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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 12-28-12, 09:30 PM   #1
JoeyBike
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Daytime flashing head light and tail light experiment results...

I have always been well lit when cycling after dark but recently (October 2012) I have added flashing lights during daylight hours with stunning results.

My front light is a NightRider Newt single beam. My rear light is a Dinotti 300R - both have rechargeable batteries that run flashing for up to 12 hours. Both are extremely bright and cost upward of $200 each. Both lights are rugged and well made.

When I first began running the lights by day, both in flashing mode, I found it obvious that cars were seeing me and reacting to me sooner. Cars overtaking me changed lanes to avoid me at least 100 feet sooner on average, and cars ahead were much less likely to attempt a right hook or cross from a stop sign into my path. Maybe they think I am some sort of cop as both lights are brighter than anything most motorists see on bicycles. After two months I am completely convinced running with the lights by day make a huge difference in my safety.

I cannot run the front light flashing after dark as besides being bright and annoying to the point of rudeness I have actually had motorists ahead of me pull over to the curb as if being taken down by a police car or passed by an ambulance. Yes, it is THAT bright. By day it is more obvious that the blinking light is attached to a bicycle, not a public service vehicle.

I always wondered if the cost of such lights would be worth any added safety by day, and my answer is YES! Thought you folks would like to know this.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:36 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing.
I've made similar conclusions based on my own experience through the years. I now feel as naked without active lighting (day or night) as I do in a car without a seat belt on.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:36 PM   #3
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First, a big congrads on the increased visibility and positive results! Next - how much of that do you attribute to having flashing vs solid lights? I usually run flashing in the back and solid in front.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:38 PM   #4
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X2 on that one! Mine are not quite as bright but they are close and yes it makes a difference!
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Old 12-28-12, 09:41 PM   #5
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I have a bunch of articulated rubber bicycle light mounts. Every bike I have has one mounted on it. I use a 230 lumen flashlight that has a blinker mode. At night, the light is on solid and down front. During the day, it blinks and I point it a little to the left as to hopefully catch the eye of oncoming drivers.

The rear has two blinkers of different make. both blinking different patterns, one a slow on-off-on and the other sparkling.

I will be seen.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:46 PM   #6
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First, a big congrads on the increased visibility and positive results! Next - how much of that do you attribute to having flashing vs solid lights? I usually run flashing in the back and solid in front.
I've found a noticeable improvement with a front blinkie - I use a Planet Bike Blaze 2w on blinking mode.

Where I've really noticed it is:
- when approaching cross streets with stop signs (when I am on the main road with no stop), drivers do a double take and stop rolling forward. In the past (with steady, not blinking lights) such drivers have not seen me and have pulled out in front of me. Frequently.
- When approaching major intersections with cars turning left from the opposite direction (across my lane)
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Old 12-28-12, 09:59 PM   #7
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My 550 lumen light (mounted to helmet) gets motorists' attention when I have it in blink mode and look in direction of the vehicle. The blinking lights reflection on signs when approahing intersections gets noticed by multiple motorists. I set it to blink during day and in low light conditions.
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Old 12-28-12, 10:01 PM   #8
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...how much of that do you attribute to having flashing vs solid lights?
Never even tried solid front light by day but canyoneagle above has some input that I agree with regarding your question.
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Old 12-28-12, 10:13 PM   #9
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With my front light on blink mode (daytime), drivers are noticeably more cautious/courteous around me.
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Old 12-28-12, 10:14 PM   #10
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+1 on this. Flashing front LED makes a huge difference in how traffic responds.
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Old 12-28-12, 11:06 PM   #11
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I'm not saying that having running lights won't help you, but I got run off the road and broke some ribs last Spring. Had running lights and hi-viz jacket at the time.

So while it helps, you need to remember that there will always be cars that... for whatever reason... can't see you.
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Old 12-28-12, 11:14 PM   #12
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I'm not saying that having running lights won't help you, but I got run off the road and broke some ribs last Spring. Had running lights and hi-viz jacket at the time.

