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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 01-21-05, 01:49 PM   #1
gmacrider
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Red LED on back of helmet

I followed a guy for a while this morning who had his flashing red LED mounted on the back of his helmet instead of the seatpost. It seemed more visible to me and less likely to be obscurred by paniers and other baggage. Do you folks have any opinions about the BEST place to mount the flashing red LED?
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Old 01-21-05, 01:55 PM   #2
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everywhere:

- one superbright LED on helmet,
- 5 LED on seatpost bag,
- 10 LED Cateye on rack mount
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Old 01-21-05, 01:58 PM   #3
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I have one mounted on the back of my helmet, and a smaller one on my seatpost. I think the helmet mount is much more visible, but I do have one concern: I wear a backpack when I commute, and I'm not 100% sure that the helmet light remains above the level of the backpack when I lean forward - need to have someone check me out from the rear. Last year, I was behind a fellow commuter and I noted that she had no taillight - until she stopped at an intersection. Then, when she took off again it disappeared. I caught up to her and saw the problem - she had a blinkie on the rear strap of her helmet, and was wearing a light jacket with a hood (she wasn't wearing the hood). When she was stopped, the hood lay flat and the light was visible; as soon as she started moving, the hood filled with air like a wind scoop and obscured the light. Moral - wherever you put your light, have someone verify that it is visible when you are on your bike and moving.
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Old 01-21-05, 02:02 PM   #4
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One on the seat post, helmet, and bag.
Just ordered bar-end blinkies for the road bike.
Putting a neon tube on the fixie.
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Old 01-21-05, 02:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babaluey
Moral - wherever you put your light, have someone verify that it is visible when you are on your bike and moving.
Good point babaluey - I wear a backpack specifically designed for bike commuters. I think an LED on my helmet would be visible but I better confirm that.

One red LED on the back and one white LED on the front is my limit, plus a few dabs of reflective material.

Thanks all for the info.
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Old 01-21-05, 03:02 PM   #6
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I put mine on my butt, low on my reflective vest. I do not wear a backpack, or if I do (for rare shopping trips) then I put it low on the bag. I keep thinking I should have more than one, but haven't done it yet.

For me, all lights and etc. have to be removable, they go in with me. i park outside in a bad part of town, and theft is likely.
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Old 01-21-05, 03:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmacrider
I followed a guy for a while this morning who had his flashing red LED mounted on the back of his helmet instead of the seatpost. It seemed more visible to me and less likely to be obscurred by paniers and other baggage. Do you folks have any opinions about the BEST place to mount the flashing red LED?
I got a Bell Metro for Christmas and I put a Vista light on the loop in the back. It's exceedingly bright and very visible. Even had some guy flash his flashers at me the other morning.

That light is in addition to a flasher on my leg and one on my Camelbak. I have a steady light on the seatpost and a steady light on the rear rack.
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Old 01-21-05, 03:36 PM   #8
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If you ask a guy on a recumbent bike, he'll tell you that the higher something is, the more visible it is to vehicles. For this reason, I always have at least a light on the back of my helmet at night.
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Old 01-21-05, 03:39 PM   #9
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Been doing it for years. There are several threads on this topic as well. Do a search.
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Old 01-21-05, 03:46 PM   #10
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My ride home from work is after dark for 5 mo. out of the year. I recently doubled up my front and rear blinkies on my commuter, and boy, does it make a difference. Oncoming traffic rarely make left turns in front of me anymore, and traffic from the rear gives me more latitude. I think the key is multiple flashing sources. I believe that when people see two lights flashing, out of sync, in their periferal vision they immediately think: police or emergency service vehicle. I've also had good results with red and white blinkies on the front, I believe for the same reason. When it comes to blinkies, you can never have too many. Kind of like bikes.
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Old 01-21-05, 05:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica
I put mine on my butt...
So, umm - you're flashing your butt?
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Old 01-21-05, 07:17 PM   #12
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Just saw these LED helmet lights in a catalog yesterday. Never tried them.
ttp://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/CatalogOrderSearch?sku=led+helmet&storeId=10101&catalogId=10101&searchbtn.x=14&searchbtn.y=5
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Old 01-22-05, 12:39 AM   #13
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Here's the link
http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/C...&searchbtn.y=5
Small problem though
Quote:
When brakes are applied, a radio signal is transmitted from the brake light bulb or black box (depending on system) to illuminate the LEDs. System with #1157 bulb transmitter is for use ONLY on motorcycles that use a single #1157 bulb, without ABS. System with black box transmitter is for motorcycles that do not use a #1157 bulb or have ABS or use multiple brake light bulbs. Automatic shutoff after 3 hours of nonuse or manual on/off switch. Components sold separately.
It won't work on a bicycle
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Old 01-22-05, 10:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babaluey
So, umm - you're flashing your butt?
No, no, no, crack kills!
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Old 01-22-05, 11:49 AM   #15
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Jessica,
Forgive my insolence. But just how do you attach the light "on your butt". Is that at the hip pocket?
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Old 01-22-05, 01:42 PM   #16
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I have one attached to the seat and one on my helmet. Having one on your helmet alone might not make you legal. In Ohio, it (at least arguably) has to be attached to the bike.
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Old 01-23-05, 01:10 PM   #17
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I have a hiway worker type safety vest that I wear over whatever shirt I am wearing (much reflective stuff). On the bottom of the vest I have a blinky attached with a safety pin thru the fabric. The blinky came from my local pet store, on a dog collar, so it has a closed slot for attaching it. It has 3 LEDs, and is pretty bright if the batteries are not worn down too far. So I suppose, technically it is at my waist line, but I am sure that to the cagers it looks like it is on my butt.

