

  7. #7
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Yes I've seen the "tower of power" but don't like it, too busy and would only make sense on a bent.

    Night photos only count when the camera is at least a block away.

    For 55mph road, you need a motorcycle and save cycling for slower speed areas.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    Yes I've seen the "tower of power" but don't like it, too busy and would only make sense on a bent.

    Night photos only count when the camera is at least a block away.

    For 55mph road, you need a motorcycle and save cycling for slower speed areas.
    I guess I can't leave my office then... as the surrounding roads are 55MPH, 65MPH and a freeway.

  9. #9
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    Night photos only count when the camera is at least a block away.

    For 55mph road, you need a motorcycle and save cycling for slower speed areas.
    I wasn't aware of the requirement to photograph from a block away to "count". Nor of the rule restricting cyclists to using roads only in the park or slower speed areas. Is that another of your "excellent rear safety practices"?

    Nor of equipping my bike to "make sense" to people who only ride a bicycle in slower speed areas where cars never tailgate each other at high speed.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 09-27-12 at 12:13 PM.

  10. #10
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    Here's my setup:

    2 Blinking red Planet Bike Superflashes (PBSF) mounted on both chainstays.
    1 Blinking PBSF clipped to the back of my rack trunk.
    1 Blinking PBSF mounted on the side.
    1 Blinking PBSF mounted to the back of my helmet.

    According to the OP in post #1, is it classified as Standard, Not-So-Standard But Common Enough, or is it Exceptional? I'd like to know.

  11. #11
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    Here's my setup:

    2 Blinking red Planet Bike Superflashes (PBSF) mounted on both chainstays.
    1 Blinking PBSF clipped to the back of my rack trunk.
    1 Blinking PBSF mounted on the side.
    1 Blinking PBSF mounted to the back of my helmet.

    All my lights can be set on steady if I choose.


    On the front, I have 2 blinking white BRT 5 lights mounted on the handlebars.

    According to the OP in post #1, is it classified as Standard, Not-So-Standard But Common Enough, or is it Exceptional? I'd like to know.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    Haven't seen this before so I thought I would share.

    Standard:
    Blinking tail light on bike seat post

    Not so standard but common enough:
    Blinking tail light on bike seat post
    Blinking tail light on helmet

    Exceptional:
    Blinking tail light on bike seat post
    Blinking tail light on helmet
    Blinking tail light on riding jacket at shoulder blade height

    3 levels of blinking red lights is very impressive.

    Just thought if you might be more concerned about hit from behind safety this setup might be something to consider
    I sort of do the same thing on mine bike. I have my brightest light on steady on the seat post, helmet light on flashing, and bar end lights on flashing. I figure with one of the lights on steady it gives the driver more of a sense of distance from me, then the flashing is an attempt to attract their attention faster.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lot's Knife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post


    This video is not as recent as I would like. I have since added one more blinky on the left rear pannier. I walk around the bike to show all angles. I have three tail lights, two amber markers, and two LED MR16's for headlights. There is a blinky on the seat post, but it is "OFF" in this picture. I also have the reflective "farm" triangle, and I also have a headlight and a tail light on my helmet.


    Plus, I carry road cones, a red flag, and wear a reflective vest.
    Wow, that's a hot mess.
    336 hours in Cairo: www.dodifa.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    There's no "requirement" except reflecting driver's impression. Most of the images on this subforum are closeup shots at night with light oversaturation. My point is simple: if you are judging the effectiveness of any lighting system, especially rear, you need to take the camera shot from where the driver would be at say 10 seconds away. Naturally that distance will vary according to speeds. It would be further at 45mph than at 25mph. To keep it simple, I just
    said a block away. The actual formula for minimum distance from bike would be something like this:

    A: distance covered @ posted speed + 10 mph in 5 seconds [Distance to recognition of hazard, ie, bike]
    plus
    B: distance covered @ posted speed + 10 mph in 3 seconds [Reaction time]
    plus
    C: distance covered braking average vehicle @ posted speed + 10 mph.