So while it helps, you need to remember that there will always be cars that... for whatever reason... can't see you.
So true. I was hit last year. Lights on, safety jacket... the guy just wasn't paying attention and stop his car with the tire right on my left foot.
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Old 12-28-12, 11:48 PM   #13
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...you need to remember that there will always be cars that... for whatever reason... can't see you.
I have camo bar tape on my commuter handlebars. Every time I climb aboard the camo reminds me that I am going to war. My blinkies are just one line of tactical self-defense.
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Old 12-29-12, 12:55 AM   #14
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War? You are right about the strobe making a difference. I use them day and night, front and back. I asked a local police captain about the strobe at night. He said, " I would rather have that than get you up off the pavement with a paint scraper." Enough said? One of my co-workers thought I made quite a spectacle but I noted I have not been hit YET. I don't count all the times I have to dodge a cager for my own neck.
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Old 12-29-12, 01:13 AM   #15
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Yup, extremely bright lights are just another tool to keep the cyclist safe.

Today I picked up a Niterider Pro 1800 lumen LED which is going on my handlebars. Super excited to test this light out! The helmet is equipped with a Cygolite Turbo 740 xtra. The bar will be solid beam (at night) and the helmet will be full flash @ 740 lumens day and night.
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Old 12-29-12, 06:46 AM   #16
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Yup, extremely bright lights are just another tool to keep the cyclist safe.

Today I picked up a Niterider Pro 1800 lumen LED which is going on my handlebars. Super excited to test this light out! The helmet is equipped with a Cygolite Turbo 740 xtra. The bar will be solid beam (at night) and the helmet will be full flash @ 740 lumens day and night.
Hey Agent, after a couple of days write a review of the 1800 - I use the 1500 (which is last year's model of the same light) and it is awesome. I'm interested in reading your impressions of the new version
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Old 12-29-12, 07:09 AM   #17
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Dinotte daytime 200 lumen amber front & red rear flashers here. I have received many comments/complements about how far away I was noticed by motorists. I usually get a little more room from most rear passers, but feel the front is the most valuable.
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Old 12-29-12, 07:25 AM   #18
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Hey Agent, after a couple of days write a review of the 1800 - I use the 1500 (which is last year's model of the same light) and it is awesome. I'm interested in reading your impressions of the new version
Will do

Any camera settings you recommend I shoot with?

EDIT:

There is...NO LIGHT inside the NiteRider box! I opened it up this morning and everything is inside a black sleeve but no lamp is there. I'm freaking out have to wait for the LBS to open at 10 AM

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Old 12-29-12, 07:43 AM   #19
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I love lights, all different colors and creative configurations on the bike. I have noticed that strange lighting has made my already easy commute even moreso.

Hopefully sort of on-topic :
When I lived in South Floridistan, I commuted in a pretty hostile environment. S.FL car people will never win any Nobel Peace prizes . . .
I commuted on an old single speed klunker bike that had a tool pouch on the back. One day I found a really nice American flag that had obviously just blown off one of those window pole units. I hung it from the top of the pouch and literally--on the same stretch of road--I got immediate respect. From buzzing me to giving me a nice wide berth. I left it on for a while and would recommend trying one out if you have a hostile commute or suffer hi-redneck factor in your area
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Old 12-29-12, 07:46 AM   #20
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I am so infuriated! I hope this is will be resolved. $300 on a ****ing light and no light!
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Old 12-29-12, 07:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
I've found a noticeable improvement with a front blinkie - I use a Planet Bike Blaze 2w on blinking mode.

Where I've really noticed it is:
- when approaching cross streets with stop signs (when I am on the main road with no stop), drivers do a double take and stop rolling forward. In the past (with steady, not blinking lights) such drivers have not seen me and have pulled out in front of me. Frequently.
- When approaching major intersections with cars turning left from the opposite direction (across my lane)
That is exactly my experience. +1 on the blinky.
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Old 12-29-12, 09:29 AM   #22
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I don't ride without at least 1 front light blinking in the daytime.
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Old 12-29-12, 09:29 AM   #23
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I am so infuriated! I hope this is will be resolved. $300 on a ****ing light and no light!
I'd be pretty mad too.
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Old 12-29-12, 10:34 AM   #24
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I am so infuriated! I hope this is will be resolved. $300 on a ****ing light and no light!
Awful! Hope they send you two for emotional trauma!

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I don't ride without at least 1 front light blinking in the daytime.
Do you think front light is more important than rear light in daytime? Why?
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Old 12-29-12, 11:25 AM   #25
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I've found a noticeable improvement with a front blinkie - I use a Planet Bike Blaze 2w on blinking mode.
(snip)
Ooooopppps!! OK - now we have more variables - power output and color. You're running 2W white lights in flashing mode and I'm running twin 10w white lights or twin 3W amber lights in solid mode.

Apparently it all works - which is the most important thing.
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