Lights on the rider alone are legal in California, as long as they have the same distance visibility.
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Old 01-23-05, 02:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
Here's the link
http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/C...&searchbtn.y=5
Small problem though

It won't work on a bicycle
Because it can be turned on by applying the brakes doesn't mean it has to be turned on by applying the brakes. It does take a 12 v system though like the ones described on the total geekiness thread. It is probably a waste of money because it comes packaged with a transmitter that you don't need.
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Old 01-23-05, 02:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babaluey
I have one mounted on the back of my helmet, and a smaller one on my seatpost. I think the helmet mount is much more visible, but I do have one concern: I wear a backpack when I commute, and I'm not 100% sure that the helmet light remains above the level of the backpack when I lean forward .
Why not try mounting a light to the backpack?
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Old 01-23-05, 04:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnguy
Why not try mounting a light to the backpack?
Mine tends to toss around alot on my backpack, so I keep mine on my helmet. I also have a seatpost light and reflective elements.
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Old 01-23-05, 05:41 PM   #21
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I was thinking about putting one at the top of a flag pole. I saw a guy in a wheelchair with a yellow flashing light like you see on construction vehicles, kinda like the blue-light specials light on a stick at K-mart. Maybe if I had a flashing light on a stick the cars would think I'm some handicapped guy and give me lots of room.
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Old 01-23-05, 06:06 PM   #22
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Yep. Back of the helmet, and just about everywhere else I can think of...

I have a blinkie on my seatpost, a vistalight clipped to my bag, and when I remember to put them on, one or two of these: http://www.cateye.com/en/products/vi...d=7&subCatId=4 attached through the vents on the back of my helmet.

I also recently added a strip of lime-green hi-viz tape to the flap on my bag. Think I got rearward visibility covered. HID headlamp has frontward visibility covered.

Now to do something about the sides. I occasionally use the cateyes on my forearms instead to cover that..

After hearing a few raves about the cateye tl-ld1000 (both here and other boards) I might replace the seatpost blinkie with one of those, which will help with sideways visibility also.

Pretty soon I'll be a rolling Christmas tree...

-Trevor
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Old 01-23-05, 07:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnguy
Why not try mounting a light to the backpack?
I may go that route, but will probabaly need to get a different light to do so. The one I wear on my helmet fits there very neatly, but would be difficult to mount on a backpack with the proper orientation. Today I went on a ride (just for fun!) with my wife and had her check out my helmet light from the rear. Sure enough, when I leaned all the way forward, as when flying downhill and going for minimum wind resistance, the backpack obscured the light. Still, for more than 90% of my riding, it would be visible - and it is not my only rear light.
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Old 01-23-05, 08:01 PM   #24
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Both...Plus, you get a UFO lite, you can mount one behind your ankle..How do you mount one on your butt...?
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Old 01-23-05, 09:52 PM   #25
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It's also good to consider visibility from the side and front. Judging by various postings about accidents, Cars seem to hit bikes from the side or front more often than the back.
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