    Who said park. "slower speeds" is any road. Review the cyclist death tables, rate of deaths climb above 45 mph.
    Any road with traffic under 50mph, should be ok. But that depends on the room for shoulder riding if necessary.
    I'm not familar with Burlington IA roads, but Cedar Rapids/Iowa City/Amanda Colonies have a mixture of some good routes and many where alertness is paramount.

    It's your life, you can ride the Interstate to Des Moines if you like, but if safety is a high concern, that interstate ride would be with a motorcycle and not bicycle.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  15. #15
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    You've never seen the Tower of Power? Consider this; used for commuting on a busy 55mph highway.
    I sort of liked that it is high enough to make a driver wonder jsut what is ahead of them.

    BUT

    I also recall soem discussions when I was doing double centuries about the theory that some drivers, drunks and overly tired ones, tend to zero in on the red lights and 'follow' them. That can get bad if they zero in and don't click to the fact that yuo are going far slower than they thought. At least until they hit you.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  16. #16
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    I go for four levels:
    1. 2 W cygolight on helmet
    2. 2 W cygolight on reflective vest
    3. Dinotte on seat post
    4. Little clip-on LEDs that are slightly less bright than a superflash attached to my reflective ankle straps

    From a distance, the only light that matters is the Dinotte. It is so bright it just washes out the other lights for anything that is overtaking. However, when there is some angle involved I think the additional flashers may garner more attention.

    I remember riding in urban/suburban traffic in the Bay Area in the '70s with just a couple of incandescent glorified flashlights strapped onto my shoulders and knees (two C-cells, one bulb, yellow top with a red lens facing the rear and a white lens facing forwards). I thought I was lit up like a solstice tree, but that amount of light was practically nothing compared to what we now have available. Heck, we can actually use our bike lights to see the road these days, even with my old eyes.

  17. #17
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    I sort of liked that it is high enough to make a driver wonder jsut what is ahead of them.

    BUT

    I also recall soem discussions when I was doing double centuries about the theory that some drivers, drunks and overly tired ones, tend to zero in on the red lights and 'follow' them. That can get bad if they zero in and don't click to the fact that yuo are going far slower than they thought. At least until they hit you.
    Yep, that's the major problem with too many lights. Good safety lights:

    1- get noticed
    2- help driver judge closing speed,
    3- aren't too annoying or too bright that drivers lock into the light and just drive into the light.

    that's why highway patrol cars are very careful about their night light presence.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  18. #18
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    I've just got a blinky reflector on the rear rack and a reflective vest from Home Depot. Then again, I haven't ridden in the dark yet.

    I think too many lights is a distraction to the driver. If they don't see the blinky (attracting attention from five blocks away according to my wife) and reflective vest (lights up like a flare in headlights), they're never going to see me. Luckily, my commute doesn't take me on any roads over 35mph.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    I've just got a blinky reflector on the rear rack and a reflective vest from Home Depot. Then again, I haven't ridden in the dark yet.

    I think too many lights is a distraction to the driver. If they don't see the blinky (attracting attention from five blocks away according to my wife) and reflective vest (lights up like a flare in headlights), they're never going to see me. Luckily, my commute doesn't take me on any roads over 35mph.
    I don't think too many is distraction, rather an attraction. What you should do at night is drive your car around and pay more attention over the coming months to cyclists out riding and see who stands out more, the guy with a single dim blinky or the guy with a couple of more bright ones. Your thoughts are not based on real evidence whatsoever.

    The relective vest is a great idea, and Home Depot vests do work very well and cost next to nothing, it's where I got mine too. Do yourself one other favor, get a set of highly reflective ankle bands, their less then $10. There was a study that older people saw the up down motion of ankle bands BEFORE they noticed the other reflective devices even though both could be seen at the same time, something to do with age, I'm not sure why that is.

    Obviously only you can determine how you want to set your bike for anything including lighting, but at least look into a bit more. Yoy can always start out with one light and then add to it later by getting a really bright one and mounting the old on your helmet or some other place.

