Advocacy & Safety - Is there any disadvantage to running your taillight on your helmet?
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My bike is a folder, so my light mounting options are limited. I also move from bike to bike a lot and it's a big pain to move the lights each time. I am thinking about putting my Superflash on my helmet. I've tried it on my backback, but it seems to sag and point downward, which I think makes it less visible. I don't have a rack to mount it on. Thoughts?
If anything, you'll be more visible to cars from a greater distance.
12-08-08, 06:25 PM
As long as you mount it solidly and have it pointing toward driver windshield level while you are in your normal riding position, it will work great. As you noted, blinkies have a hot spot and need to be aimed properly to be most effective.
12-08-08, 07:50 PM
Just keep in mind that if you turn your head, the light will be less visible. Probably not a huge deal though.
12-08-08, 09:03 PM
I have a light on the helmet as a secondary to my seat post light (quick to remove Knog Bullfrog).
The 'Guardian' (http://www.adventurelights.com/outdoors/categories.asp?sid=5&cid=37)light very easily clips on to the straps at the back of my helmet (below the shell itself) and maintains a good angle. It is light, bright, waterproof and simple to use.
12-08-08, 10:38 PM
I do alot of night riding, on my own, and as part of a group. The blinkie lights on the back of helmets I find are really visible. Personally, I keep two or three rear lights going depending on the bike, one on the seatstay, one on the rack/seatpost, another on the back of my helmet. I think if you position the helmet light correctly, they're very effective.
As a side note, I probably wouldnt use just the helmet light on its own - its nice to have a second light as backup anyway. Im not sure what kind of bike, but you may be able to attach a light to the seatstay on the traffic side of the bike, as a second stand-by to beat any legality problems. Where I live(Australia) our road rules specify that if we're riding at night, we have to have at least one rear light physically attached to the bike(as is my understanding of the rules anyway :P )
The one disadvantage I can think of, if you turn your head to the side for any length of time, the light isnt going to be strongly visible..maybe a different story if you get the lights have LED's on the side too..
12-09-08, 07:39 AM
I don't think there is any disadvantage. I few peeps I ride with do that. highly visible.
I don't do it 'cuz i can't stand extra stuff on the noggin...
I run my PB superflash on my helmet. I just ran a loose tie wrap throught the vents in the back and hook it to that. It pretty much stays with my helmet. It seems to stay put pretty well, but I do worry that it moves a bit and may not be optimally aimed. I do run other light on the bike. I like the idea of it being higher up.
I forgot it was on my helmet Saturday and went mountain biking it didn't fall off. I am glad I had it as the ride from the park was later than I had planed. Rumor has it the cops around here are going to start ticketing non lighted bikes.
I don't think I would run just one light on the helmet but I think you should have at least two for redundancy anyway.
12-09-08, 10:09 AM
I'd just be worried about head position making it less visible. You're riding a folder so it's probably not a big concern, if you had drop bars it could be more of a big deal. Mounting it to your helmet makes it higher and therefore more noticable to drivers.
12-09-08, 10:36 AM
The disadvantage is that it is not aiming straight back part of the time. To work well most blinkers need to be held horizontal and aimed straight back. You can rig up some kind of quick disconnect bracket so it's easy to switch the light from one bike to another if you are creative enough. Here's one I have, It's very old, from an old Vista light. It's fast and easy. I use thumb screws on the bolt on brackets, that makes them quick dissconect too, but not as fast. I make most of my lights quick disconnect.
It is an advantage to have the light up high on your head, but it depends on how much of the time the light faces straight back. I say use a bracket.
12-09-08, 11:49 AM
Just rig some kind of street legal red rear reflector on every bike you have. Just to protect you legally in case you have an accident and a lawyer gets involved. A flashing tail-light is above legal and you can put it where-ever you want.
12-09-08, 12:14 PM
That's what I do -- SuperFlash zip-tied to the back of the helmet. I used to just hook in on the rear helmet strap, but my stap is getting old and sags. Zip-ties keep it nice and secure.
But I have another lashed to my seatpost. Two are recommended -- I wouldn't use just one.
I used to have one hanging off my backpack, but I found the same thing -- mostly, it was pointed in the wrong direction.
FWIW, a PB SuperFlash fits perfectly into the diamond shaped gap in the back of a Bell Ghisallo. Just fish a couple of zipties through the inside of the helmet and snug it up.
12-09-08, 03:01 PM
You apparently already have an idea of the problem ... that they can flop around and fail to point in the best direction. Some helmets actually have a small mount for such things or the securing strap is such that you can hang a blinky on it.
You do have an alternative. If you use a jacket, reflective vest, or backpack, then you can mount the light there. And this light (http://www.cateye.com/en/product_detail/273)will mount on just about any helmet.
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