Commuting - Lights and fog
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What light set up works best when dealing with fog? It's getting to be that time of year around here, I need to upgrade my lights, and figure I could use a little input before ordering.
Currently using one wimpy light on the helmet (the mounting bracket for it is pure rubbish), but it works for what little bit I actually ride in the morning- less than 2 blocks. However, I really want to start riding the ~9 miles that I used to ride after work to before work. Or have the ability to select another bus route and ride to work should I miss either my first or connecting bus.
A bright helmet light is not good in the fog, rain or snow. Too much light reflects back into your eyes. Find a light with mounts for both bars and helmet, so you have the option.
I have the Cygolite Expilion 250, which comes with mounts for both. When not using the light in the daytime or in bad weather, it goes on the bar mount. It makes a great helmet light with a fairly focused beam so as not to blind others. The new Expilion 400 is on my shortlist for purchasing. Also, there is a new Lezyne light that is worth a look.
I was out the other night in fog, and two bright lights on the bars was great, but I did miss the helmet light for looking around. It would have been very difficult to see with a bright helmet light.
I've found that at night in the fog, the lower the light is, the better I can see. Fun riding on the trails, a nightmare on the road.
Helmet headlights are no benefit in those conditions.
I'm now using a NR MiNewt 600 Cordless for daytime riding (flash mode), and I have the NR MiNewt X2 (old corded model) for nighttime riding. After the last time I was hit by a car (No11), I've taken to riding with a light day and night (as opposed to night only). Can't prove it, but it couldn't have hurt to have had a bright light shining in the passenger mirror of the guy who turned right into my path.
10-28-11, 05:53 PM
I've found that at night in the fog, the lower the light is, the better I can see.
+1 When it's really foggy I'll usually opt to commute on my Big Dummy because my lights mount on the fork and QR skewer.
10-28-11, 05:54 PM
MiNewts get good press. However a good old fashioned maglight or surefire will do the trick as well. You can get mounting brackets for them.
10-28-11, 06:45 PM
I have ridden in very thick Tule fog on several occasion and thank the lord I don't have to do it everyday. There is that catch 22 when riding with lights in thick fog. The brighter your lights are, the more glare you get back in front of you. However, less bright light does diminish rather quickly in the eyes of driver at intersection ahead of you. Floody light pointed down seem to work better than a narrow beam from a thrower. The flood helps light up things to your side.
I found something of interest one time when I got some unexpected heavy Tule fog snuck up on me while I was out near Discovery Bay. I found that a super bright red tailight blinking erractically helps with other car notice me better not just from behind me but also those in front of me. I think it had something to do with the fog lighting up with red color behind me that made me more visible to other cars. Just for FYI, I was running three MS tail light on blink mode.
Alrighty then! Looks like floods are a bit better than throwers, get the lights low, and forego the helmet light.
Try the B&M Ixon IQ light. Peter White sells them (http://peterwhitecycles.com/b&m.asp).
It uses the same optics as my Schmidt Edelux and the B&M dynamo lights, but it's battery-powered and has a bar mount, or an optional fork crown mount. The optics have that German sharp cutoff on the top so light isn't spraying up into the fog in front of your eyes. Its light stays down low on the road.
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