  20. #20
    Senior Member FenderTL5's Avatar
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    I'm running three rear lights during dusk/dark. One is on the rear fender, next on the rear rack, the third is on my helmet. I also wear a bright yellow/reflective vest. There's additional reflectors (front and rear) and front lights as well.

    fender1.jpg
    Nashville, like L.A. without a tan.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I don't think too many is distraction, rather an attraction. What you should do at night is drive your car around and pay more attention over the coming months to cyclists out riding and see who stands out more, the guy with a single dim blinky or the guy with a couple of more bright ones. Your thoughts are not based on real evidence whatsoever.

    The relective vest is a great idea, and Home Depot vests do work very well and cost next to nothing, it's where I got mine too. Do yourself one other favor, get a set of highly reflective ankle bands, their less then $10. There was a study that older people saw the up down motion of ankle bands BEFORE they noticed the other reflective devices even though both could be seen at the same time, something to do with age, I'm not sure why that is.

    Obviously only you can determine how you want to set your bike for anything including lighting, but at least look into a bit more. Yoy can always start out with one light and then add to it later by getting a really bright one and mounting the old on your helmet or some other place.
    Yep, I'm sure I'll change some things once it gets dark on my commute. My blinky is a bright one though; bright enough to see the blinking in sunlight.

    I have pedal reflectors, did the study say that ankle reflectors were better? Pedals would still give that up and down motion.

  22. #22
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
    There's no "requirement" except reflecting driver's impression. Most of the images on this subforum are closeup shots at night with light oversaturation. My point is simple: if you are judging the effectiveness of any lighting system, especially rear, you need to take the camera shot from where the driver would be at say 10 seconds away. Naturally that distance will vary according to speeds. It would be further at 45mph than at 25mph. To keep it simple, I just
    said a block away. The actual formula for minimum distance from bike would be something like this:

    A: distance covered @ posted speed + 10 mph in 5 seconds [Distance to recognition of hazard, ie, bike]
    plus
    B: distance covered @ posted speed + 10 mph in 3 seconds [Reaction time]
    plus
    C: distance covered braking average vehicle @ posted speed + 10 mph.

    Who said park. "slower speeds" is any road. Review the cyclist death tables, rate of deaths climb above 45 mph.
    Any road with traffic under 50mph, should be ok. But that depends on the room for shoulder riding if necessary.
    I'm not familar with Burlington IA roads, but Cedar Rapids/Iowa City/Amanda Colonies have a mixture of some good routes and many where alertness is paramount.

    It's your life, you can ride the Interstate to Des Moines if you like, but if safety is a high concern, that interstate ride would be with a motorcycle and not bicycle.
    Didn't know that photos submitted to BF are being judged by you. Thanks for providing the rules and formula for meeting your approval.

    Who the heck is talking about riding on an Interstate? I wish one was available with a wide paved shoulder like I used to ride to work in Oregon.

    i recommend that all install and use lights that meet their own riding requirements, not the roads and shoulders we wish were available or that some posters imagine exist everywhere. Nor to meet a high score of some self appointed judge of lighting effectiveness.

    My posted light setup was for the roads I used to get to work, 55mph highway with 10 foot lanes and no usable shoulders. Not the roads that the OP imagines exist where I live, nor the roads that are in his area.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 09-28-12 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Correct typo

  23. #23
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    BUT

    I also recall soem discussions when I was doing double centuries about the theory that some drivers, drunks and overly tired ones, tend to zero in on the red lights and 'follow' them. That can get bad if they zero in and don't click to the fact that yuo are going far slower than they thought. At least until they hit you.
    Urban myths are often repeated in discussions both on the Internet as well as at the proverbial water coolers, everywhere.

    The discussions you have heard about the increased risk from the "moth effect" of bright lighting are repeating the same unproven hypothesis often circulated on the Internet, that has little to no credible validation in the real world of driving or cycling.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Didn't know that photos submitted to BF are being judged by you. Thanks for providing the rules and formula for meeting your approval.
    I have judged your lights to be the most awesome thing ever, thanks for posting them

  25. #25
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I have judged your lights to be the most awesome thing ever, thanks for posting them
    Thanks.

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